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Old 07-17-2014, 04:41 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotfishtacos View Post
Brian, the application of WDH with front wheel drive is really important when the tongue weight is heavy enough to marginalize the traction contact of the front wheels with the ground during worst case conditions...
I agree that traction is an issue. On the other hand, since most vehicles - and especially those with front wheel drive - are front-heavy to start with, a moderate hitch load may still leave them front-heavy, with no need to shift load by using a weight distribution system. My point is that understanding the reason for the equipment enables making the best decision.

The cruise-control-in-rain example is valid, but the same problem occurs with rear wheel drive: spinning or sliding tires are bad, on either end of the vehicle (and are more difficult to control in the rear). Nothing is free in life, and a WDH reduces traction at the rear tires even more than it increases traction at the front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotfishtacos View Post
We can discuss theory all day but this example is based on real-life experience.
Real-life experience is indeed important. In my experience with our tug having front wheel drive pulling our 17-foot trailer - while carrying cargo in the tug - is that the axle loads are appropriate, drive traction is adequate (including in rain, slush, and gravel), control is excellent, and the rig is stable... without a WDH (or even traction control). Every rig is different - I strongly encourage understanding of the specific situation to make an appropriate choice, not blindly following blanket advice or applying someone else's experience to a different situation.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:53 PM   #22
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A comment about physical reality:
An Escape 17' has a tongue weight in the range of about 250 pounds (dry, empty, base... as per ETI spec) to 500 pounds (the highest for a loaded trailer I've seen reported in a forum). 350 pounds might be typical... and Robert is not allowed any more.

The wheelbase of a Lincoln MKX is 111.2 inches. The ball (of a non-WD hitch) might be 48" behind the axle (that's a guess, although a reasonable one). The curb weight of an MKX is about 4220 lb.

350 lb on a ball 48" behind the axle of a 111.2" wheelbase car will transfer 151 pounds off of the front axle... or 3.6% of the axle load of the empty tug. Is that a big deal?
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:17 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
I can't answer all these questions, but I do have opinions on few:
  • As others have pointed out, you can get an extra set of brake/turn/tail lights on the rear of the trailer. I did that and am glad I did. Gives me peace of mind.
  • We have a 12 volt outlet in the front of the trailer (on the closet wall facing the dinette, and one by the rear of the trailer, under the bed by the propane detecter. Both are on the passenger side. Given the amount that we use our iPads/iPhones, I wish I had one in the front dinette on the driver side, and one on the driver side of the rear dinette.
  • Andersen vs. conventional wdh is a hard decision. We have a conventional WDH on our 17b, but decided on a Andersen for our new trailer. Google Andersen in the forum, and you can read the pros and cons of each. I guess the good news is that they both seem to function well. I think if you gathered 3 forum members to discuss this, there would be at least 4 differing opinions...
  • We got the "Warm White" LEDs from ETI when we bought the trailer. We like them, and it was easier than trying to source the right LED for all the bulbs. I think that there is only one color choice for factory installed LEDs currently. If you want a different color, that might be a reason to do it as an after market item.
  • We don't have a window in the bathroom, but we often use the overhead vent. Haven't had a leakage problem, but leaves and debris seem to find their way to the screen. I would think you would be ok with an opening window.
  • I think your questions re: solar have been answered. If you are going to do your own solar, you might want to have the wires terminated on the side of the trailer with some sort of 12volt connector. That way it would be easy to move them about.

Hope that helps. I know that finishing up the build sheet is a bit stressful. Lots of choices.
Thanks for your feedback. Very helpful.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:20 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
That has similar weight ratings and engine to my Toyota Sienna van, but a shorter wheelbase than the Sienna or other Ford SUVs, such as the Flex / MKT. That shorter wheelbase (but still decent - this is not a short vehicle compared to many used for towing) means more load transfer off the front axle due to hitch load, and thus more likely a desire for a WD system... but I would still check the numbers. The other vehicle specs needed to do this are the axle load ratings (GAWR) and the weights on those axles before and after adding the trailer.


I can't imagine what vehicle Andersen (or any other manufacturer) would say is not compatible with their product, as long as it has a 2" or larger) hitch receiver on it. Remember, Andersen also insists that the same WD system - without even a change in spring stiffness - is suitable for all trailers of all sizes with any tug (up to the seven ton trailer weight limit); does that seem reasonable?


I just checked the 2008 MKX manual and it is really light on vehicle-specific towing information; that's unfortunate. I agree that the Edge is equivalent; the Edge manual is the same. Some manufacturers don't provide any guidance about WDH use; it's always worth checking in case they do.

The hitch capacity listing for the Edge in the 2008 Ford Towing Guide shows the 3,500/350 lb values under weight-carrying capacity, and no listing at all under weight-distributing. Whether this mean WD is not to be used, or just that it does not increase the capacity, is not clear. The 2008 Edge (mechanically an MKX) may have come from Ford with a 1.25" receiver, which would have made WD irrelevant (and corresponding ratings not listed), since WDH systems are not available in that size. Robert, I assume that your MKX has a 2" receiver, or that you are planning to install one to be able to use a WDH.
The factory tow package for the MKX (which I did not get when I bought it) was basically a Curt class 2 with a 2" receiver. I have since installed one just like it.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:04 PM   #25
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Sometimes the factory tow package involves more than just a receiver. For example heavy duty cooling for automatic transmission and radiator as well as updated suspension and wiring. Have you done any of those in addition to the receiver install?
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:30 PM   #26
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Sometimes the factory tow package involves more than just a receiver. For example heavy duty cooling for automatic transmission and radiator as well as updated suspension and wiring. Have you done any of those in addition to the receiver install?
Good points Jim. The factory package for the MKX consisted of only the class II hitch and the wiring. So, besides the hitch I added a transmission fluid cooler (aftermarket because Lincoln doesn't make one), better brakes and inserts on the rear suspension. None of this increases the towing capacity of course, but it does make me feel better....
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