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Old 01-22-2011, 03:11 PM   #1
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Default Does anyone tow without a weight distribution hitch?

I know hi-lo recommends a WD hitch with its trailers but I haven't used one with my other trailers and wondered how well they tow with just a standard ball hitch? Please include your tow vehicle and trailer model so we know who is pulling what.
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:57 PM   #2
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I use a WD hitch, 2 trailers, 95 21ft Tow Lite 3400 lbs empty, 2209 Tow lite 3800 lbs empty, 1999 Ford Explorer tow vehicle.
Most HI-LO s are towed with smaller tow vehicles, so a WD hitch is needed, the larger HI-LOs require a larger tow vehicle, HI-LO s are not necessarily light, they get better towing from being able to be put down and reduce wind drag and sway. If you have a large tow vehicle then a WD hitch may not be needed, they are recommended in the interest of safety.
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:04 PM   #3
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Default WD Hitch

2007 Silverado 1500 and 2307C HI-Lo. I went without a weight distribution hitch for one year and did not like the feel of the wheel since the front end was light and the rear end heavy. With the WD hitch it is a much better situation. I would estimate the trailer was loading the rear end of the truck down about 10 inches. Far too much. Now it runs level. Trailer weight is around 5000 lbs. Tongue weight is about 800 lbs.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:59 PM   #4
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i have an '84 funchaser 21ft. i brought it home with just the ball hitch and i was very pleased with how it towed. i hardly knew it was back there. it did not sway at all. my tow vehicle is a '99 Ford Expedition. i was a 150mi trip.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:24 PM   #5
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Default Weight distributingnhitch

We tow our 90 25ft classic with a 97Ford super duty truck It has the extended caband eight ft. bed.We went from a pop up to the HILo and didnot realize we needed sway control. One time I was following my husband in my car and sawthe sway.We now use sway control. Just wondering if you had an accidentwould the insurance co. not want to pay the full$ amt. because you didnot use something to prevent sway? I hope none of us has an accident.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:21 AM   #6
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You can believe this or not but it is the truth. About 10 years ago I was talking to a fellow that had an accident, He had a 28 ft trailer towed by a Chevy Suburban, both were less than 2 years old. He had towed the trailer for a year with no problems. Then one day while towing on a highway in New York at speed with a lot of traffic, the trailer suddenly started to sway, he applied the brake and from there he wasn't sure what happened but when everything stopped the Suburan was on its side and the trailer was completly destroyed. He wasn't using a WD hitch with sway control. Many people tow with out them, but even if the tow vehicle can handle the tongue weight, ball hitches stick out the back and remove a lot of weight off the front wheels of the tow vehicle, for safety, use one. I have a friend that tows a 3 axle air stream it's big and heavy without a WD hitch but his tow vehicle is a heavy duty dual wheel Chevy with heavy rear springs designed to tow construction trailers. He drops the air stream tongue on that thing and the back doesn't drop more that a 1/4 inch if that much. I have other stories and have seen trailer accidents did the lack of a WD hitch cause the accident, In some cases yes. With the tow vehicle that I have now I have to have one, but I would never tow with out one.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:26 AM   #7
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You can't put a price tag on safety. Use a WD hitch to keep the weight on the TV front end and use sway control to keep that unexpected sway situation under control. We have a 2310 Hi-Lo and tow it with a 2007 Toyota Tacoma Crewcab. I use a Reese Srait-Line Dual Cam hitch. It handles very well, makes the truck ride better and sway is almost non-existent.

Towing without a good hitch and sway control is like not wearing seat belts. You don't need them until you need them, and when you need them you had better have them. Spend a few dollars and you will be glad you did.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:56 AM   #8
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We have a 22' Hi-Lo and tow it with a 2001,Toyota Tacoma,V6,automatic,4WD. We use a WD hitch. Years ago, we had a Wildernedd travel trailer,17-1/2',single axle that we towed with a 1985 Chevy van with a 305 V8 Used a WD hitch with that also.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:55 PM   #9
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:11 PM   #10
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I brought mine home with a ball hitch and it towed just fine. I took it on two trips with a ball hitch and it did just fine. I bougth a Curt Trunnion WD hitch and it tows even better and I use the Curt sway control. The owners manual recommends using a WD so the best bet is to use what the manufacture recommends. My tow vehicle is an '03 GMC Sierra 4X4, 2500HD Crewcab, short bed.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:44 AM   #11
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I was given the WD hitch when I bought mine, so I really don't have experience without it. I do know that I feel safe with it, my 2693 is 4800# unloaded and I'm probably towing around 5200 to 5400 when loaded with my GMC Savana. I haven't had a problem.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:23 PM   #12
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Thanks all. I wanted to know if I could get away with towing a trailer home without a WD should the need arise.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:18 AM   #13
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Fireball,

Just fyi, I know we pulled an 18ft glasstron boat to the lake in 1970's (a couple times) with a VW beetle (boat was probably 3x if not more weight and mass than the car...) But it was in rural areas, (we lived near Northglenn in Denver though at the time that was as far north as the population was, lol, and we stayed away from "sudden" traffic conditions, and it was years ago.

BTW!!! I am not saying it probably wasnt risky, or saying you should do it, nor how it is done. But with a decent tow vehicle, and proper care while driving (taking the backroads, staying away from heavy-traffic-at-high-speeds) you should make it home FINE, but just be dang carefull. remember traffic has changed... Ya know before the 50's, people been camping and pulling big things. Those trucks that did everything we do today, with our much newer brakes & technology, and thousands of dollars of addons... the big difference is the other idiots on the road, if you ask me, you can get screwed and killed by some other dummy, if you aren't carefull... If you can think ahead, take it damn easy and be CAREFUL! I have no idea how to imagine, but I live in flat land area (midwest) so big mountain roads would take extra carefull to not be a hazard to you and others...

Just another thought. since I assume you are buying to take home, I sugges you take a jack that is easy to use, jack wheel or side off the ground check bearings at least that they spin easy no obvious noises (unless seller says things been serviced or other reason not to check) plus might think about rounding up a couple spare tires, sometimes a buddy has same spare on their camper or something that could get you out of a jam. Nothing like buying trailer tires, in the middle of nowhere and you are desperate, been there done that.

then when you drive, get out and check for heat from wheels at bearing (carefull it could get really hot if something is up) after a few miles (say 50?).

Good luck.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sting32 View Post
Fireball,

Just fyi, I know we pulled an 18ft glasstron boat to the lake in 1970's (a couple times) with a VW beetle (boat was probably 3x if not more weight and mass than the car... but it was in rural areas, and we stayed away from "sudden" traffic conditions, and it was years ago. BTW!!! I am not saying it probably wasnt risky, or saying you should do it. But with a decent tow vehicle, and proper care while driving (taking the backroads, staying away from heavy-traffic-at-high-speeds) you should make it home FINE, but just be dang carefull.

since I assume you are buying, to take home I sugges you take a jack that is easy to use, jack wheel or side off the ground check bearings at least that they spin easy no obvious noises (unless seller says things been serviced) plus a couple spare tires. Nothing like buying trailer tires, in the middle of nowhere and you are desperate, been there done that.

then when you drive, get out and check for heat from wheels at bearing (carefull it could get really hot if something is up) after a few miles (say 50?).

Good luck.
+1 you don't know anything about this trailer, check it out before you take off. You should check the lights and brakes also.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:56 PM   #15
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My hitch load is about 550# now with a 3800# trailer. I'd figure about 15% of the GVW, when estimating the hitch weight. Putting that much weight on a hitch will take a lot of weight of the front (steering) wheels with a potential loss in control.

In addition, during braking, the front wheels on a vehicle normally apply more of the stopping force. Having a heavy hitch weight lifts those wheels and the act of breaking is going to push down on the hitch even more, which is going to negate the braking force from the front wheels a great deal and your stopping distance is going to increase greatly.

I would only tow without a WD hitch for a very short distance and I'd keep the speed low.

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Old 01-26-2011, 09:03 PM   #16
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I have a 22T pulled with a ford 150. The WD hitch with sway control is the best money you will spend.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:21 PM   #17
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"The WD hitch with sway control is the best money you will spend."

Eartha.. terrific summary!
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:47 AM   #18
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Not to hijack, but I think another expenditure that can really pay for itself is a good tire pressure/temperature monitoring system! I reviewed one in the tire section of this forum and I highly recommend it, based on the descriptions of damage I've read about when tires blow. And, I'm in no way affiliated with Tire Minder - I'm just VERY impressed with their product.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled thread topic....

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Old 03-20-2011, 03:57 PM   #19
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Update: I just came back from the maiden voyage of my 2203T. I was hauling about 500lbs of gear in the back of the truck and the hi-lo was full of water, dual batteries, and gear for a 3 day weekend. I didn't use weight distribution or anti sway control, just the ball hitch hooked up. I felt very comfortable towing like this. I could definitely feel the truck was pulling a load and the steering wasn't as responsive however the trailer tracked very straight and exhibited no sway. Conditions were admittedly perfect.

The only downside was sagging which I plan to cure with timbren rubber springs. I know my headlights were shining too high and the timprens should cure that.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:30 PM   #20
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IMO the Timprens are not the what you should be doing. You need the WD hitch to transfer weight to the the truck and the trailer so they will sit level and keep the weight on the front wheels for proper steering. It is safer.
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