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Old 10-07-2012, 09:03 AM   #1
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Weight Distribution advice

Hi,

So I bought a 2010 Autumn Ridge 186BH. It has a tongue weight of 455lbs, a GVWR 6000lbs and an unloaded vehicle weight of 3895lbs.

I will be towing this with a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport, it has a GCWR of 15,500lbs, a towing capacity of 10,050lbs. I bought it with the 3.92 axle as we were planning on buying a travel trailer afterwards. The truck also has active sway control as part of the tow package.

I have purchased a solid tow hitch rated for 15,000lbs to bring it home from the dealer this coming weekend, and as it is mostly flat highway I am not to concerned with towing it home.

The question I have is long term we are planning on traveling out east to PEI, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in summer 2013 and it is a lot more up and downhill driving.

What is everyone's opinion on Weight Distribution/Equalization bars for the weight I am pulling? I was planning on if needing the bars having the dealer fit them but since we purchased it we have an open window of 1 day to pick it up as I am traveling 4 hours to pick it up and they don't have the time to fit me in to get them installed unless I wait another few weeks to pick it up. Like I said I feel confident in picking it up with a straight hitch, but long term what is everyone's thoughts?

Cheers.

Jim
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:18 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum! My humble opinion is to go with a WD system. That tongue weight will increase when loaded.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crabman View Post
Welcome to the forum! My humble opinion is to go with a WD system. That tongue weight will increase when loaded.
Thanks Crabman. No pun intended but I have been swaying back and forward in terms of getting one.
Towing home empty should be okay, but like you say loaded is different and I do plan on having some weight in the box also. Price wise I am always one for putting safety first especially when the family is in the truck with me, any recommendations on WD systems in terms of manufacturer, etc?

Cheers.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:34 AM   #4
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If you look at this poll, the Equalizer and Reese products seem to be the most popular here, and are available at many dealerships.

https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...ing+hitch+poll
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:21 AM   #5
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I would get a WDH, even with your setup. You may not have to crank on the bars like some of us with smaller vehicles or heavier trailers, but it will help take the bounce out and make everything more stable.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:47 AM   #6
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Jim,

Welcome to JOF

Just a couple of thoughts come to mind. Before you purchase any WDH, check for any stickers on the TT's A-frame that reflect any WDH weight rating limitations. On some of the smaller HTT's/TT's some manufactures have limitations do to the frame design.

I agree with Lee, a WDH in many cases will enhance TV handling under "loaded" TV/TT conditions.

The one thing I like about the Reese WDH's in lieu of the Equal-i-zer brand WDH's is that with the Reese WDH's one can upgrade the weight rating capacity by just replacing the spring bars.., with the Equal-i-zer brand WDH the whole WDH has to be replaced. Since you are talking about upgrading your TT in the near future this might be something to consider.

As far as sizing the WDH for the 2010 Autumn Ridge 186BH, IMO I would go with a 600lb rated WDH minimum. Ideally with the 186BH one would want the loaded tongue weight to be in the range of 10% to 15% of the 186BH's loaded weight. For example; a 5,000lb loaded 186BH one would want to be within a loaded tongue weight range of 500lbs to 750lbs. All depends on your loading habits...., if you tend to load on the heavy side and think that your 186BH would be closer to it's GVWR of 6,000lbs (600lb to 900lb tongue weight range), then a WDH rated at 800lbs would be desirable. Again, make sure there aren't any A-frame WDH limitations.

Also, a TT's UVW isn't the manufacturer's ship weight, the actual ship weight will be heavier. Depending on the particular model this can be 150lbs to 400lbs heavier.

Just food for thought

Bob
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:16 PM   #7
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1/2 ton get a WDH. It will make towing much easier and safer even with your built in anti sway.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:34 PM   #8
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Gents,

Thanks for all the advise. I think I will get it home and check out there are any A-frame limitations. The other reason for holding off is that there is no way I can get the dealership to have it fitted if I want to get it home before any chance of snow. We can get snow here as early as November.
Once I get it home I'll look for a Reese WDH. I really like the WDH that Lee and Bob mentioned so that I can upgrade later if I have too.

Cheers.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:21 AM   #9
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So I brought it home last night without WDH. I will admit it pulled fine and the headlights were not pointing at the night sky! ha.

That being said before it's first inaugural trip next summer there will be a WDH getting installed.

Thanks for all the great posts!
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:17 PM   #10
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Good to hear you had a safe tow back home from the RV dealership. Now you have all winter to load the TT up with all that great camping stuff

Bob
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