Weight distribution hitch on a 17A? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-03-2017, 04:14 PM   #1
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Weight distribution hitch on a 17A?

How many folks use a weight distribution hitch on 17's? Good option for the factory install, or see how it goes and get it aftermarket if needed? Any real advantage either in price or otherwise to have Escape do it? 2004 4runner V6 is the vehicle. We will probably carry more weight than most with skis gear, bikes, etc...

Build sheet is due tomorrow - promise to stop bothering y'all soon!

Thanks,

Dave
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:46 PM   #2
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I have the Pro Series that ETI sells and installs.
My RAV4 has a 350 tongue weight limit and the rear would drop 2" with the 17B trailer on the hitch. It now rides level and much more comfortably and secure.
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File Type: jpg With WDH1.jpg (103.3 KB, 19 views)
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:56 PM   #3
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Dave:
You may wish to check your owner's manual for your 4Runner. We have a 2008 4Runner V6, and our manual specifically indicates that WDH are not to be used with the factory installed hitch on the V6. This apparently is due to the way that the factory hitch on the V6 attaches to the frame. Yes, I'm aware that it is possible to replace the factory hitch with an after-market one that will allow using a WDH, and that folks have done that. We tow our 2015 17B without a WDH with our 4Runner and have not had any issues with the factory WCH (weight carrying hitch--Toyota's nomenclature. Your 2004 4Runner may not have this restriction. Good luck with your new trailer--we love ours!
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave & Penny Smith View Post
Dave:
You may wish to check your owner's manual for your 4Runner. We have a 2008 4Runner V6, and our manual specifically indicates that WDH are not to be used with the factory installed hitch on the V6. This apparently is due to the way that the factory hitch on the V6 attaches to the frame. Yes, I'm aware that it is possible to replace the factory hitch with an after-market one that will allow using a WDH, and that folks have done that. We tow our 2015 17B without a WDH with our 4Runner and have not had any issues with the factory WCH (weight carrying hitch--Toyota's nomenclature. Your 2004 4Runner may not have this restriction. Good luck with your new trailer--we love ours!
Dave
Thanks Dave - very good to know, I'll check it out for sure!
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:16 PM   #5
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See if your manual says "do not use" a WDH or if it says "not recommended", like my 2008 RAV4 manual.
The dealer installed an after-market class III hitch receiver for WDH on my RAV4 prior to me driving it off the lot. The factory hitch receiver was only class II.
I pursued the issue with Toyota and over the phone, I was told that Toyota doesn't have a relationship with a class III and that is the reason they "don't recommend" one.
I asked the dealer to check the hitch receiver last year during a service and they reported all was well eight years after it was installed.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:01 PM   #6
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i used one for my 17 and pulled with a highlander i could feel the difference much more stable. didn't use it for short trips
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:12 PM   #7
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Dave out of curiosity I looked up the 2008 4 Runner Owners manual here

Strangely it talks about weight capacities for using a WDH and then also has a statement to not use it. Sort of like my Highlander manual that says to use a WDH when towing over 5000# - but the tow limit of it is 5000#. Sometimes I wonder if Toyota has any proof readers.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:26 PM   #8
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So, what I read here is that Toyota says not to use a WDH in a hitch receiver that isn't rated for WDH.
Which is why I got an after-market hitch receiver, class III for WDH. Toyota's factory hitch was only class II and not rated for WDH.

I think the problem is that people mix up the terms 'hitch' and 'receiver'. So, what the warning says is not to install a WDH in a non-WDH receiver.
Attached Images
File Type: png Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 4.21.36 PM.png (23.5 KB, 119 views)
File Type: png Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 4.20.25 PM.png (133.7 KB, 6 views)
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What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:10 PM   #9
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Dave,
We tow our 17A with a Honda Pilot, and No WDH. We watch the weight distribution, so that we don't have a lot of weighty stuff in the front storage, and we put other heavy stuff at or near the axle. Since the axle is 12 feet back from the hitch, the 17 is extremely stable, and not subject to sway. So, We have a bike rack on the back along with a second battery case (with other stuff in it, not a 2nd battery). I have tried to induce swaying, but the trailer just stays behind without a wiggle. Still no sway.
If I were to use a WDH, it would be to transfer more weight to the front axle on my front-wheel drive tow, and bring the headlights down a bit. I'm at about 375 lbs. on the tongue, so that lowers the back of the Pilot about 2".
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:02 AM   #10
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I talked to Anderson after switching from a Rav4 to Chevy Colorado about using the Anderson ball without the rest of the wd components. They said it was fine and the ball will function as a regular ball hitch when used in this fashion. We will do a little research on our next trip in a few weeks, driving one way with the wd hitch and return without
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