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srud

Weight Distributing Hitch?

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srud

Just a curiosity as I don't really need one. I have used weight distributing hitches on campers I have towed and they work great. Is anyone aware of one being used on a boat? What made me think about it was a rig I saw earlier that had a pickup camper and the boat hooked, and looked a little droopy in the back end.

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Wkerat

How does a weight distributing hitch work, air shocks?

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stewart

I'm sure you could, but in most cases the tongue weight on these boats is way less than say a travel trailer.

WhiteVLX (who your referring to) has a heavy cab over camper. Most people don't realize how heavy they can be. In his case, the weight distribution system wouldn't help. He needs a larger overload spring or air bags. IMHO.

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srud
How does a weight distributing hitch work, air shocks?

No. It's a bit difficult to explain without actually looking at one, but I will try. Without describing the mechanism, suffice it to say that it stiffens the linkage between the tow vehicle and the boat on the vertical plane. Try to imagine that the only movement you could have at the hitch would be from side to side for the purpose of going around corners. In essence, it transfers weight to the front wheels of the tow vehicle and the axle of the boat. Really makes towing heavy tongue weights more enjoyable and navigating lousy highways more tolerable. I know you probably still are wondering how it does this, but without you actually seeing one in action, I don't think I can explain it any better.

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Wkerat

I think I have an idea now at least...Thanks for the description

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srud
I'm sure you could, but in most cases the tongue weight on these boats is way less than say a travel trailer.

WhiteVLX (who your referring to) has a heavy cab over camper.  Most people don't realize how heavy they can be.  In his case, the weight distribution system wouldn't help.  He needs a larger overload spring or air bags.  IMHO.

You are probably right. I was assuming that the truck would ride fairly level without the boat hooked up or with less tongue weight. As less tongue weight is not an option, the a weight dist. hitch would help. If it is in the same condition with just the camper, then you are right on. The WD hitch would not help...

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whiteVLX
I'm sure you could, but in most cases the tongue weight on these boats is way less than say a travel trailer.

WhiteVLX (who your referring to) has a heavy cab over camper.  Most people don't realize how heavy they can be.  In his case, the weight distribution system wouldn't help.  He needs a larger overload spring or air bags.  IMHO.

Well there was several factors in that picture. First of all I was parked in a bit of a hole, that parking lot is far from level. Secondly the bow of the boat was loaded with a ton of crap.

But mostly that camper does way a lot, a lot more than I ever expected. To be honest I weighed it after that trip and it weighed 3999lbs unloaded. It was supposed to be closer to 2600 wet plus 3 or 4 hundred for gear. In that picture the camper was full of water and loaded with about 6 cases of water, at least 6 cases of beer, a case of liquor, 2 cases of wine and 12 days of food, including one group meal for over 40 people. I don't even want to know what the actual weight was then and have subsequently reduced my std camper cargo :(

However Stewart is absolutely right, overloads or air bags would help the ride height but a weight distribution hitch would do nothing. WD hitches help with heavy tongue weights and compensate for trailer sway.

Now people might wonder why I don't just add a leaf, get bigger overloads or add air bags. Well I actually have overloads and don't want to futz with them. And I actually own a set of ride-rite air bags but did not install them. The reason is this, for several years on the 2500 HD trucks Dodge chose to add a rear ride height brake proportioning valve. This system mechanically adjusts a valve changing the rear brake bias thus allowing more breaking power as the load increases. So adding springs or leveling the load with air bags would reduce my rear braking power. Without knowing how much the braking power is reduced I chose to err on the side of breaking power while possibly sacrificing some handling. Also being the anal retentive that I am I have reviewed the weight of the truck, camper, trailer weight and tongue weight. Although I exceed the GVWR of the truck by a significant margin I am under GCVWR by a significant margin as well. I have also reviewed axle ratings and tires and am well within the safety margins.

Well I hope I answered the questions asked and those unasked as well. :)

BTW at 16960 lbs and 75 mph I still get 12.5 mpg with my Cummins, now that's a truck!

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stewart
BTW at 16960 lbs and 75 mph I still get 12.5 mpg with my Cummins, now that's a truck!

True that!

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srud
I'm sure you could, but in most cases the tongue weight on these boats is way less than say a travel trailer.

WhiteVLX (who your referring to) has a heavy cab over camper.  Most people don't realize how heavy they can be.  In his case, the weight distribution system wouldn't help.  He needs a larger overload spring or air bags.  IMHO.

In that picture the camper was full of water and loaded with about 6 cases of water, at least 6 cases of beer, a case of liquor, 2 cases of wine and 12 days of food, including one group meal for over 40 people.

Well, I'd say you had the provisions covered. Shocking.gif Was it a fun trip?

Honestly, I was not picking on your setup, it just brought up a question I have had regarding WD hitches and boats. Can't say that I have ever seen one on a boat. I have pulled a camper with my Z71 with and without one and even though it was unneccessary, I would say the ride was improved with the WD hitch involved. Especially when you end up on a washboard type road and you end up bouncing around.

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AirChair1

I bought a weight distributing hitch setup for my 1986 21 ft Sea Ray towed by a Ford Ranger. I towed for 17 years and never set up the weight distributing system. I probably should have but there are some issues. Most boat trailers use surge brakes. A standard weight distributing hitch puts signifcant stress on the tow ball/trailer connection and there is a risk of it disabling the surge brakes on many trailers. There are mechanisms that can adapt a weight distributing system to not interfere with surge brakes but that is a bit more complex (and therefore costly). That is my understanding as to why you don't see many such setups. Now that I have a much beefier tow vehicle (Yukon XL) and a bit lighter boat (maybe....) I haven't even considered it. Of course I am less likely to do so because I couldn't break the ball carrier loose on the Ranger so I 'lost' a significant piece of my weight distributing system.

Jeff/AirChair1

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srud

AirChair1 - I hadn't thought of the brake issue. Come to think of it, most camper trailers have electric brakes.

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AirChair1
AirChair1 - I hadn't thought of the brake issue.  Come to think of it, most camper trailers have electric brakes.

I have heard some people aggressively say it is not an issue but even more say

that it is a serious concern. Given that when I bought my hitch they had a very

expensive 'surge brake adaptor' that appeared to address the problem, I suspect it is indeed an issue.

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whiteVLX
I'm sure you could, but in most cases the tongue weight on these boats is way less than say a travel trailer.

WhiteVLX (who your referring to) has a heavy cab over camper.  Most people don't realize how heavy they can be.  In his case, the weight distribution system wouldn't help.  He needs a larger overload spring or air bags.  IMHO.

In that picture the camper was full of water and loaded with about 6 cases of water, at least 6 cases of beer, a case of liquor, 2 cases of wine and 12 days of food, including one group meal for over 40 people.

Well, I'd say you had the provisions covered. Shocking.gif Was it a fun trip?

Honestly, I was not picking on your setup, it just brought up a question I have had regarding WD hitches and boats. Can't say that I have ever seen one on a boat. I have pulled a camper with my Z71 with and without one and even though it was unneccessary, I would say the ride was improved with the WD hitch involved. Especially when you end up on a washboard type road and you end up bouncing around.

Yeah, we had plenty of sundries. I seem to recall that we did have a terrible icebill that trip, and yes we had a blast.

BTW No offense taken, I guess I was trying to fend off a big flame war. On the RV boards I would have flames up to my neck by now.

Edited by whiteVLX

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