Weight distribution--how does it work?

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by consitter, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. consitter

    consitter Junior Member

    I've tried looking this up, and I get no real answers when googling.

    Anyhow, I accidently saw a video on the Hensley Arrow last night. It was explaining something else, but it was talking about the spring arms as the 'handles' on a wheelbarrow, and your arms as the 'chains' that lift the spring arms. They were talking about changing the angle of the receiver to match the stinger.

    However, if I were to put that to practical use, does that mean the back legs of the wheelbarrow would be like the back axel of my truck, and when my arms lift the legs up they are taking the weight off the legs of the wheelbarrow?

    Also, I suppose that would make me the TT and it would, by lifting, put part of the weight back on me?

    Am I on the right track here, or am I just crazy?
  2. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Well you lost me somewhere between the wheelbarrow and your arms. In theory the weight hitch help transfer weight from the rear of your vehicle to the front. Dont know how to explain how it works but it does. My thinking about it is if it works why worry how? LOL Welcome to the forum. Sure some of the other members will give a better answer.
  3. consitter

    consitter Junior Member

    I'm one of those doofuses that just has to know how something works. If I do, lots of times I can work out easier/better ways to do what needs to be done with it. Kind of like "give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him to fish, he will eat for life" or something like that.

    Anyhow, thanks for the welcome. I notice this isn't a very active forum. What a shame. Another forum I'm on, I've been a member since '11. I've got 24K posts there. Is there a 'talk around' thread here, kind of like sitting around the campfire and talking among the members?
  4. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    On a TT big enough to need a this hitch, here is the best I can do. Four wheels on trailer four on tow rig. Hook towed to tow will a lot of tongue weight, now you are down in the middle with the two front and two rear with less weight. Now use the weight distribution parts and lift in the middle. you have now evened the weight on all 8 wheels adding weight to the front and rear.

  5. consitter

    consitter Junior Member

    That helps a lot. Thanks.
  6. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    A weight distributing hitch transfers the some of the trailer tongue weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle. I have seen pictures of a front wheel drive Buick Rivera with the back wheels removed towing a trailer by using a weight distributing hitch. Basically, the tighter you make the spring arms, the more weight you transfer to the tow vehicle. When properly adjusted, the tow vehicle and the trailer should both be level. Ken from Grandview Trailer can probably give you more info. Hopefully he'll see this and respond.
  7. consitter

    consitter Junior Member

    Thanks. That makes sense to me. All the info I can get will help me out.
  8. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    For some reason consitter is having problems posting replys to our answers. Hope the moderators get this proble straightened out. The forum needs posters.
  9. consitter

    consitter Junior Member

    Thanks for the thought. I want it worked out too. :)
  10. consitter

    consitter Junior Member

    Hooray!! I'm able to post now!
  11. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Looks like it has been straighten out Scott. Keep us posted on how your hitch works out
  12. consitter

    consitter Junior Member

    I surely hope it has!
  13. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Great to have you here consitter.
  14. consitter

    consitter Junior Member

    I have change a few things, so hopefully I can post now.

    Thanks for the welcome, C Nash.
  15. consitter

    consitter Junior Member

    I towed our TT to Gatlinburg, TN last week, and had a nightmare trip. To get my weight distribution right, I had to drop the hitch bar a couple of notches so we wouldn't be 'bouncy'. Only problem with that is, it left my spring bars only 5-1/2 inches off the ground. That in itself isn't a problem driving down the highway. But, when turning off the road into some gas stations where the parking lot goes above street leve, the sping bars will drag slightly.

    I checked everything out when I did that, and all was fine. When we pulled out, the bars dragged a little again, but I wasn't worried about it since there wasn't a problem when I checked it out while filling up.

    Fast forward to 100 miles down the road, and it's starting to get dark. A car pulls up beside me, then drops back and start flashing it's bright lights on and off at me like crazy. I pull off the interstate, and he pulls off behind me. He says, "Your left chain is broken and dragging!" Sure enough, it was. I wrapped it up around the hitch bar and continued on.

    Then the worst part--between Knoxville and the 407 exit (Sevierville, Pigeon Forge) we were delayed for 2 hours and 45 minutes in 2 different sets of construction--AT NIGHT AFTER 10 pm! For 7 miles in the second one, I would drive 20 feet and stop for a minute, drive 50 feet and stop for 3 minutes, etc, etc. Totally sucked.

    You would think things would have gotten better once we got to the campground--HAH! We didn't make it until 12:45am, and our site was pitch black, and I had to back between 2 trees with barely enough room to fit between. Took me 20 minutes to do it, because there was a flower garden strategically placed with big rocks around it, so I couldn't make a good cut. How did I find out about the big rocks? I backed into them and couldn't move any further.

    Anyway I finally got it backed in, and we set up camp. Took about 30 minutes in the dark to level it and get the stabilizer jacks down. All that put us to 2am. At 2:20am, we were about to crawl into bed, when there was a loud knocking at the door. I opened it, and it was the campground owner telling me that we needed to keep the noise down, there had been several calls of complaints. Instead of doing what my head told me, which was to go ballistic, I calmly said, "Normally, when I see someone having trouble (which we plainly were), my reaction is to ask the folks if they need help, not to report them."

    I mean, I understand noise needs to be kept down, but it's not like we were setting off fire crackers or being obnoxious. We have a special need child that was being very cranky, and we had to get things done right.

    Anyhow, back to the problem of the dragging spring bars. I talked to Sean of Propride after I got some advice from another camper at our park. He told me to put air bag springs on the rear end. Sean concurred. The problem is, my trailer is light (7400 lbs), but the tongue weight is 1100 lbs dry. And on top of that, our only storage is under the front, just behind the gas bottles. Also under our bed, which is also up front. So most likely we are over the 1400 lbs of the spring bars.

    Hopefully the air bags added to the suspension will solve the problem, and raise the rear end up enough that the spring bars won't drag.
  16. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Scott what kind of tow vehickle do you have? You have probably said so guess I can read back. Seems like a lot of weight to have on tongue. brain has died and cant remember right off what the ratio should be but will research it. Sure there or others here that will remember. Bet Len will and know Ken would have a good input.
  17. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

  18. consitter

    consitter Junior Member

    I have a '13 Tundra. Engine wise, it handles it quite well. Suspension, not so much apparently. Hoping to fix that with the air bags.
  19. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Scott with my figureing you have to much tongue weight.
  20. consitter

    consitter Junior Member

    I figure that's it as well. But even just carrying necessities, I can't get it much lower. I have opposing slide-out in the rear, which leave zero room to put anything.

    It's almost as frustrating as my posting problem...;)

    BTW, I had my air bags put on. Stock height at the fender wells was right at 40 inches in the back, 36 in the front, before any weight was put on it. I sunk down to 37 in the back and up to 37 in the front without the air bags blown up.

    Put 70 lbs of air in each--back up to 40 in the rear, down to 36-1/2 in the front. Still trying to dial in the ride. But importantly, I have room to play with, with the spring bars being more than high enough not to drag. That's the important thing to me. I believe in I lower the hitch bar down a notch everything should be spot on. I hope...

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