will a 2" class III Ball Mount w/sway control tab work? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-29-2019, 04:33 PM   #1
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will a 2" class III Ball Mount w/sway control tab work?

Just about to finalize build sheet on a 21. I currently tow a 17' Casita with a 2017 Honda Ridgeline using a "Ball Mount w/Sway Tab" for 2" hitches. Will this arrangement suffice for towing our new Escape? Honda recommends not to use a WDH. I realize the Ridgeline is not the ideal TV but that's what we have. Thanks
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Old 03-29-2019, 04:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SFmiguel View Post
Just about to finalize build sheet on a 21. I currently tow a 17' Casita with a 2017 Honda Ridgeline using a "Ball Mount w/Sway Tab" for 2" hitches. Will this arrangement suffice for towing our new Escape? Honda recommends not to use a WDH. I realize the Ridgeline is not the ideal TV but that's what we have. Thanks

Michael,
If you have the all-wheel drive Ridgeline, the tow rating is 5,000 lbs., and Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is almost 10,000 lbs.
Those numbers will certainly work for a 21.
The V6 is 280 HP, coupled to a 6-speed transmission, so you should not have a problem, even in our wonderful Western U.S. mountains.


If you have 2 wheel drive, you're like us (with a 2011 Honda Pilot), with a 3500 lb. tow rating. It works fine for our 17, but not for a 21.
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Old 03-29-2019, 05:42 PM   #3
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Thank you sir. I do have the all wheel drive. I'm wondering if ETI will install the "ball" receiver for the sway bar on the tongue? I plan on bringing a sway bar to orientation at ETI. My sales person didn't know.
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Old 03-29-2019, 05:47 PM   #4
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Hello Michael, another Escape coming to NM. Great! We tow our E21 with a GMC Canyon diesel and it makes a lovely combo. I am unfamiliar with the Ridgeline so no help there but if you have questions about your E21 build sheet or the whole process, we picked up January 14th and just got home a couple of weeks ago from a great trip.
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Old 03-29-2019, 06:15 PM   #5
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Hey Lorin- Going to finalize the build sheet on Mon.. Yesterday added the front window and the extra window over short dresser by foot of bed. Figured that more light is good. Our toughest call is the power awning, which I guess we'll go with despite my misgivings. Welcome back to N.M..
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Old 03-29-2019, 07:48 PM   #6
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I'm wondering if ETI will install the "ball" receiver for the sway bar on the tongue? I plan on bringing a sway bar to orientation at ETI. My sales person didn't know.
Typically the bracket which goes on the ball mount is just held on by the ball, so installation is trivial. Anyone with a big wrench can do it.

On the trailer tongue end, the installation is exactly the same as the sway control part of the WD hitch with add-on sway control that Escape sells as an option, so they (or the hitch shop which they use) can certainly install it. Of course, you're not buying it from Escape, so they may not include this installation service, which requires drilling multiple holes in the trailer's frame.
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Old 03-29-2019, 07:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by SFmiguel View Post
I'm wondering if ETI will install the "ball" receiver for the sway bar on the tongue? I plan on bringing a sway bar to orientation at ETI. My sales person didn't know.

If your sales person doesn't know, why not return the item and get what you need ( installed ) at ETI?
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:29 PM   #8
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If your sales person doesn't know, why not return the item and get what you need ( installed ) at ETI?
I had asked my ETI salesperson about having the sway bar installed and she wasn't sure if it was possible. I called today to get some clarification and ETI's lines were down due to a small fire. So , since I plan on signing off on the final buildsheet on Monday, I thought I'd try to get that information from this forum. Just trying to get my ducks in a row before Monday.
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:43 PM   #9
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I think you will be happy with the Ridgeline as your tow vehicle. My plans are to have the E2 hitch installed up in Chilliwack when the time comes.
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:52 PM   #10
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Typically the bracket which goes on the ball mount is just held on by the ball, so installation is trivial. Anyone with a big wrench can do it.

On the trailer tongue end, the installation is exactly the same as the sway control part of the WD hitch with add-on sway control that Escape sells as an option, so they (or the hitch shop which they use) can certainly install it. Of course, you're not buying it from Escape, so they may not include this installation service, which requires drilling multiple holes in the trailer's frame.
Pardon my naivetť on this topic, I'm obviously not using the proper terminology. I have a receiver(?) on my truck with the 2" ball and the smaller ball for the sway bar.
All I want to know is if ETI will install the ball that the sway bar attaches to on the trailer tongue end. I'd be happy to buy their sway bar.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:37 PM   #11
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I have a receiver(?) on my truck with the 2" ball and the smaller ball for the sway bar.
The part built into the truck is the receiver. The removable part that has both the 2" ball and the smaller ball on it is the ball mount. So you're set on the truck side.

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Originally Posted by SFmiguel View Post
All I want to know is if ETI will install the ball that the sway bar attaches to on the trailer tongue end. I'd be happy to buy their sway bar.
Yes, that's what I understood. ETI doesn't sell (or at least doesn't list on their website) just the sway control device by itself, so I doubt that buying one from them is an option. The sales person probably has no idea how any of this equipment is installed, so she doesn't realize that it is exactly the same as installing the sway control device that comes with one of their optional WD systems.

ETI seems happy to work with Trademasters, a local hitch shop. An alternative is that Trademasters could certainly install your sway control device on the trailer, and could certainly sell you one, too. Since you don't get to tow your trailer until it is delivered in Sumas, to get Trademasters to do this installation (if you can't get the people at ETI to understand what you need), you could either:
  1. get ETI to take the trailer to Trademasters for you before taking it to Sumas, or
  2. after you get the trailer in Sumas, drive back into Canada and take it to Trademasters yourself.

I would suggest just getting the sway control device installed in or near Sumas, but that's a really small town and it doesn't look like there is a hitch shop anywhere in the area.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by SFmiguel View Post
Pardon my naivetť on this topic, I'm obviously not using the proper terminology. I have a receiver(?) on my truck with the 2" ball and the smaller ball for the sway bar.
All I want to know is if ETI will install the ball that the sway bar attaches to on the trailer tongue end. I'd be happy to buy their sway bar.
I had a Casita with the same sway control bar. It looks like this:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/CURT-Sway...4aAgtwEALw_wcB

I upgraded from a 17' SD to the 21' as well. Let me give you some advise - forget the sway bar that you were using with the Casita. It is not going to do much for sway control on a trailer as big as the 21'.

I'm using a Husky Centerline TS with my trailer and it works great. Four points of friction vs the one of the Curt and you don't have to remove it to back up.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

With all the conversations on anti-sway going on right now after a trailer was flipped after passing a semi, spending a few extra dollars for a good sway control setup is worth the extra safety you get. Most the time you don't need anti-sway but when you do, you want the best you can afford.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
I'm using a Husky Centerline TS with my trailer and it works great. Four points of friction vs the one of the Curt and you don't have to remove it to back up.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
But that's a WDH with a sway control feature, and the goal here was to avoid the WDH. I agree that those stuck-on-the-side friction-based sway control devices are cheap and likely not good, but they're what you find when you look for a sway control device which is not a WDH (in North America).
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:53 PM   #14
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I had a Casita with the same sway control bar. It looks like this:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/CURT-Sway...4aAgtwEALw_wcB
Curt, Reese, ProSeries, whatever - they all look and work the same way. For all I know, they may all come out of the same factory in China.
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Old 03-30-2019, 12:02 AM   #15
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But that's a WDH with a sway control feature, and the goal here was to avoid the WDH. I agree that those stuck-on-the-side friction-based sway control devices are cheap and likely not good, but they're what you find when you look for a sway control device which is not a WDH (in North America).
My son-in law has a Honda ridgeline, keeps up with info on the forums, and this is what the manual says about WDH - "designed to tow without the need for a load distributing hitch". That is not the same as not recommended.

There is a "lawyer clause" in the manual that says "A weight distributing hitch is not
recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance." Well, an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch would screw up about any tow vehicle so that's not unique to the Honda ridgeline.

If you visit the Honda ridgeline forums, you will find that those that tow trailers usually have a WDH with sway control on their truck. The ridgeline is a unibody truck, light, and needs all the help it can get dealing with towing a trailer.

Now that is out of the way, the best anti-sway tends to be paired with a WDH hitch. They kinda go hand in hand.
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Old 03-30-2019, 12:42 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
My son-in law has a Honda ridgeline, keeps up with info on the forums, and this is what the manual says about WDH - "designed to tow without the need for a load distributing hitch". That is not the same as not recommended.

There is a "lawyer clause" in the manual that says "A weight distributing hitch is not
recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance." Well, an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch would screw up about any tow vehicle so that's not unique to the Honda ridgeline.

If you visit the Honda ridgeline forums, you will find that those that tow trailers usually have a WDH with sway control on their truck. The ridgeline is a unibody truck, light, and needs all the help it can get dealing with towing a trailer.

Now that is out of the way, the best anti-sway tends to be paired with a WDH hitch. They kinda go hand in hand.
Good comment, except I fail to see how a vehicle being of unibody design somehow makes the vehicle need more help ("all the help it can get"?) with towing.
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Old 03-30-2019, 01:25 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
The ridgeline is a unibody truck, light, and needs all the help it can get dealing with towing a trailer.
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Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
... I fail to see how a vehicle being of unibody design somehow makes the vehicle need more help ("all the help it can get"?) with towing.
The unibody construction obviously does not make the vehicle need WD; I believe the intent of the comment was that the unibody construction enables this vehicle to be relatively light, and because of the low weight it may have a greater need for WD and/or sway control than a heavier vehicle.

In fact, a current Ridgeline and current Toyota Tacoma (and example of a conventional pickup of about the same size) are essentially the same weight.
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Old 03-30-2019, 01:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
My son-in law has a Honda ridgeline, keeps up with info on the forums, and this is what the manual says about WDH - "designed to tow without the need for a load distributing hitch". That is not the same as not recommended.

There is a "lawyer clause" in the manual that says "A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance." Well, an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch would screw up about any tow vehicle so that's not unique to the Honda ridgeline.
True. I was only addressing the original poster's questions, which were based on not using WD.

This is not just a "laywer clause"; it is physically valid. Since the Ridgeline's full towing capacity can be reached without a hitch weight that leads to a need for WD, Honda has the opportunity to advise against WD, so they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
... the best anti-sway tends to be paired with a WDH hitch. They kinda go hand in hand.
They go together primarily because in the design of common high-friction WD systems the amount of friction is directly related to the amount load transfer. In the Andersen No-Sway design, the amount of sway controlling friction is directly related to the tongue weight, not the amount of weight transfer... but the Andersen No-Sway has other issues.

They also go together because WD inherently reduces tow vehicle rear traction, potentially making sway worse (the valid concern discussed above). That means that it is natural for WD designs to look for ways to add sway control, to make up for the problem they're causing, as well as to offer improved sway control as an additional feature. Since WD is inherently used to make an otherwise inadequate tow vehicle able to tow a large trailer, offering additional sway control to the same customer in the same product makes sense.

In Europe sway control devices are very common (and apparently effective) but WD is almost never used. Their design is not feasible with typical North American hitch equipment, because it doesn't work with a ball which will unscrew if twisted by the coupler... and most North American towing balls are mounted on a threaded stud.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:32 AM   #19
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Wow. Thank you Brian & tdf ! I now understand my options. At this point I believe I'll go along with Honda's recommendation and not use a WDH. I'm a little surprised that ETI doesn't offer the basic "Curt style" sway bar installation, even on their 17footers. Thanks again guys, Mike
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Old 03-30-2019, 12:32 PM   #20
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While I have you guys here, I have one more question. Am I wrong in assuming that the dual axles of the Escape21 would make it less prone to "sway" than the single axle Casita 17'? Assuming proper tongue weight on each trailer. I realize that the larger profile of the Escape will catch more wind.
And, tdf texas is the Escape21 a whole lot more comfortable than the 17' Casita? I'm thinking it will be, but I was only in a 21 for 5 or 10 minutes.
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