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Removing powered 3rd row seats


explorer_fisher

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I have an 06 LTD with powered 3rd row seats. I am thinking of removing them to save weight over the rear axle. I need to put about 500lb tongue weight on the tow hitch for a boat. 500lb is my limit without using a weight-distribution hitch, but my trailer is not compatible with WD hitches.

So I figure, if the 3rd seats weigh 100lbs, removing them will bump my tongue weight limit up to 600lb, correct?

Or, is there anything wrong with my math?
 


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96firephoenix

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Nothing wrong with your math, but something wrong with the logic. Tongue weight is a leverage issue, not strictly a weight issue (the reason the WD hitch lets you set more weight is that it alters the leverage that the weight is applying).

The tongue weight is on roughly a 3 foot lever relative to the rear spring mounts. the rear seats are approximately on a 1 foot lever to the rear spring mounts. So your hypothetical 100lbs of rear power seats translates into about 33lbs of tongue weight. You could measure them to be more accurate in your comparison, but you really run into some issues of safety if you're even a little bit off on your math.

The second logic error is that the hitch itself is only intended to accept the leverage that 500 lbs on the tongue (or usually 7-800lbs with WD) will apply to the receiver.

You also run into legality issues if CHP wants to check your setup and sees that you're over your rated tongue weight.

Have you considered renting a U-Haul truck to tow your boat from the dealer to your storage site? I know in another thread, you mentioned that you have about 150 miles of semi-mountainous driving to get from the dealer to the storage, but then it would only be about 8 miles storage to water. I don't think you'll have any issues with the shorter trips, but 2-3 hours at the max towing limits really doesn't leave you much room for error.
 




thebrakeman

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I agree with the above, but I wonder what the actual issue is.
You have 500 lbs of TW from the boat. You have 500 lbs of TW capacity (with the seats in place).
Why do you want to remove the seats, to give you 600lbs TW capacity (whether that logic is right or wrong)?

As long as you are not over 500 lbs TW (and not over any other ratings), hook up and go!

Also, what is the total loaded weight of trailer and boat?
 




96firephoenix

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I agree with the above, but I wonder what the actual issue is.
Also, what is the total loaded weight of trailer and boat?
I'm thinking he just wants some margin of error... Or to put any gear in the boat.

The issue with the Weight distributing hitch is that the boat trailer uses surge brakes, which are not compatible with weight distributing hitches.

Other thread said he was looking at a boat/trailer combo that was total 5000 lbs, with 500lb tongue weight.
 




thebrakeman

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I thought it was separate friction sway controllers that could not be used with surge brakes, because they inhibit the motion required by that type of braking. With traditional WDH (vertical chains and no integrated sway control), the fore-aft motion of the trailer is not inhibited. But if there is a warning against it, I wouldn't risk it either.
 




96firephoenix

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I thought it was separate friction sway controllers that could not be used with surge brakes, because they inhibit the motion required by that type of braking. With traditional WDH (vertical chains and no integrated sway control), the fore-aft motion of the trailer is not inhibited. But if there is a warning against it, I wouldn't risk it either.
The traditional WDH significantly reduces the fore-aft motion of the tongue, even with the chain connection for the torsion arms. More importantly, the WDH stops the tongue from moving relative to the mounting point for the torsion arms of the WDH.

It does look like there are surge-compatible WD hitches out there, that let the torsion arms slide in and out on the mounting points. Explorer_fisher, you should take a look at this hitch. (also PM'd a link in case this gets buried)

The friction sway controllers also reduce the effects of surge brakes.
 




explorer_fisher

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@96firephoenix you're right. I should rent a truck for towing the boat long distance. I found that my best local option is Enterprise Truck Rental. They have 3/4 ton trucks available for $59 per day, 100 free miles and $0.20 per extra mile, and I can tow a 10000+lb boat with it :)

I'll look at U-haul as well, but their trucks are usually beaters. I've rented a moving truck from them before and never want to go back again.
 




michael loibl

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Another thing to look into is that many boat trailers had some amount of adjustment in the length of the main tounge bar. Often there is about 10-15 inches of adjustment.
You are able to lengthen the tongue a few inches, you will take a small amount of weight off the hitch ball.
 




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