What's The True Value of A WDH? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 01-27-2020, 08:57 PM   #1
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What's The True Value of A WDH?

I'm the happy second owner of a 2009 Escape 19. The trailer came complete with a Husky Weight Distributing Hitch. While I have towed numerous utility trailers before, and hauled a variety of loads, this is my first experience with a WDH.

I live in a rural agricultural and recreational area so I also see a lot of trailers on the roads, and I can't help but notice that I only see WDHs on some recreational travel trailers, and those generally are confined to the larger (24' plus) trailers. So what am I missing here? I have a supplemental air bag suspension system on my truck which I can use to level the tv/trailer combo (and which I do not use when using the WDH). The WDH is heavy (haven't weighed it but it's probably 50 lbs), it substantially reduces ground clearance when crossing dips at gas stations and parking lots and causes a rougher ride for the passengers in the cab of the tv.

So long as I keep the weight distribution properly biased to the front of the trailer, which I am very careful of (there's a story there), is there any real advantage to the WDH when towing a small light trailer such as my E 19?

Your thoughts would be most welcome.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:16 PM   #2
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Are you still towing with a Frontier? Might be different with something larger, yet although my 2013 Yukon didn't need it as there was very little squat with 600 #'s of tongue weight we noticed a better ride using our Pro Series WDH. With the Expedition we need it as the rear springs are much softer(and rides way better).

Have you tried towing without the Husky?
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:34 PM   #3
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My experience

A Ford Freestar minivan with a 3200 lbs tent trailer. Way over capacity when loaded. The Husky WDH hitch made towing seamless. Really worked well but the trailer was way to big. Victim of a slick RV salesman.

Later a Reece WDH on my 2008 Tacoma and 2007 17B at 2500 lbs. I didn't need the WDH but it made the ride much nicer.

Then I bought a 2017 4Runner. To tow the 17B, I needed the WDH hitch. To much squat and bounce.

This year I am picking up a new 19' towed by a 2019 Tundra. I ordered a WDH without even thinking about it. I might need it, I might not, but at least I have it.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:51 PM   #4
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We have a 2014 tundra and use a friction sway we purchased from Escape. It works well and easy to set up. We felt there was enough drop in the rear of the truck to justify it. We have had a few trailers and have always felt it was necessary. Probably more for peace of mind. We have never felt sway and feel it's because of that.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:17 PM   #5
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My Tacoma suggested using a WDH for trailers over 4000 lbs (it was rated for 6500 lbs), but I used one forawhile with my 2000-3000 lb Casita 16 because without it, the truck pitched up and down when the trailer hit a bump, quite nauseating at times. I later got airbags and that did just as good a job so I didn't mess with the WDH again.

My F250 suggests using a WDH above 6500 lb tow (its rated for 12500 lb tow). I'm towing a 4000-4500 lb Escape 21 and never felt the need, the truck hardly budges when the trailer goes over a big whoop. I don't think the back of the F250 sags 0.5" when I drop the ~ 400-500 lb hitch weight onto it.

IMHO, WDH's do two things. Primary, they shift trailer tongue weight onto the front axle of the tow vehicle, this is needed with very heavy trailers. Secondary, they reduce the tendancy of the combined assembly to pitch or porpoise on bumps and dips in the road.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:25 PM   #6
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I forgot to add, I used it on my Tacoma not because of squat, but because it took the annoying bounce away making it a tolerable experience after 12 hours of towing.
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:58 AM   #7
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Foglark,
You do not mention your tow vehicle model nor it's spec's listed on the vehicle. That information would be helpful for correct answers. Also purchase a Sherline tongue scale to determine your tongue weight which the W/D works on.
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:53 AM   #8
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This topic has come up very, very many times. If a vehicle is capable of towing without a WDH, then it is not necessary. I have towed with and without one using a 1 ton, V-8, 6 litre Chevy van rated for towing 9,600 lbs. A WDH is much preferred, even with this rig, as it reduces/eliminates porpoising of the trailer over bumps, RR tracks, etc. A much more smoother ride. I use the WDH, even though I don't HAVE to. I had the WDH when towing with a Sienna mini- van, and it was required with that front wheel drive tug.

They are a hassle, but offer a more comfortable and likely safer ride. I'd strongly suggest using one.
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Also purchase a shoreline tongue scale to determine your tongue weight which the W/D works on.
I had trouble justifying the cost of the Shoreline tongue scale, and discovered a much cheaper alternative that seems to work well enough...

If you're in Canada, you can get them here,
https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...le/A-p8686024e

I found them here on ebay with free USA shipping...
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Trailer-Tow...t/192874481388


This scale reads in KG, but its easy enough to convert, just multiply by 2.2, so 200KG => 440 lbs.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:58 PM   #10
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At a rally last fall someone showed this scale which they had compared alongside a Sherline.
It was very close in its readings. Another camper noted that he had purchased the scale online and it’s readings were in pounds, so it’s probably available that way too. I am 100% in support of Weight distributing hitches, tongue weight scales, and having your rig weighed and doing the calculations. Safe towing is not difficult but is a culmination of understanding the job at hand and the nuances of your particular rig in my opinion.
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:21 PM   #11
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Amazing how much useful info comes with a simple request.

My tv is a 2017 Frontier King Cab 4x4 with a V-6, rated by Nissan to tow as much as 6,000 lbs, provided GVWR and GAWR limits are not exceeded. WDH is recommended when trailer weight exceeds 5,000.

I have done some short distance tows without the WDH, and had no problems. Around here, roads are generally winding, steep and narrow. Have not towed for any length of time on Interstates without the WDH. As mentioned, I find my combination is smoother without the WDH than with it, contrary to some commenters. Guess its just a matter of how each setup works. It may also be a matter my using air bags when not using WDH.

For me, ground clearance is a matter of concern, which may go away when I install a high lift kit on the trailer. Such fun!

Planning to get the inexpensive tongue scale--great idea.

Thanks again for all the input and ideas.
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:07 AM   #12
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Hi, I'm not familiar with the Husky WDH. What part of it causes you to lose ground clearance?

For what it's worth, I use an Equal-i-zer WDH with my 2010 19', and the bars run just a few inches under the frame. The bottom of the jack and bottom of the stinger both hang lower than the WDH.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
I had trouble justifying the cost of the Shoreline tongue scale, and discovered a much cheaper alternative that seems to work well enough...

If you're in Canada, you can get them here,
https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...le/A-p8686024e

I found them here on ebay with free USA shipping...
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Trailer-Tow...t/192874481388


This scale reads in KG, but its easy enough to convert, just multiply by 2.2, so 200KG => 440 lbs.
-----------------------
Thank you very much John for providing these details on tongue scale.
High value to many Escapees both informationwise and $wise.

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Old 01-29-2020, 08:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goalie39 View Post
Hi, I'm not familiar with the Husky WDH. What part of it causes you to lose ground clearance?

For what it's worth, I use an with my 2010 19', and the bars run just a few inches under the frame. The bottom oEqual-i-zer WDHf the jack and bottom of the stinger both hang lower than the WDH.
The Husky Centerline TS is an improved "copy" of the Equal-i-zer WDH that sells for less than half the price of the Equal-i-zer.
https://www.amazon.com/Husky-32215-C.../dp/B00W919GLM

Functionally, they are the same.
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FélixW View Post
-----------------------
Thank you very much John for providing these details on tongue scale.
High value to many Escapees both informationwise and $wise.

Félix W.
February 6, 2020.
FYI, Princess Auto in Canada is selling the product at $24.99 in February only.
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HABBERDABBER View Post
This topic has come up very, very many times. If a vehicle is capable of towing without a WDH, then it is not necessary. I have towed with and without one using a 1 ton, V-8, 6 litre Chevy van rated for towing 9,600 lbs. A WDH is much preferred, even with this rig, as it reduces/eliminates porpoising of the trailer over bumps, RR tracks, etc. A much more smoother ride. I use the WDH, even though I don't HAVE to. I had the WDH when towing with a Sienna mini- van, and it was required with that front wheel drive tug.

They are a hassle, but offer a more comfortable and likely safer ride. I'd strongly suggest using one.
I'm not so sure my sweet and beautiful co-pilot would be very eager to get into the truck for much of a trip to a campsite if not for the smoother ride enabled by the WDH. The E2 installed by ETI only adds a couple of minutes to the hitch/unhitch time. I'm glad Reace strongly recommended it to me. For us it is worth it.
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:02 PM   #17
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some folks here said safety. Example if something pulls in front of you. So I went with their advice even though "If a vehicle is capable of towing without a WDH, then it is not necessary."
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:21 PM   #18
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Logical decision and prudent behavior.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:57 PM   #19
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Attention to the task at hand, tow rig and trailer properly prepared and maintained, and every reasonable device to keep the odds in your favor will stand you in good stead and make a difference some day. And if that day doesn’t come, all the better.
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Old 02-24-2020, 03:24 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Johnson View Post
... So long as I keep the weight distribution properly biased to the front of the trailer, which I am very careful of (there's a story there), is there any real advantage to the WDH when towing a small light trailer such as my E 19? ....
Note that use of a WDH does Not alter any of the 'rules' relating to trailer weight distribution - you still need to ensure that you've got 10% (minimum) of your Gross Loaded Trailer Weight on the un-hitched tongue to provide inherent sway prevention. IME one 'pro' of a WDH is that it can allow comfortably more than the minimum recommended 10% GLTW on the tongue, offering more inherent sway prevention, without adversely affecting the squat of the TV. Perhaps your 'untold story' makes you, like me, a proponent of generous forward trailer weight-bias.

Two things I didn't see mentioned on the 'pro WDH' side of this thread's discussion:

1. Headlight Aim - If you tow at night as I often do, use of a WDH is about the only way to maintain proper headlight aim. Air-bags and other rear-boosters can reduce rear-squat but don't serve to 'level' the TV in the way that a WDH does because they don't transfer the tongue weight to the front of the TV nearly as effectively as a WDH.

2. TV Driver Assist Features - If you have a modern TV with features such as active cruise control, collision mitigation, active lane-assist or similar, those systems are often sensitive to the 'level-ness' of the TV as that affects the aim of cameras and radars those systems employ. Again, a WDH is the best option for ensuring those systems remain accurate and functional with a tongue-load on the rear.

All just for your consideration
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