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Old 04-13-2017, 11:45 PM   #1
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Question Front Tug 2" higher than rear with ETI installed e2 WDH.

Front Tug 2" higher than rear with ETI installed e2 WDH.

Hi all

I will call ETI next week, but also wanted to get opinions from the wise folks here.

Dennis installed and set up the e2 WDH we bought from them at pickup.
At that time I believe he made the Tug basically level.
The front cargo box was empty, and the escape was fairly empty.

We have a 2011 Acura MDX with factory tow package. 5000 / 500 limits.

Tongue weight with my Shureline (1,000 lb) I consistently get
440 lb tongue weight
1/3 tank fresh water.
Grey and black tanks empty.
Trailer level.
4 days food onboard plus fairly minimal camping stuff.
Clothes,

4 folding camp chairs under the front bed, binocs and telescopes. Etc.

Usual stuff in the front cargo bin on escape. Not too much.


The Acura MDX trunk is fairly empty (folding table and bench) and very little else in the MDX . I measured with no one in the MDX.

With wdh:
Rear of Tug is low relative to front of Tug.
Distance ground to wheel wells -
Rear 30"

Front 32"

And I can visually see the slight squat down in the rear.

Belly band 52.5 " to ground front
Rear belly band - 52.
So the escape is basically level.

My concern is that the front wheel wells of the MDX is about 2" higher than the rear wheel wells.

And that it did seem more level at pickup.

As I said I will call Dennis next week but does anyone have any thoughts as to why things changed?

I have noticed this squat the last couple trips.

I would feel better if the Tug was level, in terms of weight distribution and load on steering (front) wheels.

Thanks

John.
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:23 AM   #2
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Hi John,
First off I would load the trailer for full on camping and take trailer and tow to a scale .... put just the trailer wheels on scale and record the weight ( fresh full and wastes at least 50%). You already know the tongue weight ... add those two together. Now multiply by 10% and again 15% ... your tongue weight should be between those results ... if not repack your trailer until it is. I aim for 11% with my 17.

Re-hitch and see how your tow measures up. Maybe more tension in the WDH will cure your balance. Personally, I think you have too much trailer for your tow. Even if your suspension can carry it ... can your brakes stop it?

Its a good idea to talk with Dennis .... he is VERY knowledgeable.... and I would follow his instructions.

Others with more experience than me with your vehicle (+ type) will I'm sure chime in.

Tom
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:25 AM   #3
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What are the wheel well measurements without the trailer?
Just wondering what the load is doing to the attitude of your MDX....
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulw View Post
What are the wheel well measurements without the trailer?
Sorry - I forgot to mention - I believe the MDX sits level when not a Tug.
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by StarvingHyena View Post
Hi John,
First off I would load the trailer for full on camping and take trailer and tow to a scale .... put just the trailer wheels on scale and record the weight ( fresh full and wastes at least 50%). You already know the tongue weight ... add those two together. Now multiply by 10% and again 15% ... your tongue weight should be between those results ... if not repack your trailer until it is. I aim for 11% with my 17.

Re-hitch and see how your tow measures up. Maybe more tension in the WDH will cure your balance. Personally, I think you have too much trailer for your tow. Even if your suspension can carry it ... can your brakes stop it?

Its a good idea to talk with Dennis .... he is VERY knowledgeable.... and I would follow his instructions.

Others with more experience than me with your vehicle (+ type) will I'm sure chime in.

Tom
Hi Tom

Thanks for your thoughts. Yes indeed we should weigh our setup

The good news is that Jon V. posted a spreadsheet with actual 21' weights, and even considering the slight increase in weight for the 2017 21'... I think loaded we are around 4,400 lbs.

HVAC, dual solar. Dual 6v. Under belly foam.

So 440 lb tongue weight is 10%. :-)

Rig tows very well and very solid.

ETI advised us that we would be totally fine with our Tug

Keep in mind that we have a proportional brake controller and brakes on the escape. Brakes well. ;-)

Cheers

John.
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Hi Tom

Thanks for your thoughts. Yes indeed we should weigh our setup

The good news is that Jon V. posted a spreadsheet with actual 21' weights, and even considering the slight increase in weight for the 2017 21'... I think loaded we are around 4,400 lbs.

HVAC, dual solar. Dual 6v. Under belly foam.

So 440 lb tongue weight is 10%. :-)

Rig tows very well and very solid.

ETI advised us that we would be totally fine with our Tug

Keep in mind that we have a proportional brake controller and brakes on the escape. Brakes well. ;-)

Cheers

John.
Hi John,

Well then you are probably in good shape. Yeah!

I know when I move just a few things around I can change the tongue weight. I'm still trying to get my trailer to "settle" down to where I want it weight distribution wise.

Its a learning curve for both of us.

Best of luck!

Tom
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:53 AM   #7
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Not an e2, but I had to adjust my Anderson settings from when Dennis set it up initially (full truck, empty trailer ---> empty truck, full trailer). Fairly significantly too.


Nvm, ninja'd.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:15 AM   #8
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I had a Ranger pickup that would squat in the back more then I liked when hooked up to a 3500 lb trailer, even with the WDH maxed for load transfer. A set of Air-Lift air springs took care of the issue. Here's a set that would work on the Acura https://www.airliftcompany.com/shop/60815/

They make fancier setups with a built in compressor too.

If you can't adjust to level the ride, these work. $80 if you DIY.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:11 AM   #9
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John, do you have the install manual for your E2? I would recommend going thru the installation and setup methods with your vehicle and trailer both fully load as you want them for travel and your tongue weight within specs. None of it is very complex and it will give you a much better idea of the workings of the various adjustments.

That said, you are better off with your current setup than with too much weight being redistributed to the front. With your setup you are just transferring less than the maximum to the front. While a more level setup is possible, just be very careful not to overdo it and take too much weight off the back and onto the front.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:40 AM   #10
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It appears the head of your hitch does not have much downward pitch (if any) thus not transferring enough weight.

Are the bars hard to put on the L brackets or easy? You should have to jack the trailer and car up hitched together to get the bars on.

You may want to go through the setup again and add a washer or two to the head to increase downward pitch on the head to get more tension on the bars. Manual says you should start with 5 washers for a short SUV.

Here is the manual if you don't have it.
http://www.fastwaytrailer.com/wp-con...tions_0212.pdf
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:12 PM   #11
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You basically need to add a washer and/or raise the brackets on the trailer. Take pre and post measurements of the top of the MDX wheel wells and try to return them to what they were when hitching up or whatever the range the e2 manual recommends.
Get to know the manual and figure it out for yourself, it's kind of fun to do it and get it right for yourself. It's one of those things that could change at anytime so knowing and having the tools to do it for yourself will be the best thing you can do. I've had to change set up mid trip so don't rely on a one-and-done setup from any seller.
I've had a Honda Ridgeline which shared the platform of you MDX and towed an Rpod. Once you dial it in, the E2 really does a sweet job. Even though the manual recommended against an equalizer hitch.
Hope this helps.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:02 PM   #12
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Have you added any water to the fresh tank, fill it about 50% and then check, that may bring you back to level.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:11 PM   #13
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Comparing wheel arch heights front and rear is meaningless without comparing them to the unloaded condition - it is normal for front and rear wheel arches to be different heights, although they can be the same.

There is a common misconception that vehicles should sit level under all loading conditions. Unless the vehicle has height-adjustable suspension (such as air springs), this is not even possible. The load in almost any vehicle - and certainly in an MDX - is carried much more on the rear than the front: even the driver and front-seat passenger are at about the midpoint (so their weight is split about evenly between front and rear suspensions), the rear seat passengers are almost at the rear axle, and the cargo space it at or behind the rear axle so cargo load goes entirely on the rear axle and even transfers some load from front to rear. The result is (again, without self-leveling suspension) that the vehicle will pitch more tail-down as it is loaded; this is normal, expected, allowed in the vehicle design, and not a problem.

Like almost every other brand, Fastway provides adjustment directions with its e2 weight-distributing hitch system which explain that the front axle load with WD applied should be at or moderately less than the load without the trailer attached. That means in the final state (trailer hitched and WD applied):
  • the front will have the same or less load (so the body will be the same height or higher),
  • the rear will have substantially more load (so the body will be lower),
  • and so the vehicle will "squat" relatively rear-down somewhat.
... compared to unloaded (no trailer attached).

Fastway says:
Quote:
From the coupled without weight distribution measurement, the front wheel well measurement is at least halfway back to the original uncoupled measurement, but never lower.
Assistance with methods for adjusting the e2 are helpful, but so far we don't know the load (or wheel arch height) in the three conditions required to assess the adjustment: without the trailer, with the trailer and WD not engaged, and with the trailer and WD engaged.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Front Tug 2" higher than rear with ETI installed e2 WDH.

...

Thanks

John.
I was going to ask the same thing, John! Thanks for such a good explanation! Now I can be educated on this as well.

Gary
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Have you added any water to the fresh tank, fill it about 50% and then check, that may bring you back to level.
I did the measurements with a 1/3 full fresh water tank

We tow 99.999% of the time with empty black and empty grey tanks so that is how they were.

And the way we had it loaded if I add more fresh water to the tank it will have less weight on the hitch and I think we are about 10% now (hitch to total) and it is my understanding that I want to keep it no less than 10% (hitch vs total)

And

Thanks to everyone for the great info and ideas

I seem to recall that the SUV wheel wells are exactly even when unhitched. But I will do all the checks listed in the posts above.

:-)

Thanks again.

John.
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Old 04-15-2017, 07:29 AM   #16
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BTW, my 21 loaded for2 weeks was 500tw/3800 axles=4300 total with 50% fresh water in rear, empty grey/black.
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Old 04-15-2017, 07:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
We tow 99.999% of the time with empty black and empty grey tanks
So then, you have something in these tanks one in every thousand trips?

I have told you a million times to not exaggerate.
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:41 PM   #18
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Update

With Tug mostly empty
With nothing on the tow ball.

Rear 31 1/8"
Front 31 3/8"
So front is 1/2" higher. No passengers mind you.

When 21' on the hitch but no WDH arms activated:
29" rear wheel wells
32 1/4" front wheel wells.

Now with e2 WDH arms in place

Rear wheel well 29 1/4"
Front wheel wells 32"

With less food in trailer.

With fresh 1/4 full

With grey empty. Black tank also empty.

John.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Update

With Tug mostly empty
With nothing on the tow ball.

Rear 31 1/8"
Front 31 3/8"
So front is 1/2" higher. No passengers mind you.

When 21' on the hitch but no WDH arms activated:
29" rear wheel wells
32 1/4" front wheel wells.

Now with e2 WDH arms in place

Rear wheel well 29 1/4"
Front wheel wells 32"

With less food in trailer.

With fresh 1/4 full

With grey empty. Black tank also empty.

John.
-----
Looks as if you may need to raise the arms on your E2 WDH by another notch or two to bring the tug to near its original state of levelness.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Update

With Tug mostly empty
With nothing on the tow ball.

Rear 31 1/8"
Front 31 3/8"
So front is 1/2" higher. No passengers mind you.

When 21' on the hitch but no WDH arms activated:
29" rear wheel wells
32 1/4" front wheel wells.

Now with e2 WDH arms in place

Rear wheel well 29 1/4"
Front wheel wells 32"

With less food in trailer.

With fresh 1/4 full

With grey empty. Black tank also empty.

John.
-----
I would add one washer at a time to the head before I messed with the L-brackets. If the bars are parallel now with the trailer frame changing the L-brackets will change this. Adding one washer will change the head angle pushing the bars down and adding more tension on the bars. If you can get back to 31 3/4 by adding one washer I would try it there.
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