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Old 10-16-2016, 02:21 PM   #29
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I have a 1500 Limited Ecodiesel with a payload rating of 1150, tows great on the flats but it's under powered and over payload pulling our 28'.

The truck has the air suspension and was recently in for service, one of the codes stored in the ecu was "over payload".
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Old 10-16-2016, 03:32 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by cliffcharb View Post
Grandtimes please explain. I understand how WD systems work and have scale tickets to verify what I posted.
Hi cliffcharb. Wasn't ignoring you. It took me time to find the proper explanation that even I could understand.

How a weight distribution hitch works
This summary tries to explain WHY a weight distribution system might be necessary and WHAT a WD system does to improve a rig's handling:

Without a WD system, the tow vehicle's rear axle load could significantly increase due to leveraging of the tongue weight. Conversely the front axle load will be decreased. These axle load changes will make most tow vehicles "unlevel". The decreased load on the front axle can cause a loss of steering control and braking difficulties. The increased rear axle load might exceed that axle's rating, and the load on the receiver might exceed its rating.

A weight distribution system enables a tow vehicle to more effectively handle the tongue weight of a trailer by removing some of the load from the tow vehicle's rear axle and distributing it to the tow vehicle's front axle and the trailer's axle(s). Note - When the WD system is engaged the actual tongue weight does not change. Recommended tongue weight is from 10% to 15%.

Consult your owner’s manual to determine if your vehicle is suited for a WD system. Some are not due to frame construction and/or suspension.

Several recent posts have discussed WD hitches. In one older post a member stopped using his because he felt it was contributing to sway by decreasing the "tongue weight". I hope the following will give a better idea of what the WD hitch does and does not do. Questions and comments are welcome.

Example assumptions:
TV wheelbase = 130”
TV rear axle to ball coupler = 65”
Ball coupler to TT axles = 200”
WD spring bar length = 30”
WD spring bar rear end load = 1000 lbs/bar = 2000 lbs total

How the WD hitch works:

Spring bar tensioner pulls UP on rear end of bar and DOWN on TT tongue. DOWN force of 2000 lbs on TT tongue adds a load of 300 lbs at TT axles.
This is calculated using ball coupler as the fulcrum: 2000x30/200 = 300.

Now, having added a load of 300 lbs at the TT axles, we must balance the TV/TT teeter totter. Using the TV’s rear axle as the fulcrum, to balance the 300 lbs at the TT’s axles we must add some load at the TV’s front axle.
The lever arm from the rear axle to front axle is 130”. The lever arm from the rear axle to the TT axles is 65+200 = 265”.
The required balancing load at the front axle is 300x265/130 = 611.54 lbs.

Or, we can calculate the reaction at the TV’s rear axle by treating the TV/TT as a lever with the fulcrum at the TV’s front axle.
The lever arm for the 300 lbs at the TT’s axles is 130+65+200 = 395”.
The lever arm for the rear axle is the wheelbase = 130”.
Since the TT axles are “lifting up” with a force of 300 lbs, this translates to an “uplift” at the rear axle equal to 300*395/130 = 911.54 lbs.

Summary of axle load changes:
TV front axle 611.54 lbs ADDED
TV rear axle 911.54 lbs REMOVED
TT axles 300.00 lbs ADDED

Now it is interesting to consider what happens at the hitch.

DOWN force of 2000 lbs on TT tongue adds a load of 1700 lbs at ball coupler.
This is calculated using TT axles as the fulcrum: 2000x170/200 = 1700.

The UP force of 2000 lbs on the rear ends of the spring bars produces an UP force of 2000 lbs at the hitch end of the spring bars.


The UP force of 2000 lbs minus the DOWN force of 1700 lbs on the ball gives a net UP force of 300 lbs at the hitch.

The vertical load on the receiver has been reduced by 300 lbs.
The vertical load transmitted through the ball has been increased by 1700 lbs.

SUMMARY

It is interesting to note that TT weight and “tongue weight” do not enter into these calculations. The WD hitch does not distribute “tongue weight”. It simply removes load from the TV’s rear axle and distributes it to the TV’s front axle and the TT’s axles.

Now there; wasn't that easy!
PS: This is NOT my original work. Not even sure where it came from.
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Old 10-16-2016, 03:42 PM   #31
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I believe forum member Ron Gratz came up with the calculation referenced in your post.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:26 PM   #32
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I believe forum member Ron Gratz came up with the calculation referenced in your post.
Thanks. I got it from an SOB forum.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:57 PM   #33
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Thanks. I got it from an SOB forum.
Right, I believe he is on the SOB forum as well.
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Old 10-16-2016, 05:18 PM   #34
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28 Ft w?Ram

Those Airstreams are easy to pull and your Ram shouldn't have any trouble!
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Old 10-16-2016, 05:31 PM   #35
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Any weight that is transferred forward of the rear axle of the Tow Vehicle and rear of the front axle of the Travel Trailer is no longer counted as Tounge Weight. Any weight thay is loaded into the tow vehicle Rear of the tow vehicle's rear axle is also counted as tounge weight.
This is why some vehicle manufacturers list different tounge weight limits for towing with a weight distribution hitch.
The rear axle on the Tow Vehicle and the front axle on the Travel Trailer being fulcrum points in the equation. Weight to the front and rear of these points would detract from the weight in between (tounge weight) but not overall weight.
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Old 10-16-2016, 05:43 PM   #36
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Clear as Mud !!!
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:03 PM   #37
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My understanding is that tongue weight never changes. The effect of tongue weight on axle weights does however change with application of a WDH.
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:20 PM   #38
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The basic problem, though is that if you have a payload capacity of 1000Lbs and a tongue wt of 1200lbs ( rounding off) you are going to be overloaded.



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Old 10-16-2016, 09:04 PM   #39
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My understanding is that tongue weight never changes. The effect of tongue weight on axle weights does however change with application of a WDH.
It moves the pivot point on your tow vehicle Forward effectively creating a longer lever and moves the center pivot point back 2 feet to where your spring bars are attached shortening the trailer lever. This makes the compound mechanism of your weight distribution hitch system carry less tounge weight. If you measure tounge weight directly under the ball, it will be less weight because of the class 2 lever of the weight distribution hitch.
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Old 10-16-2016, 09:43 PM   #40
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I did it. I towed a 28' Flying Cloud with the zEal 5.7 Hemi. In general it's doable, but I strongly don't recommend for the Rockies. I ended up selling the Ram 1500 and getting a Ram 2500. Cummins. The Ram 2500 Cumming can tow my FC 28 up the tallest mountain. Love the exhaust brake!!
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:11 AM   #41
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First off ....thanks to all of you for your advise!
As you know I questioned the compatabiltiy in towing our Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi towing a 2017 FC 28'.

Our 2nd truck is a Ram 2500 Cummins with full tow package and air brakes.
I only mentioned the 1500 as I knew most may say just use the 2500. We all really enjoy traveling in the 1500 Longhorn.

So I will set up both trucks for the airstream any consider the topography of our travels. For what it's worth....The airstream mechanic and our truck mechanic both agree that the 1500 Hemi will tow it just fine. I'm just glad I will have the choice. Again thanks for your input and we are psyched to get our FC next month!!!
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