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Old 02-16-2012, 02:39 PM   #11
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Re: Tongue weight with extra gear

I am new to all this towing stuff, so please bear with me if I am asking a silly question.

We have ordered our new escape with a Weight Distribution Hitch.

We recently got a draw-tite type III hitch for our '08 Toyota Sienna. When I got it, I talked to the hitch guy, he inferred that the WDH has a vehicle component that would cause the weight to be distributed further forward on the vehicle. He said he would need to know the hitch height on the trailer, and it would be about $600 additional. Our neighbors have a 25' airstream that they tow with a F-150 pickup. the neighbor says the truck hitch is tied into the middle of the truck's frame so that the weight bears over the whole truck rather than just the rear wheels.

We used this hitch to pull a 16' Scamp about 1000 miles. but when we attached the scamp to the hitch, the rear of the van sank somewhere between 3 or 5 inches. Because it was a rental trailer, we had to use some zip ties to keep the safety chains from dragging on the ground -- overall, the whole thing seemed really close to the ground.

On the other hand, when I look at the pictures of the escape, there are a couple of bars and some extra chains. I don't think there is a part that gets mounted on the trailer.

With that long bit of background, here are my questions:

1) As I said, I am getting the WDH option on the trailer. Do I need to also get a WDH component on the towing vehicle?

2) I know that I can make the rear end of the Sienna stiffer using air bags, stiffer shocks, rubber inserts in the springs, etc. Does anyone have any experience with those products?

all that said, we have found other folks towing escape like trailers with Siennas, so I think we will be fine. The replacement vehicle, when ever we buy it, will probably have a larger towing capacity. But hopefully that decision is a few years off.

thanks for any advice.

Leon Webster
St. Paul, MN
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:53 PM   #12
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Re: Tongue weight with extra gear

Hi Leon
1) As I said, I am getting the WDH option on the trailer. Do I need to also get a WDH component on the towing vehicle?

The WDH from Reace is complete - all you need it your installed type III hitch and (maybe) the correct size hitch ball - I can't remember if a ball comes with the WDH or not. Reace does the install as part of the cost.

2) I know that I can make the rear end of the Sienna stiffer using air bags, stiffer shocks, rubber inserts in the springs, etc. Does anyone have any experience with those products?

With the WDH the rear end sag will be taken care of. Reace measures the rear height of the tow vehicle before the Escape is attached and then he adjusts the WDH so that the rear height is the same as it is unloaded. I would hold off on any stiffeners until after you try it with the WDH.

Eric
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #13
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Re: Tongue weight with extra gear

You have a type III hitch receiver installed already. The WDH slides into that receiver and the trailer hitch mounts on the ball on the WDH. You then attach the bars.
The WDH will transfer weight from the back to the front of the vehicle. You shouldn't need anything else - air bags, shocks etc.

I would order the WDH from Reace and he will set it up for you when you pick up the trailer.

baglo
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:28 PM   #14
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Re: Tongue weight with extra gear

Eric, and Mr. Baglo,

Thanks much for the info. I feel much better now.

Am really looking forward to beginning our period of "Senior Delinquency" and having lots of thingw to on our "Permanent Record".
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:22 PM   #15
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Re: Tongue weight with extra gear

You mention that he wanted $600 extra for the WDH.
I think Escape charges $350.

Perhaps he was going to install a brake controller too for the $600?
You will need that to operate the electric trailer brakes.
A lot of people on the forum use the Prodigy controller. Go to: http://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Brake_Controller.aspx to see the selection and prices. And, check around for estimates on installation. Try your local U-Haul for one.

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Old 02-17-2012, 09:35 AM   #16
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Re: Tongue weight with extra gear

I already got the brake controller from the guy who wants $600.00 for the WDH. Maybe I misunderstood when he was talking about the hitch, but it definitely seemed like this was something that goes on the tow vehicle, and attached more to the frame. But given what you and Eric have said, I am just got to get the WDH from Escape for now.

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