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Old 12-10-2013, 02:49 PM   #1
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Hitch question about lift

I have a 3/4 ton truck pulling a 24ft travel trailer approximately 5,000 lbs empty. I have a standard hitch with two leveling bars/chains and a sway bar or tensioner. My trailer is level when hooked to the truck which is level also. Do I need to install the two leveling bars with a little tension on them anyway? I can still use the sway bar to prevent sway.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:57 PM   #2
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You probably don't need much tension on the bars, but putting them on with some tension will help it chuck a little less. Need to? Nah. But not a bad idea.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:27 PM   #3
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Sounds like you don't need to but putting them on will really help take the bounce out of the ride. You will notice the difference going over rolls or bumps in the road on train tracks and bridge expansion gaps etc. Just don't make them tight. Taking too much weight off the back of the truck will lead to body roll and sway in the back of the truck as well as be unsafe.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:41 PM   #4
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I'm presuming you are talking about a load distributing hitch ?

Jim
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:10 PM   #5
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YES. load distributing hitch
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksmith View Post
I have a standard hitch with two leveling bars/chains and a sway bar or tensioner. My trailer is level when hooked to the truck which is level also. Do I need to install the two leveling bars with a little tension on them anyway?
Yes.

First you need to know the tongue weight of your wet and loaded trailer. (Nobody tows an empty trailer). If your wet and loaded trailer tongue weight is 800 pounds, then your goal is to distribute about half of that tongue weight off the rear axle of the tow vehicle.

If the hitch is properly adjusted, then with normal tension on the weight-distributing (WD) bars about 25% of the tongue weight will go to the front axle of the tow vehicle, and another 25% will go back to the trailer axles, leaving about half or about 400 pounds on the rear axle of the tow vehicle.

Weigh the wet and loaded rig with the trailer tied on and the WD bars not tight. Then weigh it again, with the WD bars tight. Compare the weight on the rear axle of the tow vehicle with and without the WD bars tightened. That difference is the amount of tongue weight the WD hitch removed from the rear axle. It should be between about 40% and 60% of the total tongue weight. More than 60% means you have the WD bars too tight. Less than 40% means you probably have the WD bars too loose.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:19 AM   #7
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Yes.

First you need to know the tongue weight of your wet and loaded trailer. (Nobody tows an empty trailer). If your wet and loaded trailer tongue weight is 800 pounds, then your goal is to distribute about half of that tongue weight off the rear axle of the tow vehicle.

If the hitch is properly adjusted, then with normal tension on the weight-distributing (WD) bars about 25% of the tongue weight will go to the front axle of the tow vehicle, and another 25% will go back to the trailer axles, leaving about half or about 400 pounds on the rear axle of the tow vehicle.

Weigh the wet and loaded rig with the trailer tied on and the WD bars not tight. Then weigh it again, with the WD bars tight. Compare the weight on the rear axle of the tow vehicle with and without the WD bars tightened. That difference is the amount of tongue weight the WD hitch removed from the rear axle. It should be between about 40% and 60% of the total tongue weight. More than 60% means you have the WD bars too tight. Less than 40% means you probably have the WD bars too loose.
So I can get the entire rig weighed and thet certify it for $4.00 at tge local county
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post

Yes.

First you need to know the tongue weight of your wet and loaded trailer. (Nobody tows an empty trailer). If your wet and loaded trailer tongue weight is 800 pounds, then your goal is to distribute about half of that tongue weight off the rear axle of the tow vehicle.

If the hitch is properly adjusted, then with normal tension on the weight-distributing (WD) bars about 25% of the tongue weight will go to the front axle of the tow vehicle, and another 25% will go back to the trailer axles, leaving about half or about 400 pounds on the rear axle of the tow vehicle.

Weigh the wet and loaded rig with the trailer tied on and the WD bars not tight. Then weigh it again, with the WD bars tight. Compare the weight on the rear axle of the tow vehicle with and without the WD bars tightened. That difference is the amount of tongue weight the WD hitch removed from the rear axle. It should be between about 40% and 60% of the total tongue weight. More than 60% means you have the WD bars too tight. Less than 40% means you probably have the WD bars too loose.
So I can get the entire rig weighed and they certify it for $4.00 at the local county
Dump but how do you get tongue weight on a huge scale? I thought I would park trailer wheels off sale with tongue on scale. Is there a better way?
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:25 AM   #9
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Either have JUST the tongue jack on the scale or have the truck weighed with no trailer on it then weight the truck and trailer together. The difference on the trucks rear axle is tongue weight.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:07 AM   #10
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Or you could do this. I did this and it was really close to the scaled weight. Considering the scales in Oregon are in 50lb increments.
Measuring trailer tongue weight with a bathroom scale
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:03 PM   #11
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Either have JUST the tongue jack on the scale or have the truck weighed with no trailer on it then weight the truck and trailer together. The difference on the trucks rear axle is tongue weight.

I have a scale about 30 - 40 foot long one piece so the truck alone is about 7500 and the trailer is about 5000 for example, total weight is 12,500. where is the tongue weight in that unless you are using a different scale that measures each axle. I guess I could weigh the truck and trailer separate then the tongue alone.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:05 PM   #12
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Or you could do this. I did this and it was really close to the scaled weight. Considering the scales in Oregon are in 50lb increments.
Measuring trailer tongue weight with a bathroom scale

now that would cost more for the wood than the $4.00 for the dump scale. Thanks and that is different but cool.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:16 PM   #13
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I have a scale about 30 - 40 foot long one piece so the truck alone is about 7500 and the trailer is about 5000 for example, total weight is 12,500. where is the tongue weight in that unless you are using a different scale that measures each axle. I guess I could weigh the truck and trailer separate then the tongue alone.
Yea, forgot it's one piece. Just drop the tongue jack on it only. Easy enough.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:35 PM   #14
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I have a scale about 30 - 40 foot long one piece so the truck alone is about 7500 and the trailer is about 5000 for example, total weight is 12,500. where is the tongue weight in that unless you are using a different scale that measures each axle. I guess I could weigh the truck and trailer separate then the tongue alone.
You cannot check weight distribution with a one-pad scale. You can get just the tongue weight the way jesilvas indicated. But to check your weight distribution you have to have a three-pad truck scale, such as a CAT scale or a "J" scale at some Flyin' Js.

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Either have JUST the tongue jack on the scale or have the truck weighed with no trailer on it then weight the truck and trailer together. The difference on the trucks rear axle is tongue weight.
Close, but no cigar. The difference in the truck's GVW is the tongue weight. GVW = the weight on both truck axles, not just the rear axle.
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