Substituting a lighter hitch while keeping same tongue brackets - Fiberglass RV



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Old 03-08-2019, 03:58 PM   #1
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Substituting a lighter hitch while keeping same tongue brackets

Have been reading a lot about pros and cons of WD hitches on this forum.
We are sold on using one (we think it gives a margin of error in unanticipated situations), so this is not about pros and cons.


There is no identifying info on any of the hitch parts, but we think it is a Reese.
This hitch was originally used to pull a 10,000 lb trailer, and of course it is very heavy.


We are wanting to replace this WD hitch with a lighter unit, rated for our Casita.
The brackets for the spring bars are WELDED onto the tongue and we don't want to take them off, so we think we must purchase another Reese, but don't know that for sure.

What we don't know is--would a Reese or other (that would configure to our brackets) that would be rated to pull the Casita be significantly lighter than the massive WD hitch we are using now?


Have looked at the Reese site-don't see any hitch weights. Have not called them.
This is a big deal for us, as husband just had back surgery.
Hopefully the pictures will help. The sway bar is a Reese.

Any insights?
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by genesis315 View Post
Have been reading a lot about pros and cons of WD hitches on this forum.
We are sold on using one (we think it gives a margin of error in unanticipated situations), so this is not about pros and cons.
Curious as to why you think a WDH gives you this margin of error in unanticipated situations? The WDH is more for leveling the two units, an anticipated/known condition. A sway bar would come under the unanticipated situations. Your pic shows the small ball for a sway bar mount. I pull a SD 17 without either of those through high desert crosswinds with a Ranger p/u. I agree with you, I wouldn't want to lift it either. Mind letting us know what your tug is?
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:05 PM   #3
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Most WD hitches weigh around 90 or 100 lbs all together. One or two are much lighter, about 65-70 lbs. One is the Andersen No-Sway, which uses chains instead of bars to level the rig and provide sway control. I forget the name of the other one. I had researched this about a year ago... details fade with time. You are not going to find one lighter than about 65 lbs. I think the Andersen is quite easy to handle compared to the Equal-i-zer I used abut 14 yeare ago.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:12 AM   #4
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I wish posters of questions like this would tell us what there tow vehicle is, they may not need a WDH or swaybar, I don't use one and have not ever used one, but then again I have a over rated tow vehicle for my trailer.

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Old 03-09-2019, 11:40 AM   #5
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A simple test

All those WDHs are added dead weight that decreases your gas mileage.

Suggestion: with a plain hitch ball/drawbar, measure the height from ground without the trailer. then again with the trailer connected. How much did it sag?
If less than an inch or so, you probably don't need a WDH.
Avoid loading a lot of heavy stuff behind the rear axle of the TV.
Make the drawbar/hitch ball as close as short as possible. You may need to drill another hole for the pin. It's all a matter of leverage.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:24 PM   #6
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I don't care if the rear sags and I don't care if my headlights point to the sky ( don't drive in the dark ). I care about a safe and secure ride, and that's what I get with a WDH.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:14 PM   #7
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Name: Jann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis315 View Post
Have been reading a lot about pros and cons of WD hitches on this forum.
We are sold on using one (we think it gives a margin of error in unanticipated situations), so this is not about pros and cons.


There is no identifying info on any of the hitch parts, but we think it is a Reese.
This hitch was originally used to pull a 10,000 lb trailer, and of course it is very heavy.


We are wanting to replace this WD hitch with a lighter unit, rated for our Casita.
The brackets for the spring bars are WELDED onto the tongue and we don't want to take them off, so we think we must purchase another Reese, but don't know that for sure.

What we don't know is--would a Reese or other (that would configure to our brackets) that would be rated to pull the Casita be significantly lighter than the massive WD hitch we are using now?


Have looked at the Reese site-don't see any hitch weights. Have not called them.
This is a big deal for us, as husband just had back surgery.
Hopefully the pictures will help. The sway bar is a Reese.

Any insights?
Just a regular swaybar will do what you need. We bought our 17' Casita from the factory and they only suggested a swaybar. Our TV was a 2003 Trailblazer with a 4.3 engine. All the different vehicles we've towed with has done well with the little swaybar that fits the bar on your hitch.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:32 PM   #8
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some WDHs can be had with different size bars for different tongue weight ranges, and you definitely don't want bars rated for a 1000+ lb tongue weight if you're towing a 500 lb tongue weight trailer.

that said, I don't think there's /any/ standards on interchangability of bars with different brands of WDHs.

the difference in weight between a 1200 lb rated bar and a 600 lb rated bar isn't that much compared with the total weight of the WDH assembly.


and yeah, unless your tow vehicle has very soft rear suspension, a casita really doesn't need a WDH.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:00 AM   #9
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WDH

I agree that sometimes you don’t need a WDH and that they add complexity to hitching up. But genesis315 was specifically asking for help finding a lighter hitch. They also said they had researched and decided to use a WDH. Casita’s are known to be heavy on the hitch and this one has a battery right behind the ball!
Doesn’t it seem appropriate to just answer their questions? Would an Anderson hitch be lighter?
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:15 PM   #10
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another important bit here... the chain-and-springbar style of WDH, the 'saddles' will have to be on the Casita's A arms just about exactly where the propane bottle mounts are welded...



my solution, cribbed from others, was to use an angle grinder to cut off the clamping tabs from the saddles, and a couple pieces of scrap iron (3" C section, and 1.5" square, I think?), and weld that mess up like this...

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Old 03-16-2019, 12:46 PM   #11
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I previously towed my 16' Casita with a Ranger p/u. The WDH made for a more stable ride and leveled out the tow vehicle. Went to a F-150 p/u. Didn't need the leveling, but the ride was smoother over RR tracks and wavy roads.
Now I have a new F-150, the WDH doesn't make a noticeable difference so I leave off the spring bars. The length of the hitch head allows the tailgate to clear the tongue jack. The short stingers don't.

Your spring bars seem to be about the same size and type as mine. If they are the right length to hook to your Casita and you have the brackets to match, try it and see how it rides. You can leave the spring bars off and just use the hitch head with the sway control device.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:08 PM   #12
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If you want a lightweight hitch, the Anderson is definitely light. The brackets clamp onto trailer but not sure if they need to be exactly where yours are. I shortened my chains on mine so I suppose you could do that. Go to Anderson website and I am sure they can help.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:55 PM   #13
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The photos of the spring bars suggest a pretty standard attachment at both end of the spring bars. You can go with a lighter weight set (if available) from Reese. They look identical to my Eaz-lift spring bars as well. If you go that way measure new and old to make sure.

Once you know you have the ball height and ball angle where you want, a reputable welder can fix the ball mount in place and cut off the excess, saving a few pounds. Can-Am RV in London Ontario did this to mine a few years ago.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:59 PM   #14
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Camping World's 2019 catalog has a WDH made for trailer with up to 400 lb tongue weight. Catalog #85059. EAZ LIFT Recurve R3 Hitch $415.00
All of them, appear to put the hitch ball farther back then a plain drawbar, which in itself aggravates the transfer of weight off your front wheels thus increasing droop. I prefer to keep the hook up as light as possible.
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