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Towing 4th Gen Dodge Ram Towing Questions


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  #1  
Old 04-25-2012, 08:08 PM
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Default Truck & Trailer Weight

I finally decided to weigh my camper today after owning it for 9 years. It's a little more than I thought. The sticker on the trailer said 5050 lbs. without options such as A/C, spare tire, etc. I live in my camper when I'm working, so I have a lot of crap in there and 2 extra 30 lb. propane tanks. I was a little surprised to see that the weight was 6820 lbs. The tongue weight with the weight distributing hitch was 680. I always thought the WD hitch put some of the weight on the front axle, but that didn't change at all. The truck was 6080 lbs with a full tank, 265 lbs of me, and probably 150 lbs of stuff. This is the 3rd time I have pulled my camper in my 1 week of ownership. The 1st 2 were not good experiences. I lowered the ball 2 holes from where I pulled with my 05 Denali XL for the first pull. It was all over the place. For the 2nd pull I had the chain 1 link shorter on the WD bars than what I used with the Denali. There was a 20 mph cross wind and it was more than a handfull to drive. This time I lowered the ball 1 more hole. It sat pretty level. Just a hair high. The back of the truck squatted 2 1/4 inches. It didn't do too bad, but there was no wind either. Gonna get some airbags and see what that does.

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Old 04-25-2012, 08:30 PM
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Default

The WD hitch does transfer weight to the front axle, but not the way your thinking. If you disconnect the WD bars and run the same weight check, you will notice your front axle gets light, and the back axle gets heavy. This happens because the hitch is behind the rear axle, so applying weight on the hitch cantilevers the front up, thereby reducing it's weight. The WD bars correct this cantilever effect. If you adjust the WD bars even tighter, you can actually transfer even more weight to the front, but that would likely make for an unstable towing unit.

As it sits right now, it looks like you have done an excellent job in setting up the WD bars. The rig looks good, and the weights are nicely distributed. I commend your perseverance to make adjustments to get things right.

Airbags, Timbrens, TLC load system.....all will only improve on what you have already done. They will firm up the rear suspension, and that will likely provide you with a steadier feeling. That additional stiffness in the suspension is one of the reasons the HD trucks feel better when towing the heavier weights, and this trailer fits that 'heavier weight' category IMO.

Good job on working toward the proper towing setup.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:53 PM
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Thanks. I was really wondering what I got myself into the first couple pulls. Before the Denali I had an 01 Suburban and they both handled the camper like it wasn't even there. I even pulled it in a 45 mph cross wind without any problems(other than I could only go just over 50mph without shifting down to 2nd). The power of the Ram is so much better. It cruises right up hills that my SUV's couldn't do without going down to 2nd gear.
The weight on the front wheels makes sense now that you explained it. One of those DUH things.
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