Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-22-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
AldeanFan's Avatar
 
1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 723
Images: 3
Weight Distribution and Tongue Weight

Today I found myself in a discussion regarding towing and I wanted to hear from the voice of experience to help me settle the arguement.


Basically the question is this: Does using a weight distributing hitch allow you to pull a trailer with a tongue weight exceeding the vehicle manufacturer's tongue weight rating.

For example:
Vehicle: Towing Capacity 5000lbs, Max tongue weight 500lbs
Trailer: Weight: 4000lbs, tongue weight 700lbs
is this combination acceptable if a properly set up weight distributing hitch is used?
__________________

__________________
1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
2010 Ford Flex Ecoboost
AldeanFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 07:17 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10,317
Images: 5
I can't speak for all manufacturers, but GM products give two ratings for tongue weight maximums. One w/o WD and one with WD. And the WD maximum is higher than the non-WD rating.
__________________

__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 07:23 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10,317
Images: 5



For example, here is a Chevy Silverado
1500. 2500 and 3500 have the same rating for both types of hitches.





Weight of the Trailer Tongue


The tongue load (A) of any trailer is very important because it is also part of the vehicle weight. The Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) includes the curb weight of the vehicle, any cargo carried in it, and the people who will be riding in the vehicle as well as trailer tongue weight. Vehicle options, equipment, passengers and cargo in the vehicle reduce the amount of tongue weight the vehicle can carry, which will also reduce the trailer weight the vehicle can tow. See “ Vehicle Load Limits” for more information about the vehicle's maximum load capacity.


Trailer tongue weight (A) should be 10 to 15 percent and fifth-wheel or gooseneck kingpin weight should be 15 to 25 percent of the loaded trailer weight up to the maximums for vehicle series and hitch type.

Vehicle Series


Hitch Type


Maximum Tongue Weight


1500


Weight Carrying


363 kg (800 lb)


1500


Weight Distributing


499 kg (1,100 lb)
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 10:39 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
SSquared's Avatar
 
2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 694
Another example, this one different

I have just been reading a the owner's manual for a different vehicle, the GMC Yukon Denali (half ton version). That manual has a table showing a higher allowable weight for a weight-distributing hitch:


Vehicle Series Hitch Type Maximum Tongue Weight
1500 Weight Carrying 272 kg (600 lbs)
1500 Weight Distributing 499 kg (1,100 lbs)


Hope this helps.
SSquared is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 04:29 AM   #5
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
Andrew T's Avatar

 
2008 34' Classic
1960 17' Pacer
London , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,058
If you are thinking of setting up your Flex to tow the 23 Safari it will work very well with weight distribution. We have a few dozen of these in service and they are a great tow vehicle, very stable and economical to operate. However the hitch receiver on the Flex is not strong enough to transfer weight properly, this is a common problem even on receivers that are rated for more weight. The good news is that it is fairly simple to strengthen it so that it can transfer weight quite nicely.

Andrew T
__________________
Andrew Thomson
London, Ontario

"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions."
Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot
Andrew T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 05:12 AM   #6
Vintage Kin
 
slowmover's Avatar
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,009
Images: 1
Head over to London, ON, Aldean. Get the hitch receiver squared away / modified by those folks at CAN AM.
__________________
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 06:03 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10,317
Images: 5
Red! Your avatar is all crookedy!
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 05:43 AM   #8
Vintage Kin
 
slowmover's Avatar
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,009
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Red! Your avatar is all crookedy!
Yeah, new TT pic "correction" and the need to also change my "name". Upgrade membership. Contact a moderator. Stuff I haven't gotten around to, yet.
__________________
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 07:36 AM   #9
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
ROBERT CROSS's Avatar

 
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 13,880
Images: 1
Thumbs up

"Basically the question is this: Does using a weight distributing hitch allow you to pull a trailer with a tongue weight exceeding the vehicle manufacturer's tongue weight rating."

In a word.....No.

As noted it's the hitch receiver that is load rated.

It's the AXLE & TIRE, (trlr and TV) ratings that determine the weight being towed. I see no upside in exceeding either.

Bob
__________________
"We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know."
W. H. Auden


"The hardest thing about Airstreaming, clearing your head and accepting how others feel it’s supposed to be done"…..
Amanamus


"Tahawus"
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 08:10 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
pappy19's Avatar
 
2002 30' Classic S/O
Garden Valley , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,562
What Bob said is the correct answer, it's the hitch that's rated for the weight not just the vehicle itself. While the hitch load/weight rating is probably below the real specification, a more beefy hitch would improve your odds of having a problem. Most over weight hitch problems result in a weld failing , or hitch bolt breaking, and then you are on your safety chains. Either way, it would not be pretty. The smaller the hitch, the less weight it can handle and margin of error increases.
__________________
2008 F-250 4X4 Lariat V-10
2002 Airstream Classic 30' w/SO #2074
2007 Kubota 900 RTV
1996 Ford Bronco
2007 Lincoln LT
pappy19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 09:01 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,319
Kind of reluctant to get into this because of how most tow vehicle vs weight/towing capacity discussions go, but there are actually several weight ratings on tow vehicles, and hitch weights both with and without weight distribution is just a couple of them. Although I would not want to exceed any vehicle weight ratings, especially hitch weight ratings, it seems to me the axle weight ratings are also very important, followed by max payload, and then towing capacity.

Just because a person might install a higher capacity rated receiver hitch on a tow vehicle, does not mean the rest of the vehicle can/will handle the weight. Vehicle manufacturers spend lots of money paying highly educated engineers to calculate these weight ratings, so it seems to me, at least, that they are important.
__________________
Regards,
Steve
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 10:28 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,280
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
Head over to London, ON, Aldean. Get the hitch receiver squared away / modified by those folks at CAN AM.
I absolutely agree with this -- Andrew T is the PhD of hitch minds.

REDNAX - I rotated your avatar. The rotation probably was caused by EXIF orientation data in iPhones & iPads that non-Apple systems can't interpret. Sometimes a Windoze machine is good for sumpin'. Wish they'd all get on the same page.

Username changes are only done through the Help Desk -- click 'Contact Us' at page bottom and tell us who you'd rather be. Painless...
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 10:39 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Road Ruler's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,367
Images: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post

REDNAX - I rotated your avatar.
Looks better. REDNAX is a straight up kinda guy and deserves to have a straight up Avatar.
__________________
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
Road Ruler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 06:19 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
AldeanFan's Avatar
 
1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 723
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
If you are thinking of setting up your Flex to tow the 23 Safari it will work very well with weight distribution. We have a few dozen of these in service and they are a great tow vehicle, very stable and economical to operate. However the hitch receiver on the Flex is not strong enough to transfer weight properly, this is a common problem even on receivers that are rated for more weight. The good news is that it is fairly simple to strengthen it so that it can transfer weight quite nicely.

Andrew T
Thanks Andrew, I was planning to add a brace from the hitch to the subframe, but that can wait until the snow melts.
__________________
1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
2010 Ford Flex Ecoboost
AldeanFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 06:23 PM   #15
Rivet Master
 
AldeanFan's Avatar
 
1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 723
Images: 3
Thanks for all the good input,

The arguement was wether the weight distributing hitch allowed you to exceed the rating of the vehicle/hitch.

Of course the more I look in to these things the more bad information I find.

The Ford Flex Towing manual shows only one tongue weight rating, and it indicates you must use a weight distributing hitch.

My Tundra Manual provides no information on tongue weight at all!
__________________
1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
2010 Ford Flex Ecoboost
AldeanFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 06:38 PM   #16
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar

 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,364
Vehicle manufacturers spend lots of money paying highly educated engineers to calculate these weight ratings, so it seems to me, at least, that they are important.[/QUOTE]

I agree with you. However, the engineer's calculations are only the start of a process that gets more bungled as each department adds their expertise. The engineers design stuff to work properly. Then the beanies reject the design because it is too expensive and make other engineers change the design to make it cheaper. Then the lawyers have a peak at it and fiddle with the specifications to make sure there will be no liability even if the contraption gets sucked into outer space by aliens. And then the marketing guys put some kind of spin on the resulting mess in order to attract even the most Leary customer. That's where we come. The sales guy takes stock of us and proceeds to tell you what ever is necessary to ensure a commission deposit into his jeans. So now we have a one ton diesel dragging around a 16' Bambi or a Mini Cooper towing a 34' Classic. The specifications have become irrelevant, which is why no insurance company in the US has reneged on paying a claim due to a vehicle towing a trailer that has exceeded the manufacturer's "tow rating". So no wonder its hard to choose your set up. But it sure is nice having the freedom to choose. I chose to go to an expert for help and I am a very happy camper.
__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 08:18 PM   #17
Vintage Kin
 
slowmover's Avatar
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,009
Images: 1
Back to basics, same with Jim Flower. Never exceed tire and wheel ratings. Or axle. The rest is open to how to distribute tongue weight. A WD hitch ought always be able to restore the front axle to it's unhitched weight value. Otherwise, it is not a weight distribution hitch.

As in all these endeavors, actual scaled measurements are what count. Not guesstimates, height measurements, etc. Numbers from a certified scale.

Being painstaking counts. Some experience in the "how to", keep good records, and one is good to go from then on with that particular rig.

.
__________________
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 08:50 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
SSquared's Avatar
 
2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 694
One more restriction from owner's manual

I was just reading another owner's manual online (can you tell I'm trying to decide on a tow vehicle?), and found the following:
If using a weight
distributing hitch, make sure not to
exceed the RGAWR before applying
the weight distribution spring bars.
That's from page 9-65 of the 2012 GMC Yukon Denali / Denali XL owner's manual.

Most advice I have seen on this forum says to ensure the axle loads are within the limit with the WD tightened, rather than according to what the quote here says. One more thing to worry about, though we know lots of people do fine without worrying over this particular point.
SSquared is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 09:59 PM   #19
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10,317
Images: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquared View Post
I was just reading another owner's manual online (can you tell I'm trying to decide on a tow vehicle?), and found the following:
If using a weight
distributing hitch, make sure not to
exceed the RGAWR before applying
the weight distribution spring bars.
That's from page 9-65 of the 2012 GMC Yukon Denali / Denali XL owner's manual.

Most advice I have seen on this forum says to ensure the axle loads are within the limit with the WD tightened, rather than according to what the quote here says. One more thing to worry about, though we know lots of people do fine without worrying over this particular point.

hmmmm, that seems to me to be some sort of misprint....I'll look into that. I don't think it matters what the load is PRIOR to "springing up". It's the load as going down the road that matters.
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 10:10 PM   #20
Rivet Master
 
dkottum's Avatar
 
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
SSquared, could they be covering the possibility of w.d. hitch failure, dropping that distributed weight back onto the rear axle while moving down the road?

doug k
__________________

dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
×