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Weight Distribution Hitches


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#31 lhatch5

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 02:26 PM

fella10,

I am a new owner I too have questions about WDHs but I am kinda afraid to ask... so many opinions. The ongoing discussions about tires over the last year are scaring the women, children and ME!
Also don't feel bad. Communications on the internet is very difficult at times. You can't see facial expressions nor hear tone of voice. I know that I have been misunderstood several times and it's frustrating and embarrassing. I frequently get suck in (as now) and forget how many hundreds (or thousands) of people read my words. Since I have begun picturing myself standing at mid court at an NBA game and everyone is looking at me I find I chose my words more carefully and lurk more.

LarryH

Edited by lhatch5, 16 April 2013 - 02:28 PM.


#32 my hill

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:26 AM

I plan on ordering an Anderson no-sway wdh for my 17 Sd and 08 Tacoma. I will post my likes and/or dislikes after trying it. Anybody tried one?
  • SKYTALKER likes this

#33 cbrittan

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 01:34 PM

Thanks for the interesting and stimulating discussion, I have a question perhaps you can help me with an answer.

I am preparing to tow a new to me 2005 SD 17" . I don't have it yet but will shortly. My 2011 Dodge Caravan was built to carry people, so hitches etc., need some careful thought. I have almost 20 years of 5th wheel experience but a bumper tow is new to me. I quickly discovered I need a class 3 receiver (they do make a bolt on for my car) and of course a digital brake controller (like I had on my Dodge dually). Then came the questions about WD hitches so I began my study right here reading the experiences and opinions of others who have already travelled this road. Eventually I uncovered lots and lots of other opinions and WD products by searching the internet.

Actually, the more I learned, the more uncertain I became. I use this WD hitch say some, others say don't use any WD at all. Complicating matters, everybody uses a different tow vehicle so tow conditions differ and hardly anyone has the same set of circumstances. And just when I started to feel a little comfortable about what I wanted to do, I learned that some use a device to control sway. Yes, I remember seeing bumper trailers swaying down the interstate sometimes looking very dangerous.

Then I had a surge of common sense. I called the Casita factory and asked "What brand and model of WD hitch do you sell on new Casitas? What brand and model of WD hitch do you suggest to people like myself who are new to a slightly used Casita? The answer came almost instantly without any further discussion. Said the parts man at Casita: We use and recommend the "Curt Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch, Model #17000 with bars for 600# tongue weight".

I agree. It's hard to argue with the builder! This is the WD I intend to buy and use.

Now my questions. My Casita has dual propane tanks on it's frame hitch.

1) Can the WD parts that will be installed on the Casita frame hitch be bolted on using the parts in the hitch kit. Somebody out there knows the answer to this!
2) If the 'bolt' on method doesn't work, is welding the fix for this? And the answer to this too!
3) Does the dual propane carry on the Casita frame hitch need to be modified to accommodate the Curt WD? Yes, maybe a mod is required!

And finally, does anyone out there have anything to add to my thoughts. Did I miss something? Should I add the 'sway controller'.

Thanks in advance for your comments. I will value and respect your thoughts no matter......

#34 fella10

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 02:13 PM

Thanks for the interesting and stimulating discussion, I have a question perhaps you can help me with an answer.

I am preparing to tow a new to me 2005 SD 17" . I don't have it yet but will shortly. My 2011 Dodge Caravan was built to carry people, so hitches etc., need some careful thought. I have almost 20 years of 5th wheel experience but a bumper tow is new to me. I quickly discovered I need a class 3 receiver (they do make a bolt on for my car) and of course a digital brake controller (like I had on my Dodge dually). Then came the questions about WD hitches so I began my study right here reading the experiences and opinions of others who have already travelled this road. Eventually I uncovered lots and lots of other opinions and WD products by searching the internet.

Actually, the more I learned, the more uncertain I became. I use this WD hitch say some, others say don't use any WD at all. Complicating matters, everybody uses a different tow vehicle so tow conditions differ and hardly anyone has the same set of circumstances. And just when I started to feel a little comfortable about what I wanted to do, I learned that some use a device to control sway. Yes, I remember seeing bumper trailers swaying down the interstate sometimes looking very dangerous.

Then I had a surge of common sense. I called the Casita factory and asked "What brand and model of WD hitch do you sell on new Casitas? What brand and model of WD hitch do you suggest to people like myself who are new to a slightly used Casita? The answer came almost instantly without any further discussion. Said the parts man at Casita: We use and recommend the "Curt Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch, Model #17000 with bars for 600# tongue weight".

I agree. It's hard to argue with the builder! This is the WD I intend to buy and use.

Now my questions. My Casita has dual propane tanks on it's frame hitch.

1) Can the WD parts that will be installed on the Casita frame hitch be bolted on using the parts in the hitch kit. Somebody out there knows the answer to this!
2) If the 'bolt' on method doesn't work, is welding the fix for this? And the answer to this too!
3) Does the dual propane carry on the Casita frame hitch need to be modified to accommodate the Curt WD? Yes, maybe a mod is required!

And finally, does anyone out there have anything to add to my thoughts. Did I miss something? Should I add the 'sway controller'.

Thanks in advance for your comments. I will value and respect your thoughts no matter......


The brackets have to be welded on because of the position of the tanks. Casita will install both YOUR WDH and YOUR sway control bar for $133.50.

Most people install a sway bar even if they don't install a WDH, is it possible that your trailer has one or both of those items already?

Edited by fella10, 24 April 2013 - 10:02 PM.


#35 jimiller5

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 05:45 PM

I removed one tank and bolted the brackets on. It works for me.

#36 garyinpreskitt

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 03:27 PM

On weight distrubution, WDH and tow vehicles...

If your tow vehicle sags appreciably when you drop the trailer on the ball, you generally need a weight distribution hitch. While you never should exceed the rating of your hitch/tow vehicle, the necessitiy of a WDH has more to do with rear squat on the tow vehicle than the hitch rating, although some correlation between the two could be drawn. But for example, you could have a 500/5000 lb hitch on a vehicle rated to tow 7500 lbs and wouldn't need a WDH or anti-sway.

When the vehicle is sagging in the rear, your headlights will be "shooting the moon", the steering system will be unweighted and the rear is likely overloaded and you're likely going to want to raise the level of your seat so you can see over the hood. Just because you can tow without a WDH when you really need it, doesn't mean you should. In some states you will be stopped if you look like you're out of kilter because you end up being a hazard not only to yourself and your occupants, but to others on the road as well, especially in an emergency manuver or on slippery road surfaces.

Generally speaking, your vehicle will perform best and be at its safest when weight is distrubuted as evenly as possible and TV and trailer are relatively level. Depending on the wheelbase, some bias to the rear might be tolerable. Sometimes squat can be neutralized with inexpensive suspension aids. In many cases though, it's the WDH that is the right ticket.

I don't use one on the Xterra as have been able to adequately manage trailer weight AND weight distribution without one. But if I needed one, I would give the Andersen a hard look for it's simplicity, integrated anti-sway control and ease of installation. I don't have any personal experience with it and that's why I can't outright recommend it.

Also, I see many "new to towing" Casita owners matching their tow vehicles lb for lb to the GVWR of the Casita (e.g. Casita GVWR 3500lb, a tow vehicle rating of 3500lbs). The belief is that that will be sufficient. Unless that Casita will never weigh more than 2100-2300 lbs of that 3500 lb rating, that's really kind of unnerving for the experienced towing communtiy. In reality, while it will likely PULL 3500#, it's going to be short lived, especially if it has an automatic transmission.

For best results and general longer term, we should stick with tow vehicles where the trailer weight is no greater than ~70% of the tow vehicle rating and then, it's best with a manual transmission or an automatic that has substantial cooling. That number is from experience covering many factors. Sure, it will work for a while, but at some point, you're likely going to be spending some good vacation time and money in the repair shop, notwithstanding general handlingy issues. If you can swing it, try to pick a tow vehicle where the trailer weight is not more than ~ 60% of the tow vehicle rating, especially if you are a longer haul vacationer. A fully loaded 3500# Casita uses up 70% of a 5000 lb tow rating, That's borderline and in my opinion, generally shorter haul flatland territory.

I HAVE towed @ 100% of tow rating 10,000 miles at a time (safely, I might add), with vehicles better equipped for it than a Volvo, et al.. Eventually, It's an expensive proposition, just from the wear and tear standpoint.

From the fuel mileage perspective, the Xterra returns 13-13.5 mpg combined Interstate/secondary roads in the high country of Arizona schlepping the Casita. Our 7.3l turbodiesel will get 14.7mpg combined and has seen as high as 18+ on flat terrain for 300 miles with no headwind.

Wishing safe and happy towing....!

#37 my hill

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:05 PM

I just put an Andersen No-Sway WDH on my new 17' SD. I have only made a short test run with it after initial set-up but I think I am going to be happy with it. I pull with a Toyota Tacoma. It did not sag much with the weight of the trailer but after reading a lot on forums I decided that it couldn't hurt and it might help. I can say for sure that I tried to make the trailer sway on purpose and the Andersen would not let it sway.I will post more feedback once I have logged a few miles.

#38 cbrittan

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 11:34 AM

Further to my discussion about WD hitches etc., above, here is an update.

I decided to follow the advice of the Casita 'factory' and located a "Curt" Model 17000 WD hitch complete from a surprisingly nearby supplier right here in SW Ontario and two days later it arrived via FEDEX. All of the parts required were in the box which weighed some 69 pounds in total. Then we drove from home all the way to the Gulf Coast in Louisiana where we picked up our gently used Casita which my lady promptly named "Bonita Casita". The couple we bought this Casita from had a new "Curt Anti-Sway" attachment which they gave us and provided help and advice in hooking up and adjusting the WD hitch which was a first for us having always towed a 5th wheel previously. As I mentioned in my previous posting on this subject, our tow car is a Dodge Caravan which is ideal for carrying people but does have a soft and supple suspension.

This Caravan has the 283 hp engine which is more than adequate power wise. Transmission is 6 speed and average transmission temperatures not towing are around 192f and towing 202f. Towing at 60mph consumed an average of 3.6 gallons of gasoline per hour.

Installing the Curt WD parts on the Casita necessitated taking off the propane bottles as there was not enough room to leverage the round bars with the tanks in place. And when the bars are taught and the hitch is complete to the tow car, there is only room for a single tank. We decided to bolt the parts to the Casita hitch using the bolts provided, and to cut and weld them permanently to the Casita when we arrive home. We travelled northbound home with a single 20 pound tank and after getting home we now have the Curt levers welded to the Casita frame and a fabricated platform for a single 30 pound propane tank which leaves lots of room to lever the bars. The fabricator who did the welding also examined the Casita supporting frame and suggested adding 3 sections of steel tubing (side to side) at the rear, center and front to improve lateral support given the WD hitch transferred some weight to the trailer frame. We expect these additions to the frame should improve Casita stability when towed with the WD hitch installed.

Our only problem today is we are unable to locate a cover, any kind of cover for a single 30 pound propane tank.

Is there anyone out there in Casitaland who can point me to a cover that will protect my 30 pound tank?

Edited by cbrittan, 02 June 2013 - 12:48 PM.


#39 jimiller5

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:50 AM

Camping World sells a single propane cover for a 20 lb tank. It is made out of vinyl and is a very tight fit. I have to keep mine on with a bungee cord. Here's a link:

http://www.campingwo...lar-white/19072

The picture shows a double tank so it is half of what is shown.

Edited by jimiller5, 04 June 2013 - 08:52 AM.