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Old 12-05-2018, 05:37 PM   #1
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Lightweight towing.

Hi all,


We're getting a 17B in the spring and our tow vehicle is a 2014 Ford Escape with factory tow kit. Tow rating is 3500 lbs and I see that some on the forum have been towing 17s with that capacity. We also plan to do what we can to travel light to add what margin we can (e.g. tow mostly dry).



My question is directed at people with smaller tow vehicles (Siennas, RAV-4s...) and 17 trailers: do you use a load-leveling or load-leveling + sway-control hitch in your setup or just ball-on-tongue and that's it? ETI mentioned to us that most 17 owners don't use load-leveling or sway-control setups but I wonder if they their data is biased towards setups with larger tow vehicles in general.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:13 PM   #2
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If you ever get in a real tight spot you’ll be very glad to have a weight distributing hitch properly adjusted and locked up to your tow rig. The Escape trailers tow very well but there is always the concept of the tail wagging the dog. Judicious side to side even loading, allowable tongue weight not violated, and self control when choosing what to take on the outing at hand are all factors to be considered and respected. If you are destination camping and it’s not a boondock situation you may want to consider the nearest town as a source of food, water and other ‘heavy’ goods. Keep your trailer brakes adjusted so they are “right there”
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:23 PM   #3
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I am using Pro Series weight distribution hitch that was purchased and installed at ETI. I would not tow without it ( other than the 12 blocks to my RV shop ).

I have been towing my 17B for ten years.
If I didn't feel it was necessary, I wouldn't drag it out to my tow vehicle.

Photos show my combo without and with WDH.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg NO WDH1.jpg (117.1 KB, 96 views)
File Type: jpg With WDH1.jpg (103.3 KB, 120 views)
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I am using Pro Series weight distribution hitch that was purchased and installed at ETI. I would not tow without it ( other than the 12 blocks to my RV shop ).

I have been towing my 17B for ten years.
If I didn't feel it was necessary, I wouldn't drag it out to my tow vehicle.

Photos show my combo without and with WDH.
Iím not sure your breakaway cable is properly connected. Better check.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:59 PM   #5
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I used a WDH when towing my 17B with a RAV4. Tried it for a drive across town without it & was not happy.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:29 PM   #6
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I towed my 17B with a 2010 Santa Fa with a 3500lb towing capacity and used a WDH. Like others have mentioned it's the only way to go.
Also I did not feel the need for sway-control.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viajante View Post
Iím not sure your breakaway cable is properly connected. Better check.

Not sure how you can see how it is connected.

I do plan to get a dedicated clip for the cable so I can stop busting my knuckles pulling the R-clip to install the loop over the pin.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:50 PM   #8
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Thanks for the quick replies!


I think gbaglo's picture has sold me on getting a WDH.


My next question is the regarding the options available from ETI:


Can anyone provide some insight on differences/suitability of the offered WDH options?


  1. Equalizer Hitch (Pro-Series 600lb Trunnion) $350
  2. Equalizer Hitch w. sway bar (Pro-Series 600lb Trunnion) $475
  3. E2 by Fastway (WDH + sway control) $625
Are there some limitations on the cheaper options as far as maneuverability goes or ease of use?
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Not sure how you can see how it is connected.
Google Earth. 3D, time lapse.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viajante View Post
I’m not sure your breakaway cable is properly connected. Better check.
Haha.
Sure it is for illustrative purposes, meant only to show the effect of a WDH, and isn’t to be towed without completing the setup. In the first picture, his 7-pole connector isn’t connected; it’s laid up way behind his vehicle, in the trailer frame; (on the non-WDH photo).

Can’t see his breakaway cable though.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispy35 View Post
Can anyone provide some insight on differences/suitability of the offered WDH options?
  1. Equalizer Hitch (Pro-Series 600lb Trunnion) $350
  2. Equalizer Hitch w. sway bar (Pro-Series 600lb Trunnion) $475
  3. E2 by Fastway (WDH + sway control) $625

I have #1.

I don't think sway bars are needed. I've had to make a couple radical lane changes over ten years and the trailer just follows the tow.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:59 PM   #12
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Hitch selection

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I have #1.

I don't think sway bars are needed. I've had to make a couple radical lane changes over ten years and the trailer just follows the tow.
I had the #1 selection for the 19 as well. No limits on backing up or turning, easy enough to hook up and never had a bit of a problem with it. Would not see a reason for the anti sway model and would not knock the E2 but it’s quite a bit more money.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:09 PM   #13
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I might pay more for less weight, but I can't find that spec on the Fastway site. I kinda don't think I'd pay twice as much if it only weight a few pounds less.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispy35 View Post
Hi all,


We're getting a 17B in the spring and our tow vehicle is a 2014 Ford Escape with factory tow kit. Tow rating is 3500 lbs and I see that some on the forum have been towing 17s with that capacity. We also plan to do what we can to travel light to add what margin we can (e.g. tow mostly dry).



My question is directed at people with smaller tow vehicles (Siennas, RAV-4s...) and 17 trailers: do you use a load-leveling or load-leveling + sway-control hitch in your setup or just ball-on-tongue and that's it? ETI mentioned to us that most 17 owners don't use load-leveling or sway-control setups but I wonder if they their data is biased towards setups with larger tow vehicles in general.

When it comes to using a WDH, it is recommended that a trailer with a weight that is 50% or above the GVW of the tow vehicle, you should be using one. I have a 2009 Ranger with a GVW of 5000 Lbs. Although the hitch has a rating of 600 lb tongue weight along with a 6000 lb tow rating and can handle our 17B with just a ball, it tows so much nicer with the WDH and sway control. I use an E2 4500 lb trunion set up and am pleased with it.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispy35 View Post
Thanks for the quick replies!


I think gbaglo's picture has sold me on getting a WDH.


My next question is the regarding the options available from ETI:


Can anyone provide some insight on differences/suitability of the offered WDH options?


  1. Equalizer Hitch (Pro-Series 600lb Trunnion) $350
  2. Equalizer Hitch w. sway bar (Pro-Series 600lb Trunnion) $475
  3. E2 by Fastway (WDH + sway control) $625
Are there some limitations on the cheaper options as far as maneuverability goes or ease of use?
As we understood, if you are looking for some form of sway control on top of a WDH, for option 2, you would have to unhook the sway control when backing up. However, in the E2 Fastway hitch, the sway control is integrated into the WDH and you can back up without disconnecting. Backing up is not an issue under scenario 1.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:06 AM   #16
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Sway is prevalent in single axle trailers like the 17, tandem axle units, the 19/21 the sway is minimized as long as there is sufficient tongue weight.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Sway is prevalent in single axle trailers like the 17

No it is not prevalent.

A properly loaded single axle trailer is no more likely to sway.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:32 AM   #18
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Our 2013 17 ft Casita is a single axle and we have not experienced sway in our 5 years of ownership . In fact it is extremely stable !
As Glenn says “ It is not prevelant “ and I agree .

To be honest , I’ve had stability issues with our 21 and that’s a dual axle . ( tire related)
( We are not currently using a WDH & Anti Sway but will in the future )
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I have #1.

I don't think sway bars are needed. I've had to make a couple radical lane changes over ten years and the trailer just follows the tow.
Other vehicles, perhaps, might induce sway under certain conditions, and the sway bar will help stabilize the trailer. It’s probably prudent, practical, and valuable, even, to check the owners manual.

In most owners manuals, towing considerations are listed. Some manuals, like certain Toyota RAVs, may recommend “not” to use a WDH. Others, like my JGC warn that a WDH is necessary for trailers over 3500 pounds. Which I interpret to mean tongue weight of over 350 pounds.

I’ve never had sway without a sway bar. When I hooked up my included friction sway bar, it of course, didn’t do anything for sway. What I did notice was a smoother ride with less bobbing of the trailer, and less clanging noise emanating from the hitch. I’m pretty sure my old Casita suspension bounces around more than a new trailer.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:02 AM   #20
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Toyota does not "recommend “not” to use a WDH".
It does not recommend a WDH. There is a difference. I got clarification from Toyota Canada and was told because they do not have a relationship with a WDH manufacturer, they don't recommend any particular one.
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