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Old 04-21-2016, 06:22 AM   #1
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Towing question

I am new to TT towing. I have a 2014 ford f150 lariat with the tow package and electric brake. Truck dry is 4980 my Mini lite 25 foot is 4970 and has a rear bedroom. Reported with 560# tongue weight
I had a eazlift WD bar and hitch installed by the dealer. It has the chains to adjust the bars. Rated at 1000# tongue weight

Truck and trailer sits level and pulls pretty well. I have noticed there are times running 45-60 mph where it seems the trailer raises and falls on the hitch and The rear of the truck seems to rise and fall. This occurs on flat roads. I have only towed it twice and maybe 100 mile each trip.

I believe this is due to too light a load on the hitch. What is your thoughts and advise...Please
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:19 AM   #2
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If you have too much weight to the rear of the trailer axle(s?) it will act like a pivot. I would get some good weights of the hitch when loaded. I found the weights given by manufacturer were not exactly accurate.
I have a toy hauler and even though I usually carry about the same amount of toys I weigh the hitch regularly to insure 10-15%. I bought this https://www.etrailer.com/Tools/Sherline/5780.html to keep things in check.
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Texan79423 View Post
Truck dry is 4980 my Mini lite 25 foot is 4970 and has a rear bedroom. Reported with 560# tongue weight
Dry weights don't matter anymore, your vehicles aren't "dry" once you load them up with anything, like water, fuel, etc. Those "dry" weights no longer matter, you live in the real world.

Go get the rig weighed. First, truck without trailer, loaded up with the family and other things you want to take camping with you.

Then hitch up the trailer and go around and weigh it without the weight distribution system engaged. Now you will know the tongue weight, and your truck and trailer GCVW.

Then, if you like, you can engage the weight distribution system and see what that does to your axles weights.

Each time you go around to re-weight after the first one, tell the scale operator that you are reweighing your rig. Reweighs are cheaper than two or three first weights.

Bottom line, you won't know what your weights are or how that weight is distributed until you just go weigh it all at a scale. Period. Then you'll know if you have things set up right and that will give you confidence that it's set up right, and you might even enjoy your trailer towing a little more knowing the facts about the weight of your rig.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:59 AM   #4
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Would agree with your assessment, need more weight on the trailer. Did you measure your front wheel well height before and after attaching trailer dead weight? You are not going to need very much weight distribution with that TV and 560 tongue weight. Might want to weigh the tongue weight to get an accurate measure. I would try to load the front of the trailer, put more weight on the tongue and make better use of your wd. Your truck manual should tell you about measuring the wheel well height differences.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:06 AM   #5
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You may be putting too much distribution to the front axle.
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:30 PM   #6
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I also believe you may not have enough hitch weight. The sherline scale is a great investment, then you will know exactly what your weights are.
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Old 04-21-2016, 04:55 PM   #7
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Thanks guys

My first impression was not enough tongue weight. My truck had less that 1/2 inch change on the front wheel well. The bars are level with the tongue/frame with 2 of the seven chain links loose at top. I know I need to weigh all of this for a "correct answer" and any change.

Next question to add tongue weight would that require tilting the ball slightly aft or to rear say one washer or put the chain in the sixth link one left over to tilt bars slightly downward to pull weight of truck front wheels?
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Old 04-21-2016, 05:42 PM   #8
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When you applied the WD, did your truck reclaim that 1/2 inch? If your truck well only rose 1/2 inch, you basically do not need any WD. The only thing tilting the ball would do is change the angle of the WD bars, it would not add tongue weight. Load most of your trailer items in the front of your trailer. Not knowing the type of sway control system you have, I would first try no WD, only sway control and see how it handles. I have a 2013 F-150 Platinum and 500 pounds on the back has almost no negligible change in raising the front of the truck. I would try to put at least 700 pounds on your hitch. Get a tongue scale and see actually how much the tongue weighs.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:00 PM   #9
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Check the owners manual for how to adjust your hitch.
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Old 04-22-2016, 06:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Texan79423 View Post
Next question to add tongue weight would that require tilting the ball slightly aft or to rear say one washer or put the chain in the sixth link one left over to tilt bars slightly downward to pull weight of truck front wheels?
You apparently don't understand how to set up a WD hitch. Before you begin, you must have a tongue weight scale or use an alternative method to determine your actual tongue of the wet and loaded trailer. Then when you weigh the rig, it should be with a 3-pad truck scale that will give you separate weights for the front axle, rear axle and trailer axles.

First step is to adjust the spring bars so about 50% to 60% of total tongue weight is on the rear axle. After you achieve the correct setting on the spring bars, then don't mess with the spring bar adjustment again.

Next step is to adjust the angle of the head of the hitch so approximately the same amount of tongue weight is distributed to the trailer axles and the front axle of the tow vehicle. If 60% of the tongue weight remains on the rear axle. than about 20% of the tongue weight should be distributed to the trailer axles and another 20% of the tongue weight should be distributed to the front axle of the tow vehicle. So the ideal final weight distribution should be between 20-60-20 to 25-50-25 percent.

So obviously you must know the tongue weight before you begin to fine-tune-the weight distribution. Then you must weigh the rig with the spring bars disconnected. Then connect the spring bars to about the setting you think should be close, and weigh the rig again. Then compute the percentages of weight distribution.

Example with a trailer that weighed a bit over 4,000 pounds.

Tongue weight = 650

Weight without spring bars connected:
front axle = 3040
rear axle = 3880
trailer axles = 3480
GCW = 10400

Weigh with spring bars tightened:
front axle =3280 = +240 = 36.9% of 650 = too much
rear axle = 3520 = minus 360 pounds distributed off the rear axle, leaves 290 pounds on the rear axle = 44.6% tongue weight on the rear axle = not enough.
trailer axles = 3620 = +140 = 21.5% 0f 650
GCW = 10,420 = 20# scale error caused by rounding.

So ignore the 20# scale error. The spring bars are a bit too tight because too much weight was removed from the rear axle. The percent moved to the trailer axles is about right but way too much was moved to the front axle. So back off a notch on the spring bar adjustment, and tilt the head a bit to result in less weight being distributed to the front axle. Then weigh the rig again.

If you're no better at estimating weights than I am, then it may require several trips across the CAT scale before you get the adjustment down pat.

Remember the goal: Distribution of tongue weight between 20-60-20 and 25-50-25 percent of total tongue weight
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:48 AM   #11
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Thanks Smokey

Your right I do not understand all of this enough to gamble on it myself.

Your explaination is the best I have read, yet. Thanks big time. The dealer set up the WD and I am sure it is close and just needs a small tune up to be 100%.
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:50 AM   #12
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When you go to get your rig weighed at the truck stop take a golf club or something shaped like it to reach the very highly mounted call button. Sometimes the inside clerk is not watching the camera so you pull on and need to hit this call button.

Weekends are a good time to get weighed as the truck traffic is less.

You should be able to get weighed multiple times in the same day. $10 first time and much less 2nd time. Make any adjustments while at the truck stop.

Oh...maybe make a dry run w/o the trailer just to see the truck stop set-up.

Good luck
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:55 AM   #13
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The dealer set up the WD and I am sure it is close and just needs a small tune up to be 100%.
I wouldn't assume that the dealer did it right. My wonderful dealer sent me on my way with the bolts loose.

When you do get the hitch set up as good as possible, then you might want to add shocks to the trailer.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:26 AM   #14
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When you go to get your rig weighed at the truck stop take a golf club or something shaped like it to reach the very highly mounted call button. Sometimes the inside clerk is not watching the camera so you pull on and need to hit this call button.
I used one yesterday tha thad a button that must sense something touching it as when I touched it it didn't move, but the fuel desk clerk responded in a few seconds. Also be ready for the button to possibly not work.

Quote:
You should be able to get weighed multiple times in the same day. $10 first time and much less 2nd time.
The scale I used yesterday at a Pilot truck stop was $10.50 for the first weigh, and $2.50 for a reweigh.
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