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weight distribution...again! - Event Date: 15 Jan 2019 - 15 Feb 2019

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zen2b1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zen2b1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Calendar Event: weight distribution...again!
    Posted: 15 Jan 2019 at 4:11pm
Hi fellow r-poders...I purchased a 2018, 170 in November and am getting my ducks in a row for this (our first) season of use.  Our dealer was adamant that we needed no weight distribution as the r-pod 170 does not place enough weight on the hitch ball (tongue weight?) to load the TV frame.  He did recommend a sway control device.  My tow vehicle is a 5 generation 4 runner w/ tow package.  I towed it from Oklahoma back to NM...(all 3 tanks maxed out with 30+ gallons each)....I did notice some front end squirreling on the highway and front end groans on slow turns... Because of that I am looking at a WDH such as a Fastway system 92-00-0450 (450 tongue weight/4500 weight) or 94-00-6000 (600 lb tongue weight/6000 max).   My question is which one.  The Rpod brochure indicates a tongue weight of 242lbs. for the 170.  With TV and TT loaded for travel, and with no more than max recommended weight in both TV and TT, how much more could the tongue weight increase?   Should I go for the 450 / 4500 or the 600 / 6000 distribution set up?  Thank you all for any courteous and informed replies.  T.
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GlueGuy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2019 at 4:16pm
I'd recommend the 94-00-6000 because it can be dialed down to match your TV/TT combination, while the 94-00-0450 can not be dialed up. I think if you load your 170 up, it could easily exceed the 450 lb tongue weight

We use the 94-00-6000 with our 179, which is admittedly heavier than your 170.
bp
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2019 at 4:36pm
Yes, do get the heavier WDH. It needs to be able to redistribute both the tongue weight of the trailer as well as the load you have behind the rear axle of your TV. I actually have a 1200 lb wdh on my 179. As GlueGuy says, you adjust the spring arm tension on the wdh anyway so its not really a disadvantage to be a little oversized. 

One question, why all three tanks maxed out? Typically that shouldn't happen, outbound your fresh tank will have water in it, inbound it will be your waste tanks. BTW, if you have all your tanks filled that is not the worst case for your tongue load because all the tanks are not in front of the trailer axle.  Load behind the trailer axle reduces tongue weight. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TheBum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2019 at 4:50pm
Originally posted by offgrid

Yes, do get the heavier WDH. It needs to be able to redistribute both the tongue weight of the trailer as well as the load you have behind the rear axle of your TV. I actually have a 1200 lb wdh on my 179. As GlueGuy says, you adjust the spring arm tension on the wdh anyway so its not really a disadvantage to be a little oversized. 
One question, why all three tanks maxed out? Typically that shouldn't happen, outbound your fresh tank will have water in it, inbound it will be your waste tanks. BTW, if you have all your tanks filled that is not the worst case for your tongue load because all the tanks are not in front of the trailer axle.  Load behind the trailer axle reduces tongue weight. 


I'm not sure I'd run a 1200 pound tongue-weight WDH on a unibody crossover like the Highlander because the stiffer rods might stress the structure of the TV too much. We had a 600 on our 2012 Highlander and it worked just fine.
Alan
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jan 2019 at 4:26am
I wouldn't have chosen that WDH either, I got it with the trailer when I bought it used.  If i was starting from scratch I'd  buy either a 600 or probably an 800 lb unit. But I've never had any problems, you should never over tension a WDH anyway, follow the instructions and don't try to "level" the tow vehicle. And don't think that a WDH increases the tongue weight capacity of your TV, it doesn't. When you drive through a swale with a WDH you'll end up hanging your trailer on the back of your tow vehicle. 

I'm sure this will cause an debate but it is a misunderstanding to think that unibody is inherently less structurally capable than body on frame. In fact for an SUV, quite the opposite is true. Unibody design uses the SUV C and D pillars and roof to create a very strong and rigid truss structure, using less steel. Saying a unibody SUV isn't as strong as body on frame is like saying a truss bridge isn't as strong as one using simple beams. It all depends on what each was designed to do. 

The same is not true for a pickup configuration. The only unibody pickup out there is the Honda Ridgeline, an interesting vehicle for sure but without the C and D pillars a lot of the structural benefits of unibody are lost. So there isn't a compelling reason for a manufacturer to change to unibody if it already manufactures body on frame pickups.  Honda did that mostly because they don't have any body on frame production lines. Eventually I would predict that body on frame SUV's will disappear and  body on frame pickups will be a mix based on what's easier for each manufacturer to produce on a given assembly line. 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote furpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jan 2019 at 7:39am
As a note.. on almost every WDH I have worked with, you can buy the BARS separately. You should use bars that match as close as possible your TW. Both the TT manufacturers AND the WDH manufacturers say this. We own 550, 800 and 1200lb bars, that all fit the same "head/hitch" because of changes of TT's over the years.

It isn't as much about starting tension, it's also about it's ability to flex when the TV and TT move independently of each other. If the bars are to stiff to be flexed by the load, the frames are what flexes.

I also, second the question, of, "why are you towing with all 3 tanks full"? Besides just the weight and balance issues, it's generally agreed upon across the RV world not to do it because 30 gallons of poop weighs a lot, and once you put that in motion, and it starts bouncing around, it effectively weighs a lot more, and the tanks can, and have, come loose.. Poop happens.. but no one wants that poop to happen..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jan 2019 at 9:02am
My tongue weight runs about 550 lbs. Assuming about 75-100 lbs in the rear of the TV, I think 600 lb bars would be a bit too low. 800 lbs would be the best setup, but I'm not really concerned about using the 1200 lb ones for now. If I was getting a lot of undamped bouncing while towing then that would be a sure sign things were too stiff, but I don't get any bouncing to speak of. 

Ultimately I want to change to a different whd, I have a Reese Pro Series and don't really like it for a couple of reasons, one being lack of flexibility on where the mounting brackets have to be, another being the somewhat clunky nature of the antisway system (IMO).  When I do change I'll likely be getting an 800 lb rated system. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jan 2019 at 10:13am
+1 to what furpod pointed out. You want the bars on the WDH to be over the actual load, but not too much. A heavier bar will transfer the load just fine, but will not flex enough as you're goin g down the road. And as he also pointed out, a WDH like the E2 (and similar), the head unit is the same, but you can swap out the bars within a range.

I would also say that a unibody is a nice strong frame design with a lot of advantages in terms of weight and quietness. However, there are serious issues with "point loads" that a trailer hitch imposes. In order to handle heavier tongue weights, there needs to be gussets or some other thing to spread the load at the attachment point.
bp
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jan 2019 at 3:11pm
No one should be exceeding their TV's tongue, axle, towing, or GCVWR's. That is a given for any TV. The vehicles' suspensions, frames, approved hitches and hitch attachment points, whether they are ladder or unibody structures, have been engineered for that, not for something else. 

As I said will be changing to an 800 lb rated wdh when I get to the point of knowing what clearances I need for mounting other planned gear to my A frame. I already know that my Reese Pro won't clear. You definitely want a wdh rated higher than your actual tongue weight plus the weight of any load behind the rear axle, so 600 lbs will be a bit too light for me. Its going to be fine for folks with lighter rPods or rPods which are loaded lightly.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Motor7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2019 at 5:55am
Interesting topic since I have been researching WDH and Anti-Away. Even though my TV is rated to 8K I have been out west quite a bit and we routinely travel from TN to MB, so I know all about nasty persistent crosswinds. They are a pain on a bike and after three days insanity starts seeping in, but not really dangerous. I know I do not want to tow any tall type trailer without having sway control under those conditions. 

So, have been rearing and researching and "think" I want the Equal-i-zer 600lb model. Being able to back up and having the sway control built in were my priorities. I found a 1200lb one locally for $250 which is a decent price but was worried about overkill. You guys are correct(I emailed EQ), it would make for a harsh-er ride and I do not want that so I passed on the 1200. FYI, the bars and hub have to be changed out on the Equal-i-zer which makes it cost prohibitive. 

Anyway, for local trips no WDH is needed, so I have a few months to track down a 600lb. 
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