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Old 07-05-2015, 06:57 PM   #1
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA, California
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Hitch questions

Greetings everyone,

This is my first post since introducing my wife and I back in May. We are starting to get serious about making build-sheet decisions and what baffles me the most is what to decide about the hitch system.

Our TV is a 2000 4Runner V6 4WD. It has a tow rating of 5000 lb. We will be towing a new 17A with a total dry weight of 1970 and a GVWR of 3500. My 4Runner manual states that when towing over 2000 lb it is necessary to use a sway control device of sufficient capacity.

My towing experience has been limited to our old 78 Coachman tent trailer which is very light and easy to deal with. Now I have to learn to correctly handle a much larger, heavier rig with electric brakes.

Our "hatch" date is December 14 and we would like to drive from our home in central CA up to Chilliwack and bring our new trailer home at that time. A concern of mine is then driving hundreds of miles down the west coast during the season of winter storms coming in off of the Pacific.

So.....What is the best hitch setup for me? Equalizer?, Andersen?, sway control?

I asked this question of my local RV service tech and he suggested that I simply start with the standard hitch provided by ETI and see how it goes. Then make modifications as necessary. This sounds OK except that I do not want to find out that I should have something better after starting out on our journey home.

So there you have it. I would greatly appreciate hearing from all of you. Especially other 17 owners.

Allan
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:03 PM   #2
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What your service tech says is what we had with the "same" TV (but 2011 so differences) and a 19'. Works well. No problems once you remember to crank a bit for removing it so as to get it off easier. And don't forget to remove the pins first!!
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:17 PM   #3
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Depending on the options you're getting your shipping weight could be a bit more than 1970 lbs; I have the 17B with many options, A/C, solar, electric tongue jack, front storage box, U-Shaped rear dinette, extra insulation, etc. and the shipping weight was 2725 lbs.

Hitch? My Tug is a 2012 4Runner and I went for the Andersen and am quite happy, but that's me YMMV.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:34 PM   #4
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My immediate response is to do nothing for the drive home. My only concern would be the rise or drop on the stinger and Dennis at Escape will make sure that is correct. The goal is to get the trailer level and he will insure that happens.

What better way to see if you really need to do any hitch modification is that drive back to CA. Don't worry you are not going to capsize.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:57 PM   #5
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Allan, if your object is sway control, there's a sure fire way to reduce sway, and that's sufficient tongue weight. A light tongue is the number one cause of sway. A weight distribution hitch may help with sway, but that is not its primary purpose -- its to redistribute weight from the rear axle to the front axle of your tow vehicle. We use an Andersen Hitch and we like the way it feels when towing, but if you don't need weight distribution, try towing without one and see how it goes. You may find you really don't need it. That would be a fortunate thing. WDH unhooking and hooking up can be a bit of a pain.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:02 PM   #6
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Rob- you seem glad you have the Andersen with a Ford F150. I like it too with my Yukon. With a curb weight of 3900 lbs. wouldn't the 4Runner benefit more from the overall effect of a WDH than our TV's- especially with the owner's manual indicating sway control for over 2000 lbs.?
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Rob- you seem glad you have the Andersen with a Ford F150. I like it too with my Yukon. With a curb weight of 3900 lbs. wouldn't the 4Runner benefit more from the overall effect of a WDH than our TV's- especially with the owner's manual indicating sway control for over 2000 lbs.?
Yes, we do like it Ross, but to be honest the F150 would probably tow our 19 just fine without it. The truck has an automatic sway control built in. The one thing I like the most about it is that the trailer and tow feel more like "one piece" - totally connected and solid with little to no "porpoising".

Yes, his tow is lighter, but his trailer is also lighter and smaller. I see no need up front for redistributing weight when towing a 17A with a 4-Runner, so maybe try it without one? I think Paul has it right.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:14 PM   #8
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I started to mention that "one piece" feel as well and as to why not try it without- I would say the reason is that we know it is a better tow experience, especially when being passed by semis.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:47 PM   #9
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Be sure to check your manual. At least with the 2007 V6 4Runner (4th generation), a weight distribution hitch is not recommended. The V8 version is fine to use one. The difference has to do with how the factory hitch is mounted with the V6 and V8 models. The 2007 V6 is rated for 5000lbs, while the V8 is rated for 7500 (I think).

It may be different with your 2000 model year (3rd generation).
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:29 AM   #10
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It took me six years to get a response from Toyota, but the manual for the RAV4 ( 2008 ) says a WDH is not recommended.
What it should have said is that Toyota does not recommend a particular WDH.
When they finally replied, they said they do not have a relationship with a WDH provider and so they cannot recommend one.
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