Should Tongue Weight be Measured When Choosing Weight Distribution

Question:

Hi There, I have a 2000 Dodge ram 1500 Quad cab sport with a 5.9 liter engine and automatic transmission. It came with a factory tow package install and electric brakes. We have just recently purchased a 3900 pound horse trailer. With 2 horses in the trailer we are guessing it weighs about 6000 - 6500 pounds. We have only trailered it once and the front end was very sloppy and assumed it had way too much tongue weight. I am looking to purchase a Distribution hitch but not sure if I need to measure the current tongue weight first? I do not have a scale that will go over 300 pound and it is more than that. What do you suggest? Thanks

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Expert Reply:

I definitely recommend finding your trailer's tongue weight when choosing a weight distribution system. You need to have the trailer loaded like it will be when you're towing it and you also need to add in any weight you put behind the rear axle of the tow vehicle because this counts as tongue weight when it comes to weight distribution.

Since you don't have a scale that measures high enough I recommend the BetterWeigh from Curt, part # C51701. It plugs into the OBD-II port and uses its own algorithms and an accelerometer to determine important info on your truck, like tongue weight, payload, and weight distribution in real time.

You want a weight distribution system that has a tongue weight range that covers the tongue weight once you have that figured out. The closer to the middle of the system's range the better. Once you have the tongue weight, let me know and I'll make a recommendation for you.

expert reply by:
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Charles S

Question:

I weighed the tongue weight of the trailer using the 2X4 and house hold scale method on the site. I came up with about 840 pound. I have not loaded the horses yet but believe they will put me just over 1,000 pound. It mat be this weekend before I can get the actual weight with the horse in the trailer. I did talk to a rep the other day and he suggested the RP66560. Would the 1,000 pound be ok for that one or should I go to a heavier model?

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Expert Reply:

The Steadi-Flex is a good system and one I recommend. The "brake pads" make it quieter than most others which is nice since weight distribution as a rule makes so much noise. The only downside is those pads do wear down and need to be replaced on occasion with part # RP58527 but it's fairly easy.

The 1,000 pound Steadi-Flex, part # RP66559, is probably too low for you. If you're already at 840 pounds before loading the trailer you'll be over that in no time. Especially if you add any weight behind the rear axle. So I agree with our rep the 1,200 pound system, part # RP66560, makes more sense. I do recommend finding the loaded tongue weight and total trailer weight though. Both are important to make sure you're not overloading the truck or trailer.

The Steadi-Flex systems don't include a hitch ball. You need one with a 1-1/4 inch shank like part # 19286.

expert reply by:
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Charles S

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