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Old 06-11-2007, 04:54 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
Ior heavy winds either. Nor did I make any emergency maneuvers.

You may be able to tow your Airstream without weight distribution and you may be able to tow it without sway control, but it won't be very much fun.

A full sway control load equaling hitch, costs peanuts, compared to a possible hospital bill for yourself and/or others, let alone funerals.

And, should you survive an accident where you injured others, be prepared for a "law suit", a huge one if, there was a fatality, and it was your fault, because you choose to ignore the physics of travel trailer towing.

Be "safe," not sorry. If you can't afford a full sway control load equalizing hitch, then don't purchase a travel trailer. Save yourself, and others, possible grief.

Hospitals and funerals, are not fun.

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Old 06-11-2007, 04:55 PM   #16
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Exclamation Watch out who yu're callin' "-ugly" :p

I wouldn't dream of making my hate mail private! "Bufugly"?! My old binder? Shame on you for casting aspersion on my transport of delight. Not too many vehicles out there of any age that can tow an overweight Excella, park it and then chase jeeps out of the back country. Keep that up and we're talkin' a different kind of equalizer
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:02 PM   #17
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I've had similar instability issues flat towing cars. The things can be a diaster. The biggest contributor in my case was the tow bar angled upward to the towing truck. When I got on the brakes, the towbar would try to lift the back of the truck. Yes an MG Midget can push a 1/2 truck! Vehicle dynamics is an interesting field and I do agree a more effective anti sway is needed for cases where WD is not required. The moment arm for the friction type is so close to the tow ball, a huge linear force would only generate a few hundred ft-lbs of anti sway torque. I really do like the virtual pivot point of the hensley system, I assume the system will work with the WD springs cranked waaaay down if the owner likes.
Lets see; Scrap cans at $1.80/lb, 30 cans per lb, $1000 for a hitch= I gotta drink 16,666 beers. I guess I'll get started.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:20 PM   #18
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Let's take it easy folks!

This is not a grease monkey competition...

SAFTY FIRST!

Especially on the road where there are innocent bystanders. I may be young but I am a licensed truck driver. I operated several Commander sized bucket trucks and Cranes with all kinds of fun gizmos and extremely heavy towing requirements. (CONCRETE ELECTRICAL POLES AND BASES) My Point? USE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT! You should never exceed any GVWR ratings (especially with newer vehicles!) Besides you will only wear out your tow rig faster by overloading it. BTW if any one's reciever rips off; I call the scrap metal!
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ball_Park145
How should I set up the bars and chains on my weight distribution hitch? We've been towing the trailer on short trips without a weight distribution hitch, (we have a 2" rear lift kit and coil over shocks so we don't have any rear sag).
I just bought a w/d hitch and tried it out this week. I adjusted the bars/chains almost to the last link, it seemed to make the front end light on steering, did I have the bars adjusted to tight, (i hadn't noticed this w/o the w/d hitch)? Also the trailer seemed to sway more with the w/d hitch.
If you maxed out the links w/o getting the nose down on the tow car you need to tilt the ball back.

That will increase the W/D load, also you never go less than 5 links according the Reese.

If you take a pic of your setup there may be other issues we can see.
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:45 AM   #20
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Weight distribution and civilization issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ball_Park145
GStephens, I pray I'm never in the same state (of mind) as you. The trailer does not weigh 7000#. I had it weighed at (state) scales before I remodeled it, and after. She weighs 4200# loaded. The Buick wagon has min factory tow rating of 5000#, it also has a lower center of gravity than pickups, which most incidently have a tow rating of 5000#. What probably erks you is you just realized you over paid for whatever rolling wreck your towing with. Too much, probably, but the truth hurts.
Hi Ball Park145;
While ghosting the Forums I came across your response to GStephens comments relating to your weight distribution question. Understanding that you are a new member to the Forums does not release you from acting in the future in a civilized and thoughtful manner. First of all you did not provide enough info about your trailer. Most will assume it is of standard weight and will provide general information. In this case GStephens was possibly trying to save your and others life. I have towed for over forty years and I know what he was thinking, but yo missed the point and got hot. Instead of practically calling him nuts, you could have corrected your info which would change the situation. Our Forums are not for anyone's display of their dander along with being down right crude. This example is exactly the reason why I no longer respond to posts. Our Forums are for sharing the goodness in our souls through willingness to help those who have no experience with particular issues. But, by no means, we are not willing to tolerate the crude and nasty remarks. If you happened to know so much about it why did you post? Yes, I am upset over your comments because they do not belong on our forums. Please do not bother to respond to my post because no reply will follow. "Boatdoc"
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:27 AM   #21
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regarding post 12

Last weekend here at the vinyard we had a rodeo event. Almost all the trucks were 1 ton dually's, ford, doge, CHEVROLET, NOT ONE of them had any equalizing set up of any kind.All had the farm type coupler on the trailer. So what gives here? Mass is mass, does it matter if it is horse meat or aluminum? I'm talkin 1 tons here not 3/4 or less. DG
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:18 AM   #22
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On a 3/4 or 1 ton truck, the rear end is higher than the front by the virtue of the rear suspension planning on having a load toosed it's way. These vehicles are also very nose heavy, a 7500 lb version carrying as much as 4500 lbs on the front wheels. I can't come up with a technical reason to put weight distribution on such a rig. Why would I want to twist even more weight to a nose heavy vehicle plus put several hundred lbs of force on my fragile trailer frame. My old 1/2 ton 'Burb needed WD, my 3/4 Dodge -no way.....
You have asked for a technical reason why a 3/4 ton Dodge Ram truck requires a WD hitch:
The engineers design the front suspension and steering to carry a heavy load in addition to the already heavy engine and frame. The engineers do not design the front suspension and steering to carry a load that is markedly LESS than that unladen weight. That is why the Dodge engineers caused the following to be inserted in the 3/4 ton Dodge Ram owner's manual:

(From the "1998 Dodge Ram Pickup Owner's Manual Cummins Turbo Diesel", Second Edition, Chrysler Corporation reference 81-326-9822, page 146 :-)

"Trailer sway control and equalizing hitch are required for tongue weights over 350 lbs. (159 kg)"

You will note the word "required", rather than "recommended". Tongue weight for my Excella is 800 pounds. Even if I were not convinced of the need for the weight distribution hitch on the grounds of safety, I would use it to protect my legal position in the event of an accident.


So there are, I suggest, technical reasons, safety reasons, financial reasons and legal reasons for the use of a weight distribution hitch with my 3/4 ton Dodge truck. Your truck may be different, of course.

Nick.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:48 PM   #23
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A less technical reason is that when there is no weight distribution system and you hit a dip in the road, no not your brother-in-law, and the nose of the truck dips, the hitch receiver rises and the tongue rises in a see-saw manner. The converse happens with the tongue vs. rear bumper of the trailer. The two pivots are the rear axle of the truck and the axle(s) of the trailer. When the nose of the truck comes up out of the dip the whole thing reverses setting up an oscillation (porpoising). The weight distribution system will dampen this oscillation and stabilize the front end and bring stabilization to the steering axle of the rig much sooner than without the weight distribution. This is just one example of the many ways the weight distribution system benefits even a 3/4 ton or 1 ton rig.

As far as the penal hitches on the farm equipment at the rodeo, my only explanation for that is that the farm trailer is used on irregular surfaces. The penal hitches allow the tow vehicle and the trailer to move laterally independently when going over rough terrain. If you were using a traditional hitch and ball, the lateral movement could snap the ball off during that lateral movement. This is the same type the military uses for, my guess, the same reason. This is the same hitch most construction crews use on my construction projects and this is the only reason I have been able to figure out. It is not uncommon to see a 1 ton truck pulling a heavy duty trailer with a back hoe or Bobcat on it with a penal hitch connecting the two on the interstate around Atlanta between construction sites.
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:07 PM   #24
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Not penal hitches

The couplers on all the horse trailers are captive type that drop onto a ball on the TV. These are NICE horse trailers with expensive well trained horses. Just wanted to clear that up! yes, the water trailer and some of the other farm trailers have the hitch to which you are referring.
So now I'm wondering about this "over hitching" thing that Andy refers to from time to time. Starting to make sence now. Thanks for the input Nick-have you any idea about no sway on the horse trailers? I'm still thinking mass is mass.
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ball_Park145
How should I set up the bars and chains on my weight distribution hitch? We've been towing the trailer on short trips without a weight distribution hitch, (we have a 2" rear lift kit and coil over shocks so we don't have any rear sag).
I just bought a w/d hitch and tried it out this week. I adjusted the bars/chains almost to the last link, it seemed to make the front end light on steering, did I have the bars adjusted to tight, (i hadn't noticed this w/o the w/d hitch)? Also the trailer seemed to sway more with the w/d hitch.
You "cannot" use a load equalizing hitch properly, until you take all the other stuff off, "all of it".

What you have done is "completely defeated the purpose of a load equalizing hitch."

Overloads of any kind, "MUST" not be used with any load equalizing hitch.

If overloads are used, the load equalizing hitch becomes useless.

"Any" truck scale will quickly demonstrate that.

Andy
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:40 PM   #26
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Numbers

Thanks guys,
Nick - My 2006 Dodge manual does't have the caveot you quoted and I have looked far and wide for a similar requirement for the '06's. It doesn't even give guidelines for WD! The dodge/towing web site is useless

I have done the weights and found the following-
Curb wt f/r 3845/2655 Empty
GAWR f/r 4750/6010 published
Loaded As I tow F/R w/o WD f/R = 4085/4200 (rounded) and the rig is level

ok- I'm leaving next week for Pensacola with more toys (yahoo!!!) and the numbers are (calculated from knowns)

loaded w/o WD F/R 4165/4613 Guess what? I'm hooking up the WD cause it's gonna squat! (similar to when I tow a dozer) With my bars I expect the WD numbers to be F/R 4452/4323 and crap, that places me within 300 lbs of maxing out the GAWR F. I would guess the only way to approach the Max rated numbers is with a 5th wheel.

Minnies Mate -How'd you meet my brother-n-law? we call him speed bump, not dip...
I see a down side to using WD to cut out the pitching- a HUGE amount of torque is required to halt the motion. This force is transmitted into the fragile trailer frame via the WD bar mounts. If I preload to 700 lbs then hit a dip the forces on the a frame range from, um, I'll do some measurments and get back..I but I bet it tops 1/2 ton (and we give a guy a hard time about mounting 2 honda 2000's on his tongue!). Humm, anyone broken a tongue while using WD?
On a funny side, I have used WD when towing a big cabin cruiser- One should not forget to remove the bars prior to backing down the ramp, chains go loose and things fall in the lake
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:47 PM   #27
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Thanks for the input Nick-have you any idea about no sway on the horse trailers? I'm still thinking mass is mass.
I know even less about horse boxes than I do about one ton trucks, but I would guess that, in dry weather, all that rubber on the rear axle of a 1 ton dually would help resist the sideways forces exerted by the trailer. In addition, the "average" horse box I see is shorter than the average Airstream. The longer the tail, the more it can wag the dog. That is, with a centre of mass further from the fulcrum, a greater moment can be exerted. That's just a couple of ramblings.
Nick.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:58 AM   #28
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Nick, I'll try and get a few pics today, I just know how you love to crunch numbers!! I'll be passing by Central Valley Feed,Farm and Trailer Supply this afternoon. Anyone need a great big honkin belt buckle? DG
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