Originally Posted by JCooper
However, travel trailer campers (not 5th wheel) are usually towed with a weight distribution hitch which minimizes tongue weight of the trailer.
No. You're misinterpreting what a WD hitch does. It does not minimize tongue weight, or change tongue weight in any way. If your TT puts 800 pounds on the ball of the hitch, then your hitch weight is 800 pounds, and the amount of tongue weight on the ball will be 800 pounds, regardless of whether you have a WD or WC hitch.
A WD hitch distributes that tongue weight to the various axles of the rig, but it does not change the tongue weight on the ball of the hitch. With a perfect setup, that 800 pounds hitch weight will be distributed 200 pounds to the front axle of the tow vehicle, 200 pounds to the trailer axles and 400 pounds remaining on the rear axle of the tow vehicle. But that 200 pounds that gets distributed to the trailer axles does not reduce the tongue weight. It distributes it to the trailer axles and off the rear axle of the tow vehicle, but not off the ball of the hitch.
Scale tickets will show what happens to the weight on the axles of the tow vehicle. On mine:
Unloaded F-150: front axle = 3200, rear axle = 2840, GVW = 6040
Loaded with WC hitch: front axle =3040, rear axle =3880, trailer axles = 3480. GVW = 6920
The difference in loaded and unloaded was 650 pounds hitch weight and about 230 pounds of wife and dogs and stuff.
Because of the see-saw effect, the weight on the front axle decreased when weight was added to the ball.
Loaded with WD hitch: front axle 3280, rear axle = 3620, trailer axles = 3620, GVW = 6900
So the WD hitch moved 240 pounds to the front axle, 140 pounds to the trailer axles, and removed 360 pounds from the rear axle, leaving 270 pounds on the rear axle.
The hitch was not final adjusted yet when those scale weights were obtained. Only 41% of the 650 pounds tongue weight on the rear axle, 19 percent on the trailer axles, but 37% on the front axle. So I needed to adjust the hitch to move some weight off the front axle and put it on the trailer axles and the rear axle to get closer to a 25/50/25 percent distribution of tongue weight.