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Old 09-17-2019, 10:44 AM   #1
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WDH Cons

We are new to the forum having owned two Casita's a 16 SD and a 17 SD. Just ordered a new Escape 19 for delivery in the spring. It will have most options like reinforced interior walls, inverter, solar, dual, batteries, cargo box, things that add weight. My TV is rated at 6,400 GVW, has a tow capacity of 6,000 pounds and a tongue weight of 600 pounds. I have never used a WDH, have never had a problem towing, and I am not planning on using one on the escape. Call me old fashion but if you are towing something that weighs 3-5000 pounds wouldn't you want to have a TV that could do that without a WDH? If you are that close to the max on trailer and tongue weight and need a WDH that basically messes your TV front axle up to get a level ride, does that make sense? We would really like to hear from folks that don't use a WDH. Thank you....
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:00 AM   #2
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I have a 17 footer and a WDH.
Sometimes I use it sometimes I don't.
It is creaky and weighs a lot.
I haven't been able to feel what the difference is unless I tighten it up too much.
Then the ride is terrible.
I have the feeling that it may be safer but ??
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hen View Post
We would really like to hear from folks that don't use a WDH. Thank you....

So, you want to confirm your conclusion?
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:15 AM   #4
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I have never used/owned a WDH. I have experience sway using a utility trailer loaded evenly with two equal pallets of firewood and a short wheelbase tow vehicle. Not an experience I want to repeat.

That said, I think the only downsides to a properly matched WDH & trailer is cost, weight, and complexity. The weight can be worked around by something like and Andersen WDH and the complexity by just using the hitch on a regular basis to become familiar with its setup. The cost is fixed unless a good condition used one can be located.

When/if I get an ETI 21, I will also get a WDH, most likely an Andersen to keep the weight low.
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:35 AM   #5
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Towing a tandem axle will result in less sway than the single axle Casitas but you still need proper weight on the tongue to prevent sway. My tongue weight is 625# with a 21. Yours maybe close due to the dual six volt batteries and all the "extras" like inverter and reinforced walls.
If so you may need to use a WDH to shift some weight off your tow vehicle rear end. Do you need reinforced walls and the inverter, some of these are in the front with the E19. So you can either slim down your option weight or use a WDH if your vehicle squats from the heavy tongue weight. You may also want to invest in a Shoreline tongue scale also.That is an "extra" that you can leave at home.
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:47 AM   #6
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Sherline, not Shoreline.
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:08 PM   #7
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Wdh

Iíve towed both a 19 and a 21 foot Escape extensively and satisfactorily with a Toyota Highlander rated at 5,000 towing capacity. I never tow without a properly adjusted WDH if Iím outside of my own property, never will. Might not be what you asked but the trailer goes dead level, can be controlled, does not sway or porpoise, does not have uneven tire wear and stops properly without pushing the tow around. While others may have different opinions and techniques, when a highway patrolman compliments our setup in a rest stop I feel good and will keep on keeping on. YMMV
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:26 PM   #8
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Thanks John. Love to hear from others?
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:57 PM   #9
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I tow my 19 with a 2017 Chevy Colorado. I usually tow with a WDH that Escape installed when we purchased the trailer. I have, however, towed without it. My truck squats about 1" without it, and everything feels looser rolling down the road (sorry can't think of a better word), plus the truck porpoises more over bumps. With the WDH, it feels like a more cohesive unit. Can you tow without one?? Yes. Should you?? I guess that's up to the individual and what sort of TV you have and the towing experience you want. My Colorado is rated to tow 7,600 lbs and has 1,390 lbs of payload. I estimate my 19 weighs about 4,200 lbs fully loaded for travel with a tongue weight between 450 and 500 lbs. Having done it both ways, I would not choose to tow without the WDH, although it certainly can be done.
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Old 09-17-2019, 01:04 PM   #10
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My GMC dealer recommended a WDH for our 2013 Yukon and at the time the top ETI hitch was the Andersen. Wore it out for some reason and switched to the Pro Series after about two years. The Yukon rear end is so stiff I couldn't see any sag without the WDH, yet for longer trips the trailer rode smoother.

Just bought a 2019 Exoedition and unlike the Yukon it has independent rear suspension and I do notice some sag without the WDH. Even though the Expedition is rated 9300 lbs. towing with HD towing package I will for sure be using the Pro Series.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:02 PM   #11
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Correct, but most importantly the question is, if matched correctly (TV and Trailer) do you really need a WDH?
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Hen View Post
I have never used a WDH, have never had a problem towing, and I am not planning on using one on the escape. Call me old fashion but if you are towing something that weighs 3-5000 pounds wouldn't you want to have a TV that could do that without a WDH? If you are that close to the max on trailer and tongue weight and need a WDH that basically messes your TV front axle up to get a level ride, does that make sense?
I've never seen a need for WD with the trailers that I have towed, and have no desire to use one; however, a properly set up WD doesn't "mess up" the tow vehicle's front axle, it only restores the front axle load to the same amount that it would have if the trailer were not connected. Some people massively over-apply a WD system (adjust for too much load redistribution), which is undesirable for both the tow vehicle's front axle and the trailer... but there's no need to do that.

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I never tow without a properly adjusted WDH if I’m outside of my own property, never will. Might not be what you asked but the trailer goes dead level...
But of course you know, Dave, that the trailer can be set level without WD simply by using the correct height of ball mount, right? A WDH does stiffen the hitch connection so that changes in loading (of the trailer or tug) don't have as much effect on the tug's rear axle load and so not as much effect on the trailer's attitude, but air suspension on the tug or just loading consistently do that more effectively.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:04 PM   #13
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I have about 6,000 miles on my 2019 e19 mostly freeway speeds, towing with an SUV without WDH. Before that I towed an e15 with a different SUV still no WDH. I never had swaying or other related towing issue. Depending on tow vehicle and trailer I may use one in the future.
Many years ago I towed a 27 feet stick trailer with a V8 Grand Cherokee with WDH, was not a good experience (not the WDH fault)
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hen View Post
We are new to the forum having owned two Casita's a 16 SD and a 17 SD. Just ordered a new Escape 19 for delivery in the spring. It will have most options like reinforced interior walls, inverter, solar, dual, batteries, cargo box, things that add weight. My TV is rated at 6,400 GVW, has a tow capacity of 6,000 pounds and a tongue weight of 600 pounds. I have never used a WDH, have never had a problem towing, and I am not planning on using one on the escape. Call me old fashion but if you are towing something that weighs 3-5000 pounds wouldn't you want to have a TV that could do that without a WDH? If you are that close to the max on trailer and tongue weight and need a WDH that basically messes your TV front axle up to get a level ride, does that make sense? We would really like to hear from folks that don't use a WDH. Thank you....
We do not tow with a WDH . We are towing our 19 with a Ford F 250 and a 8 ft bed . We also have air bags from camper days on truck but the suspension is pretty strong so they usually only have the recommended 5 lbs in them . We also have a longer stringer . Our truck was rated to tow 11,000 lbs .
When we are passed on highway with semi’s the trailer stays straight and true . If we ever had to replace truck with a F150 and shorter bed , we may have to add a WDH . But for what we have , don’t feel any need for one . Pat
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:17 PM   #15
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I'm new to the WDH experience, having just purchased an '09 19 that came equipped with a Wolf WDH, so my comments are mostly theoretical. I tow with a Nissan Frontier 4x4 King Cab V6.

From experience, I found that the WDH made the ride in my tow vehicle much stiffer. The comments above indicate I may have been tightening the hitch too much, so I will try loosening the tension on the bars and see if I get improvement in the ride.

Venturing into the theoretical, It seems that if you don't have sag at the bumper of the TV when hitched and are correctly loaded (i.e., the proper amount of tongue weight), the WDH would give you little advantage. However, if you do have sag, using a WDH to hold the TV and trailer in horizontal alignment would keep your headlight beams in alignment, balance the load on the tires of your dual axles to even out tire and axle wear, and tend to keep braking forces properly distributed for their best performance under emergency conditions.

Disadvantages would seem to be reduced ground clearance in the area of the hitch (you might drag when crossing rain gutters at gas stations, for instance), an increase in tongue weight by about the amount of weight of the WDH hitch and an increase in the turning radius of the combination TV/trailer in both forward and reverse.

Other than the above, as long as your driving is error free, and there is no one else on the road to create unexpected problems, it seems the WDH would be a waste of money. Perhaps there is a mechanical engineer in the forum that could add some knowledge to the discussion.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Patandlinda View Post
We do not tow with a WDH . We are towing our 19 with a Ford F 250 and a 8 ft bed . We also have air bags from camper days on truck but the suspension is pretty strong so they usually only have the recommended 5 lbs in them . We also have a longer stringer . Our truck was rated to tow 11,000 lbs .
When we are passed on highway with semiís the trailer stays straight and true . If we ever had to replace truck with a F150 and shorter bed , we may have to add a WDH . But for what we have , donít feel any need for one . Pat
One more thing I forgot to add the truck and trailer are close in length . Truck 19 ft , trailer 19 5 in . Width trailer 7 ft , truck 6 ft . . Truck sits up high being a truck . Pat
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:31 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by George Johnson View Post
I'm new to the WDH experience, having just purchased an '09 19 that came equipped with a Wolf WDH... I tow with a Nissan Frontier 4x4 King Cab V6.

From experience, I found that the WDH made the ride in my tow vehicle much stiffer. The comments above indicate I may have been tightening the hitch too much, so I will try loosening the tension on the bars and see if I get improvement in the ride.
The adjustment, as described in every WDH manual that I have seen, is based on comparing before-and-after front axle load (as indicated by ride height)... not by what produces the best ride feel. All you need to do this is a tape measure, so I suggest doing it properly.

I'm willing to help with interpretation of the WDH installation and adjustment instructions, but I've never heard of - and can't find online in a quick search - a "Wolf" WDH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Johnson View Post
... if you do have sag, using a WDH to hold the TV and trailer in horizontal alignment would keep your headlight beams in alignment, balance the load on the tires of your dual axles to even out tire and axle wear, and tend to keep braking forces properly distributed for their best performance under emergency conditions.
Load distribution between the two axles of a tandem trailer is determined by whether or not the trailer is level, regardless of the use (or not) of WD. Any trailer can be leveled properly with any type of hitch, with or without WD. With WD, the trailer level and weight distribution effect are separate adjustments.
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Old 09-17-2019, 03:33 PM   #18
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Brian B-P, thanks for your comments.

First, the hitch, yeah , I didn't go out and look at it before writing. The logo is a silhouette of a wolf like critter, but its actually a Husky Model 70270. It came with the original owner's manual. I incorrectly called it a "Wolf."

Regarding the ride I experienced after adjusting the hitch per the instructions, it was distinctly rougher than the unladen ride, and the earlier commenter's remark that a rough ride might be the result of the hitch being adjusted too tightly seems to me to be something worth exploring. I am not just looking for a smooth ride, I am looking for an appropriately adjusted hitch, and that sometimes requires a bit of fine tuning. Experience will tell.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 09-17-2019, 03:53 PM   #19
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First, the hitch, yeah , I didn't go out and look at it before writing. The logo is a silhouette of a wolf like critter, but its actually a Husky Model 70270.
That makes sense - the Husky logo should have occurred to me... I've seen it enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Johnson View Post
Regarding the ride I experienced after adjusting the hitch per the instructions, it was distinctly rougher than the unladen ride, and the earlier commenter's remark that a rough ride might be the result of the hitch being adjusted too tightly seems to me to be something worth exploring. I am not just looking for a smooth ride, I am looking for an appropriately adjusted hitch, and that sometimes requires a bit of fine tuning. Experience will tell.
Since you've already adjusted as per the instructions, that's a lot better than it could be - many people seem to just guess. With that as a starting point, going less tight isn't a problem, as long as the WD system is transferring enough load for you.

Unfortunately, the Husky instruction sheet which I checked says to use the bumper heights for reference and said that "Vehicle should settle evenly, within 1/2" (front and back) when the trailer is hooked up and WD connected versus with no trailer, which is complete nonsense. The front ride height (not bumper height) should be no lower than without the trailer. Their advice could easily lead to a greatly over-applied WD system.

What is the WDH spring bar rating? In most WDH products, the only difference between variations of different capacity is the stiffness of the spring bars. If the spring bars are too stiff, it could be an issue. I couldn't find a 70270 on Husky's site, but like others they have three or more tongue weight / trailer weight rating choices per WD hitch style.
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:24 PM   #20
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I had a 2004 Ford Freestar Minivan and a 2004 Fleetwood Redwood Tent Trailer 14í box high wall, really big, 3250 lbs. I used a WDH for that, worked really well considering I was way over the vans capacity when loaded. The shady salesman convinced me it was fine.
For such a large trailer, I forgot it was back there.

Years later and much smarter, I had a 2008 Tacoma and an Escape 17b. I towed it with and without a WDH hitch. I only used the hitch on the highway as it improved the ride, no bounce.

Today, I recently bought a 2019 Tundra 4.6 4x4 DC and when I pickup my new 19í Escape, I will be using a WDH. The Tundra will tow it all day long without it, but it just makes the ride nicer. You tend to forget your towing.
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