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Old 03-16-2015, 12:41 AM   #1
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Help me with my weight setup

I feel like a fool, maybe from driving 7 hours today, but I can't seem to figure out what I am doing with my weight setup. I added a hitch to the rear of my trailer, put my new rack and bikes on and went on vacation for a week. Everything went fine, but I felt like the rear of my truck was really light the last couple of days. Fine going to San Diego, not so much coming home to Arizona. Nothing really changed on the trip except maybe 15 gallons of water moving from the fresh water tank to the black tank, and some food being eaten then garbage being tossed. So, I decided to get my setup weighed today. Now I need help with making the adjustments. I have a 14k equa-l-izer hitch. Here are my weights from the CAT scale:

WDH connected
Steer axle: 4120 lbs
Drive axle: 4920 lbs
Trailer axle: 8100 lbs
Total axle: 17140 lbs

WDH not connected
Steer axle: 3980 lbs
Drive axle: 5120 lbs
Trailer axle: 8040 lbs
Total axle: 17140 lbs

Truck only
Steer axle: 4400 lbs
Drive axle: 3600 lbs
Total axle: 8000 lbs
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Old 03-16-2015, 09:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunyadamn View Post
...snip... but I felt like the rear of my truck was really light the last couple of days. Fine going to San Diego, not so much coming home to Arizona....snip...
A few questions:
Is there more you can say regarding '...rear of my truck was really light...'? - Do you now feel more sway (side to side) at the rear than before?

- Do you know your trailer's tongue weight?

- Are your truck rear tires and trailer tires inflated to their maximums?

- In addition to the water, were other items stowed differently in the trailer for the trip home?

You may be able to transfer more weight to the front axle. This would also increase your hitch's anti-sway friction, if sway is what you are feeling.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:42 AM   #3
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Just some first impressions:

-Looks like your Tongue weight is around 1100 lbs. Which translates to about 12% of your trailer weight. A little more tongue weight probably wouldn't hurt with that setup; try to get closer to 15%.
-Looks like your front axle is about 280 lbs light (this could explain why the front of the truck felt "light"; it is in fact light.) You want your steer axle to be returned as close as possible to unloaded weight condition. You can approximate this by parking the truck on level ground and measuring the front fender to the ground directly above the axle before and after hookup. After you're hooked up and WDH engaged, you want the measurement loaded and unloaded to be pretty close to the same (Verify in your owner's manual, but I'm pretty sure that's how it goes with GM. The others may differ.).

My first try would be to bring the spring bar hangers up one notch and see where that gets you. If it helps, you could leave it like that or try angling the hitch more out toward the trailer by adding a washer or two (and bring the hangers back to their original position).

I would begin with some adjustment to your WDH under loaded conditions. Did you set it up yourself? Or was it set up by the dealer under unloaded conditions? If it was set up by the dealer under unloaded conditions, you're going to have to adjust. Break out the instructions and the big wrenches and start making adjustments.
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:16 AM   #4
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Would also be interested in the Front/Rear GAWR.
Is the rear bumper strong enough to support the hitch for the bike rack?
I think Camper is on the right track with the front axle, the spring bars can transfer some more to the front.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmanAZ View Post
A few questions:
Is there more you can say regarding '...rear of my truck was really light...'? - Do you now feel more sway (side to side) at the rear than before?

- Do you know your trailer's tongue weight?

- Are your truck rear tires and trailer tires inflated to their maximums?

- In addition to the water, were other items stowed differently in the trailer for the trip home?

You may be able to transfer more weight to the front axle. This would also increase your hitch's anti-sway friction, if sway is what you are feeling.
Yes, I was getting pushed around quite a bit by every passing truck and or groove on the road.

I don't know my tongue weight, but I do know moving the bikes from inside the bed of my truck to the rear bumper of the trailer is the only change I made since our last trip.

My tires were just checked on the trailer before our trip and I put new tires on my truck before our trip and my tires were properly inflated.

Everything is where it needs to be now. This is the first time after the dealer set up my hitch when I bought it last year. At that time I had nothing in it, so really I think it just needs to be adjusted for the real world loaded weight for the first time.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camper_bob View Post
Just some first impressions:

-Looks like your Tongue weight is around 1100 lbs. Which translates to about 12% of your trailer weight. A little more tongue weight probably wouldn't hurt with that setup; try to get closer to 15%.
-Looks like your front axle is about 280 lbs light (this could explain why the front of the truck felt "light"; it is in fact light.) You want your steer axle to be returned as close as possible to unloaded weight condition. You can approximate this by parking the truck on level ground and measuring the front fender to the ground directly above the axle before and after hookup. After you're hooked up and WDH engaged, you want the measurement loaded and unloaded to be pretty close to the same (Verify in your owner's manual, but I'm pretty sure that's how it goes with GM. The others may differ.).

My first try would be to bring the spring bar hangers up one notch and see where that gets you. If it helps, you could leave it like that or try angling the hitch more out toward the trailer by adding a washer or two (and bring the hangers back to their original position).

I would begin with some adjustment to your WDH under loaded conditions. Did you set it up yourself? Or was it set up by the dealer under unloaded conditions? If it was set up by the dealer under unloaded conditions, you're going to have to adjust. Break out the instructions and the big wrenches and start making adjustments.
The dealer did the first setup completely unloaded. I will take a look at the instructions and see what I can make of them.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHorse1 View Post
Would also be interested in the Front/Rear GAWR.
Is the rear bumper strong enough to support the hitch for the bike rack?
I think Camper is on the right track with the front axle, the spring bars can transfer some more to the front.
I had a welding/hitch shop weld the hitch to the frame. I am very confident in the hitch after this trip. Everything worked out perfectly in that respect. So glad I made that purchase.
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Old 03-16-2015, 02:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunyadamn View Post
Everything is where it needs to be now. This is the first time after the dealer set up my hitch when I bought it last year. At that time I had nothing in it, so really I think it just needs to be adjusted for the real world loaded weight for the first time.
BINGO! That'll do it. Even if you just changed loading habits, it's a good idea to reassess your setup (and adjust as necessary). Since you have a change in loading habits and you haven't adjusted it since you brought it home from the dealer, I'd say some adjustment is in order.

It's really not all that hard, as long as you have the tools. I had to go buy a couple sockets and a longer handled 1/2" drive socket. I should have mine torqued by a hitch or truck shop, but I just haven't done that yet.
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