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Old 03-20-2014, 09:42 PM   #1
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Question How is tongue weight considered by truck makers?

If a truck Mfg. says a truck is supposed to be able to handle a tow of - you pick a weight because of the variations - do they not make that rating considering the truck can handle the desired tongue weight? I understand the WDH is used to transfer load to take weight off the rear axle and move it to front end and trailer axels. And if tongue weight is considered do they also assume you are using A WDH to get this weight transfer done properly? My truck only drops about an inch and a half with trailer before the WDH is connected and is pretty much back to the before position after hook up. The set up was done by the dealer and they let me watch and explained how it worked. I Have about 7000 miles pulling on it and I never had any sway problems(x my fingers now - don't want to jinx myself). I Have read many post about towing and hitches(etc) but still have not put it away in my mind as something I am ready to stop getting more info on. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:15 PM   #2
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Dodge web site suggests that tongue weight should be 10-15% trailer weight.

Trailer weight being a product of gross vehicle weight, etc...

They also add that tongue weight is more appropriately a product of the class of tow hitch/ receiver.

The WDH comes in only to re level the vehicle to improve/ reduce sway, and stability.

My.02
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmactootall View Post
snip..... do they not make that rating considering the truck can handle the desired tongue weight?....snip
Vehicle manufactures establish a Payload Capacity based on a number of things, but a trailer's potential tongue weight isn't in the equation because the actual "loaded" tongue weight is an unknown. But yes, a trailer's loaded tongue weight is supported by the TV so it will be subtracted from the TV's payload capacity.

Where you will see a vehicle manufacture reference tongue weight is in the owners manual, and/or stamped on the OEM receiver......, but in both cases the actual tongue weight still has to be within vehicle weight limitations (GVWR, Payload Capacity, etc.)

The only way to determine a TV's tongue weight limitation, is to take the TV under loaded conditions (full fuel, passengers, cargo) and weigh it at a CAT scale (couple minute process, about $9). Subtract the CAT scale weight from the TV's GVWR noted on the driver's door...., the remaining weight (payload capacity) is what is available for the TT's loaded tongue weight, and the WDH weight (50lbs).

The vehicle manufacture will however establish a "published" Tow Rating for a specific vehicle, but this published Tow Rating is based on on very specific criteria: Base Curb Weight, 150lb driver, Full Fuel and fluids.

Good reference on Tow Ratings: https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f37/what-is-my-actual-tow-rating-3866.html

A vehicle manufacture doesn't assume one will use a WDH, it's up to the consumer to determine this based on the specified weight limitations established by the vehicle manufacture. Check your owners manual under the Towing section, most will have a statement about when using a WDH..., in most cases it will address a requirement of the TV's front suspension when using a WDH.

To truly determine if a WDH is adjusted properly and transferring the correct amount weight, a visit to a CAT scale is the only way to confirm this. Returning a TV's front suspension back to it's unhitched height via the WDH gets one in the ballpark, a CAT scale will allow you to dial it in. The CAT scale weigh-in will also provide all other weight data as well (loaded tongue weight, TT weight, TV gross weight, axle weights, etc.).

CAT scale how-to: https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f37/how-to-weigh-your-tv-tt-3871.html

Also, your RV dealership set-up your WDH under unloaded TV/TT conditions, the WDH should be re-adjusted under "loaded" TV/TT conditions to insure optimum TV handling of the TT, especially in less then ideal towing conditions.

Please feel free to ask for any clarifications.

Bob
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:28 PM   #4
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WDH set up under almost loaded conditions

The hitch as set up under full load for everything except there were no passengers in the TV. I had a 600 lb. hitch(used with our Jayco 165) I used for a about 2 months and had a 1000 lb. hitch put on because I figured a 6500 lb. max load trailer was a little much for 600 hitch if fully loaded. Truck had about a mile of gas used from 32 gallon tank. We had been trying to run light on the 600 but the TT was loaded completely as we pulled in to dealer on the way to a 9 day outing to test run for a 6 1/2 week trip. The smart thing for me to do is SCALE it when we get out the first time this year.
Thanks for the good info
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:01 PM   #5
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The CAT scale data with your TV/TT combination will provide you with all the information you need, plus confirming that your WDH is sized correctly for your loaded weights.

As mentioned, most TV, RV, and WDH manufactures recommend that the loaded tongue weight be 10% to 15% of the TT's loaded weight, but many folks find that a 13% to 15% loaded tongue weight range enhances TV handling (especially with heavier/longer TT's).

If your TT has a 6,500 GVWR, and if loaded to it's GVWR..., 10% to 15% tongue weight range would be 650lbs to 975lbs (13% = 845lbs). I agree with you that the WDH rated at 600lbs wasn't sufficient, even with a lighter TT load.

IMO your decision of up-grading the WDH was a good one, and the CAT scale will confirm that it is adjusted correctly.

Enjoy the 2014 camping season, and safe travels

Bob
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