Another (sorry!) WDH question for a 19' - do I need one?? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-26-2018, 06:49 PM   #1
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Another (sorry!) WDH question for a 19' - do I need one??

I'm in the throes of completing the build sheet for our new 19', and I'm stumped on whether I should include ETI's weight distributing hitch, or not. I know there are multiple threads on this topic already, but having gone through many of them, the answer is still not clear. We have a 2017 Chevy Colorado diesel 4X4 with crew cab and long bed. It has a 3.42 axle ratio, integrated brake controller, electronic sway control, payload is 1,382 lbs, GVWR is 6,200, and it's rated to pull 7,700. I'm thinking our trailer fully loaded will be somewhere around 3,800 lbs, with a tongue weight around 410 lbs. The owner's manual is ambiguous and basically says "it depends". I'm pretty certain I can tow the trailer just fine without a WDH, but does that mean I should?? I seem to remember someone saying his truck pulled his trailer OK without the WDH but pulled it "sublimely well" with one. I like the idea of sublime towing. Also I don't want my truck to squat. Seems like I should just go ahead and get the WDH, but if I really don't need it for this platform, I would love to hear from folks. Also would there be any downside to having it; I understand they can be heavy and cumbersome to hook up, but anything else?? As always, thanks for your help!
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:36 PM   #2
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It will not hurt to tow without a w/d set up, you can do no harm. If after towing for awhile you feel that the trailer is not reacting the way you desired, you can add one later. When I had my Andersen w/d set up I'd use it for cross country trips but when camping within days drive, I'd skip it. Some w/d sets are a PIA to put on and off, some are easy. You can learn from observation and then make an informed decision.
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Old 03-26-2018, 08:46 PM   #3
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Don't need one for our Yukon, however like having it for long drives and in wind and uneven roads.
The Pro Series or "Equalizer"(wonder why ETI hasn't been served with a cease & desist) is all you need.
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Old 03-26-2018, 08:59 PM   #4
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Don't need one for our Yukon, however like having it for long drives and in wind and uneven roads.
The Pro Series or "Equalizer"(wonder why ETI hasn't been served with a cease & desist) is all you need.
Probably because equalizer is a common usage and description of a weight distribution hitch. But, I do wish Escape would make it more clear that the WDH is a Pro Series and not that other brand.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:47 PM   #5
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to andersen or not to andersen,,,, that is the question,,,,
they seem to be getting good reviews ? i too likely wouldnt need WDH but for that extra piece of mind might not be a bad idea!!! its the sway part that i like about it!!
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:59 PM   #6
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We purchased an E2 trunion style from Escape and very happy with it towing our 19.

I've had a few years of towing and feel much more comfortable with it. In the past we had the round bar E2 and the Equal i zer brand one and choose not to tow without it. Always felt bouncy without. The truck and trailer feels more like one unit, which i think is good when you are doing 90 down the highway. I drive a 5.7 tundra 4x4.

Your new rig sounds nice, and was surprised at the generous payload capacity for that truck. Happy camping
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:59 PM   #7
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to andersen or not to andersen,,,, that is the question,,,,
they seem to be getting good reviews ? i too likely wouldnt need WDH but for that extra piece of mind might not be a bad idea!!! its the sway part that i like about it!!
We have an Andersen hitch and it works well. Escape no longer offers it though, so you'd have to purchase aftermarket. As for the sway control, the other WDH systems offered by Escape (Pro Series or Fastway) will work fine. The number one cause of sway is low tongue weight. Get the weight inside the trailer distributed correctly and sway won't usually be an issue - with or without a WDH.
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:56 PM   #8
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And then there's that current 0.78 Canadian to U.S. dollar exchange rate. That's like a 22% discount if you're thinking of going that way. Oh, and Bakes99, I assume you mean 90 kph, not mph! Just checking....
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:02 PM   #9
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And then there's that current 0.78 Canadian to U.S. dollar exchange rate. That's like a 22% discount if you're thinking of going that way. Oh, and Bakes99, I assume you mean 90 kph, not mph! Just checking....
Yeah i guess that's 55 south of the border, but it did sound badass, didn't it?
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:19 PM   #10
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Welcome Salmo 7000,
To WDH or not WDH that is the question .... been hashed through a lot on this site but here is my two cents worth. I'm no expert and am one who is still learning but I tow my 17A without a WDH and I'm happy. I tow with an 09 Tacoma, V6, 4L Auto. When I bought the truck, it had a rear leaf spring recall which I did .... the new springs are significantly stiffer than the originals and not wanting to take chances on squat, I had Firestone Air bags installed (suspect that I would be even happier with Sumo's). All in all this combination is and has been good. I just returned from a 4700 mile round trip from Bellingham to Baja Norte and back and drove in a wide variety of conditions.... two separate emergency stops as a result of someone pulling out from a side road without looking, one for certain air borne short flight as a result of an unseen unmarked road dip ... certain 4 tires on truck left the ground and suspect trailer did too (gota love those Mexican roads - HWY #5) - truck landed slightly askew from direction of travel - reflex steering correction caused trailer to fishtail one way and then other way 1/2 as much before following truck without further issue, got passed numerous times by semi trucks - both with and without heavy side winds, strongest side winds were about 50 mph which did nothing for my gas mileage. Never once felt like I wanted / needed a WDH ... but then you never miss what you never have had.

My examples above illustrate that the 17 has good natural sway resistance. I'm careful to watch my tongue weight and aim for 10 - 11% of trailer weight. Proper loading is critical with or without a WDH.

Sometimes on severely washboard roads, I have wondered about if it would be more comfortable with a WDH. I suspect it would be. So far, I have been able to avoid the worst of the washboard areas by having my own private road widening project.

Some WDH with Sway Control won't back up without undoing the sway control arm or something. I can't imagine having to get out of my cab to undo something on the hitch just so I can back up. What? Must be something that I don't understand. I have always considered R to be a favored gear after the other 5 haven't worked out so well.

I think that the suggestion to try without and see.... You can always add it later is a good suggestion...

But then I have never towed a 19.

Good Luck and welcome Katherine to a group of really fine people!

Tom
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:47 AM   #11
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Thank you Tom! I understand the 19' with its double axle should tow with less risk of sway, and your report with your 17 is most helpful. We are getting the front storage box and plan on putting a lot of stuff in it, specifically to get the tongue weight well past 10%. Your Mexico story made me laugh, after many trips south of the border I can't even count the times I've launched a car airborne on one of those bumps! Never towing a trailer however!
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:54 AM   #12
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We have a Blue Ox WDH that we have used for about year. We love it. Actually very easy to put on and take off. I know some are a real pain.

SwayPro Weight Distributing Hitch | Blue Ox | Blue Ox
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Old 03-27-2018, 11:55 AM   #13
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I had Firestone Air bags installed (suspect that I would be even happier with Sumo's). All in all this combination is and has been good.

Stiffer springs and air bags sort of put you in a different situation

one for certain air borne short flight as a result of an unseen unmarked road dip ... certain 4 tires on truck left the ground and suspect trailer did too (gota love those Mexican roads - HWY #5) -

Vados, gotta love them. Either sheer terror if they catch you by surprise or like a roller coaster if all goes well. How fast were you going, we take over 2 hours to do the 20 miles of unfinished 5.

both with and without heavy side winds, strongest side winds were about 50 mph which did nothing for my gas mileage. Never once felt like I wanted / needed a WDH ... but then you never miss what you never have had.

I feel the sideways kick when a semi is passing but never any sway at any time.


Sometimes on severely washboard roads, I have wondered about if it would be more comfortable with a WDH. I suspect it would be. So far, I have been able to avoid the worst of the washboard areas by having my own private road widening project.

As others have said many time, it is a comfort thing. The combo just feels more "as one".

Some WDH with Sway Control won't back up without undoing the sway control arm or something. I can't imagine having to get out of my cab to undo something on the hitch just so I can back up.

I've never undone my Pro series WDH, even when doing a real twisty turny backup into my home parking spot.

Tom
Bottom line, might tow acceptably well without but how would you know if you liked the effect of a WDH unless you try one.

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Old 03-27-2018, 11:58 AM   #14
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You can back up with the Blue Ox. I would never have one if I couldn't back up.

-Ohio Ralph-
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Old 03-27-2018, 12:19 PM   #15
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At 2 1/2 times the price of the Pro Series, I'm glad you like your Blue Ox. I don't unhook anything or think about my WDH for backing up. I just wish the Pro Series was lighter.
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Old 03-28-2018, 12:13 AM   #16
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We have an Andersen hitch and it works well. Escape no longer offers it though, so you'd have to purchase aftermarket. As for the sway control, the other WDH systems offered by Escape (Pro Series or Fastway) will work fine. The number one cause of sway is low tongue weight. Get the weight inside the trailer distributed correctly and sway won't usually be an issue - with or without a WDH.
Good to know about low tongue weight causing sway. With the generous sized storage box, and the propane tanks up front, I imagine it is easier to end up with too much tongue weight than not enough.
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Old 03-28-2018, 04:21 AM   #17
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Good to know about low tongue weight causing sway. With the generous sized storage box, and the propane tanks up front, I imagine it is easier to end up with too much tongue weight than not enough.
Just remember your fresh tank is in the rear and based upon the amount inside can impact sway.
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:08 AM   #18
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Re: 17 model and sway. Since the distance from the ball to the axle on an Escape 17 is 12 feet, and the fresh water tank is immediately behind the axle, the 17 is inherently a very stable tow. I have never been able to induce any more sway than the 1 oscillations that Tom described. One of the more difficult things to do on a 17 is to keep too much weight off the tongue. The 19 and 21 both appear to have more centralized weight distribution over the twin axles.
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