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Old 09-29-2007, 12:55 PM   #1
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Weight Distribution & Sway Control, Simple answers please...

I've spend some time now, reading all the threads about this, and after cutting through all the red tape, it's still a mess to me..., even more then before.

For my 1959 AS 18ft Traveler - weighing 2100 lbs. and having a 250 lbs Tongue weight - and a 1957 Dodge passenger car as TV (new shocks and heavy spring leafs) , what would be the most applicable WD and SC?

A part# would be the most appreciated..., if that's not allowed, PM me.

Regards, Jim.
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:16 PM   #2
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With a 250 pound tongue weight, I'm not sure that you need any weight distribution equipment. I would go with air shocks for the rear of the Dodge. That way, you can quickly adjust for any load on the rear of the Dodge. Also with a total trailer weight of 2100 pounds you may not need any sway control as the trailer's weight is only half that of the tow vehicle.

I pull my car trailer with my 1958 BMW Isetta on it. The total towed package weighs in at around 1900 pounds. I use neither weight distribution or sway control equipment on this rig. I have always felt comfortable at highway speeds.
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
I pull my car trailer with my 1958 BMW Isetta on it. The total towed package weighs in at around 1900 pounds. .
Must be a pretty heavy trailer!

There is a guy on Craigslist in Minneapolis trying to sell a rolling '57 Isetta 300, and says he has more coming up for sale soon. Check it out!
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:23 PM   #4
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Unless someone already has this identical combination of tow vehicle and trailer, and has successfully implemented a load distribution system, some more information will be required to enable some calculations to be made:

1. The wheel base of the tow vehicle. That is, the distance between the center of the front wheels and the center of the rear wheels.

2. The distance from the tow vehicle rear axle to the hitch ball.

3. The length of the trailer from its ball coupling to the mid-point of axle system.

Armed with these figures, I could calculate the chain tension required to bring the front axle of the tow vehicle back to its original position before the trailer was coupled. A proprietary load distribution system can then be selected to match that required chain tension.

An alternative method is to buy a low rated WD system, and adjust it until the front wheels return to their unloaded level. Of course, if you've guessed wrong, you've wasted your money.

If you want the calculations made, please post the above posted measurements.
Nick.
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcrowhurst
If you want the calculations made
Nick.
Nick,
Yes, I would very much appreciate that!
Though I'll have to get back to you later, when I've made these measurements. But I will soon.
Regards, Jim.
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
With a 250 pound tongue weight, I'm not sure that you need any weight distribution equipment.
It's not so much the trailer's weight or tongue weight, it's the 50yo TV wo/PB or PS and 310HP. wo/trailer it's hard enough, as compared to the nowadays ultra modern computerized vehicles.

Like I've seen discussed here: it's not for cruising down the high way when everything is going fine, as usual, but for protecting my kin and fellow road users for when something does go wrong...
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Old 09-29-2007, 03:08 PM   #7
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Jim,

In any event, if you get a WD hitch, I'd think the smallest one would do the job.
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:07 PM   #8
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Sway Control

I don't know if a dual cam or high performance dual cam will work with that low tongue weight. There is always the friction sway control. It is much safer than nothing.
Ask Andy of Inland RV.
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Old 09-29-2007, 11:16 PM   #9
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If your trailer drags down the rear end so your steering is affected or your headlights shine into oncoming driver's eyes, you need a weight distribution hitch.

If you can't go down the road at more than 30 mph or so without the rig feeling squirelly then you need sway control.

I feel that it is a myth that longer and heavier trailers have more problems with sway than short or lightweight ones. I also think it is also a myth that sway control is a critical safety feature. I have not seen evidence to support either myth and a lot to tell me they are myths - but boy do people get invested in their beliefs on these topics.
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Old 09-29-2007, 11:37 PM   #10
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Like Bryan said, if your TV tail is sagging you need a WD hitch. Reese makes a light weight WD hitch rated at 350 lbs and I am sure others do also. I added a friction sway setup to my hitch, but I never had any sway before I did. It was a small investment ($50) and I am glad I did. What it does do is dampen the effect you get when passed by an 18 wheeler at high speed. The TV and the TT are now locked together and instead of each being moved seperatly, they move as a single unit and much less. In Arizona the speed limit is 75 which means alot of truckers are going 80+. I tow at around 65 MPH. I get passed by alot of truckers. I pass them on the uphill.
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Old 09-30-2007, 12:08 AM   #11
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To clarify my needs a little more...
When I towed my trailer with a Dodge RAM from Los Angeles CA to Seattle WA, I could hardly notice it was there.
When I towed it with my Dodge Dakota from Seattle WA to Galveston TX, the situation wasn't very much different.
But now I'm going to tow it with my 1957 Dodge passenger car that has bias ply tires and no PB or PS. And don't forget: my trailer has a parking brake, but no running brake at all (though I intend to change that).
If I drive that car - which I like to do very much and as much as possible! - and get passed by any other vehicle, I can feel the car reacting. That's why I always drive '10 to 2'.
I feel I need weight distribution and sway control with this combination and am looking for an era correct (appearance) device.
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Old 09-30-2007, 04:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimHoek
To clarify my needs a little more...
When I towed my trailer with a Dodge RAM from Los Angeles CA to Seattle WA, I could hardly notice it was there.
When I towed it with my Dodge Dakota from Seattle WA to Galveston TX, the situation wasn't very much different.
But now I'm going to tow it with my 1957 Dodge passenger car that has bias ply tires and no PB or PS. And don't forget: my trailer has a parking brake, but no running brake at all (though I intend to change that).
If I drive that car - which I like to do very much and as much as possible! - and get passed by any other vehicle, I can feel the car reacting. That's why I always drive '10 to 2'.
I feel I need weight distribution and sway control with this combination and am looking for an era correct (appearance) device.

You should use a 550 pound "full sway control" load equalizing hitch, with a torsion type sway control.

If you add overload springs of any kind, you "will" defeat the purpose of the hitch.

Adding "air shocks" or "air lifts" and inflating them to any more than absolute "minimum"pressure, will also defeat the purpose of the load equalizing hitch.

What you have proposed doing, "is" the cause of 2/3 rds (two thirds) of all loss of control accidents involving an Airstream or Argosy trailer.

Inflate the air bags or air lifts to anything you want, when your not towing, but that pressure must be reduced to minimum, "when towing."

The above information is based on researching the cause of "loss of control" accidents, and proven time and time again, on over 1,000 loss of control accidents.

Attempting to tow that trailer, with just a ball and overloads or air lifts or air shocks, will violate the laws of physics, and will make you an accident" looking for a place to happen," in a very period of time, GUARANTEED.

Andy
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Old 09-30-2007, 06:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
If you add overload springs of any kind, you "will" defeat the purpose of the hitch.
I wil not add overload springs of any kind. But now I know for sure, thanks Andy!
However, I did replace the old spring leafs and shocks with NORS. 1957 Dodge D500 had extra heavy spring leafs anyway.
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Old 09-30-2007, 10:20 AM   #14
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if you ever had to change brakes, you'd really like having discs on that setup!
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