is my weight distribution hitch worth the tongue weight and effort. - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-11-2014, 10:48 AM   #15
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It should be noted that some trailer manufacturers don’t recommend a WDH. I was told b Tom Young, the owner of Trillium, not to use one. Too much stress on the tongue.
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:09 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
FK... Just go out and try towing with a WDH and you will understand.
I have...and I do.

Experience has taught me that such a system isn't always necessary or even desirable. Everything depends on the details/design of the tug/tow combination and the driving habits of the pilot.

I concur with the O.P.'s observation that a w/d system not only adds weight, it's a lot of trouble to install/handle. Just throwin' out there that the decision to use one is just that- a decision. It's not an automatically required piece of hardware for towing every trailer by every tow vehicle. As witness the rarity of use on anything but North American-built travel trailers.
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
With all WDH when installed there is friction between the attachment parts, the ball and the spring bar mounting points. This friction helps keep the TV and trailer in a straight line. Higher end WDH have additional parts which further add resistance and stability.
Technically you are correct, friction is there; but in a minimal amount.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:19 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by deryk View Post
I just moved up from a Rav4 to a Nissan Frontier which is quite a bit heavier.
Welcome to the Frontier owners club Deryk!!! I am starting to really love my little PRO 4X. Took it into the Rockies last week with some pretty crazy road conditions (including out and out closer that I had to wait for the road to reopen and it did ok.

To keep it on topic it should be noted that not only do some trailer manufactures not recommend the use of a WD system some vehicle manufactures also dont recommend there use.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:45 PM   #19
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I guess what David and Carol are saying is that some trailer builders and some vehicle builders don't think that their chassis are all that strong.

And something being a "Lot of trouble" shouldn't even be a card in the deck if safety is any part of the discussion.

If I find that something offers even the slighest improvement in handling and, therefore, safety, I'd find it hard to ignore it because it was seen as being "a lot of trouble".

I still suggest that the O.P. try it both ways and make their own decision, but don't let inconvenience be one of the criteria if it's safer.

BTW: One of the shortest lists in the RV world is the list of all European trailers that weigh much more than a Piss Ants Airstream. Hence less need for w.d. hitches

From my own observations, I would guess that 95% of all European towables weigh less than a 17' Bigfoot, and that's a good thing.

In U.S. RV's it's just the opposite, and that's a bad thing.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I guess what David and Carol are saying is that some trailer builders and some vehicle builders don't think that their chassis are all that strong.
Not necessarily correct. Cant speak for David but my comment was in regards to the fact that I know one car manufacture does not recommend the use of a WDH on their products as it can have a negative impact on the all wheel drive system they have.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:35 PM   #21
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The OP's Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a body-on-frame vehicle, I believe, so WD should not be forbidden or discouraged by the mfr. Nothing in my 2000 Mountaineer (explorer twin) manual about it.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:44 PM   #22
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In the case of Trillium, the tongue has been the subject of a recall on the 1300 models. So, yeah the manufacturer does not think it is advisable to use a WDH for structural reasons.


trillium 1300 frame crack recall info
Trillium Frame Reinforcement (recall)
RECALLED TRILLIUM 1300's?
Broken Trillium 13 frame
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:39 AM   #23
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Here is one of the best explanations I've seen about why a WDH is important when towing (it's from the Jeep forum):

"Airbags are great, but they are definitely not a replacement for a Weight-Distribution Hitch. A WDH has 2 primary purposes, as well as several additional benefits.

A WDH will raise up the back of the tow vehicle, and reduces some of the sag caused by the trailer’s tongue weight. And I think this is what the OP is referring to in his comparison to air bags. Both will raise up the rear end of the truck.

But the way a WDH raises up the rear of the truck is key – it uses torsion to shift a percentage of the tongue weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle. This is the key difference between a WDH and airbags. Without shifting some of the tongue weight onto the front axle, you‘re likely to have problems in a panic stop or other emergency maneuver. When you brake hard, the weight of the trailer shifts forward and pushes down on the hitch ball even harder than normal, which causes the truck to get light on the front wheels. When that happens, you can lose steering and a big part of your braking capacity. A WDH resists the trailer’s nose-dive, and keeps more of that tongue weight transferred forward.

By using Airbags instead of a WDH, in the same panic stop as above, the trailer weight will shift forward, pushing down on the hitch ball. The hitch in turn, will push down on the rear of the truck. Since the airbags are resisting that downward force (at the axle), they become a pivot point, and the front end can get light very quickly.

In addition to the 2 primary purposes described above (shifting weight to the front axle & reducing sag), a WDH also introduces more stability when encountering cross winds, especially if you use a sway control device with the WDH. Also, most modern trucks come with hitches that are rated lower when not using a WDH, and higher when using one. Some people ignore those ratings, but that's a whole other conversation.

Hope that helps. "
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:52 AM   #24
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FWIW, when we bought our EggCamper we were told at the factory do NOT use a wdh. I don't know the reason but with our tow vehicles used with the EggCamper no wdh has ever been needed and in over 50 years towing many trailers of many sizes with many different tow vehicles, I've NEVER had any sway.
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:41 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by rgrugg View Post
FWIW, when we bought our EggCamper we were told at the factory do NOT use a wdh. I don't know the reason but with our tow vehicles used with the EggCamper no wdh has ever been needed and in over 50 years towing many trailers of many sizes with many different tow vehicles, I've NEVER had any sway.

You, no doubt, have lived a very charmed life
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