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 > Heavy tongue weight - change from PP 3P?

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Lantley

Ellicott City, Maryland

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Posted: 03/12/21 07:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To hook up your Henley/ PP totally loosen the jacks so that the hitch box wiggles a bit.
Paint the box a bright color, paint the end of the stinger a bright color.
Use a mirror or camera when backing.
If on pitched or unlevel ground Tighten up the jacks slightly in necessary to tilt the hitch box(target) as required.
Hitch helper is a good gadget to use when your starting out.
Try to have TV wheels straight as stinger approaches hitch box. Do not approach at an angle. Back up to box in strait line.
I agree there is a learning curve but hitching is not that difficult.


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camp-n-family

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Posted: 03/12/21 09:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don’t understand all the problems people are saying about hitching up with a Hensley. “Truck isn’t straight in line”, “hitch is on an angle”, “ has to be level”, “Hensley bump” etc. If these are problems you don’t know how to use the hitch.

The hitch is adjustable in every direction, making it easy to line up in any case. The tongue jack is used to raise/ lower the hitch to the right height. The whole hitch head swivels nearly 90 degrees either side to hitch from any angle (need to use a finger to move the swivel latch), and the jacks can be used to pitch the hitch head up or down and even cant it on an angle. If you’re getting a bump then your trailer brake controller isn’t set properly.

When unhitching, I lower the hitch jacks just to the point the spring bars swing loose. Undo the ocl latches and while leaving the trailer plugged into the truck, manually hold the trailer brakes and ease forward until it breaks loose, then unplug the trailer and drive out. The hitch head will be pretty much set to hook back up this way, other than height after the trailer was levelled.

When hooking back up there is little adjustment required. I raise or lower the trailer jack visually to where I think the height is close to the unhitching height. With a backup cam I reverse the stinger to within an inch or two of the hitch head, get out and adjust hitch height, angle and pitch, then back the rest of the way in. Usually on the first try. Without a camera it sometimes took 2 or 3 tries, but the same would happen with any standard ball hitch too.

An added thought, and I imagine where a lot of people struggle, is you don’t need to seat the stinger all the way into the hitch head when you are backing in. That is difficult to do. You just need the stinger in far enough that the OCL latches reach over the wings (don’t know what to call them). You can then use the OCL wrench to pull it on the rest of the way.

* This post was edited 03/12/21 09:34pm by camp-n-family *


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JBarca

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Posted: 03/13/21 11:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Andrewmart wrote:



I haven't had any swaying problems with it but yesterday I was towing and getting pushed all around. Weather app said wind gusts were up to 25mph. I think more... My wife was in her expedition and also getting pushed around. It's the most I've felt the RV since I got the F250. I know there is nothing I could do to stop the crazy wind hitting our 33 foot long wind sail, but wondered if me being too hitch heavy contributed. Google says too heavy hitch can cause TV steering problems. It wasn't necessity swaying, it was more getting pushed around out there with each gust. In between gusts or when highway changed to head wind, I had no problems.


Hi, I'll add some not yet mentioned.


As was said, you do not need to change the tongue weight because it is over 15%. I run 16% on mine all the time, on purpose, and the last camper was 18 to 20% pending fresh water. But the truck, WD hitch, truck receiver, and camper A frame have to be able to handle it. In your case, as long as the WD hitch WD bars are sized right, the F250 not overloaded on the rear axle with extra stuff in the truck bed, your truck receiver is at or under the ratings, then those areas are in check. The camper A frame, that will be a separate topic.

A too light of a truck front end can affect handling, which is part of what the Google too heavy a hitch was talking about, but that most likely was not put it in the right context. There is more to what heavy means and what light means. Too light a front end can happen due to the WD is not set right regardless of TW. I run my F350 lighter on the front end on purpose, but not excessively too light.

To your being pushed "all around" in winds, the Pro-Pride or the Hensley are very good hitches. But any, WD hitch has limitations and they will not solve a truck tire issue on long TT's. Something not talked about yet is the truck.

What year truck and if a new truck or old truck with new tires, please give us some info on these questions.

1. What was the air pressure in the front and rear tires while towing?
2. What does the driver door sticker state is front and rear tire pressures?
3. How many miles on the tires since new?
4. What size , load range and brand are the tires?
5. Are the tires OEM sized to the truck, or do you have an aftermarket up grade/larger size on tires?
6. Does the truck have an aftermarket lift kit on it?

7. Not tire related, but truck related for left to right stability. Does your F250 have overload springs (helper springs) in the rear? A 2 stage spring set up. Or does the truck have a roll bar on the rear axle? If it has the overload springs, was the rear most overload spring kissing the truck frame bracket when you are hitched for towing? Some F250's have the rear overload spring setup, some don't.

The WD hitch will not correct for tire stiffness or a tire break in period of new tire with the newer rubber compounds. Handling issues can and have happened on 3/4 and 1 ton truck all linked to tires issues. You need to check the box that the tires are not part of the problem.

Hope this helps.

John

* This post was edited 03/13/21 02:44pm by JBarca *


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Andrewmart

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Posted: 03/13/21 08:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting thoughts.

Here are the answers.

2015 F250 gas engine. Has about 90k miles on it. I've had it for about 9 months now.

1. 75 psi front and back
2. Driver door says 80 max.
3. Tires are new. Probably less than 1000 miles on them. All highway or city miles
No off roading. All four are new. Michelin LTX AT2. LT275/65R20.
5. Tires are OEM to the truck. No after market stuff. I bought truck used but dealer said these tires were original. While these specific tires are new and bought in January 2021, I towed with the same brand tires all last summer.
6. No after market lift kit.
7. I'm not sure. I think everything is stock.

Right now, I'm thinking/hoping it was just crazy wind. My wife was being pushed around pretty good on the way home too, and she was just in her vehicle. I just checked the weather and sustained winds were 20 mph with guests 30+ mph when I was driving home.

And when I say pushed around, I'm probably exaggerating a little. I was never pushed into the next lane (not even close), and never felt like I was going to wreck or hit another vehicle. But I was also being cautious and staying around 55-60mph. This was the most I've ever felt anything though while towing in the F250. I've grown used to barely feeling it back there while towing. We have towed our TT 2-3 times with a half ton vehicle, and this drive was still much better than those 1/2 ton drive. It's just more than I've been used to and wanted to make sure it wasn't because of hitch weight or something I was contributing to. Another note is I towed it a few days earlier to the camp site and didn't necessarily notice or feel anything. Winds were sustained around 15 mph and gusts around 20 mph on the way there.

I towed with this exact same setup last year except for getting new tires. This was the first time I towed on these new tires. Your thoughts are very interesting and something I didn't even think of. Figured since they were new tires, that wouldn't be an issue.

* This post was edited 03/14/21 06:50pm by an administrator/moderator *

JBarca

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Posted: 03/14/21 06:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK good, this helps.

A few things I have run into over the years and will pass on.

1. Tires, can make or break a good towing setup. The good news, you are still on the stock F250 setup.

2. There is "something" about the new rubber compounds in many brands of tires that create what is nicknamed, "squirm" to some. It is the feeling inside the truck that the whole truck is moving around where it never used to. It does not feel good to you once you had a perfect towing before.

3. The Michelin LTX tire, even in LT tires, has a softer side wall flex then other brands. I had the first generation of the LTX on my 2500 Suburban as a replacement tire and that event took a stable towing truck into one that shifts hard when wind gust hit it. The same tire on a F250 with a Hensley can do the same thing given the right circumstances.

In order to address the LTX issues, at least the 1st generation of them, you had to up the air pressure in the tire above door sticker to get them to tame down. The 2500 Suburban which had 50 psi front and 80 psi back on the door sticker, worked great on the stock Uniroyal Steel Tex tire. That same pressure on the LTX would allow the front of the truck to shift when hard wind gusts would hit the rig and create an instability in the truck that was very noticeable. My wife even jumped in and said "What was that?" After learning and experimenting, 60 psi was a global shift in truck stability. 70 psi in that truck was too hard, the whole truck bounced to the left or right over a railroad truck or other hard bump. I settled on 65psi and ran it until the F350 came and we changed campers.

I know there is a very good moderator on this thread, that ran the original LTX on his older F250 with the Power Stroke diesel and ran them at 70psi. Same tire as I had. He would swear by the LTX while I was swearing at them...[emoticon] Point is, his heavy front end needed the 70psi and he never found the issue I did. My other good friend from that era had his F250 gasser with a Hensley and the just changed from the Steel Tex to LTX and he never upd'ed the air pressure. He was on 50psi tires on the front, I told him, air them up, he didn't and he came back with, wow I thought I was about to loose it in a 30 mph turn. He learned too, aired them and the problem went away.

The LTX has changed since the original, but they are still a softer sidewall tire. Your door sticker lists the pressure for max load of the truck axles they declare them too. You running 5psi under means you do not have the full load capacity of the truck, and you may not need it for load carrying, but it is something to keep in mind. The tire will be slightly softer and flex slightly more 5 psi under.

New tire squirm, this is real and there is no real good way to know it before you buy. There is no rating for it. It affects Dodge, GM and Ford trucks and any other 3/4 or 1 ton. I have spoke to two different tire engineers on this is they tell me it is not mold release and I never got a real answer. But this issue hit my F350 on my 3rd set of tires. A few years ago on the same exact Continental Conti Trac TR tires the truck came with, the truck handling was unstable as soon as the new tires went on. The higher winds was the issue. A 32 ft camper is a big sale, but this rig was rock solid until the new tires came. The first 2 sets I had no issues. This last 3rd set, I have this unstable feeling again. I went through the WD hitch, I'm at 16% TW, the end result, after 4,000 miles on the new tires the truck is back to normal. Some people have reported the issue goes away in 2,000 miles. I started to notice a difference at 2,000 miles, but it took until 4,000 miles the issue totally went away. There are other reports like this on new tire on the forum. Something with the newer way tires are made, this issue shows up.

You may be into the new tire squirm issue. The 75 psi on the LTX may aggravate it some, not sure but it is something you can adjust.

The helper spring in the back, see here on mine, the rear end of the spring is just kissing the upper frame bracket. The front lower end of the spring is not touching.
[image]

A learning, until I got my truck bed loads and camper TW dialed in with the WD, I would have closer to unloaded weight on the front of the truck. This is an 2005 truck which is before all the newer SAE front axle load restoration talks started. With the truck bed lightly loaded, and the camper too, the rear helper spring never touched the frame bracket. There was not enough weight. That allowed the camper to push the truck left to right more, it was not very stable. Wind really had nothing to do with this. I fully loaded all my stuff, 500#, in the truck bed, and in the camper, now 1,500# TW, reset the WD hitch to be about 150# light on the front end, and the then the rear helper spring kissed the frame bracket. The truck took a global shift in stability left to right. The springs against the frame bracket act like a roll bar and the truck became one very stable rig.

I think the new tires are a big part of the problem until they get wore in. That sticks out like a sore thumb.

Hope this helps.

John

* This post was edited 03/14/21 06:52pm by an administrator/moderator *

Andrewmart

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Posted: 03/14/21 07:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the help John! Spent last hour reading about tire squirm. I am running my tires higher than I usually do. Last year I was running front around 65 psi and back around 70 psi when towing and 55-60 unloaded. Then I did a tire rotation and had a case of death whobble. This ended up in new dampener, tire rods and a few other things. Also got new tires (which probably was the culprit). I drove them home at whatever psi Ford installed them at (around 70-75 psi) and had no problems. Well I aired them down to my unloaded psi and had more shaking. Not death wobble but just not as smooth. Read some forums where people swore that Michelin tires needed to be aired up to 70+psi to stop death wobble. Did it and it helped. So since then I've run these tires at 70+.

I'll slowly play with the psi when towing. I'll hitch up sometime this and see what it's like.

valhalla360

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Posted: 03/14/21 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

Andrewmart wrote:

I checked my TV w/ and w/o the PP WDH on last year, and I return all but about .5 inches of height w/ the WDH. My Cat scales reading yesterday shows I return 260 lbs back to the front axles, which is 50% of the weight back on. So I think I have it dialed in pretty good. I'll remeasure this upcoming week and make sure everything is good.

I think yesterday's being pushed around was all due to wind gusts. I just wanted to make sure I was not contributing by having a heavy hitch weight.


Nope, just sounds like it was windy out.
Quick question since I'm not saavy with wdh's. Why couldn't one just (in general) drop the trailer on and pull forward a bit to square up before hooking up, if not being perfectly parallel to the trailer is an issue?


I don't know about the really fancy magic ones but normal WDH, no big deal being at an angle.

Just yesterday, purposely hitched at about a 20deg angle to set up getting out of a tight spot.

We have a Blue Ox with the bars that ride on L-brackets but we used to do the same with my Dad's 1970s vintage with chains.


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carringb

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Posted: 03/14/21 09:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whoa! Running at normal PSIs should not cause Death Wobble!

Have you had the alignment checked? I'd be suspicious if not-enough-camber. Hooking up a heavy trailer makes it worse because as the front end rises, it removes even more camber. Your WD bars regardless of hitch should restore at least half the unloaded ride-height up front, but if your camber is marginal, you may need to do it the old fashioned way and completely restore your front ride height.

As long as your ProPride is able to bring the front down far enough, I'd keep it. I had a Hensley for a short time, and it towed great with 3,200 pounds of tongue weight. Unfortunately the construction of it just couldn't hold up to that much.


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Andrewmart

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Posted: 03/14/21 01:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

carringb wrote:

Whoa! Running at normal PSIs should not cause Death Wobble!

Have you had the alignment checked? I'd be suspicious if not-enough-camber. Hooking up a heavy trailer makes it worse because as the front end rises, it removes even more camber. Your WD bars regardless of hitch should restore at least half the unloaded ride-height up front, but if your camber is marginal, you may need to do it the old fashioned way and completely restore your front ride height.

As long as your ProPride is able to bring the front down far enough, I'd keep it. I had a Hensley for a short time, and it towed great with 3,200 pounds of tongue weight. Unfortunately the construction of it just couldn't hold up to that much.


Death Wobble was fixed. I have not had it for 3 months. I have a family member who works for Ford, and they did all the work and looked it over repeatedly. They did an alignment after I had the work done and got the tires. I haven't had death wobble since BUT my truck feels a little shakier (not DW) at lower PSI than higher PSI, so I run at higher PSI (in 70s). I got DW around October 2020 after I had an oil change with tire rotation. This was after towing with the truck all summer with no DW. One of my tires was significantly more worn then the others.

I didn't add it in the earlier info because I didn't think it could be an issue since I had it addressed and was running on new tires. Learning that new tires cause a little squirming was something I didn't know, and I thought I learned a lot about towing, trucks, DW, etc.

Gene K 2

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Posted: 03/16/21 05:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Andrewmart wrote:

I have a 2020 SPORTSMEN® SE 301BHKSE that I tow w/ a 2015 F250 gas engine. I use a Propride 3P hitch. I went to the Cat scales today and found a hitch weight of 1220 lbs (did all 3 weight measurements). TT is 7000 lbs, so that puts me at 17.4%. I can provide the data if needed.
Should I consider changing to a lighter WDH to reduce tongue weight and get closer to 15%? Or is being over 2-3% not a big deal? Does being over weight w/ a 3P sort of offset the overage?

Considering changing because, while I love the 3P, hooking up is a chore. We've had the 3P for about 8 months and taken about 10-12 trips with it, and I still struggle with hooking up. Before the 3P we had an equalizer and I attached to the ball easily.

I only towed with the equalizer twice (on a 1/2 ton vehicle), so not sure how much of a difference switching WDH will affect the driving. We got the 3P because we had a 1/2 ton vehicle, but we ended up upgrading to the F250 after one trip. Had we gotten the F250 from the start, I doubt we would have even gotten the 3P.


Since tongue weight is measured at the trailer tongue how would changing your WDH effect it?

You need to subtract the weight of the WDH to get your actual tongue weight.

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