Can a WD hitch cause 17B axle overloading? - Escape Trailer Owners Community
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:09 AM   #1
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Can a WD hitch cause 17B axle overloading?

In another thread on tongue weight. It was pointed out that a weight distributing (WD) hitch transfers weight both forward to the front axle of the tow vehicle and backward to the trailer axle.

With a trailer like the 17B where the trailer 4000 GVW rating is based on 400 lbs of the trailer weight being carried on the hitch (assumes 100 lbs unsprung weight of the axle, wheels, and tires). Wouldn't there be a potential for the a WD hitch to create an overload condition on the 3500 lb rated trailer axle, while still having the trailer within its GVWR?
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:23 AM   #2
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A WDH joins the trailer and vehicle frame together making it one horizontal structure. If you have the correct WDH it will allow some flexibility but there is more stress on both frames in certain bending situations than with a simple ball.

If you selected an incorrect WDH that has a high rating and fully tightened the bars you are creating a solid bridge. (See first picture with no rear wheels) If this is the case and you carry a lot of weight in your pickup bed like an ATV, the weaker frame or axle could bend or break.

I am sure you have all spotted you favourite gas station/restaurant only to find the driveway in is very steep. As you drive in and up, a lot of pressure is placed on the front wheels as well as the trailer wheels. The rear vehicle wheels are unloaded from weight and both frames are put under stress as the WDH tries to keep them horizontal.

It is important that you have the correctly rated WDH, have the bars adjusted correctly, avoid steep hills and don’t use a WDH unnecessarily.
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Old 03-06-2021, 02:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTMartin View Post
In another thread on tongue weight. It was pointed out that a weight distributing (WD) hitch transfers weight both forward to the front axle of the tow vehicle and backward to the trailer axle.

With a trailer like the 17B where the trailer 4000 GVW rating is based on 400 lbs of the trailer weight being carried on the hitch (assumes 100 lbs unsprung weight of the axle, wheels, and tires). Wouldn't there be a potential for the a WD hitch to create an overload condition on the 3500 lb rated trailer axle, while still having the trailer within its GVWR?
Yes, definitely, if pushing close to the GVWR or using excessive WD torque.
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