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Old 03-13-2016, 07:32 PM   #1
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WD Hitch Recommendation

Hi all,

I am a newbie trying to figure out what sort of weight distribution hitch with sway control I should buy for my small Travel Trailer. I want the hitch to be as safe as possible.

I am confused on what is all the info I need to to calculate what size WD hitch I should buy.

Here is what I know:

Toe Vehicle:
2004 Dodge Dakota 2wd 3.7L 6 Cyl. with Tow Package
GVWR 5350lb
GAWR (front) 3100lb
GAWR (rear) 3160lb

Travel Trailer:
2003 Sun Valley Road Runner M130 (15' x 7'6")
GVWR 2500lb
GAWR 2000lb
GAW 2025lb
TW 190lb

I have actually weighed the travel trailer on a scale, but according to the Nada spec my trailer weighs 2025 lbs.

I cannot find the TW (tongue weight) on my trucks 2" hitch.

Would the system in the link below be good system or is it overkill or maybe not strong enough? Did I list enough data for calculating to size the distribution hitch? being a newbie I am insure of this.

https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Dist...EQ37040ET.html

See attachments for a photos of my trailer & truck hitch.

Thanks,

Paul
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:25 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure I have never seen a WDH on a TT that weighs around 2000 lbs.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mekanic View Post
I'm pretty sure I have never seen a WDH on a TT that weighs around 2000 lbs.
Thanks.. I'm ignorant regarding this subject, so please bare with me.

Would I only need sway control then? Such as something like this?
https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Dist...ies/83660.html

Thanks,

Paul
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:49 AM   #4
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The sway control should be fine. You need to check the tongue weight, the specs that you give are less than 10%. You should have nearly 15% on that trailer to prevent sway. Adding a sway control just masks the real problem.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by lynnmor View Post
The sway control should be fine. You need to check the tongue weight, the specs that you give are less than 10%. You should have nearly 15% on that trailer to prevent sway. Adding a sway control just masks the real problem.
I put a bathroom scale under my hitch and lowered the tongue jack to get the tongue weight. That's how I came up with the 190 lbs. My Trailer is empty, meaning there is no water in any of the tanks and without the battery & propane tank. Is this correct?



thanks, Paul
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grafgulch View Post
Travel Trailer:
2003 Sun Valley Road Runner M130 (15' x 7'6")
GVWR 2500lb
GAWR 2000lb
GAW 2025lb
TW 190lb

I have actually weighed the travel trailer on a scale, but according to the Nada spec my trailer weighs 2025 lbs.
The specs above show your GAWR (gross axle weight rating) is 2025 pounds. If your dry trailer weight is also 2025 pounds, then the GVWR of 2,500 pounds is overstated. GVWR should not be more than 115% of GAWR, or 2329 pounds without overloading the axle.

Quote:
I cannot find the TW (tongue weight) on my trucks 2" hitch.
It's probably embossed or engraved into the metal of the frame of the hitch. Use a very powerful flashlight and look closely at the frame of the hitch. But with trailer GVWR of only 2,500 pounds (tongue weight max of 375 pounds) then your 2" receiver is probably rated for at least 375 pounds tongue weight.

Quote:
Would the system in the link below be good system or is it overkill or maybe not strong enough?
If you don't overload the trailer over the GAWR of the trailer, and you properly distribute the weight in the trailer, then one sway bar might be enough. Those friction-based sway bars are not good enough for heavier trailers, but for your trailer with GVWR of 2,500 it should work okay. But just for grins, I would want one of those sway bars on each side of the tongue. Ball mounts with provision of two sway bars are rare, but they are available if you look hard enough. Or maybe buy a ball mount with only one sway bar ball provision, then weld on the tab for the other side of the ball mount.
https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...Tite/3442.html

For hauling my precious family members, I would rather have a light-duty weight-distributing hitch than two of those simple sway bars. For sizing, use max tongue weight instead of gross trailer weight. For your max tongue weight of 375 pounds, your WD hitch should be rated for at least 400 pounds, and one rated for 600 pounds would work fine. But if you go for a WD hitch, then get a good one that does not use sway bars for sway control. Such as this one:

Reese - Strait-Line Trunnion Bar

Other good WD hitches with 550 or 600 pounds tongue weight rating are Blue Ox SwayPro and Equal-I-Zer.

Blue Ox SwayPro 550

Equal-I-Zer 600

Quote:
Did I list enough data for calculating to size the distribution hitch?
Yes. All you need is max tongue weight. Your max tongue weight should not be more than 15% of the GVWR of the trailer, or 375 pounds. Then get a WD hitch rated for more than the max hitch weight, but not much more. The lightest-duty high-quality WD hitch I can find that doesn't use cheap sway bars for sway control has max tongue weight of 550 pounds.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grafgulch View Post
I put a bathroom scale under my hitch and lowered the tongue jack to get the tongue weight. That's how I came up with the 190 lbs. My Trailer is empty, meaning there is no water in any of the tanks and without the battery & propane tank. Is this correct?



thanks, Paul
That method is just fine as long as the trailer is level when you take the reading. The tongue should be weighed with the trailer loaded, ready for travel.

You only need one friction type sway bar for that small trailer. Two bars is way overkill. I think that most people don't adjust them correctly, or don't adjust them at all.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grafgulch View Post
My Trailer is empty, meaning there is no water in any of the tanks and without the battery & propane tank. Is this correct?

thanks, Paul
Good way to check it, but otherwise unrealistic. Would you go camping with an empty trailer? No, you'd have propane, battery(ies), water (not all the time, but you might have to haul it in from somewhere other than your campsite), groceries, clothes, and on and on.

You can't go wrong with adding good sway control, but again, you might not need it. If it were me, I'd consider it to be insurance. Good to have and hopefully never need.

You just aren't gonna know how all the weights stack up until you get the truck and trailer in camping trim, weight the tongue as you have, and also go to a truck scale and weight it all together to make sure you aren't over on any axle and the total overall weight.

My guess is when you do that, you'll be OK, but you'll have the confidence of knowing you are OK, and can get on with enjoying the camping trips. And if you have half the fun I've been having, you're gonna have a lot of fun!
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