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Old 03-29-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
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WDH?

Hello All,
I am not quite sure that I understand the performance figure for a WDH. If my trailer weighs (fully loaded) 8500 lbs. Does that compute to a tongue weight of approx. 1000 lbs? If so, does the WDH,when properly installed, lower the actual tongue weight by what per cent? Does that then change the rear axle weight rating on the tow vehicle? I Have a 2011 Ford Expedition 4x4 with the HD towing package, rated at 9000 lbs of tow. rear axle 4250 lbs. 5.4 litre engine.
I am retired and my wife and I would like to do some traveling. I have towed several different style boats over the years, but none have been this heavy. Any info would be greatly appreciated. The RV dealership has said everything is fine, but I want to get some other opinions. Thanks, Joe.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:44 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BuckeyeJoe View Post
Hello All,
I am not quite sure that I understand the performance figure for a WDH. If my trailer weighs (fully loaded) 8500 lbs. Does that compute to a tongue weight of approx. 1000 lbs? If so, does the WDH,when properly installed, lower the actual tongue weight by what per cent? Does that then change the rear axle weight rating on the tow vehicle? I Have a 2011 Ford Expedition 4x4 with the HD towing package, rated at 9000 lbs of tow. rear axle 4250 lbs. 5.4 litre engine.
I am retired and my wife and I would like to do some traveling. I have towed several different style boats over the years, but none have been this heavy. Any info would be greatly appreciated. The RV dealership has said everything is fine, but I want to get some other opinions. Thanks, Joe.
Your set up sounds like it will work fine. It will not be a hot rod, but no problem.

You are thinking about the hitch all wrong. The hitch weight will depend on how you load the trailer and can actually be lowered to zero by loading the rear or the trailer.

The weight distributing hitch does not lower the hitch weight...it only splits the weight between the trailer tongue and the receiver hitch, preventing droop or squat in the rear of the truck. It also acts as sway control and improves the ride.

I bet you will probably will spend more time adjusting the electric brakes than thinking about the hitch.

Best of luck and safe travels
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:07 AM   #3
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Thank you, I understand a little better. I did not realize that it lifted the tongue up, which would push the nose of the truck down. (Light switch just turned on) I did know to load the back end, but that could cause sway. Anyway I now get it. Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:11 AM   #4
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The WDH works much like a wheelbarrow. When you pick up the wheelbarrow handels / WDH bars. You are then carrying part of the weight on the handels / bars. Notice this also puts weight on the front wheel as well, as does your WDH. So while the tongue weight does not change, and you don't want it to. Some of it is transfered to the front axle, and to the trailer axles. But most of it stays on the rear of the TV.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:30 AM   #5
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So getting back to the question. What percentage of weight is distributed? 20-30 -40-50 ? The reason I'm asking is for how much cargo weight I can comfortably put in the tow vehicle My vehicle weighs with a full tank of gas 6115lbs GVW is 7800 by axles or 7500by vehicles door sticker.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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So getting back to the question. What percentage of weight is distributed? 20-30 -40-50 ? The reason I'm asking is for how much cargo weight I can comfortably put in the tow vehicle My vehicle weighs with a full tank of gas 6115lbs GVW is 7800 by axles or 7500by vehicles door sticker.
100% of the hitch weight will be distributed. Since the WDH completely changes how the weight is carried on all wheels (truck and trailer), your main focus will move toward the truck's Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR).

I had an Equalizer brand WDH on my last TT (solid bars with no chains) that would hold the rear of the truck at the preset level, no matter what the load was in the truck or trailer.

Your SUV would carry much less in the rear than a pick-up, so you could easily load it to the roof and still be good.

I would suggest that you avoid loading the truck to the point that it is sagging in the rear before hook up to the trailer, and avoid exceeding the GCWR of the truck.

Best of luck.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:00 PM   #7
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100% of the hitch weight will be distributed. Since the WDH completely changes how the weight is carried on all wheels (truck and trailer), your main focus will move toward the truck's Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR).

I had an Equalizer brand WDH on my last TT (solid bars with no chains) that would hold the rear of the truck at the preset level, no matter what the load was in the truck or trailer.

Your SUV would carry much less in the rear than a pick-up, so you could easily load it to the roof and still be good.

I would suggest that you avoid loading the truck to the point that it is sagging in the rear before hook up to the trailer, and avoid exceeding the GCWR of the truck.

Best of luck.
Thanks, I was thinking that the WDH would only partially distribute tongue weight.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
100% of the hitch weight will be distributed. Since the WDH completely changes how the weight is carried on all wheels (truck and trailer), your main focus will move toward the truck's Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR).

I had an Equalizer brand WDH on my last TT (solid bars with no chains) that would hold the rear of the truck at the preset level, no matter what the load was in the truck or trailer.

Your SUV would carry much less in the rear than a pick-up, so you could easily load it to the roof and still be good.

I would suggest that you avoid loading the truck to the point that it is sagging in the rear before hook up to the trailer, and avoid exceeding the GCWR of the truck.

Best of luck.
Pretty sure this is wrong. The tongue weight remains the same, And while some weight is transferred to the front axle, and some to the TT. The majority is still on the rear axle, Which is why the rear sags more than the front. IF the rear does not sag, or drop at all. You are transferring too much weight. You can actually pick up the rear of the TV. DON'T but you physically can.
You still have the problem of your TV's GVWR. You have to be sure the tongue weight does not put you over. 1. The GVWR of the truck, and 2 the GAWR of the axles. The only way to know that. Is to take the whole thing to the scales. The biggest problem with SUVs is the payload, or weight left over after finding the curb weight. Say you have a GVWR of 6500lbs, and your SUV weigh-es 5500 lbs. You have 1000lbs of payload. Say your family weigh-es 500 lbs all together. You have 500 lbs left over for tongue weight. Say your tongue weight is 700lbs. You are over weight. You are over the GVWR of the SUV. NOT GOOD.
No matter what you do. the tongue weight is still there. And 100% of it is on the ball in one way or other. So you still have to stay under the parameters set by the manufacturer of your SUV.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:20 PM   #9
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Pretty sure this is wrong....No matter what you do. the tongue weight is still there. And 100% of it is on the ball in one way or other. So you still have to stay under the parameters set by the manufacturer of your SUV.
If a picture tells 1000 words...then a video nails it home. In the video, is the exact system that I had on my big 'ol Dutchmen Denali (a well built and therefore heavy TT) and worked like a dream...but they pretty much all work the same.

While I TOTALLY agree with terryallen - to stay within mfgt parameters, GCWR that is the one that matters with a WDH:

And I quote: "...the hitch weight is evenly spread to all the axles of the tow vehicle..."

Equalizer Hitch - Weight Distribution - American RV Center, Evansville, IN - YouTube

Safe travels!
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Old 03-31-2013, 02:13 PM   #10
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in truth. You will normally be over the GVWR of the TV long before you reach the GCVWR. If you are already close to the GVWR of the TV, adding 800lb of tongue weight will put you over. "Most" 1/2 ton SUVs have little payload
I realize that even though the Equalizer commercial says it transferes it evenly. That is a over simplication for the commercial .
Normally what actually happens. Is IF by dropping the tongue down on the ball, You remove 100lbs from the front axle. Then 100lb is all you want to put back. The only true way to know how much you have transfered, is to take it to the scales, and weigh each axle with the TT hooked, and unhooked to actually see what has been moved. Y0u will find , or shoulf find that the front axle has only been returned to it's unhooked weight, and the rear TV axle is carrying the bulk of the tongue weight, with a smaller amount going back to the TT axle. That 800 lbs has to go somewhere, and most of it is on TV, with the largest part on the rear axle.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:03 PM   #11
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in truth. You will normally be over the GVWR of the TV long before you reach the GCVWR. If you are already close to the GVWR of the TV, adding 800lb of tongue weight will put you over. "Most" 1/2 ton SUVs have little payload
I realize that even though the Equalizer commercial says it transferes it evenly. That is a over simplication for the commercial .
Normally what actually happens. Is IF by dropping the tongue down on the ball, You remove 100lbs from the front axle. Then 100lb is all you want to put back. The only true way to know how much you have transfered, is to take it to the scales, and weigh each axle with the TT hooked, and unhooked to actually see what has been moved. Y0u will find , or shoulf find that the front axle has only been returned to it's unhooked weight, and the rear TV axle is carrying the bulk of the tongue weight, with a smaller amount going back to the TT axle. That 800 lbs has to go somewhere, and most of it is on TV, with the largest part on the rear axle.
I'm pretty sure this is wrong. So, I will try again to illustrate. First, you can easily reach GCWR with an empty tow vehicle...happens when towing a very heavy trailer. And...in the '70's Eaz Lift used an Olds Tornado (full sized front wheel drive car) with a WDH to tow a boat and TT...the Tornado needed no rear tires.

Hope this helps.
Best of luck and safe travels
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:29 PM   #12
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Now that is where a picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks again, I can totally see GCVR being implemented, and you sure would not want that particular set up.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post

I'm pretty sure this is wrong. So, I will try again to illustrate. First, you can easily reach GCWR with an empty tow vehicle...happens when towing a very heavy trailer. And...in the '70's Eaz Lift used an Olds Tornado (full sized front wheel drive car) with a WDH to tow a boat and TT...the Tornado needed no rear tires.

Hope this helps.
Best of luck and safe travels
I bet that setup with no rear tires would get pretty hairy in the mtns on a sharp curvy road.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:51 PM   #14
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If my trailer weighs (fully loaded) 8500 lbs. Does that compute to a tongue weight of approx. 1000 lbs?
Most TTs have tongue weight of about 12 to 15 percent of trailer weight, with 12.5% being the norm. So for an 8,500 pound trailer, tongue weight should be about 1,020 to 1,275, with 1062 being the norm.

Quote:
If so, does the WDH,when properly installed, lower the actual tongue weight by what per cent?
The tongue weight doesn't change. The WDH distributes that tongue weight to three different areas, the front axle, the rear axle, and the trailer axles. About 25% of the tongue weight goes to the front axle, another 25% goes to the trailer axles, and about 50% remains on the rear axle of the TV.

So if your tongue weight is 1,000 pounds, expect around 250 pounds to be added to the front axle of the TV, another 250 pounds to trailer axles, and the remaining 500 pounds to wind up on the rear axle of the TV.

Quote:
Does that then change the rear axle weight rating on the tow vehicle?
No. The rear GAWR doesn't change. But your actual weight on the rear axle will change. Here's mine:

2840 unloaded weight on rear axle
3880 wet and loaded weight on the rear axle without WDH
3520 wet and loaded weight on the rear axle with WDH
3850 rear GAWR

You don't care what the weight on the rear axle is without the WDH connected and adjusted, because you never tow without the WDH adjusted. But when on the road, weigh the rig on a certified automated truck (CAT) scale while the WDH is hooked up, and compare the weight on the rear axle of the TV to the rear GAWR of the TV. So in my case, 3520 wet and loaded weight on the rear axle with WDH compared to 3850 rear GAWR.

Here's a CAT scale ticket I got on a long towing trip trip last year:

3360 front axle (3750 front GAWR)
3840 rear axle (3850 rear GAWR)
-------
7200 GVW (7100 GVWR)
4220 trailer axles
-----------
11,420 GCW (14,000 GCWR)
================

So no problem with axle weights, but slightly overloaded over the GVWR of my TV.

Quote:
I Have a 2011 Ford Expedition 4x4 with the HD towing package, rated at 9000 lbs of tow. rear axle 4250 lbs. 5.4 litre engine.
The tow rating does not indicate the weight of a trailer you can tow without being overloaded. It tells you only the weight you can pull without being a rolling roadblock on hills or mountain passes, and without burning up something in the drivetrain.

Your GCWR is 15,000 pounds, so with a tow rating of 9,000 pounds that means your wet and loaded SUV cannot weigh more than 6,000 pounds if you want to tow a trailer that weighs close to 9,000 pounds. But any trip across the scales will show that your wet and loaded SUV ready for the road weighs a lot more than 6,000 pounds. So ignore that 9,000 pound tow rating and compute your realistic tow rating. Here's how:

Load the SUV with driver, family, pet(s), tools, other stuff, including the shank and ball mount from your WD hitch. Go to a truckstop that has a truck scale and fill up with gas. Then weigh the wet and loaded SUV (without a trailer). Subtract the weight of the SUV from the GVWR of the SUV and the answer is the max hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. Divide that max hitch weight by 15% (0.15) and the answer is the max weight of any TT you want to tow.

My guess? The max weight of any TT you want to tow is a lot less than the 8,500 pounds in your post.
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