Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tow Vehicles: When is weight distribution needed?
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 > When is weight distribution needed?

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KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 12/02/20 06:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No, you don't need a WDH if you have everything set up right. If you don't have everything set up right I would fix that rather then buying and dealing with a WDH.
By set up right I mean that all your parts: hitch, ball mount, ball, rear axle, tires, etc. need to be rated for the weight. It sounds like you're good there but I can't read the labels from here.
You also need to have the trailer loaded for enough tongue weight to prevent sway. That's on you also. If you put too much weight in the garage and it unloads the tongue you will have terrible sway WDH or not.
In general, WDHs were invented to allow marginal tow vehicle to tow larger trailers. You do not have a marginal tow vehicle for the weight.
You may want sway control which is not the same thing as a WDH.
I regularly pull a flatbed trailer with excavation equipment on it weighing up to 16,000 pounds with my 2005 Chevy dually. I don't use any WDH or sway control, I just drop it on the ball and go. But, I do try to position whatever equipment I'm hauling so I have sufficient tongue weight to prevent sway.

Sjm9911

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Posted: 12/02/20 07:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

See what your manual recomends. Mine has it listed. And the factory sway control is not the same as sway control on the TV. The sway controll bars help you to control sway before it happens. The TV one kicks in after it detects sway. I much rather have it controlled then ajusted for afterwards.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 12/02/20 10:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Short answer, you’re good. Long answer, still good.

Unless it’s one of those trailers that just pulls like c rap, but not likely.


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TomG2

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Posted: 12/02/20 11:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The tow vehicle engineers who wrote your owner's manual will give you more good advice in two minutes than a bunch of us "experts" in ten pages of opinions. If you "think" you need a WD hitch, get one. WD hitches were necessary back when grandpa towed his Airstream with a '58 Buick or 59 Plymouth station wagon. Three of my last four pickups said none was "required" for what I was towing. They were right.

blt2ski

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Posted: 12/02/20 11:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I found with my 8 lug diesels, it took around 500 lbs of wieght lost on the FA is when I really noticed major handling issues. Up to this point in time, yes I noticed things getting looser and hoosier shall I say.
I pulled a 12k total equipment trailer with a pintle setup. With 1600 lbs if HW I only lost 300-400 lbs in the front with 6409 lb rear springs, 209-300 with 8500 lb springs. These are crew cabs with 8' beds.
Pulling a TT with the SW 6400 lb RA. I only lost 100 lb on FA. I noticed less side to side wobble with a WD and crosswinds. Even less with a dual can. That trailer was typically 5500-6000 on trailer axles 650-750 HW. Properly loaded front to rear, side to side, trailer pulled like a dream straight even in 40-60 mph crosswinds crossing columbia river a few times.
Is it worth having a WD or AS? Probably. But as mentioned by Jimlin, I too go out and pull trailer with out bars, if it says or equal, I have usually an improper loading issue. Once corrected, no issues. Out safety bars on for added security. I don't add bars to fix the uncontrolled fish tail sway. That's putting a band aid on something that needs a torniquet or amputation. You still have not fixed cause, only the effect. You are still unsafe IMHO.

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Vanished

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Posted: 12/03/20 06:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the inputs and advice... Appreciate everyone's time for responding. I think I'll try it on a shorter trip with the bike pushed forward in the kitchen and see how it tows since I'm well under all posted limits.


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jmtandem

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Posted: 12/03/20 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

So my thoughts are to drop it on the ball and try it... Am I nuts?


What weight are you trying to distribute? You have over 12,000 pounds capacity with the rear tires, more than 9000 pounds rear axle capacity, and why would you want to redistribute weight to the front of an already heavy front end truck and some (25%) back to the trailer tires? If the receiver hitch can handle the tongue weight why mess with weight distribution. Sway is another issue but your question is about weight distribution. And, yea, I also have a 3500 dually and a 31 foot travel trailer and on the ball works just fine as long as the receiver is up to the weight capacity.

Toyhaulers empty are typically nose heavy to compensate for the weight of the toys that are carried in the rear. Don't load you bike to far forward as that will only add more weight on the tongue that you probably don't need. If you have 10 percent or more of the total weight on the tongue you should not have a sway issue. 13 percent is about ideal.

* This post was edited 12/03/20 09:17am by jmtandem *


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Grit dog

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Posted: 12/03/20 09:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pulling some weight off the front axle of a heavy diesel is not an issue.
Does the same truck handle worse with a gas engine that weighs 500lbs less?
There’s your answer. You’d have to have a he!! Of a tongue weight to loose 500lbs off the steering tires.
Let er rip!

BurbMan

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Posted: 12/03/20 10:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You may not need WD to level out the rig given the capacity of the truck, but hitches like the Dual Cam use the spring bars to help control sway also. However, if the trailer is well-balanced with enough tongue weight, you may not benefit from added sway control either.

I would try it just on the ball and while you're out on the test trip, plan to stop at a scale and get some weights so you know what your tongue weight is. You can make better decisions when you have the numbers.

I remember bringing home our 2002 Sunnybrook 3310 4-bunk trailer with the Suburban just on the ball. I got on the highway and when I got to 45 mph I was in all 3 lanes at once. Drove home 35 mph with the flashers on, first thing I did was pick up the phone and order a Hensley Arrow.


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Sandia Man

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Posted: 12/03/20 11:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am sure like most of us that your truck can easily handle the weight, and that was the case with our 33' TT TH. With little wind and driving 60 mph or less, we had a good towing experience. Unfortunately, to get anywhere in our neck of the woods require using the interstates, it gets very windy and with the mountains, canyons, and valleys, they can concentrate the winds into focused gusts, which can cause serious sway issues in a matter of a seconds.

I have towed past 100s of HD trucks over the years hauling TTs well below their capacity and without WD/SC hitch, they were swaying so bad that they had to drive 15-20mph below posted limits just to stay on the road. My set up doesn't require a WD hitch either, but I love how the SC side of our hitch keeps us rock solid at interstate speeds with virtually non existent sway and no push pull effect with passing semi trucks.

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