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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Do I need my WD bars just to move in the driveway?

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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 11/22/21 03:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Terryallan wrote:


It would be unsafe on the highway, not to mention it would unload the front axle and cause sway with out the WDH.

Where was I wrong? A WDH is absolutly needed for a TT with a tongue weight over 500lbs on a F150. Maybe it's not me that is ill informed. And in truth. I feel the same about your posts.


The part of your old quote above about unloading the front axle and causing sway is the ill-informed part.
Per the hitch rating, yes wdh is "required" (discounting the fact the hitch won't fail under significantly more than 500lbs, personal experience). Can't refute that if someone want's to "go by the numbers."

Unload front axle? If ALL of the tongue weight, weight bearing, unloaded the front axle, it would take 200lbs or less off the front axle. Insignificant.
But saying not using a wdh will cause sway is wholly false. Sway control on a wdh can/will control sway IF it happens.


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Terryallan

Foothills NC

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Posted: 11/23/21 08:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

Terryallan wrote:

NamMedevac 70 wrote:

No and No you do not need WD bars.


Please explain? The hitch on 150 are rated for 500lb weight carrying. His tongue weight will be over 500lbs. While no he doesn't need the WDH to move it in the drive way. It would be unsafe on the highway, not to mention it would unload the front axle and cause sway with out the WDH.
And of courser it is possible I misunderstood your post.
The question specifically said moving the 4900# trailer less than 20' in his own driveway.
Why do you think a WDH is needed for this?


Read my post. I specifically said he doesn't need them for his driveway


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Terryallan

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Posted: 11/23/21 08:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

Terryallan wrote:


It would be unsafe on the highway, not to mention it would unload the front axle and cause sway with out the WDH.

Where was I wrong? A WDH is absolutly needed for a TT with a tongue weight over 500lbs on a F150. Maybe it's not me that is ill informed. And in truth. I feel the same about your posts.


The part of your old quote above about unloading the front axle and causing sway is the ill-informed part.
Per the hitch rating, yes wdh is "required" (discounting the fact the hitch won't fail under significantly more than 500lbs, personal experience). Can't refute that if someone want's to "go by the numbers."

Unload front axle? If ALL of the tongue weight, weight bearing, unloaded the front axle, it would take 200lbs or less off the front axle. Insignificant.
But saying not using a wdh will cause sway is wholly false. Sway control on a wdh can/will control sway IF it happens.


And that's your opinion. A WDH returns lost weight to the steering axle, and so it returns steering control, and prevents sway. A TT that has a properly setup WDH will not sway, even without sway control. Sway control is only for those emergency events when you induce sway by dodging a road hazard, or accident. Sway control is not needed in normal driving.
However. A driver must take the time to setup the WDH properly.

Campfire Time

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Posted: 11/23/21 12:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Terryallan wrote:

Grit dog wrote:

Terryallan wrote:


It would be unsafe on the highway, not to mention it would unload the front axle and cause sway with out the WDH.

Where was I wrong? A WDH is absolutly needed for a TT with a tongue weight over 500lbs on a F150. Maybe it's not me that is ill informed. And in truth. I feel the same about your posts.


The part of your old quote above about unloading the front axle and causing sway is the ill-informed part.
Per the hitch rating, yes wdh is "required" (discounting the fact the hitch won't fail under significantly more than 500lbs, personal experience). Can't refute that if someone want's to "go by the numbers."

Unload front axle? If ALL of the tongue weight, weight bearing, unloaded the front axle, it would take 200lbs or less off the front axle. Insignificant.
But saying not using a wdh will cause sway is wholly false. Sway control on a wdh can/will control sway IF it happens.


And that's your opinion. A WDH returns lost weight to the steering axle, and so it returns steering control, and prevents sway. A TT that has a properly setup WDH will not sway, even without sway control. Sway control is only for those emergency events when you induce sway by dodging a road hazard, or accident. Sway control is not needed in normal driving.
However. A driver must take the time to setup the WDH properly.


This is 100% correct. 200# off the front may not seem like much, but it can make a dramatic difference in steering control on a 1500/150 series truck. You know you have less steering control.

I think there is validity to both viewpoints. Keep in mind that Grit Dog has a 2500 series. I have never owned or driven a 2500 or 3500, but they do have stiffer rear suspensions and 200# likely won't make that much difference on the front. In fact you probably will not even see the front end rise.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 11/23/21 04:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I tow trailers frequently with half tons as well. I can confirm that a 5-700lb tongue weight doesn’t have a discernible effect on steering feel.
Or think about it this way. Take 2 otherwise similar trucks. One with a V8. One with a V6. Safe to presume the V6 might weigh 100-200 lbs less. Is the V6 too light or unsafe to drive?
Or, frankly even noticeable?
So many more factors that go into steering and braking “performance” to worry about this, unless one is also worried about everything else. Got half worn out OEM pavement pounder tires? They’ll affect steering and braking as much or more than even several hundred lbs off the front in different conditions. Is it unsafe to run anything but the best tires with full tread?
Of course not.

It’s all good though. Different folks have different comfort levels. And I’m just trying to provide my point of view. And while some folks are very adamant or absolute about things that are relatively minor, to the point of speaking falsehoods sometimes, I believe it helps folks who are unsure to see both sides of the coin so to speak.

I totally understand someone new to towing should/will be extra super cautious. And im just used to towing basically whatever with whatever. So the opposite of someone towing their first trailer. But I have gained enough experience, Good and bad, to understand how various setups can or will handle. And I’d never suggest something dangerous or risky.

* This post was edited 11/23/21 04:51pm by Grit dog *

Bobbo

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Posted: 11/23/21 06:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Terryallan wrote:

And that's your opinion. A WDH . . . prevents sway. A TT that has a properly setup WDH will not sway, even without sway control. Sway control is only for those emergency events when you induce sway by dodging a road hazard, or accident. Sway control is not needed in normal driving.
However. A driver must take the time to setup the WDH properly.

This is not true. (I omitted the part that IS true, about returning weight to the steering axle.) Sway in a trailer is an oscillation of the trailer about the tow ball. It is dependent totally on the trailer's balance and vehicle speed. A WDH that has no sway control built in has absolutely no effect on trailer sway.

Now, a WDH may, and only may, help the tow vehicle resist the sway of the trailer, making it easier for you to maintain control, but it does nothing to prevent or stop the trailer from swaying. Again, if the WDH does not have sway control built in.


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Terryallan

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Posted: 11/25/21 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bobbo wrote:

Terryallan wrote:

And that's your opinion. A WDH . . . prevents sway. A TT that has a properly setup WDH will not sway, even without sway control. Sway control is only for those emergency events when you induce sway by dodging a road hazard, or accident. Sway control is not needed in normal driving.
However. A driver must take the time to setup the WDH properly.

This is not true. (I omitted the part that IS true, about returning weight to the steering axle.) Sway in a trailer is an oscillation of the trailer about the tow ball. It is dependent totally on the trailer's balance and vehicle speed. A WDH that has no sway control built in has absolutely no effect on trailer sway.

Now, a WDH may, and only may, help the tow vehicle resist the sway of the trailer, making it easier for you to maintain control, but it does nothing to prevent or stop the trailer from swaying. Again, if the WDH does not have sway control built in.


A properly setup WDH will prevent sway by returning steering control to the steering axle. A trailer with a properly adjusted WDH will not sway. With out the WDH the steering on the truck is too free, and will induce sway. Just as loading the truck with sand or gravel all behind the rear axle makes it hard to control the truck. the tongue weight does the same thing. And having the 5th wheel on a 18 wheeler slide too far back will also cause the tractor to move around.
Truth. You don't have to believe me. But experience towing all those vehicles tells me different. Just hook up with a 800lb tongue weight, and go down the road, and see how well the truck drives. Then hook up the WDH. See if you can tell any difference. The WDh makes all the difference.

* This post was edited 11/25/21 04:56pm by Terryallan *

Grit dog

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Posted: 11/25/21 11:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^And that is why the wdh industry is booming….with RVers. Must be RV trailers are much more difficult to pull as you virtually see zero “other” trailers with wdhs.


So, if we put aside the little nuances sometimes associated with towing a travel trailer or toyhauler, what about pintle hitches Mr. Allen? Love to hear your opinion on those since you appear to believe that no trailer that is of any significance to the tow vehicle can possibly run down the road straight without a wdh and sway control. What is your take on pintles? Do they possess some other magic or are they a product of the devil, designed to make drivers sway and crash? Cause I’ve never seen a wdh on a pintle hitch.

* This post was edited 11/26/21 07:56am by an administrator/moderator *

Bobbo

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Posted: 11/26/21 06:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Terryallan wrote:

Bobbo wrote:

Terryallan wrote:

And that's your opinion. A WDH . . . prevents sway. A TT that has a properly setup WDH will not sway, even without sway control. Sway control is only for those emergency events when you induce sway by dodging a road hazard, or accident. Sway control is not needed in normal driving.
However. A driver must take the time to setup the WDH properly.

This is not true. (I omitted the part that IS true, about returning weight to the steering axle.) Sway in a trailer is an oscillation of the trailer about the tow ball. It is dependent totally on the trailer's balance and vehicle speed. A WDH that has no sway control built in has absolutely no effect on trailer sway.

Now, a WDH may, and only may, help the tow vehicle resist the sway of the trailer, making it easier for you to maintain control, but it does nothing to prevent or stop the trailer from swaying. Again, if the WDH does not have sway control built in.


A properly setup WDH will prevent sway by returning steering control to the steering axle. A trailer with a properly adjusted WDH will not sway. With out the WDH the steering on the truck is too free, and will induce sway. Just as loading the truck with sand or gravel all behind the rear axle makes it hard to control the truck. the tongue weight does the same thing. And having the 5th wheel on a 18 wheeler slide too far back will also cause the tractor to move around.
Truth. You don't have to believe me. But experience towing all those vehicles tells me different. Just hook up with a 800lb tongue weight, and go down the road, and see how well the truck drives. Then hook up the WDH. See if you can tell any difference. The WDh makes all the difference.

Trailer sway has nothing to do with the steering axle. You are thinking of understeer and oversteer. Trailer sway is an oscillation of the trailer on the tow ball. Notice that the front axle is not involved. At all. Now, with improper weight on the steering axle, trailer sway is MUCH more likely to affect the tow vehicle, but the sway can be there anyway.

While you are correct that an unloaded front axle can induce sway due to poor tow vehicle control, sway is much more likely to be induced by other factors (improper trailer loading and speed primarily) even with a properly loaded front axle.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 11/26/21 09:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Terryallan wrote:


A properly setup WDH will prevent sway by returning steering control to the steering axle.


Wrong.

Front engine vehicles are heavily weight "BIASed" on the FRONT AXLES (front heavy), pickup trucks are much heavier BIASED on the front axle, 4x4 are heavier and diesel 4x4 even heavier.

Not unusual for a 4x4 gas engine truck to be 1,500 lbs heavier or more on the front axle than rear axle. Typically a unloaded truck can have 60%-70% of it's empty weight on the front axle!

Losing a couple of pounds from the front axle does nothing to induce sway and "restoring" that lost weight through WD will not help prevent sway or stop sway from happening.

SUVs tend to have less front axle weight but they often have more weight limitations on axles and available cargo weight

Terryallan wrote:


A trailer with a properly adjusted WDH will not sway.


Wrong. Absolutely wrong assumption.

Correctly adjusted WD with integrated sway control does nothing to help if your TRAILER load is incorrect.

I think you have this backwards.

You should have stated that a correctly and properly loaded TRAILER will tend to not sway and adding WD with sway control can HELP to a certain extent to reduce chances of sway.

Terryallan wrote:


With out the WDH the steering on the truck is too free, and will induce sway.


Wrong.

obviously you have never driven a pickup truck with a heavy load like a TC or a couple of tons (4,000 lbs) of gravel in the bed.. I have, the truck steers fine with such loads, obviously the steering does not need as much "boost" from the power steering but that condition isn't what causes sway. If a pickup that can handle say 2,000 lbs in the bed can't handle a measly 800 lbs of tongue weight then there is something seriously wrong with your truck or your truck selection.

Terryallan wrote:


Just as loading the truck with sand or gravel all behind the rear axle makes it hard to control the truck. the tongue weight does the same thing.


Wrong.

Read my opening comment several times and perhaps you will see where your assumption is wrong.

The further back the weigh goes behind the rear axle the more of a cantilever you have. 400 lbs on the hitch could be considered same or similar as 800 lbs of gravel or sand in the box if placed over the axle.


Terryallan wrote:


And having the 5th wheel on a 18 wheeler slide too far back will also cause the tractor to move around.
Truth. You don't have to believe me. But experience towing all those vehicles tells me different.


Wrong.

5th wheels for RVs by their nature typically have 20%-25% of the trailer weight on the pin, moving the pin back isn't going to make much if any difference in sway.

Semi tractors 5th wheels are a different beast, can have even higher pin weights and the tractor has a fairly short wheel base but once again, you totally ignore that the front of that tractor has the bulk of the weight of the engine and transmission and cab sitting on top of the front axle.. You would have to cantilever the 5th wheel hitch way past the frame of the tractor to "lose steering control".


Terryallan wrote:


Just hook up with a 800lb tongue weight, and go down the road, and see how well the truck drives. Then hook up the WDH. See if you can tell any difference. The WDh makes all the difference.


Wrong.

Reread my opening comment above several more times.

By the way, quite a few yrs ago the big three all dropped the 100% weight restoration recommendation, now they recommend 50%..

Don't get me wrong, under SOME certain combinations WD will be needed to prevent overload of the rear axles but telling people that having a properly adjusted WD will prevent sway is totally wrong and misleading people into a false sense of security which can result in a tragic ending.

Only a properly loaded trailer can be stable, that is why the general recommendation is 10%-15% TW for bumper pull.. 10% as an absolute minimum and for the best stability 15% or even a bit higher if your hitch can handle it.

The key is making sure you have as close to 15% of the trailer weight on the tongue as you can, then if you don't feel that is enough, then add in a "properly adjusted" WD..

But do not ever solely depend on WD to save your bacon, if you do good chance it will be swamped at the worst possible time and your bacon gets burned.

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