I agree with Steve. 1/4" or less body lift at the front tires when hitched and there is no need for a WDH.
Laura, Your question is one that cannot be answered from afar. You need to do some testing, with first understanding the purpose of a weight distribution hitch. The WD hitch returns the weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle that has been removed by adding trailer tongue weight at the hitch, behind the rear axle. What happens is the vehicle becomes a lever with the rear axle being the fucrum, and with enough weight on the hitch, the front axle looses weight that is needed for steering and stopping traction.
Now, do this test....on level pavement, measure the height of the tow vehicle at the front fender directly above the front tire before attaching the trailer. Then attach the trailer to the tow vehicle, and measure the height again. If the height at the front fender is 1/4" or more, greater when the trailer is attached, you would definately be safer with a WD hitch.
In addition to safety while towing, a WD hitch will also improve the ride and handling. Can you "get by" without it? Probably. Will you be safer and more comfortable with it? Definately more comfortable, and if you get a 1/4" rise in the above test, definately safer.
I don't think we totally agree. I did not ever say there was "no need for a WDH"
. Any time you are towing a trailer with significant tongue weight for the tow vehicle, and even when the weight is not significant, there is still a justifiable "need", in my opinion.
I tow my 17' Casita with a crew cab, 3/4 ton, GMC Diesel 4X4 pickup, and I use a single bar weight distribution hitch because it is better
than without it. The WDH takes all the ride problems away, what I call porposing, and therefore the handling is also improved. Is the rig unsafe without it? I think not. Is it improved? Definately, or I wouldn't use it.
The weight distribution hitch simply by means of leverage, moves the tongue weight off the hitch ball, which might be as much as five feet behind the rear axle, to on top of the rear axle, as far as the tow vehicle is concerned.
The movement of the weight to over the rear axle also restores the normal weight to the front axle of the TV, the primary brakeing and only stearing axle. It also improves the ride of the TV.
Of course, the more limited the tow capacity of the tow vehicle, the more important the weight distribution hitch becomes with a given tongue weight trailer.