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Old 07-23-2014, 11:22 PM   #51
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You're talking apples and oranges. No, make that Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:24 AM   #52
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Hi: All... Here's a peach for comparison!!! Nissan doesn't recommend the Frontier for towing a 5th. wh. I guess they never heard of the Escape 5.0 series?
Now back to the question at hand... What to tow a 19' with? Alf
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:35 PM   #53
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Rossue, thanks for the detailed log. The Toyota guy with the Nov 5 and Nov 6 responses is obviously clueless; it is unfortunate you were given this misinformation.

Hotfishtacos, as Baglo suggested I believe that Rossue read his Highlander manual carefully in response to your Pilot experience (since they are similar vehicles), and found that Toyota had no corresponding statement about WDH.

Toyota has different WDH recommendations for three of their unibody vehicles (all of which have bolt-on hitch receivers available as genuine Toyota accessories):
  • RAV4 - WDH not recommended
  • Highlander - no mention of WDH
  • Sienna - WDH required if hitch weight is over 350 pounds
I don't this this is a problem; it reflects real differences in the vehicles. The Sienna can carry a lot, but has a longer tail and smaller tires than the others so a high hitch load risks overloading the rear axle capacity. The RAV4 is the shortest, and so perhaps most vulnerable to WDH abuse.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:43 PM   #54
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I contacted Andersen about whether or not their WDH could be used on my vehicle. There is nothing I can find from Ford/Lincoln about whether or not to use any type of WDH on the Lincoln MKX. Here is Dave's reply from Andersen:

"One of the main differences between our weight distribution hitch compared to the others on the market is how the pressure is applied to the frame of the tow vehicle. The traditional spring bar setup is often never recommended on smaller tow vehicles due to the stress it can put on the frame. When a spring bar setup is installed it can be installed with enough force to lift the rear tires off of the ground of the vehicle so the frame is taking an incredible amount of stress. Our design using the cushioned urethane springs to create leverage is much less stress and we see the hitch being used on many vehicles similar to yours without causing issues with the frame. The one negative our hitch has due to not having as much stress on the frame is it can be difficult to remove almost all of the tongue weight of the trailer. Our hitch would probably be able to distribute about half of the tongue weight of your setup so you would see the back sag similar to loading the rear with 150-200 pounds or the equivalent of having someone who weighs that much standing on the bumper.

We have not heard from Ford or any manufacturer directly about the design of our hitch and we do not plan on hearing from them, the testing they would need to do to approve a product would be intense and not a profitable venture for them to pursue. I do recommend some sort of sway control on the trailer and vehicle and some people have bought our setup just for using the sway and bounce control setting.

Keep us posted if you need any information as we want you to tow safely.

Thanks,

Dave A."
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:46 PM   #55
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Highlander WDH

I checked the manual for my 2014 Highlander and could find no mention of using a WDH. The sales guy (for what it is worth) said that trailers weighing < 5000 lbs don't need a WDH, and therefor not mentioned. But like several folks here, I was told you should use a WDH with FWD vehicles. So I am going to use an Andersen when we pick up the new trailer.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:54 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
I contacted Andersen about whether or not their WDH could be used on my vehicle...
Here is Dave's reply from Andersen:

"One of the main differences between our weight distribution hitch compared to the others on the market is how the pressure is applied to the frame of the tow vehicle. The traditional spring bar setup is often never recommended on smaller tow vehicles due to the stress it can put on the frame. When a spring bar setup is installed it can be installed with enough force to lift the rear tires off of the ground of the vehicle so the frame is taking an incredible amount of stress. Our design using the cushioned urethane springs to create leverage is much less stress and we see the hitch being used on many vehicles similar to yours without causing issues with the frame. The one negative our hitch has due to not having as much stress on the frame is it can be difficult to remove almost all of the tongue weight of the trailer. Our hitch would probably be able to distribute about half of the tongue weight of your setup so you would see the back sag similar to loading the rear with 150-200 pounds or the equivalent of having someone who weighs that much standing on the bumper..."
The Andersen people can be quite helpful, but this is simply bull.
  • Any common WD system can be adjusted to determine the force applied.
  • All WD systems act though a spring (bending steel bars in most cases, axially loaded urethane cylinder in an Andersen) which cushions the force
  • The hitch sees the same forces for any given level of load transfer, regardless of the WD design.
He is really just saying that you can't crank the Andersen up to forces as high as most others, so it can't hurt as much. This doesn't matter because you only apply what you need.

As we have discussed previously, the Andersen springs are only available in one stiffness, which is likely too stiff to be ideal for our low-load use.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:54 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
I checked the manual for my 2014 Highlander and could find no mention of using a WDH. The sales guy (for what it is worth) said that trailers weighing < 5000 lbs don't need a WDH, and therefor not mentioned. But like several folks here, I was told you should use a WDH with FWD vehicles. So I am going to use an Andersen when we pick up the new trailer.
Yeah, I tend to agree. If the Andersen was able to remove only half of the tongue weight on my setup as they suggest, it'd still be a much more level and stable ride IMHO.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:14 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
The hitch in question is not bolted on. It is welded in by Honda. You'd have to cut it out to replace it...
I'll admit that I was initially concerned that I had this wrong, since I was working from two-year-old memories of examining the current Pilot at a dealership. I did a search of on-line parts listings to confirm what I saw earlier, but I will still make a trip to the local Honda dealer for confirmation if there is any uncertainty.

It is understandable that one might not see that this bumper/hitch assembly is not welded into the vehicle, but it does appear to be bolted on - the bolts are hidden deep behind the plastic bumper cover.

This is the part in question: HITCH ASSY., TRAILER (Honda part 74690-SZA-A00). In the assembly drawing (of which I have attached a small snippet showing the hitch/bumper itself), you can see the shape of the part, and that it is attached to the unibody by four M14 x 41mm flange-head bolts. The links and illustration are for 2012 (not 2010), only because the 2010 listings did not include this category of parts; the Pilot is the same design for model years 2009 to current.

This is good news - the hitch can be replaced if desired (yes, by another of the same). Unfortunately, the part costs over $300 here (probably much less in the U.S.), and wildly guessing I would say it will take a couple hours to remove and replace, due to the bumper cover which also must be removed and replaced (re-using the original parts).
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:20 PM   #59
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The statement that raised my eyebrows suggested cushioning somehow reduced stress.
As you know from sleeping on a thin mattress, the cushioning effect disappears when it is compressed.

Our design using the cushioned urethane springs to create leverage is much less stress
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:25 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
The statement that raised my eyebrows suggested cushioning somehow reduced stress.
As you know from sleeping on a thin mattress, the cushioning effect disappears when it is compressed.

Our design using the cushioned urethane springs to create leverage is much less stress
It disappears when that mattress is fully compressed, or "bottoms out". As long as there is some movement left in the spring of a WD system, it can reduce peak force when the system moves (and maintain force instead of going slack when the system moves the other way). Just sitting still, the force of the WD system will be the same whether the spring is soft or hard.

The original writer probably doesn't understand the meaning of "stress", as compared to "force", so I'll just let that one go.
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