Originally Posted by canyonduck
This is our second summer with our 19' International and we finally made a trip to the CAT scales on a trip a few weeks ago. I was loaded up more than usual as in addition to the AS I had three passengers and a load of cargo in the bed (moving son from his college home). So, I thought it would be a good time to check our weights and limits. After weighting in, I suspect our Equalizer WD hitch is not set up properly based on the results (despite paying Airstream of Orange County last year to adjust the hitch). Our TV is a 2015 F150 Lariat, max tow, 3.55 EB.
Here are the results of the weight in:
Truck & Trailer WITH weight distribution
front axle 3220
rear axle 3880
trailer axle 3980
Truck & Trailer WITHOUT weight distribution
front axle 3120
rear axle 4060
trailer axle 3920
front axle 3400
rear axle 3040
So, from what I can tell we were 80 lbs over the rear axle rating (3800), 50 lbs over the GVWR of 7050 and possibly even over the trailer GVWR of 4500 lbs (not sure if I am calculating this one correctly). Is it normal for the front axle to have LESS weight after attaching the trailer? My understanding is the trailer tongue weight should be spread across all three axles and, therefore, I should not experience weight loss on any axle. I have tried corresponding with the hitch manufacturer, but they have not been of much assistance.
I am doing my best to learn about all of these considerations, but it is a lot to digest when new to towing. I certainly want to keep my family and others on the road safe so I appreciate any perspective on my situation. Thx!
It is a lot to digest but you're doing great so far! You're asking the right questions and you'll get a lot of help here. Search the forums for threads on this topic. Here's one I started to get the kind of insight you're looking for: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...es-105930.html
Lots of good insight there and that's just one example. Pay particular attention to the replies there from Ron Gratz - he's actually quite the expert on this stuff. You might want to post pics of your CAT scale tickets to get some real expert analysis. Mine (below) is probably directionally right but flawed at some level so take it with a huge grain of salt.
You ask if it's normal for the font axle to have LESS weight after attaching the trailer. The answer is YES - that's exactly what you should expect. Why? Because your truck is just sitting there minding its own business and all of a sudden you drop a bunch of weight on the rear bumper (I think 740# with your data but I could be wrong...). What happens there?
Well, that's going to push your rear end down and lift the front end of your truck up. This is exactly why you want a weight distributing hitch - to push (distribute) some of that weight off the rear axle of your truck on to both the front axle of your truck and the trailer axle.
And that's what happened!
When you put the trailer on (no WD applied), it pulled 280# off the front axle of your truck and pushed 1020# down on your rear axle.
When you applied WD, it started to have the effect you should expect - namely, you moved about 180# around off your rear axle and pushed100# back to the front axle (that's 100 out of the 280 you lifted off when you attached the trailer) and 60# back to the trailer axle.
Wait - that sounds like 100 and 60 shouldn't equal 180. That's due to the CAT scales measuring in 20# increments. So we're close enough for jazz here 😀
So now what?
Well, you look like you could use some more weight pushed to the front axle. You lifted 280# off and only put 100# back on. Your truck manual will tell you how much of that you need to restore - at least 50% (or 140# in this case) and possibly a full 100% or 280#. Either way, you need to apply more WD.
So I'm not sure how you do that with your particular hitch - probably adding another link or two (I use a different style hitch with screw jacks to control WD). And when you apply more WD, you're not only going to move more to the front axle of your truck, but you're also going to take more off your rear axle and put it on your trailer axle.
Those are some of the basics and in my non-expert opinion, you're doing great! Moving in the right direction. Just some tweaks to make. But one big question for you...
When you did this weigh in, were you, the 3 passengers and "college gear" all in the truck for all 3 weight tickets?
If so, that's more than you'll be carrying for camping so you don't really know if you're overloaded in real life.
You're close, so another set of weight tickets, truly loaded for camping (if it's just the 2 of you, just go with the 2 of you, have a full tank of gas, whatever gear you'd normally bring, full propane tanks, camper full of your dishes, clothes, etc.) and then with more WD applied you will know the full story.
You'll also be able to calculate whether you're within tolerance on your truck's cargo capacity. But start with that new set of real world weights, apply more WD, post pics of the tickets and you'll get some better advice from people who really know what they're talking about 😀
You'll get there!! Keep asking questions!!