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Old 04-26-2019, 09:18 AM   #1
cvd
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Weight Distributing Hitch On Freightliner XC chassis?

Iím switching from flat towing the jeep to trailer towing. Trailer w jeep will weight approx. 6,000 lbs.With a little beefing up the frame and a class IV receiver, I wonít be worried about total towed weight (specs below), but I am concerned about the front/rear weight distribution.Iím thinking a weight distributing hitch will be needed to get the needed weight back on the front tires.Iíve not read much about weight distributing hitches on pushers, does this make sense?

Coach: 1999 34í Winnebago, Freightliner XC chassis, 228Ē WB

GVWR
Total: 23.600 lbs
Front: 8,160
Rear: 15,440

GCWR: 28,690

Actual weight (with driver and passenger, full gas, Ĺ water, all supplies)
Total: 20.000
Front: 6,370 (32%)
Rear: 13,630 (68%)

You can see I have plenty of weight carrying capacity on each axle, but Iím concerned about putting 600 to 800 lbs tongue weight on the receiver. Probably will be 1000 lbs at the axle.Probably will reduce front axle weight a couple hundred lbs.Is a weight distributing hitch the right step to putting that down pressure back on the front tires?
Thx,
Cliff
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:32 AM   #2
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you are about to get a swing of answers


I can say from my exp. with my f/l chassis on the tuscany this is what i have found
I towed a hauler trailer rated at 12.5k
with a pair of 5200 lb axles.
i ran 800 to 1000 lbs on the hitch ball, depending on which vehicle was along for the ride (2016 expedition EL 4x4, 2013 f150 crew cab 4x4, 2010 f150 crew cab 4x2 and a 2008 edge and 2012 edge)


the exp rode the best as its close to 50/50 balance its 6400lbs and 3300 of that is on the front wheels


i never used a weight distributing hitch as the air bags suspension keeps the coach level despite the tongue weight.


i will also say with 800 to 1000lbs on the hitch out back, does influence some input to the front wheels when the road conditions induce loads of bounce or rebound on the hitch ball, but they are very mild at best.

i would expect the w/d set up would soften the induced loads somewhat.


The induced loads and their effect on driving, tire wear or driver fatigue in my situation is negligible.
we run right at the listed rear axle weight of 20 k and 10,700 to 11,000 on the front axle.


this past feb we decided to try the four down towing for awhile, the jury is still out for me in that regards.
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:51 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response Powerboatr. You're similar to where I will be, but better balanced (front to rear). Your 20k lbs rear/11k lbs front, puts slightly over 1/3 total weight on the front tires. I'm guessing I'll be 28 - 29% once trailer is hooked up. I'm worried about steering response (especially in wind), will do some calling on WD hitches.
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:31 AM   #4
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If you have air suspension, the the automatic ride height control will level out the chassis regardless of tongue weight. You don't need to be concerned about the proportion of weight on the axle as long as each is within its own rating (GAWR).



The only real concern is whether the receiver is rated for that much weight without WD. For example, it may be rated at 500 lbs weight carrying (no WD) and 1000 lbs with WD.
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:41 AM   #5
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I have pulled a trailer both ways. With an enclosed 12,000# trailer, I used a WD hitch, as I had 1400# on a 15,000# hitch rated for 1500# hitch weight. I wasn't concerned with the weight taken off of the steer axle, but more concerned with the effect of hitting a dip in the road at highway speeds. That 1400# can become 3000# or more. The WD hitch absorbs and spreads that shock to the frame of the trailer as well as the coach. It also had sway bars incorporated with it to help with the gusty side winds. I currently pull an 8500# trailer with 900# of tongue weight on the hitch and no WD and it works fine. The WD hitch may not be needed on a DP with air suspension, but it does eliminate the shock loads and offers a better sense of stability.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvd View Post
Thanks for the response Powerboatr. You're similar to where I will be, but better balanced (front to rear). Your 20k lbs rear/11k lbs front, puts slightly over 1/3 total weight on the front tires. I'm guessing I'll be 28 - 29% once trailer is hooked up. I'm worried about steering response (especially in wind), will do some calling on WD hitches.

yep we are 32k gvwr..so i have a few pounds left for more stuff
empty we are at 27k
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
I have pulled a trailer both ways. With an enclosed 12,000# trailer, I used a WD hitch, as I had 1400# on a 15,000# hitch rated for 1500# hitch weight. I wasn't concerned with the weight taken off of the steer axle, but more concerned with the effect of hitting a dip in the road at highway speeds. That 1400# can become 3000# or more. The WD hitch absorbs and spreads that shock to the frame of the trailer as well as the coach. It also had sway bars incorporated with it to help with the gusty side winds. I currently pull an 8500# trailer with 900# of tongue weight on the hitch and no WD and it works fine. The WD hitch may not be needed on a DP with air suspension, but it does eliminate the shock loads and offers a better sense of stability.
Thx for the feedback, should have this set up by Oct/St G. See you then.
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:14 PM   #8
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Thx for the feedback, should have this set up by Oct/St G. See you then.
The only uncertain issue with setting up a WD hitch on your coach is determining how much tension to put on the bars. On a lighter vehicle like a pickup, you would measure from the fender wells of the front wheels to the ground before hooking to the trailer. Then after hooking up, set the tension to get the same measurement at the front. Can't do that with air suspension, so I just guessed and set the tension pretty firm.

Sounds like it's going to be a good gathering at Sand Hollow again in Oct. Looking forward to seeing the "Crazies" gang again. Good Luck.
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:05 PM   #9
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It says not to use a W-D hitch on my 09 Entegra Aspire with a freighter chassis
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:20 PM   #10
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Here are a couple excerpts from the 1999 Itasca Suncruiser owners manual:

https://winnebagoind.com/resources/m...Suncruiser.pdf

Freightliner Chassis Hitch pulling cap.: 5,000 lbs. max.

Tongue weight: 500 lbs. max.

CAUTION Exceeding any of the recommended gross vehicle weight ratings may result in vehicle damage.

Do not install a frame equalizing type hitch on your vehicle.
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:08 PM   #11
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Cliff, in light of the above caution, contact Freightliner and find out what the limiting factor is for the 5,000# tow rating. My Bus came with a 10,000# hitch and towing capacity. I wanted to tow my enclosed trailer that weighed 12,000# loaded. I contacted Tiffin for the limiting factor and they said I could replace the 10K with a 15K hitch and was good to go. They shipped me the hitch. They did not have a problem with using a WD hitch either, but I have their Powerglide chassis. On the last Freightliner coach I had, they used drop down plates from the frame for the hitch which I thought looked kind of chincy, but it worked. Maybe a hitch specialty shop could reinforce it to be safe.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:33 PM   #12
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The answer as to whether or not to use a WD hitch maybe in your owner's manual. I have an 05 ALFA and plan to tow a 8k lbs trailer, so I read my manual and it specifically states to NOT use a WD as it could damage the chassis.
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