Push/Pull when towing - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-29-2014, 02:58 PM   #1
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Push/Pull when towing

Trying to decide whether to get a WDH.
As this is our first camper and nothing to reference to, at times we get a bit of push-pulling from the trailer, mainly going uphill and on bumpy roads. Would an Anderson or something else eliminate this?
Our Jeep pulls fine, we never get any sway, even when big trucks pass, so I don't want to go to the trouble of getting an Anderson if we still have this effect or don't need one. It seems to make a difference on how the Escape is loaded, also taking heavy items out of the Jeep and putting them on the floor of the Escape helps a bit.
Any advice would be welcome.
Barry
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:05 PM   #2
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Biggest impact I've noticed with any WDH is the "porpoise" factor when the trailer wants to buck the rear end of the tow up and down when going over uneven roads/bumps. I tried with and without a WDH on my single axle Casita and it made a big difference. I have the Anderson on my 21 and that follows along like a puppy on a lease...........
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:27 PM   #3
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Ditto with my standard WDH. I've towed a short distance without WDH and even though it's a bit of a pain to use, it's worth it for the comfortable ride and the security.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:53 PM   #4
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I have never used a WDH, both with a 4runner and 19 and now a Sequoia with a 21. I believe there is a safety factor the WDH, I have seen a trailer accident with a WDH so they can give a false sense of security. What has discouraged me is the connect/disconnect process and additional weight.

However when all is said and done you have to evaluate your driving style, tow and TV combination, and comfort level.
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:11 PM   #5
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A tow vehicle with properly distributed weight on the front and rear axles (a balance as close to unhitched as possible) will drive and handle better, and that makes it inherently safer. The question is, based on your tv, when hitched, does the weight need to be redistributed? That will tell you if a wdh is needed. If it's close to the same distribution when unhitched, you don't need a wdh. If not, you do. It really shouldn't be a preference thing, but a math thing. Either the numbers work or they don't.
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:30 PM   #6
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I'm struggling with the math.
My tongue weight is about 325. If I add the weight of the WDH ( 68 lbs ), I'm 43 lbs. over my max tongue weight of 350.
Never did well at math.
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I'm struggling with the math.
My tongue weight is about 325. If I add the weight of the WDH ( 68 lbs ), I'm 43 lbs. over my max tongue weight of 350.
Never did well at math.
Hey Glen!
The weight of my Anderson shank & ball assembly is 24 pounds
(You were asking for a reason...)
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:04 PM   #8
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Aha!
But, your wallet is also lighter.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
A tow vehicle with properly distributed weight on the front and rear axles (a balance as close to unhitched as possible) will drive and handle better, and that makes it inherently safer. The question is, based on your tv, when hitched, does the weight need to be redistributed? That will tell you if a wdh is needed. If it's close to the same distribution when unhitched, you don't need a wdh. If not, you do. It really shouldn't be a preference thing, but a math thing. Either the numbers work or they don't.
I don't understand how, after hooking up my Escape that the distribution is ever going to be the same as unhooked, I'm going to measure the rear sag this week when we take a trip, last time we took everything out of the Jeep and into the camper, it did make a difference. The Jeep GC supposed to have load leveling shocks as part of the tow package, I don't think they make a difference.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:39 PM   #10
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It would be nice if someone could compare on the same trailer at the same time (or same loaded weights) how much weight is transferred by an Anderson and how much by the other WDH that many of us have. Our WDH transfers about 300 lbs. total back to the trailer and up to the front of the tow vehicle.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:50 PM   #11
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I don't understand how, after hooking up my Escape that the distribution is ever going to be the same as unhooked, I'm going to measure the rear sag this week when we take a trip, last time we took everything out of the Jeep and into the camper, it did make a difference. The Jeep GC supposed to have load leveling shocks as part of the tow package, I don't think they make a difference.
You're right, it will never be the "same" as unhitched, but we're talking percentages. Escapes all have relatively light tongue weights, so depending on your tow vehicle/tongue weight combination, the percentage of weight added to the rear may not be significant enough to require a wdh to rebalance it. Or as Reace puts it sometimes, 'Nah, you don't need it.' Generally speaking, the lighter the tow vehicle, the more need for weight distribution. Several manufacturers of trucks and SUVs use a rule of thumb that a wdh should always be used if the trailer weight is equal to or more than 50% of the vehicle weight.
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Old 09-29-2014, 08:00 PM   #12
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Another factor is front-wheel-drive.
My RAV4 is four-wheel, but most of the time only the front wheels are drive wheels. A lot of SUVs and vans fall in this category.
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Old 09-29-2014, 08:04 PM   #13
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Another factor is front-wheel-drive.
My RAV4 is four-wheel, but most of the time only the front wheels are drive wheels. A lot of SUVs and vans fall in this category.
Yep. True. If the only wheels that supply power are the front ones, you'd better be sure enough weight rests on the front axle.
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Old 09-29-2014, 08:42 PM   #14
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I don't understand how, after hooking up my Escape that the distribution is ever going to be the same as unhooked...
Right - it is not going to be. If you forced the front/rear ratio to be the same, you would be massively over-applying a WD system, far beyond what any WD manufacturer says to do. Without WD, it would simply be impossible.

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Originally Posted by Bcdonaher View Post
The Jeep GC supposed to have load leveling shocks as part of the tow package, I don't think they make a difference.
Correct - the "load leveling" suspension adjust with changing load to keep the vehicle level, but it can't do anything about the distribution of load between front and rear axles.
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Old 09-29-2014, 08:45 PM   #15
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It would be nice if someone could compare on the same trailer at the same time (or same loaded weights) how much weight is transferred by an Anderson and how much by the other WDH that many of us have.
It has been done, and reported in other forums. The answer is that the Andersen system has exactly the same effect on load distribution as any other WD system, since they all work the same way (applying torque to the tug/trailer coupling). The amount of load transferred is determined by how tightly you crank the WD hardware (in either design), up to the limit of the hardware. You shouldn't be anywhere near the limit of the Andersen No-Sway or any but the smallest conventional WD systems when adjusting to tow any Escape.
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Old 09-29-2014, 08:48 PM   #16
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If the only wheels that supply power are the front ones, you'd better be sure enough weight rests on the front axle.
True. With my front-wheel-drive van, even the maximum (for weight-carrying mode) of 350 pounds on the hitch, plus hundreds of pounds of cargo, still leaves the front axle carrying about as much as the rear - with no WD system. Of course, long wheelbase helps there.
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Old 09-29-2014, 08:52 PM   #17
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A tow vehicle with properly distributed weight on the front and rear axles (a balance as close to unhitched as possible) will drive and handle better, and that makes it inherently safer.
I disagree. Every car and light truck made which is at all suitable for towing (so no, not a mid-engined Ferrari or a rear-engined Porsche) is front-heavy when empty or with just the driver. They are all designed to carry most of their cargo and rear passenger load on the rear, so it is normal and expected for the distribution to shift more rearward under load... and they usually handle better with a moderate rearward shift (much better in the extreme case of pickup trucks configured to carry loads and work).
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:33 PM   #18
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I towed a 3800 lb boat with surge brakes and no WDH with the same 2012 Highlander as we use to tow our Escape 19 with an Anderson WDH. Night and day difference - feels way more solid with the WDH, better control at higher speeds, less impact from air pressure when a big rig passes us, cross winds not a problem, and seems to handle rough roads better. Haven't used a different WDH, but wouldn't tow long distances without one.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:16 PM   #19
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I disagree. Every car and light truck made which is at all suitable for towing (so no, not a mid-engined Ferrari or a rear-engined Porsche) is front-heavy when empty or with just the driver. They are all designed to carry most of their cargo and rear passenger load on the rear, so it is normal and expected for the distribution to shift more rearward under load... and they usually handle better with a moderate rearward shift (much better in the extreme case of pickup trucks configured to carry loads and work).
I don't think we disagree at all. Yes, almost all vehicles are designed to be front heavy when empty, and the passengers and cargo balance that out. Whatever THAT distribution is, with passengers and cargo, is what a wdh helps to recreate when towing. I guess I should be more clear.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:29 PM   #20
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I would like to see the weight comparisons for Escapes. I think only one owner has given weight distribution for an Anderson here. Numbers particular to Escapes would be good to have so people actually know the situation without guessing or assuming. Any owners with a WDH, Anderson or not, on their Escape with such numbers would be helpful.
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