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Old 04-26-2013, 06:11 PM   #1
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Greenwich , Connecticut
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3/4 Ton. Any need WD hitch?

Hi All,

After years of watching my parents motor all over with their various RV's, I have purchased a used 2006 28 CCD. I have extensive experience towing with a 3/4 ton and 1 ton and care to continue with that as a personal choice. Despite towing weights far greater than the AS with both, I've never towed anything further than 500 miles roundtrip and have simply never used a WD setup.

Is there any benefit to doing so with a heavy truck? I would love to hear feedback from anyone who has a similar setup with the heavier trucks and newer heavier Airstreams. Not hoping to start a debate between 1500/2500/3500 but would definitely appreciate some anecdotal and any technical implications of using WD with a 3/4 or 1 ton truck.


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Old 04-26-2013, 06:20 PM   #2
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Absolutely ... Don't leave home without it ... Better safe than sorry ... Any length, any tow vehicle .

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Old 04-26-2013, 06:47 PM   #3
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I tow a relatively light (6300 gvw) Airstream and use an Equalizer weight distributing hitch with a 3/4 ton vehicle (diesel Excursion).
Reasons for using one are as follows. You will exceed your hitch and receiver weight ratings without one. The hitch and receiver ratings are 500 pounds tongue weight and 5000 pounds trailer weight without the weight distributing hitch. Airstreams have a heavy tongue weight maybe 700 to 800 pounds.
I have hooked my trailer up without spring bars to take it short distances and notice quite a bit of rear end sag. I could get air bags or helper springs but why do that when a weight distributing hitch will solve the problem for less $$?
A weight distributing hitch attempts to make the trailer and the tow vehicle a single unit rather than a truck towing a trailer. I like that when I face extreme towing conditions such as emergency handling, hard braking or going down a steep, curvy mountain road.
The Equalizer hitch has an integrated sway control system. Airstreams tow well and reduce sway but I notice a bit of buffeting back and forth when I get passed by a 75 mph semi in a crosswind. Without sway control the buffeting would be worse.
There is no downside to having a weight distributing hitch. Reeses and Equalizers are about $500. If you look around you can find a used one for half of that and unless abused, they last a long time. My Equalizer was included when I purchased the used trailer. I have towed with it eight years and lots of miles with it and it shows almost no wear. It takes me maybe a couple of minutes more to hitch up, but it is worth it.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:16 PM   #4

2003 25' Classic
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

We tow with a 2500 Burb....wouldn't go without WD, sway, and quality brake controller.
Peace of mind, safety...ours and fellow travelers.

"We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know."
W. H. Auden

"The hardest thing about Airstreaming, clearing your head and accepting how others feel itís supposed to be done"Ö..

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Old 04-26-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
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The TW "load" laid down on the rear axle at hitchup is not the same as dropping the same weight in goods in the back of the truck. It is only a static representation of a road-going dynamic. The TW is the lever arm weight (so to speak) of the length represented by the distance from hitch ball to TT axle center.

Measure off that length for us and tell us if you might be able to move a house off of it's foundation with a piece of steel that long . . you could, you know, as that [say] 900-lbs becomes 6000-lbs when the going gets rough.

A WD hitch moves that weight from just one axle and spreads it across three axles. Keeps the front axle from getting light (when it matters), and helps keep the TT tires on the ground (improves braking).

Frankly, as your TT can handle a slalom course at a faster speed than can your truck, it's the truck that needs all the help it can get.

I've an expensive hitch. I've seen -- over a lifetime of this -- what happens when the combination is not well-hitched. And the expensive hitch has integrated sway control that pretty well eliminates trailer sway. Keeps my Drive Axle tires planted where they should be . . and that is where I've put them.

I can run rings around any 5'er out there. So could you given the proper equipment and attention to detail.

Check your owners manual. It will tell you that a WD hitch is required and that anti-sway is recommended.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:34 PM   #6
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A two minute reminder

Whenever I get the urge to not hook up the WD I'm reminded of this You Tube video. I realize that this is not an Airstream but it's a great way to remember what may happen just the same.

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Old 04-26-2013, 07:58 PM   #7
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Thank you

Thank you especially to handn and slowmover. That's exactly the insight I was looking for and makes the decision easy for me. That video is something else.

Now I'll head over to read the WD reviews and get ready for my new (to me) Airstream adventure to begin.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:45 PM   #8
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When towing a heavy trailer, weight distribution on the hitch is pretty much mandatory. To do otherwise is foolhardy. We tow a 7,400# Airstream with a one ton Chevrolet Duramax, and use a Hensley Arrow weight distribution hitch.

So, to answer your question, Yes.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:49 PM   #9
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I have a crewcab one ton dually with a full size box. I do not use the W/D when I tow my 63 26 Overlander. We have put a lot of miles on without a problem.

When we tow the 34 footer, we use the Reese dual cam hitch and find that putting the frictional dampener on the system makes it feel a little more stable in certain wind and road conditions. I would not think of towing the 34 one without the WD. The truck does not drop much under the tongue load and the 8.1 litter engine over the front wheels give good steering characteristics, but the Twin cam w/d Reese does seem to make the rig want to come back and go down the road straight.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:07 PM   #10
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Y E S ! ! !

Highly suggest calling Sean over at ProPride - ProPride, my favorite (and many here's favorite) weight distributing anti-sway hitch...
John "JFScheck" Scheck
In Between Units
Airstream On Order
**I Love U.S.A.**
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:42 AM   #11
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In the video posted by Kayakcrazy, it looks like the traffic was only going about 45 mph; and you can see that the trailer was being blown sideways by strong, gusting side winds. When it finally went over, it looks like the wind lifted the back end of the trailer off the ground.

This doesn't seem so much like a poor handling or instability problem, but more like a high-profile trailer being towed in extremely windy conditions. They probably should have parked and waited for the wind to die down.

Would a WD and/or anti-sway hitch have prevented this accident? In this particular case, I suspect not...
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:19 PM   #12
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I approach the weight-transfer idea from another direction.

Instead of using weight-transfer bars to get the front end weight back to where it was before hitching up the trailer, I put 180 pounds of tools and other heavy items via a front-end hitch to get it done.

This works well, and it provides more room in the bed of the pickup for more bulky items I carry there.

My rear hitch is rated for 1000 pounds weight-bearing capacity, which is 25% above my actual hitch weight. My front hitch is rated for 500 pounds. So no problems there.

I also use a couple of anti-sway friction bars, which helps keep the trailer straight and true when being passed by 18 wheelers at warp speed, or in cross winds that blow tumbleweeds across the Interstate like bouncing beachballs.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:00 PM   #13
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After using two different sway control hitches we bought a Propride hitch. An entirely different towing experience than anything before; it is like driving in crosswinds, semi's passing, and furrowed roadways with no input to steering from the trailer. Use it and you will never want to tow without it.

doug k
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:55 PM   #14
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Anti-sway, WD, easy towing. When we connected our AS, the tongue wt. reduced the FA by #400! With the 3P hitch, we easily re-dialed the correct weight for that axle.

Service and advice from Sean are unparalleled.

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