Weight Distribution hitch needed? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-27-2018, 02:02 AM   #1
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Weight Distribution hitch needed?

We have a 21ft trailer on order and just bought a 2012 Ford F-150 4x4, 5.0 liter V8 Supercrew, short box with sway control. Being new to all this, my question is: Do I need a weight distribution hitch or sway control? Any help would be greatly appreciated. 👍😊
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:39 AM   #2
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I am confident you will get several answers that ask you to check the numbers on your truck and the weight you will carry, but my answer is more general.

This is one of those do you "need" the devices or do you "want" the devices.

When we moved from a 4Runner to our current pick-up, with self-leveling air springs, we no longer needed our Andersen set up which is leveling and sway control. I continue to use it, though for fear of the time when the deer jumps out, the moose is standing in the road, or a tire goes out--all three of which have happened to us. At that point, I want every form of additional connection I can get with the trailer, although we really don't technically need anything but the ball hitch.

So, my answer it to get something. Now I'll let others suggest what, exactly.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:53 AM   #3
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Thank-you very much for your reply Bill and Earline. Very good examples of why it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:59 AM   #4
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I'm all for safety, but I'm all for simplicity, too. We pull a 21' with a 2016 F-150 4x4 5.0L supercrew shortbed and no WDH. We rely on good tires and properly adjusted truck and trailer brakes to do what they are there for if something jumps out in front of us, and one advantage of a double-axle trailer is that, if you have one tire blow out, you still have three tires doing their job. We're quite comfortable without a WDH, but there is value in peace of mind, so to each their own. If you decide to go with a WDH, take note of the weight of the WDH you choose and what that does to your back when installing and to your truck's payload capacity when using - many brands are quite heavy.
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:40 AM   #5
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I have to agree with WarEagle. I tow a 21' with 2016 F150 Lariat, 4WD, and 2.7L EcoBoost. Personally, I believe a WD hitch with this setup is not needed. I have never felt uncomfortable with this setup or a need to do anything differently. I did use a WD hitch on my 27' and my 22' "stickies" before I got my 21' last year. They are heavy and somewhat difficult to deal with for a "let's say mature" woman such as myself. Not impossible, but difficult to manage; however to me, they are more of a hassle than help. Best advice would be to try towing it and if you are not comfortable or confident, please get a WD hitch.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:49 AM   #6
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Thx War Eagle and Titanizer. This is very good information as you have the same truck and trailer. Ford said the same as you, it is not required, unless the trailer is over 5000 pounds. But when I phoned the people who sold the WDH’s they said I did need a WDH,so then I was very confused. I like your advise of trying the trailer without it and seeing how it feels and see if it sags down in the rear end of the truck. I never thought about the weight of the WDH hitch itself either. Good point! �� I very much appreciate you taking the time to reply as this is the first time I will be driving a truck and trailer. I have tented my whole life. Time to get off the ground lol ��
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:10 PM   #7
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Andersen makes a very light weigh w/d set up , see here https://andersenhitches.com/Catalog/...ion-hitch.aspx
if you do decide to get one, very easy to hook up and use.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susanne View Post
We have a 21ft trailer on order and just bought a 2012 Ford F-150 4x4, 5.0 liter V8 Supercrew, short box with sway control. Being new to all this, my question is: Do I need a weight distribution hitch or sway control? Any help would be greatly appreciated. ����
We are currently towing a 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe with a 2012 F-150 FX4 SCREW, 5.0 Coyote V-8...we have a 21' Escape on order, due in June.

I own an Andersen WDH that I like, but I've pretty much stopped using it for the Casita. The Casita does have a tongue weight of over 350 lbs. I will try towing the new 21' without the WDH, since it is much easier overall to not have to hook it up and adjust it while traveling, plus we really don't even notice the Casita back there with or without the WDH. Yes, the 21' could be a different experience, but I anticipate the dual axles making things even more stable. The truck seems more than capable.

Keep in mind though, I changed out the rear factory shocks for Bilsteins, and also added "helper leaf springs" from Hellwig, to lessen any droop under a load. AND, I also added a Hellwig anti-sway bar to the rear axle, set at the "middle" setting. The PHYSICAL anti-sway bar is proactive, rather than the "reactive" electronic system standard on the F-150, which is tied to the anti-lock braking system and will apply braking to lessen/stop sway when detected by the computers. It does not prevent sway, it attempts to stop it upon detection. This truck came from the factory without a physical anti-sway bar in the rear, which baffled me to no end. I supposed they did that for ride comfort. With all my mods, my truck handles very "sporty" as a result, and stays very flat in the corners, much more than most trucks.

( I've read accounts of people getting poor mileage and excessive brake wear due to the electronic anti-sway system kicking in too often. You don't want that situation at all. )
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:32 PM   #9
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Thx Jim for the link to the Andersen WDH. I appreciate it.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:37 PM   #10
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Thx thiggins! That was very good information as you have the exact same truck. And will be getting the same 21'trailer. I will be picking up my trailer on April 3rd.
Very good info to know that I can beef up the shocks, leaf springs and install a physical anti-sway bar. All new to me! Also thx for explaining the difference between the physical and the electronic sway control. That was very helpful! It has been so kind of all of you to respond. Your experience and knowledge is VERY helpful. This Forum is invaluable. I hope to meet some of you at this years Rally in May in Osoyoos. Come over and have some wine lol
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:39 PM   #11
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One of the benefits of towing with a full-size is that you usually don't require a WDH for towing an Escape. With our Highlander/17B setup it was pretty much essential to have. The Yukon doesn't have any noticeable squat without, however we do have a Pro Series that we prefer over the Andersen it replaced for a couple of reasons. First, the Andersen is not easy to use despite others saying so. If you unhitch at an angle that triangle plate is then left in that angle when you unhitch and to straighten it back out requires some effort. I can still remember making sharp turns in the opposite direction(as per instructions) to get it square enough to attach. Then you're needing a fairly hefty(1/2" ) socket wrench to use with their specialty socket to get the threads back to spec. The Pro Series is so simple; you get your height figured the first time and then use the same loop of chain and there is a two foot piece of tube you use to leverage it up and the hook pin goes in and you're done. You don't need anti-sway IMO with these Escapes like you might with a taller/wider/heavier stickie. I suspect people buy the E2 for the same reason I bought the Andersen vs. the Pro Series that came with our used 17B: if it costs more it must be better. That is true in many cases but not always so.

The other advantage for us with the Pro Series ball mount is that it pushes the ball back about 2" further away from the vehicle so the tailgate opens up. It wouldn't with the Andesen unless I bought a special lengthened shank ($130)to achieve the same distance. For mid-size vehicles the Andersen is much lighter so that helps them. With a full-size that probably isn't an issue.

We normally only use the WDH when travelling more than a few hours or if there is either wind or road surface issues.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:56 PM   #12
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Thx Rossue. Thank-you for your sharing your experience with the Pro Series WDH vs the Andersen. Thats good info about the 2" ball being back far enough to put down the tailgate also. Very kind of you to take the time to post. Much appreciated.
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:55 PM   #13
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Susanne, I should have mentioned that our 2016 F-150 also has the 7,000 lb payload package, which I imagine helps reduce squat when hitched and lesson the benefit of a WDH.
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:10 PM   #14
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Hi War Eagle. Wow! Thats quite the payload. Yes, Im sure that really prevents any sagging of the rear end of your truck. Thx Susanne
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
Susanne, I should have mentioned that our 2016 F-150 also has the 7,000 lb payload package, which I imagine helps reduce squat when hitched and lesson the benefit of a WDH.
Do you mean you have the heavy duty payload package that raises the GVWR to 7K+ lbs?

Obviously there's no half ton truck with a 7K lb payload capacity, but a properly equipped F150 can reach 3270 lbs.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:36 AM   #16
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Do you mean you have the heavy duty payload package that raises the GVWR to 7K+ lbs? Obviously there's no half ton truck with a 7K lb payload capacity, but a properly equipped F150 can reach 3270 lbs.
My bad! Not #7000 payload. 7000# GVWR (on door sticker). Which I think is fairly standard for the 5.0L and 3.5L EB as compared to what I believe is 6500# GVWR standard for the 2.7L EB. So an extra 500 lb payload with the 5.0L and 3.5L EB over the 2.7L EB? Does that make more sense?
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:03 AM   #17
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My 2012 FX4 F-150 5.0 Coyote SCREW has a GVWR of 7350 lbs, but that's with the old steel body and 6-lug axles. 1483 lbs of useful load.
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
... 7000# GVWR (on door sticker). Which I think is fairly standard for the 5.0L and 3.5L EB as compared to what I believe is 6500# GVWR standard for the 2.7L EB. So an extra 500 lb payload with the 5.0L and 3.5L EB over the 2.7L EB? Does that make more sense?
Roughly... all of those engines weight different amounts, so otherwise identical trucks with the same GVWR will have slightly different payloads. The EcoBoost 3.5 is heaviest the EcoBoost 2.7 lightest, and the 5.0 V8 in between.

They're all available with payload packages, but greater payload packages are offered with the more powerful engines. GVWR for 2018 SuperCrew 4X4 XLT:
  • with 2.7: 6600 lb (base) to 6900 lb (with 2.7L EcoBoost® V6 Payload Package)
  • with 3.5: 7000 lb (only; no payload package with short box)
  • with 5.0: 7000 lb (only; no payload package with short box)
So in this cab and box combination, the 2.7 payload package is essentially the same as the other engines in their highest (and only) GVWR.

To be allowed to buy the payload package with the more powerful engines, you also need to stretch out to the 6.5' box ( wheelbase) with the SuperCrew 4X4, but then you can't get the 2.7:
  • 2.7 not available
  • with 3.5: 7050 lb (base) to 7850 lb (with Heavy Duty Payload Package with 18" wheels)
  • with 5.0: 7050 lb (base) to 7850 lb (with Heavy Duty Payload Package with 18" wheels)

There is only one payload package offered per engine. Any other variation is due to the truck configuration (longer wheelbases get higher GVWR to roughly compensate for the heavier truck; 4X4 gets higher than 4X2 of the same wheelbase) and tire size.

I didn't check other trim levels, but I doubt they have different GVWR choices or more engine choices.
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Old 02-28-2018, 06:53 PM   #19
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This is why if I were planning on an F150 to tow a 5.0TA, I'd go with the 3.5L EcoBoost instead of my 2.7L. Not a massive difference in terms of power or torque, but a substantial bump in payload with the package.
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