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Old 09-11-2019, 05:06 PM   #1
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rear tire wear with weight distribution hitch

hey all, just got back from a 9 day 3,000 mile trip - central PA to eastern Colorado and back.

195RB towed by a 2014 Ford Flex. Flex is good to 4500 GVWR and we keep the 195RB light as possible so it is well under 4500.

trip went well, but i took flex in for oil change and found the rear tires down to cords on the inside. left with 7/32's.

i did not use the sway bar as i can't seem to get the setting right. noticed a little sway but nothing heavy.

weight dist hitch was set up to measurements and when coupled is very close to uncoupled height.

brakes checked and they are perfect, alignment checked and it was slightly out in the rear ( maybe that curb at that tiny gas station).

Front tires came back good at 6/32's.

any thoughts my friends?

the 2 prior trips were 300 and 600 miles RT and the car was serviced after them and before this trip. everything checked out then but i was using sway bar.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:20 PM   #2
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What is the (WD) tongue weight allowable for your car hitch? You may be within the GCVR, but are you under the listed WD tongue weight?

Most hitches for tow vehicles have two different GCVRs, and two different tongue weights, depending on whether you are using a weight distributing hitch or not. On top of that, a weight distributing hitch head usually weighs much more than one that does distribute. So you need to add that on top of the actual tongue weight, when arriving at the actual loaded tongue weight of your trailer.

I'm not familiar with the Flex, but I'm going to guess that the non-WD maximum tongue weight is 400 lb. In which case it might be 600 pounds with the WD bars engaged?

So even though you say that you are within the GCVR, could you be exceeding the tongue weight and overloading the rear of your vehicle?

Then, on top of that, what is the cargo weight of the tow vehicle? Are you under the maximum tow vehicle cargo weight when taking into account the tongue weight added to the cargo weight in the tow vehicle?

Welcome to the forums!
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:27 PM   #3
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I'm also assuming that your Flex came with the class 3 tow package. I just looked it up and a standard 2014 flex can only tow 2,000 pounds, while the one with the tow package is good to 4500 lb.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:38 PM   #4
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Your Flex has independent rear suspension, and can be aligned just like the front suspension. It sounds like it may need a thorough inspection, and four wheel alignment. The Flex is known to have tire wear issues in the past.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boooker View Post
hey all, just got back from a 9 day 3,000 mile trip - central PA to eastern Colorado and back.

195RB towed by a 2014 Ford Flex. Flex is good to 4500 GVWR and we keep the 195RB light as possible so it is well under 4500.
I just looked up the base curb weight of 2019 Ford Flex SEL AWD and it was reported to be 4637 lbs. I think the GVWR is hitch weight (what is that, something like 80 lbs for the hitch and 420 lbs for load from trailer.). Add the curb weight to that and include passengers and cargo. I think there are axle loading considerations, front vs. rear, and the distribution hitch is supposed to help with that. I am a rookie here, so check my reasoning. You may be overloading your Flex.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:46 PM   #6
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Read this post last night. While out today we happen to follow a Flex down the road. It appeared the Flex was loaded up as the rear wheels/tires were significantly arched / \ . Tires won't last in this position, particularly when under weight.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:04 AM   #7
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I added the class III wd hitch after talking to ford engineers. the "package" comes with anti sway software. I confirmed the hitch, tongue weight and trailer weight with the engineers and they said I was good to go. trans cooler already on the vehicle and oil cooler not required. all temps stayed good during the 9 day run in which 6 days were 500 miles plus each day under load. engine performed great. tire pressures checked daily and required no air. heading to cape may nj in October with new tires and will use the anti sway bar, and measure tread depth - a lot. we will see. maybe santa needs to send me an f-150.


as a side note we are a couple who simply go and camp - we do not haul anything but ourselves and about 50 lbs of dogs, a few day of clothes, a bottle of scotch and a bottle of bourbon. water tank empty, black tank a few gallons to slosh around and grey tank nearly empty.
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