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Old 02-24-2013, 11:39 AM   #1
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WDH & Hitch Mount Bike Rack

I'm not a fan of putting a bike carrier on the rear bumper of a trailer for obvious reasons so I'm contemplating buying the one pictured here. It mounts pretty close to the receiver but I'm anticipating 100lbs of weight between three bikes and the rack. (our bikes are very light - 20lbs each X3) I don't know the weight of this system but I have several big beefy ones that come in at about 40lbs so I'm guessing it won’t be more than that. Straps secure it to the sides of an SUV / tailgate / trunk lid etc so it's stable. I have used numerous similar type racks in the past.

Anyhow, I'm not all that keen on having the trailer sitting on the ball and then adding 100lbs directly to that, right AT the ball as well. Is there a rough idea as to what percentage of weight is normally "shifted" off of the ball when using a WDH? I'm not at the max for the receiver but an extra 100lbs would put me pretty darn close if not slightly over.

I realize that there are lots of considerations when it comes to shifting weight such as proper trailer loading and so on, but I was curious if anyone knew what their tongue weight "on the ball" was before and after WDH was applied. I'm kinda looking for a rough number percentage wise with respect to the weight that was shifted so I can do some mental math. ie. if my TW is 500 before WD, what % could I reasonably expect to "shift" onto the other axles?

Hope that makes some kind of sense.

Oh, I know there are better racks out there, but this one is only $80.00 shipped - most others are far more pricey and I can't justify spending more than that for yet another bike carrier.

Any info would be great, thanks for reading.

K.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:07 PM   #2
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Adding a hundred pounds at the ball increases your tongue weight by that amount. The WDH hitch doesn't care where the "extra" weight comes from and the distribution chains/bars will have to be adjusted for it.

If you think you'll be going over the system's hitch weight limit, it's probably best to choose another bike carrying place/method.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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The vehicles receiver is rated for 500 and currently the loaded trailers tongue weight is just under 400. If I add the extra 100 and THEN apply the WD, what percentage can I expect to displace off of the ball? I'm trying to stay in a safe range and avoid maximums.

I got a little lost when you said "system". I'm not worried about WDH, its rated for 750 TW.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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Just proof read that and it sounds a little snotty. That wasn't my intention. I just wanted to add that extra detail about the vehicle vs WDH tinge ratings.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:51 PM   #5
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The whole shootin' match adds up to a "system", and it sounds like the limiter in your case is (vehicle mfr. specified?) hitch weight of 500 pounds. Unless your tug maker specifies a higher limit with a W/D hitch, that is. The lowest number for any part of the system governs what you can do.

You don't say what vehicle you're talking about, and I'm not sure what the basis of your "weight displacement" question is...Hopefully someone will chime in that understands it better than I do!
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:26 PM   #6
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Ok, learning as I go here and I'm greatful for the info so far.

I'm towing with a Ford Flex and the reason I'm asking all of this is because of what my vehicle dealer and trailer dealer are telling me. (my vehicle has the factory tow package)

I'm told the max tongue weight with WD is 500. I'm also told that if my tongue weight is in the range of 550 WITHOUT engaging the WDH, once the bars / chains are engaged, it will displace SOME of the tongue weight off of the ball and over all of the axles, thus keeping me below the 500 max weight. What nobody will tell me is, prior to engaging the bars, how much can one exceed for TW and then still be within the limits once the WDH is engaged. The dealer will only tell me "you dont want to go way over the limit before your engage the WD since it may not displace enough weight off of the ball" That helps zero.

Trailer dealer is more or less saying if your TW is 500 without WD; once it's engaged, you TW will be reduced by spreading load elsewhere, maybe leaving it at around 400. Overall weight remains but TW is lowered. (which I knew) But he can't tell me what kind of percentage I can expect to displace if I want to sit down with actual numbers and do some math.

I'm just trying to see if I can avoid putting three bikes inside the trailer and still be safe. Trailer has a slide so floor space is not in abundance while in motion.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:49 PM   #7
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Well, that clears up a lot, in my mind! Smalltowing is something I know about- I'm doing it myself and have a fair understanding of the limitations of non-truck type vehicles.

You're probably familiar with this: I found the towing guide for the Flex-assuming yours is a 2013 model.

According to that, your "actual" hitchpoint weight limit is 200 pounds, but that with the tow package including W/D hitch, the trailer tongue can be as heavy as 450 pounds. Point being that it's important to differentiate between "hitch weight"(vehicle) and "tongue weight" (trailer)

What those numbers mean is that a W/D hitch properly adjusted will transfer all but around 200 pounds of tongue weight off the hitchpoint/rear of the tug. Some goes to the front of the vehicle, and some back to the trailer wheels.

The total weight placed at the hitch with a W/D can't exceed 450 pounds, so the math question as to how much of the 100 pounds you're adding with a bike rack will be "transferred" is really a moot question.

You say your present tongue weight is "about 400 pounds"- what trailer are you towing, and how much does it weigh loaded ? I ask because you're obviously very near your tongue weight limit, and I wonder if there's any wiggle room in the tongue weight, which for stability must be about a minumum of 10% of total trailer weight.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:19 PM   #8
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Im pulling a 2012 KZ Spree Escape 196S. Actual tongue weight fully loaded is 392lbs and that's with the three bikes inside, forward of the trailer axle. Total trailer weight fully loaded is 3320. Tow vehicle is relatively empty with a cooler of "pop". (kids like to sit in the third row seating with the middle seats folded down for all the leg room .... and we get to have some quiet while they listen to Justin Beiber)

Again thanks for your input; major overload with info from dealers. I sometimes think I should have just kept the pop-up.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:28 PM   #9
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FYI per what trailer sellers/car salesmen tell you:
My philosophy is they're mostly interested in moving merchandise! That's why I like to look at manufacturer specs.

That having been said:

Sounds like you've got some wiggle room. Setting aside the salesman you bought the car from: if the service department there tells you it's O.K. to put another hundred pounds on the tongue it'll probably work fine.

Good luck to you!
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