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Old 12-14-2019, 02:27 PM   #1
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Factory Receiver and Weight Distribution

Looking for others experience here.

I'm having some challenges to get my weight distribution hitch system to properly distribute weight to the steer axle. As is i'm loosing approx 300 lbs on my front axle. I'm working with the manufacturer to dial everything in. Please assume the WDH is properly setup.

The manufacture (BlueOx) is telling me that the factory receiver on GM vehicles does not sufficiently distribute weight, due to design of the tube type receiver hitch and its mounting points.

Have any of you had issues with the factory hitch or heard of similar issues, where the factory hitch is preventing the WDH from doing its job?

The tow vehicle is a 2018 Sierra HD, duramax, 3500, srw.
The trailer is a Northwood Mfg Desert Fox 24AS.
I'm using the BlueOx 2000lb (tw) weight distribution hitch.
The receiver on my vehicle is factory.

Thanks,
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:15 PM   #2
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Have you had it weighed?

Excessive tounge weight on overloaded rig will do that, and on these rigs it is very easy to do.

Getting ready to do this very exercise with my new rig (2020 Grand Design Reflection 315RLTS, with a meager 1560 ccc. Half of my old RV. Gonna be hard to keep close to GVWR of trailer and 13% tw (1430 lbs).

You may need to remove or rearrange stuff to keep the tw to 15% max (1800 lbs for your numbers).

If you have a 2k tw, you are either overloaded or in excess of 15%, the latter being the easier as you can just shift stuff behind trailer axles.

Your truck is fine, well within, and before you start down the hitch rabbit hole, see where your weights are, could be a very simple fix from there.

Good Luck and keep is posted.
Bill
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:24 PM   #3
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Yes, it has been weighted many times; that is how i know i'm losing 300lbs on the steer axle.

The tw to trailer weight ratio is %18.67. this is with an empty trailer. Design flaw by manufacture? maybe, but manufacture says its a toy hauler so its intended haul a toy in the rear of the axle, not to be used or weighted empty. Tongue weight is right around 1740lbs.

Blue Ox is blaming the factory receiver. Wondering if anyone else has had good results swapping the factory receiver for an aftermarket? (and yes, i know the factory receiver is only rated for 1500lbs, and i'm over weight on it)
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:38 PM   #4
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Wasn't going there (hitch rating). Have you thought about shifting some weight to the garage?

Absolutely agree 18% tw on an empty trailer is a design issue.

Other than shifting weight to behind the trailer axles, not sure what you can do.

Bill
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:40 PM   #5
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Can't comment on the GM but I do have a Ram 2500 6.4. I'm towing an ORV TR 31' TT.
My TW is 1350 per scale. I was using a Blue Ox with 1500 lb bars. In order to get enough weight transfer I had to go 10 links. That made unhitching a nightmare unless the truck and TT were level or the front of the truck was lower than the rear to allow the spring bars to have less tension.
I got some 2000 lb bars after talking to the Blue Ox tech guy. Now I only need 9 links to return the front to almost the OEM height. If I go 10 links on the 2000 lb bars that drops my front below the OEM ride height and makes the steering twitchy.
1740 is a lot of TW but with 2000 lb bars you should be able to get the from back down, especially with a diesel up there.
How many links are you grabbing? The BO tech guy said to grab all I needed even if that meant that only 1/2 link was showing at the rotating latch.
FWIW if you're that far over the OEM receiver maybe you should install an after market higher rated receiver.
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:54 PM   #6
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I thought GM had done away with the overly-flexible tubular receivers. The one on my 2006 Silverado had welds cracking from towing a 6500 lb TT, and there were many complaints from people who towed anything heavier than a utility trailer.

High tongue weight when empty is an unavoidable characteristic of toy haulers. Putting an 800 lb Harley or a couple of quads in the garage will unload the tongue, and things will be much closer to normal.

I would replace the receiver.
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Old 12-14-2019, 08:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipp View Post
The tw to trailer weight ratio is %18.67. this is with an empty trailer. Design flaw by manufacture?
It is a toy hauler. From the specs I googled it looks like they are giving you some cushion to put 3.5k lbs. in the rear garage. Put a heavy toy in the rear garage and your TW will probably go down even though the total weight is increasing. From the Northwood website:

Dry Axle Weight (approx. Lbs.): 6770
Dry Hitch Weight (approx. Lbs.): 1533
Net Carrying Capacity: 3697
Gross Dry Weight – Lbs.: 8303
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR) – Lbs.: 12000



Towing your rig empty I would not bother with WDH. My 2019 3500 DRW is rated to tow 20k from the bumper with 2k lbs. of carry with no WD. I tow a 10-12k lbs. TT with about 15-1800 lbs. TW with no WDH without issue. IIRC, the 3500 SWR is also rated to carry 2k lbs. of TW without WD in conventional towing.
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:22 AM   #8
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This is an interesting thread. I do not understand the new design on the factory hitch and how it affects a WDH.

My hitch on my 2017 F-250 looks like it is just an extension of the frame. Same for the GM 2020 trucks that I looked at. And probably the same for Ram.

jjackrash has a point as these new trucks say you can carry more weight w/o a WDH.

I, for the life of me can not understand what the old style hitches that were bolted onto the frame...thus making it part of the frame, how is that any different than todays hitches? The weight of the trailer is placed just behind the rear bumper like always.

What has changed in the last few years? Is it the stiffer truck frame?
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:59 AM   #9
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What is the tongue weight rating on the receiver? Are you using the correct size shank that matches the receiver, no adapter? How much weight is lost on the front axle before the WDH is applied? Are you trying to restore more then half of that? Vehicle manufacturers don’t want you to exceed 15% TW on conventional trailers and you are. You are probably trying to apply more rotational torque then the receiver is rated for. Using the receiver outside it’s intense rating is not a design flaw.
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Old 12-15-2019, 12:38 PM   #10
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The GM HD trucks typically have a 2,000 tongue weight capacity from the Factory. I looked at a F-350 a few days ago and even the 1 ton truck only had a 1,500 tongue weight capacity. GM rules in this department.

P.S. I do not know about Ram HD trucks but I expect them to at least match the Ford.
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Old 12-15-2019, 12:48 PM   #11
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I think this is about the trailer configuration not the reciever. Definitely confounding...

I think the most simple answer is to move some of the weight into the garage behind the axles.

That all depends on what type of stuff the OP has to move in that area and how easily the OP can do that.

He has done all the right things so far which I understand makes this aggravating.

We are very interested in the ultimate solution.

Bill
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redapple View Post
I think this is about the trailer configuration not the reciever. Definitely confounding...

I think the most simple answer is to move some of the weight into the garage behind the axles.

That all depends on what type of stuff the OP has to move in that area and how easily the OP can do that.

He has done all the right things so far which I understand makes this aggravating.

We are very interested in the ultimate solution.

Bill
I do agree this is a trailer issue but trying to restore all the weight lost from the front axle with a WDH is wrong.
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:54 PM   #13
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Thank you for the feedback and questions.

I'd like to hear more about my expectations on how much weight should be restored to the steer axle, from the WDH. According to the manufacturer, BlueOx, I should not be losing weight on the steer axle and instead the steer axle should go up in weight once i'm all hooked up. Is that not accurate?

Unloaded with nothing in tow my steer axle is 4780, but loses 300lbs with a 1/2 a loaded camper attached. Its even less once i load up gear, which is when the issues begin. The issues are I start pushing the 7000lbs rear axle weight limit (6800lbs, on drive axle, at my last trip to the scales with a loaded camper). Its not all tongue weight, however, its weight transferring from the front of my vehicle to the rear axle. This is clear and can be confirmed by doing the math.

I do note that the WDH does a better job of distributing weight, the more nose down, my trailer is ( or rather, the lower my ball height is, the less weight i lose on the steer axle), doing a 5" nose dive (19" from frame to ground in front and 24" from frame to ground in rear of trailer), i loose only 150ish lbs of steer axle - but i dont want to travel nose down - so i've compromised - truck sits dead level, camper does a 3" nose dive - not too bad.

I do understand that Northwood intends a heavy toy to be used by my toy is only 380ish lbs. I bring a Suzuki DR650 - its not a big heavy side by side, but it is my 'toy' and it fits the need for how I camp/travel/explore. I also keep the toy tank full of fuel, which is a bit more weight (supposed to be 40 gals of fuel, but from day one, having an empty tank it only took 27 gallons of fuel, so i'd say max 30gal capable fill capacity), so it helps some.

My truck is the 3500 SRW, 2018, but the receiver is only rated for only 1500lbs tongue weight and 13000 lbs towing capacity. pic attached of the label on the hitch. i can grab better pics tomorrow, for those interested, in where the receiver connects to the frame and to the BUMPER.
Here is a link to the pic of the label - hope this works.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/MCnhG3bPk715bhSd9

In a post above someone asked which chain link my tow bars were on, and there was some comment to possibly tighten up the links. I will warn you caution on going past link 10. A tech at blue ox also advised me to go up to link 11 and 12, which is the max where only 1/2 a link is between the bar and the trailer bracket - i did, and guess what - it worked better, it rode super rough, but weight properly distributed weight (and rode in this configuration for over 15,000 miles) BUT two things happened - the bolts holding the trailer bracket sheered on one side, one day when making a sharp reverse turn, also, after time, the bars became permanently bent/bowed - Blue Ox support has been great, they replaced the bars, bolts and brackets and advised that they do not recommend going past link 11 and using 10 as the max recommend link. I only realized that my bars were bowed a week ago, and the replacement bars just came in this week. I towed with them this weekend - having non bowed bars fixed the front-to-rear push-pull i was experiencing, while towing. :thumbsup: - way better towing experience.
Here is a pic of a good place to keep your chain links:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/2jQZnpLMuM5tnmTd6

Here is a pic of bow'd bars from using link 12 - it doesnt look like much but made a big difference in the way the camper towed. the bowed bars created a push-pull effect - enough to make your neck tired on just a 3 hour tow. - however blueox did say they should not have bowed and that the these must not have been heat treated properly.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/86isv6mEeHR1xJiM6


Anyway, I'm strongly considering changing the factory receiver since it is over weight. Fully loaded my TW of the trailer is right at 2000lbs, and the front end of the truck gets light - steering changes, really bouncy front end - which is why i'm wanting my WDH to do a better job of distributing weight. Honestly, its probably just to much weight for a SRW truck *shrug* i wouldn't have bought the camper had i known the TW would be so much - there is a sticker on the camper somewhere, manufacture states the average tongue weight is 1640lbs. dunno how they came up with that - maybe an empty camper with only a side by side in the back and a full tank of fuel in the toy tank?

I do not use a receiver reducer. the shank is full size 2 1/2" or whatever it is. its the size up from the 2".

If and when i do change the factory receiver, i will re-weigh and report back - just for kicks and giggles.

or i could just get a motorcycle carrier for the front of the truck and hang the bike off the front! ha!
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:33 PM   #14
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Check the vehicles owners manual for the recommended amount of weight to return to the front axle. Most now days are 50% so if the addition of TW removes 500 lbs they only want you to return 250 lbs or half of it.
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