Weight Distribution Hitch

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by threebeachboys, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. threebeachboys

    threebeachboys Active Member

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    Hello all - Been a while since I've been on-line. Work gets in the way. . . . .And moderators may move this discussion as it applies to both Aframes and towing/hitches. So wasn't sure.

    Anyway, here goes. Looking at getting a new tow vehicle and handing down the Expedition to one of the kids. Always have bought Fords as we get a discount as my Dad retired from there. So, all set to sign on an Explorer. Found one perfectly equipped, even in the preferred color! But wait, yes, it has a 5,000 pound tow rating - but you need a weight distribution hitch. Oh for Pete's sake - I have a 3,500 GVWR folding Aliner. But, according to their towing guide, the warranty could be voided if I don't use the weight distribution hitch. I checked with Aliner and using the that type of hitch is fine - though they thought it was silly. So my questions are:

    1) Are weight distribution hitches difficult to use? Do they require a ton of strength?
    2) Does anyone tow with our 2nd choice, a Grand Cherokee? If so, do you like it?

    Thanks much for any advice or comments.

    Pam
     
  2. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    I can't imagine why you would need a WDH with an Aliner, but I learned a long time ago that manufacturers don't make these recommendations for their health. I don't think Ford sells WDHs so they have nothing to gain.

    1. There is nothing difficult about a WDH. You generally chose a WDH by tongue weight, so you won't need one that's real stout. Once you hook it up a couple times, you should be fine.

    2. I say stick with Ford. [:)C]
     
  3. mstrbill

    mstrbill Active Member

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    Some people change their jacks to power ones, to cut down on the cranking needed to install the bars.
     
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  4. Ladiesman

    Ladiesman Active Member

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    Yeah I dont know if thats a good idea. A WDH in your case might create a dangerous situation. Not enough tongue weight is bad and could actually cause your trailer to sway badly.
     
  5. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Well-Known Member

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    1) no my equalizer is not difficult to use - but having an electric tongue jack is very helpful getting the tension bars in place. we hook up the coupler and lift the trailer tongue up until the bars easily slide into place. We are women only and have no issues once the hitch got broken in (it was pretty stiff when new but that loosened up within a couple of uses). I would think you can get a light duty one, you probably don't need much.
    2) I tow with the Durango - very similar to the Jeep but has a longer wheelbase and have the 5.7 L Hemi engine, so have a 7200 lb towing capacity. I towed a 3800 lb gvwr high wall popup with it for 5 years prior to getting our current camper- did not use a WDH with the popup as my car's manual stated that one was not needed until the camper tongue weight exceeded 350 lbs. I think the Jeep has the same expectations as I think it also has the Class V hitch. The popup was very easy to tow.

    Though I will say - that when I was looking for a tow vehicle when I had my popup, I ruled out the explorer due to it only having a 5000 lb towing capacity; I wanted no less than 6,000 lbs. And as the Durango was in the same price range as the explorer, I got 2200 lbs more towing capacity for the same $. Did not even consider the Jeep, doesn't have the seating I wanted.
     
  6. threebeachboys

    threebeachboys Active Member

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    Update - I downloaded the 2018 Explorer manual. For trailers up to 3,500 pounds, weight carrying hitch. WDH over 3,500 pounds. My Aliner is under 3,500. So still considering Explorer.
     
  7. seldomseen380

    seldomseen380 Active Member

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    The weight distribution hitch is easy to use, Once the Initial set-up has been done...

    It keeps My tow vehicle and the pop-up in one straight line, all parallel with the ground. Perfect steering and straight braking.

    An electric tongue jack is an option, but a very good option. It makes the hitch connection to the pup a breeze.

    Tongue weight is an important factor in determining the need for a weight distribution hitch. Over 400lbs it's a must, IMHO.

    If considering purchasing a weight distribution hitch and / or an electric tongue jack, remember.. Harbor Freight Tools, is Your Friend.
     
  8. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

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    In 35 years as a dealer tech I've never seen any warranty voided due to towing. You first stated it was #3500, then you said under #3500, if you're that close, get one. These will squat quite a bit.
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    Just my 2 cents... I like the explorer. 3500# is right on the line. I'd fill it and your explorer up and see how much it sags without a WDH.
    Before I got my Hybrid I wondered why anyone would need a 3000-5000# rated tongue jack when the tongue weight was only a few hundred pounds. THEN I used the WDH. Then I understood. You use the tongue jack to lift the tongue AND the rear of the vehicle to get the WD bars in place. After 2 trips I ordered a Husky 4500. Best thing I've added.
    Don't be afraid of a WDH. A little practice and you'll be pros.
    Don't buy a Reese SC. If I had it to do over, I'd get the equalizer with the optional saddle pads.
     
  10. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    The GVWR is 3500 on the Aliner. What does it actually weigh loaded? I doubt if it is 3500. What is it's TW? I would be surprised if a Explorer needed a WDH.
     
  11. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Active Member

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    How does a WD hitch lighten the total weight of the trailer tongue?

    Any "tongue weight" the WD hitch distributes off the rear wheels is redistributed to the front wheels of the tow vehicle, not back to the trailer.
     
  12. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    A WDH also shifts weight back onto the trailer axles as well ..

    https://www.etrailer.com/faq-weightdistribution.aspx
     
  13. mstrbill

    mstrbill Active Member

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    An 4K/6K E2 equalizer should be a good choice, sway control is builtin.
     
  14. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Active Member

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    I suppose what it transfers to front axle should also transfer to the trailer axle(s) since you are taking the weight off the rear axle and it has to go somewhere, and that amount would be a function of the wheel base of the tow vehicle and length of trailer.
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    I've towed my hybrid (~6000lbs) without WD once to get it home from the dealer. Night and day difference. What I noticed most was the light "floaty" sensation in the steering without the WD. With WD, it is more solid and without a hint of sway.
    Of course, I've towed my old popup (3300lbs) behind my 93 S-10 blazer (air shocks added) and 01 GMC Yukon (auto-leveling air suspension) without WD and never had any issues with handling or sway whatsoever.
    I think you're going to have to see how your particular combination works out.
     
  16. threebeachboys

    threebeachboys Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for your comments so far! All things being equal, I like the Explorer over a GC. But. . . . a WDH would require me to carry the spare trailer tire in the tow vehicle - certainly not ideal. There is also part of me that views the Explorer as a "girl truck" and just not as rugged a GC. In addition, I have the opportunity to try out a similarly equipped GC before I buy one; I don't have that option with the Ford. Who would think it is so difficult to find a suitable tow SUV for a 3,500 GVWR Aliner?
     
  17. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    I have done a good bit of towing with Explorers I have owned 2 before getting the 05 Explorer we now have. I have never had a problem towing with any of them and I would still have the 04 if it was not Hit by a semi. My brother is a GC guy and I know he also doesn't have any trouble tow but the DW has said many times that there is much less room in the GC. Good luckm ont the TV hunt.
     
  18. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    The OP is talking about a CUV explorer and not the body on frame old style explorers. Finding one with factory tow will be hard. I know that just putting a hitch on a Traverse you only get 2,000 pound ratings, I'm sure the CUV explorer is the same. Grand Cherokees have been unibody forever however never had such horrible tow ratings as the CUV domestic daycare mobiles. I'd go with a Grand Cherokee V6 with factory tow package. You can find 2008 Trailblazers with less that 100k on them dirt cheap and they will have 6000 lb tow ratings.
     
  19. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    I haven't needed WDH on my k2500 Suburban until it reaches 1000 pounds of tongue weight. Heaviest towed so far was at 7000 lbs and no WDH loosey goosey time!
     
  20. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Easy to use, much less noise of the hitch bouncing on the ball, no effort to connect the bars if you raise the tongue when connected to the ball. DW can do it by hand.

    I would look at mabe a 600 lb wdh. I think most of them have a range between 350 to 600 lbs tongue weight.
     

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