Adding Weight to Front Axle - Short Wheel Base DP
The following applies to a 2006 Fleetwood DP on a Freightliner XCS chassis with 208" wheelbase and a total length of 34' 8". The axle weight ratings are 12k front and 19k rear.
My question is have any of you added ballast to your frame to more heavily load your front axle. I noticed that Henderson Line-up notes that they have bolted and/or welded weights onto short wheel base DP's to more equally load the front axle.
I just adjusted ride height to factory specs then got individual wheel weights (approximated using a two platform scale). My weights were 7720 on the front and 17100 on the rear with generally good side to side balance. However, the percentage of weight on the rear axle is about 90% while the front is only 64%. The water, fuel and propane tanks were full. The tank arrangement is Fleetwood's "Power Platform", which in my case locates the fuel tank (90 gallons) just aft of the front axle and the water tank (86 gallons) close to mid-ship. I shifted every heavy item I could further forward and would guess this added maybe 200 pounds to the front and dropped the same from the rear. I do not normally drive with more than about a 1/3rd full water tank, but being located near mid-ship this would not impact axle loading front to rear much.
If anyone has added weight to the front, I am very interested in how it impacted handling. I am also interested in where the weight was attached. In my case, I think adding about 500 pounds would get the relative axle weighting close enough to rule of thumb numbers. I can do this pretty easily with some plate steel.