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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-06-2014, 12:38 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: beachcamper54
Trailer: Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
California
Posts: 2
is my weight distribution hitch worth the tongue weight and effort.

Hi folks a newbie here .. just got our first Casita! It came with a heavy EAZ dual bar weight distribution hitch. Do we really need it? Our tow vehicle is a 2001 Ford Explorer Sportrac w/4.0 litre/6 cylinder engine pulling a 2002 17' Spirit Deluxe. We have Monroe Airmax adjustable shocks on the rear and can tow the trailer level. We'd rather put on an anti-sway bar than deal with the weight distribution hitch set up. My question is - Does the weight distribution hitch make things easier on the vehicle and smooth the ride enough to be worth the added tongue weight, since i can already level the casita with the airshocks?
__________________

__________________
beachcamper54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2014, 06:38 AM   #2
MC1
Senior Member
 
MC1's Avatar
 
Name: Wayne
Trailer: Nest fan, Airstream Sold
Ontario
Posts: 2,006
The WDH adds a margin of safety.
__________________

__________________
MC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2014, 07:27 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
Even though I am full well knowing that this might open the Pandora's box on WDH's I will add my opinion on the question.

Again, IMHO: Air shocks do nothing to help with the problem other than bring the TV back to level. All of that extra load is placed on the shocks and the shock mounts themselves and it's still adding all of the towing weight to the rear axle.

The purpose of a WDH is to "Distribute" the tongue weight trailer to the front wheels of the TV. We tow a 17', single axle, Coleman Hybrid trailer, that is some what heavier than your Casita, with a GMC Denali, and the few times when I have pulled it without the WDH installed (the trailer is well within the Denali's towing limits), although the vehicles auto level system kept everything level, it was much more squirrley going down the road than with the WDH installed.

In a non-scientific observation, it appears that getting more weight on the front wheels, at least in this application, provides for a better tow and precludes any need for a sway control device.
__________________
Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2014, 08:28 AM   #4
Commercial Member
 
tractors1's Avatar
 
Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Oregon
Posts: 1,127
I've found the WDH greatly reduces the "porpoising" on undulating roads and improves the steering by adding weight to the front end of the TV - which also helps reduce sway. I did away with the anti-sway bar completely. The 17s have a greater tongue weight than shorter rigs.

Charlie Y
__________________
Charlie Y

Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design: http://RVWidgetWorks.com
tractors1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2014, 09:05 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Mike Magee's Avatar
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
Posts: 5,142
You might try towing both ways, with and without the WDH, to see if it makes a difference in ride comfort.

As for safety, I don't think that type of WDH has sway control built in, does it? Some brands like Equal-i-zer and Andersen No-Sway will do so and should function better than a sway bar, but the brand you mention I'm not as familiar with so I can't say if it has friction sway control. If it does, then you may have some peace of mind from it. But if you have a front bath in the Casita, I doubt you would ever have dangerous sway as that usually results from too little tongue weight.

I have towed 16' and 17' long trailers for over 100,000 miles without any sway, but I've had violent sway on a tiny 4x8 utility trailer that was improperly loaded. Proper tongue weight is the key.

If you are not exceeding the hitch weight rating for your Ford and the ride and handling/steering are satisfactory, the WDH should not be necessary IMO. But it is entirely possible that you would observe some improvement in the latter characteristics, so as long as you have it, why not give it a tryout? The only hesitation would be if the weight of the WDH actually put you over the hitch weight rating.
__________________
How much time do we have left? 2 Chr. 7:14
Mike Magee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 01:16 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Name: beachcamper54
Trailer: Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
California
Posts: 2
Thank you all very much for your insights, it was so kind of you to share your expertise. Sounds like its an asset worth the time and effort. We are heading out on our first casita trip in a few days, this helps!
__________________
beachcamper54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 12:20 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Francesca Knowles's Avatar
 
Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,543
Registry
Well, now that it's all settled I'm weighing in with a dissenting opinion.

A w/d hitch transfers weight to the trailer wheels as well as to the front of the tug. In this combination, where the total/tongue weights involved are well below the tug's capacity, I think w/d is more trouble than it's worth- and why add to the Casita's load unless necessary?

If "sway" is a concern, as noted above: most w/d systems do not provide sway control. I think a friction bar would be much simpler...though as I understand it this Casita is already heavy enough at the tongue to make that unlikely to be much of a problem.
__________________
.................................
Propane Facts vs. Fiction:. Click here
Tow Limit Calculator: Click here
Francesca Knowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 01:36 PM   #8
MC1
Senior Member
 
MC1's Avatar
 
Name: Wayne
Trailer: Nest fan, Airstream Sold
Ontario
Posts: 2,006
Note: for the record..... "all" WDH by their nature provide sway control to some degree or another.
__________________
MC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 02:42 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Francesca Knowles's Avatar
 
Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,543
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
Note: for the record..... "all" WDH by their nature provide sway control to some degree or another.
I think this to be a common misperception...it's my understanding that chained link-only w/d systems lack the rigid point required for sway control- that's why chained systems such as the one in the below Casita orientation video sometimes add a friction-type sway bar.
this Casita orientation video

There are other sway control-included w/d systems like this one that adds a cylindrical sway control device, and this one that eliminates the chains altogether in favor of rigid brackets.

Dunno, though, if those last two types are available in sizes appropriate for trailers as light as ours...and an oversized w/d system is just as problematic as an undersized one.
__________________
.................................
Propane Facts vs. Fiction:. Click here
Tow Limit Calculator: Click here
Francesca Knowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 05:43 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
deryk's Avatar
 
Name: deryk
Trailer: 2012 Parkliner 2010 V6 Nissan Frontier 4x4
New Jersey
Posts: 2,086
Registry
I agree with the idea of try it with and without it. I just moved up from a Rav4 to a Nissan Frontier which is quite a bit heavier. I haven't removed the brackets yet want to give it a few trips first. I m thinking of removing the trunk on the back since now with a pickup I can toss it in there...or a smaller box that would mount above my new battery box... heavier tongue weight lighter rear end might work better for me.

So give it a try and see how it works best for you then make your decision.
__________________
deryk

All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.... J.R.R. Tolkien
deryk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 07:19 PM   #11
MC1
Senior Member
 
MC1's Avatar
 
Name: Wayne
Trailer: Nest fan, Airstream Sold
Ontario
Posts: 2,006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
I think this to be a common misperception....
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.
__________________
MC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 10:38 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Francesca Knowles's Avatar
 
Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,543
Registry
Quote:
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. .

Pardon me very much, but...what ?

Even manufacturers like Reese don't make any such claims...
please do take a look at this link , for example, and quote the relevant language that claims the kind of "sway control" performance that I think you mean to describe above.
__________________
.................................
Propane Facts vs. Fiction:. Click here
Tow Limit Calculator: Click here
Francesca Knowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 05:33 AM   #13
MC1
Senior Member
 
MC1's Avatar
 
Name: Wayne
Trailer: Nest fan, Airstream Sold
Ontario
Posts: 2,006
FK... Just go out and try towing with a WDH and you will understand.
__________________
MC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2014, 06:25 AM   #14
Member
 
Name: Jack
Trailer: Escape 21
Arizona
Posts: 35
Wdh

A dozen years ago we had a 17' Casita that we towed behind a Ford 150 crew cab. A very good TV but the truck lanes in CA would cause the trailer to bounce so as to kick anything including a television off the bed. I stopped at an RV dealer while passing through LA and bought a single bar WDH and installed it in their parking lot. All the difference in the world as the two units were more attached and weight was shifted to the trailer to hold it down. A tandem axle or stiff shocks on the trailer may have helped, I have always used a WDH since and would not in the future fail to use one. My current TV will allow 700# tongue weight and I have about 400# but I still use the WDH.
Jack of Tucson
__________________

__________________
Jack Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
weight


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advisibility of using weight distribution hitch: pros and cons Bob Miller Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 320 03-17-2013 11:34 PM
Tongue weight or hitch weight Cathi Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 26 04-24-2012 12:38 AM
Brakes are they worth the effort? RogerH General Chat 23 04-30-2010 12:58 PM
Looking for a Weight Distribution Hitch ROIDON L Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 2 07-18-2009 11:39 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.