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Author Topic: Weight distribution hitches  (Read 773 times)

sweeney153

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Weight distribution hitches
« on: July 09, 2017, 01:39:03 PM »
I am new to the TT  world and have not towed very much. The only thing i have towed is my boat which is very light and i only tow it 2 miles.
We bought a travel trailer. Its an Argosy 33'  6,000 lbs and 600 lbs tongue weight. I towed it home and it was squirrelly. if i went over 45 it swayed all over the place. I know i need a weight distribution hitch and sway control. I was offered a setup that is rated for 10,000 lbs and 1,000 lbs tongue weight. is this OK or do i need an exact match. i think a little bigger would be better.

glen54737

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2017, 01:45:08 PM »
You want one rated above or the same as what you are towing.
Also they may not make an exact match so basically bigger is better.
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AStravelers

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 02:07:05 PM »
Even w/o the WDH the sway would indicate you don't have enough weight in the front of the trailer.

Yes, the 10,000# / 1000# hitch will work fine for the trailer. 

Is the 6000# the dry weight or the GVWR?

Once you get all your gear loaded, put your passengers in the tow vehicle and take the set up to a CAT Scale and weigh it.  Do an internet search to find a CAT scale near you.  At the scale put the front tires on one scale, the rear wheels on the 2nd scale and the trailer on the 3rd scale.  Then unhook the trailer and re-weigh the TV to find your hitch weight. 

12% hitch weight is better than 10%, but it should be between 10% & 15%.
Al & Sharon
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2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

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RVRAC

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2017, 02:25:49 PM »
A 33' trailer is a long one.  What are you using to pull it?  The problem my by that you don't have enough truck even when a weight distribution hitch is a must.
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Gods Country

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 02:35:17 PM »
Yes you need a weight distribution hitch.  It will help your TV carry the load.
I'm dubious that a 33' trailer is 6k.  Granted it may be close to that weight empty from the dealer.
I also find it curious that a new and presumably empty trailer would be grossly weighted incorrectly causing excessive trailer sway.  Was the sway on highway, interstate travel or both?  What is your TV?  If it is overloaded that could be a significant portion of the problem.  Not having a proper hitch would magnify it.

sweeney153

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2017, 04:48:10 PM »
It is not a new trailer. I am towing with a Chevy Tahoe. I was towing it empty.  The weights are from the Air-stream website. I have not weighed it yet but i agree that's a good idea. The sway was on the interstate.

Gods Country

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2017, 05:43:32 PM »
It is not a new trailer. I am towing with a Chevy Tahoe. I was towing it empty.  The weights are from the Air-stream website. I have not weighed it yet but i agree that's a good idea. The sway was on the interstate.

You will need a WDH regardless, but IMO a Tahoe is not enough vehicle to pull a 33' trailer.  Even with a max tow package and a modestly loaded trailer the odds of not being over the vehicles max weight rating is slim, but you will have to make that determination.

mgcjeff

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2017, 11:13:07 PM »
Hensley Arrow or a Pull-Rite Hitch.
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kdbgoat

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2017, 06:45:34 AM »
And 600# tongue weight is a fable also. The tongue weight should be 10 to 15% of the loaded trailer's weight.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2017, 08:44:04 AM »
6000 lbs sounds like the factory dry weight with no options, no propane, etc. . It surely weighs more now, even if you have no gear onboard.  Even if it was fairly close to that when you towed it, that would be far too much weight for a Tahoe without WD. 

The sway problem, however, suggests that the trailer lacked tongue weight. It needs to be at least 10% of the gross trailer weight (12% is better) or sway will surely result. It may be that the trailer balance is such that the tongue is light even though the gross weight is near the minimum for that size trailer.

You didn't describe the Tahoe, so we have to guess at its tow rating and cargo capacity. Tahoes can tow anywhere from 5500-8200 lbs, depending on the specific configuration. That's a max and gets decreased as you add passengers and gear onboard the Tahoe (including the weight of the hitch itself).  Your Tahoe may well have been at or beyond its capabilities.
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Wireman134

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2017, 12:14:28 PM »
Tahoe GCWR is no more than 13,000lbs. Hitch weight on that Air stream is at least 800lbs. Wheel base is to short even if you where the only passenger and no other cargo is in the Tahoe. That Air Stream has a GVR of around 8,000lbs. Find yourself a HD truck and honestly stop towing it with that SUV
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 12:31:18 PM by Wireman134 »
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AStravelers

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2017, 09:53:55 AM »
A quick internet search brought up an archive document listing from Airstream:  https://www.airstream.com/service/document-archive/

You should be able to find the mfg specs for your trailer there.  With quick check I found a 32' 1988 model Argosy with a dry weight of 5600 pounds.  It also listed a max additional weight for ALL fluids and cargo of 1700 pounds.  When you finish putting fresh water, propane and some black and gray water, that doesn't leave much for clothes, food, pots & pan, etc, etc, etc.

Also for this trailer the 5600 plus 1700 pounds brings the gross weight of the trailer to 7300 pounds.  12% of that gives a tongue weight of almost 900 pounds.
Al & Sharon
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Frizlefrak

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2017, 11:29:17 PM »
A 33' trailer is firmly into 2500 truck territory, regardless of weight.  That is a long trailer.  With a short wheel base SUV, you're going to feel every slight breeze, and the trailer is going to wag the tow vehicle.  A 2500/3500 truck will have a longer wheelbase, bigger brakes, steering frame, suspension, cooling, etc....and is much better suited to what you want to pull.

A properly set up and loaded travel trailer towed at a prudent speed by a sufficiently stout vehicle shouldn't sway.  Ever.  My 30' doesn't budge, even in moderate crosswinds.  Sway is a very dangerous condition.  Correct it before towing this trailer. 
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2012 Palomino 30' TT

Frank B

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2017, 03:39:33 PM »
 :)) :))


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goose33

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2017, 08:54:57 AM »
Look into Husky's CenterLine TS line of WD hitches. I use one on my TT and absolutely love it. No more chains. Very simple to use and does a great job controlling sway and keeping things in line. I usually tow at around 60-65 MPH.
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jesseo715

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2017, 10:07:31 PM »
Look into Husky's CenterLine TS line of WD hitches. I use one on my TT and absolutely love it. No more chains. Very simple to use and does a great job controlling sway and keeping things in line. I usually tow at around 60-65 MPH.

My Eaz Lift Recurve R6 is very simple as well.  I definitely recommend it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrIqxT1q2FA
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viceprice

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2017, 05:16:25 AM »
Look into Husky's CenterLine TS line of WD hitches. I use one on my TT and absolutely love it. No more chains. Very simple to use and does a great job controlling sway and keeping things in line. I usually tow at around 60-65 MPH.

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jimbrown

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2017, 12:35:51 AM »
I looked at the Husky products and i think the "head" on the DW trailer is smaller (therefore higher from the ground) and it has closer adjustment holes so I can get as close to level as possible. Thanks for the lead guys!!!!!
Jim Brown, 2017 Winnie Drop 170S, 2017 F150 XLT 2.7L V6

scottydl

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Re: Weight distribution hitches
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2017, 09:51:22 AM »
It's been mentioned, but I'll echo... your sway problem is only partly related to weight distribution.  The rest of the issues are with your tow vehicle, a short-wheelbase SUV with 1/2 ton capacity.  That is just not enough "truck" to control the length and weight of your trailer (which I guarantee is well over 6000#/600#).  Even if the towing capacity numbers are within spec, I bet you will be at maximum for almost everything.

Can your SUV do it?  Possibly.  Will it be an enjoyable towing experience?  Not likely.
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