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Old 03-21-2019, 10:06 PM   #41
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Measuring tongue weight

I use a Sherline tongue-weight scale. It's small and relatively inexpensive, and easy to use.

You just jack the tongue up a little above level. Then put the Sherline right under the coupler on top of something strong (I use a 4x4 wooden post cut to the right length). Then lower the tongue until all the weight is on the scale and the trailer close to level. Then you take your reading. The dial shows weight in gradations of 20 lbs.

You do this after the trailer is loaded but before you hitch it up. (And with the stabilizers cranked up, don't forget.)
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:25 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert View Post
I use a Sherline tongue-weight scale. It's small and relatively inexpensive, and easy to use.

You just jack the tongue up a little above level. Then put the Sherline right under the coupler on top of something strong (I use a 4x4 wooden post cut to the right length). Then lower the tongue until all the weight is on the scale and the trailer close to level. Then you take your reading. The dial shows weight in gradations of 20 lbs.

You do this after the trailer is loaded but before you hitch it up. (And with the stabilizers cranked up, don't forget.)
My trailer was weighed using a Sherline at Quartzite - it was #700 tongue weight.

Bob & Katie Brandenstein, sorry to hear of your accident. If it was me, I would think about upsizing your tow vehicle.

With my 21' towed by a Tundra 4x4 using a Husky Centerline TS WDH and with #700 tongue weight, I've had semis blast by me in a strong cross wind and the trailer never hints at sway.

Sometimes size does matter.
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:17 AM   #43
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I'm now rethinking of getting a Husky centerline once returning to our home base for installation after pickup and attending the rally. Our trailer should not be as heavy as Toms since we are taking minimal provisions but I'm taking the Sherline and will keep an eye on the rear tank to keep the weight 400# or more.
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:58 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I'm now rethinking of getting a Husky centerline once returning to our home base for installation after pickup and attending the rally. Our trailer should not be as heavy as Toms since we are taking minimal provisions but I'm taking the Sherline and will keep an eye on the rear tank to keep the weight 400# or more.
I really like the Husky Centerline. Unfortunately I'll need to modify my mini-split A/C platform to accommodate because it requires the brackets be mounted at between 28-1/2" and 30-1/2" rear of ball centerline. I'm right around 27" and they said it won't work. Other WDH's like the Equal-i-zer and Fastway E2 can be mounted at a minimum of 27" and I can probably make just barely work without modification. To his credit Brian B-P brought this fitment issue up during my mini-split platform build, but it was already done and I didn't envision a WDH at that time. It should be noted that the manufacturers recommend the brackets be at the furthest recommended distance for less stress on the frame and a better ride.

Also this thread has me concerned enough that we are going to reweigh the trailer since I've done a lot of modifications and do it with an empty fresh tank and then with a full fresh tank. My one incident with sway was with fresh 2/3rds full, a full fridge, some firewood and a cooler back over the axle and the Stowaway on the rear hitch. I think I was definitely light on the tongue.

...and let me reiterate it for everyone so you are prepared if this ever happens to you...stay calm...take your foot slowly off the gas and manually initiate the brake controller so you are braking ONLY the trailer. This calmed it right down. Practice reaching for and using the manual lever during normal driving so you are ready if you ever need to do it!
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:42 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Our trailer should not be as heavy as Toms since we are taking minimal provisions
We really don't have much in our trailer but after thinking about it, we did have close to full black and grey tanks and close to empty fresh tank when it was weighed. On the 21' with the black tank right at the front of the trailer, it would have a large effect on the tongue weight.

I'll have to recheck the weight with empty black / grey tanks and full fresh tank to see what it weighs then.

We normally travel with a 1/4 full black (no pyramids), empty grey, and full fresh. The trailer even then never hints at sway - it behaves so well, I tend to forget it's back there.
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:00 AM   #46
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I just meant "our stuff" will be limited to 4 plastic bins that I can bring in the truck bed. Once home I can restock with our pots and pans and dishes as well as other necessary stuff. My last 21 wet was at 3800 axles and 500 on the tongue, the newer one should be at least that if not more.
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:10 AM   #47
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2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. Built in electronic sway control, Quadra-lift air suspension system. Factory tow package. Base 6 cylinder engine.

No WDH. No mechanical sway control. Just the stock Jeep package.

21í Tongue weight about 475# per my shurline scale.

We just finished a pull over I-70 from Denver to Grand Junction. Eisenhower Tunnel at 11,100í and Vail Pass at 10,600í. Drove at 60 mph. Passed by lots of trucks, buses, etc.and passed a few myself.

An easy, uneventful tow. No sway issues of any type.

Now all we need is a little sunshine.

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Old 03-22-2019, 09:34 AM   #48
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Ed, what's your mpg with the Pentastar setup? I had a Jeep Liberty with it and it did not like towing.
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:07 AM   #49
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Husky or Curt WDH?

We have been using a Curt True Track. Uses trunion bars like the Husky but might have some advantages.

1. Setting and removing trunion bars on the Curt seems less tricky and less dangerous because the point of support on the trailer end is simpler.
2. Anti-sway function on the Curt is built into the head assembly and does not depend on the trunion bars. Anti-sway function is noiseless. (The bars do make clunking noises when you are turning sharply at low speed.)
3. Adjustment on the Curt is done by moving spacers rather than by adding or subtracting washers. (This might be different without being better.)

For reference, I just watched this YouTube re the Husky, so I'm no expert on it.
Bottom line, you might give the Curt a look. I think the 17499 is the model for this forum, 17500 is for bigger trailers. The only difference is in the stiffness of the trunion bars.
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:21 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Ed, what's your mpg with the Pentastar setup? I had a Jeep Liberty with it and it did not like towing.
17 daily use around town without towing.

13 towing over the mountains.

I was quite surprised. Expecting closer to 10.

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Old 03-22-2019, 01:39 PM   #51
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Quote:
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We have been using a Curt True Track. Uses trunion bars like the Husky but might have some advantages.
...
2. Anti-sway function on the Curt is built into the head assembly and does not depend on the trunion bars. Anti-sway function is noiseless. (The bars do make clunking noises when you are turning sharply at low speed.)
3. Adjustment on the Curt is done by moving spacers rather than by adding or subtracting washers. (This might be different without being better.)
The spring bars of the TruTrack slide in the brackets just like an Equal-i-zer, Fastway E2, and similar design. The TruTrack adds a cam mechanism in the head which is not well described by Curt, and might help; it does depend on the spring bars (they're the levers which move the mechanism), but might not depend on how tight the bars are. I don't think it's a good thing to be independent of WD adjustment and tongue weight, because the level which is appropriate depends on the trailer - one size does not fit all.

That adjustment mechanism is very slick. It does certainly looks quicker to adjust, although how much this matters, given that a typical WD is adjusted once for the life of the trailer and tug combination, is a matter of personal opinion.

Light-Duty TruTrack Weight Distribution System (17499)
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:44 PM   #52
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Bob & Katie, so glad you came through that horrifying experience unharmed. I think you are lucky the coupler separated from the ball so that your tow vehicle didn't flip with the camper. From the photos, since the ball is still intact on your tow vehicle, and the coupler fastener on the trailer tongue appears to still be locked in the closed position, did you have a chance to inspect the coupler to see what bent or broke or whatever to allow the locked trailer coupler to separate from the tow vehicle ball? Just curious where the "weak link" was in a situation like this. Again, we're so glad you're both okay....
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Old 03-23-2019, 01:31 AM   #53
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I think you are lucky the coupler separated from the ball so that your tow vehicle didn't flip with the camper.
I agree, I would rather have the hitch let go (with the chains staying attached) than have the trailer drag the tow vehicle over. Often, the tow vehicle does go over, although how much of that is due to being twisted by the hitch is not known.

Quote:
Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
From the photos, since the ball is still intact on your tow vehicle, and the coupler fastener on the trailer tongue appears to still be locked in the closed position, did you have a chance to inspect the coupler to see what bent or broke or whatever to allow the locked trailer coupler to separate from the tow vehicle ball? Just curious where the "weak link" was in a situation like this.
Good observation. Either the jaw bent, or the coupler housing spread enough to let the ball out. I don't know that it really matters, though, since the whole hitch system is not intended to be capable of allowing this much rotation, and there is no requirement in the standards (the old VESC V-5 or the current SAE J684) to test for any degree of strength when jammed past the rotation limit.

Most European overrun couplers (couplers which incorporate their mechanical surge braking system) appear to use a cylindrical design which would rotate and allow the trailer to roll without the tow vehicle (or vice versa). There are off-road couplers (the Treg poly block coupling is a well-known example - it doesn't use a ball at all) which are designed to allow free rotation in all directions to extreme angles; I don't see a significant benefit to use one on-road, and I don't know if what happens in a crash is a factor in anyone's decision to use this type.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:09 AM   #54
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Trailer sway control

Bob,
I would like to thank you for sharing this experience.
I have come close to this condition and wanted to share



I loaded some bikes on the back of my rig and when a truck passed me there was violent swaying. I was lucky I was going slow. I had a WDH and friction sway



I just wanted to add that a WDH with a Friction sway bar will help control the sway, but if the trailer is loaded wrong it cant over come.


I have though about adding a second friction bar to my setup, but focus heavily on how I load my trailer. I tow an Escape 19 with a Sienna mini van


Bob... I'm not sure the following applies



I saw this video some time back when this happened to me and wanted to share as it visual shows the important of loading





Hope this helps
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:01 AM   #55
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Have never felt the need to measure tongue weight on our 21 because the bed is foam base with a latex topper and we have all kinds of stuff under the bed and in the front box- another reason am glad we have a Yukon that weighs a 1000 lbs.+ more than the trailer.

So while it is difficult for us not to have enough tongue weight on a 21(even with bikes/full fresh tank) it seems a 19 could be fairly easy to be light as there is a queen bed in the back with storage underneath along with the fresh water tank. Add bike rack and two bikes then it's even more weight off the tongue.
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:16 AM   #56
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But, the dual 6 batteries are in the front box in the E19 whereas in the E21 they are behind the rear axle.....
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Old 03-23-2019, 12:43 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanover69 View Post
....
I just wanted to add that a WDH with a Friction sway bar will help control the sway, but if the trailer is loaded wrong it cant over come.
...
+1

Here is a similar video but a bit longer. I like it better because it demonstrates the effects of yaw inertia and towing speed on stability.

Trailers in Europe are often designed with tongue weights in the range of only 5%-8% but the designs also minimize the yaw inertia. Tow vehicles don't typically use weight distribution hitches, however many (most?) countries limit the tow speed - 60 mph in the UK for example.

Our 19 has a tongue weight of only 10% but I haven't bothered adding weight to the front because I limit my tow speed to 60 mph. If I regularly towed at 70 mph or faster I would increase my tongue weight.



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Old 03-23-2019, 12:48 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Have never felt the need to measure tongue weight on our 21 because the bed is foam base with a latex topper and we have all kinds of stuff under the bed and in the front box- another reason am glad we have a Yukon that weighs a 1000 lbs.+ more than the trailer.

So while it is difficult for us not to have enough tongue weight on a 21(even with bikes/full fresh tank) it seems a 19 could be fairly easy to be light as there is a queen bed in the back with storage underneath along with the fresh water tank. Add bike rack and two bikes then it's even more weight off the tongue.
Hi Ross . We have similar bed setup but in the rear , which is heavy with the latex. Also travel with full fresh tank , under rear bed. Never have weighed the tongue either. Have the front box too with dual 6 's . When we travel carry ice chest in dinette bungeed to Springflield . Also 30 amp cord and the portable solar case if we bring . In bath 3galloon water jug and dog bag on floor . Outside box with hoses , heavy cable if using portable solar , chocks , some are metal , broom and what not . Truck is heavy and does have air bags from camper days . Seems like there can be a lot going on . I guess we are nicely distributed in trailer . I still think also speed needs to be in the mix and it doesn't hurt the truck is almost the same length, weight and width of the trailer . In California signs on the highway state when towing 55 mi is the limit and we try to keep it there . Tickets are very pricey and changes your insurance rates . I don't think it is a one simple answer . Lots of good advice .Pat
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Old 03-23-2019, 01:03 PM   #59
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This device may be of interest to some people reading this thread.

Sway Master | Trailer Sway Control Hitch | Hayes Towing Electronics

It has a GPS to measure speed and sensors to detect sway. It applies the trailer brakes when sway is detected and the speed travelled is > 45mph. Basically does what the driver should do with their brake controller if the trailer is swaying.

I don't have one, so I can't speak to its effectiveness.

I do like the remote for our brake controller though - the tekonsha Prodigy RF. It plugs into a 12 Vdc socket so you can locate it for quick access and is very easy to engage the manual brakes (just squeeze the button on the side).
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Old 03-23-2019, 01:10 PM   #60
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I always thought some modern trucks/autos have built in anti-sway which activate individual brakes on the tow vehicle if sway is detected. Would this perhaps counter any evasive measures taken for the trailer?
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