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Old 03-31-2019, 01:19 PM   #1
Guy
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Location: Golden Valley, Minnesota
Trailer: 17A
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WDH on a 17A

We will pick up our 17A in one month at ETI. It is currently stored at ETI waiting for us. The recent talk on the forum about trailer sway, etc., has got us thinking of sway control devices. Do we even need something for the lightest ETI trailer at 1970 pounds unloaded. My tow vehicle is a Jeep G.C., curb weight about 5000 lbs, towing capacity 6200 lbs, and tongue weight limit 620 lbs. Could something like the E2 Fastway WDH cause a stiffer, less comfortable ride in the Tow Vehicle even as it makes for a safer tow. Is it possible to get too much of a WDH? What about a stand alone sway bar without a WDH, like the Reese bar that bolts to the frame? Would that be enough to dampen sway. We have always pulled a low profile pop-up and have not pulled a high trailer like the Escape. Do Escape owners of 17s bother with WDHs?
Thanks for any help on this.
Guy
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
We will pick up our 17A in one month at ETI. It is currently stored at ETI waiting for us. The recent talk on the forum about trailer sway, etc., has got us thinking of sway control devices. Do we even need something for the lightest ETI trailer at 1970 pounds unloaded. My tow vehicle is a Jeep G.C., curb weight about 5000 lbs, towing capacity 6200 lbs, and tongue weight limit 620 lbs. Could something like the E2 Fastway WDH cause a stiffer, less comfortable ride in the Tow Vehicle even as it makes for a safer tow. Is it possible to get too much of a WDH? What about a stand alone sway bar without a WDH, like the Reese bar that bolts to the frame? Would that be enough to dampen sway. We have always pulled a low profile pop-up and have not pulled a high trailer like the Escape. Do Escape owners of 17s bother with WDHs?
Thanks for any help on this.
Guy
All good questions.

The dry hitch weight for the 17 is 250 lbs. That is not much weight to "re-distribute" across your tow vehicle axles. If the hitch weight on your loaded trailer nears your rated hitch weight of your tow vehicle, it would probably be a good investment.

BTW, by dry weight, I assume that means empty propane tanks and empty storage box.

That said, I have had no problem towing my 17B without a WDH. But then again, the max hitch weight on my 1/2 ton tow vehicle is 1050 lbs, almost half the dry weight of the trailer.

Interested in hearing others on this topic.

Paul
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:03 PM   #3
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I have a 17A and do not use a sway bar or WDH. I have been very happy with the performance of my trailer as is. I have never felt that "I really wish I had a WDH". A few times while driving too fast on Baja roads, my truck and trailer would start to porpose on roads that felt like they had frost heave (heat heave?). Wasn't ever excessive and a little brake pedal solved the situation. I don't want a WDH.

The 17A with a front storage box (love mine and would not take it off) can easily have pretty high tongue weight issue. My loaded tongue weight tends to be between 420 and 450 lbs which is about right but I have to be careful with loading and balance. Main issue is that with the storage box and forward bed, you have a pretty large storage area under the bed …. its tempting to put too much under there. I recommend the Princess Auto tongue scale to track tongue weights. It looks like a "short pogo stick" where you place it vertically under your coupler and crank up your hitch stand to get a weight reading.... costs somewhere around $40.00. Too light a tongue weight and sway could become an issue. I aim for between 12 - 15% of total trailer weight. A WDH weighs about 60 lbs and typically costs $600.00.

Now that said, those that like them report that they make their trailer and tow feel like one unit. I don't know about that as I have never had one. I'd suggest (especially with a 17A) that you try your trailer without one as you can always add a WDH later if you feel a need. The 17's are really very stabile.

Good luck to you,
Tom
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Old 03-31-2019, 04:03 PM   #4
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Do we even need something for the lightest ETI trailer at 1970 pounds unloaded.

Dry weight is not just "unloaded". Dry weight is also without options, without propane, battery, water, etc.
My 17B loaded for camping comes in around 3,000 lbs.
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Old 03-31-2019, 05:04 PM   #5
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Guy,
I'm with Tom (StarvingHyena) on this. We have a 17A, and do not use a WDH, and no anti-sway devices, nor have we considered one.
Our 17A, with the front storage box and two propane tanks (17 lbs. each, empty, and 35+ lbs. full), has a tongue weight that we try to keep down below 400 lbs. Tongue weight is not a problem on the 17A. The heaviest items on the rear are a bike rack with 2 steel framed bicycles (<100lbs).
( Edit: Our typical trailer weight loaded is 26-2800 lbs. )
In addition, the distance from the tongue ball to the trailer axle centerline is 12 ft., so it is difficult to impossible to induce sway on a 17A.
When we picked up our 17A in Sumas, and loaded all our gear into it, we then proceeded along a two-lane WA highway. I experimented with trying to induce sway at 30, then 40, then 50, then 60 mph. Nada! When semi-trucks went by, closely, the other way, I watched in the rear-view mirrors for sway or other motion: nary a shimmer.
On one trip, we were on I-5 through Calif. Central Valley (300 miles of flat/straightą) at 60-65, and then hit high winds: cross-winds with gusts to 40 mph. We watched carefully in the mirrors for the trailer's response. It was barely a shudder in the gusts, so we kept going, with no problems.
Let me add here that I have been towing stuff off and on for 55 years, so there's an experience level to go with my choices.

That being said, I have every confidence in recommending that you do not need an anti-sway device for a 17A properly loaded. The use of a WDH may be of use to you, depending on your tow vehicle's characteristics, for weight redistribution, which is of course the WDH's actual purpose.
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Old 03-31-2019, 05:24 PM   #6
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I would consider getting a WDH if your GC 'porpoises' when towing over bumps/dips in the road, or if the tongue weight makes the back of the GC sag a lot and lifts the front of the vehicle, otherwise I wouldn't bother.
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Old 03-31-2019, 06:40 PM   #7
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Lots of good information from everyone on this thread. Very helpful. Thank you all.
Guy
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Old 03-31-2019, 07:00 PM   #8
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I pull a 17B with a 2016 GMC Canyon with a tow rating of 7000 lbs and would not consider any trip (other than around the block) with out a WDH. The improved ride and handling is well worth the few dollars extra.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:30 PM   #9
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Had a 17B that I used ETI supplied Pro Series WDH with a Murano and AWD Highlander. For those vehicles it was necessary. Now with a 21/Yukon I still use a Pro Series WDH even though no obvious sag on rear without. On long trips the WDH makes for a smoother ride which results in less fatigue.
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