Weight Distribution Hitch - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-22-2014, 11:28 AM   #1
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Weight Distribution Hitch

I just ordered an Andersen Weigh Distribution, anti-sway hitch for my Spirit Deluxe. It is much lighter (and cleaner) than traditional WDHs.

Without it, my small SUV was getting bounced around quite a bit. I will post again once I find out how well it works.

Andy
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Old 11-22-2014, 12:41 PM   #2
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What are you towing with Andy?
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Old 11-22-2014, 01:22 PM   #3
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Using a WDH can have many advantages. What is your SUV Art?

thnxs
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Old 11-22-2014, 02:10 PM   #4
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Lugging it..

Come to think of it, I had a very stuck lug nut when I had the first flat tire on my first car. I had to call the auto club to remove it. (Unfortunetly, my spare tire was flat too. And it was snowing.)

Probably that memory led me to try anti-seize later in life. I suppose if I had known better, I'd not have tried to reach the recommended torque, which tore the lug stud in half. Only $3.50 for a new stud, but I had to remove all the brake parts to install it.

(If the photo I attached posted, you can see why I just ordered a Weight Distribution Hitch for my rig.)
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Old 11-22-2014, 02:21 PM   #5
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Tiny SUV

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Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
Using a WDH can have many advantages. What is your SUV Art?

thnxs
Last year I bought this Lexus RX 450h all wheel drive hybrid so I could drive to skiing without chaining up. When I realized it could pull a trailer, I decided to sell my Vanagon Westfailia and get a Casita. The RX has plenty of power, but the suspension is kind of soft. I get some "porpoiseing." I just ordered an Andersen WDH, it uses chains instead of spring bars to 'pull up' on the tongue. The anti sway feature causes the ball to rotate side to side inside a friction cup, so you don't use hitch grease. I'll post user feedback, once it arrives and I get it set up.
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Old 11-22-2014, 02:31 PM   #6
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Art, that is a very nice looking rig. I know a number of folks towing good sized Airstreams with Lexus 300's, 350's and 450's so you have lots of capabilities there.

We have learned on the varies RV forums the Andersen design puts a huge amount of stress on the ball as it forces the trailer tongue forward.

Please keep us up to date on how it all works out, handles, and feels.

PS... Loaded and ready for travel that Lexus weighs almost 3 tons. Not what I would call a lightweight SUV.
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Old 11-22-2014, 02:54 PM   #7
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Andersen WDH and forces on the coupler

If I find that the WDH is deforming my coupler, I think I'll look into up-grading to a coupler that offers more support to the rear of the ball. But, I suspect the geomerty of the Andersen design does not apply as much force to the the "ball lock" as many fear. Imagine that you panic stop, the full intertial mass of your TT is taken on the rear of the ball. If the coupler is designed to handle that load, it can probably handle the forces of the WDH. Also the Andersen uses 'plastic springs' to load the chains, I suspect that the plactic would fail before damaging the steel coupler parts. That said, I am aware of the controversy over the Andersen design, and I plan to keep a close eye on my coupler.
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Old 11-22-2014, 02:59 PM   #8
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I just realized that I have confuse my posts. One is about WDHs and the other is about using anti-seize on lug nuts. That is why my second post is a non-sequitur.
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Old 11-22-2014, 03:06 PM   #9
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" Imagine that you panic stop, the full intertial mass of your TT is taken on the rear of the ball."


I think that the trailers brakes will take up a lot of that load and, if not, they should.
You do have trailer brakes? Right?
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:33 AM   #10
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Have used wd hitches for over 30 years they work great, inside the closet door and in the boler manual they recommend wd to tow with; a lighter unit up to the task is a good idea. Our hitch unit is heavy and the tongue weight is only 169lbs to 210lbs working with a car and the mto rules lighter would help. Was told the 825lbs inside the door is hitch weight, wd system weight, passenger weight, cargo weight and tongue weight total max; so any weight savings will help. Lucky for us (car TV people) Subaru and some other car manufactures, the trailer hitch specialists I talked to all recommended only 8% on hitch for cars with 10 to 15% for trucks.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
" Imagine that you panic stop, the full intertial mass of your TT is taken on the rear of the ball."


I think that the trailers brakes will take up a lot of that load and, if not, they should.
You do have trailer brakes? Right?
Do not know about all areas but in Ontario if the trailer is 50% of the weight of the TV or more or over the max weight in the rules it needs trailer breaks and the 50% is likely the first level to be reached.
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Old 11-23-2014, 09:05 AM   #12
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That Trailer Brake rule for Ontario sounds complicated because the owner has to know the weights of both the TV and the trailer, a question few can answer.


The Golden State which, hands down, has more RV's than any other state, prudently sets the limit for trailer brakes on RV's at 1500 lbs...period, and has a 55 MPH speed limit for all towed vehicles. Only New York State has a lower threshold for brakes @ 1000 lbs.


Funny thing, I recently restored a 1982s StarCraft tent trailer and, at only about 750 lbs, it had electric brakes and they still worked.....
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Old 11-23-2014, 01:20 PM   #13
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I do have great trailer brakes. I'm using a wireless controller because my TV does not have factory wiring at the brake peddle. I have been pleased with the performance of the system.

I proposed the theoretical of the 'panic stop' just as a "thought problem" to address the question about the forward force of the Andersen design.
I will be watching closely to see if the Andersen WDH causes deformation to my coupler.
Since my Casita is only about 2500 lbs, I suspect I will have less of an issue than owners of heaver TT using the Andersen WDH.
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Old 11-23-2014, 01:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Lucky for us (car TV people) Subaru and some other car manufactures, the trailer hitch specialists I talked to all recommended only 8% on hitch for cars .
that is not what Subaru recommends.

What Subaru actually says is "Ensure the trailer tongue load is from 8 to 11 percent of the total trailer weight and does not exceed the maximum value of 200lbs."

Subaru actually has a big section in their manual explaining how to properly weigh your tongue and how to load your trailer for a stable tow. With a big warning in regards to loading more weight in the back of the trailer than the front. No more than 60% of the total trailer weight behind the trailers axle. Brakes are also required on any trailer over 1000lbs. They also do not recommend the use of WDH.

They also state "be sure to follow the instructions on correct installation and use provided by the trailer and other towing equipment manufacturers"

Having pulled with a Subaru I would suggest that the min of 8% is best used if one is only towing the family boat (which have lower tongue weights than a TT) a few miles down to the boat ramp.
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