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RVing message boards => Trailers & Fifthwheels => Topic started by: John97031 on October 01, 2017, 11:36:35 AM

Title: My setup
Post by: John97031 on October 01, 2017, 11:36:35 AM
Trading in our Jayco Greyhawk 26DS class C next week and picking up a Jayco Jayflight 28BHSE (i think SE is correct). To tow it I traded in our Ram 1500 4x4 hemi for a new Ram 2500 4x4 long bed diesel. I have something like 2500 weight carrying ability and well beyond the trailer weight in towing ability. But I'm new to towing (was a 18 wheel trucker for 2 years a LONG time ago). Is a weight distribution hitch needed or recommended?
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: SargeW on October 01, 2017, 12:19:01 PM
It depends John. What is the loaded tongue weight of the TT expected to be (or the max tongue weight)?  When first starting out I had a 1 ton dually short bed with a 28' TT.  The suspension was so stout on the dually I ran with out the spring bars, and even carried some concrete blocks in the back of the truck to smooth out the ride. 

I don't think your 2500 will be quite that stiff, but I mentioned it for an example.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: grashley on October 01, 2017, 07:59:29 PM
Let me define a few terms.
First, you have plenty of truck.

The 2500# is your payload, or how much weight the truck can carry.  This includes all passengers, pets, cargo, tools and toys carried in the truck, plus the weight of the hitch and TT tongue wt.  The yellow label on the driver door latch pillar gives you the actual payload for your truck, and it should be around 2500#.

It appears the TT is about 6500# dry wt, or about 8000# loaded wt.
Tongue wt, or hitch wt must be at least 10% of the actual trailer wt, or 800#.  As Sarge said, you should not need a WD hitch for this.

Thanks for asking!
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: John97031 on October 01, 2017, 09:21:46 PM
Dry  hitch weight is supposed to be 685 lbs.  Sounds like a little over 10%. So assuming we load it correctly the GVWR is  9250#. Hopefully we won't have that much. But I can see us in the 8,000# range. Two people, 3 kayaks, rack, and 2 bicycles I can see about 750 of our 2500 used up. Maybe 800. Should leave plenty for tongue weight.

What I don't understand is what WDH do. If you want the tongue weight for handling then does the WDH move it somewhere? 

The trailer is one year old and has the WDH trailer parts installed. I asked the salesman (Camping World) about that and he told me I should have a WDH and would include it ( believe that when I see it).

So I'm not totally understanding what a WDH does and when it is needed.

Title: Re: My setup
Post by: QZ on October 01, 2017, 10:29:52 PM
This is from Etrailer website.

"A weight distribution system helps to ensure a smooth, level ride and allows you to tow to the maximum capacity allowed by your hitch. It also helps to correct tow vehicle sag, improve steering and stopping, and - when used with sway control - correct trailer sway."

You have a great truck for pulling that but I would use wdh and anti sway. The anti sway is basically a brake. It has a metal portion which rubs against the friction lining that is fastened to the other components.  There are adjustment screws to adjust the clamping force.  When you look at it and see what it does you will see that it actually makes the truck and TT stay straight and not want to turn.

Your set up will turn just fine but when you are up to speed the anti sway tries to keep the rig and truck straight and not let it start swaying with the worst case being loss of control and a roll over.  You wont have any problem  towing but  having the wdh and anti sway you will have a great set up. When you get the kayaks and  everything loaded up to camp take it to a scale so you are sure of the tongue weight. Sway is very common with low tongue weight.

I have a FW so others can guide you better on wdh set up.

My son has a 3/4 CC LB CTD pulling a 10K  gross 35 ft bunk FW and loves it. He said it pulls better than his 5,800 lb TT.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on October 02, 2017, 09:50:17 AM
So I'm not totally understanding what a WDH does and when it is needed.

It does what the name implies - it helps distributes the tongue weight more evenly on the tow vehicle. Without it, the trailer tongue weight falls directly on the hitch receiver and through it onto the truck rear axle. That hitch receiver and the back end of the truck can carry only so much weight, though in the case of a Ram 2500 that is substantial. [See the weight-carrying and weight-distributed ratings for your truck's hitch receiver.]  A WD hitch uses spring bars as a lever to shift some of the tongue weight forward on the truck, so that the receiver has only a percentage of the tongue weight on it, with the rest shifted to the front axle of the truck.

If the weight-carrying rating of the trucks receiver exceeds the actual tongue weight, you don't need WD. However, if its close, WD is at least a good idea, and if it exceeds the rating WD is required.   You also want  to be sure that the total weight carried on the truck rear axle is within the axle rating (GAWR), and the tongue weight is a substantial part of that (the rest is cargo and passengers in the truck). By shifting weight forward, WD relieves some of the load on the rear axle.

Example: A typical Class IV receiver is rated to carry 1000 lbs and tow 10,000 lbs. With WD, that typically increases to 1400 lbs of tongue weight and 14,000 towed. The gain is a result of the weight shifting.

The better WD hitches build some sway control capability right into the hitch, while others attach a friction device on the side. However, you can install a friction anti-sway device on a ball coupler hitch without WD. If your truck doesn't need WD to help carry the tongue weight evenly, an add-on anti-sway device is the solution. [Whether you need an anti-sway device at all is another question, one that we can discuss separately once the WD question is answered]

This URL shows an friction-type anti-sway that connects to trailer and the ball mount. (