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Old 03-18-2023, 05:14 PM   #1
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What's the best affordable weight distribution hitch under $600?

I'm really struggling on what to do....

We have a travel trailer. 2800lbs. (gvwr 4750)
Tow vehicle is 08 GMC Envoy RWD. 4800lbs (5500 gvwr)

Everything looks level when we hook up. No visual sag.
But we do get sway on highway going over 45mph.
We drive about an two hours every weekend in WY where it's windy and semis are frequent.

Budget is $600 or less.


-- Do we even need a weight hitch or would a sway bar do?

-- If we need the weight hitch we want something that's all in one for sway too. We want easy to initially install onto tounge and SUV with very minimal tools, pre-torqued ball, able to back up and take tight turns without unhooking it. We want it to be fast each time do we can get on road. We are not mechanically inclined so this needs to be easy!!!

I've been told the E2 is good and affordable. I hear about Anderson hitches all the time as being revolutionary. Curt TruTrak and Equal-i-zer.

We don't know what to do.....need advice.
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Old 03-18-2023, 06:01 PM   #2
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I had $400 Drawtite WD hitch that I liked. At the time the dealer said it would take some of the sway out of the rig. I started towing with this set up with a Gen 1 Honda Ridgeline. I had sway at 60mph. But no sway at 45 or 50 mph.

I traded the Ridgeline on a F-150 then at 72 mph it was rock solid. No sway.

The wheelbase is important vs the length of the trailer. The F-150 had the longer wheelbase.

If the wheelbase of the tow vehicle is too short for the length of the trailer not 100% sure if you can remove all the sway or not.
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Old 03-19-2023, 04:43 AM   #3
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My vote is for Andersen hitch. May be just over $600 now, but has worked well for me for 5 years now. Built in sway control by design. No bars to deal with.
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Old 03-19-2023, 07:13 AM   #4
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Load the trailer properly, you do not have enough hitch weight. A wd will not fix that.
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Old 03-19-2023, 10:18 AM   #5
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A WDH will mask problems. Stuff like worn out shocks, bad load distribution, towing over capacity, worn out springs. And maybe the wrong tow vehicle.
Look at tow weight and capacity. Tow vehicle capacity is overlooked and frequently exceeded. Total weight in the SUV, plus tongue weight of the trailer. If you are over 75% there is a problem.
I bet that something will be found, maybe a few sonethings. But sway at over 45 sounds like a pretty big issue or issues.
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Old 03-19-2023, 10:37 AM   #6
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OP,
If you search Youtube, you will find a famous video of what happens to a tail heavy trailer, verses a nose heavy one. Lots of waggle.

A WD hitch is good for shifting the tongue weight further back and some even have a friction bar to help stop swaying. but a 10% tongue load is the goal.

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Old 03-19-2023, 11:07 AM   #7
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Towing specifications:
The GMC Envoy has a towing capacity between 4,800 lbs and 6,200 lbs.

For example, the 2006 V8 SUV 4D Denali 2WD trim model has a maximum towing capacity of 6,200 lbs., while the 2006 1/2 Ton I6 SUV 4D SLE 4WD trim model has a maximum towing capacity of 4,800 lbs.

All towing capacities are braked capacities. This means that the trailer being towed has a braking system installed to assist with the vehicle's own braking. The towing capacities for trailers without brakes will be much less.

Confirm all towing capacities with the owner's manual.

Depending on trim level, the 2009 GMC Envoy has a towing capacity between 5200 lbs and 6100 lbs.
2009 GMC Envoy Towing Capacity Table Trim/ Option Package Engine Max. Towing Capacity Horsepower Torque
I6 SUV 4D SLE 2WD VORTEC 4.2L 5,300 lbs 285 hp 276 ft-lbs
I6 SUV 4D SLE 4WD VORTEC 4.2L 5,200 lbs 285 hp 276 ft-lbs
I6 SUV 4D SLT 2WD VORTEC 4.2L 5,300 lbs 285 hp 276 ft-lbs
I6 SUV 4D SLT 4WD VORTEC 4.2L 5,200 lbs 285 hp 276 ft-lbs
V8 SUV 4D Denali 2WD VORTEC 5.3L 6,100 lbs 300 hp 321 ft-lbs
V8 SUV 4D Denali 4WD VORTEC 5.3L 6,000 lbs 300 hp 321 ft-lbs

All trim levels appear to be capable of towing your trailer.

GM specifications are the best source for how to configure your rig.

Lots of good advice posted above.

Sway:
Actual measured tongue weight should be between 10% and 15% of trailer actual measured weight. Lower % often display excessive sway. Get trailer and tongue weight at a local CAT scale.

There is sway when a simi rig passes your TT rig. This is due to pressure waves around the simi and to some degree around your TT. If that sway starts the TT repeatedly swaying, then the tongue is probably too light.

Spontaneous, repeated swaying indicates trailer tongue weight is dangerously light. See U-Tube videos of trailers wagging until everything goes out of control.

Sway tends to become more sever as speed increases.

Many anti-sway devices are built into weight distribution hitches or are attachments to weight distribution hitches. Some WDH are cheap, noisy, and inconvenient. Others cost more and are more convenient.

The Anderson design is lighter and easier to manage than many others. I use one with my 4400 GVW Kodiak Cub.

The Anderson "A" frame mounting brackets exert high force on the TT "A" frame. Clamping forces on the mounting must be carefully set up. I had to reinforce the box channel A frame on my TT using 1/4 steel spacers.

The first picture is the original installation. The second picture is the modification using a 1" stack of 1/4" spacers.
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Old 03-19-2023, 11:31 AM   #8
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Not sure what happened when I towed a trailer with the Honda Ridgeline and had sway vs the exact same set up with a F-150 and no sway. Not even from semis that I passed.

According to the guidelines my trailer was too long for the wheelbase of the Ridgeline. I was trying to tow a 26.5' travel trailer with a vehicle with a wheelbase of 122". Towing that same trailer with a F-150 I had zero sway.

The guidelines are out there if you Google 'Travel Trailer Length vs Wheelbase'. That should get you close.
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Old 03-19-2023, 02:16 PM   #9
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The wheelbase of your tow vehicle is a smallish 113". That is probably why you are having sway. My Honda Ridgeline had a wheelbase of 122" and the F-150 had a wheelbase of 147". The guidelines (for what they are worth) show if your travel trailer is longer than 21' that might be your problem.

If your travel trailer is, say 19' then you are ok. A special hitch will help.
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Old 03-19-2023, 03:10 PM   #10
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Check out the Camco Recurve R3 hitch with adjustable sway control. Less than $500 Amazon Prime, so free freight. A friend upgraded to one over the Andersen and likes it. He has a 19 ft. R-Pod he is pulling with a 4-Runner.
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Old 03-23-2023, 03:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilD View Post
Check out the Camco Recurve R3 hitch with adjustable sway control. Less than $500 Amazon Prime, so free freight. A friend upgraded to one over the Andersen and likes it. He has a 19 ft. R-Pod he is pulling with a 4-Runner.


Agree, the ReCurve R3 is perfect for this setup.

Have over 30k miles towing with one. Easy drop in bars, adjustable sway control, and a thumbscrew that allows for precise amount of distribution. Results are a very comfortable ride.

For smaller trailers there is no better option.
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Old 03-24-2023, 06:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by bneukam View Post
agree, the recurve r3 is perfect for this setup.

Have over 30k miles towing with one. Easy drop in bars, adjustable sway control, and a thumbscrew that allows for precise amount of distribution. Results are a very comfortable ride.

For smaller trailers there is no better option.

i tried to but one if these but camco told me they are rated for larger trailers. 6000-8000lbs. And that mine was too small and it shouldn't be used. They suggested a tr3 model they make rated for 2000 to 6000lb campers.

Is this not true?
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Old 03-24-2023, 06:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilD View Post
Check out the Camco Recurve R3 hitch with adjustable sway control. Less than $500 Amazon Prime, so free freight. A friend upgraded to one over the Andersen and likes it. He has a 19 ft. R-Pod he is pulling with a 4-Runner.
I'm so confused.
i tried to but one if these but camco told me they are rated for larger trailers. 6000-8000lbs. And that mine was too small and it shouldn't be used. They suggested a tr3 model they make rated for 2000 to 6000lb campers.
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Old 03-24-2023, 04:17 PM   #14
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Correct, the TR3 is the one you want. Itís the same design as the R3, including the sway control collar.

This can be easily adjusted to tighten down for windy conditions, or less than ideal tongue weight.

Not that I would recommend anyone traveling with less than 12% on the tongue. But sometimes you have no option when you need to dump that full black/grey tank thatís located at the rear of the trailer.
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