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Towing, Hitching and Tow Vehicles Discussions about tow vehicles, tow systems, hitching, leveling, jacks and more.
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:21 PM   #1
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Default Weight distribution hitch questions

After my first long road trip I notice some thing I don't like.

The camper seems to take a real beating while going down the highway. The bathroom "door", that cheap flimsy fake wood folding thing, actually broke and everything in the rear of the trailer flew all over the place. I plan to replace that poorly thought out bathroom door with a curtain regardless but the problem remains with the rough ride.

Obviously it smooths the ride on the tow vehicle but does a weight distributing hitch do anything to smooth the ride on the trailer? I'm looking at the Anderson WD hitch FWIW.

Edit: Porpoising. That's what I'm trying to mitigate. I couldn't think of the word.
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Old 07-27-2021, 04:52 PM   #2
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A WDH, if properly sized and adjusted, will minimize any tendency of the trailer to nose dive and bounce. It effectively creates a "bridge" between the tow vehicle that is rigid and creates the effect of a longer wheelbase in your tow vehicle/trailer combination. It also has some "springyness" in the weight distributing bars that keeps the combination from being TOO rigid.

However, you need to size the WDH properly. Mine is rated for 600# tongue weight and (I think) 6,000# trailer weight, which is appropriate for my 17ft trailer. Your 19T would probably work with that rating too. if you can confirm your tongue weight is less than 600#. You would NOT want a WDH that has higher than an 800# tongue weight rating. Anything above that would be too rigid and would give you a rough ride.

An appropriate WDH will also improve your tow vehicle's handling - now that I've set up my WDH properly, I don't even "feel" the trailer and my steering and braking seem completely normal. If I'm towing at night, my headlight aim is correct. I've NEVER experienced trailer sway with this setup, but in the past, when towing something without a WDH with sway control, I did, and trust me, you don't ever want to experience sway.

I will say though, that I've added to all the lower cabinet door catches, because they would open during travel. And, I've added a pin catch to the refrigerator door that keeps it from opening, which it did with only the OEM latch.

- Jack
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Old 07-30-2021, 12:14 AM   #3
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Default Rough ride

Another reason for a rough ride could be tire pressure. If you have too high pressure in tires, they don't flex much, if any. Kind of like having just hard rubber or steel tires, instead of ones with some air cushioning. You can imagine what that would be like with your car; that's why there's a recommended pressure on your door post.

With a trailer, there may or may not be a recommended pressure. Usually, you need to know how much weight your tires are carrying, since that can vary a lot in a trailer. Many people say to put the maximum pressure the sidewall of the tire says it can hold, but that's usually seriously over-inflated. What you need to do is find out how much weight a tire is carrying, and then look up the correct pressure on the chart published by the tire manufacturer. Otherwise, you can expect things inside to get shaken apart, or doors that won't stay shut and the like.

Don't go by what a tire salesman tells you. Use the manufacturer's tables and look the correct pressure up yourself. The people who make the tires are the real experts.

A few pounds extra to provide a little leeway probably won't hurt. But if your correct pressure is 40 pounds, don't put 65 into your tires. That's asking for one heck of a rough ride.
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Old 07-30-2021, 12:19 AM   #4
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Oh, I also meant to comment on Andersen hitches. I have one and am extremely satisfied with it. Lighter weight than a lot of WD hitches, and clean, easy to adjust. I won't buy any other kind in future.

And, I have no connection to the Andersen company, even though they are located just an hour or so north of where I live!
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Old 08-05-2021, 05:25 PM   #5
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I agree with previous posts. The WD hitch really makes things ride nice. I also have a 17T.

I went with the Reese Pro Round bar. lhttps://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Dist...se/RE34FR.html

My tow vehicle head lights work a lot better at night and since it is front wheel drive it helps keep those tires in better contact when climbing gravel roads.

I used several of these when I installed drawers and changed out the cabinet doors. They all stay closed in transit now.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 08-06-2021, 09:22 AM   #6
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I have only needed a sway bar for the campers plus I use one on my utility trailer as it stabilizes any load. Also the bar and safety chains saved me from disaster when my trailer came unhitched as I was driving. Any additional safety measure can be a lifesaver.
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Old 08-06-2021, 10:29 AM   #7
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For what it's worth, a WDH helps prevent an accidental disconnect if it is set up properly, because it raises the rear of the tow vehicle, pushing the hitch ball into the trailer coupler, which is in turn pushed down onto the hitch ball by the spring bars. I don't think there's any way a coupler could lift off the hitch ball with this system while underway.

- Jack
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Old 08-06-2021, 11:10 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the answers, I have an Anderson WDH on order.
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Old 08-06-2021, 01:21 PM   #9
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My mistake. When I attached the hitch the part that fastens under the ball was apparently on top though it appeared to attach correctly. I was not able to lift the tongue since my atv was already in the trailer I also did not lie down to look at the connection from beneath. The utility trailer was custom built in the 1970s and this was the first time I had this issue. I had the small ball for the sway bar attached to the trailer tongue so I could more safely tow my atv as the trailer would not tow well unless most weight was loaded forward of the axel. Mostly I have use this to take trash to the dump or pick up rocks and dirt for my never ending yard work.
I have seen some weight distribution hitches that are difficult to attach, particularly by a woman of senior age. No worries regarding my Hi Lo since I sold it last year. I will check further when looking for a camper in the future.

When checking rental units that I could pull with my 4.0 L 4 Runner most people renting out their campers had no idea what I was talking about and most people were renting campers for the first time. They have no clue.

Although I no longer own a camper I keep reading posting on this site because there is so much great information that I wish I had known years ago. I call this preparation for future camping.

Jack, thanks for your input. Your experience helps many people on this site.

Richard Wheeler
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Old 08-07-2021, 10:34 PM   #10
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Richard, I use a 4.0 liter 2008 4Runner to pull my 1999 22 foot Classic. I had to install a frame-mounted hitch on the 4Runner to get 5500 lb capacity, and I don't think I could haul anything bigger. I note that a couple of years after my Hi-Lo was built, they changed from steel to aluminum framing, which made the trailer a little lighter.

I also found a way to mount McKesh mirrors on that generation of 4Runner. Some guy posted on another forum that he got rid of the McKesh because they would damage the window ledge. I added a little strip of wood to the mount that raises it about 5/16 of an inch, and it works great.
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Old 08-08-2021, 12:09 AM   #11
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Roger, I'm sure others with 4Runners would be interested in how you modified the mounting of McKesh mirrors. Please feel free to post pictures in the General Repairs, Modifications, Tips and Tricks section.

Other than add-on mirrors for the "BIg 3" brands, there seems very little for other tow vehicles.

- Jack
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Old 08-08-2021, 10:32 PM   #12
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Jack, I've had the pictures since 2015. With your prodding, I finally got the modification description posted!
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