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Weight Distribution Hitch Setup Discrepancy

 
Old 04-30-2019, 05:19 PM
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Default Weight Distribution Hitch Setup Discrepancy

Hello everyone, this is my first post. I just bought a 2019 Ford F150 XLT with 302A, Max Tow, 20" wheels, and FX4 package. I have some weight distributing hitch questions for you gurus.

I setup my Fastway e2 weight distributing hitch according to the Fastway instructions which calls for the difference in height of the front wheel well to the ground after weight distribution and before weight distribution to be no less than halfway back to the non weight distributed measurement. I actually got it adjusted so that both heights before and after are exactly the same. I thought great, that was easy. However I then read in the Ford manual that you should setup weight distribution so that the weight distributed height is only down by 1/4 of the non weight distributed height. Can someone give me some insight as to which way I should adjust my hitch and why Ford only wants it down by 1/4 of the height difference? Thanks in advance.

Here are the two instruction snippets for your reference:

Ford Instructions:
Install and adjust the tension in the weight-distributing bars so that the height of your vehicle's front wheel opening on the fender is approximately a quarter the way down from H2, toward H1.

Fastway Instructions:
Tow vehicle coupled with weight distribution engaged. Should be at least halfway back to Line A. Higher than this may still be under adjusted. Lower than Line A is over adjusted.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:43 PM
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That's how mine is I'd say you are good to go.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:50 PM
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I'm curious if there is a reason Ford states to only go 1/4 back to the original distance. I wonder if Ford prefers more weight to be on the back axle instead of having a more even distribution between the front and back.
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Truckee View Post
I'm curious if there is a reason Ford states to only go 1/4 back to the original distance.
Ford's fine-tuning of WD hitch adjustment has changed over the years. For 2012 they said to tighten the spring bars tight enough to return the front fender to between zero and one-half inch higher than unloaded height. So that's what I did, and it worked great.

Now the 2019 instructions say to use a correction factor of 25%. IOW, if the difference is one inch, then tighten the spring bars until the difference is 3/4-inch.. Ford's example shows that if H1 =37" and H2 = 38" ,then target height is 37.75".

I haven't towed with my 2019 yet, but when I do I'll begin with returning the front fender height to close to the unloaded height. If that doesn't give me the handling and braking performance I expect, then I'll loosen the spring bars a tad. My ProPride hitch is very easy to adjust the tension on the spring bars, so I'll have it right before I get very far from home.
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:12 PM
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I have found the Ford OM to not be correct. Twice I had setup the hitch by the Ford book and found the trailer was all over the place. When I got the Blue Ox I followed the manufacturers instructions and returned full height back to the front, Smooth as silk and handles great.

If you read instructions on just about all WDH, they pretty much will say the same thing, restore front fender height to unloaded or as close as possible. The key to a good handling rig is to return the front axle weight back to it's unloaded weight. You just can't do that with only a 1/4" drop. With my setup, I was able to return all the weight to the front, truck and trailer handle beautifully.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:39 AM
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Use recommendations as a guide only. So many variables to the equation.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:34 AM
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Use either as a base and tune it to however it pulls best.
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:11 PM
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Thanks for the responses. I'm going to see how it tows with my current setup and readjust if needed. However, as a compromise, I may set up the hitch so that the distribution point is half way between the distributed and non distributed height. That will be within the requirements of the Fastway hitch and closer to the Ford requirements.

Last edited by Truckee; 05-01-2019 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:29 AM
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IMO: The key here is to ensure that you are in a reasonable range. 1/4 down from weight carrying ensures the front is actually carrying some load but isn't a hard measurement. Most important is that you don't add too much bar and unload the rear. However it works out, make sure you have some sag in the rear. When carrying empty, my loaded car trailer setup will actually raise the rear above unladen, which is a dangerous situation.

Once again just my opinion, but I think the towing guides focus too much on the front having enough when the dangerous situation is how too much bar impacts the rear.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:36 AM
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I just got a new camper and Blue Ox. No water in the tanks or equipment at the moment. First tow was fabulous, second tow was very windy, decided Id try going an extra link to really tighten it up. Bad move, I took too much weight off the tongue. Made what was already going to be an unpleasant trip nearly unmanageable. Live and learn though. That same setting may have been just fine though with a full water tank and gear
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