Diesel RAM Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Have ordered a non air suspension '15 Tradesman Quad Cab and got to wondering about weight distribution. My trailer is a 21' Bigfoot and have two AMG batteries under front seats near front of trailer bringing tongue weight close to 500 lbs. Tradesman will have class IV hitch. Total weight of my trailer wet comes in about 4800 lbs. New to half ton trucks and wondering if the board members feel I'll need a weight distribution hitch? Thanks.

David
San Diego
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Hello,

Have ordered a non air suspension '15 Tradesman Quad Cab and got to wondering about weight distribution. My trailer is a 21' Bigfoot and have two AMG batteries under front seats near front of trailer bringing tongue weight close to 500 lbs. Tradesman will have class IV hitch. Total weight of my trailer wet comes in about 4800 lbs. New to half ton trucks and wondering if the board members feel I'll need a weight distribution hitch? Thanks.

David
San Diego
It would be interesting to hear the repose to this...I'm thinking about downsizing to the 1500 ED, but have a 25' Airstream, 6800 or 7800 gross (dont remember) and upto 900 lb tongue weight when fully loaded. I havent tried towing it with my Wife's ED. I will need to get a weight distribution hitch (WDH) and see how it tows on a short haul camping trip. If I do get one, it will be with the air suspension.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
It would be interesting to hear the repose to this...I'm thinking about downsizing to the 1500 ED, but have a 25' Airstream, 6800 or 7800 gross (dont remember) and upto 900 lb tongue weight when fully loaded. I havent tried towing it with my Wife's ED. I will need to get a weight distribution hitch (WDH) and see how it tows on a short haul camping trip. If I do get one, it will be with the air suspension.
I tow a 31' 3 slide RV trailer, approx 11k lbs. I have 392 gears and air suspension. Tows great, and the truck is level and under control with the bumps in the roads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
I tow a 31' 3 slide RV trailer, approx 11k lbs. I have 392 gears and air suspension. Tows great, and the truck is level and under control with the bumps in the roads.
Thanks for that info, hows the acceleration with 11k in tow? And what sort of highway speeds can you comfortably maintain?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Acceleration from stopped is great, almost as good as my dad's 2500 cummins. It maintained 70mph no problem on the hills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I tow a 31' 3 slide RV trailer, approx 11k lbs. I have 392 gears and air suspension. Tows great, and the truck is level and under control with the bumps in the roads.
But do you use a weight distribution hitch? If you don't then I won't need one either with my set up. Thanks.

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Absolutely! Even my dad's 2500 needed them.
Interesting, we did a trip to NM drove 2200 miles from South Florida to western NM, towing a 30' Adirondack trailer loaded to the gills...weighed in just under 17,000 lbs Truck and trailer at scale in Abilene, TX. We did not have a WDH and my 2500 easily towed to the point where it felt as if there was no trailer behind us. This includes crosswinds on I-20; however, I did have a friction sway control bar attached. The point being, I did not fell that WDH was necessary, though the truck did ride a small amount nose up, but not to the point where my low beams became high beams.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I drove it once with the 2500 from my father's house to my house, 5minute drive, just to see the difference. It wasn't noseup, but when I hit a bump in the road it definitely bounced up and down quite a bit to a point where I didn't feel safe. Maybe I'm just used to the WDH setup feel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I tow a 31' 3 slide RV trailer, approx 11k lbs. I have 392 gears and air suspension. Tows great, and the truck is level and under control with the bumps in the roads


In a 1500 EcoDiesel? Think you're way over the payload/towing limits of the truck!




Have ordered a non air suspension '15 Tradesman Quad Cab and got to wondering about weight distribution. My trailer is a 21' Bigfoot and have two AMG batteries under front seats near front of trailer bringing tongue weight close to 500 lbs. Tradesman will have class IV hitch. Total weight of my trailer wet comes in about 4800 lbs. New to half ton trucks and wondering if the board members feel I'll need a weight distribution hitch?


Why would anyone order a truck and NOT know the towing limits/capabilities and what is required to reach those towing limits, ie; 4x2 vs 4x4, 3.55 vs 3.92 rear gear?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I know the limits of the truck, the question was concerning the addition of a weight distribution hitch.

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
You won't know how the trailer handles until you tow it the first time with new truck. Also, the Trailer Manuf. should be able to tell you if you need a WDH to safely tow their trailer..


I have a 14 Quad Cab Laramie, 4x4 ED with air suspension, 3.55 gears, and tow a 7x14 tandem-axle enclosed trailer with a 1000pd Harley inside it with no issues..


Look here for towing capabilities of different RAM 1500 trucks:


Ram Trucks - Towing Capacity Chart
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I'll be well within the limits but no where does that mention either sway control or WD hitch. With hitch weight of my trailer being in the neighborhood of 550 I should be fine just wondering if headlights will rise up and if steering could be effected.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
One of the reasons that I use a WDH is the strength of the receiver. We have some rough highways in my area and they can get bumpy. The WDH takes away some of the "porpoise" effect when hitting those bumps in the road. The receiver is also built to take on the extra tongue weight. Tongue height is also a big factor. If the tongue sits too high or too low, you're going to have a trailer swaying all over the place.


My boss pulled an 8000lb. dump trailer with the shop's 2500 cummins and had a cheap receiver on it. The receiver broke at the hitch because it wasn't built for the weight.


My perspective on this is simple. How much do you value your trailer, truck and contents?


Taking an 8000lb trailer out on the highway without torsion bars to see if a WDH is necessary is like playing Russian Roulette. By the time you find out you need one, it could be too late. I speak from experience learning the hard way. I lost a load of lumber all over a highway and destroyed a trailer when it started fishtailing at 40mph. I couldn't get it stopped before it flipped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
One of the reasons that I use a WDH is the strength of the receiver. We have some rough highways in my area and they can get bumpy. The WDH takes away some of the "porpoise" effect when hitting those bumps in the road. The receiver is also built to take on the extra tongue weight. Tongue height is also a big factor. If the tongue sits too high or too low, you're going to have a trailer swaying all over the place.


My boss pulled an 8000lb. dump trailer with the shop's 2500 cummins and had a cheap receiver on it. The receiver broke at the hitch because it wasn't built for the weight.


My perspective on this is simple. How much do you value your trailer, truck and contents?


Taking an 8000lb trailer out on the highway without torsion bars to see if a WDH is necessary is like playing Russian Roulette. By the time you find out you need one, it could be too late. I speak from experience learning the hard way. I lost a load of lumber all over a highway and destroyed a trailer when it started fishtailing at 40mph. I couldn't get it stopped before it flipped.

I would think a quick way to get out of a situation like that is to hit the trailer brakes hard. The weight of the truck pulling forward will straighten you out.


The thing that I question about a WDH is the method used to get weight to the front tires. Basically the receiver has to have a rotational force placed on it that wants to lift the ball end. So basically the trailer is placing a force on the entire length of the trucks frame to get 500 pounds to the front wheels. When I first posed this question I hadn't thoroughly researched the topic so I didn't realize the WDH is actually part of the trailer instead of the truck.


That being said, I assume if torqueing the frame like this were an issue people would be up in arms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Somewhere I did a detailed test with pictures owing my toy hauler with/without the weight-distribution bars. Think it was a 28 mile loop at speeds up to 80 mph for each test. Guessing the tongue weight was 800 lbs or so as I smashed my 600 lb scale and bent it trying to measure.


Results were I have been using the bars.



It's not that NOY using the bars was a problem. It was not. I just felt there was less input to the truck when the bars were on. I use Timbren bumper stops and they did stop sag and bounce. It just seemed more effortless to use the bars.


Have towed appx. 6500 lbs for a few thousand miles with the bars and it's a non-issue regarding stability.


Now, on that same topic, I towed my tractor and equipment on a 24 ft. trailer straight up with no issues. Bet it has a 1/2 ton tongue weight and grosses 7K or so. Did not tow major distances and felt no need to get bars on it.


I would use them for what you will tow. Why not?


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Who is "you"?


If "you" is "me"...NO.


Some responses surprised me. I also towed this same trailer with my 2500 Cummins. Never used a weight distribution hitch because it had heavy-duty suspension. The 1500 has flimsy suspension. Major difference and comparing one to another is not a valid comparison.


Never added anything to the 2500. Added Timbren's to this 1500 and I do think they are needed. Only time I used weight distribution on the 2500 was with tongue weights above 1,000 lbs. Went to Maine once and picked up a fire-safety trailer being returned to the factory because of excessive tongue weight. Weighed it to show 2,100 lbs of tongue weight. Used my 1,000 lb bar set and it towed from there to Pa. easily. Factory changed the location of some equipment and sold it to a department in Virginia.


Tongue weight is good for making a trailer stable. If your suspension can't handle it, use the bars. All 1500's are flimsy 1/2-ton pickups. If you are going to use more than say 700 lbs of tongue weight, use the bars. Always use the Timbren's or have some kind of air suspension helper if you tow often or long distances, even if rarely done.


All 1500 suspensions are light-duty in all brands. You want to tow like a big truck? Buy a dually 1 ton.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top