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Old 05-10-2022, 02:34 PM   #1
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Weight Distribution help

Hello Everyone,

I am new to the RV life and EVERYTHING that comes with it. With that said, we bought a 2022 Gulf Stream Ameri-Lite Super Lite 197BH bunkhouse floor plan.

Length 22 ft 11 in
Dry Weight 3663 lbs
Hitch Weight 638
GVWR 5058
Front Axle Weight 4400


I will be utilizing a 2018 Toyota Highlander SE to pull the RV. I have a CURT trailer high that is rated to 6000 pounds.

My big question, I want to make sure I am using the correct weight distribution/sway control. I was reading that if you get to much of a rating above what the RV weight is, can be very dangerous. I was looking at the Anderson 4" drop/rise weight distribution hitch #3324 that goes up to 10K lbs GTWR. I have read good reviews but they don't list anything under 10K.

Any help with that and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-10-2022, 02:45 PM   #2
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When we owned our first RV...a bumper pull like yours but a bit larger...we used the Equalizer hitch:

https://www.equalizerhitch.com

They have a calculator to choose the correct hitch, and it shows the 10K lb hitch (the smallest one) is appropriate for your trailer (and is the one we used).

There are many other WDH (weight distributing hitch) systems. This is just what our RV dealer sold us, and it worked perfectly after a few adjustments (you'd adjust with the trailer fully loaded...full water tank, all the luggage and other stuff, etc.).
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Old 05-10-2022, 03:34 PM   #3
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I would be concerned about the dry tongue weight of 638lbs. Add a battery and some propane and you're at 700lbs dry. Not sure the hitch on the Highlander is rated that high.
Usually the receiver rating is 10% of the tow rating, E.g. 5000/500lbs.
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Old 05-10-2022, 03:48 PM   #4
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A quick search shows the Pathfinder SE Model with a 1,500 lb tow capacity with the 4 cylinder and a 5,000 lb tow capacity with the 6. It also shows a GVRW at 5665 and a curb weight of 4165- 4665, depending on model. Since you got a bunkhouse model, I assume you have more than one person in the car. The weight of people, stuff, fuel and hitch weight is going to push you very near GVRW. I would be pretty concerned you don't have enough vehicle, even with your light trailer.

We see a couple of freeway wrecks near me every summer where travel trailers overpower their tow vehicle. Please don't be one of those people.

But, if you are OK with payload, measure the height of your hitch receiver on your vehicle, and measure the height of your couple with your trailer level. You want the top of the ball to be slightly (1/2" to 1") higher than the inside of the coupler before you start adjusting your weight distributing hitch. I suspect you are looking at the right one, but have no way of knowing for sure without measurements. The WDH Capacity will work for you, adjustment will make up for the higher weight.
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Old 05-10-2022, 08:01 PM   #5
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With a Highlander???

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectZer0 View Post
Hello Everyone,

I am new to the RV life and EVERYTHING that comes with it. With that said, we bought a 2022 Gulf Stream Ameri-Lite Super Lite 197BH bunkhouse floor plan.

Length 22 ft 11 in
Dry Weight 3663 lbs
Hitch Weight 638
GVWR 5058
Front Axle Weight 4400


I will be utilizing a 2018 Toyota Highlander SE to pull the RV. I have a CURT trailer high that is rated to 6000 pounds.

My big question, I want to make sure I am using the correct weight distribution/sway control. I was reading that if you get to much of a rating above what the RV weight is, can be very dangerous. I was looking at the Anderson 4" drop/rise weight distribution hitch #3324 that goes up to 10K lbs GTWR. I have read good reviews but they don't list anything under 10K.

Any help with that and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Suggestions: yes, I'd take a good hard look at the owner's manual for that Highlander, as well as the sticker in the driver's B-pillar for payload and rear axle rating.

I'd check if Toyota approves weight distribution hitches on that unibody, typically they do not. That's a lot of weight (the 5058lb GVWR) for a Highlander, which is not RWD based. Always use the GVWR as you're much likelier to be close to that ready to camp than the useless "dry" rating.

Typically at 5000lbs, I'd suggest a 500/5000 weight distributing hitch. 600/6000 might work, but I wouldn't go 1000/10 000 for sure. The bars need to flex, not tear apart that unibody.
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Old 05-12-2022, 03:00 AM   #6
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Too much camper for that SUV.
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Old 05-12-2022, 07:58 AM   #7
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The sad thing I found is that with most of the crossover style SUVs, the tow capacity was either too low or at best marginal. You have to go to a Tahoe/Suburban/Expedition level SUV to get any real tow capacity. My knowledge base goes back to 2014 when I was researching it, and I concluded that anything more than a basic popup was outside the realm of most crossovers. I ended up in a 2015 GMC Canyon just to pull my popup comfortably.
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