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Old 09-22-2010, 03:51 PM
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A TT Towing Question

I posted this in the towing section, but had a very limited response. So I'm re-posting here to see what you guys think....

I should be receiving my new baby soon and have a question for you guys that tow tag-a-long campers. I've towed a 33ft Outback camper 6000# Dry, roughly 8000# wet, tongue weight is roughly 800#'s, with a 1/2 ton. The new truck is a F-350 DRW FX4 8ft bed. The question is, do I need to continue to use my weight distribution and sway control?

Even with my 1/2 ton, I've loaded it too heavy in the rear and it put too little weight on the hitch, real bad ride! I was just thinking that having that weight on a dually may be better??? Or possibly setting them with just a small amount of distribution???

I traded an 07 Tundra 5.7 CrewMax for the new ride, I'm sure the difference will be night and day

Thoughts? Ideas?
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:22 PM
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The purpose of the weight distribution hitch is to return your truck to the origianl ride heights before the trailer is loaded on the ball. Think of it like the handles on a wheel barrow, when you lift up on the handles the front nose goes down. That's what the WD bars do to the front of the truck. Better Steering control and the truck ride heights are returned to how it was designed to travel. TrailerLife.com has a great acticle on how to properly set up the system. The 2011 350's & 450's have a 2-1/2" receiver. There are a couple of 2-1/2" shanks on the market BUT ONLY for the Trunion Bar Systems (17,000lb / 1700 lb tounge weight). If you have the Round Bar (L-shaped bars) then you will have to purchase the 2-1/2 to 2" Reducer Bushing. Hope this helps.

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Old 09-23-2010, 05:00 AM
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Your last statement is so true - night and day difference will be an understatement!! You have my respect for towing a 33 footer with a Toy!!!

800 lbs. on a dually will just give it a nice ride. If that is all the tongue weight you have I would try running without the bars on. Take them along and add them if needed but I don't think your new truck is going to need any help with 800 lbs. Use the sway control if you need it.

Outback is a good name and I'm sure the trailer is well designed for towing. I'm a little surprised they only put 800 tongue weight on a rig rated for 8k though. That is only 10% at max capacity. I would expect 1100 - 1200 tongue weight for that rating. At that point you might want to use the distribution bars on a low setting. Is this an RV or toy hauler?? Just wondering what you add to increase the weight by 2000 on an RV.

I pull a 19 foot toy hauler. It weighs 5500 dry and maxes out at 7700. I normally pull it around 6800 with some water in the freash tank, one full dressed Harley and some patio furniture stuff. My rig is a Skyliner brand and pulls very heavy for what it weighs. I have added a second propane tank on the tongue plus a generator so my tongue weight is over 1100 lbs. I use the distribution bars on lowest setting and no sway control at all. I normally have a 600 lb. quad in the bed of the truck as well. This load pulls great and I have never had any sway at all even in strong cross wind going thru Wyoming on my way to Sturgis a couple months ago. I ran speed limit plus a little and the GPS showed my max speed at 87.6mph on that trip. I do not reccomend driving this way but I must have been passing something when I hit that. I did cruise at 75 a lot on that trip. My truck does not seem to care much about speed when towing. The fuel milage is around 9 - 10 at 65 or 80 pulling this trailer. The trailer is very tall at 11 feet 10.5 inches so I think that may be why it feels heavier than it is.

If I were you I would try to increase the tongue weight a little or at least load it heavy in the front. Stay on top of the lug nut torque and tire pressure. Both these will impact sway a lot.

Good Luck and enjoy your new truck. You made a great choice!!!
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:11 AM
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Probably not necessary with DRW FX4, but it helps with the SRW FX4. If you get lots of up and down motion while towing you will know if you should use the weight distribution hitch. I have found that sway can be improved by setting the front of the trailer down slightly and not keeping it level.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:19 AM
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I say use it. Whats it going to hurt. Also I recommend checking out RV.net. Go to the towing section and ask away, or better yet just do a search. You will find all the answers you need about anything camping/towing related.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:22 AM
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Thanks for the reply! I was extra prudent with ensuring that the setup was spot on with the “other truck”. After a few tows with the weight not correctly disseminated, it makes you really pay attention to the details! I do have the 2 ˝ setup and from looking on the lots, it appears that Ford is including a reducer, I maybe wrong, but from a glance it looked that way.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary2070 View Post
Probably not necessary with DRW FX4, but it helps with the SRW FX4. If you get lots of up and down motion while towing you will know if you should use the weight distribution hitch. I have found that sway can be improved by setting the front of the trailer down slightly and not keeping it level.
That’s exactly what happened with the ˝ ton! If I didn’t put enough weight on the hitch, it wagged really bad!
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.4 tow rig View Post
I say use it. Whats it going to hurt. Also I recommend checking out RV.net. Go to the towing section and ask away, or better yet just do a search. You will find all the answers you need about anything camping/towing related.
Thanks! I'll look them up now!!
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:41 AM
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Even with my 1/2 ton, I've loaded it too heavy in the rear and it put too little weight on the hitch, real bad ride! I was just thinking that having that weight on a dually may be better??? Or possibly setting them with just a small amount of distribution???

Weight distribution is critical, improperly distributed weight on a trailer can have the the tail wagging the dog. Fords sway contol is pretty awesome, videos available to watch as they INTENTIONALLY load a trailer with too much weight at the rear of the trailer.
My thoughts are, as stable as the dually is it actually has less lbs per sq inch weight at the duals as a SRW as the weight is distributed over twice the tire surface area. Prepare for the worst possible conditions, such as wet slick roads and you will be fine...
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