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Old 08-23-2014, 08:25 AM   #1
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Livingston , Texas
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"Underhitched" - Any Evidence of Damage to WD Bars?

By "underhitched", I mean using WD bars which are rated for 20% or more below the loaded tongue weight -- for example, using 600 or 800# bars with 1000# TW.

Some AS owners are using bars rated for less than the TW in an effort to reduce the magnitude of road shock transmitted to the trailer.

I am specifically interested in any cases where using under-sized bars has resulted in any apparent damage to the bars.

I would need to know:
WD bar brand and rating,
loaded tongue weight if known - otherwise trailer's dry tongue weight,
tow vehicle type and size,
description of damage to bar(s)
possible road conditions causing damage.

Thanks for your help,

Ron
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:39 AM   #2
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Hi Ron - what would one look for in terms of damage to the bars?

I think we've calculated my tongue at 1080 and I'm using 1000# bars (not the kind of difference you're looking for) - but Sean did recommend the 1400s and I thought I wasn't going to exceed 1000#. In other words, I didn't do that for a softer ride, just a miscalculation on my part. If it were more significantly off, what would I be looking for in terms of damage?
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:49 AM   #3
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I don't think you are going to get damage to the hitch or bars when the bars are undersized for the tongue weight. (My hitch is an Equalizer). Rather the issue is going to be one of lack of control of the trailer. The bars are designed to flex not bend.
I run 1000 lb bars for a 600 lb tongue weight. I got the hitch with the trailer and have not bothered to get lighter bars. The ride particularly up and down hobby horsing over whoop de doos was somewhat uncomfortable. I think you would have the same ride issues if the bars are too light for the tongue weight. You might have sway issues also.
I switched tires from E rated STs at 75 lbs of pressure to LT rated tires at 50 lbs of pressure and the ride is vastly improved. I imagine it would be even better if I got 600 lb bars.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Hi Ron - what would one look for in terms of damage to the bars?
Steve, I'm not necessarily expecting to hear about any damage.
The question arose when considering whether one could, without causing bar damage, use bars rated for less than the tongue weight to achieve the 50% front axle load restoration now specified by some TV manufacturers.

Evidence of bar damage could be a permanent deformation such as a slight curvature of the bar when unloaded.
Or, a broken bar would be an extreme example of damage.

Ron
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:24 AM   #5
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As long as you don't put too much deflection on the bars to try to get the vehicle perfectly level, they should not be harmed. Even with stiffer bars if you don't have them tight enough you won't get good weight distribution. I would think that with larger truck especially diesel trucks that transferring 50% of the weight to the front axle is not necessary or desirable. Pickups already have a huge forward weight bias as it is. They are designed to have a payload in the back to handle and drive properly. There is nothing more unstable than an empty pickup truck. Now if you had a 70's model Buick that weighed 6000 lbs and had the suspension of marsh mellow then putting more weight on the front of an already too heavy under sprung car would be a good thing. These are the cars that drug their tails when empty.

Perry
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handn View Post
I don't think you are going to get damage to the hitch or bars when the bars are undersized for the tongue weight. (My hitch is an Equalizer). Rather the issue is going to be one of lack of control of the trailer. The bars are designed to flex not bend.
I run 1000 lb bars for a 600 lb tongue weight. I got the hitch with the trailer and have not bothered to get lighter bars. The ride particularly up and down hobby horsing over whoop de doos was somewhat uncomfortable. I think you would have the same ride issues if the bars are too light for the tongue weight. You might have sway issues also.
I switched tires from E rated STs at 75 lbs of pressure to LT rated tires at 50 lbs of pressure and the ride is vastly improved. I imagine it would be even better if I got 600 lb bars.
I would think that when you change tire size to go with lower tire pressure, that you are checking that tires speed rating to be sure that it is above the speeds you intend to run at.
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