How much weight should my WDH transfer to the front axles?
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Thread: How much weight should my WDH transfer to the front axles?

  1. #1
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    How much weight should my WDH transfer to the front axles?

    We had our first camping trip with the Apex Nano 208BHS last week, and it was fantastic. The V8 pulled effortlessly.
    However, we had entrusted the dealership with the installation of the WDH (Reese Strait-Line w/round bars) -- they claimed to have adjusted it "optimally" -- but when we loaded up and embarked, I felt like the steering was quite floaty and twitchy. Maybe even a little scary at times (but then again it was my first time towing, so I don't have much of a point of reference).

    So we weighed in at the CAT scales, and here's what we observed:
    Without WDH engaged, the TT added 1040 lbs to the rear axle, and had removed 340 lbs from the front axle.
    After ENGAGING the WDH, 120 lbs was transferred from the rear to the front axle, and 40 lbs was transferred from the rear axle to the TT axles.

    So even with the WDH engaged, the front axles are still 220 lbs light (compared to their original un-hitched weight), and the rear axles were at a gross weight of 3900 lbs (which is EXACTLY the max rating!). We did a little cargo re-arranging in the TT to reduce the tongue weight, but unfortunately it didn't help much with the driving dynamics.

    Is 220 lbs light TOO light? And if I do adjust the WDH settings to put the bars under more tension, how much of the front axle's original weight should I expect to be returned? 100%? 50%?
    Last edited by shanksworthy; 05-26-2019 at 11:19 PM.

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    might be of some help: https://www.equalizerhitch.com/manua...ribution-setup

    A common problem with Durangos is that the hitch is set up without regard to the self-leveling rear shocks (if equipped). The shocks then pump up and unload the equalizer bars.
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    Suggest you find your local cat weigh scale. Take your D there without trailer to weigh front and rear. Then repeat with trailer no wdh. Loaded ready to go.
    Now start to load the wdh. Reweigh at various settings.

    Last but note least, report results here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by henfield View Post
    Suggest you find your local cat weigh scale. Take your D there without trailer to weigh front and rear. Then repeat with trailer no wdh. Loaded ready to go.
    Now start to load the wdh. Reweigh at various settings.

    Last but note least, report results here.
    You got it. The following weight results are with both vehicles loaded, and my family in the tow vehicle (2018 Durango R/T, factory tow package)...

    Weigh-in #1 — Trailer+Durango, WDH Engaged:
    Steer Axle: 2780 lb
    Drive Axle: 3900 lb
    Trailer Axle: 4020 lb
    Gross Weight: 10700 lb

    Weigh-in #2 — Trailer+Durango, WDH Disengaged:
    Steer Axle: 2660 lb
    Drive Axle: 4060 lb
    Trailer Axle: 3980 lb
    Gross Weight: 10700 lb

    Weigh-in #3 — Durango Only:
    Steer Axle: 3000 lb
    Drive Axle: 3020 lb
    Gross Weight: 6020 lb

  6. #5
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    Don't forget: you have to drive for a while after engaging the WDH before you re-weigh.

    Otherwise the load-leveling shocks aren't in their running state, and the WDH geometry isn't what it will be when running down the road.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomk View Post
    Don't forget: you have to drive for a while after engaging the WDH before you re-weigh.

    Otherwise the load-leveling shocks aren't in their running state, and the WDH geometry isn't what it will be when running down the road.
    For sure. The first weigh-in was when we arrived, with the WFH engaged. I had to drive quite a distance to get to the CAT Scales, so the load-leveling shocks were fully extended.

    I have not had a chance to re-weigh since. I just wanted to get a baseline, and since I wasn’t going OVER any limits, I figured that any weight I could transfer to the back would only be good.

    I’ve since dropped the TT off at the dealership to get some fit and finish issues fixed, and while I’m picking it up I’ll give them another chance to get the WDH settings right (I’d love to do it myself, but I don’t have the appropriate tools or expertise, and if I might as well take advantage of my warranty). I’ll make sure to drive enough distance to ratchet up the load leveling suspension before re-weighing.
    Last edited by shanksworthy; 05-30-2019 at 08:59 AM.

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    I've weighed mine, and with the WDH engaged, my front axle is 60#'s lighter than when the D is by itself. As a point of reference, my front fender measurement after WDH setup is slightly below the no-trailer height. I called the hitch manufacturer and asked how to deal with the self leveling rear shocks - they said to adjust the front measurement back to or slightly below my starting point. Don't know if that works for other brands, I'm using an E2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millmitch View Post
    I've weighed mine, and with the WDH engaged, my front axle is 60#'s lighter than when the D is by itself. As a point of reference, my front fender measurement after WDH setup is slightly below the no-trailer height. I called the hitch manufacturer and asked how to deal with the self leveling rear shocks - they said to adjust the front measurement back to or slightly below my starting point. Don't know if that works for other brands, I'm using an E2.
    Your posts on the subject have been really helpful.

    I couldn’t seem to get the dealership techs to understand how the passive self-leveling works and factors in, so I just bought the tools and went to work.

    The Reese Strait-Line system is a bit finicky and there’s some trial & error in getting everything adjusted (more moving parts, and you can’t measure your results until everything’s aligned) so it took a few hours.

    After my final adjustments, the front wheel well came down 3/16” lower than the unloaded measurement. Then after driving around for several km’s and engaging the self-leveling mechanism, that height increased by 1/4”, which is 1/16” higher than the unloaded weight. If it had just stopped there, I’d have been happy because that made a HUGE improvement in drivability.

    Unfortunately after driving several more km’s, the self-leveling ratcheted up a bit more, and that had a slight negative impact on perceived handling. But I think I can live with this, and I’ll certainly weigh in at the CAT scales the next chance I get. Not sure what force would be required to counteract the self-leveling completely; I suspect that losing another full chain link would do it but might be overkill (I’m down to 5 already).
    Last edited by shanksworthy; 06-08-2019 at 07:59 PM.

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