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Weight Distribution Hitches


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#1 Kathryn

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:54 PM



I have ordered a 17LD to be delivered in June. I will be pulling it with a 2004 Volvo Station Wagon V70. It is rated to pull 3,500 lb. What are your thoughts about weight distribution hitches. The Casita salesperson I am working with said I would not need one. They are around $500. I did order the sway bar.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Kathryn

#2 dab

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 06:58 PM

QUOTE (Kathryn @ Nov 22 2009, 06:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have ordered a 17LD to be delivered in June. I will be pulling it with a 2004 Volvo Station Wagon V70. It is rated to pull 3,500 lb. What are your thoughts about weight distribution hitches. The Casita salesperson I am working with said I would not need one. They are around $500. I did order the sway bar.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Kathryn


I believe your salesman should have referred you to the owners manual for your car. The maximum tongue weight will be specified in there. I am *very* confident you will need a WDH with your car. The tongue weight of the 17 LD will be in excess of 400 pounds, which exceeds the spec for most SUVs and probably every car.

Dave
Boise, ID

#3 Phil Underwood

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 03:38 PM

you will need one...
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#4 SteveH

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 07:31 PM

I think you will need one also, if not need one, you will at a minimun enjoy having one. I would also suggest you take a look at this one: http://www.etrailer....pc-WD1~3205.htm

A lot cheaper than $500 and it works great for me.
Regards,
Steve

#5 fdm

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:00 PM

Kathtyn,
With respect for other peoples opinions, I do not think a WDH is necessary on a Casita. I pulled my Casita for many miles with no problem. I now have a 19' Airstream that has a hitch weight of 480# that does require a WDH with my particular tow vehicle. The WDH is a pain in the neck hitching up, but it does keep my tow vehicle level. I do not know of many Casita owners with WDH's. I am sure everone will jump in with an opinion. However, before going to the expense and ongoing extra effort in hitching to your tow vehicle, I would take a few trips and survey a bunch of Casita owners before making a decision. If I recall the hitch weight on a 17' Casita is much less than 400#.
Frank
Frank & Reba McFee
Alabama
2007 19' Airstream Bambi SE
Formerly 04' 17' Casita SD

#6 cdsmith

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:23 PM

Frank, you are wrong about the hirch weight of 17' Casitas, expecially the SD model.

Hitch weights range from 400 lbs. to more than 500 lbs.

IMHO, there are two classes of people who say they don't 'need' a WDH. Those that have never used one and those that don't understand what they are for.

I differ with you when you say, "I don't need a WDH." To be correct your should say, "I feel safe towing without one."

As far as far as being a 'pain in the neck'. I will spend a small amount of time to be safe, to minimize the wear and tear on my TV, and to enjoy the improved quality of ride that a WDH provides.

Enough said.
Joyce and Charlie Smith, Princess Lily, Rose, and Violet - Grand Prairie, TX
RV: 1999 SD "The Little Egg"
TV: 2007 Escalade 2WD 6.2L V8 - 6L80E Trans - 3.42 Diff
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#7 dab

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:32 PM

QUOTE (fdm @ Nov 23 2009, 09:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Kathtyn,
With respect for other peoples opinions, I do not think a WDH is necessary on a Casita. I pulled my Casita for many miles with no problem. I now have a 19' Airstream that has a hitch weight of 480# that does require a WDH with my particular tow vehicle. The WDH is a pain in the neck hitching up, but it does keep my tow vehicle level. I do not know of many Casita owners with WDH's. I am sure everone will jump in with an opinion. However, before going to the expense and ongoing extra effort in hitching to your tow vehicle, I would take a few trips and survey a bunch of Casita owners before making a decision. If I recall the hitch weight on a 17' Casita is much less than 400#.
Frank


It's easy - read the owner's manual to determine the manufacturer's maximum specified tongue weight for *your* tow vehicle. If the tongue weight exceeds what the TV can handle, a WDH is needed. I believe with nearly all tow vehicles a WDH will improve emergency handling and braking.

Dave
Boise, ID

#8 fdm

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 06:02 PM

QUOTE (cdsmith @ Nov 23 2009, 08:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Frank, you are wrong about the hirch weight of 17' Casitas, expecially the SD model.

Hitch weights range from 400 lbs. to more than 500 lbs.

IMHO, there are two classes of people who say they don't 'need' a WDH. Those that have never used one and those that don't understand what they are for.

I differ with you when you say, "I don't need a WDH." To be correct your should say, "I feel safe towing without one."

As far as far as being a 'pain in the neck'. I will spend a small amount of time to be safe, to minimize the wear and tear on my TV, and to enjoy the improved quality of ride that a WDH provides.

Enough said.


You made me curious if I had misquoted the hitch weight on an SD Casita of which I previously owned. I looked in my old brochure and the manufacture quotes the hitch weight of 365#. I think my hitch weight was close. From my experience with my present WDH the lightest bars I could purchase for my hitch were 550#. A WDH does shift the weight between the towing vehicle and the trailer. The 14" load C tires and axle on the Casita was already at margin with the overall weight capacity. Although I tried to tow the Casita as light as possible, I still had tire failures beginning in the second year of ownership. The WDH adds more weight to the Casita axle. The 550# bars with a Casita may stiffen up the towing vehicle and trailer and can cause problems such as fiberglass cracking. Even with my current trailer with a hitch weight of 480# I get occasional popped rivits after traveling on some rough highways.
I can see where your view point is coming after reading the description of your setup.
Frank
Frank & Reba McFee
Alabama
2007 19' Airstream Bambi SE
Formerly 04' 17' Casita SD

#9 travlinbob

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 07:30 PM

When I got my Casita, I was told I didn't need a WDH. When we initially hooked up the trailer my Trailblazer only sagged about ". After towing the trailer around TX and then home I decided I needed a WDH because of what looked like excessive weight on my rear tires and the tendency for the rear end of the TV to dip going over RR tracks and harsh bumps. The WDH makes a world of difference in this situation and helps me carry more weight on the front wheels of the TV and even though it adds weight to the Casita, I feel it is worth it because of the better control it affords me. I am running 15" load range "D" tires, so I believe the extra weight is of little consequence.

At a recent rally, someone had a tongue scale and weighed several Casitas there. My SD came in the lightest at 380# with full propane tanks and just a few clothes in the closet. Nothing but the bear essentials in the bath room. The trailer with the heaviest tongue wt was also a SD and it came in at over 500#, 510 comes to mind but don't quote me on that.

Simply said. I don't believe the question "do I need a WDH" can be answered with a simple yes or no. My advise would be as others have said. Check your owners manual and see what your Volvo is rated at for tongue weight and the weight your vehicle is capable of towing. If you come back with a little more information you will get more solid answers.

One more thing. If you are ordering the trailer from the factory, the best time to have the brackets for the 2 bar WDH installed is at the very beginning stages of the build process when they are welding the frame together. If you wait until the trailer is built, you will be pulling teeth at Casita to get them to add it then, and your best bet would be a single bar WDH. Unless you are buddies with a good welder.

Bob

Edited by travlinbob, 24 November 2009 - 07:36 PM.

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#10 cdsmith

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 08:46 PM

QUOTE (fdm @ Nov 24 2009, 09:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The 550# bars with a Casita may stiffen up the towing vehicle and trailer and can cause problems such as fiberglass cracking. Even with my current trailer with a hitch weight of 480# I get occasional popped rivits after traveling on some rough highways.


I think you are wrong again Frank.

There is no way you can blame cracked fiberglass and poped rivets on a WDH.

I have used a WDH jitch with my 1999 17' SD since 2004 and have yet to experience a poped rivit.

I must admit there are some gelcoat cracks around some rivets near where the partition between the dinette and the bed contacts the ceiling, but I will never believe that they are caused by the WDH.


Joyce and Charlie Smith, Princess Lily, Rose, and Violet - Grand Prairie, TX
RV: 1999 SD "The Little Egg"
TV: 2007 Escalade 2WD 6.2L V8 - 6L80E Trans - 3.42 Diff
Brake Control: Dexter Predator DX-2

#11 Swisstrip02

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 10:29 PM

Our 2003 LD 17' was weighed at the 2009 Oregon Gathering, completely outfitted for camping, with the one exception of a full water tank, which we always tour with no more than 5 gallons for emergencies. The tongue weight was 320#.

Our wheel weights were about 100# different, side to side, but added up to 2900#. Thus, total weight was 3220#.

Our No. 3205 single bar WDH arrived a few hours ago. When I returned home I began reading the instructions for installation and use. It appers to be easily installed and operated, however.......................................?

Could anyone shed some light on the curious statement in the instructions which said, "DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HOOK-UP OR TOW WITH A FRONT WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLEWITH THE REAR WHEELS REMOVED. This will cause severe instability, loss of control and stsructural failure."?????????

I cannot imagine even trying to drive any vehicle with the rear wheels removed, let alone tow a trailer! What am I missing or misunderstanding?

Mike

PS: The WDH was purchased from etrailer for about 170$, and there was no shipping added, as they had a sign that shipping was free for anything over $150! I purchased it a little over a week ago.

Edited by Swisstrip02, 24 November 2009 - 10:36 PM.


#12 CC-John

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 04:31 AM

QUOTE (Swisstrip02 @ Nov 25 2009, 12:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Could anyone shed some light on the curious statement in the instructions which said, "DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HOOK-UP OR TOW WITH A FRONT WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLEWITH THE REAR WHEELS REMOVED. This will cause severe instability, loss of control and stsructural failure."?????????

I cannot imagine even trying to drive any vehicle with the rear wheels removed, let alone tow a trailer! What am I missing or misunderstanding?

Mike


Mike,

Years ago a WD hitch manufacturer (EAZ-LIFT) ran some ads featuring a 60's vintage Oldsmobile Toronado (front-wheel drive) connected to a trailer using one of their hitches.. To demonstrate the leveling ability of their hitches, they removed the rear wheels on the car and the rig still remained level..

CC-John

 

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#13 Swisstrip02

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 01:58 PM

QUOTE (Swisstrip02 @ Nov 24 2009, 11:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Our 2003 LD 17' was weighed at the 2009 Oregon Gathering, completely outfitted for camping, with the one exception of a full water tank, which we always tour with no more than 5 gallons for emergencies. The tongue weight was 320#.

Our wheel weights were about 100# different, side to side, but added up to 2900#. Thus, total weight was 3220#.

Mike

PS: The WDH was purchased from etrailer for about 170$, and there was no shipping added, as they had a sign that shipping was free for anything over $150! I purchased it a little over a week ago.


Correction to my earlier post quoted above: Found the weigh tag, and the tongue weight was actually 360#, and the wheel weights were still 100# different, but they were 40# less, so the total weight was still 3220#.

Mike

#14 fdm

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 08:06 PM

QUOTE (cdsmith @ Nov 23 2009, 08:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Frank, you are wrong about the hirch weight of 17' Casitas, expecially the SD model.

Hitch weights range from 400 lbs. to more than 500 lbs.

IMHO, there are two classes of people who say they don't 'need' a WDH. Those that have never used one and those that don't understand what they are for.

I differ with you when you say, "I don't need a WDH." To be correct your should say, "I feel safe towing without one."

As far as far as being a 'pain in the neck'. I will spend a small amount of time to be safe, to minimize the wear and tear on my TV, and to enjoy the improved quality of ride that a WDH provides.

Enough said.

QUOTE (cdsmith @ Nov 24 2009, 08:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (fdm @ Nov 24 2009, 09:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The 550# bars with a Casita may stiffen up the towing vehicle and trailer and can cause problems such as fiberglass cracking. Even with my current trailer with a hitch weight of 480# I get occasional popped rivits after traveling on some rough highways.


I think you are wrong again Frank.

There is no way you can blame cracked fiberglass and poped rivets on a WDH.

I have used a WDH jitch with my 1999 17' SD since 2004 and have yet to experience a poped rivit.

I must admit there are some gelcoat cracks around some rivets near where the partition between the dinette and the bed contacts the ceiling, but I will never believe that they are caused by the WDH.


CDSMITH,
I do not understand what your beef is wiith me or maybe you simply attack anyone with whom you disagree. My response to KATHRYN's survey of opinions on WDH was my opinion based on my experience with ownership of a 17' SD Casita. You cited I was wrong on two subjects, one was hitch weight and the other was extra stress on the Casita. The manufacture's specifications say the hitch weight is 365# on an SD. SWISSTRIP02 said in his reply to Kathryn that his LD tongue weight was 360#. Now, are you going to tell him he is wrong. Those Casita's owners with hitch weights of 400-500# may be modified with generators and other options on the tongue. I do not believe an out of the factory Casita has a hitch weight of 500#. The second time you said that I was wrong was my reference to extra strain on the tongue with a WDH that may lead to fiberglass cracks. My current trailers is an Airstream and I had a problem initially with poping rivits until I went with lighter weight bars. The reference someone made about removing the rear wheels on an OLDS toronado should show you that the WDH spreads the weight out on the front wheels of the towing vehicle and the trailer. The hitch and frame of the trailer is bearing that stress. You even told me how I should phase my sentance. I think I can express myself clearly. These forums are a place where members can share experiences and ideas. For a member to pick apart another members views and opinions is counter to the forum purpose. I encourage a moderator to have a discussion with you. If you lighten up a little, you may have more friends and live longer.
Frank
Frank & Reba McFee
Alabama
2007 19' Airstream Bambi SE
Formerly 04' 17' Casita SD

#15 cdsmith

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 05:38 AM

My bad!
Joyce and Charlie Smith, Princess Lily, Rose, and Violet - Grand Prairie, TX
RV: 1999 SD "The Little Egg"
TV: 2007 Escalade 2WD 6.2L V8 - 6L80E Trans - 3.42 Diff
Brake Control: Dexter Predator DX-2