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Fifth Wheel RV - Simulation of weight transfer under hard braking

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Uploaded on Jan 27, 2010

What happens when you apply the brakes aggressively while towing a fifth wheel trailer? Does the front of the trailer push down on the hitch and the rear axle of the truck? To find out, I ran a simulation in Carsim 7, using a full-size pickup model, and a model fifth wheel trailer. The loaded truck in the simulation weighs approximately 5600 lbs, and the trailer about 6500 lbs. Yellow tire force arrows show how much weight is on the tire during the braking event (the vertical arrows), and how much braking force the tires are providing (the arrows pointing to the rear).

Brakes are applied at 0:17.

The results of the simulation show that the truck is able to stop much more quickly than the trailer, even with properly adjusted trailer brakes, so the trailer actually pushes forward on the hitch. Combined with the forward weight transfer of the truck itself, this means weight on the rear wheels decreases significantly under hard braking; enough that the trucks ABS is activated for the rear wheels.

http://towingdynamics.blogspot.com

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