Weight distribution of Andersen Ultimate Hitch? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-29-2018, 03:38 PM   #1
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Weight distribution of Andersen Ultimate Hitch?

Iím still confused about how the weight of my 2011 Escape 5.0 trailer will be distributed on an Andersen Ultimate hitch.

Does the weight of the trailer fall on directly on the ball or is the weight equally distributed between the rails? I assume that with the offset, it would fall on the ball, but really donít know.

Where does the hitch adapter support the weight of the trailer? Is it where the hitch adapter rests on the ball or where the hitch adapter is attached to the pin?

On my í17 long bed GMC Canyon, with the offset closer to the tailgate, the Andersen Ultimate hitch is installed so that the ball is slightly behind the rear axle. If the hitch adapter is installed with the ball receptacle behind the pin, it will be over or slightly in front of the rear axle. If the hitch adapter is installed with the ball receptacle in front of the pin, it will be about 7-8Ē behind the rear axle.

With these two choices, are the towing differences between the two positions of the adapter significant enough to warrant choosing one over the other?

Thanks, Rick
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Old 04-29-2018, 04:17 PM   #2
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On the 5.0 hitch there is no w/d effect, it is merely the hitch used to connect the 2 vehicles. 5th wheel hitches are normally really heavy and Andersen came out with a lightweight one. The weight of the 5.0 can approach 600-900 lbs and you want it over the axle.
The Andersen w/d for pull behind trailers will transfer weight to the tow vehicles front and trailers rear, but not with the 5th wheel set up.
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Old 04-29-2018, 04:43 PM   #3
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As Jim said, there's no weight distribution effect, at least not like the leverage used in a bumper pull WDH. The position of the hitch in your truck bed being rearward or forward a few inches won't have any effect on which axle takes the load. It'll be the rear one. To me, the thing to consider in determining the mounting position for the Andersen Ultimate hitch (or any other 5th wheel hitch for that matter) is clearance between the loft and the cab. A longer bed helps there.
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lzcamper View Post
Iím still confused about how the weight of my 2011 Escape 5.0 trailer will be distributed on an Andersen Ultimate hitch.

Does the weight of the trailer fall on directly on the ball or is the weight equally distributed between the rails? I assume that with the offset, it would fall on the ball, but really donít know.
That's right: on the ball, regardless of the rail locations.

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Originally Posted by lzcamper View Post
Where does the hitch adapter support the weight of the trailer? Is it where the hitch adapter rests on the ball or where the hitch adapter is attached to the pin?
Again, the ball location, regardless of whether that is ahead of or behind the pin.
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lzcamper View Post
On my í17 long bed GMC Canyon, with the offset closer to the tailgate, the Andersen Ultimate hitch is installed so that the ball is slightly behind the rear axle.
It looks like you are only considering the orientation of the Andersen Ultimate frame which places the ball rearward, due to the required space to the cab. That establishes (as mentioned above) where the truck receives the load, regardless of the adapter position chosen.

Setting the adapter/coupler forward of the pin (instead of rearward) gives you a bit more clearance between the trailer body and the cab, and slightly reduces the vertical load on the hitch, but may risk running the rearward part of the trailer pin box into the box sides in tight turns... you might want to check that.

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Originally Posted by lzcamper View Post
With these two choices, are the towing differences between the two positions of the adapter significant enough to warrant choosing one over the other?
Since the pivot point in either case is in the same position relative the truck, there isn't much change in towing geometry. The forward adapter/coupler position makes the effective trailer length (from hitch to axles) a bit longer, which is a little bit better for stability, but stability shouldn't be an issue with the 5.0TA anyway. The rearward position of the adapter/coupler position makes the hitch/tongue weight a bit higher; since it is behind the truck's rear axle that can be detrimental to towing stability and increases rear axle load and total load on the truck, but stability doesn't seem to have been a problem for other 5.0TA owners, and truck and axle loads depend on your own situation (such as passenger and cargo weight).

Overall, placing the adapter/coupler in the forward position is better for both stability and the load on the truck, but it's unlikely to be such a major factor that you can't use the the adapter/coupler in the rearward position if required for pin box to truck box clearance.
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lzcamper View Post
Iím still confused about how the weight of my 2011 Escape 5.0 trailer will be distributed on an Andersen Ultimate hitch.Thanks, Rick
Rick, See page 4 of owners manual "Need Extra Clearance" and Page 6 For "Short Bed Trucks".

Even though Chevy/GMC lists the 6'2" bed a Long Bed it is still a short bed truck.
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Old 04-29-2018, 10:14 PM   #7
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Thanks to everyone for all of your replies; all working together to provide an answer that I can understand. That's what makes this forum so great . . . and to Kent, "Time's getting short!" How many more days until you hitch up?

Rick
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Old 04-29-2018, 11:12 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for all of your replies; all working together to provide an answer that I can understand. That's what makes this forum so great . . . and to Kent, "Time's getting short!" How many more days until you hitch up?

Rick
9 days, Going through my lists to make sure I try not to forget something!
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Old 04-30-2018, 03:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
The position of the hitch in your truck bed being rearward or forward a few inches won't have any effect on which axle takes the load. It'll be the rear one.
The position of the ball certainly does affect the distribution of load between the truck's axles, so I assume that Robert is suggesting that the difference of a few inches of ball position isn't significant, or "it doesn't matter". Of course, Jim's direction to put the ball over the axle due to the high weight exactly contradicts that, saying "it does matter".

The wheelbase of a Colorado/Canyon with the "long" (74 inch) box is 128 or 141 inches, depending on the cab (extended or crew). The Andersen Ultimate moves the ball about 11 inches when it is rotated between forward and rearward positions. If the rails place the centre of the hitch 1" ahead of the rear axle (a typical installation for fifth-wheels), that would mean the Ultimate ball would be 6.5" ahead of or 5.5" behind the axle.
  • 128 inch wheelbase
    • forward position: 5.1% of pin weight to truck's front axle, 94.9% to rear axle
    • rearward position: -4.3% front (pin load reduces from axle load), 104.3% rear
  • 141 inch wheelbase
    • forward position: 4.6% front, 95.4% rear
    • rearward position: -3.9% front (pin load reduces from axle load), 103.9% rear
Actual numbers depend on the actual rail locations.

So, forward is better for stability, but is it significant that a 700 pound pin load placed 5.5 inches behind the axle adds 727 pounds to the rear axle and lifts 27 pounds off of the front axle (for the rearward placement example in an extended cab), rather than just putting 700 pounds on the rear axle? I don't think it's a big enough effect to be a problem in most cases.
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:12 PM   #10
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I assume that Robert is suggesting that the difference of a few inches of ball position isn't significant, or "it doesn't matter".
Precisely, and I think your own estimates bear that out. The difference is tiny. I'd be far more concerned with mounting "close to over axle" but also in a location where cab clearance is not an issue.
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