Question regarding weight distributing hitch - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-19-2014, 08:13 PM   #1
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Name: Richard
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Oklahoma
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Question regarding weight distributing hitch

Hi, everyone. First post and I feel like this is going to be and excellent forum.
Back in 1994 I purchased a new 18 foot Mallard travel trailer. Dealer set it up with a weight distributing hitch and sway control. Sold the trailer years ago and am now retired. Will be actively shopping soon for a 17 Casita. If I recall correctly the torsion bars if that is the correct name are different sizes depending trailer weight. I know the Mallard was heavier than a Casita. I was thinking that I had the lightest set up made at the time in regard to the hitch. I still have the hitch and sway control in my shop building. Both are in excellent shape. Curious what everyone thinks regarding the old setup. Should it be good to go? Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:47 PM   #2
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Hi, neighbor! Do you have any recollection of what brand your old WD hitch is? What the old Mallard's hitch weight was? And tell us what you intend to tow with. Are you planning to get the Casita Deluxe (front bath) version, or standard (no bathroom, lighter on the tongue)?
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:07 PM   #3
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I don't recall the brand and don't believe it is marked. Right now it would be a 17 Casita deluxe. Also don't recall what the Mallards hitch weight was.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:37 PM   #4
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Welcome to fiberglassrv!


As for the sway bar. Are you asking so you can purchase one now, before you buy your Casita? If so, I would say wait if your buying used. Because mine came with one.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:44 PM   #5
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Welcome to fiberglassrv!


As for the sway bar. Are you asking so you can purchase one now, before you buy your Casita? If so, I would say wait if your buying used. Because mine came with one.
I presently own a sway bar from my old trailer with all the associated hardware. Looks just the what is currently being sold.

I tried looking up the tongue weight on my old Mallard 18 footer and have come up with nothing. My googlefoo is just not working tonite.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:53 PM   #6
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What's the tug?

Casitas are considered "tongue heavy" by little trailer standards, but in the Real World you're coming from, even 400 pounds is nothing. If you're towing with a pickup you may not need a weight distributing hitch. Too many people struggle with such setups unnecessarily, in my opinion. Without knowing what you're going to tow with, it's not really possible to advise you properly.

Sway control is completely separate/different from W/D and a whole 'nother question...much depends on final configuration.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:55 PM   #7
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My old Mallard 18 ft was 430 pounds and a Casita 17 ft Deluxe Spirit is 365 on the tongue weight. 55 pounds difference between the two. I would like to think my old existing hitch could be adjusted and made to work.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
What's the tug?

Casitas are considered "tongue heavy" by little trailer standards, but in the Real World you're coming from, even 400 pounds is nothing. If you're towing with a pickup you may not need a weight distributing hitch. Too many people struggle with such setups unnecessarily, in my opinion. Without knowing what you're going to tow with, it's not really possible to advise you properly.

Sway control is completely separate/different from W/D and a whole 'nother question...much depends on final configuration.
2012 Ford F150 Supercrew with factory trailer tow package. 3.73 axle with factory brake controller. Motor is the 5.0 V8.
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glg20 View Post
2012 Ford F150 Supercrew with factory trailer tow package. 3.73 axle with factory brake controller. Motor is the 5.0 V8.
Link to specs

Only 3,000 pounds of payload...lemme think...

Don't bother with w/d unless you also intend to haul a bedfull of gravel at the same time. As for sway control: set her up level and tongue heavy and she'll tow straight as a stick without add-ons.

Have fun!
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:12 PM   #10
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In my opinion you won't need a "weight distribution" with that truck! You will be fine. I don't use a w/d with my Tacoma and when I had my full size Chevy it was a even smoother tow! Enjoy!
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:20 PM   #11
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Well, that is some good news. The darn thing has got a lot heavier over the years. Glad I don't need to mess with it. Guess I will keep the sway control and get rid of some excess iron out in the shop! Thanks for the advice.
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:28 AM   #12
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Hi Richard and welcome to the group. As I started reading this thread I was going to comment but when you listed what your tug is............nope, your good to go without the w/d setup. I don't use one with a SD17 and a '02 4.0 6 cyl Ranger and you've got way more punch. BTW, my toung weight is 364 the last time I checked but I think one of the LP tanks is just about empty.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:30 AM   #13
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The tongue weigh of my 17' SD has been weighted twice at 405 pounds and that seems about normal.
What you need and what would be nice to have are different. My 07 silverado recommends one at 600 pounds. I already had the WDH and am at 3/4th of the recommended 600 so I use it.
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Romas View Post
The tongue weigh of my 17' SD has been weighted twice at 405 pounds and that seems about normal.
What you need and what would be nice to have are different. My 07 silverado recommends one at 600 pounds. I already had the WDH and am at 3/4th of the recommended 600 so I use it.
Unless you're carrying a LOT of weight in the back of the Silverado, I don't understand the logic here. That far below maximum dead weight ball load, the tug should still be riding level. What benefit does W/D provide in this circumstance?

W/D transfers weight both to the trailer and the front of the tow vehicle, using the trailer's tongue for the necessary leverage. Every pound of force exerted by W/D is felt by the attachment point on the trailer. The cost of "restoring" weight to front tug axles can be substantial. Why add that load to a lightweight trailer unless necessary for control of the tow vehicle?

BTW:
I'm curious enough about this question that I looked the manual up for a 2007 Silverado. Link
Without knowing which model you have, of course...but I see no W/D language at all there for any model except as applies to bigger models attempting to tow trailers in the ten thousand pounds and up neighborhood ( 1500 pounds of tongue weight)-?
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