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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, 53 views)
File Type: jpg With WDH1.jpg (103.3 KB, 64 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:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
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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