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Unread 03-19-2012, 02:29 PM   #1
1398653
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Weight Distribution hitch question?

Ready to order a weight distribution hitch today. My jeep and trailer weigh in around 6600 pounds. It is 18 foot trailer, 15 foot with 3 foot beaver tail. I dont know what my tongue weight is.

Should I get weight distribution hitch that is rated for 400-800 pounds of TW or one that is rated for 600 to 1200 pounds TW?

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Unread 03-19-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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I decided to go with the 600 to 1200 pound one.

with a rig and trailer that weighs 6600 hundred pounds, the min tongue weight I would want is 660 pounds, the max would be a little over 900 so I fit in the range.
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Unread 03-19-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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I was going to ask what your tow rig was because you might not have needed to buy the WD setup i don't use one, and never felt the need to get one based on my combination.
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Unread 03-19-2012, 06:56 PM   #4
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I have 2011 f150 with 5.0l v8
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Unread 03-19-2012, 09:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1398653
I have 2011 f150 with 5.0l v8
How does it tow? I'm looking at the ecoboost but can get a better deal on the 5.0.
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Unread 03-20-2012, 05:44 AM   #6
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Since you can make the tongue weight any amount you choose, by backing the rig up a foot or two or turning it around on the trailer, what is the point of a weight distribution hitch?
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Unread 03-20-2012, 05:58 AM   #7
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I will tell u in a week. Waiting.f for wd hitch. The hitch id only rated for 5000 pounds without wd so gave not towed yet
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Unread 03-20-2012, 07:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 1398653 View Post
I will tell u in a week. Waiting.f for wd hitch. The hitch id only rated for 5000 pounds without wd so gave not towed yet
I have always been puzzled by this. I understand that a travel trailer or a boat on a trailer is balanced the way it is balanced and only relocating the axles (or the boat nesting) can change that. So, to avoid unacceptable loads on the receiver (tongue weight) weight distribution is desirable. (Although I still can't see how it works).

But, assuming they do work, what is it that you are trying to achieve? On an 18' trailer, you can turn the rig around and point it off the back and put zero or negative weight on the tongue. No one would want to do that, of course, trailers trail better with about 600 pounds on the tongue. But, what is the point?
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Unread 03-20-2012, 09:56 AM   #9
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The point is improved towing control. Load hitches make the front springs of the towing vehicle take some of the force from the trailer. Not just up/down, but side/side to control sway. By loading the hitch connection with force it's not just a simple pivot anymore.

600 lbs may not seem like a lot but it's not over the rear axle. Its behind the bumper, leveraged over the rear axle. That will work a standard half ton's rear springs pretty hard.

Towing at 55 on a nice day, flat surface, no crosswinds. Ahhh, who needs a load hitch, they're a hassle in town. Towing on the interstate, around a corner, with gusty winds and some rain.....a load hitch is an excellent investment.
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Unread 03-20-2012, 10:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Foundrydude View Post
The point is improved towing control. Load hitches make the front springs of the towing vehicle take some of the force from the trailer.
I hear the claims, but how would that be possible if there is one point of contact between the towing vehicle and the trailer? In other words, how are the forces conveyed anywhere other than the receiver.

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Unread 03-20-2012, 02:17 PM   #11
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I don't know how exactly my load leveling hitch works but I love it. My trailer is heavy, just hooking it up alone makes the rear of my truck sink down low. I just load the Jeep up, find a somewhat level place, count down 5 links of the chain and my truck is sitting level like there isn't even a load on it. The anti swap on it is really nice too!
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Unread 03-20-2012, 02:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
I hear the claims, but how would that be possible if there is one point of contact between the towing vehicle and the trailer? In other words, how are the forces conveyed anywhere other than the receiver.
There are actually 3 points of contact when using a weight distribution hitch - the ball coupler and the 2 load bars. The tongue creates downward force on the ball, but the load bars create a rotational force forward. The combined effect of those forces does 3 things:

1. The rotational force of the load bars offsets some of the downward force of the tongue on the ball. This is why the truck doesn't squat as much.

2. The rotational force of the load bars also creates a forward rotation of the chassis, shifting some of the trailer's tongue weight onto the front axle of the truck.

3. By having 3 contact points between the truck and trailer (4 if you add a sway control device), you improve the stability in wind, rain, emergency maneuvers, etc... while still maintaining the ability to turn and flex through a driveway.

This can all be accomplished through the hitch receiver because it is not round. The fact that it is a square channel allows it to transmit all of these forces in different directions.
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Unread 03-20-2012, 03:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPond View Post
There are actually 3 points of contact when using a weight distribution hitch - the ball coupler and the 2 load bars. The tongue creates downward force on the ball, but the load bars create a rotational force forward. The combined effect of those forces does 3 things:

1. The rotational force of the load bars offsets some of the downward force of the tongue on the ball. This is why the truck doesn't squat as much.

2. The rotational force of the load bars also creates a forward rotation of the chassis, shifting some of the trailer's tongue weight onto the front axle of the truck.

3. By having 3 contact points between the truck and trailer (4 if you add a sway control device), you improve the stability in wind, rain, emergency maneuvers, etc... while still maintaining the ability to turn and flex through a driveway.

This can all be accomplished through the hitch receiver because it is not round. The fact that it is a square channel allows it to transmit all of these forces in different directions.
First, the hitch in the link does not attach to the frame of the truck. Only to the frame of the trailer.

Second, if if they do attach to the frame of the truck, what is that rotational force? 1/4 of the tongue weight? 150 pounds with a mechanical dis-advantage to the front axle of 10 to one? 15 pounds of upward force?

Don't mistake my snarky attitude for closemindedness. I am always snarky and I'd really like to hear a believable explanation of this.
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Unread 03-20-2012, 03:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
First, the hitch in the link does not attach to the frame of the truck. Only to the frame of the trailer.

Second, if if they do attach to the frame of the truck, what is that rotational force? 1/4 of the tongue weight? 150 pounds with a mechanical dis-advantage to the front axle of 10 to one? 15 pounds of upward force?

Don't mistake my snarky attitude for closemindedness. I am always snarky and I'd really like to hear a believable explanation of this.
OK snarkster

First, the hitch in the link does attach to the frame of the truck. Through the receiver hitch. A load distributing hitch replaces a normal ball reciever insert with an insert that has mounts for those load bars.

Second, the rotational force varies depending on the strength of the load bars chosen. The load bars are just little torsion springs. You can preload the springs by different amounts by adjusting which chain link is hooked up. And hooking them up requires a 3 or 4 foot lever bar, there is real force involved.

If you visualize the hitch as a rigid connection it will help you understand better. For the trailer to tip, then the whole towing rig has to tip along with it. That means the front springs are involved, and the mass over the pickup's front axle is also in play. Because the truck and trailer move as a unit.

A load hitch simply spring loads the flex point (the hitch ball) to transfer force in the same manner as a rigid connection, without actually being rigid.
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Unread 03-20-2012, 06:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
First, the hitch in the link does not attach to the frame of the truck. Only to the frame of the trailer.

Second, if if they do attach to the frame of the truck, what is that rotational force? 1/4 of the tongue weight? 150 pounds with a mechanical dis-advantage to the front axle of 10 to one? 15 pounds of upward force?

Don't mistake my snarky attitude for closemindedness. I am always snarky and I'd really like to hear a believable explanation of this.
To add to what Foundrydude said:

The hitch doesn't have to attach directly to the frame. The coupling through the receiver is sufficient to transfer the force because it's a solid coupling (it's not round and cannot rotate in any direction).

The mechanical disadvantage to the front axle is about 3 to 1; it's the ratio of the distance between the front & rear axles, compared to the distance between the rear axle and the hitch ball. Every vehicle has a different wheelbase, so 3 to 1 is just an estimate.

Since you can get trunion bars (load bars) with up to 1,200 lbs of force, that would be approx 400 lbs shifted to the front axle if you used them at their maximum adjustment.
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