Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-17-2013, 11:53 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,599
Indiana and Back Again, of Air Bags and Weight-Distribution

Towing out it was just the Tacoma and the 24' Featherlight. 55 lbs seemed to work well in the Firestone 2181 SportRite kit and I had 825lbs of tongue weight. I bought a Sherline scale to check and it's well worth the money (at one point I had 1,100 lbs on the tongue because I was reading it wrong- glad I rechecked!)

Starting out was 8.0 MPG average, and then I upped the trailer tires to 60psi and pulled out 9.2 MPG. I also upped the airbags, but couldn't really tell the difference between 50, 55 and 60 lbs.









On the return trip with a dining room set in the nose and the truck further back, I had to take the weight distribution hitch up a link. This was done with my 3-ton floor jack under the hitch and the trailer jack. It's probably easy to overload doing this, but it makes it possible, at least for myself.

Before upping the link, the front of the van was boating and wandering. After it was perfect again.

The air bags I put up to 80psi by the end, and it made the ride stiff but otherwise didn't seem to change anything much, however dropping them to 10psi for the driveway (to raise the back of the trailer) really changed the aspect. I think adjustments on the road get attributed to road conditions.

The one time they really were noticeable was when they were 7-10 psi off, and hitting a medium bump did a fair job of throwing the van sideways. Another note on the bags, they didn't affect the van height, not even when out of balancing them by 40lbs in an attempt to level. I'm not sure if they let the blocks level better because they were out of balance, but the raw air pressure does not seem to change the level of the van.

The whole trip I took it way easy, and not just because of the large trailer. I did weight the tongue when we were back, and although it acted heaver in every regard, the tongue weight was only 700lbs. I'm going to chalk that up to having a 5000lb gauge instead of the 1K or 2K I should have put on.

Overall it seems like both the weight-distribution hitch and the airbags were essential. As much as carringb is my hero, I don't think I'll be reproducing this level of load any time in the future.
__________________

__________________
and then
everything changed
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 12:43 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
carringb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 4,310
Re: Indiana and Back Again, of Air Bags and Weight-Distribut

If you squint really hard, our vans almost look like twins

It's always nice seeing other vans with trailers. Seems like a good segment of the population thinks you aren't "allowed" to tow with anything but a pickup.
Attached Thumbnails
van yosemite small.jpg  
__________________

__________________
2000 E350 extended wagon dually
V10 w/ Banks Powerpack, Diablo Predator
Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
carringb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2013, 05:55 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
twogone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Taylor, Mississippi
Posts: 1,648
Re: Indiana and Back Again, of Air Bags and Weight-Distribut

Kinda punkin' out the UPS rig behind you
__________________
'95 SMB E350 Quigley 7.3
http://www.taylorarts.com
... If you have to ask, you'll never understand...
"... torpedo'd, because we don't generally cotton to bullshit around here." -jage
"... do they ooch apart in the night?" -Dia
twogone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2013, 10:46 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: PNW
Posts: 388
Re: Indiana and Back Again, of Air Bags and Weight-Distribut

On my van the WD hitch and air bags are key. I can change ride height with the bags (I notice this by headlight height at night and how much I get flashed, besides the visual of the rear of my van rising/lowering).
The weigh distribution hitch and air bags keeps my van & trailer from bucking (up & down movement at the hitch).
I believe my tongue weight is closer to 500-550 lbs on a 4500 lb trailer empty.
Full water tank, gear and a motorcycle in my van and its a good sized load.
I get 6-7 mpg towing. Towing my lighter class 5 buggy I get 7-8 mpg.
Argh the V-10 sucks on fuel mileage.
This type of fuel mileage keeps my van home quite a bit (although I have 44K on my 2010).
I can afford the fuel but its just embarrassingly bad.



Oh, also I am on my second set of airbags as I let then go empty when not needing/using them. They rub on the frame empty. I run 20-30 psi in them even when I don't need them...
__________________
Two wheels or four, its all good. :-)
'10 E-350 EB V-10 QuadVan 4x4, SMB penthouse top, Van Specialties interior
maxacceleration is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 01:22 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
ScotFree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 27
Re: Indiana and Back Again, of Air Bags and Weight-Distribut

Jage wrote:
Quote:
The whole trip I took it way easy, and not just because of the large trailer. I did weight the tongue when we were back, and although it acted heaver in every regard, the tongue weight was only 700lbs. I'm going to chalk that up to having a 5000lb gauge instead of the 1K or 2K I should have put on.
What is the 5000lb gauge, I don't follow you here. Thanks, I am looking at air bag systems and am really wonder if they are necessary with the correct WD system. Seems logical TW would lighten by 150lb since you moved the truck engine backward over the trailer axles and replaced it in the nose with the lighter furniture.
__________________
'08 E350 SD EB Cargo 6.0
Bought New 5/2010
Quad Van 4x4
Rudimentary DIY Camper
ScotFree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 09:19 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 577
Re: Indiana and Back Again, of Air Bags and Weight-Distribut

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxacceleration
On my van the WD hitch and air bags are key. I can change ride height with the bags (I notice this by headlight height at night and how much I get flashed, besides the visual of the rear of my van rising/lowering).
The weigh distribution hitch and air bags keeps my van & trailer from bucking (up & down movement at the hitch).
I believe my tongue weight is closer to 500-550 lbs on a 4500 lb trailer empty.
Full water tank, gear and a motorcycle in my van and its a good sized load.
I get 6-7 mpg towing. Towing my lighter class 5 buggy I get 7-8 mpg.
Argh the V-10 sucks on fuel mileage.
This type of fuel mileage keeps my van home quite a bit (although I have 44K on my 2010).

I can afford the fuel but its just embarrassingly bad.



Oh, also I am on my second set of airbags as I let then go empty when not needing/using them. They rub on the frame empty. I run 20-30 psi in them even when I don't need them...
Nice looking van and trailer combo.

The V10 is not that bad on gas, it's just that many who have the V10 do so because they require a lot of power. And a lot of power burns lots of fuel. In your case you are probably burning close to 10 gallons per hour which means the V10 is working in an efficient range (unless you have very odd gearing). If you had a smaller 5.4 or 4.6 you'd probably burn even more fuel.

In my case I only burn between 4 and 5 gallons per hour when cruising at speeds of 60 to 70 MPH on level freeways. In that range my V10 is too lightly loaded to be as efficient as possible. I'd get better fuel economy with a 4.6 V8 everything else being equal as long as I drive in that speed range. When towing the V10 does as good as, or better, than a small V8 could do. It all depends on whether we need less than 50 HP or 100+ HP to move down the road at reasonable speed.

Don't mean to change thread's subject, just found your comment interesting because fuel economy interests me a lot.
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 12:52 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,599
Re: Indiana and Back Again, of Air Bags and Weight-Distribut

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotFree
Jage wrote:
Quote:
The whole trip I took it way easy, and not just because of the large trailer. I did weight the tongue when we were back, and although it acted heaver in every regard, the tongue weight was only 700lbs. I'm going to chalk that up to having a 5000lb gauge instead of the 1K or 2K I should have put on.
What is the 5000lb gauge, I don't follow you here. Thanks, I am looking at air bag systems and am really wonder if they are necessary with the correct WD system. Seems logical TW would lighten by 150lb since you moved the truck engine backward over the trailer axles and replaced it in the nose with the lighter furniture.
The tongue weight scale comes with a gauge, and you can switch them to the correct scale- if you're trying to measure 750lbs, you should be using a 1000lb gauge. I bought a 5K gauge because I want to weight my van corners with it, and 5K is appropriate for that amount of weight. Also, at the time I didn't realize you could just switch the scale gauge.
__________________
and then
everything changed
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 12:02 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 577
Re: Indiana and Back Again, of Air Bags and Weight-Distribut

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
........cut.........

On the return trip with a dining room set in the nose and the truck further back, I had to take the weight distribution hitch up a link. This was done with my 3-ton floor jack under the hitch and the trailer jack. It's probably easy to overload doing this, but it makes it possible, at least for myself.

Before upping the link, the front of the van was boating and wandering. After it was perfect again.

.......cut.........
On the subject of potentially overloading, is it easy to overload the spring bar system when driving over a large dip in the road?

If jacking the tongue up makes that much difference to reduce spring bar tension (and I know it does), what happens when driving over a dip in the road where the truck/van may be pointed uphill and the trailer behind pointed downhill? It seems this condition could put enough additional load on the WD hitch system that something could break. Some dips like water crossings in the Texas Hill Country can be quite pronounced.

I've used weight distribution hitches before but not all that often. And I've never had to drive over a large dip. So, can it be a big problem? And if so, what's the remedy; to stop and unload the spring bars?

If this is too far off topic I can ask the question in a separate thread.
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 01:13 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
carringb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 4,310
Re: Indiana and Back Again, of Air Bags and Weight-Distribut

I wouldn't worry about overloading the spring bars. I'm pretty sure they account for those scenarios. When I first started towing with a TT, I would take them off before heading off-pavement. Then I got lazy and quickly realized I was worrying about nothing. I think a more likely scenario is overloading the A-frame on those ultra-light TTs. Many reports of that happening. They just aren't built for it. But cargo trailers and quality TTs shouldn't have this issue.
__________________
2000 E350 extended wagon dually
V10 w/ Banks Powerpack, Diablo Predator
Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
carringb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 04:14 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 577
Re: Indiana and Back Again, of Air Bags and Weight-Distribut

Thanks carringb, I had just assumed that for light-weight trailers they would use equally light spring bars so they'd flex with less force. Don't know; maybe bars are only made so small, or some people use heavy bars on light trailers. Either way it's good to know because I would have guessed bars or other hitch components would likely brreak before a trailer tongue would be damaged.

To the more general question, I guess it depends on total vertical articulation between tow vehicle and trailer. I can visualize that on some (paved road) water crossings where I sometimes ride bikes in the Texas Hill Country the van could easily be nose up 10 degrees while the trailer was nose down 10 degrees. Even at half that, where total articulation was in the range of 10 degrees between van and trailer, it's hard to imagine that the spring bars could flex that much more on top of the "normal" load they are already carrying while vehicles are level.

Wouldn't a 10 degree difference between van and trailer equal something like 3 or 4 links of the chain? That's got to create a lot of extra tension at the end of the bars.
__________________

Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry

Yeti

ACTNPKRYETI

MCSporty

MSD
Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×