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Old 06-30-2012, 04:49 PM   #1
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Question LOADING and WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION

Question... When loading your TT for travel, do you load heavier items toward the front; over the axle; or toward the rear of your TT?

Thanks in advance for the input and advice.
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpriest View Post
Question... When loading your TT for travel, do you load heavier items toward the front; over the axle; or toward the rear of your TT?
It depends on how much extra payload capacity your tow vehicle has.

If you don't have quite enough truck to handle the hitch weight of the TT without exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle, then load the trailer so you have 10% to 11% hitch weight. MINIMUM 10% hitch weight, but try to keep it below 11% by moving heavy stuff behind the trailer axles.

But if you have enuff truck, then about 15% hitch weight is fine and dandy, and more than 15% won't hurt anything.

To do it right, you need to weigh the wet and loaded TT on a CAT scale, with the trailer axles on one pad. That will give you the weight on the trailer axles. Then weigh the tongue with a Sherline tongue weight scale to get tongue weight.
Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale - 2,000-lb Capacity Sherline Tools 5780


Or weigh the combined truck and trailer unit once without the WD bars connected, then weigh the truck only, without the trailer but otherwise loaded the same, including the shank and ball mount for the WD hitch. The difference in the GVW of the truck will be your hitch weight. (GVW = total weight on front and rear axles.)

Then:
hitch weight,
divided by
(weight on the trailer axles + hitch weight)
= the percent of hitch weight.
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Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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Here is what I've got so far:

Truck weights/capacities (base) .............Actuals (w/driver, low fuel)

GVWR: 6700 lbs
Base weight: 5484 lbs ..............................5980 lbs
Base weight front: 3186 lbs .....................3320 lbs
Base weight rear: 2298 lbs ......................2660 lbs
GAWR front: 3900 lbs
GAWR rear: 3900 lbs
GCWR: 13000 lbs
GTW MAX: 7350 lbs

Trailer weights/capacities (empty)

Dry axle wt. 4500 lbs
Dry hitch wt. 550 lbs
Net carry cap. 2450 lbs
GVW (empty) 5050 lbs
GVWR 7500 lbs


The truck can handle much more AWR (~1200 lbs) but only has 720 lbs remaining of GVWR. So it can handle a couple hundred more lbs on the hitch and the hitch is rated for much more.

Now, you'll notice when I weighed the truck, the actuals were taken with a pretty much empty tank. If you add 22 gal of fuel @ 6.3 lbs per gal, I am adding ~140 lbs. So that leaves me with only 580 lbs before I hit the truck's GVWR. ...Grrrrr

I think I'm gonna be right at the limits of the TV's GVWR AND right at the GCWR once I've loaded the trailer.

It's gonna take some trial and error to get all the actual weight values balanced but I can't do much more than guestimate at this point because I have yet to pick-up the trailer.

BTW - I am not putting a WD hitch at this time. I don't think it will be needed - based on the weights I've verified thus far.

As always, thanks for the input.
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:26 PM   #4
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...On second thought, a WD hitch might just be what I am missing.

SmokeyWren - What are your thoughts?
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jpriest View Post
...On second thought, a WD hitch might just be what I am missing.

SmokeyWren - What are your thoughts?
The 2012 Ford RV and Trailer Towing Guide says a Class IV trailer has over 5,000 pounds gross trailer weight, and most applications require a conventional weight-distributing or 5th-wheel hitch.

I'll bet Dodge and GM say the same thing. All the recognized towing experts say you should never tow a tag trailer that weighs over 5,000 pounds without a WD hitch. So I don't.

On a 4,000-mile towing trip around Memorial Day weekend, my TT grossed about 4,900 pounds with 4,220 on the trailer axles. I towed it with a Reese Strait-Line dual-cam WD hitch. No problems, other than my MPG for those 4,000 miles was less than I had hoped for.

At 11,420 pounds GCW, I was well under the 14,000 GCWR of my EcoBoost drivetrain. But at 7,200 pounds GVW, I was slightly over the 7,100 GVWR of my F-150.

We're leaving again tomorrow for a 600 mile jaunt. I'll move some weight from the front basement to the rear closet and hope to get below the GVWR of my tow vehicle.
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:47 AM   #6
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Thanks, Smokey. I do appreciate the insight. I'm gonna see what types/brands WD hitches the dealer sells. Perhaps I'll just have them put something on just for good measure.
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