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Old 10-13-2013, 05:53 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
With your SUPER HEAVY DUTY tow vehicle, you should only use 600 pound bars. The 1000 pound bars will transfer considerable road shock to the trailer, that in time, will cause many different and expensive damages. Airstream trailers, MUST have a soft ride, or else. That includes having torsion axles that still have good rubber rods in them. Andy
Andy,

We tow our 2013 27 Classic with our 2007 Dodge Durango (5.7 Hemi, rated at 8,950 towing capacity and about 1,700 payload) with a Reese dual cam with 800 lb bars.

We had this set up for our 25 Classic. We did have to adjust the cams, and move up one chain link to get the trailer level.

Do you think the 800 lb bars are right for our current set up?

We have went on several short and a few long trip (2000 miles).

Always respect your opinion.

Thanks,

Tom
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:44 PM   #30
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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
I can't think of a situation where WD isn't advantageous. Spread the load, people, spread the load.
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:54 PM   #31
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I've towed the same Airstreams with the shop's dually, with and without WD, and the difference is very noticeable. Not just the same length, but the exact trailer. the ride was more stable with the WD bars in place.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:28 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post

I can't think of a situation where WD isn't advantageous. Spread the load, people, spread the load.
I don't mean to disagree, in fact I'm not. But, I do have a question. Aren't we placing more weight on the trailer when we hook up the bars to the a frame 30 inches behind the ball. Aren't we in fact using the trailer to lift the back of the truck? Aren't I taking on some weight of the wheelbarrow when I pick up on the handles to shift some weight forward? Physics tells me if the WDH is lifting the TV rear and transferring some weight to the front axle, some weight is transferred to the trailer axles also. Am I right? If so, is that not a negative offsetting some amount of the weight transfer positive? Is that part of why stiff 1000 # bars can cause trailer damage? (that was more than one question wasn't it)
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:34 PM   #33
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Yes, Howard, you are correct....I think the answer here is...if your TV manufacturer requires WD at a particular actual loaded tongue weight, you should have a WD system. The auto manufacturer has determined an excess of that spec has a negative effect on handling and some component(s) stress which must be relieved by proper distribution of of that tongue weight. (Actually we should call that receiver weight...including the weight of the hitch).

Even below that spec, I believe there are benefits to wd, but the mfr spec should be adhered to, IMO.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:38 PM   #34
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ibskot, you are not the only one that is not clear on how WDHs works! I have been confused as well. I found a diagram online that explained the forces involved, but could not fully understand it. I plan to take it to a mechanical engineer friend of mine, and have him explain it to me.

I have also heard from some people that WDHs may not be necessary (most people say its mandatory though). It is a bit confusing, because we are told in order to have stability the tongue weight must be heavy (10% to 15% of the total trailer weight). Then we are told because the tongue is heavy, we must use a WDH to spread it to TV's front axle and trailer's axles.

First, modern WDHs weigh 200# to 300#. Aren't we just worsening the problem by adding another 200# to 300# to the tongue? Can't we just not use WDHs and make the tongue lighter so we do not have to use WDH? Isn't this a self made problem?

Second, can WDH even transfer the 200# to 300# it weights to TV/Trailer axles? I really like to see CAT scale measurements to see the effectiveness of WDH in distributing the weight. In another RV forum, people had mixed experience with weight distribution.

Third, Lets assume WDH transfers the weight as it is advertised. Transferring weight to TV's front axle or trailer's axles may not be feasible if they are already at their max rating. Using a WDH then simply moves the problem: instead of overloading TV's rear axle, we now overload TV's front axle and trailer's axles. Doesn't this point to the TV being inadequate for the trailer we are trying to tow?

Fourth, many newer vehicles have self leveling suspension and trailer stability control built it (I am not clear how this sway control feature works). Doesn't this eliminate the need for WDH/sway control?

Last, I know that many European cars do not recommend using WDH or have the same tow/hitch ratings with and without WDH used. What is the difference between American and European cars? Could it be that the effectivness of WDHs/sway control are exaggerated?

Looking forward to your responses!
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:55 PM   #35
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ibskot, you are not the only one that is not clear on how WDHs works! I have been confused as well. I found a diagram online that explained the forces involved, but could not fully understand it. I plan to take it to a mechanical engineer friend of mine, and have him explain it to me.

I have also heard from some people that WDHs may not be necessary (most people say its mandatory though). It is a bit confusing, because we are told in order to have stability the tongue weight must be heavy (10% to 15% of the total trailer weight). Then we are told because the tongue is heavy, we must use a WDH to spread it to TV's front axle and trailer's axles.

First, modern WDHs weigh 200# to 300#. Aren't we just worsening the problem by adding another 200# to 300# to the tongue? Can't we just not use WDHs and make the tongue lighter so we do not have to use WDH? Isn't this a self made problem?

Second, can WDH even transfer the 200# to 300# it weights to TV/Trailer axles? I really like to see CAT scale measurements to see the effectiveness of WDH in distributing the weight. In another RV forum, people had mixed experience with weight distribution.

Third, Lets assume WDH transfers the weight as it is advertised. Transferring weight to TV's front axle or trailer's axles may not be feasible if they are already at their max rating. Using a WDH then simply moves the problem: instead of overloading TV's rear axle, we now overload TV's front axle and trailer's axles. Doesn't this point to the TV being inadequate for the trailer we are trying to tow?

Fourth, many newer vehicles have self leveling suspension and trailer stability control built it (I am not clear how this sway control feature works). Doesn't this eliminate the need for WDH/sway control?

Last, I know that many European cars do not recommend using WDH or have the same tow/hitch ratings with and without WDH used. What is the difference between American and European cars? Could it be that the effectivness of WDHs/sway control are exaggerated?

Looking forward to your responses!
1) Yes, you should have a minimum of 10% of the trailer weight as tongue weight. Remember you are not moving mass...only the effect of that mass on the front of the trailer and rear of the TV.

2) Most modern WD do NOT weigh 200 - 300#s. A hensley weighs about 190#s and most are around 100#s, or a little less. There are CAT scale tickets on many of the hitch threads here. Use the search function for study. Yes, many of the WD systems will easily move 300#s (150ish to trailer axle(s) and 150ish to the TV front axle....more if you had to). Some brands have trouble moving much at all. Do your homework brand by brand when deciding how much WD you need.

3) True, but if you are already that near the max for the trailer and TV axle, you have bigger issues to address.

4) Stablilty control and electronic TV sway control do not replace WD. WD and hitch sway control can help prevent or prevent sway. The TV systems help control sway AFTER it starts.
Auto level control only makes the TV/trailer system LOOK level and balanced. It can actually mask an overloaded rear TV axle, as it does nothing to distribute weight. (OK, a tiny bit, as center of gravity will change a tiny bit forward with a leveled TV as opposed to a sagging rear TV.

5) It is not exaggerated. There is a lot of conjecture as to why european mfrs don't allow WD. I won't get into structural "brand wars" here, as they are volatile, but European caravans are very light and their weight distribution and axle placement is very different than North American trailers. I suspect they count on (require?) much lower speeds while trailering. Many here use WD on their European vehicles.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:56 PM   #36
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Long time ago we pulled bumper pull cargo trailers. With a dual-wheeled tow vehicle (one ton or larger) we didn't used WD hitches. On 1 1/2 and larger vehicles (F500, C50 and larger) we used spring hitches-- with trailer axle leaf springs.

Without spring hitches the front of the trailers were subject to too much road heave and busted rivets and torn sheet metal.

I am glad I read this about the bars... I never knew the difference. I pulled an 18' flatbed trailer with our vintage school bus from Springfield MO to Chicago in 2011 for a McDonald's commercial and I used the big bars -- what are they 1200 lbs? The are curved at the chain end.



When I first got our AS in 2007 I used those big bars but they were awfully heavy to put on and off. I had set of light 700 bars so I use those and never really got the chains tight at 3 or 4 links.

Then, I switched from bias ply to radial tires which set lower. I had to lower my hitch and at 4 links the trailer rode high in the front. I told my wife I was going to find a set of medium bars to use. then I put the bars at 3 links and it rode level.

I was still thinking I wanted medium bars until I read the comments here. I'm going to be satisfied with what I got. I like the ride with the radials on the trailer.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:15 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Howard L. View Post
I don't mean to disagree, in fact I'm not. But, I do have a question. Aren't we placing more weight on the trailer when we hook up the bars to the a frame 30 inches behind the ball. Aren't we in fact using the trailer to lift the back of the truck? Aren't I taking on some weight of the wheelbarrow when I pick up on the handles to shift some weight forward? Physics tells me if the WDH is lifting the TV rear and transferring some weight to the front axle, some weight is transferred to the trailer axles also. Am I right? If so, is that not a negative offsetting some amount of the weight transfer positive? Is that part of why stiff 1000 # bars can cause trailer damage? (that was more than one question wasn't it)

Yes the wd hitch adds weight to the trailer axles as well as the steering axle . The damage can and does occur when to much downward force is applied to the support chains on the WD hitch and can actually cause the tongue to buckle and fail at that point if your lucky , or cause the trailer frame to bend behind the front wall of the coach and destroy the entire front of the trailer.
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:09 AM   #38
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Yes the wd hitch adds weight to the trailer axles as well as the steering axle . The damage can and does occur when to much downward force is applied to the support chains on the WD hitch and can actually cause the tongue to buckle and fail at that point if your lucky , or cause the trailer frame to bend behind the front wall of the coach and destroy the entire front of the trailer.
I haven't come across tales of such drastic damage to trailers using WD systems, but I have heard a lot about overly rigid spring bars transferring a lot of the road vibration into the front of the trailer and loosening rivets to a serious degree. Those spring bars need a bit of flex in them to dampen things down a little. Similarly, very stiff rear springs on the TV can have the same effect.
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Old 10-15-2013, 03:50 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
The hitch bar goes into the the receiver on the tow vehicle. The weight distribution bars on the WD hitch system are put under pressure on the trailer tongue bars. This puts a downward pressure on the front of the hitch bar in the receiver. This transfers some of the tongue weight through the receiver to the front axle of the tow vehicle.

Google "weight distribution trailer hitch systems". There is a good explanation under How Stuff Works.

As far as only campers needing WD, that is not correct. I was involved in towing very large boats (over 30' long, weighing 12,000#), and we would never consider towing without weight distribution and sway control.

Brian
Thanks for all the replies. I have been of site for a bit. We didn't buy the AS. When we got there it was not in the shape that the pix represented. We couldn't reach a new price so I walked. By looking at the tires I was actually afraid since they were so bad. I had prior understood them to be okay. With 4.5 hrs to drive and his price wasn't changing I want comfortable. I plan on taking the hitch back then rereading this thread to determine what I need. I fear that my setup isn't right at $300.
I did take notice of trucks pulling campers on the way down and back. Some use them and some don't. I am confused as to why camper pullers do and enclosed cat haulers don't.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:18 PM   #40
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A WD hitch works exactly the same as a loaded wheelbarrow. You lift up on the handles and it transfers weight to the front wheels. Imagine the bars being the handles.....
Hope this helps
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:15 AM   #41
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Ibskot,
Like you I tow with a 3/4 ton vehicle - more than enough spring capacity to handle the weight of the trailer. I also tow utility trailers and a bumper pull deck over equipment trailer (#13,000 loaded). You can certainly tow the travel trailer without the weight distribution and I have in a pinch but..........
the weight distribution really helps smooth out the ride, takes out the porpoising on rough roads and keeps restores the appropriate amount of weight to the front axle (important for steering, braking etc...)
The anti-sway portion of a good hitch setup helps to protect you from sudden cross winds caused by nature or passing trucks.
All of these items make for a stress free and safer ride for you and others on the road. It also puts an element of predictability in the vehicle/trailer handling when you are driving along unknown roads.

If you are able I would take back the hitch for now. Wait to purchase the hitch setup until you purchase the trailer to see what you need. It is likely you need the lighter spring bars - depending on the hitch you buy.
Study WHAT equipment others are using and WHY they are using it. When traveling down an interstate watch how other peoples travel trailer and tow vehicle handle passing trucks, rough roads and cross winds. You will then see WHY it is needed.
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:10 AM   #42
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A WD hitch works exactly the same as a loaded wheelbarrow. You lift up on the handles and it transfers weight to the front wheels. Imagine the bars being the handles.....
Hope this helps
Best ever simple explanation.
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