WD hitch overkill? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-09-2020, 10:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by V'sGlassSleeper View Post
Hi Tractors,

You said that the bars aren't heavy but what about the shank? I'm a strong gal, but I'm not as young as I used to be and it's the shank not the bars on my Equalizer that seems so unwieldy and greasy - a broken foot waiting to happen if I drop it...and I felt that way even 10 years ago). Is the Andersen shank lightweight? How much in pounds? Just curious if lightweight WDH even exist out there...the shank seems to be the design limitation in terms of how heavy it is. Has someone found a workaround?
There are no bars, just chains. The stinger is two parts, the normal steel tubing that plugs into the receiver, and the ball assembly, which is aluminum (except for the ball.)


Give them a call and ask directly: https://andersenhitches.com/Catalog/...ion-hitch.aspx
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:58 PM   #22
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Cool! Thank you, I will check it out. Kudos and great appreciation for all the creative engineering types who can improve on these types of things so that we can all enjoy the benefits.
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:38 AM   #23
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Cool! Thank you, I will check it out. Kudos and great appreciation for all the creative engineering types who can improve on these types of things so that we can all enjoy the benefits.
Thanks - I'm a retired mechanical/electrical engineer; that's why I chose the Andersen.
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Old 01-10-2020, 07:46 AM   #24
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It's the trailer that sways, not the vehicle pulling the trailer! Doesn't matter if you're pulling with a Sienna or a 1 ton F350, sway is determined by the camper, how it's loaded, and the percentage of tongue weight. Most 16' Casita's sway, but 17' Casita's are basically sway free (there's always the idiot that puts their heavy stuff in the back though). It's all about initial build and loading.

Over the years we've had a number of sway control/weight distribution devices: Equa-l-izer, Andersen, Blue Ox have the most miles. Our 2003 Odyssey pulled our 16' Scamp and 17' Casita with no problem, didn't need weight distribution, and never had sway. Those two easily had 40,000 miles pulling on Interstates, in the mountains, and many miles in heavy side winds. However if the side winds are over 40 mph we just pull over and wait.

Our 24' Cougar swayed despite having 12% tongue weight. The Andersen hitch kept it civil though. After 5,000 miles we sold it for a Bigfoot. The Bigfoot weighed 6,300 #'s and had over 950 pounds of tongue weight. It never ever gave a hint of sway, even when I brought it home with no WDH in 40+ mph side winds. It was empty though, and once loaded with our clothes and gear needed a WDH (Blue Ox) to keep the truck level.

OTOH, if you put too much weight on the tongue you'll need weight distribution, or if you have trouble getting enough tongue weight you'll need sway control. A Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale, at under $130, is cheap insurance. Load carefully my friend!

The Equa-l-zer is crude and can be greasy, but after owning a Blue Ox I'd never get another Equa-l-izer. The Blue Ox has one grease point on each side we greased once a year, and then used a paper towel to clean any excess grease off. The Blue Ox was a clean hitch at the campground and easy to setup. The bars are lighter. However, it's total overkill for your Surfside.

Don't know if the Surfside is prone to sway. If so, I'd just purchase a Andersen. It's simple, easy to hook up, and for a small trailer (under 5,000 lbs) is ideal. Plus, you'll get weight distribution if needed.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:46 AM   #25
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I've never towed using a WDH, but aren't they normally used to take weight off the rear axle/tongue and transfer it to the front axle and trailer?
I can see where it could help if you had a heavy tongue weight since you have a front wheel drive vehicle, but it seems like sway is normally caused by having too light tongue weight, and having too much weight behind the trailer axle (bikes, cargo, etc).
I'm not sure how a WDH would help if your tongue weight is too light.
We do use a sway bar on our Scamp that we bought when we towed with our Outback, since that required keeping the tongue weight down to 200 lbs. It does help with keeping the combination more robust in the case of passing trucks, or wind gusts but the important thing is to figure exactly why you are getting sway in the first place and solve that problem.
Of course if your tongue weight is so heavy that it leverages the front wheels up then that could contribute to sway due to less front wheel traction stability but it's hard to imagine too much tongue weight on a 1500 lb trailer.
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:52 PM   #26
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Trailer sway

Quote:
Originally Posted by kipper View Post
I have a new to me surfside approx 1500lbs dry. Planning to tow with my Sienna (3500lb/350lb rating)Trailer has electric brakes that i will use.

I have had sway scare the $&@!! Outa me in the past and my dream for this trailer is towing it, a family of 4 and all our gear through the mountains.

Thinking to use a WD hitch with sway control. Is this major overkill or a good idea?

Thanks
There are primarily three this that cause a trailer to sway. The first one is that the trailer hitch to the tow to the vehicle must be level of just below level. When the trailer hitch is higher than level the trailer will begin to sway at higher speeds. Number two, the weight on the hitch must be 12 percent of the total trailer weight. Loading the trailer correctly is the key here. Do not place heavy items to the back of the trailer behind the axel. Load the heavy items in the front of the trailer in front of the trailer axel. Number three is how you drive your vehicle. Hold the steering wheel steady.

OK, so there are other conditions that effect sway like heavy cross winds and 18 wheels passing you. I use an Equal-izer WDH that is also sway control. It is way over kill, but I really like it in the high cross winds with the 18 wheeler passing me.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:48 PM   #27
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All good info, thanks again. I am leaning towards an Andersen due to its overall weight being under 60lbs so my wife can use it also. Its pricey but that plus the no grease seems to be a winner.

I also like keeping the WDH weight low because it does add to your hitch weight overall. Sienna allows for a WDH use and increased hitch weight of 500LBS, but the curt system with sway adds almost 100lbs AND i just learned you need to add anything behind the rear axle in the TV to your hitch weight (just makes sense really) Add a full propane tank and a 100AH lead acid battery and your adding up to the danger zone. So if I can reduce the hitch weight by 40lbs going with the Andersen its worth the money so I can put more stuff in the back of the TV without as much worry.

To be honest I dont know if I will even need WDH but I am driving 6 hours away over a mountain pass to pickup the trailer and dont want to risk it on the ride home, especially since it has been pointed out that Sienna's with their low hitch are potentially more prone to sway... The surfside is only 14' long but I wont know the exact details until I show up at pickup time. I am just factoring it to be part of the trailer cost in my head, safety first
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:03 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kipper View Post
I have a new to me surfside approx 1500lbs dry. Planning to tow with my Sienna (3500lb/350lb rating)Trailer has electric brakes that i will use.

I have had sway scare the $&@!! Outa me in the past and my dream for this trailer is towing it, a family of 4 and all our gear through the mountains.

Thinking to use a WD hitch with sway control. Is this major overkill or a good idea?

Thanks
Andrew,

I suggest you start with the basics, which can fortunately be done inexpensively.

Having an appropriate tongue weight by simply loading the trailer properly is absolutely critical to preventing sway. The rule of thumb is for the tongue weight to be 10% to 15% of the loaded trailer's total weight.

eTrailer has a diagram of how the tongue weight can be measured with a bathroom scale. Milenco and another manufacturer make inexpensive tongue-weight scales. This one's about $50 delivered. You might be able to pick one up for less.

Link: Milenco 2691 Calibrated Nose Weight Gauge Caravan Trailer

As others have noted, weight distribution is a different function from anti-sway. Some WDH integrate this function, but anti-way devices can also be purchased and installed separately at a much lower cost.

It may be tough to find an appropriate weight distribution hitch for your setup. If the Surfside ran 2,500 pounds fully-loaded, (which admittedly might be much higher than your total loaded weight), then you would want a WDH with springs rated at about 250 lbs. The lowest-rated WDH I am aware of is a $700 Blue Ox SwayPro rated at 350 lbs. (By the way, by 'lowest-rated WDH' I mean lowest rated by weight; the Blue Ox is a very high-quality WDH.)

Heavier WDH springs will impose greater forces on the vehicle's hitch assembly and attachment points as well as the trailer's frame. Some of the older trailer frames have known weaknesses where they bend at the front, so this factor should be considered. The frame should be carefully inspected and probably should be strengthened in any event. Here's a link regarding a frame failure on a Surfside:

Link: Frame Snapped

It's even possible that a weak or cracked frame might be contributing to sway. In summary, I suggest starting with the basics of preventing sway and proceeding further with such additional measures as might be necessary.
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:15 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kipper View Post
I also like keeping the WDH weight low because it does add to your hitch weight overall. Sienna allows for a WDH use and increased hitch weight of 500LBS, but the curt system with sway adds almost 100lbs AND i just learned you need to add anything behind the rear axle in the TV to your hitch weight (just makes sense really) Add a full propane tank and a 100AH lead acid battery and your adding up to the danger zone. So if I can reduce the hitch weight by 40lbs going with the Andersen its worth the money so I can put more stuff in the back of the TV without as much worry.

To be honest I dont know if I will even need WDH but I am driving 6 hours away over a mountain pass to pickup the trailer and dont want to risk it on the ride home, especially since it has been pointed out that Sienna's with their low hitch are potentially more prone to sway... The surfside is only 14' long but I wont know the exact details until I show up at pickup time. I am just factoring it to be part of the trailer cost in my head, safety first
I like how you are going about this, giving it a careful reading and due consideration.

And, you are correct that everything loaded in the vehicle, and your trailer's total tongue weight before hitching, must be deducted from your vehicle's cargo capacity.

On edit: the additional weight of the WDH does count against the vehicle's cargo capacity. (I had been thinking your reference was that it would add to the tongue weight; my mistake!)

Consider investing in a scale and maybe adding a bit of "cargo" to the front of the empty trailer to adjust the tongue weight for your tow home if such a need is indicated. A properly-nose-heavy trailer should follow your minivan home in a very well-behaved manner. At 1,500 pounds, an "empty" trailer should not challenge your tow vehicle's capabilities.
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:20 PM   #30
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Are you near a Princess Auto? They have one for $40 CAD.

Link: Trailer Tongue Weight Scale
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:28 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
Are you near a Princess Auto? They have one for $40 CAD.

Link: Trailer Tongue Weight Scale
I am and it looks better than the bathroom scale approach, especially since I could take it with me on my journeys to confirm everything.

I thought the weight of the WDH is added to the weight on the hitch... Mabee its just factored into the engineering limits then? If this is true the extra weight of a cheaper but heavier system may be ok in my books. I still like the look of the andersen though...
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:18 PM   #32
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I still like the look of the andersen though...

I've never had anybody comment on the looks of my WDH.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:45 PM   #33
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I've never had anybody comment on the looks of my WDH.
I meant more from the specs....
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:55 PM   #34
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WDH adding hitch weight

This is the article that I got the information that a WDH is additional weight on the hitch:

https://www.etrailer.com/question-47214.html

"Based on those weights and capacities, the weight of the Pro Series RB2 system plus the tongue weight of your trailer will likely exceed the tongue weight capacity of your trailer hitch. If you use the lighter Reese Light Duty Weight Distribution System, # 66557, then you will need to make sure that the weight of the cargo behind the rear axle of your Odyssey plus the loaded tongue weight of your trailer does not exceed the vehicle's tongue weight."

Which is why my decision path has led towards the lighter Andersen
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:56 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
I thought the weight of the WDH is added to the weight on the hitch... Mabee its just factored into the engineering limits then?
My mistake, you are correct; please see my edit of my earlier post!

Reese at Escape Trailers quit selling the Andersen WDH stating that it wore on the back of the ball due to the force of the chains pulling the coupler against it. He said it also resulted in some noisy operation.

Others have apparently very good experiences with the Andersen. A fellow on the Airstream forum liked it for his Casita, but used a heavier hitch for his (larger, heavier) Airstream.

Regardless of how you go here, WDH or not, please be sure to inspect the trailer frame carefully as the weakness described in the thread you read above has been observed in various makes of the small older trailers.
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:02 PM   #36
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Regardless of how you go here, WDH or not, please be sure to inspect the trailer frame carefully as the weakness described in the thread you read above has been observed in various makes of the small older trailers.
Will do for certain!
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:13 PM   #37
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a 1500 lb trailer probably has under 200 lbs of tongue weight... the lightest conventional WDH's I've seen are meant for 400-600 lb tongue weights. I used one on our 3500 lb GWR Casita 16 with a Tacoma 4x4 to reduce the 'pitching' or 'porpoising' effect that combo had, but that trailer had around 350-400 lbs of tongue weight.


btw, you really should figure out what your ACTUAL weight is, dry weight is only useful if you only ever tow the trailer completely empty. I generally go by GWR which is the max rated weight.
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:26 PM   #38
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My mistake, you are correct; please see my edit of my earlier post!

Reese at Escape Trailers quit selling the Andersen WDH stating that it wore on the front of the ball due to the force of the chains pulling the coupler back against it. He said it also resulted in some noisy operation.

Others have apparently very good experiences with the Andersen. A fellow on the Airstream forum liked it for his Casita, but used a heavier hitch for his (larger, heavier) Airstream.

Regardless of how you go here, WDH or not, please be sure to inspect the trailer frame carefully as the weakness described in the thread you read above has been observed in various makes of the small older trailers.
This is exactly what happened when towing with the Casita and the Andersen hitch. But in all fairness to Andersen, I installed a Honda eu3000si above the propane tanks so my hitch weight was a bit greater than normal. I should have put a Blue Ox on the Casita rather than the Andersen.
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:19 AM   #39
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I use a Anderson on my 16ft Scamp my tow vehicle is a Jeep TJ Wrangler unlimited ( for reference) the good thing is that you can easily adjust the Weight Dist. with a socket wrench no prying up bars /chains, mess of grease. Negative's for it is possible hitch wear in ball socket especially if you get carried away with the ratcheting down on chains or overloading trailer's hitch ball socket. The cost. It's overkill for my Scamp but works good for me.
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Old 01-11-2020, 10:20 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Darrell in Al View Post
the good thing is that you can easily adjust the Weight Dist. with a socket wrench no prying up bars /chains, mess of grease.

I have not adjusted my Pro Series WDH since it was correctly installed and adjusted at Escape in 2008. I use a light spray of white lithium grease from time to time, but only on the ball and the sockets where the WDH bars are inserted.
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