Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Beginning RVing: Trunnion Weight Distribution Spring
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Somewhere in CT

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Joined: 08/31/2004

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Posted: 01/22/22 05:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I haven’t been on here for many years, more accurate about 5-8 years, lol
I have enclosed cargo ATV trailer that I’m in need of help. Trailer is Look 18 feet SE Element, GVWR 7000 lbs. tandem axle. This was towed with 2017 F250SD…no issues at all. We just got 2021 F-150 Powerboost. Truck’s towing is rated 12,700 lbs. which is nearly double from what we need. Trailer total weight when fully loaded is around 6500 lbs. I tow two Polaris side by side machines and all our gear, so the weight is distributed very evenly.
When trailer is attached to the truck, the tongue weight will push down the rear 4” and front will come up 1”. I never weighted tongue weight, but if I have to guess it would be somewhere around 700 lbs. The truck looks very level from front to back. F-150’s sits very high at rear, but is 4” too much (3” with bars)? I try to use weight distribution bars rated 800 lbs. and I’m able to get rear of the truck up only 1-1/4” and almost no changes to the front. At the moment the trailer is ¾” higher on front vs rear. I do have another set of 1200 lbs. bars, but missing chains, so I did not try that today. How much can I tilt ball towards the trailer to get more spring tension from the bars?
My question is: do you think 1200 lbs. bars would bring the truck to the level where the empty truck is or would 1K lbs. (is there 1K option) bars make better choice for me to try or should I tow with what I have? We need to tow this setup for up to a 3-4 times per year 300 miles round trips, other towing is done with class A RV. Any help I can get is greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Andrew

Dad Mom Son
2008 Tiffin Phaeton 40 QTH
2003 Saturn L200-toad
2021 F-150 Lariat, PowerBoost
2018 Look Element SE
2021 Polaris General Deluxe
2021 Polaris RZR Trail S



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Joined: 07/18/2005

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Posted: 01/22/22 07:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You don’t want the truck back to where it is when empty. Sounds like you’re fine where your at but you may be on the light side for the tongue weight.


No paticular place.

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Joined: 08/19/2009

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Posted: 01/22/22 07:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since you already have it, swing by the CAT scales and find out what the real weights are. That will give you a much better idea of what's really happening.

Weigh it ready for travel, then with the bars disconnected, then the truck by itself (if you do it all at once, the re-weighs usually only cost $2-3, so total should be around $20).

Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


Southern California :(

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Posted: 01/23/22 07:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nothing better than accurate weights before making adjustments.

Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AH Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 01/23/22 09:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd just tilt the head as far as it will allow. Then hook up the #800 bars and go with it and then dial in from there.

I'm towing #7000 and have at least #1000 TW when I run a full fresh water tank and just use an almost 20 year old set of EAZ-Lift #1000 WD setup.

Works and tows great! I've not hit a scale, but I pack heavy and know it, so I just go with the max weights.

Good luck! Mitch

2013 F150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab Max Tow Egoboost 3.73 gears #7700 GVWR #1920 payload. 2019 Rockwood Mini Lite 2511S.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 01/23/22 11:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’d slap on some Timbrens, Sumos, super springs or bags, take your pick.
Hitch up and hit the road.
But that’s me.

2016 Ram 2500, EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold


S.E. Lower Michigan


Joined: 10/16/2000

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Posted: 01/24/22 09:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No need to spend any money. Just measure the front fender opening to ground. Then hitch up and see remeasure - note the change. Then tilt the hitch head back some, hook up again and remeasure - note the change and compare with first measurement.

If that measurement is within 50% of the first measurement you should be good to go. Just don't get the front down lower than you started with. Don't worry about the rear as it will take care of itself and follow you wherever you go! [emoticon]

If you would like a very detailed explanation of how to do this, click here to go to the sticky at the top of the Towing forum on how to set up a weight distribution hitch.

2004 Sunnybrook Titan 30FKS TT
Hensley "Arrow" 1400# hitch (Sold)
Not towing now.
Former tow vehicles were 2016 Ram 2500 CTD, 2002 Ford F250, 7.3 PSD, 1997 Ram 2500 5.9 gas engine


Indianapolis, IN

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Posted: 01/24/22 11:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My opinion—yours may vary: X2 with BarneyS with some elaboration. Pickup trucks are designed to come down significantly in the rear under load, so a 4” drop in the rear is not generally a problem if the truck looks level. However, some of us believe that returning weight to the front axle is advantageous to good handling with the side benefit of moving weight off the rear axle. Note that if the weight distribution is set up perfectly the front bumper would move up at least 3/16th inch as the truck pivots around the front axle. So, my setup goal has been to raise the front bumper as close to 3/16th inch as possible while making sure that it is no less (which would be more weight added to the front.) As BarneyS hinted Ford often recommends a 50% difference in the height increase of the front. So, if the unhitched height is 16” and the hitched height without WD is 17”, then the goal after WD is setup would be 16.5” according to Ford while my goal has always been to get closer to 16.25”. While the hitch manufacturers suggest measuring the wheel wells to tires, it is WAY easier to measure the center of the front bumper to ground to the nearest 1/16” without moving the truck. If the trailer is not level, the only fix is to reposition the ball mount on the shank purchasing a different length shank if necessary. As the head tilt is adjusted always be sure that the chain slack is adequate for turns. Reese/Drawtite recommends as least 5 chain links. Back in the day I was able to set up our F-150 pulling a 6500 lb. trailer with a 650 lb. ATV in the bed using 800 lb. WD bars.

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