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Old 02-08-2015, 11:00 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cware48420 View Post
Regarding a WDH- I suspect any company would want to sell the WDH and not want to go on record saying one is not required. I spoke to a trailer company owner and Reese rep who said the purpose of the WDH is for load leveling. If the tow vehicle is rated for the total load and the bumper does not drop more than 2" when you hook up, the WDH is not required altho', it would be a benefit in towing.-J
There are safety considerations that go along with a WDH. With the WDH you maintain a level tow vehicle which means the weight distribution keeps weight on the front wheels and that insures proper steering and stopping traction. Also, your low beam headlights won't act like high beams, which translates into not getting the high beams flashed at you from approaching traffic.
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:31 AM   #22
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There are safety considerations that go along with a WDH. With the WDH you maintain a level tow vehicle which means the weight distribution keeps weight on the front wheels and that insures proper steering and stopping traction. Also, your low beam headlights won't act like high beams, which translates into not getting the high beams flashed at you from approaching traffic.
Just to add one more detail to Rich's excellent points -

Without a WDH you increase the loading on the rear axle of the tow vehicle, a LOT! If you were to measure the resulting loading on that axle at a CAT scale, you might find that the axle and rear tires are overloaded (you can find the axle weight limits on the tow vehicle's driver door sticker).

Bottom line, use a WDH - but it should be "matched" to the tongue weight and the weight of the trailer.

- Jack
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Old 02-08-2015, 04:18 PM   #23
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Now that you're not under the gun you can simultaneously shop for both a camper and tow vehicle. My advice is to buy much more tow vehicle than you'll need, then you're not limited on which camper because of weight concerns. Then, further down the road you can upgrade to a bigger, heavier camper (if you feel the need).

Enjoy the experience.

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Old 02-11-2015, 10:59 AM   #24
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OK, so I have a deposit on a 22' and we have agreed on cost based on the conditions as they have been described. The trailer is 1400 miles away and I've been assured the description is accurate and they are a well established, nationally known company; but I'm still uneasy as I should be.

BTW: This is the same company who readily refunded my deposit last week when I rejected that trailer based on condition.

So, I intend to drive down and if all is satisfactory, bring it home towing with my Buick Enclave; 5K# towing capacity and hitch. So, first, some questions;
The trailer is a 2006, 22' HI lo. I have been told the dry weight is 3400# and a max loaded weight of 5100#.

1. Electric brake control unit? What do I need? Is the most expensive always the best? I assume the trailer will be wired properly to the 7 way, so I should be able to wire at home and then check the trailer when I get there before connecting.

2.What about a WDH? Yes, despite my earlier statements I did and do intend to tow with a WDH and sway control. Based on the trailer weight, a 500# or 600# rated tongue weight should do the job fine. I have no intent of changing trailers at any point and if I did, I'd buy one to suit the new trailer.
I have been told the trunion type is easier to connect. I see some WDH's are described as being for electric and/or surge brakes? Some have chains and some have a type of bushing the bar slides into. I even see an aluminum (?) for livestock trailer use.

So, any preference?

Thanks all, I appreciate your help and experience and having that, will make my decisions easier.-Jerry
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:25 AM   #25
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Either of the WDH's you describe will do the job. The chain type is more commonly seen, but it requires an additional sway control device. The combination, however is somewhat cheaper than what I have, which is the Equal-I-Zer hitch. This uses heavy bars that are placed on L-brackets on the trailer tongue and it controls sway through friction at those points.

Reese is a manufacturer of popular chain type hitches.

I personally recommend the Tekonsha P3 brake controller. It is only about $20 more than the P2, which is also a popular choice, but it is much easier to set up properly and, because it uses electronic controls, it is not likely to be accidentally turned off (like my P2 once was when someone at the car dealership must have bumped a switch). For $30 less than the P2, you can buy the Tekonsha Primus, and it will work too.

If you don't mind spending installation fees, the trailer dealership will probably mount the WDH and sway control for you as well as the brake controller. Either one is fairly easy to set up, once you've done it, but the first time is a bit like cub scouts setting up a pup tent.

Edit: Your tow vehicle will be running very close to its limits with that trailer. I'd get the 600# tongue weight hitch and you're going to have to watch the weight you put into the trailer with that one. Ideal tongue weight should be between 12-15% of the trailer weight, so if you were to load the trailer to 5000#, the tongue weight could be as high as 750. That would require an 800# hitch. But, that loading would likely overload your tow vehicle. I think you should plan for a tow vehicle upgrade in the future.

- Jack
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:57 AM   #26
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I concur with one minor change. I chose the P2 controller simple because I knew that I'd be constantly playing with the display ... instead of driving. And my first controller was a cheap Hayes brand that honestly was not a lessor controller. You really need a bigger towing machine.

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Old 02-11-2015, 02:08 PM   #27
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cware, you need to get your Buick Enclave manual out of the glove compartment and go over all the details of its towing capabilities. You might even take the Buick over to a Buick dealership, give them the specifications of your Hi-Lo, and let them advise you as to whether or not the Buick already has at least a basic towing package on it and, if needed, should you have installed a heavy duty tow package. I think you said you were towing the Hi-Lo at least 1400 miles. My dealership for my Buick Lucerne does not recommend towing at all, primarily due to the front wheel drive.

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Old 02-12-2015, 10:52 AM   #28
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OK, per the great info here, I'm thinking I will head to the dealer. My manual says 2K# w/o the trailer package, 4500# with. Despite the hitch, I've determined I do not have the T-package with "trailer tow mode", that changes the shift points on the tranny.

My 2006 Jeep Liberty manual indicates 5K# capacity, with 3.7L and 3.73 gears. So I will talk to the Jeep dealer as well.

Any opinions on the Jeep?- Thanks for all the help-Jerry
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:03 AM   #29
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I think the Jeep can do it - barely, but it will be better than the Buick. I still think a new tow vehicle is in your future, sorry!

Fortunately, you can use the same WDH with any tow vehicle and the brake controller is fairly easy to transfer to a new vehicle too (it may need a new wiring harness if you do so).

There are a lot of "extra" costs to owning a trailer, aren't there? I started with a Nissan Frontier (6 cyl) tow vehicle and after the first trip determined I needed something bigger. But, it pulled our (smaller) trailer over 11,000 ft passes in Colorado!

- Jack
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:44 PM   #30
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I vote the jeep, also, though I agree that "barely" applies. I agonized for a year or so and finally upgraded my 97
' f150 to a newer half-ton that is more within the limits. AGain, remember, it isn't "just" the towing capacity you need to be conscious of but, also, the total weight capacity of the vehicle which will include the vehicle itself and everything in it and the weight of the trailer tongue. You'd be surprised how many trucks at first glance look like they would be plenty big enough but end up being very borderline once gear and everything else is included.

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Old 02-12-2015, 01:16 PM   #31
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Jack, the problem with the Jeep Liberty is the short wheel base. Before we purchased the Hi-Lo, we towed a fairly heavy Jayco popup with a 2000 Ford Explorer (V-8 and 3.73 rear axle), and it was a little "squirrelly," particularly when towed on roads with a lot of uneven pavement. I know that the Jeep Liberty has a shorter wheel base than the Explorer. People forget that the sway control feature does not prevent sway 100 percent; it just assists in dampening sway. If a decision is made to get a new tow vehicle, a lot of the costs involved in rigging out the current vehicles is absorbed into the new vehicle purchase. For example, the new Ford F-150 with Eco-Boost engine (for gas economy) comes with a heavy duty tow package, built in brake controller, an anti-sway sensor generated by an onboard computer which (once sensed) assists in bringing the camper under control, dashboard warnings for low tire pressure, improper hitching, etc. We wanted the F-150, but ended up getting the F-250 because down the road we thought we might see a heavy Airstream in our future. However, for a daily driver and a tow vehicle, the F-150 would have been great.

Dee
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:35 PM   #32
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Update;
The Buick will not do the job and the era of("big vehicle, big tow capacity") is long gone.

The Buick Enclave w/o the trailer package is rated for only 2K# and with the package is rated for 4500#. The package includes a "trailer tow" switch to change the shift points while towing.

My Liberty should tow 5K#. It has the trans cooler and 5K# hitch but lacks the (6) speed auto transmission.

Either vehicle has too little extra capacity to allow safe towing.

I agree, the Liberty wheel base is prohibitive for towing on anything but "blue bird days" and conditions.

We intend to use this trailer only during the winter as a means of escaping the cold and dark evenings of MI. It has taken one year to get the trailer but hopefully, we will get the tow vehicle late summer and be visiting "Ya'll" in 2016.-J

You can bet I will be back asking questions. Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:10 PM   #33
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Just getting back from several camping days. Cold, brrrr (high 50's but with brisk winds, nights at/near freezing); more brrrr.

Now back to the story: While I understand the HiLo attraction, it appears that you are wed to this one brand; don't limit yourself. Another alternative to purchasing a more capable tow vehicle ... is to purchase a lighter/smaller camper. Consider it a starter camper while you evaluate what you may eventually want (and need).

Also, as I previously mentioned about our experiences, you may outgrow the HiLo (we did - but not due to any faults, we simple outgrew it); you may just eventually decide to upgrade it - just like we did - and once again find yourself shopping for a larger tow buggy.

Regardless, while TV shopping, consider the possilbe long term needs and purchase more vehicle than you can imagine ever needing.

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Old 02-12-2015, 11:13 PM   #34
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Dee - I'm a little late responding, but my internet service was down most of the day.

I agree with you on all points. I thought the Jeep was too small a vehicle for a long term tow solution too. I simply felt it would work to get the trailer home.

Regardless of the tow vehicle decided on, a WDH is mandatory in my opinion. Adding a sway control is as small additional expense if the WDH does not come with integrated sway control.

And, I somehow got the feeling that cware was not going to be in the market for a new model year tow vehicle. I know I wasn't and bought my truck when it was two years old in a private sale at about half the original sticker price. It's never had ANY mechanical problems and has served me well - 10 years old now with 92,000 miles).

Thinking that he might buy an older tow vehicle, I thought he might need a brake controller and sway control anyway. If ultimately they are not needed, the cost of each is not astronomical (and additional sway control should not be a problem, so maybe only the brake controller would be superfluous).

Anyway, those were my thoughts. As I said in my post, I think most of us find the true cost of trailer ownership to be a lot more than the trailer itself!

- Jack
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Old 02-13-2015, 08:41 AM   #35
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the true cost of trailer ownership

When I purchased my HiLo I found I only needed to add a brake controller and convert the 4 pin wire harness to 7 pin, maybe $250, I forget. The HiLo came with a WDH; soon after, even though spec wise it was capable, I decided I wanted more truck.

Which played out well as we eventually upgraded to a fifth wheel. This camper upgrade/conversion wasn't quite so cheap. First thing was a FW hitch ($820?) and larger towing mirrors ($250).

Then the new to me camper needed batteries ($220?) and five tires ($750?). And losing the truck bed space meant no where to put the propane fireplace, so a bumper mounted cargo rack was added, $200.

Plus a few other now forgotten things. The point is - YES, there will be other expenses.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:24 AM   #36
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No, not tied to the Hi Lo and I only have a deposit on it so, if I do not want it after seeing it, I get my money back. My major attraction is the low profile.

I honestly, at 68 yrs. do not see myself wanting anything bigger than the 22's I've seen, but you never know. We do not like traveling and staying in motels with our English Setter and I do like to chase birds so some primitive camping will be done.

I've owned motor homes and a couple tent campers. MH's, in my opinion and for my limited retirement income are too costly fuel wise at 6MPG and $4/gal, tent campers are cold in the fall/winter/spring.

So, today I'm checking Craigslist for Yukon's. Too cold here now to get out much and kick tires.

Any opinion on Yukon's? Is the 4 wheel steering worth paying extra?-J
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Old 02-13-2015, 08:51 PM   #37
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Each year, edition, etc will vary but this is listed somewhere on the net.
Yukon Weights and Capacities 2015 GMC Yukon SUV Pricing, Features & Specs | Edmunds.com

MAXIMUM TOWING CAPACITY
8100 lbs.

MAXIMUM PAYLOAD
1554 lbs.

GROSS WEIGHT
7300 lbs.

CURB WEIGHT
5746 lbs.

Can you keep your total vehicle cargo weight (pax, fuels, water, tongue weight etc) under that 1554 pounds? It doesn't specify the bumper hitch spec, but based on its claimed pulling weight of 8100 pounds I assume its a class 4 hitch and would share its same restrictions.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:20 AM   #38
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By alternatives to HiLo I was referring to the TrailManor line of similar campers. While not quite as "quality" they are lightweight and still being made - so likely more available.

One example: 2720 Series | TrailManor Website
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:53 AM   #39
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I considered the Trail Manor but did not like the roof seal system.

I'm moving to the towing forum for some more questions. Thanks-J
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:52 PM   #40
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I'm not familiar with TrailManors, simple aware of them. Don't be a stranger here on the HiLo.
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