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Old 09-04-2011, 02:44 PM   #1
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Weight on Hitch

Hello, I have a question regarding the weight distribution bars. If the maximum weight on my hitch is 600 lbs. When the bars are installed and that the weight is distributed is the weight on the tongue has decreased????? Thanks for the response
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:49 PM   #2
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The weight doesn't really go away, but is moved, or leveraged foward on the tow vehicle, and also rearward to the trailer's axle. Depending on the adjustment of the hitch about 70% of the weight is moved foward, and the remaining is moved back onto the trailer axle.
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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Hello, I have a question regarding the weight distribution bars. If the maximum weight on my hitch is 600 lbs. When the bars are installed and that the weight is distributed is the weight on the tongue has decreased????? Thanks for the response
The weight is still there but from the back of the vehicles point of view there is less weight.

In other words..... lets say you were walking and had 60 lbs in your back pack. If your buddy walking beside you pushed up on the back pack you would feel a lighter load even though the same weight is still in the pack pack. Same deal, more or less.
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:22 PM   #4
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Ok, but technically if my tongue weighs 800 lbs on the hitch without weight distribution bars, with the bars if I weighed the weight of the tongue on the ball, would he still have 800 or he declined, for example to 500 lbs.?
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:07 PM   #5
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The 800lbs of physical mass is still there but with the WDH installed the vehicle only feels 500lbs of it. A cat scale would verify that by showing the 500lb value.

The other 300 lbs is felt by the vehicle on it's front axles and on the trailer axles.
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:06 PM   #6
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Road is correct. Let's see. Mass doesn't move...what we are talking about here is the effect of mass combined with gravity. We cheat. With WD, we increase the clamping force on the ball, use it as a fulcrum and use spring bars to remove the effect of weight and mass on the ball and move the effect of that mass and gravity to the front TV springs and the trailer suspension. SO....we don't move mass nor weight, but move the effect of gravity on mass and move effective weight elsewhere. Clear?
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:55 PM   #7
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I see it as transferring load. Mass and weight as terms confuse me. Think of a simple bridge—the total load of the bridge is transferred to each end. Any load must go to the earth because of gravity. The weight (load) distributing hitch transfers load to the frame of each vehicle and the frame, like a bridge, and the load is transferred to the axles. The WD hitch stiffens the connection between vehicles like the beams of a bridge keep the roadway from sagging in the middle. Depending how it is adjusted, it will transfer different loads to the truck front and rear axles.

Warning: I was a liberal arts major.

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Old 09-04-2011, 10:01 PM   #8
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Actually, Gene, you get it! For a Liberal Arts guy, you're OK in my book!
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:06 PM   #9
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I weighed my trailer on a scale like it showed at the draw tight web site today. I have an 83 Excella and it showed 410 pounds on the scale times 3 = 1230 pounds on the tongue weight . Could that be right ? I did it just like they showed on their site.
The Weight distribution bars stiften the connection between the trailer and the truck at the ball hitch? This creates less up & down movement at that point ? The stiffer it is the more weight is put on to the tow vehicle ?
I have an awful time trying to figure out just how that works .
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:20 PM   #10
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I weighed my trailer on a scale like it showed at the draw tight web site today. I have an 83 Excella and it showed 410 pounds on the scale times 3 = 1230 pounds on the tongue weight . Could that be right ? I did it just like they showed on their site.
The Weight distribution bars stiften the connection between the trailer and the truck at the ball hitch? This creates less up & down movement at that point ? The stiffer it is the more weight is put on to the tow vehicle ?
I have an awful time trying to figure out just how that works .
The stiffer the bars, typically then, more damage to the front of the trailer.

When ready for travel, stand on the coupler and jump up and down. That should cause a couple of inches of movement.

If not, then the bars are too stiff, or your using bars, that have very little resiliency.

Remember that an Airstream must have a soft ride, from the hitch to the axles.

Andy
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:15 PM   #11
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I just keep thinking about that very old advertisment that showed a olds toranado pulling a airstream with the rear wheels of the car removed. you certainly can transfer weight to the front axle of the TV and to the axles of the trailer.
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:18 PM   #12
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As I understand it, the WD system distributes weight forward and backward. About 2/3 goes forward and should be roughly distributed to each tow vehicle axle; the rest goes back to the trailer axles. How the weight is distributed between the tow vehicle axles depends how you adjust the WD hitch system.

There are formulas to determine exact amounts and they are too complex for me, so terms like "about" and "roughly" cover that lack of calculus.

There is much debate about all aspects of this.

Equalizer told me no matter how stiff the bars are, you only use as much as you need and a stiffer bar does not hurt the trailer. This confounded me until I thought about it for a while. I am trying to think of an analogy for this that makes sense—perhaps thinking of a spring. You compress it all the way and it'll send a 10 lb. ball x distance. To get a 5 lb. ball to go the same x distance, compress it half way. Thus the lighter weight only uses half the capability of the spring even though the spring is overrated for the 5 lb. ball.

The Equalizer has a number of adjustments to set it up properly. They increase or decrease the bar tension as you work to get the trailer and truck level, the bars close to level and distribute the weight. It seems to me Equalizer is correct—you use what you need and no more. There may be some logical end to this—a 5,000 lb. rated bar may be so stiff, it does overload the system. But when the difference is between bars with 200 lb. increments, it may make little or no difference. Does a stiffer bar put more weight on the tow vehicle?—it seems how you adjust the system determines where the weight goes, not bar stiffness.

I have no idea whether other hitching systems would work the same way as the Equalizer.

I have never stood on the coupler and jumped up and down. But if I were 100 lbs. I would get approx. 1/2 the deflection I would get at my present weight (all muscle, I might add). This proves only that some people will not get much deflection if they are very light.

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Old 09-22-2011, 06:20 PM   #13
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This is an oversimplification, but the principle is basically there and if you understand it, the function of the WD bars may make more sense. By lifting on the handles of a wheelbarrow, the load is distributed between the front wheel and your feet. There is still 200# of bricks in the wheelbarrow but in this example, none of it is bearing down on the rear legs of the wheelbarrow.

The leverage provided by the spring bars similarly reduces the load on the rear axle and distributes it between the front axle and the trailer axles.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don.44
I weighed my trailer on a scale like it showed at the draw tight web site today. I have an 83 Excella and it showed 410 pounds on the scale times 3 = 1230 pounds on the tongue weight . Could that be right ? I did it just like they showed on their ...
http://service.airstream.com/files/l...f2266d3805.pdf

That sounds high. Per this brochure, the tongue should weigh between 600-650# for your trailer. Add the weight of the propane, any options and your stuff, I could see how 900# might be in the ballpark. The book says mine is 790# and it comes out on the scale at 950#.
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