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Old 12-18-2015, 11:53 PM   #1
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Need some hitch info/help

Hey gang,

Putting the final touches on my build sheet. Yep, yesterday I just got the last of the two recently opened up slots for a 2016 21' trailer and I'm finalizing my build sheet. It helps that I had it pretty much figured out long time ago. I've rec'd quick answers from Crystal on prices and what they can and can't do for what we want.

Anyway, I've started to do a bit of research on hitches for the trailer, but nothing too in depth. And now they offer 3 different hitches! Yes, I know I can get another one and have them install it, so that opens it up to quite a few more hitches.

I read the recent article in Trailer Life about various trailer hitches and anti-sway and weight distribution. Boggles the brain and then some. Um, yeah, that's putting it mildly.

But what I really, really need help on is trying to figure out what will work best for ME. I don't have a lot of strength in my hands so I can't use a system that will need it. I'll be using the trailer quite a bit by myself so I can't rely on anyone else to hitch it up.

We plan to purchase a 2015 or 2016 (most likely) Toyota Tundra TRD Crewmax with the towing package. Some times I'll have the truck loaded up for bazaars to sell at, so it'll be heavier than the times it's taken out for sightseeing (although if I can combine the two, even better). Yes, I know about weighing the rig and all that.

But I need to get pointed towards some hitches that I can actually use without killing myself or not even being able to use it. Most of you have far more experience in that area than I do.

Oh, I'm ordering the power jack if that makes a difference. No way am I cranking that sucker up and down all the time.

Thanks much!
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:19 AM   #2
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I don't know a thing about which hitches ETI is offering as we got one of the last Andersen hitches that they sold. But having a WDH certainly smooths out the ride. What I wanted to say is by not having a power jack, we have enough room to open the end gate of our truck all the way down without unhitching the trailer. This really helps getting things in and out of the box, but every configuration is different. It ended up this way by pure dumb luck. Loren
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Old 12-19-2015, 05:29 AM   #3
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FWIW scratch the "Equalizer" brand off your list, good hitch but it's too heavy.

Equal-i-zer® Hitch - The “American Original” with 4-Point Sway Control™ and Weight Distribution

Not to be confused with the equalizer ETI sells. Can't help with any others.
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Old 12-19-2015, 07:26 AM   #4
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With the Trundra you not going to need anything heavy duty just something to smooth out the ride. Also for what it's worth the TRD is just different shocks, skid plates and tires and is just needed for off road or a different look. A non TRD will actually ride better on the highway. All 5.7 tundras come with the tow package standard and the 2016 has a 38 gal fuel tank and built in brake controller and the 2015 does not. The extra 12 gallons of fuel makes a big differance in tow range so you don't have to stress finding fuel or planning fuel stops.
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:23 AM   #5
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My suggestion is tow without anything special and then decide. The only time I use my Andersen set up is for my famous race across the country to get to Osoyoos. Otherwise it is not needed nor used.

ps, Tom and Cheryl, is that roof air dam aftermarket or factory?
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:32 AM   #6
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For those with clearance issues there is this item, works well....New Shop – Jack-E-Up
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
My suggestion is tow without anything special and then decide. The only time I use my Andersen set up is for my infamous race across the country to get to Osoyoos. Otherwise it is not needed nor used.
Edited for accuracy.
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ps, Tom and Cheryl, is that roof air dam aftermarket or factory?
Good catch.
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:42 AM   #8
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Ha, Ha, thanks for the clarification...
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:25 AM   #9
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I agree with Jim that adding a WDH at delivery is unnecessary and symbolic of this whole build process. We tend to over think the process. Towing with a Sequoia (identical chassis to the Tundra) I know you may never need a WDH. I recall several years back that Reace towed with a Tundra and I believe his recommendation was to skip the WDH.

You may recall the advice to include items in your build sheet that cannot be added later, choices like wiring, outlets, insulation etc. Apply that advice here.

It can always be added later, it is an inexpensive installation, and it seems like buying one is like getting a new phone, there is a new recommended model every year. Furthermore, if you have hand or grip issues it is one less concern. Based on your limitations you may consider a power jack, again, this is something that can be added later. Clearance issues also need to be addressed.
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
Hey gang,

Putting the final touches on my build sheet. Yep, yesterday I just got the last of the two recently opened up slots for a 2016 21' trailer and I'm finalizing my build sheet. It helps that I had it pretty much figured out long time ago. I've rec'd quick answers from Crystal on prices and what they can and can't do for what we want.

Congratulations, Laura!

I know you are beyond excited! I am excited for you!
Have fun finalizing the build sheet, making the 21 perfect for YOU!!
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:17 AM   #11
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Aftermarket bus bench.
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:01 PM   #12
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I'm also in the no weight distribution hitch accessory needed column. My two big gripes are when hitched I can't open my back gate all the way, and, the hitch crank dinged my paint.
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kountrykamper View Post
With the Trundra you not going to need anything heavy duty just something to smooth out the ride. Also for what it's worth the TRD is just different shocks, skid plates and tires and is just needed for off road or a different look. A non TRD will actually ride better on the highway. All 5.7 tundras come with the tow package standard and the 2016 has a 38 gal fuel tank and built in brake controller and the 2015 does not. The extra 12 gallons of fuel makes a big difference in tow range so you don't have to stress finding fuel or planning fuel stops.
Well, then, I guess that nails it down to getting a 2016 Tundra! I did not realize the differences. We test drove a 2016 TRD end of October, as well as the regular Tundras (2015 models). I really like the feel of the TRD much better. And I drove it on the highway, as well as side roads and bumpy roads and sharp corners and all that. Our 2000 Tacoma is a TRD and I'm driving a FJ, so maybe that's why I liked the TRD better. But heck if I know if that's why - I just know I liked it better, as did the hubby.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
I'm also in the no weight distribution hitch accessory needed column. My two big gripes are when hitched I can't open my back gate all the way, and, the hitch crank dinged my paint.
I don't understand why that would have made a difference. Does the WDH bring the hitch closer to the truck than if you didn't have one? Remember, I'm clueless about all this stuff. But willing to learn!

So, is the WDH part added to a regular hitch? Or is it a built-in component of the hitch? In other words, do I need to be looking for hitches that don't have a WDH already on it?

Yeah, brain boggling already! Good thing I have a bit of time to get this figured out, which is why I'm asking the questions now!

Thanks everyone for all your comments/suggestions.
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
I'm also in the no weight distribution hitch accessory needed column. My two big gripes are when hitched I can't open my back gate all the way, and, the hitch crank dinged my paint.
Oh, another thought in reference to your photo, Myron. Would a hitch extension solve this problem? Or does it muck around with that weight distribution and pulling capacity or whatever?

We recently got a cargo basket for the back of my FJ and to open the back door (which swings out) I had to get a hitch extension. It did state it reduced how much weight could be put in the basket, but that's fine as I wasn't going to haul tons of stuff in there - just the wire grid panels for my display at bazaars.
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:27 PM   #16
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I'm also in the no weight distribution hitch accessory needed column. My two big gripes are when hitched I can't open my back gate all the way, and, the hitch crank dinged my paint.
Myron,
The Jack-E-Up Jim linked in post 6 fixed that for my Silverado/21 - fortunately, I put it on before I dropped the tailgate onto the jack .

Laura,
Why don't you plan on visiting a gathering like the Fall NOG in the spring and see what people are using? You would be able to see first hand if you can handle the hitch parts.
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:28 PM   #17
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... I liked the TRD better. But heck if I know if that's why... .
Just prior to owning our new Escape 21 I was "forced" to buy a truck (new tow vehicle). I settled on the Tacoma TRD with the off-road package because the shocks and suspension were advertised to be "stiffer" than the standard build. Since my now crushed, but not forgotten, 4-Runner was "offroad stiff", I am certain I would not like a soft suspension. Personal choice, of course.

We also decided on the Anderson WD hitch. It makes a noticable difference on a 5 mile stretch of city street that I drive frequently between the trailer storage and my house. With a plain vanilla hitch the truck and trailer bounce, with the Anderson, a much more settled ride. My wife noticed the difference immediately also. But, there is a downside of course. It is a heavy object that requires being lifted into the receiver and then adjusted prior to use. In my case I am very happy with the trade-off. Extra bonus - with the Anderson I can drop open my tailgate!

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Old 12-19-2015, 12:35 PM   #18
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It was the extra length added by the Andersen hitch which allowed the tailgate to clear the crank on our trailer. And no, you don't need a WDH with the truck you're planning to get, but my experience in towing with and without is that it does smooth out the ride and makes the whole rig feel like one unit. We ran into some really bad cross winds in Utah and I never felt a thing.

I had to do some repairs to our hitch after 3000 miles and it was a job for the shop press. Also, a WDH is one of a few options that can easily be added later. And this whole camping business is just like home remodeling. Whatever you think it's going to cost, you're wrong. It's going to cost more. Loren
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:50 PM   #19
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I considered the high price of a weight distribution hitch compared to many reviews claiming no significant stabilization advantage, and my subsequent towing experience has confirmed that I made the right move. I tried replacing the standard ball/receiver bar with a longer one. That gave my tailgate more clearance but for some reason I did not like the towing "feel" of it. Went back to the shorter connection.
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:52 PM   #20
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My 2 cents would be to wait on the WD hitch as well. We pulled our 19 with a 2002 Toyota Tacoma with the tow package with the original factory installed hitch. We took it out twice on local trips and realized that we had some tail sag on the Tacoma. I had air bags added to the truck to stiffen the ride and eliminate the sag. Never needed the added complication of the WD hitch as the set up rode straight and true on highways and interstates, over mountain passes, thru thunderstorms, and beautiful open roads.

I know the urge to buy everything that anyone possibly has ever needed while using their Escape kicks in while at this stage, but my advice is wait on everything except that which doesn't have to be factory installed. Plan a few short shake down trips after you pick up your trailer. You will quickly discover what you need to make the trailer work for you.

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