What type of hitch do I choose? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-10-2020, 01:55 PM   #1
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What type of hitch do I choose?

We are purchasing a 19. We will start off towing with our Acura MDX which has a 5000lb towing capacity within our state (no mountains) and will eventually get a small truck. Which hitch option should we choose?
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:41 PM   #2
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Try here:


etrailer.com
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:51 PM   #3
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Not knowing if you’re looking for a weight distribution hitch or a simple ball mount.
But if you’re going to be changing tow vehicles, an adjustable hitch might be worth considering.

https://www.amazon.com/MaxxHaul-7038...%2C216&sr=8-11
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:57 AM   #4
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I'd done some research on towing with the MDX when we were looking at getting a new SUV. There's a thread on this on the MDX forums (covering weight distribution) that might be helpful: https://www.mdxers.org/threads/oem-t...-specs.126490/
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:27 PM   #5
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I tow a 21NE with a 2008 MDX. The owner's manual recommends against using a weight distribution hitch. I've learned unibody construction doesn't play nicely with a weight distribution hitch. I do use a sway control bar and it tows very nicely.
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Old 08-11-2020, 02:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Thoelke View Post
The owner's manual recommends against using a weight distribution hitch. I've learned unibody construction doesn't play nicely with a weight distribution hitch.
There's no problem combining unibody construction with a weight-distributing hitch... but it is a good idea to follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation, which was made for other valid reasons.
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Old 08-11-2020, 03:09 PM   #7
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I've used a WDH on my unibody RAV4 for 12 years with no issues.
Toyota manual says it "does not recommend" a WDH. It doesn't recommend any particular brand because it does not have a relationship with any particular brand. I got that clarification from Toyota Canada.
Suggest you re-read that portion of your manual and see what it actually says.
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I've used a WDH on my unibody RAV4 for 12 years with no issues.
Toyota manual says it "does not recommend" a WDH. It doesn't recommend any particular brand because it does not have a relationship with any particular brand. I got that clarification from Toyota Canada.
Suggest you re-read that portion of your manual and see what it actually says.
Ya gotta remember that most 'writings' from manufacturers are vetted by lawyers. Better to not recommend anything outside of their control then have litigation smear the name. Toyota doesn't "recommend" two layers of wire loom to mitigate rodent abuse to a $10 part and $800 repair bill...but I certainly do.
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:26 PM   #9
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I believe that's what I said. Toyota did not say NOT to use a WDH. They said they don't have a WDH that they recommend.
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Old 08-12-2020, 05:43 PM   #10
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It was clear to me Glenn.

We have towed many thousands of miles with 2 unibody Highlanders both the 19 and escapes with no problems. Coast to coast and boarded to boarder and then some.

Like my Junior high principal said to us in an assembly once, punctuation is everything. He said “I beat my wife up every morning, I get up at 5 and she gets up at 6. We had no idea Pierre Tracy had that kind of a sense of humor. Probably get you fired or worse today. Oh well.
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Old 08-12-2020, 10:17 PM   #11
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The Honda/Acura statement on weight-distributing hitches is quite different from Toyota's statement in the old RAV4 manual. And with other models (such as our Sienna), Toyota actually requires the use of WD for hitch weight above a specific limit; that's apparently not the case for the MDX.
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Old 08-12-2020, 11:58 PM   #12
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As I am shopping for a 2020 Highlander XLE, I looked up the manual, which says that a WDH is required when towing more than 5,000 lbs.


The max tow rating for the vehicle is 5,000 lbs.
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Old 08-13-2020, 12:35 AM   #13
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Interesting, IMO, is the difference in text relating to WDH use found in the two generations of ('unibody') Honda Ridgeline Owner's Manuals ...

Gen 1 Ridgline (2006-2014)
Weight Distributing Hitch - A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance.

IMO it's worthwhile to note that the text of 2008 MDX Owner's Manual (referenced as member Jeff Thoelke's TV; OP ktnjosh doesn't mention the year model of their MDX) is verbatim identical to that quoted above for the Gen 1 Ridgeline (page 369 of the PDF 2008 MDX Manual).

*(the Ridgeline was not produced as model years 2015-2016)*

Gen 2 Ridgeline (2017-2020/current)
Weight distribution hitches - Your vehicle is designed to tow without the need for a load distributing hitch. If you wish to use one, please consult your trailer maker for proper installation and set-up. Improper set-up could degrade the handling, stability, and braking performance of your vehicle.

Both written (or at least vetted) by lawyers? Quite possible if not likely. Note the Gen 1 Ridgeline / 2008 MDX text, while using the dread "not recommended" buzzwords, gives a rationale for that which clearly omits reference to 'structural unsuitability' or similar. I suppose there's room for the reader (or Honda / Acura) to interpret if that omission is intentional and meaningful.

Then we note the Gen 2 text which explicitly contemplates the use of a WDH with the caution that it needs to be properly installed and "set-up".

Personally, I think the two different forms of text are substantively identical in intent, and that it's perfectly OK to use a WDH on the Gen 1 Ridgeline or 2008 MDX when properly installed and set-up. it might be worth OP ktnjosh looking at the specific text for their year model MDX to see what it actually says about WDH use.

In any case, we should all recognize that the 'suitability' of any vehicle for use with a WDH, whether 'unibody' or 'body-on-frame', is a function of the specific characteristics of that vehicle, not a function of the broad type of construction.
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Centex View Post
Both written (or at least vetted) by lawyers?
My guess would be written by engineers and vetted by lawyers, to address liability concerns raised by lawyers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post
Note the Gen 1 Ridgeline / 2008 MDX text, while using the dread "not recommended" buzzwords, gives a rationale for that which clearly omits reference to 'structural unsuitability' or similar. I suppose there's room for the reader (or Honda / Acura) to interpret if that omission is intentional and meaningful.
What is meaningful is that despite careful attention to concerns regarding the use of WD, there is no mention of a structural issue... because there isn't one for the vehicle. Individual hitch receiver structures and their attachments may or may not be suitable, and that is typically addressed in those vehicles where the equipment is not suitable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post
Then we note the Gen 2 text which explicitly contemplates the use of a WDH with the caution that it needs to be properly installed and "set-up".

Personally, I think the two different forms of text are substantively identical in intent, and that it's perfectly OK to use a WDH on the Gen 1 Ridgeline or 2008 MDX when properly installed and set-up. it might be worth OP ktnjosh looking at the specific text for their year model MDX to see what it actually says about WDH use.

In any case, we should all recognize that the 'suitability' of any vehicle for use with a WDH, whether 'unibody' or 'body-on-frame', is a function of the specific characteristics of that vehicle, not a function of the broad type of construction.
I agree.
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:24 PM   #15
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Anyone use 5he Anderson no-sway hitch. Will be pulling a 21cwith an F150
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Old 08-16-2020, 12:25 AM   #16
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Anyone use 5he Anderson no-sway hitch. Will be pulling a 21cwith an F150
Pull our E21C w the Frontier and the Reese WDH w detachable sway bars..works fine and should work finer when we move up to the bigger Titan TV next month. Honestly I never even know the e21 is back there w the WDH until we hit a long uphill grade..the naturally aspirated v6 Frontier just does not have the power to haul it easily. I like the size of the Frontier Crew Cab truck w long bed, but Nissan missed a bet by not offring their sturdy 4L V6 w a turbo. If she had 50 more HP on tap w a 'boost' I'd keep her. I know the 395 HP on the Titan will be overkill, but so what.
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Old 08-16-2020, 07:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktnjosh View Post
We are purchasing a 19. We will start off towing with our Acura MDX which has a 5000lb towing capacity within our state (no mountains) and will eventually get a small truck. Which hitch option should we choose?
Get the proper hitch for the MDX, what works for the MDX will work for your truck.

Look in the manual for your MDX for what is needed when towing 5000 lbs.
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Old 08-18-2020, 12:37 PM   #18
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Anderson No sway hitch.
Thinking about switching to this type on the new 21’C. My 31’ Airstream has the bar and brake.
If you have used or presently using this type ( Anderson no sway) I would appreciate your comments. If you have not personally used used this hitch please refrain from comments.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I've been quite happy pulling my 21 (4200 lbs weighed) with the Anderson for 6 years. Takes a bit of getting used to as the easier hitchup is at the last angle you unhitched, but not mandatory once you've got the hang of the pivot plate. I like the no grease, no heavy bars aspect; and the tension of the chains can be tuned to your liking very easy.
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Old 08-18-2020, 12:51 PM   #19
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It was clear to me Glenn.

We have towed many thousands of miles with 2 unibody Highlanders both the 19 and escapes with no problems. Coast to coast and boarded to boarder and then some.

Like my Junior high principal said to us in an assembly once, punctuation is everything. He said “I beat my wife up every morning, I get up at 5 and she gets up at 6. We had no idea Pierre Tracy had that kind of a sense of humor. Probably get you fired or worse today. Oh well.
Iowa Dave
Hi: Iowa Dave... It's punctual and the same as a missing letter. An exec wrote his wife a post card from Los Wages NV. Said "Having a good time, wish you were her". Oops
Glad to know you're still in Iowa... and didn't blow away!!! Alf
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:46 PM   #20
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Anderson No Sway WDH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcboyd View Post
Anyone use 5he Anderson no-sway hitch. Will be pulling a 21cwith an F150
Way back when we bought our "new to us" 2013 E19. The prior owner had the Andersen no sway hitch that we used for the first year. But it was a bit of a hassle to hook up correctly. One needs to tighten the adjusting nuts the correct number of turns for your particular trailer / tow setup. We ended up putting some electrical tape around the socket at the proper depth of the exposed threads as a quicker way to measure the adjustment.

Anyway, I was attracted to the ease of an E2 WDH for hooking up. So we switched and indeed it was a lot faster and easier to hook up each time. But you know what? The Anderson actually was a much more solid a setup. The way it works the trailer and the tow vehicle feel like they are one unit. No bouncing, noise of parts clanking, creaking etc. So bottom line if we had not changed trailers to our current 5.0 TA, I likely would have gone back to the Anderson.

Note that both the Andersen and E2 were used with the same trailer / tow combination so my experience is a direct A/B comparison.

2013 E19 / 2016 Tacoma TRD Sport.
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