F150 pulling a 21. Do I need a WD hitch? And other questions. - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-19-2016, 12:00 AM   #1
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F150 pulling a 21. Do I need a WD hitch? And other questions.

We have a 2016 F150 2.7L Ecoboost 2WD and need to set it up to tow our 21. The specs say the truck has a sway control feature so do we need a weight distribution hitch? We are new to all this so want the safest, smoothest, easiest experience possible. Any recommendations on which brand we should get?

Also while I'm here, I'm a bit confused as to the drop we need. i saw another thread talking about a 2" drop for a 19. I would think the 21 would be the same right?

Our truck has a tow package but did not come with a brake controller (that seems weird to me!) so we must get one installed. As I understand, the proportional controller would be best right?

Thank you in advance for your input.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill View Post
We have a 2016 F150 2.7L Ecoboost 2WD and need to set it up to tow our 21. The specs say the truck has a sway control feature so do we need a weight distribution hitch? We are new to all this so want the safest, smoothest, easiest experience possible. Any recommendations on which brand we should get?

Also while I'm here, I'm a bit confused as to the drop we need. i saw another thread talking about a 2" drop for a 19. I would think the 21 would be the same right?

Our truck has a tow package but did not come with a brake controller (that seems weird to me!) so we must get one installed. As I understand, the proportional controller would be best right?

Thank you in advance for your input.
Good questions Jill.

Yes, the truck has a sway control feature, but it doesn't distribute weight. You can get by without any WDH because your tongue weight is well within the truck specs -- BUT, I'd recommend a WDH anyway. It will give you a more solid feel when towing, and it will eliminate any dip on the rear of the truck, so everything is nice and level. The stock WDH that Escape sells (fastway E2?) Is probably fine.

The 21 and the 19 should have about the same ball height, but I wouldn't worry too much about it until the time comes to hook up. The hitch ball height can be adjusted then. Get a stinger with a rail for the ball mount and you can adjust it to any height you need. As a point of reference, the top of our ball is adjusted to 19" on our 2015 F150 2WD.

As for the brake controller, it is perplexing why Ford doesn't offer it unless you get the heavy duty towing package. But, I highly recommend you get the FACTORY brake controller installed by your Ford dealer. It's a Tekonsha and it's top of the line. It also integrates neatly into the dash, and it interfaces with the truck's electronics. You can adjust the gain from the steering wheel. In my humble opinion, it's the best controller on the market, although it's pricier since it's a Ford part. You can't integrate it yourself, because it requires the dealer to program the truck to work with it.



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Old 10-19-2016, 12:35 AM   #3
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Wdh

As already stated you could likely get away without one, but I would have one anyway. Any weight put on the back of the truck will take some weight off the front wheels. Not a good thing especially when having to do evasive maneuvers because some idiot pulled out in front of you, the below video will give you a visual as to what a WDH does.

All WDH's do the same thing some have added features such as sway control built in. Search on Youtube for weight distribution hitches and you will find a whole host of videos on the subject.

Given your truck comes with electronic sway control I would recommend getting the WDH at the very least.



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Old 10-19-2016, 12:40 AM   #4
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Hitch Rise or Drop

Here is video on how to determine hitch rise or drop.

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Old 10-19-2016, 12:45 AM   #5
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Jill, Just a bit more regarding the "drop". It depends on the height of your tow vehicle's hitch receiver tube ("box hitch"). For the sake of argument, just talking concept here, let's say the Escape 21' sits level when the coupler on the trailer's tongue is 18" above the ground. Someone driving a low profile Honda Odyssey with a hitch receiver tube only 12" high off the ground would need a ball mount with a 6" RISE to keep the camper level. But someone driving a jacked-up 4x4 with the hitch receiver tube 26" off the ground would need a ball mount with an 8" DROP to keep the camper level. To "ball park" what ball mount you'll need when you first get your new camper, contact ETI to see what coupler height they recommend for the 21'. Then measure the height of your tow vehicle's hitch receiver tube and buy a ball mount that accommodates the difference. You can "Google" images that will help you make the measurements you need (such as below). Best of luck.

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...w9A7kQ9QEIIDAA
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:48 AM   #6
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Looks like Kent hit "Post Quick Reply" first!
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill View Post
We have a 2016 F150 2.7L Ecoboost 2WD and need to set it up to tow our 21. The specs say the truck has a sway control feature so do we need a weight distribution hitch? We are new to all this so want the safest, smoothest, easiest experience possible.
Defintely hire someone else to tow your trailer. The WD fans will tell you (and already are) that any vehicle needs WD to the "safest" and "smoothest" towing; however, use of any WD hitch will certainly not be "easiest" experience. Any decision is a trade-off.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill View Post
Our truck has a tow package but did not come with a brake controller (that seems weird to me!) so we must get one installed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
As for the brake controller, it is perplexing why Ford doesn't offer it unless you get the heavy duty towing package.
I think this is completely normal. There are lots of vehicle features which are only available bundled with other related (or even not-very-related) features, and it doesn't surprise me at all that the buyer must select the heavy duty towing package to be able to buy the premium-priced factory-installed controller.

Quote:
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As I understand, the proportional controller would be best right?
Please don't even consider anything other than a proportional controller. The factory-installed controller recommended above is a proportional controller.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:02 AM   #9
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The stock WDH that Escape sells (fastway E2?) Is probably fine.
The Fastway E2 is the more expensive of the two WD hitch systems which Escape offers as accessories. Neither needs to be purchased from Escape (although that's a convenient way to go), and any other brand or style can be used as well.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:16 AM   #10
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..use of any WD hitch will certainly not be "easiest" experience. Any decision is a trade-off.
Very true, but you can make it "easier". One thing that made using our Andersen Hitch easy peezy was adding the power jack. Maybe an extra 60 seconds to either hook up or unhook.

EDIT: now, why it took me over a year to add the large loops to my hitch for the safety chains remains a mystery.



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Old 10-19-2016, 07:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill View Post
Our truck has a tow package but did not come with a brake controller (that seems weird to me!) so we must get one installed. As I understand, the proportional controller would be best right?

Thank you in advance for your input.
I'm not really doubting you, but are you absolutely sure you don't have a factory installed controller? When I bought my F-150 (w/ tow package), I was concerned because I didn't see anything indicating I had one. I guess I was used to seeing the Tekonsha that had hung below the dash in my old F-150. So, back to the dealer I went ready to to do battle. The service manager assured me, that yes it was integrated into the system.

When I picked up Ten Forward two months later and plugged in the pigtail, lo and behold.... the monitor on the dash said "Trailer Connected" and a display for the brakes (and boost) came on. Terrific!

So what I'm trying to say is just because you don't physically see it, doesn't mean it might not be there.

What does the brake controller look like in other F-150s? Can you see it? Mine is a 2014...
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Defintely hire someone else to tow your trailer. The WD fans will tell you (and already are) that any vehicle needs WD to the "safest" and "smoothest" towing; however, use of any WD hitch will certainly not be "easiest" experience. Any decision is a trade-off.
Like you, I did not want to buy a WDH until I had towed my new trailer a couple of times to see if I needed it. And it quickly became clear that I did in fact need one.

I just installed and setup the Fastway E2 hitch for my tow, and hitching up is very easy with it. It really only adds a minute or so to to my hitching process, and I'm one who knew nothing about hitches and towing before this. And after towing without and with, I will never again go without.

And it is correct that if you buy one, you don't have to buy it through Escape. I found one here at a very good price, with fast free shipping.

https://accessories.lazydays.com/equ...FQkwaQodmGILfA
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:29 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Defintely hire someone else to tow your trailer. The WD fans will tell you (and already are) that any vehicle needs WD to the "safest" and "smoothest" towing; however, use of any WD hitch will certainly not be "easiest" experience. Any decision is a trade-off.
Bottom line is they help 95% of the time with trailers of this size and also make it safer for people with very little towing experience. They give better control of the tow vehicle even with large tow's. They may be a little work for people to learn how to use but properly installed they work. You may not like them because of the expense and they are a more work but giving advise not to use them is just your opinion and not based on facts. Just ask Gerg's wife Tesesa if they needed one if you ever meet her.
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:34 AM   #14
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What does the brake controller look like in other F-150s? Can you see it? Mine is a 2014...
This is what mine is like in my 2015 F-150, except black on black. It is similar in my 2012 F-350 too.

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Old 10-19-2016, 09:40 AM   #15
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Ahhh yet another WDH debate.

I have towed with and without, and

I myself would generally get one

Other than cost I don't see a significant downside

The upsides to me, in many situations, are stated above.

In my experience - More level, feels better to tow, far less porpoising,

And they do what they are supposed to do. !

Not that hard to deal with, after you quickly learn.

A few here are quite anti WDH.

But I would beware of the statement "you don't need it it"

The same could be said for seat belts....

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Old 10-19-2016, 10:12 AM   #16
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Although I do not use one, I'm leaning toward obtaining one for the above reasons....perhaps a Xmas present for Prairie Schooner
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:14 AM   #17
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Just ask Gerg's wife Tesesa if they needed one if you ever meet her.
I think her exact phrasing went along the line of, "I'm not a happy camper, and will not go out again until we have sway control and/or WDH". Sound about right Tom
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:14 AM   #18
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My 2015 5 liter F150 had the tow package but not the controller. It took the dealer about 10 minutes to install it since the wiring harness was there and and ready to go.

The down side to the trailer tow package in the 2015 F150's is that the +12V pin on the 7 pin plug does not provide enough current to run the fridge or charge the trailer battery. I had to modify the wiring to rectify that. This was quite a bit of work but it paid off. See this video on how to fix the +12V problem: .

I just spent 5 nights at the Blackberry Crossing Campground near North Conway NH to enjoy the New Hampshire fall foliage. The tree canopy at my campsite and the falling leaves was not letting the solar panel charge my trailer battery. I don't have a separate portable solar panel yet, so it was nice to be able to plug the truck in and let it charge the trailer battery for a half hour.
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:29 AM   #19
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Thank you so much everyone. I was reading the other threads on this subject and have to admit my eyes started to glaze over as sometimes the discussions strayed. I appreciate seeing all this good info specific to what we need.

We will definitely get a WD hitch and the Ford brake controller. I checked again and we do not have the brake controller. I'm not concerned if the WD hitch is more effort at hook up time. So no worries there.

Thank you again!
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:12 PM   #20
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EDIT: now, why it took me over a year to add the large loops to my hitch for the safety chains remains a mystery.
Thank you, Robert. Now I don't feel so bad at taking 10 months, and several trips, to add the loops. It does make it easier. (now all I have to do is get around to adjusting the two chains shorter by one or two links. It'll only take 10 minutes, but I haven't yet).
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