WDH and tongue weight - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-21-2013, 03:14 PM   #1
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WDH and tongue weight

The RAV has a 3,500 lb. tow limit, 350 lb. tongue weight limit.
My Hidden Hitch rates their receiver for the RAV at 4,000 lbs. / 400 lb. tongue weight.
I measured the tongue on my 17B and got 320 lbs. Then I weighed the WDH and got 64 lbs.
And that's were I got far beyond my mechanical and engineering experience.
One might assume that if you add 320 and 64 you would arrive at the tongue weight, but, since the WDH transfers weight to the front wheels of the tow and to the trailer axle, un-weighting the rear of the tow, what might be the actual tongue weight? And how would one figure that out?
And, if that's confusing; I'm confused.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:34 PM   #2
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baglo

The WDB will distribute the tongue weight to the wheels of the tow vehicle and the trailer, in other words it will reduce the apparent tongue weight.

"A weight distribution system is important because it eases the situation by spreading some of that increased tongue weight off the rear axle of the tow vehicle and onto the front axle, as well as the axle (or axles) of the trailer.:
HowStuffWorks "Purpose of Towing Weight Distribution Systems"

You could confirm that by weighing the load on each axle of tow vehicle and trailer with and without WDB. I don't think you have a problem.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:41 PM   #3
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I don't have a problem. I'm just bored, and started to wonder what the actual tongue weight would be so I weighed the trailer tongue and the WDH separately. Then it occurred to me that there was weight transfer, it's probably not as simple as adding the two weights.

baglo
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:59 PM   #4
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I do not know how you would measure the tongue weight with the WDH installed and the torsion bars loaded. As you know the purpose WDH is decrease tongue weight and level the tow vehicle and the trailer.
Weight Distribution Trailer Hitches Information Video | etrailer.com
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:16 PM   #5
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The only thing I could think of is to drive the rig over the scales with and without the hitch installed ( getting the axle weight for the rear of the tow ), but then the question, is that number relevant? And, what does it mean?

I think I'll vacuum the heat ducts..
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:03 PM   #6
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Lower tow vehicle rear axle weight with the WDH installed and properly adjusted would indicate that it working correctly.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:19 PM   #7
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The tongue weight should include the WD hardware. Manufacturer's limits (for both tug and hitch) apply to the tongue weight, not the resulting load on anything after the WD spring bars are hooked up.

If you laid the spring bars on the tongue without hooking them up, you would have the situation to which the limits apply.

WD doesn't reduce tongue weight at all - it applies forces to make the tug's front axle and the trailer axle carry more, while the tug's rear axle carries less. You do that because of the high tongue weight. The WD's action actually greatly increases the load on the ball.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:22 PM   #8
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I know it's working. Has been for five years on my set-up. But, what I'm getting at is that the WDH itself weighs 64 lbs. So when you insert it into the hitch receiver and add the trailer ( 320 lbs ), is the tongue weight now 384 lbs?
It shouldn't be. If the WDH is transferring weight from the rear axle, then it should be less.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
The only thing I could think of is to drive the rig over the scales with and without the hitch installed ( getting the axle weight for the rear of the tow ), but then the question, is that number relevant? And, what does it mean?
Yes, the axle loads are relevant - they're the reason for using a WD system.
  • If the rear axle load without WD applied is too high, you have a reason for using WD.
  • After the WD system is applied, you need to ensure
    1. that you have not increased the front axle load too much (e.g. beyond what it was without the trailer at all, or in a really bad setup even beyond the front axle's rated capacity),
    2. that you have not overloaded the trailer axle, and
    3. that you have not reduced the rear axle load more than necessary (it needs load to have traction for control).
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:34 PM   #10
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I understand.
But, what is my tongue weight?
320# plus 64# or is it less because the WDH is employed?
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