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Buying F350 with an eye towards the future

F5Pro
Explorer
Explorer
With my max tow F150 the previous owner had installed air bags to help level the hitch/trailer. If I put 10-15% of my 7000 lb. trailer weight on the WDH will I still need air bags to raise the hitch on the F350 or will the opposite be true?
15 REPLIES 15

ppine
Explorer II
Explorer II
Measure the height of your fender wells with and without the trailer to help decide if you need a WD hitch. They should not be that different say less than an inch and a half. Otherwise the front axle gets light and your rig will wander around more than without the TT.

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
lenr wrote:
Another opinion--others will vary
With an F350, the back end will not drop much, but you will get the same leverage effect reducing the weight on the front end. Similar wheel base of an F350 or F150 will have a similar leverage effect. For best possible steering, set WD to return weight to the front end similar to what it is when the truck is unloaded regardless of if it is a 150 or 350. I set up WD on any trailer over 3,000 lb. on my F-350. Ever see a small car or small SUV pulling an over-loaded U-Haul trailer with the back end way down and the front end up in the air. Bet they were weaving all over the place for lack of steering weight.


And good luck with traction in soft, loose, wet or otherwise slippery conditions once you hook an anchor to the back of the truck and don't put enough lead in the truck's arse to increase the traction proportionally to the resistance.

Also, small car overloaded with Uhaul trailer scenario is about as far away from an accurate comparison to prove your point as it could be. At least in the context of the original question.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

blt2ski
Moderator
Moderator
From my experience, the RA capacity decides how much wt is taken off the FA. My Navistar with a 16500 RA, takes all of 100 lbs off the FA with my 12K equipment trailer hooked up. THe SW 3500 crew cab had 300-350 off the FA with stock 6400 lb springs, Increased them to 8400, same amount taken off the FA as my dually with 8500 lb springs, in the low 200 lb range.
I found that it took around 500 lbs off the FA of my CC diesels before I really noticed steerage issues. I would get there sooner with my shorter WB rigs, even if the spring capacity was the same. My reg cab c2500 with 6000 lb springs can handle the ET, but the head lights are pointing to the sky. Fortuneteller I do not have the ability to put a WD on this trailer, you would notice the difference in handling if I could.
Another factor of the 8 lug rigs, the rear sits higher from the get go vs a 15 series. SO it takes some weight to get the truck bed level, to rear end down to make it so you are pulling more wt off the FA vs initially. It is not a simple 10 lbs per 100 lbs of HW off the FA, its more like 5 lbs for first 100, 10 for for next 100, 15 for the 3rd 100 . The more you put on the rear, the higher the % of FA gets taken off.

Marty
92 Navistar dump truck, 7.3L 7 sp, 4.33 gears with a Detroit no spin
2014 Chevy 1500 Dual cab 4x4
92 Red-e-haul 12K equipment trailer

lenr
Explorer II
Explorer II
An F-350 sits high in the rear and is designed to come down under load. When our 6500 trailer was attached to our F-350 it dropped only a little, barely touching the aux springs. It still was slightly high in the rear. And, as said before, I still used WD to return weight to the front axle for better steering. Air bags only increase the rear spring capacity. While that makes the truck look level, it does nothing to return weight to the front. The big truck manufacturers all have a trailer weight rating when not using WD and a 7000 lb. trailer is likely under that rating. But, steering and safety will be increased by using WD.

lenr
Explorer II
Explorer II
Changing the position of the ball mount on the shank is the only way to level the trailer even if you have to buy a longer shank to drop more (which is what I had to do). Then after you change the mount height you almost always have to readjust the WD. With systems that use chains one must be sure to have enough length for turns (Reese recommends at least 5 links under tension).

time2roll
Nomad
Nomad
If you currently need air bags maybe the hitch needs adjustment?

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
lenr wrote:
Another opinion--others will vary
With an F350, the back end will not drop much, but you will get the same leverage effect reducing the weight on the front end. Similar wheel base of an F350 or F150 will have a similar leverage effect. For best possible steering, set WD to return weight to the front end similar to what it is when the truck is unloaded regardless of if it is a 150 or 350. I set up WD on any trailer over 3,000 lb. on my F-350. Ever see a small car or small SUV pulling an over-loaded U-Haul trailer with the back end way down and the front end up in the air. Bet they were weaving all over the place for lack of steering weight.


You'll be splitting hairs to see how much the front is "unloaded".
Think about it, if a 1 ton diesel has 1000lbs more on the front axle than a 1/2 ton (it does), do you think removing a few hundred lbs is going to adversely affect handling and braking? It won't.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

ppine
Explorer II
Explorer II
I have been driving a F-350 for 18 years. I have pulled everything with it.

I have pulled 3-4,000 pounds without a WD hitch just fine.
A horse trailer can go around 5,000 or a little more because it is short and does not put much leverage on the hitch.

A travel trailer over 5,000 pounds greatly benefits from a WD hitch even on a one ton truck.

F5Pro
Explorer
Explorer
I guess I am more worried that there won't be enough weight and that the trailer will be too high in the front. Lowering the ball on the WDH should do the trick, but what if it doesn't? The 56 gallon fresh water tank is in the first third, will I need to keep it filled?

lenr
Explorer II
Explorer II
Another opinion--others will vary
With an F350, the back end will not drop much, but you will get the same leverage effect reducing the weight on the front end. Similar wheel base of an F350 or F150 will have a similar leverage effect. For best possible steering, set WD to return weight to the front end similar to what it is when the truck is unloaded regardless of if it is a 150 or 350. I set up WD on any trailer over 3,000 lb. on my F-350. Ever see a small car or small SUV pulling an over-loaded U-Haul trailer with the back end way down and the front end up in the air. Bet they were weaving all over the place for lack of steering weight.

blt2ski
Moderator
Moderator
I did not use a WD with a 12K 1500 HW trailer on my SW3500 or dually version. Barely too 200-300 lbs off the FA.
I do admit, I generally speaking used a WD with my same size TT you have weight wise. With that said, it usually took no more than 60-100 lbs off the FA. It was as noted set pretty light tension wise.
What I did NOTICE with a WD, was the side to side rocking in side winds was lowered with a WD, and even less with a dual cam.
With the above typed, I would suggest a WD with the new truck. Needed? no

Marty
92 Navistar dump truck, 7.3L 7 sp, 4.33 gears with a Detroit no spin
2014 Chevy 1500 Dual cab 4x4
92 Red-e-haul 12K equipment trailer

ScottG
Nomad
Nomad
No, you wont need air bags.

shum02
Explorer
Explorer
Of using the WDH for that weight trailer use the lowest setting for the hitch. The truck will fight you if you try to move any weight forward. 800lbs on a F350 hitch will barely move it.
2006 F350 Lariat FX4 CC 4x4 PSD
2007 KZ2505QSS-F Outdoorsman

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
1000lbs tongue weight load carrying won’t require anything on a 1 ton.
If you use a wdh as well for a little trailer hooked to a big truck, you won’t even get the advantage of smoothing out the ride with weight “in” the bed.

However if you’ve actually driven a 1 ton truck you’d know this, so beware, it may be too much suspension compared to what your used to. They don’t ride like a 1/2 ton
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold