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Old 10-13-2013, 07:14 AM   #15
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Glad you're asking. It's an important question.


My layman's understanding (that helped me answer this question too) is that it like a wheelbarrow. When you drop that trailer tongue weight on the ball, that wants to lift your tow vehicle's front tires off the road. The weight distribution system is like your trailer having "hands" to grab the handles of a wheelbarrow and lift up so some if the weight is brought back to your front tires. If you don't have it, you won't have enough weight on the steering axle and you won't have the same kind of control you're used to while driving.

As to the bars and their weight. I your trailer tongue weight is 700# (I think that was the number mentioned earlier) 1000lb bars may be too much but I wouldn't go under that. I'd shoot for 800# bars because in my experience, not having enough makes that weight distribution challenge harder. Good luck!
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:20 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ibskot View Post
Danieb, that was a good video. I can see the difference. I still don't really the "how" part but oh well, hopefully they won't be hard to hook up.

Here is another excellent video about weight distribution hitches and sway control.

Reese Weight Distribution & Sway Control Systems demonstration from KEYSTONERVCENTER.COM - YouTube

I've been running a Curt friction sway control with weight distribution since 2008, first with a 25' Safari and then on my 2010, 28' Flying Cloud. The friction sway is just not good enough for the additional trailer weight.

Next week I am converting over to the Reese dual cam with distribution as shown in the video. For the money and less weight on the tongue of your truck it gives the best towing control on the market today.

A Camper World membership will give you a discount on any system they sell and they are Reese, Drawtite and Pro dealers. Check it out.

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Old 10-13-2013, 07:37 AM   #17
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The way I visualize it

ibskot,

I'm not an expert and I hope this helps not hurts. The way I visualize it, as 63 said, the ball is the pivot point. The the long end of the bars connect to and, when tensioned, pull downward on the trailer frame at the tongue (A shaped) section. This tends to pull the back of the trailer down relative to the tow vehicle. That puts more force or weight on the trailer wheels. As that happens, it reduces the load on the ball, (because of the torque applied to the receiver from the upturned end of the bars in the hitch assembly) essentially pushing (or allowing) the front end of the tow vehicle down allowing it to carry more of the tow vehicle load. Better front wheel contact, better and more normal steering control and better all four wheel braking (the front wheels don't start slipping or skidding on the gravel or wet pavement.)
Sway control comes from a spring effect. The two bars have a slight offset from the centerline of the ball on either side. The arms act like springs (because of the elastic properties of steel). When you turn, that slight offset acts to increase tension on one bar and reduce tension on the opposite. When you straighten out of the turn, the bars want to return to their normal position. The one under more tension helps pull and keep the trailer in alignment. If the trailer overshoots coming out of the turn, the opposite side bar increases it tension, again pulling it back the other way. Ideally (and by design) the sway is dampened quickly (one cycle) and you're not fighting the tail of your trailer swinging back and forth. The same thing happens in cross winds and when you try to avoid that missing manhole cover.

Your approach that you have it and may as well use it is a good decision. We wish you many enjoyable trips.

Roy
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:43 AM   #18
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What Andy said. If you had a 350 I would say just add a sway control device. The 250 may be too light in the front, but I doubt it. Just to be safe a WD system with sway may be a good idea. Hook up the trailer and seer how much the front of the truck rises. If it is less than a couple of inches, then you can get by without wD but with a sway control added. I know this is going to cause a problem withe som members, but most of them have never towed with a real truck. Jim
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:27 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
What Andy said. If you had a 350 I would say just add a sway control device. The 250 may be too light in the front, but I doubt it. Just to be safe a WD system with sway may be a good idea. Hook up the trailer and seer how much the front of the truck rises. If it is less than a couple of inches, then you can get by without wD but with a sway control added. I know this is going to cause a problem withe som members, but most of them have never towed with a real truck. Jim
A "real" truck....really Jim.
Real has nothing to do with it.
ANY TV will benefit from a WD hitch with sway.

Get the proper hitch set-up for you and yours......and us and ours.

It's the least expensive safety option you have.

Bob
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:46 AM   #20
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The levers on the hitch transfer weight just like a when you lift the handles on a wheel barrow,transfering weight to the front.
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:56 AM   #21
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I tow a 25' with a 2500 Dodge and I use the WD hitch. It is some trouble to set it up the first time. After it is all set up and adjusted it is not difficult to hitch and unhitch. I have never towed anything heavy without one and I have never seen anybody tow an Airstream without one so I just accepted it as a fact of life.
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:05 PM   #22
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The problem with trucks like my GMC 3500 long bed crew cab dually is that the coupling is short between the rear axle and the hitch ball. My tongue weight was right at 940 lbs with my old trailer and I don't care how much pressure you put on with 1,000 lb bars you simply were not going to transfer much load to the front axle - nor in fact did you unload the axle much with just the tongue weight of the trailer - and you sure as heck didn't drop the rear end of the dually more than 3/4"! The only thing you accomplished was to stiffen up the hitch and make the trailer and truck ride harder. I switched to 600 lb bars several years ago and their primary purpose was to "cushion" the coupling. They simply aren't tensioned that much. I also switched to the full Reese sway control system - after doing without it for 3 or 4 years - and I've never been able tell any difference in handling. That doesn't mean I'm not a proponent of sway control - but I simply offer the comment as another reference to the stability of the heavy, long-wheelbase, dually. I also switched the rear springs on the dually to a lower capacity GM spring to soften the ride for the trailer - and I never loosened or popped a rivet on the front.
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:09 PM   #23
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Ibskot,
I'm pulling a 30 with a 3/4 ton Chevy Duramax using a Equal-I-zer WDH/sway control. I also move the trailer about 10 miles from storage to home and back using just the ball. I've run the trailer on the expressway to the dealer several tines-about 30 miles-hooked up to the ball only. There is a difference between equal I zer and ball only, but I'm not sure how much--I feel no stability or sway problems without it. The 30 tongue wt. about 880# and that just does not squat the rear much at all. I'm sure the sway control helps in wind and passing trucks, but I would not hesitate traveling with the ball only if I forgot and left the WDH at home (dumb thought) or the thing somehow broke while traveling. I'm sure the tougher the driving conditions get, ie crosswinds etc. the more wt. distribution/sway control hitches pay for themselves. Early on several members strongly recommended the Hensley or ProPride hitch. After driving in some pretty bad winds with the equal I zer, I see no need to spend that kind of money. The cam or friction types work just great on a trailer built to follow you like an arrow. (Just how I feel, most believe you must never leave home without it.)

Howard
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:31 PM   #24
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I stand by my statement including the one about a real truck. Wd is not always the way to go unless you just feel more comfortable going along with the crowd. Sway control is a good idea and is important. Jim
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:51 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ibskot View Post
I have a brake control.
People who pull campers say I need one. I just can't figure out why. I don't understand how they distribute the weight. The attachment from trailer to truck is still with the single hitch slot. You know of a source That could educate me? The lady that sold me one just got me more confused. What makes a camper need one and similar weight "non camper type" not?
Thanks

We just completed an 11,000 mile trip up through Canada to Alaska and back pulling an Airstream with a 2003 2500 Dodge diesel with only the ball and a single sway bar . The trailer towed perfectly under all conditions , from gravel roads to 75 mph interstate travel with horrible cross winds. The truck was loaded fairly heavy with extra tires and wheels "that were never needed"
as well as a generator and a 90 gallon fuel tank in the bed. Of coarse we had all sorts of plunder in the trailer for our 2 month journey . The dodge was running 10 ply rating tires with 80 pounds of air.
In the past I tried pulling our 66 Land Yacht with a half ton travelall without a WD hitch , That was a failure due to the standard load 35 pound tires on the TV. Hooked up the WD hitch and it towed perfectly.
If you do use the WD hitch make sure yo have only the lighter weight bars or you could destroy the tongue of your trailer while going through a dip , gully , or simply getting into a gas station . Have fun with your trailer .
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:54 PM   #26
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I stand by my statement including the one about a real truck. Wd is not always the way to go unless you just feel more comfortable going along with the crowd. Sway control is a good idea and is important. Jim
That's right !
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:08 PM   #27
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"Wd is not always the way to go unless you just feel more comfortable going along with the crowd. Sway control is a good idea and is important." Jim


Proud in the crowd I am, still trying to find out what a 'real' truck is though.

Stream Safe, Jim

on edit....I forgot no more AS, sorry.


Bob
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:13 PM   #28
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"Wd is not always the way to go unless you just feel more comfortable going along with the crowd. Sway control is a good idea and is important." Jim


Proud in the crowd I am, still trying to find out what a 'real' truck is though.

Stream Safe, Jim


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