Do I need a WDH - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-06-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1980 Bigfoot 17 ft
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HELP!!!
I am total rookie at towing a 1980 17' Bigfoot. Been towing a tent trailer for years. I have a 96 Nisssan Pathfinder 4 with a tow capacity of 3500 lb-the trailer GVRW 1980. I currently have a Class 2 hitch on the truck but was presented with a WDH when I bought the trailer, but it fits a class 3 hitch. So now what. Do I forgo the WDH and just use my existing hitch with a brake controller. Do it replace the hitch and go to a class 3 with the WDH. Or should I just go to using the WDH on a new class 3 hitch and forgo using the brakes on the trailer. I am getting a different story from every hitch store I go into. Any advice -many thanks, Roidon Lamb, Vancouver, Canada
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:41 PM   #2
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
Ontario
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HELP!!!
I am total rookie at towing a 1980 17' Bigfoot. Been towing a tent trailer for years. I have a 96 Nisssan Pathfinder 4 with a tow capacity of 3500 lb-the trailer GVRW 1980. I currently have a Class 2 hitch on the truck but was presented with a WDH when I bought the trailer, but it fits a class 3 hitch. So now what. Do I forgo the WDH and just use my existing hitch with a brake controller. Do it replace the hitch and go to a class 3 with the WDH. Or should I just go to using the WDH on a new class 3 hitch and forgo using the brakes on the trailer. I am getting a different story from every hitch store I go into. Any advice -many thanks, Roidon Lamb, Vancouver, Canada
Roidon,
My 1993 17' Bigfoot is almost 3500 lbs when loaded for travel. I think a class 3 hitch with the WDH is necessary. I tow one with my 2003 Honda Odyssey. While the Class 2 is rated at 3500 lbs towing, it is only rated at 300 lbs tongue weight. Depending on how the front end of the Bigfoot is loaded (Battery, propane tanks, electrical stuff, etc.) you will be close to or exceeding that tongue weight!
Be safe, get the Class 3, 2" ball, and sleep well at night and be confident while towing, especially on bumpy patches. In addition, the WDH makes handling and the ride so much smoother - not as much up and down 'pumping' of the vehicles.
I wouldn't go back!
Good luck.
Mike .....>
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:21 AM   #3
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Trailer: Bigfoot 21ft (25B21RB)
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Roidon,
My 1993 17' Bigfoot is almost 3500 lbs when loaded for travel. I think a class 3 hitch with the WDH is necessary. I tow one with my 2003 Honda Odyssey. While the Class 2 is rated at 3500 lbs towing, it is only rated at 300 lbs tongue weight. Depending on how the front end of the Bigfoot is loaded (Battery, propane tanks, electrical stuff, etc.) you will be close to or exceeding that tongue weight!
Be safe, get the Class 3, 2" ball, and sleep well at night and be confident while towing, especially on bumpy patches. In addition, the WDH makes handling and the ride so much smoother - not as much up and down 'pumping' of the vehicles.
I wouldn't go back!
Good luck.
Mike .....>
i totally agree
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:17 PM   #4
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Trailer: 2000 Bigfoot 17 ft (15B17CB)
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HELP!!!
I am total rookie at towing a 1980 17' Bigfoot. Been towing a tent trailer for years. I have a 96 Nisssan Pathfinder 4 with a tow capacity of 3500 lb-the trailer GVRW 1980. I currently have a Class 2 hitch on the truck but was presented with a WDH when I bought the trailer, but it fits a class 3 hitch. So now what. Do I forgo the WDH and just use my existing hitch with a brake controller. Do it replace the hitch and go to a class 3 with the WDH. Or should I just go to using the WDH on a new class 3 hitch and forgo using the brakes on the trailer. I am getting a different story from every hitch store I go into. Any advice -many thanks, Roidon Lamb, Vancouver, Canada
Go with the WD class 3 hitch, but I'm uncertain what you mean about "forgo using the brakes on the trailer". Functioning trailer brakes are legally required in B.C. for this weight of travel trailer, and for good reason.
Your Bigfoot will likely be around 3500lbs when you load it up, and I agree with Michael, the actual tongue weight could easily exceed a class 2 hitch rating. Your stopping distance would probably double without trailer brakes, and it is likely the vehicle brakes would overheat and fail to stop at all on long steep grades.
Ignore any "dry weight" ratings listed, actual loaded weights for 17 foot Bigfoots will be in the 3500 - 4000lb range depending on options.

Have fun with your Bigfoot!
Steve.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:22 PM   #5
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Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
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Yep. Good advice you're getting. Get the class III receiver. Get a WDH with sway control (like a Reese Dual Cam or Equalizer), and use your trailer brakes with a good brake controller like a Prodigy or P3. None of those are areas to skimp on.

Roger
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:18 AM   #6
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Name: Dave
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
British Columbia
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What weight class hitches are folks using for the 17 ft trailers? Ours is the older Bigfoot (~2000lbs), yet the WDH hitches with dual cam anti-sway seem over kill - 600 lb tongue weight/6000 lb trailer weight.

Thanks
Dave
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:28 AM   #7
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WDH hitches with dual cam anti-sway seem over kill - [b]600 lb tongue weight/6000 lb trailer weight.
350 LB & 400 LB WDH
I use a 350 LB Trunion style WDH on my Fiber Stream. It appears that 350 LBS is the smallest WDH available.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:06 AM   #8
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Name: Dave
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
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350 LB & 400 LB WDH
I use a 350 LB Trunion style WDH on my Fiber Stream. It appears that 350 LBS is the smallest WDH available.
Thanks Frederick - is that Reese you use?
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:02 AM   #9
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Thanks Frederick - is that Reese you use?
Mine is an older version (30 years older). The one in the link is a better one.
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