Weight Distribution Hitch Physics

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jhsc23

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Jun 24, 2005
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Hope this doesn't sound too stupid. I've read the posts on this and was wondering if the bars actually reduce the tongue weight to the trailer coupler and ball assembly. Is some of the tongue weight transferred to the tow vehicle's frame thru the bars to the hitch? My trailer's tongue weight is 637lbs (weighed with race car wheel scale)  loaded and my F250 handles it with no problems. If I put weight distribution bars on,  does that affect the 10% tongue weight ratio?

Also, the trailer brakes are on the rear axle. Seems to me they should be on the front axle. Any thoughts on this-----------------------

Thanks
 

Ron from Big D

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The torque bars will definitely transfer weight to the front end of the truck and reduce the applied tongue weight.    With the bars, I would think the brakes would be more effective on the rear axle of the trailer.

 

jhsc23

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Jun 24, 2005
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Thanks Ron,
In the event of trailer breakaway with the brakes on the rear axle, wouldn't the rear tire weight unload?
I've debated just adding brakes to the front axle, giving me brakes all the way around.
Joe
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The two multi-axle trailers I have owned have had brakes on both axles.  Since the brakes rely on the tires to actual stop, the more tires that are braked, the better.

No, the weight distributing aspect does not change the 10-13% tongue weight ratio. It merely helps the tow vehicle carry that load by distributing it more evenly.  Tongue weight is the amont of downward pressure at the trailer tongue and is independent of how that weight is supported by the tow vehicle.
 

jhsc23

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Jun 24, 2005
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Thanks!
Checked on the cost of adding the brakes to the second axle. It's really a bargain for what I'd get from them. Easy to install too.

Thanks again,
Joe
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Joe,

I work part time at an RV dealership doing orientation and PDIs. Every tandem axle trailer I have seen has had brakes on both sets of wheels. I'd highly recommend getting them added to your other axle. I'm surprised they aren't there!

 

Carl L

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west Los Angeles
jhsc23 said:
Hope this doesn't sound too stupid. I've read the posts on this and was wondering if the bars actually reduce the tongue weight to the trailer coupler and ball assembly. Is some of the tongue weight transferred to the tow vehicle's frame thru the bars to the hitch? My trailer's tongue weight is 637lbs (weighed with race car wheel scale)? loaded and my F250 handles it with no problems. If I put weight distribution bars on,? does that affect the 10% tongue weight ratio?

The tongue weight is all the weight that bears on your ball mount not just the ball.  The spring bars of a WD hich system are trunnioned into the ball mount.  Any force they impart is on the ball mount.    So actually your effective tongue weight is increased by at least the weight of the assembly and the torque placed on the bars when you level.    So the short answer is no they do not.  By the way, 10% is a bit low, I would be happier with 12-15% of actual trailer weight loaded.
 

jhsc23

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Joined
Jun 24, 2005
Posts
10
Thanks to all. Knowledge is a good thing to add to ones camping supplies AND IT DOES WEIGH ANYTHING!!!
Joe
 

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