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Old 04-12-2013, 10:22 AM   #21
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Sorry Skater, thought I was talking to Freedomrider! He was the one complaining about the handling, not you. Back to our regular programming......Freedom, do you have the cam arms?
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:02 PM   #22
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dznf0g - Thanks for asking. I do have the dual cams. I took the my Airstream to the scales. Could you help interpret the scale readings?

First my vehicle specs are (2012 Dodge Ran 2500 Diesel): GVWR 9600 lbs
Front Axle - 5500 lbs
Rear Axle - 6010 lbs
Combined weight - 1961

Scale Readings;
Truck Only - Steer Axle - 4780 lbs
Drive Axle - 3880 lbs
Gross Weight - 8660 lbs

Truck and Trailer - Steer Axle - 4860 lbs
Drive Axle - 4800 lbs
Trailer Axle - 8860 lbs
Gross Weight - 18,520 lbs

Trailer GVWR - 10,000 lbs
GAWR Front - 5000 lbs
GAWR Rear - 5000 lbs

Does this mean my tongue weight is 920 lbs?

I did read your thread about dialing in the "Cams", I can't grasp the techniques. I fear I would only make the situation worst. I guess my point is to make sure there is no serious issues, if I have to move to another hitch where I do not have to deal with this problem.

Your help is much appreciated.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:35 PM   #23
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I really liked my Reese dual cam and found very minimum wiggle problems over 200,000 k of towing with it. You should not be experiencing any wiggle problems with your rig if it is set up properly. Your scale numbers suggest that you have to move more weight to the front axel. (Assuming that the contraption is attached to the trailer correctly, you know, dialled in). I would shorten the links. Perhaps it will require two links given your wheel base and weight delta on your axels. You did't say the lb rating on your bars, but you should probably have 1400 lb bars given your long wheel base and you most likely have about 1200 lbs of tongue wt with a 30 ft Airstream. Joim
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:45 PM   #24
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It appears your TW is 1000#. You also added 80 lbs to the front axle with WD. That is a calculated weight and pretty accurate, but I prefer a Shurline tongue scale to check on a regular basis, as I tend to add things on some trips, like an Arvika bike rack, bikes, ramps to get my scooter out of the truck bed, etc.
Looks like a pretty balanced WD setup to me.
Check for the centering of the cams in their saddles and see if your handling improves.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:05 PM   #25
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The tongue weight is approximately 1280# with approximately 280# being transferred to the trailer axles leaving 1000# to be carried by the TV.

When the tongue weight was applied to the TV with no WD, approximately 490# would have been removed from the TV's front axle, and approximately 1770# added to the rear axle.

Application of WD caused about 560# to be added back onto the front axle resulting in a net increase of about 70# on the front axle (the scales indicate 80# added).

I don't know if Ram gives any specification for how much load to add back onto the front axle.

IMO, the front axle load when towing with WDH activated should not be greater than the load when unhitched.

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Old 04-13-2013, 09:11 PM   #26
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Crap, forgot to look at the AS axles....sorry.

I don't agree with Ron's last statement though....IMO as well.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:33 PM   #27
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Thanks for the info. It seems that I don't have a serious weight issue by all input. The simplest thing is to try Jim Flower's suggestion. I can do that. Also, I will call the dealer to check on the weight of my bars. Thought they were 1200 lb.

By the way, if weight has to be shifted form front to rear axle or vice versa, how would you do that?

Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:48 PM   #28
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Think of your weight distribution bars behaving like the handles on a wheel barrow. When you lift up on the handles, the front of the wheel barrow goes down. Lift upon the weight distribution bars, and the front of the vehicle goes down. So shortening the chains causes the weight distribution bars to lift up, therefore more weight to the front axel. The Reese dual cam works best when the bars are under more tension since it is the bar riding up off of the cam that provides the friction to keep the Airstream from swaying. On reading your weights again, it would appear that you are pretty nicely balanced, so maybe shortening by one link will work fine and put a little more weight to the front to better maintain the empty delta. To sort of quote George W, " the handling is the decider". Jim
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:49 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomrider View Post
By the way, if weight has to be shifted form front to rear axle or vice versa, how would you do that?
As stated earlier, IMO, you already are transferring too much load to the front axle. To transfer less load to the front, you can increase the number of chain links under tension and/or decrease the amount of rearward tilt of the ball mount. If you do either of these, you might need to re-center the cams in their bar detents. And, it is quite possible the "fish tailing" you are observing is because your cams are not centered with the current adjustment.

The reason for my recommendation of less load transfer is based, in part, on the following.

I think the reason Ford, Chevrolet/GMC, Toyota, Equal-i-zer, and others have changed their weight distribution specifications is pretty well summed up in this Letter to Editor by Richard H Klein, P E printed in TRAILER BODY BUILDERS Magazine. The comment which specifically addresses front axle load is:
QUOTE
2. The statement “too much tongue weight can force the truck down in the back, causing the front wheels to lift to the point where steering response and braking can be severely decreased” is not the real issue with heavy tongue weights. The real problem is that the tow vehicle's yaw stability, as measured by “understeer gradient”, is severely decreased. This increases the propensity of the tow vehicle to jackknife in turning maneuvers. Specifically, recent full scale testing conducted by the SAE Tow Vehicle Trailer Rating Committee (and now published in SAE J2807), determined that the use of weight distributing hitch torque should be minimized. In fact they recommend that the Front Axle Load Restoration (FALR) not exceed 100% (100% means that the front axle weight is brought back, via weight distribution, to a weight equal to its “no trailer” condition).
UNQUOTE

A related explanation from a representative of the company which manufactures the Equal-i-zer hitch was first posted here. It says:
QUOTE
In the past we had suggested that you should see a small drop on the front suspension. We are always trying to improve things here at Progress – our motto is “Safe and Happy Customers,” and so we are always reviewing our instructions and installation process. Recently, as part of this constant effort our engineers looked more deeply into this aspect of installation. We had always felt that a small drop was a sign that the trailer’s weight was being transferred to the front axle, and that this was essentially a good thing.

As our engineers reviewed the instructions for the last round of renewal of our instructions, the found research results that contradicted our prior thinking. There has been a substantial amount of testing conducted by experts from SAE and the RV Industry Association to find out what will produce the best stability when towing. This towing suggests that you want your front axle’s compression to be close to, but not lower than your free-standing height. (Underline added for emphasis.)
UNQUOTE

Ford now says the Front Axle Load Restoration should be approximately 50%.
Equal-i-zer now says the Front Axle Load Restoration should be between 50% and 100%.
Chevrolet/GMC specify 100% or 50% depending on tow vehicle capacity and trailer weight.

Equal-i-zer's revised instructions specifically state:
Good adjustment:
You have most likely achieved good weight distribution adjustment if your measurements show the following with the trailer coupled and the weight distribution engaged:
1. From the coupled without weight distribution measurement, the front wheel well measurement is at least halfway back to the original uncoupled measurement. See line C on Front Wheel Well Measure Chart.
2. The rear wheel well measurement is somewhere between the uncoupled height, and the coupled with no weight distribution height. It should NEVER be higher than the uncoupled height. See line C on Rear Wheel Well Measure Chart. See Figure 19.

As with most towing-related discussions, you will receive a variety of opinions when you seek advice. It's up to you do decide which approach will work best for you.

Ron
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:07 PM   #30
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FALR is a starting point. A goal, that, along with optimized tire pressure on both vehicles is the best place for anyone to start. A WD hitch that cannot do 100% FALR isn't worth having no matter where the numbers wind up in the end. The "end" may be several years and many thousands of miles down the road. With a veritable stack of scale tickets. And one may still wind up back at the beginning.

And WDH doesn't work so well without tire pressures being dead-on in the end results we want. (Yes, the load is different with WD applied, and WD not applied. On every tire).

I'm in agreement with Ron Gratz that the distribution be dialled back down to no more than 100%. The FAWR "reserve" was what generations of trailer owners used to dial in their combination over the decades we discussed TW distribution per the 1/3-1/3-1/3 forumula. Yet 100% FALR is the best place to start with a truck. That is what is needed here.

Real numbers, plenty of miles and re-checking WD and tire pressures per scale tickets provide the baseline for any considered changes. Consideration is always in light of those numbers where most easily fitted to recommendations.

Experimentation is quite a ways off (and possibly unnecessary) as this rig needs a verified baseline from which to start.

A VPP hitch is always a worthwhile upgrade. But keep comparisons simple, so use "the formula" versus getting outside of it. The OP needs to find out about his rig (both vehicles have checks to be made, not just hitch adjustments), thus the advice for simplicity.


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Old 04-17-2013, 09:07 AM   #31
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Thanks dznf0g and Jim Flower. Your help was very important in helping me to understand and follow on a plan to address this issue. It is not that the other suggestions were not helpful, but my inability to grasp and implement what was being said.

I am on the right track, because I now remember how light my front end was when towing over roads that was very uneven. The front end would bouncy.

Now, I have increased the tension on the chain by one (now 4 hanging and 5 under pressure). My rig is now more stable and it handles much.

Thanks to this forum, I now know how to attempt to dial-in the cams. That will be my next job, just to see if my rig will be even more stable, plus I will re-weigh down the road.

Thanks again.
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