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Old 11-04-2017, 07:26 PM   #1
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Okay, I've now weighed my TV & Trailer, Now What?

Hi Gang, I've taken the advice of the pros and have weighed my TV and Trailer. The results are in the report attached. (I hope this works)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2bygf8pmoj...2017.docx?dl=0

My Questions are:
(1) For ideal weight distribution should front axle weight on TV be the same when loaded with trailer and with WD hitch engaged as when the TV is solo and under no load? If so, I am currently 140# underweight on TV steer axle when loaded.
(2) On TV rear drive axle when loaded with trailer and with WD hitch engaged, I am only 40# under the FORD posted maximum GAWR for the rear axle for my TV. Should this concern me?
(3) The weight repost shows I am at 16% Tongue Weight. How can I reduce the tongue weight? I have done about all I can to reduce the heavier contents of the forward storage compartment.
(4) Are air bags on rear of TV a consideration for rectifying these issues?
(5) Can I apply too much tension on WD bars if I try to go up another notch in WD jacks in an effort to pitch more weight to the front steer axle of the TV?

TV Truck: 2015 Ford F-150, 2WD, Eco Boost 6cyl, 5.5 ft bed, 145" wheel base, curb weight dry ~4,850# (“wet” ~5350#), 1,951# Payload. Ford specs show 10,700# towing capacity, 15,500# GWCR

Trailer: 2016 Jayco 27RBOK. - Specs per Jayco brochure: 6,000# dry Wt, 715# Tongue Wt, 7,700# GVWR, 31.5’ total length tongue to bumper.

Hitch: Hensley Arrow using 4”rise drawbar in an effort to offset sag in rear of TV. Calculations for drawbar indicate that I need only a 2” rise drawbar, but I am using a 4” to offset sag on the TV and hopefully pitch more weight to the trailer axles.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:21 AM   #2
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Are they the actual specs for your truck or out of a brochure? Yellow sticker on the door sill has actual capacities for that particular truck.

Tongue weight is great as is your weight distribution, I would not change anything there.

Yes, truck will wear out faster pushing it to it's design limits.

Ford says to measure the height of the front fender with no trailer attached and again with trailer but no bars. When bars are hooked up you want the height to be about halfway between the two. If no trailer is 26" and with trailer but no bars is 28" then you want it to be approximately 27" with WD bars hooked up. They say never to go beyond the original height, in my example 26". The actual weights it takes to do that may be far different than what you have now.

From what I have read you are at the max for that hitch. Many posters have said it became less effective with tongue weights over #1000. Yours is fine with that setup but you will be looking for more truck in the future. Especially if you factor in adding toys like bikes, kyaks etc. or a generator. Trailers get heavier with age and as it sits right now you can barely carry groceries before you are overweight. Couple that with diminishing capacity as your suspension ages.

Short trips it will be fine. With that rear end gear ratio I would avoid the mountains out west. Probably not the right combo for a lap of the US but you will be fine for short trips until you get tired of watching your weight and fighting the wind and passing trucks.
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:09 AM   #3
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Thanks you for your reply and assistance keymastr. The TV GVWR and Front and Rear GAWR numbers are from the sticker on the door jamb of the TV. The 15,500 GCWR of the TV is taken from the Ford Towing guide numbers for my vehicle.

I will take the measurements of the front and rear fenders with and without load when I'm out with the trailer this weekend and report next week. Thanks again for your assistance.
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Old 11-06-2017, 09:07 AM   #4
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Hi, Dwhite183, and and to our campfire.

Quote:
Okay, I've now weighed my TV & Trailer, Now What?
Hi Gang, I've taken the advice of the pros and have weighed my TV and Trailer. The results are in the report attached. (I hope this works)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2bygf8pmoj...2017.docx?dl=0
Worked fine. Now, for the assumptions. ASSUMING the scale weights were with both the tow vehicle and trailer loaded for a camping trip, with everybody and everything that will be in it when towing, then you’re good to go. You’re 140 pounds under the payload capacity of the TV, which is usually the gotcha weight. Your rear axle weight, which is sometimes the gotcha weight for a late-model F-150, is right up against the max, so I hope your scale weight included all the weight that will be in the truck and trailer when towing.
Quote:
My Questions are:
(1) For ideal weight distribution should front axle weight on TV be the same when loaded with trailer and with WD hitch engaged as when the TV is solo and under no load? If so, I am currently 140# underweight on TV steer axle when loaded.
The front axle should be a bit lighter when the weight-distributing (WD) bars are tight than without a trailer. But don’t use the weight on the front axle to determine that. Instead use the standard industry definition of a properly adjusted WD hitch. Which is the rise of a point on the front fender from the ground. The rise should be from zero to one-half inch more with the trailer connected than without the trailer. Some experts say the rise can be a bit more – up to an inch instead of a half-inch. You adjust that rise in the front fender by tightening or loosening the spring bars on the hitch.

Quote:
(2) On TV rear drive axle when loaded with trailer and with WD hitch engaged, I am only 40# under the FORD posted maximum GAWR for the rear axle for my TV. Should this concern me?
No concern if you’re loaded for the road. But if your rig did not include all the people and stuff that will be in it when towing, then you must pay careful attention to any additional weight you add if you don’t want to be overloaded.

Quote:
(3) The weight repost shows I am at 16% Tongue Weight. How can I reduce the tongue weight? I have done about all I can to reduce the heavier contents of the forward storage compartment.
There’s nothing wrong with being slightly heavy on the ball if your weight capacities for hitch weight, rGAWR, and GVWR are not exceeded.
Quote:
(4) Are air bags on rear of TV a consideration for rectifying these issues?
No. The purpose of air overload springs (air bags) is to bring down the headlights so they don’t aim at the stars and blind oncoming traffic at night. They do not increase the GVWR or rGAWR of the tow vehicle.
Quote:
(5) Can I apply too much tension on WD bars if I try to go up another notch in WD jacks in an effort to pitch more weight to the front steer axle of the TV?
See the answer to (1) above. Use the spring bars to adjust the rise in the front fender from the ground.

Quote:
Hitch: Hensley Arrow using 4”rise drawbar in an effort to offset sag in rear of TV. Calculations for drawbar indicate that I need only a 2” rise drawbar, but I am using a 4” to offset sag on the TV and hopefully pitch more weight to the trailer axles.
Not my area, and my Hensley ProPride is improved and slightly different from your Hensley Arrow. I would ask the experts at the Arrow website. If their answer is 2”, then I would bend over backwards to use 2”.
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:12 AM   #5
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Thanks Smokey. Your assumptions are correct. I weighed TV&TT fully loaded for a camping trip with DW, dog, firewood, full tank of fuel in TV and groceries in TT.... but no water in TT water tanks.

I will get get front & rear wheel well-to-ground measurements when I am out with the trailer this weekend.

BTW DW & I lived in Midland/Odessa for 19 years mid 70's to mid 90's. It was rockin' and rollin' the first ten years we were there...we scraped by after that.

Thanks again, Dennis
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:40 AM   #6
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No input just would like to complement the members for the excellent information shared to OP. This is what makes this website awesome.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:38 PM   #7
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Thanks in advance guys for your continued thoughts on my situation. I now have all the measurements (i hope) that will be an indication whether my WD spring bars are tensioned properly. The measurements can be found here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sy6r2neijp...2-17.xlsx?dl=0

When towing with current WD hitch set-up I am experiencing:
(1) Occasional slight sensation of road wander in front end when towing
(2) Somewhat frequent “porpoising” or “see-saw” effect, up and down between TV and TT, when towing on uneven roads, especially noticable on concrete interstate highways in DFW area.
(3) TV being sucked over when Semi Truck or Bus passes me – The sucking sensation is more severe if the passing vehicle is blunt nosed. The best I can tell there is no sway on the trailer itself thanks to the Hensley Hitch but I feel the sucking sensation of the TV when the semi passes 30% of the time. It doesn’t happen every time a big rig passes. I suspect it may be because the steer axle is still a little light.

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:47 PM   #8
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Maybe 31' TT is just too long for a 1/2T truck. Its the tail waggin' the dog.
I used to tow a 20' TT with my Jeep Liberty, 6cyl. Towed fine, but if you jerked the wheel just right, the trailer could start to wander a little. All weights were fine. Its just the short wheel base of the TV interacting with the 'long' trailer, maybe.
We upgraded to a 21' TT towed with a Jeep Grand Cherokee, V-8. Match made in heaven, towed all the way across country, never a problem. GC is maybe a couple (3-4) inches longer wheelbase than the Libby. Go figure.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwhite183 View Post
**** However I am currently using 4" Rise drawbar in an effort to offset squat in rear of TV and pitch more weight off tounge and onto trailer axles. Right? Wrong?
Wrong. You use the rise in the adjustable shank to raise the ball mount to get the floor of the trailer level, front to rear, when all connected with the spring bars tight.

You reduce the squat in the rear suspension by tightening the spring bars, which distributes more weight off the rear axle. But don't distribute so much weight off the rear axle that you screw up the distance of the front fender to the ground. I wouldn't worry about the squat in the rear suspension if you can get the floor of the trailer level and the distance of the front fender to the ground to be within a half inch rise of that distance with no trailer.

That squat doesn't hurt anything except looks, as long as the floor of the trailer is level. If you don't care for the image or looks of the squatting truck, then consider adding auxiliary (overload) air springs (so-called air bags).
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:23 AM   #10
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Thanks Smokey. I'll go back to the 2" rise drawbar and crank the WD Spring bars another notch tighter and check what the measurements look like.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:28 AM   #11
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Yeah, to further what Smokey said most manufacturers do not mention rear height or squat at all. All your focus should be on the front fender height and the weight slips.

It looked to me like you may have transferred a bit TOO much weight with those last measurements. When I have had my hitch too tight in the past the bow wave from semis approaching from the rear would really move the front of the trailer. That is probably what you are describing.

Do not make a big adjustment to the hitch, just shoot for a fender height halfway between loaded with no bars and unloaded. Your last heights seemed to be a mix of just right on the drivers side and too tight on the passenger side.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:29 PM   #12
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Thanks keymastr. Good to know. I will tinker with the settings.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:50 PM   #13
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Go for FALR. Trailer level. You're not getting enough transfer it sounds like.

You might also go past FALR if experimentation doesn't resolve bad handling.

Axle and tire limits matter. Not other numbers.

TW isn't part of cargo capacity, strictly speaking.

I can't read your tickets, but current manufacturer guidelines aren't worth spit. And result in worse braking & handling. The rule of thumb we had 50 years ago was 1/3 TW at all positions.

FALR is less than that.

If the fresh water tank is below floor level and anywhere close to and on or ahead of the axles, run with it full. Always. Lowers COG.

Keep the heavy stuff in the TV AHEAD of the rear axle.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:46 AM   #14
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Thanks Rednax. Weigh ticket weights are listed in Section B of report posted here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2bygf8pmoj...2017.docx?dl=0
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