Weight distribution

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by erich82, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. erich82

    erich82 New Member

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    I just bought a 2019 Jayco 12UD. Dry weight is 1950lbs and GVWR is around 2800. Dry hitch weight is 240lbs, including empty propane tank.
    I am towing with a 2016 Dodge Caravan, which is rated at 3600lbs tow and 350hitch weight, and the rating includes 2 passengers and 50lbs each of gear. I have a mopar dealer installed hitch, which is rated at 2000lbs towing and 3800lbs with weight distribution, tongue weight remains at 350lbs.
    The dealer wants to install a weight distribution hitch rated at 400-600lbs. Is too high? It seems a little high to me, but i might be close to the 350 tongue weight once I add a battery, LP and camper gear.
    Thanks
     
  2. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the Portal!
    Check your owners manual, many popups can not use a WDH because the they have 'C' channel frames. 2000lbs sounds like a Class II hitch, you should really have a Class III hitch for a 3000lb camper anyway.
    Good luck!
     
  3. erich82

    erich82 New Member

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    Its an integrated Aframe, and jayco does allow WD. As said in my original post, my hitch can support up to 3800lbs with weight distribution, so that is not a problem. Its definately not a class 2 hitch, as it's rsted over 3500lbs, has a 2inch opening for the receiver and supports WD. It's a dealer installed mopar hitch. My issue is not with the capability of towing this vehicle, but with the rating of the WD system itself.
     
  4. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    Some WDH setups can add over a 100lbs of tongue weight just with their parts. I'd try it without before adding a WDH setup. Also verify that Dodge suggests using a WDH on the Caravan. If you go the WDH route, I'd go with with one of the lighter weight setups. (I'm referring to the weight of the parts, not what what it is rated for). I've had multiple wdh setups for hybrids and tt's and currently happy with my Andersen 'no sway' wdh setuup. It is way easier to install/adjust than my last setup.
     
  5. erich82

    erich82 New Member

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    When I asked etrailers about WD hitches adding tongue weight, they told me not to count it in the tongue weight (as it cancels itself out). You still count it on total towing weight/payload obviously, but from what I understand you don't factor it in the tongue weight.
    I can't try without WD as my hitch is max 2000lbs without WD. The Dodge Caravan can support WD and so can the hitch. I verified with the dealer, did a VIN search and looked over the Mopar install manual for my hitch, they all have a WD rating (the vehicle itself has the same tow rating with or without WD, but the hitch has 2000lbs without and 3800lbs with WD).

    I already paid for the hitch as I included it my purchase price (the RV dealer actually had better pricing than local hitch dealers at 599$ including install (Canadian)). I just want to have a better idea once I actually pick it up.
     
  6. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    According to this at best you have a class two hitch..

    http://www.needatrailer.com/tech/information/TrailerHitchClasses.htm

    Keep in mind many class II hitches are available with a 2" receiver so things like bike racks and cargo trays can be used.

    That there tells me that either they installed the wrong hitch or your specific van due to options is limited to 2000lbs max. towing.
     
  7. erich82

    erich82 New Member

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    They did not install the wrong hitch. This is a factory fit Mopar hitch, which is made by the same manufacturer of the vehicle. It's not an aftermarket part and is not a class 2, nor a class 3. It is made to fit the recommended towing capacities of the van. Can we please stop trying to nitpick my hitch capacity? It was obviously made for my car, by the same engineers who actually made the mini van, and all specs for the vehicle, trailer and hitch are within factory allowed specs.
    My question pertains to a weight distribution hitch and if a 400lbs WD hitch woud be too much for 350lbs TW.
     
  8. erich82

    erich82 New Member

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  9. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Active Member

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    I do not think the 400 lb hitch is too much for a 350 lb tongue weight. you want to be slightly over but not under. I think e-trailer has videos discussing selecting the right hitch.
    I have a much heavier trailer with a 620 lb loaded tongue weight and am using a 1000 lb WDH - (the closest i could get with the four point sway control - the E4 hitch). Handles well once it was dialed in correctly - and that will be the biggest issue, getting it dialed in correctly as the dealer will be setting it up with the camper empty. Once you out your gear in it - it may need to be tweaked.
     
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  10. erich82

    erich82 New Member

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    Thanks for the info. That does give me some reassurance.
     
  11. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Starcraft told me they did not recommend using a WDH on my 2400 lb starcraft. I think the key is the frame. If it's a C-channel no WDH? I would look at airbags or rear air shocks for the TV
     
  12. erich82

    erich82 New Member

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    Its not a c-frame, it's an integrated A-frame. Jayco does allow for WDH on their frames.
     
  13. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    I agree and would ad that the 400-600 lb WDH may be the smallest available. Most WDH buyers are pulling bigger and heavier trailers.

    Our TT GVW is about 7,500 lbs. but because there is a slide toward the front, the tongue weight is almost 1,000 lbs. empty. As a result, our WDH is rated for 1,500/15,000.
     
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  14. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

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    Op-that is the smallest wdh that is normally available. It should work for what your needs are. Don’t sweat it too much.
     
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  15. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    I would call jayco and ask them. You have to be certain a WDH is okay. I heard of people that bent the A-frame on popups. There is a lot of stress from a WDH when you go through a dip on the road and the trailer is headed down and the TV is headed up.
     
  16. erich82

    erich82 New Member

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    Thanks. I read through the manual and it specifically states you can use WD.
     
  17. Rudy4536

    Rudy4536 Member

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    Look at the Andersen WDH.
    Very easy to set-up, no problem backing up and light weight.
     

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