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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2018, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Question Looking for a 2nd opinion regarding WDH with my trailer

I am pulling a custom built Haulmark 7 X 18 cargo trailer that scales 6420 lbs (5500 lbs on the axles and 920 lbs tongue weight) with my 2015 CM, 2WD, 5.7 liter truck.

I am a little concerned that I may really need a WDH to properly tow this trailer fully loaded but so far have had issues finding a WDH with short enough torsion bars to fit on this trailer as it has a V-nose and relatively short tongue to work with. Any ideas with WDHs that can fit on short tongued trailers would really be helpful.

I have towed the trailer fully loaded from Phoenix to Tucson round trip with zero issues regarding handling such as sway control, braking, suspension bottoming out or porpoising, or tracking.

Please look over my numbers and let me know what you think or that I should be concerned about. The top weigh ticket is the combination weights and the bottom ticket is just the truck.

Any insight would be appreciated and helpful as it is my goal to tow this trailer safely without endangering anyone or damaging the truck.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2018, 08:55 PM
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I suggest you read your 2015 Tundra Owners Manual, Chapter 4-1, Before Driving. Around page 161 it states:

"If the gross trailer weight is over 2000 lb a sway control device with sufficient capacity is required."

"If the gross trailer weight is over 5000 lb a weight distributing hitch with sufficient capacity is required."

Some here will say you do not need to pay attention to this information since Tundra's are "over-engineered".

Others will say that if you have an accident towing this trailer and someone is injured or killed these two sentences can and will be used against you and you can kiss your ASSets goodbye.
Realistically, Toyota published information will be the first place lawyers will look when building a case.

So, just how short is the tongue on your trailer anyway? Have to reached out to etrailer.com or one of the many hitch manufactures directly to ask them about solutions to your hitch size concern? I would start with these sources and go from there.

FYI, when I tow my enclosed car trailer I use a weight distributing hitch with dual cam sway control. I have weighed my rig a few times with different cars in the box. Most times, the weights listed on the CAT Scale printout show both axles on my Tundra within a 150 lbs of each other. One ticket shows within 60 lbs of each other.

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Last edited by charlier; 08-06-2018 at 09:13 PM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2018, 09:07 PM
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Yes, get a WDH. Measure the tongue and post it. Lots of us here with different set-ups that probably wouldn't mind measuring what they have. I have an Equalizer, the bars are 35.5".

https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Dist...EQ37101ET.html


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2018, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlier View Post
I suggest you read your 2015 Tundra Owners Manual, Chapter 4-1, Before Driving. Around page 161 it states:

"If the gross trailer weight is over 2000 lb a sway control device with sufficient capacity is required."

"If the gross trailer weight is over 5000 lb a weight distributing hitch with sufficient capacity is required."
Thank you for your response. I appreciate it.

I have read the manual. That is what generates my questions. Currently I'm not in compliance and I'm not comfortable with that so now I'm looking for solutions.

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Originally Posted by charlier View Post
So, just how short is the tongue on your trailer anyway? Have to reached out to etrailer.com or one of the many hitch manufactures directly to ask them about solutions to your hitch size concern? I would start with these sources and go from there.
The tongue is short. From center of the tow ball cup to the point where the bracket for the torsion bar would mount is about 24.5 inches.

Great idea about asking etrailer.com or other hitch manufacturers for info. I'll start to work on that end. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlier View Post
FYI, when I tow my enclosed car trailer I use a weight distributing hitch with dual cam sway control. I have weighed my rig a few times with different cars in the box. Most times, the weights listed on the CAT Scale printout show both axles on my Tundra within a 150 lbs of each other. One ticket shows within 60 lbs of each other.
^^^ That is good info right there!!! My scale tickets reflect that my front axle shifted 220 lbs to the rear axle with the trailer on. That is not what I want. Good info!


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2018, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Azblue View Post
Yes, get a WDH. Measure the tongue and post it. Lots of us here with different set-ups that probably wouldn't mind measuring what they have. I have an Equalizer, the bars are 35.5".
Thank you for your response. I was actually down in your neck of the woods on Friday.

Yup. It looks like I'm going to have to find a WDH that can work with my setup to be safe.

I attached a photo of the tongue (I didn't take the lock off because I was too lazy to go back into the house to get the keys) and it shows just how short it is from the V-nose to the center of the tow ball cup. It is roughly 24.5 inches in length. 35.5 inches long on the bars would be WAY under the trailer. I don't think I can make that work. To be honest, I don't even know the various brackets that are available for the torsion bars. I've seen a variety of types but don't know the advantages/disadvantages of each type. More research is required.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 12:14 AM
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Maybe talk to Andersen hitches. Their WDH uses chain instead of bars so Iím sure the length could be adjusted.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mrmachinist View Post
Maybe talk to Andersen hitches. Their WDH uses chain instead of bars so Iím sure the length could be adjusted.
Funny that you should say that. I was just looking at Andersen Hitches for that very reason. The reviews are all over the place though. It is really hard to tell if the negative reviews are operator error, just a bad unit, or just a crap concept. Other reviews are super positive and they wouldn't use any other WDH at all.

I'm still looking like the tongue length is too short even for the Andersen Hitches. I will try to call them this week, if I get time, to see what they recommend with my setup.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WBW View Post
Thank you for your response. I appreciate it.

I have read the manual. That is what generates my questions. Currently I'm not in compliance and I'm not comfortable with that so now I'm looking for solutions.
Thanks for reading the manual. You would be surprise how many owners miss out on all the excellent information in the manual. I'd be willing to bet that some owners are just too lazy while others like you and me are not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WBW View Post
The tongue is short. From center of the tow ball cup to the point where the bracket for the torsion bar would mount is about 24.5 inches.
WOW that is one short tongue! Is there a particular reason why you went with such a short tongue?
No doubt your are VERY careful when making tight turns (especially backing up) to avoid the rear of your truck hitting the trailer.

On more than one occasion I have had to parallel park while towing. I cannot imagine doing that with a short tongue.

In the last few years I have been seeing the trend for extended tongues on trailers. This is especially true of people towing trailers with RVs. Seems like every trailer builder offers that option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WBW View Post
^^^ That is good info right there!!! My scale tickets reflect that my front axle shifted 220 lbs to the rear axle with the trailer on. That is not what I want. Good info!
I noticed that you had a 860 lb weight bias on the drive axle which is why I mentioned my CAT Scale numbers. Clearly makes the case for a WD Hitch.

BTW, a few months ago I was at an Antique Car Event and parked next to a fella with a V-Nose car trailer. He had the same problem you have in that most WD Hitches with sway control were a challenge given his tongue length. He ended up cutting into the V-Nose wall of the trailer above the tongue and boxed the area out on the inside of the trailer. That enabled him to install a WD hitch setup which he really needed given the BIG, HEAVY old car he tows. I may have photos of what he did. If I can find them I will post them here.

Charlie

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mrmachinist View Post
...I use their 5th wheel hitch and love it as well. Give them a call. They are super nice to deal with.
Well, I called Andersen Hitches this morning. While I haven't made a decision quite yet on any WDH because I'm still looking at my options I can say that Andersen sounds like a good fit for my needs for several reasons with the short reach being a huge positive.

You were correct - they are super nice.

I will let everyone know what I ultimately decide to go with and the decision factors that affected that decision.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for reading the manual. You would be surprise how many owners miss out on all the excellent information in the manual. I'd be willing to bet that some owners are just too lazy while others like you and me are not.
I actually read every owner's manual even for the mundane small things like aq new coffee maker. My wife makes fun of me because of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlier View Post
WOW that is one short tongue! Is there a particular reason why you went with such a short tongue?
It is short but only because the V-nose sits 18 inches over the tongue where a flat nose would be 18 inches rearward allowing roughly 36 inches of tongue protruding forward from the forward-most wall. So it is not so short operationally as it is accessibility to the frame of the tongue. The handling of the trailer is not impacted at all negatively.

The reason I ordered the trailer with this configuration is actually a set of measurements that are carved in stone. The total length of the trailer must fit completely in my driveway - roughly 21 feet from forward edge of the roof to the sidewalk - or the city zoning people will cite me. Then, further constraining the total size is the cargo requirements. Two Honda Goldwings - one a two-wheeler and the other a trike - and the total footprint of them end to end with minimal space between them to facilitate tying them down meant I needed a centerline floor length of 18 feet. With the V-nose I gained an additional 18 inches centerline plus some aerodynamic advantage. In the end it works perfectly - except the WDH thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlier View Post
On more than one occasion I have had to parallel park while towing. I cannot imagine doing that with a short tongue.

In the last few years I have been seeing the trend for extended tongues on trailers. This is especially true of people towing trailers with RVs. Seems like every trailer builder offers that option.
No real concerns regarding the tight turns either forward or reverse when compared to a standard box trailer. It can still get a fairly harsh angle on it before contacting the truck. I haven't tried parallel parking it but it shouldn't be anything too terrible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlier View Post
I noticed that you had a 860 lb weight bias on the drive axle which is why I mentioned my CAT Scale numbers. Clearly makes the case for a WD Hitch.
This is a terrific observation that I hadn't picked up yet - in those terms anyway. Thank you for that! I would like to send at least the 220 lbs that shifted rearward with the trailer on the ball back up to the front. I think that would be appropriate?? Maybe someone could explain that concept to me and how the weight transfer works in relation to the percentage split front to rear (bias). That would be useful to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlier View Post
BTW, a few months ago I was at an Antique Car Event and parked next to a fella with a V-Nose car trailer. He had the same problem you have in that most WD Hitches with sway control were a challenge given his tongue length. He ended up cutting into the V-Nose wall of the trailer above the tongue and boxed the area out on the inside of the trailer. That enabled him to install a WD hitch setup which he really needed given the BIG, HEAVY old car he tows. I may have photos of what he did. If I can find them I will post them here.
I would appreciate the photos of what he did to make his work for him. New ideas always help. I'm not really keen on the idea of cutting into the trailer wall unless there was no other way to do it. I am looking into the Andersen Hitch version and it is looking prettying promising that the Andersen Mfg model 3350 is what I need. The unit is limited on how much weight transfer can really happen but their tech says I can redistribute all of the shifted weight from the front axle without any problem. He also said that part of the limitations of his system is the inability to shift a lot of weight, meaning a four-digit number, up front like a trunnion bar or round bar unit can. The chains can be shortened pretty dramatically and still work correctly. The reviews on these are the sketchy part of the decision so the research goes on.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Update:

Well, I decided to contact Andersen Mfg. They were super nice and helpful. I later decided to pull the trigger and give the Andersen 3350 WDH a try. I received it today and intend to install it and set it up over the weekend if everything goes my way.

I will keep good notes and update this when I have useful information. I'm really interested in the actual numbers regarding the weights that can be shifted forward with this type hitch.


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