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Old 04-21-2015, 04:37 PM   #1
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Where/how to move the weight?

Hi guys, another weight question. We are on our 4th camping season with our Bunkhouse and still loving it. Unfortunately we have really packed it full of stuff we "must" have and I also have a robust tool kit in the Excursion. I suspected I was overweight or close so I hit the CAT scales during our March trip. 19,200 lbs combined (full tank). Last time I tongue scaled the trailer it was right at 1,200 lbs. I failed to split my axles so all I knew was that I was 740lbs over on the truck and about 1,500 under on the trailer max. We just took another trip and I hit the scales again but not before I moved stuff around. I put the truck tools in the trailer just aft of the rear axle. Moved our 6 gallons of water (jugs) just in front of the trailer axle. I removed our folding wagon (with a tear in my eye) and then put two kids bikes inside the truck and two adult bikes on the nose of the truck. The tongue scale showed 900 lbs. The Trailer showed 9,060 lbs and the Truck was 4,320 lbs front and 5,360 lbs rear with 3/4 tank of gas (I know I know, full tank better weight). So I'm guessing that I'm still about 190 lbs over the rear axle weight (110 lbs plus 80 lbs of fuel) but have several hundred pounds that can go on the front axle.

So this is my question: Do I adjust the bars on my Equalizer hitch in an effort to push more weight to the front? The truck is nearly flat right now loaded up and trailer attached. Would doing so take too much tongue weight away from me? I'm afraid of getting too light on the tongue. My other idea is to take all of the bikes out and off of the truck and install a rear bike rack on the trailer (professional install, not using OEM bumper). I'm again afraid that doing this would take too much off my tongue?

I know some of you will be frothing at the mouth that I'm towing so close to my limits , I'm sorry but it's what I have right now and can't change TV's right now. I can go on a diet and that is the solution I'm looking for, but not sure of the best route.

Thanks guys!

Joe
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:07 PM   #2
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Sounds like you had scope creep with all the 'stuff' you take camping. You can buy altra lite $4,000 bicycles for everyone. Pack more shorts and tee shirts and fewer long pants and sweatshirts.

Sounds like you need to take a harder look at all the stuff.

Good luck.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:17 PM   #3
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Scope creep, ha...you must also be in construction.

Nice bikes. Good idea to review our stuff. Think I can get a little bit that way. Still need to move stuff around though.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:52 PM   #4
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I have always heard it is better to carry items in the TV vs the trailer. Maybe someone can chime in to verify this.

But in your case you are worried about axle weights. With that, typically you can adjust the WD hitch to shift some of the weight but I do not know to what extent. (That is what you are actually asking).

Lol...I thought you would like the idea of buying super duper lite $4,000 bicycles.
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
The Trailer showed 9,060 lbs and the Truck was 4,320 lbs front and 5,360 lbs rear with 3/4 tank of gas (I know I know, full tank better weight). So I'm guessing that I'm still about 190 lbs over the rear axle weight (110 lbs plus 80 lbs of fuel) but have several hundred pounds that can go on the front axle.
You may already know this but JFI the Excursion uses Fords 10.5" Sterling rear axle which is rated up to 6830 lb.

Ford uses it in the Excursion but derates it with a soft ride 5250 lb rear spring pack.

Fords body service specs shows OEM wheels are rated in the 3400 lb range and tires in the 3000 lb range.

Point is the RAWR weak link is the Excursions soft 5230 lb rear spring pack. If those soft sister rear springs sag too much you can alwys add air bags or SuperSprings or Timbrens or another aftermarket rear suspension to help level the load.
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:05 AM   #6
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I didn't know the sterling was rated that high. I added a coil rear helper spring from RAS. It works great and the truck doesn't sag.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:52 AM   #7
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Your probem is not the rear GAWR. With your mods, you have plenty of rear GAWR. But your 4x4 X-Car has GVWR of only 9,200 pounds, and you exceed that. by 480 pounds.

Tighten up the WDH will distribute more weight to the trailer axles, and you may need to adjust the hitch head angle to distribute more weight to the trailer axles. But you cannot get rid of all 480 pounds of excess tongue weight by hitch adjustment.

With your rig, I would weigh the rig enough times to know exactly how much weight is being distributed off the rear axle. Weigh the rig with the spring bars tight, then weigh it again without the spring bars. If you have a tongue weight scale then you don't also need to weigh the TV without the trailer. Calculate the tongue weight being distributed. Your goal is 20 to 25 percent to the trailer axles, 20 to 25 % to the front axle, leaving 50% to 60% on the rear axle of the TV. If you get the hitch adjusted to hit the goal, and you're still overloaded, the only thing left is to get rid of some weight .
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:08 AM   #8
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Smokey,

So with a full tank I'd be about 560 lbs over weight on the truck. I have a tongue scale and after moving around weight before that last trip to the CAT scale I was at 900 lbs of tongue weight. I'm afraid to have less than that with my long trailer. I feel that I can remove another 200lbs from the truck. I'm not sure I follow you on how I can shed the other 360 lbs using the hitch, and not getting too light on the tongue weight?

Thanks,

Joe
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbenoit28 View Post
I have a tongue scale and after moving around weight before that last trip to the CAT scale I was at 900 lbs of tongue weight. I'm afraid to have less than that with my long trailer.

Trailer axle weight of 9,060 plus 900 pounds tongue weight = 9960 gross trailer weight. 10% of 9960 = 996 pounds minimum tongue weight. If that 900 pounds of tongue weight is the undistributed tongue weight, then you're already too light on the tongue.

So don't try to reduce tongue weight, but instead distribute more of the tongue weight back to the trailer axles. With 900 pounds of tongue weight, you could adjust the hitch to distribute up to 225 pounds of tongue weight back to the trailer axles. With the more suitable 1,000 pounds of tongue weight, you could distribute up to 250 pounds. Yeah, you'll still be overloaded, but the plain fact is that you cannot tow a 10,000-pound TT with an X-Car without being overloaded.

Quote:
I'm not sure I follow you on how I can shed the other 360 lbs using the hitch, and not getting too light on the tongue weight?
You can't. You can help it a bit by getting close to 25% of the tongue weight distributed to the trailer axles. But that's a drop in the bucket in your case.


Quote:
I know some of you will be frothing at the mouth that I'm towing so close to my limits...
Your gross rig weight is not over the GCWR of your SUV, assuming you have either the diesel engine or the V-10 with 4.30 axle ratio. That's probably why you haven't noticed being overloaded. Your X-Car has plenty of power and torque to drag that 10,000 pound trailer. But you're several hundred pounds over the GVWR of your SUV, so your suspension is overloaded and your brakes will be overloaded if you ever need to panic stop. You have masked the suspension overloading with aftermarket mods, so your headlights don't blink oncoming traffic, But your brakes are designed to stop 9,200 pounds, and if you have over 9,200 pounds on the two axles of the SUV then the brakes are overloaded. And that assumes the trailer brakes work flawlessly.

No matter how much you rationalize it, towing with overloaded brakes is not safe. That's why some of us froth at the mouth when discussing overloaded tow vehicles.
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:34 PM   #10
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Brakes have nothing to do with trailer capacity. The vehicle stops itself and the trailer is equiped with proper brakes. No vehicles can stop the combined load i know. I tried while trailer brakes failed. The vehicle front wheels will fail first. That also apply to the F550.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:14 PM   #11
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Brakes and suspensions on the truck and/or trailer are the function of the trucks and the trailers GAWRs FAWR and RAWR at a minimum.

The Excursion may have a 4700 fawr and a 5250 rawr = 9950 lbs of braking performance at a minimum.
The trailer may have tandem 5200 lb axle = 10400 lb of braking performance.

Your combination has at a minimum 20350 lb of braking performance and load carrying capacity.

This is one reason dot doesn't use the truck makers GVWR to determine its load....on the front or rear axle or the trailer axles.

Any vehicle like a truck that carries a load be it a 1500 or a 5500 truck won't stop like a sports car ....even a class 8 tractor/trailer combo takes a long ways to get shut down.

Try different load arrangements in both vehicles and different WD adjustments till you get what your looking for.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:23 PM   #12
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Brakes have nothing to do with trailer capacity.
Correct. But brakes on the tow vehicle are designed to stop the GVWR of the tow vehicle, not more. So trailer hitch weight that causes the GVWR of the tow vehicle to be exceeded has a lot to do with safe towing.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:37 AM   #13
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Smokey,

I can't have you frothing at the mouth :-) That is why I'm asking these questions, and I want to tow safely. I'm going to put the trailer on a diet and take weight out of the truck and rescale it.

My hobby is racing. My rotors are all slotted and cryogenic treated. Pads are Hawk LT. Fluid has all been flushed with AP600. Trailer brakes were just checked, proper working order for drums, wish I had discs.

So if I raise/tighten my bars that will transfer some weight back to the trailer?

Joe
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:50 AM   #14
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So if I raise/tighten my bars that will transfer some weight back to the trailer?
Yeah, not much but a little. The goal is 20% to 25% of tongue weight distributed to the trailer axles.

If you get the spring bars too tight, then the rear tires will spin too easily on sand, gravel, wet pavement, or other road surfaces that don't have good traction.

Best bet is to weigh the rig with and without the spring bars to see how much tongue weight remains on the rear axle of the SUV when the spring bars are tight. At least 50% of the tongue weight should remain on the rear axle.
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