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Old 10-29-2014, 09:17 PM   #1
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Do I Need an Equalizing Hitch?

Is there any other advantage to using a weight distributing (equalizing) hitch other than transferring tongue weight to the rear axle of the tow vehicle. I have had many RVís including toy haulers and bigger travel trailers in which I always towed with an equalizing hitch (plus friction sway control) for obvious reasons. I thought I was out of the RV business until recently when I purchased a small 18' camp trailer to use mainly for hunting and a few weekend camping trips in the woods with the grandkids.

Anyway, I have only towed this trailer once from where I purchased it from using a 2 5/16" ball mount on my Ram 2500 diesel. The unloaded tongue weight of the trailer if less than 500 lbs. My truck does not squat or hardly even know it is back there. Other than possibly adding a friction sway control (which I can weld on a standard ball mount) is there any other benefit I should consider to justify the purchase of an equalizing hitch?

BTW, the GVW of thru trailer is 5300 lb.

Thx
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:56 AM   #2
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You don't need a WD hitch for normal conditions with tongue weight less than about 300 pounds. The big three truck manufacturers all say a WD hitch is required for tongue weight of 500 pounds or more. Your trailer with GVWR of 5,300 pounds can easily have hitch weight over 500 pounds.

But notice the phrase "normal conditions" in the first sentence above. You won't have any warning when conditions change from normal to emergency. And in emergency conditions you want all the help you can get to keep the shiny side up and the front end pointing in the right direction so you can steer around oncoming traffic and other obstacles.

Cheap WD hitches with friction-based sway control bars are better than no sway control at all. But they are not nearly as good as the more expensive sway control systems used on the Reese Strait-Line, Husky Centerline, Equal-I-Zer and Blue Ox WD hitches. So if you were my kid dragging that trailer, I would strongly encourage you to spend the $600 or so to get one of the four WD hitches mentioned above from an online discounter such as e-trailer.com. Here's my Strait-Line I have used for about 20,000 miles so far on my TT that has GVWR of 5,600 pounds:
Strait-Line Weight Distribution System w Sway Control - Trunnion Bar - up to 800 lbs TW - RP66083

Notice that one includes the adjustable shank, and costs a bit more than the identical hitch without the shank.
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:50 AM   #3
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As long as the TW is 10% or greater and the trucks receiver can handle 500lbs without WD than I wouldn't use one. 18' is pretty small for a 2500 truck. Not much different than an 18' boat IMO.
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Old 10-30-2014, 04:56 PM   #4
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My 24' tt had only a sway-control, my newer 25' tt now I have a DW hitch. WD 100% better in stopping sway especially on the freeway. And on roads that porpoising issues would cause my dear other's boobs to bounce around with only the sway-control setup, now with the DW hitch everything is smooth as can be. Happy wife, happy life.
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:52 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply's. I guess my ultimate question is whether the equalizing hitch with a friction sway control helps to control sway more than with a friction sway control alone. As I mentioned, from a load standpoint, my truck hardly knows its back there. I feel more load with my pontoon boat than this travel trailer and it is on a 2" ball with no brakes (only because it is just a big sail).

However, my biggest concern when towing is the "push-pull" you get when passing or being passed by the big trucks. That is why sway minimization is important to me. I will probably spring for an equalizing hitch. My son will likely use this trailer at some point and he only has a half ton so he will benefit from the better hitch setup anyway.

Thanks again.

MG
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
However, my biggest concern when towing is the "push-pull" you get when passing or being passed by the big trucks. That is why sway minimization is important to me. I will probably spring for an equalizing hitch. My son will likely use this trailer at some point and he only has a half ton so he will benefit from the better hitch setup anyway.
Yes, a WD hitch greatly reduces the "push-pull" effect. But the bouncy / bouncy effect will really be cured with a WD...

I went with a better square spring trunnion bars verse the cheaper round ones. I also went with the "forged" shank verse a "cast" shank. Here is a set up I bought online 800 lb. WD
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superslif View Post
My 24' tt had only a sway-control, my newer 25' tt now I have a DW hitch. WD 100% better in stopping sway especially on the freeway. And on roads that porpoising issues would cause my dear other's boobs to bounce around with only the sway-control setup, now with the DW hitch everything is smooth as can be. Happy wife, happy life.
Well that never occured to me as a metric. ;-)
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Old 11-01-2014, 03:05 PM   #8
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I have no WD and it works great, even with a bigger trailer. Truck is a long wheelbase with a very heavy diesel out front, so it actually feels "right" when hitched without the WD. If bouncing becomes an issue (I have not had it be) just replace the OEM shocks on the truck with some Bilstein shocks and the ride will be much better all the time.
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