Towing no weight distribution bars

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by rwc454, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. rwc454

    rwc454 New Member

    Hello everyone, Iv'e researched on towing with/without a weight distribution set up. Still have many :question: :question: :question: . I'm getting ready to buy a Sunline 23ft 94 model. The people I'm buying from said they towed the camper with a V6 Ford Explorer with only a sway bar :eek: :eek: :eek: . I have a full size Chevy Tahoe 5.3 V8 Tow PKG. Am I over doing it with the whole weight distribution thing. The GVWR of the camper is 4400lbs. My Tahoe has a CGVWR of 13,800. Advice, experinces would be appreciated.
     
  2. sp

    sp Senior Member

    Towing no weight distribution bars

    Ron,

    I'm pretty new with campers and towing but here is what I know.

    I towed a 21' 1976 Shasta weighing roughly 6000# with an F150 and a weight distribution set up. It was a 4 hour ride from CT to the races in NH and I had to keep looking in my mirrors to make sure it was still there. ;) I was surprised how smooth it towed.

    All I here is the new light weight campers(TT)dance around due to the lack of weight and that they should have a stabilizing/weight distribution set up on them.

    A couple of years back I saw a brand new light weight TT laying against a guard rail with a full sized Chevy flipped on its roof. :eek: I don't know what happened to it but the thought always reminds me to be extra carefull when I hook mine up and go.

    Steve
     
  3. rpalmer

    rpalmer New Member

    Towing no weight distribution bars

    Hi! :cool:
    If the tongue weight of the trailer is higher than the hitch weight of the vehicle then you need a weight distribution hitch.
    We now have a fifth wheel, But we had a 94 24' Golden Falcon TT and a 98 GMC Yukon and had to use weight distribution, due to 675 lb. tongue weight of trailer. Keep in mind the weight and tongue weight is dry weight, no gas bottles, no battery,no water, this is the weight from the manufacturer with no options installed. Not sure what the hitch weight of the Yukon was, but would be the same as your Tahoe. Along with the short wheel base of the Yukon I needed the weight distribution hitch to transfer the weight across the vehicle. If you have to much hitch/tongue weight you will find that the steering will be affected and cause your vehicle to sway, not a good feeling! :eek:
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. rwc454

    rwc454 New Member

    Towing no weight distribution bars

    Thanks for the info, the max tongue wt is 500lbs for the hitch. I picked up the camper yesterday with the distribution in hand. The owners kinda chuckled :laugh: at me as if i were pulling a semi trailer. After the hour and half(trying to figure out what chain link to pull up :question: :question: I finally managed to convence myself I had it right, I pulled out and headed down the road 538 miles to home :bleh: . Let me tell you it was probably the best $450.00 I ever spent. I did notice when hitting about 65 the tail of the camper would get squrrelly and when big rig's would pass :question: :question: . Any suggestions :question: :question:
    Happy camping to everyone and BE SAFE!!!! By the way this was my first at pulling anything. Still trying to get my indentions out of the steering wheel. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  5. rpalmer

    rpalmer New Member

    Towing no weight distribution bars

    Hi, Ron

    You could try and measure the height of the truck front and back without the trailer, then with the trailer. Then adjust the links to keep the drop front and back even, ( ½” front and ½” back) Also you should try to keep the trailer level when hitched to the truck.
    With the Tahoe you will probably always get a little fish tail when being passed , due to the short wheel base. If I remember right it is 117” on the four door model and 112” on the two door.
    Hope You enjoy the Trailer. :laugh:
     
  6. sp

    sp Senior Member

    Towing no weight distribution bars

    Ron,

    This is how I was taught and it has worked so far.

    Eyeball the distance between the wheel well and the tire.
    Lower the tounge onto the ball without putting weight on the truck or not much anyway. Check the distance again to make sure it is about the same.
    Place the bars on either side of the ball and count 3 - 4 chainlinks(on my setup) from the end of the chain.
    Place that 3rd or 4th link on the bracket.
    Using a short piece of pipe, raise the bracket into place(forcing tension on the chain), then slide cotter pin into bracket to secure it. Do the same steps on the other side.

    You "should be able to play a tune" on those two chains.

    Remember when taking them off that those chains are basically spring loaded and will take you out when disconnecting them :evil: if you are not carefull or will drive your pipe into the ground if it is too long.

    I know I have to lower my hitch or buy a new adjustable type because the 24' is longer than the other one and rides too low to the ground in the rear. :angry:

    Let me know if that works any better or if it is what you did already.
    Steve :cool:
     
  7. BarneyS

    BarneyS Senior Member

    Towing no weight distribution bars

    Ron, I have a Word document all about how to set up your trailer and hitch properly. If you wish, I can e-mail it to you. It will be scanned by Norton before sending so you will not have to worry about viruses. :) You definitely should be using a WD system and also some form of sway control. It your tongue weight is around 400lbs or higher, I would recommend the Reese Dual Cam system.
    Let me know about the Word document.
     

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