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Old 05-23-2011, 04:07 PM   #1
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WDH explanations for the terminally dumb?

As a new AS owner, I am trying to learn as much as I can before striking off for the great...whatever.

I have been reading everything I can find on the weight distributing hitches I keep hearing about. I know I am just a dumbass old East Texan, but I still don't understand this.

The literature, like in this explanation;
HowStuffWorks "Installing Towing Weight Distribution Systems"

says that the hitches distribute the weight equally among the axles of the trailer and the towing vehicle. But I can't figure this out, since no matter how much additional stuff you bolt onto the trailer tongue....it STILL puts it's weight on the exact same place on the towing vehicle, which is in that receiver tubing.

Do any of y'all know of another explanation that I might try to read to see if it makes more sense to me? I've read this one three times, and it doesn't explain how this thing works, exactly. It says it works, but it doesn't say how.

I am just not understanding how bolting a hundred pounds of iron to the trailer frame levels out the truck. Wouldn't it just be cheaper to add lead to the rear bumper of the trailer, like trim weights? Or move the axles forward?
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:23 PM   #2
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Works like trim tabs on your boat. Distributes more weight to the TV front axle and the rest rides on the TT axles
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
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As best as I can figure . . .

welcome to the club. I totally don't understand the physics of it but hey I was a liberal arts major. As best as I can figure its some type of lever and fulcrum arrangement on wheels. Maybe Bill Nye the Science Guy needs to get an AS so he can put it in simpler terms.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:30 PM   #4
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Go to the Equalizer hitch website they have a great video that will show you and explain how they work.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:57 PM   #5
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Imagine a ladder bolted to the bed of your truck. If you sit on the back end of the ladder, it acts like a see-saw with the center at the rear axle. You remove some of the weight from the front tires.

Now if you pull up on the ladder you add some weight to the front tires. In it's simplest form thats what a weight distributing hitch does.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:18 PM   #6
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Or think of it like the handles on a wheelbarrow. Lifting the handles transfers the weight to the front wheel and away from the rear supports.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:46 PM   #7
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Okay, the weight bars, when pulled up by the chains on the tongue of the trailer, use the trailer ball as a fulcrum to pivot forward and back, forcing the weight back onto the front tow vehicle axle and the trailer axles. Remember the quote about getting a lever long enough and something to stand on, and being able to move the world? Same thing. You're using those bars as a lever to force the front end back down, putting more weight on it.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:31 PM   #8
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Here's some professional artwork to convey forces acting on the tow vehicle when using an equalizer hitch. Point A is attached to the top of the eq hitch. Point B is attached to bottom of eq hitch. When you pull up on C which is the draw bar, the forces act on A pushing the top of EQ hitch forwards and pulls B backwards thus pushing the front of the tow vehicle down. Its all about leverage.Hope this helps a bit.


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Old 05-23-2011, 09:54 PM   #9
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Think of it kind'a like this.....
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:05 PM   #10
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Overadjusted . . .

That rear axle on the steer looks just a bit high . . . but clearly the tow vehicle has great brakes.....
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:10 PM   #11
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One more question. The actual weight of the trailer on the ball. Is that weight reduced by the lifting of the weight distribution bars?

Or to put it another way, is a truck's receiver rated at 800 lbs able to carry more than 800 lbs when a w.d. hitch is used?

Doug K
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
one more question. The actual weight of the trailer on the ball. Is that weight reduced by the lifting of the weight distribution bars?

Or to put it another way, is a truck's receiver rated at 800 lbs able to carry more than 800 lbs when a w.d. Hitch is used?

Doug k
.....No.... 800 is 800
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
One more question. The actual weight of the trailer on the ball. Is that weight reduced by the lifting of the weight distribution bars?

Or to put it another way, is a truck's receiver rated at 800 lbs able to carry more than 800 lbs when a w.d. hitch is used?

Doug K
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
.....No.... 800 is 800
Hi, I will say yes and no. On your receiver, there are usually two sets of weights for trailer towing and tongue weight; The higher of the two is for, when using, a WD hitch.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:33 PM   #14
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I saw a drunk ventriloquist get in an argument with his left hand once. I think it may be possible to add tow vehicle weight to the hitch by improper loading the tension bars. I may be wrong.
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