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Old 05-31-2013, 06:20 PM   #1
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Weight Distribution Hitches

It's been a while since I posted. I joined the forum a little over a year ago before I got my first RV. I ended up buying a Class C MH and hated it, so I just traded it on a TT. My question is about WDH's. The dealer through in a 10,000/1000 Equalizer, but I'm thinking I need something better. My TT is under the max on all the weights, but the hitch weight is pushing me close to the GVWR of my TV. I don't have years of experience towing but I'm not a total rookie. I hate sway. I've read a lot about the different WDH's. The Hensley seems very impressive, but it has a very impressive price too. Is it worth $2500-3000? If it truly works as advertised I might think it was worth it. The other one that was recommended to me in a truck forum is the Andersen No Sway. Does anyone have any opinions or experience with either?

Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:37 AM   #2
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You might want to post some weights and details on your TV and TT. For a mid-range TT say around 30', you do't really need an expensive hitch. Something like the Reese dual cam works well. I'd pass on the cheaper friction type sway control.
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:09 PM   #3
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I agree with myredracer, I've used the Reese dual cam for years and it works well for my 28'. I like that system so well that when I traded up from a different trailer I kept the Reese and now use it on my newer trailer.
Just get the right model for what you are towing. Ya, those weight details are pretty important. If you haven't been to the scales lately, you may want to do that before deciding which sway and weight dist. set to buy.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
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Bug, yes very good idea to get to the scales. If you don't, you're flying blind....

Our new TT has a published dry tongue weight of 518 lbs but the scale showed it to be 960 lbs. Just one of many surprises on actual weights on our truck and trailer from going through a scale. I had ordered 800 lb trunnion bars for our new dual cam WDH in advance of getting our TT. So our bars are over the rating but then next size up jumps to 1200 lbs which may be too stiff. We get a lot of bounce in the rear end of the trailer and with the rear kitchen it causes doors to open and things to bounce out. I'm undecided yet if I should try the 1200 lb bars or go with shocks, or even both.

And we also love the dual cam setup. One nice thing is that it is self-centering, unlike the friction type. The only negative is that is noisy during turns when the bars pop on and off the cams. Must add a little more vaseline....
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:41 PM   #5
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I'm undecided yet if I should try the 1200 lb bars or go with shocks, or even both.
Shocks won't hurt anything, but you definitely need to replace your 800-pounds spring bars with 1,200 pounds spring bars. If you have a Strait-Line trunion bar hitch, here's the replacement spring bars you need:
Replacement Trunnion Spring Bar for Reese Weight Distribution System - 1,200 lbs TW- part number RP66009

Note the fine print in the description for the Strait-Line Trunnion Bar hitch for 1,200 lbs TW: It's good for any TW (tongue weight) of 600 to 1200 pounds, so it's right down your alley:
Strait-Line Weight Distribution System w Sway Control - Trunnion Bar - 1,200 lbs TW - part number RP66084
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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My TV is a 2012 Ford F150 Ecoboost 4x4 Supercrew with the tow package. The GVWR is 7200. The GCVWR is 15500 and tow weight is 9600. I weighed it loaded like it will be loaded when towing and it came in at 6180. My TT is a Coachmen Liberty Edition 305RDKS. I just took delivery this week and haven't had a chance to weigh it loaded yet, but did get dry wt. From my previous experience with my MH I know that I generally carry about 500 lbs of stuff so the main variable is how much water I'll carry. With my MH I only carried enough fresh water to flush for potty breaks and always traveled with empty gray and black tanks. My dry weight is 6820 and hitch weight is 950 (14%). I know I need to get loaded weights and will next week. My TT is a rear kitchen, and fresh water tank is behind the axles so most of my added weight will not add to hitch weight and actually should help lower it to around 12%. I'm an engineer and did some calcs to get an idea how much loading correctly will help hitch weight. Loaded weight will be around 7500 lbs and loaded hitch weight around 950. So that keeps me under my TV GVWR by about 50-70 lbs. I'll never come close to the GCVWR or maxing out the tow capability of the truck. I know this is cutting it close on the TV GVWR, and I will have to load very carefully. I want to do everything I can to improve handling and safety. I ordered a Sherline hitch weight scale so I can keep an eye on my hitch weight.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:16 AM   #7
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My TV is a 2012 Ford F150 Ecoboost 4x4 Supercrew with the tow package. The GVWR is 7200. The GCVWR is 15500 and tow weight is 9600. I weighed it loaded like it will be loaded when towing and it came in at 6180. My TT is a Coachmen Liberty Edition 305RDKS. I just took delivery this week and haven't had a chance to weigh it loaded yet, but did get dry wt. From my previous experience with my MH I know that I generally carry about 500 lbs of stuff so the main variable is how much water I'll carry. With my MH I only carried enough fresh water to flush for potty breaks and always traveled with empty gray and black tanks. My dry weight is 6820 and hitch weight is 950 (14%). I know I need to get loaded weights and will next week. My TT is a rear kitchen, and fresh water tank is behind the axles so most of my added weight will not add to hitch weight and actually should help lower it to around 12%. I'm an engineer and did some calcs to get an idea how much loading correctly will help hitch weight. Loaded weight will be around 7500 lbs and loaded hitch weight around 950. So that keeps me under my TV GVWR by about 50-70 lbs. I'll never come close to the GCVWR or maxing out the tow capability of the truck. I know this is cutting it close on the TV GVWR, and I will have to load very carefully. I want to do everything I can to improve handling and safety. I ordered a Sherline hitch weight scale so I can keep an eye on my hitch weight.
I know this getting off the subject a little, but I'm looking at f150 ecco boost to pull my mini light TT, 3,980 wet, currently pulling it with 2012 explorer limited w/ tow package, not enough HP/torque against head winds. Does anyone have opinion on Ecco boost 150
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
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I love my Ecoboost. It has plenty of power and torque to tow my trailer. My only concern is the payload capacity. I've pushed the limits of my Ecoboost's GVWR and the weight limit of my hitch receiver with my trailer. My trailer's loaded weight is about 7500 lbs and the hitch weight around 900 lbs so I'm pushing it. I'd say the Ecoboost would be great for your trailer.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:58 AM   #9
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... I'm looking at f150 ecco boost to pull my mini light TT, 3,980 wet, ...Does anyone have opinion on Ecco boost 150
My TT grosses 4,780 wet and loaded on the road. My 2012 F-150 Lariat SuperCrew 4x2 EcoBoost with 315 axle ratio pulls it great. We've gone from west Texas to Tennessee, Michigan, Ontario and back home with no problems at all. We've gone from home to Austin, through the Hill Country several times. Great combo for two old folks.

If you buy a new F-150, be sure to get one with the Max Tow pkg, because that's the only way to get factory-installed tow mirrors on an F-150. On a new 2013 with the max tow pkg, you can get tow mirrors with power telescope, power fold, as well as the normal stuff of heated power glass, puddle lights and turn signals. With the FX4 Luxury pkg, or Lariat or better trim, the factory tow mirrors will also include memory. With XL trim and the max tow pkg, the standard tow mirrors are not power anything, but the power mirrors are an option as part of the optional power equipment pkg.

If you buy a used F-150 without the tow mirrors, you can replace the dinky little stock outside mirrors with the Ford tow mirrors without memory for about $440, or with memory for about $650 from the F-150 Accessories Catalog. I don't need the memory, so here's the ones I installed on my F-150:

Trailer Tow Mirrors - Telescoping w/Black Skull Caps, Heated, Puddle,Signal, Less Memory | The Official Site for Ford Custom Accessories

Here's a discount Ford parts dealer that will sell them for about $100 off MSRP:
Ford Parts - Tow Mirrors - TascaParts.com
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:52 PM   #10
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My TT grosses 4,780 wet and loaded on the road. My 2012 F-150 Lariat SuperCrew 4x2 EcoBoost with 315 axle ratio pulls it great. We've gone from west Texas to Tennessee, Michigan, Ontario and back home with no problems at all. We've gone from home to Austin, through the Hill Country several times. Great combo for two old folks.

If you buy a new F-150, be sure to get one with the Max Tow pkg, because that's the only way to get factory-installed tow mirrors on an F-150. On a new 2013 with the max tow pkg, you can get tow mirrors with power telescope, power fold, as well as the normal stuff of heated power glass, puddle lights and turn signals. With the FX4 Luxury pkg, or Lariat or better trim, the factory tow mirrors will also include memory. With XL trim and the max tow pkg, the standard tow mirrors are not power anything, but the power mirrors are an option as part of the optional power equipment pkg.

If you buy a used F-150 without the tow mirrors, you can replace the dinky little stock outside mirrors with the Ford tow mirrors without memory for about $440, or with memory for about $650 from the F-150 Accessories Catalog. I don't need the memory, so here's the ones I installed on my F-150:

Trailer Tow Mirrors - Telescoping w/Black Skull Caps, Heated, Puddle,Signal, Less Memory | The Official Site for Ford Custom Accessories

Here's a discount Ford parts dealer that will sell them for about $100 off MSRP:
Ford Parts - Tow Mirrors - TascaParts.com
Thanks Smokey, found a 2010 Lariat two tone, 5.4, 41k miles for 25k, thanks for the info on the Ecco boost,looking to stay around 33k with my Explorer as a trade in. Does look like to many Ecco boost for that price range, max tow for sure.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:03 AM   #11
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Does look like to many Ecco boost for that price range, max tow for sure.
The max tow pkg is only available with 2011-up models that have the EcoBoost engine. It won't be on a 2010 5.4L, and you won't have enough payload capacity to tow a TT that grosses more than about 5,000 pounds. Max tow adds 500 pounds available payload capacity for hitch weight, so the max trailer weight increases by about 3,000 pounds to around 8,000. That 5,000 and 8,000 max trailer weights are the real maximums based on GVWR, and not the wildy overestimated "tow rating" published by Ford that is based on GCWR and ignores hitch weight.

Looking at used F-150s for around $33k is not a good idea. Pickups hold their value, so depreciate slowly. You'd be much better off to order a brand new 2014 and wait for it to be delivered in late August.

Here's the specs to one that can be bought for a hair over $33k. These are 2013 prices, so they may go up a few hundred for a 2014 model

F-150 SuperCrew: I couldn't spec a SuperCab with EcoBoost engine and max tow pkg on Ford.com, but I'm sure it's available for a little less money

EcoBoost Engine, (required to get max tow, and you want that twin-turbo wonder of an engine anyway)

6.5' box, (Shorty 5.5' box not available with max tow or HD payload)

3.73 LS axle, (required to get HD payload pkg and max tow pkg)

4x2 (a lot less money than 4x4, and no, you don't need 4x4)

XL trim with 101A trim pkg gives you just about everything the XLT trim has for a lot less money.

With the above specs, you also get the following added automagically by Ford's computer:

HD payload pkg = 8,200 GVWR (because of the 3.73LS axle)

Max tow pkg = tow mirrors, trailer brake controller + regular tow pkg of hitch receiver, tranny cooling, etc. (because of the 3.73 axle ratio)

The 101A trim pkg includes all of the following:

Power Equipment group = (power everything)

XL Plus pkg includes cruise control

XL Décor pkg includes the cloth seats from an XLT, and chrome bumpers (instead of painted). Vinyl "work truck" seats are a no-cost option if you don't want the nice cloth seats.

Communications pkg (includes Sync and Bluetooth - Darling Wife loves this with her I-Phone)

MSRP $37,360 for 2013 model
Invoice $34,407

KBB "fair price" $34, 931 ($524 over invoice. Almost any dealer will order you a new F-150 for $500 over invoice with very little negotiation if you deal only with a manager such as the Fleet manager.) And you might even find one like that in stock you can drive in June, but not likely. My daughter's dealer recently searched the nation to find a 2013 with HD Payload Pkg, and there were none in captivity. She wound up with an F-250 XL with 6.2L engine but without the 101A trim pkg. Her hubby is used to driving plain-Jane vehicles without power anything, so he's happy with his new pickup.

That's for a brand new 2013 SuperCrew, your choice of paint color, with nice interior, wonderful engine, tow mirrors and trailer brake controller, power everything, cruise control, and enough payload capacity to handle a TT that grosses up to around 9,000 pounds (Ford's optimistic tow rating over 11,000 pounds). Why pay almost that much for someone else's reject? Granted, the 2014 will probably be a few hundred higher, and it's too late to order a new 2013 now, but then before summer's over you'd have the first 2014 in your neighborhood.

You can add other options, even 4x4, fancier trim, but be careful that any change you make to the above specs does not change the engine or the rear axle ratio, else you won't get the max tow pkg.

Note that another reason for buying a new one is the interest rate for a new pickup is usually less than for a used one. You might even buy a new F-150 for $35k and no higher payments than for a used one for $33k.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:25 PM   #12
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Thanks Smoke something to think about.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:43 PM   #13
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I have a hensley arrow and love it. The hitch works great, I have no issues with sway anymore. The price is hard to swallow at first however when you think how much you have invested in your tv and tt. Most importantly you have your family in their too. Now the cost doesnt seem so bad. I bought a remanufactured hensley with the full warranty, hitch cover, hitch helper, and repair kit for this$2300. Call them up and ask about remanufactured hitches.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:18 AM   #14
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Thanks Scotty. After the research I've done and the good recommendations I've gotten, I plan to buy either an HA or ProPride before my next trip.
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