do i really need an equalizer hitch? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-01-2016, 04:46 PM   #1
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do i really need an equalizer hitch?

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum and also new to trailers.
I have a pathfinder which has max tongue load 500lb.
and I'm getting a 17B with a storage box. My question is,
do i really need an equalizer hitch or the other 2 even more fancy options (Equalizer Hitch with Sway Control Bar / E2 Integrated Sway Control and Weight Distribution Hitch) ?
Anyone has experience with those things, any ideas will help?

Thanx!
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peaka View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum and also new to trailers.
I have a pathfinder which has max tongue load 500lb.
and I'm getting a 17B with a storage box. My question is,
do i really need an equalizer hitch or the other 2 even more fancy options (Equalizer Hitch with Sway Control Bar / E2 Integrated Sway Control and Weight Distribution Hitch) ?
Anyone has experience with those things, any ideas will help?

Thanx!
welcome to this awesome forum, and to travel trailers!

Generally... when it comes to WDH.... you'll get many different opinions on this forum.

My opinion is... the best thing about a WDH, generally, is that it distributes the weight forward...... and thus your tug (tow vehicle) is generally more flat, and so your front tires have a better amount of weight (and thus braking ability) on them.

My opinion is that often a WDH is a good idea. I myself plan for the worst..... hope for the best.

Towing our 17' Casita, loaded, with our Acura MDX (5,000 lb towing with the optional tow package) is MUCH MUCH more smooth, with far less porpoising over bumps and dips, plus the front wheels are loaded better.

We also have a sway bar. Again... zero sway when going 55 and a semi truck blows past at 75 mpg.

Without the sway bar it is less stable.

I hope this helps.... just my 2c, and get ready for lots of different opinions.

Los Angeles
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:55 PM   #3
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Do you really need a weight distribution hitch? It's a personal choice thing, you can get one, deal with the extra hassle and weight, but get a better safer ride, or you can skip it and see how the rig does without. From what I see of the Pathfinder, it does not HAVE to have one.

I always used one when I had a bumper pull, even when I went to a full size truck.

I tend to get bigger vehicles then absolutely necessary to err on the side of safety and piece of mind. Your choice may definitely vary from mine.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:14 PM   #4
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Thanx guys for quick response. So, it seems WDH is a good thing to have.
Does anyone know the differences between Equalizer Hitch and E2 Integrated Sway Control and Weight Distribution Hitch? The E2 is far more expensive, is it worth the extra $300?
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:18 PM   #5
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p.s. i know you can Google... but here is an article I found - looks informative.

FWIIW

How Towing Weight Distribution Systems Work | HowStuffWorks
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
It's a personal choice thing, you can get one, deal with the extra hassle and weight, but get a better safer ride...
I think it's interesting that a "safer" vehicle dynamics are assumed. A common comment is that the WDH makes the combination feel "more of one piece"; that can mean that it is more stable, but it can simply mean that it handles like a bus - unresponsive steering so that if you need to dodge something on the road, you'll just plow through it... smoothly and stably of course.

A WDH may be very suitable for your rig. If you understand what it does, and what you are trying to change (relative to not using a WDH), then you can make an informed choice.

Just curious: what year of Pathfinder do you have? There have been four very different vehicles sold under the Pathfinder name. About half of the ones on the road are the 2004-2012 generation and almost all of the rest are the current generation; those two generations are about as different as two SUVs can be.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I think it's interesting that a "safer" vehicle dynamics are assumed. A common comment is that the WDH makes the combination feel "more of one piece"; that can mean that it is more stable, but it can simply mean that it handles like a bus - unresponsive steering so that if you need to dodge something on the road, you'll just plow through it... smoothly and stably of course.

A WDH may be very suitable for your rig. If you understand what it does, and what you are trying to change (relative to not using a WDH), then you can make an informed choice.

Just curious: what year of Pathfinder do you have? There have been four very different vehicles sold under the Pathfinder name. About half of the ones on the road are the 2004-2012 generation and almost all of the rest are the current generation; those two generations are about as different as two SUVs can be.
My old pathy is 2002, is there anything wrong to have a WDH on this generation? I heard some SUVs are not recommended to have WDH.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
p.s. i know you can Google... but here is an article I found - looks informative.

FWIIW

How Towing Weight Distribution Systems Work | HowStuffWorks
Thank you LOSANGELES, I'm having some education now
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:50 PM   #9
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Peaka:
We also have a 17B--purchased last summer. So while I can't speak from years of experience towing the Escape, we have done several trips with it. We tow with a 2008 Toyota 4Runner (also 5,000 lb. max. tow wt. & 500 lb. tongue wt.). We don't use a WDH and have not felt the need for one--so far. I'd try towing your 17B without a WDH, you can always add one if you feel your Pathfinder is not towing the Escape the way you want.
Good luck!
Dave
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
p.s. i know you can Google... but here is an article I found - looks informative.

FWIIW

How Towing Weight Distribution Systems Work | HowStuffWorks
I suppose this helps, but like many things posted on websites to attract advertising revenue, some of the content is marginal.
  • They start off by describing WD as a fix for sway; that is a potential side effect, but not the fundamental purpose or effect of WD.
  • I understand why they say this:
    Quote:
    Tongue weight (or TW) also includes any weight that's behind the rear axle of the towing vehicle.
    ... but it is simply not true.
  • This one is completely ridiculous:
    Quote:
    the front of the trailer will head toward the ground, bringing the front of the towing vehicle off of the ground.
    To pry the front a typical Escape owner's tug off the ground with hitch weight, you would need to load up an Escape 21' to far beyond its rated maximum weight, then balance the entire three tons of trailer (not just the tongue) on the hitch.
That's the first page of the article... I didn't bother going through the rest today, although I'm sure I've seen this article before.
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