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Old 05-27-2016, 01:10 PM   #41
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Excellent point made, those with aging eyes may not be able to see or take advantage of the wealth of information available now on the dash board.
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Old 05-27-2016, 01:20 PM   #42
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A Little Worried

Same here, ColoRockiesfan. I have towed my 21 without the WDH and noticed that over bumps our 2005 Tundra and trailer both porpoise up and down more and swing side to side a tad more. On the straight smooth highway I probably couldn't tell the difference unless maybe a big semi passed me (which didn't happen on my 1 hour trip without the WDH).

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Old 05-27-2016, 04:27 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie View Post
A friend told me that I might want to add a sway bar to the hitch ...
"Sway bar" usually means a friction-based sway control device. It is attached to both the hitch and the trailer's frame with ball joints, and damps motion between them by adding friction. That's an add-on, and even if you use one later you don't need to worry about it at the trailer or vehicle selection stage, since they're basically universal fit. A well-designed and properly loaded trailer generally doesn't need one of these things.

If you use a WD hitch, there is usually a place to mount the hitch end of one of these devices. If you use a plain ball mount (not WD) there isn't normally a place for this device (telling you that most people don't need or use them), but there are add-on brackets (held on by the towing ball, or just a tab welded on), so you can still add a sway control device if you later choose to.
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Old 05-27-2016, 04:47 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Julie View Post
A friend told me that
...
I would need to know how high the trailer hitch is from the ground in order to know what to get for the truck.
You do need to know the height of the trailer's coupler and the truck's hitch receiver (the square hole where the hitch hardware plugs in), to get the right parts between them and to set up those parts. The reference point for height measurement is the top of the ball, so
  • on the trailer side that's the height to the top of the socket in the coupler
  • on the truck side you choose parts (mostly the ball mount) so that when they are installed in the truck's receiver the top of the ball ends up at the height you need.

Fortunately, neither an Escape trailer nor a stock pickup truck have unusual or extreme heights, so it's easy to match them up. Both can vary between individual trailers and trucks, due to differences in suspension and tires, for instance. Escape trailers are pretty consistent, but each model is a different height and there is an optional taller suspension. Trucks have more variation, with 2WD and 4WD sitting at different heights, optional suspension packages are often taller (for "off road" or "heavy duty") or lower (for a "sport" effect), and bigger tires make the truck sit higher.

For example, Jon Vermilye recently got a new Tacoma, and reported the height... the top of the receiver on his is 21 1/2" from the ground without the weight of the trailer's tongue on it, and drops about 2" when the trailer is added. An Escape 19' coupler height is likely a bit lower than that, and you need to fit a ball in there that's about 3" tall, so a ball mount with a moderate amount of drop (distance from the top of the receiver box down to the top of the place where the ball sits) will make everything line up.
e.g. 20" to top of receiver box when loaded down, minus 2" drop dimension to base of ball is 18", plus 3" tall ball is 21" to the top of the ball... so if the top of the trailer coupler is 21" above the ground everything lines up
If you are not using a WD hitch, you just need the right height of ball mount, and you can leave getting that until you own the truck and pick up the trailer. If you are using a WD hitch and get it from Escape, they (actually the hitch store they work with) will provide the right bits. If you want to get the right parts in advance, then you can work out the required drop dimension in advance... but that's almost the last thing to do, after deciding on the trailer model (perhaps already done), the specific tow vehicle), and whether or not you will use WD.
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:45 PM   #45
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I am pretty sure that I am going to get a Nissan Frontier 4.0L V6 4X4 with the tow package (2014-2016). The specs say that it will tow 6100. I think the GVWR is 5666 and the GCWR is 11133.
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:12 PM   #46
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The Tacoma was my first choice, but the Frontier is comparable to it, right?
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:21 PM   #47
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Have been reading the forums and have gotten really confused about what tow vehicle I need for a 19' Escape with lots of options added including reinforced walls and 2 batteries. It sounds like a weight distribution hitch is a good idea, but only vehicles with truck bodies can use them because of the frames. All of the trucks are so big. I can only have one vehicle, so I guess I am looking at a car that has a truck body. I don't want to risk not having enough towing capacity causing the car to have a shorter life or risking safety. (I want to be able to explore the US and Canada--mountains and all.) If possible, I would like to get a used tow vehicle from 2012 or 2013 up. I thought about a 4 Runner, but the posts talk about a soft back-end and adding air shocks. I can't do any of that. Are Explorers an option? I have not towed before, so this is a pretty big deal for me. Please let me know your suggestions. Thank you.
I strongly recommend purchasing "how to tow safely" by the RV consumers group. It explains the science behind safe towing and risk of not properly equiping. Since sway is a killer with trailers, they recommend always using a weight distribution hitch with this size/weight trailer. Also the critical issue is the wheel base of the tow vehicle. I took their advice and installed a Hensley Cub articulating hitch on my Casita 17 and was very pleased when I had to make an emergency stop at 40mph. Also, the manuals for common sway bars instruct to disable in "wet conditions". Since I live in the Pacific NW, it is always wet. So the articulating hitch was the only logical option. It cost, but it beats death.
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Old 06-05-2016, 06:05 PM   #48
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I second Lee's statement on the perils of using an antisway bar in the PNW. We tried towing a 19 ft Nash trailer using a WDH, but no antisway bar and found it absolutely terrifying. We had our current 2005 Tundra truck with the stock tires on it. When a crosswind hit us or a large vehicle passed us my hand would jump to the manual switch on the brake controller to get control of the truck/trailer unit again. What isn't stated in this thread is that most WDHs on their own aren't really designed to combat sway, though they can reduce it a bit. With my Nash I over tensioned the WDH trying to combat sway.

(The Anderson WDH is an exception, because it combats porpoising, transfers weight to the from axle and prevents sway very effectively. Prior to the current issues with the Anderson hitch I would have recommended it highly. Our own Anderson WDH works great and according to Dennis at ETI should not develop the issue that plagued the units manufactured after early 2015)

So we bought an add-on antisway bar for our Reece hitch and it solved our sway problem. No more white knuckle moments. Then I had to replace the tires on our Tundra and I opted for 80 psi Bridgestone Dueler A/Ts. They gave us the confidence to drive on rougher gravel roads where there was danger of rocks damaging the side walls and handled far better in the rain and snow. When my antisway bar fell off while parking at a campsite, it was damaged and I drove home without its benefit. To my surprise there was very little sway, thanks to the stiffer sidewalls of the tires. It means the truck rides rougher than the passenger vehicle tires it came with, but what a difference in sway control. I notice that pulling the lighter Escape trailer there is very little sway with or without the Anderson hitch, but when a large rig overtakes me it does make a difference in stability. So you might consider looking at how tires might influence your towing, or maybe an antisway bar. If you will be towing in wet weather, consider getting a used Anderson WDH manufactured prior to the 2015 change that caused ETI to go from installing them on 80% of their trailers to not even recommending them. (Problem with the brake material in the collar binding). My experience using a Reece antisway bar in wet weather is that it tends to bind when wet, which could cause the trailer to force you straight rather than trailing behind you on a curve. It makes an awful squawking sound as you go around a tight turn, as it jerks between binding in different positions.

Hope this doesn't confuse you.

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Old 06-06-2016, 02:07 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Bobbito View Post
So we bought an add-on antisway bar for our Reece hitch...
Just to make it easier for those searching for these things, that would be a Reese hitch (one of Cequent brands, along with Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch, Pro Series, and others), and the bar is a friction-based sway control device.
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:16 AM   #50
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The Tacoma was my first choice, but the Frontier is comparable to it, right?
Yes, the current versions of the Tacoma (since 2005), Frontier (since 2005), and Colorado/Canyon (since 2015) are the mid-sized pickup trucks available in North America. They are all similar in design, have similar choices of configuration, and are similar in size when comparably configured. The Tacoma is the most recently updated, so it has a more current level of engine and transmission technology, particularly compared to the Frontier.
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