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 > Help needed with CAT scale numbers

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JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 11/26/17 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Baja Man wrote:

Questions:

If I load additonal weight to truck bed, which I plan on doing in the next few weeks (camper shell, tools, camping supplies, possible a cargo slide, etc) approx. 600#.....

1. will this increase my tongue weight?
2. If so I would need to increase both the hitch to a 1400/14000 and receiver to at least 1400 tW.

Thoughts?


Hi,

As the others have stated, you are way too light on the front of the truck. You are not transferring enough weight to the front. For your truck year and suspension, running the front ~100 to 150# under unloaded weight is not bad. But you are a lot away from that. I would not go all the way back to the exact same weight as unhitched, you may have other stability issues then. I am on purpose riding 100 to 150# under on the front axle. With my bed weight and TW it allows the rear of truck to kiss the rear overload springs and it helps with oversteer on the truck.

You made 1 other error most likely not realizing you did it. You did not load the truck bed the way you go camping. If you are going to add 600# to the bed, that is a lot. The whole truck ride height is going to change with that much extra weight added. This will affect the shank length being that much different.

Adding bed weight does not change the loaded TW of the camper. However it does change the ride height of the truck and it will affect the settings of the WD hitch. To help explain this a little better, if where you are right now in truck weights, if you adjust the WD hitch to shift more weight to the front of the truck this will help restore more weight back to the front of the truck. This will help when steering in wet conditions so you do not slide with the heavy trailer pushing you (aka understeer). When the WD on the truck is correct, then you will raise or lower the hitch head on the WD shank to level out the camper as close as you can within 1 adjusting hole. Slight nose down is better then much nose up. Once you move the shank, check the fender heights again. You might have to tweak 1 more washer of tilt of the hitch head back towards the trailer depending on how far you move the head.

So you just bought a new drop shank to lower the hitch head down and you have the camper leveled out and the WD on the truck set correct.

Now next spring you put 600# in the truck bed. The front of the truck will lower down and so will the back of the truck. But not by equal amounts. That much weight is going affect the WD settings on the hitch. You will need to start over on the WD settings and re-establish unhitched truck fender heights, readjust the WD settings on the WD hitch and then, and very possibly again lower the WD hitch head on the shank. This time hopefully you did not run out of hitch shank length on the new shank you just bought.

Do you now see the issues? You might luck out with the shank being long enough OR you might not and have to buy another new shank.

Now back to the 1,200# WD hitch, since today you are at 1,180# of loaded TW, as of today you are OK on the hitch sizing. But you are right on the edge. You have a big camper that has the ability to add more weight to it. From your last thread, your camper has a 9,600# GVWR. From your truck weights your camper is loaded to 9,240# and if I understood your note right, this time you had the 80 gallon fresh water tank filled. That water weight is 664# all by itself. The dry weight of your camper was listed as as 7,800#, does that number equal what the weight sticker in the camper is? Catalog weights are not always the same as the weight sticker in the camper due to options added etc.

Where I'm going with those numbers is, today's 9,240# of gross camper weight - 664# fresh water - 7,800# dry weight = 776# of camping gear added to a 34' 3" long camper. Your 776# of camping weight is "light". The "average" camper couple( no kids) adds 1,000 to 1,200# of cargo to a camper before fresh water. My wife and I have even more then that.... You might have less stuff then an average camper, but the prediction will be, in time you will add more stuff... We all do.

Point: Your WD hitch size and truck receiver are OK for today. The predication will be, as time goes on (1 to 3 years) you are going to load more cargo in the camper and if it is goes in the front bedroom and the front storage hole, the loaded TW is going to go up. Your camper has the capacity to hold it, the truck has the capacity to hold it, the WD hitch will be over it's limit. In the future the prediction is you will be upgrading the receiver and the hitch.

Your truck and camper size/weights are very similar to mine. I have 500# of cargo in the bed of the F350 and I started with a dry 7,300# camper that is now fully loaded with fresh water to just under 10,000# and the camper has a 10,000# GVWR. Just I have a much heavier loaded TW. Stuff just adds up and over time more stuff seems to find it's way into the camper.

Hope this helps

John


John & Cindy

2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver

2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)


Baja Man

Inland Empire, CA

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Posted: 12/05/17 03:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ordered and received.....
new Curt #15410 Extra Duty trailer hitch (rated at 2550# tongue weight/17000# towing)
new Equalizer hitch system 1400#/14000#
new Equalizer 13" rise shank

Will install everything and start WDH adjustments from scratch. Should get it right this time.

Any tips on starting the adjustment process from scratch?
Will I need to visit scales again?

Thanks

* This post was edited 12/05/17 04:13pm by Baja Man *


2003 Ford F-350 XLT Super Duty, Crew Cab, V10 (6.8L); 4X2; Standard Bed; SRW; 4R100 trans
2016 Outdoors RV - Timber Ridge 280RKS, Equal-i-zer Hitch 4pt. 14K
2014 Gregor Eagle 17 Center Console (Mercury 60hp 4 stroke)

jim1521

Florida

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Posted: 12/05/17 06:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, after installation you'll want to hit the scales again to ensure that the Steer Axle weight and the Drive Axle weight are close together; readjust as necessary. A revisit to the scales within 24 hours will only cost you $2.

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 12/05/17 07:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Baja Man wrote:

ordered and received.....
new Curt #15410 Extra Duty trailer hitch (rated at 2550# tongue weight/17000# towing)
new Equalizer hitch system 1400#/14000#
new Equalizer 13" rise shank

Will install everything and start WDH adjustments from scratch. Should get it right this time.

Any tips on starting the adjustment process from scratch?
Will I need to visit scales again?

Thanks


Good for you!!

Tips,

Load the truck bed and camper like you are going camping before you start dimensions and adjustments on fender height.

Start with fender heights to set up your hitch at home. When it is all dialed in with the tape measure, then confirm axle weights at the truck scales to make sure all is correct. Adjust as needed.

There has been some discussion in your thread as to what is considered the right way to setup your WD hitch for your 2003 F350. This discussion has very different approaches to what is considered the right WD settings are for your setup. It might be a good idea before you start adjusting, tell us what is "your" understanding and thought process when WD is set correctly on the front and rear axles and what are shooting for? This can be done by using the tape measure on fender heights to get started but will need to be confirmed by scales. You should understand this before you start adjusting.

Hope this helps

John

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 12/05/17 08:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Baja Man,

Can we get some info on your truck

Can you post the front and rear axle ratings (GAWR) on your truck? Your driver door sticker will have them. It would looks like this. This is off my 2005 F350.
[image]

You said standard bed. Ford calls these things different on what standard is back in 2003. In the 2003 F350's, crew cab, SRW's, 4 x 2 they made crew cabs wheelbase at 156.2" and 172.4". Which do you have?

In your other post you stated your GVWR is 9,700#. Did I get that correct?

These will help if we get into weight conversations.

Thanks

John

PS. here is a link to the older Ford source book on your 2003 truck https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/non-html/2003/vs_pdf/fseriessd_03abb.pdf

Baja Man

Inland Empire, CA

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Posted: 12/07/17 07:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for suggestions on set up. I have attached the VIN sticker from my truck.

[image]

JBarca

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Posted: 12/07/17 09:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great pic! I see you have the 6 1/2 ft bed like mine does.

You have good truck capacity to start with. The 9,700# GVWR will be the weak area to watch but you can still be under that with a level of extra. When the WD hitch is set up right, your axle loads will be in line with your ratings when you add your; passengers, 600# of cargo in the bed and if or when you're loaded tongue weight reaches towards 1,400# when extra gear in the camper just shows up. In time, it will. You have a good foundation to create a stable towing setup. It just will take a little work until you dial it in and be glad you did with a pleasant tow.

Thanks

John

Baja Man

Inland Empire, CA

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Posted: 12/08/17 01:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks JBarca.

Shall I just start by following instructions and/or video on EQ website?
Are there other considerations?

Have never started from scratch as the 12K hitch I originally used was included when I purchased the trailer and hitch bar brackets were already installed on trailer.

Thanks!

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 12/08/17 06:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Baja Man,

I read over the lastest EQ manual online tonight before responding to see what their latest version is. This manual from their site.

https://www.equalizerhitch.com/documents/manuals/EQ-Owners-Manual_2016-06.pdf

I agree with their current manual as they have updated it from years ago. They are now on board with current day thinking and they are agreeing with returning the lost weight on the front axle of the truck 50% to no more than 100% of the unhitched weight. On my F350 with 500# of gear in the truck bed and 1,600# of loaded camper TW, I run the front axle approx 100# lighter then unhitched in my case. This helps with what they call, Oversteer where the truck in a hard turn can bite in so to speak on the front end and shove the truck into jack knife quicker with the trailer pushing the truck. SAE has done the research and now recommends this so the front end will slide only a little but that is better then biting in.

Your F350 will also ride better and be more stable when the top rear overload spring kisses or is resting on the frame bracket. This acts like a rear roll bar and helps stop the left to right wiggle in the back of the truck with a heavy TW camper pushing it. Your 600# of added bed weight cargo and a 1,200 to 1,400# TW camper will create this without issue. Setting the truck up empty and no bed load you will find the problem.

I will add a tip, get a 6" high wood block and carry it with you camping all the time. This goes under the tongue jack so you can jack up the truck and camper high enough to swing the WD bars onto the L brackets with "out" using the special lift handle. Those high rated WD bars are strong and pulling hard on them is unsafe if one flies off on you. Jack the rig coupled up high enough and all goes on by hand. Yes, it will look sky high but that is not a problem. That lift lever flying off at you will hurt big time.

Good luck, hope this helps and let us know if you need more

John

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 12/08/17 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After thinking about this, there is one area in the EQ manual I do not agree with their thinking. Page 10 where they says this,

EQ said wrote:

With the trailer parallel to the ground, measure from the ground to the top of the trailer coupler. The hitch ball should initially be placed as close to this height as possible. See Figure 1.


You can do it that way, but I can tell you, you will be adjusting the shank up after you set the WD to level out the trailer if you start out like they are stating to make it the same as the truck unhitched.

I have done many of these setups and with your truck suspension and the already 1,200# TW, I would set the hitch head 1" to max 1.5" above the trailer coupler. Like this
[image]

The back of the truck is going to drop some from unhitched height when WD is all set. There is no way around this with 50 to 100% weight restoration on the front of the truck. And it is perfectly OK for the rear of the truck to squat 1" to 1.5" when the front axle is where it is supposed to be. Even 1 3/4 to 2" squat if the front axle is right is not a problem. If you do this adjustment at setup, it can be one less step later.

Regardless of which option you will pic, shoot for 1" above or same at unhitched height like EQ states for setting the ball height to start at, on page 21 EQ talks about adjusting the hitch shank to make sure the camper is not too low or high when WD is adjusted. And then after resetting the hitch height you will need to go over the WD adjustments again and tweak as needed. You will be closer to right if you start 1" to max 1.5" above trailer level with the ball when you start out.

Hope this helps

John

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