Tag Archives: WDH

Does A Weight Distribution Hitch Increase Tongue Weight?

The short answer is, No.

 

Often trying to find detailed information on trailer towing is difficult at best.

When we bought our current trailer and tow vehicle I knew that we would be close to the maximum capacity specifications for both. Most of the self-proclaimed or perceived experts would say buy a bigger tow vehicle if you are going to be close to the tow vehicle’s maximum specification for gross trailer weight and/or tongue weight. In other words, “buy a bigger gun.”

I am not a hunter and I have never hunted. But I know you don’t hunt elk with a pocket knife (too small) or a rocket propelled grenade (too big). You use a rifle with the correct caliber of bullet and other attributes that combined are a match for taking an elk. And so it is with our tow vehicle. The manufacturer (Ford) says we can safely tow a trailer that weighs up to 9,200 lbs fully loaded as long as the tongue weight is between 10% and 15% of the trailer’s weight and the tongue weight doesn’t exceed 920 lbs using a weight distribution hitch also known as a WDH, and at the same time the tow vehicle cannot exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or any Gross Axle Weight Ratings, and the Combined Gross Vehicle Weight.

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Trailer Tongue Weight Voodoo

Almost three years ago I wrote a 3-part series titled, How Much Trailer Can You Tow? 

You can read them here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 contains the information on Weight Distribution Hitches (WDH)

I have received many inquiries from trailer owners about Weight Distribution Hitches and there is a lot of confusion out there in trailer land. I have always advocated weighing your tow vehicle and trailer periodically to ensure everything is within specifications, and herein lays the confusion. People try to interpret the scale readings and assume a WDH will subtract weight from the tow vehicle’s rear axle and add it to the front axle; that is: the front axle of the tow vehicle will weigh more with the trailer hitched. We do not want this to happen. After completing my yearly maintenance on Monday, I loaded everything up, to include full water tanks and temporarily filled the refrigerator and headed over to the local CAT scale. I’ll use those measurements to hopefully explain how to weigh your set up, what weights you should be looking at, and how to interpret them.

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