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Old 03-19-2014, 01:22 PM   #1
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Do any tow without W/D?

Currently I tow a 23' Vantage with my Chevy 2500HD with just a ball hitch. I like the simplicity of it. The trailer weighs around 6000# and my tongue weight is around 750#. It tows quite well. There is no squat on the rear suspension and I haven't had any sway issues. I do have a brake controller. This trailer is very similar to an AS - rounded body, low center of gravity, mor-ryde suspension, etc.

Considering upgrading to a 25 or 27 AS. Weights are in the same neighborhood, but it would be a bit longer. I certainly understand the application of WD and sway control, as I've used it on other SOB's I've owned, so please don't waste your time explaining it here.

What I'm curious about, is anyone with a 25 or 27 towing with a 3/4 ton truck (or bigger) doing so successfully with just a ball hitch? Or is it impossible?
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:27 PM   #2
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I tow my 31 footer without a WD. TV is a 1500 4WD, no problems. If I were to go the route of WD, I would save my funds for a ProPride. Weight is not a problem for me but under some conditions, wind, high speeds, sway on occasion is an annoyance.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:32 PM   #3
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IMHO towing your 23' with a WDH would add a certain degree/margin of safety and stability in certain situations.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:40 PM   #4
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Can it be done, sure however you are taking weight off the front end and you will notice much more porpoising on some freeway surfaces.
Certainly if you consider it satisfactory now, going to a pro pride or Hensley would be an extreme change. I would consider a less costly WD hitch.

It is not really as much a question off can you do it as is it wise to.

I delivered to dealers for a number of years My personal policy was WD on any travel trailer.
Sway control was not used regardless of size as it is an aftermarket option, or difficult to move from trailer to trailer in the case the Reese straight line.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:13 PM   #5
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Probably because the Chevy has such a stiff suspension, I haven't detected any porpoising. This is a heavy truck - 7600# empty. That distribution is fairly front heavy to accommodate a payload. So with 1000# on the rear bumper, the front/rear distribution is more even. The hitch is rated for 1500# tongue weight without WD.

Here's an interesting article on my truck: 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD 4x4

I've put 2500# on the pin with a 5th wheel trailer, and the rear end squatted 2" from normal ride height, FWIW. It's a stiff rig.

A 30 to 31' trailer is bigger than I want to go. I'd definitely be reluctant to pull without sway control on a trailer that long.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:00 PM   #6
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What does it say on the frame that supports your receiver? (I can't remember the correct name.) On my F-250 for a non-weight-distribution hitch it says 6,000 pounds gross and 600 pound tongue max.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:12 PM   #7
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My 2012 Sierra Denali HD2500 had a class V receiver and I still used the WD. Mainly because it is the Reese Dual-Cam and twice under adverse conditions I have lost traction and had the rear end attempt to swing out only to have the Dual-Cam bring it right back in. I would not tow without the Reese Dual-Cam WD at all. I am a very happy/firm believer in safety trumping convenience.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:14 PM   #8
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It says 1000 weight carrying/ 1500 weight distributing.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012FB View Post
My 2012 Sierra Denali HD2500 had a class V receiver and I still used the WD. Mainly because it is the Reese Dual-Cam and twice under adverse conditions I have lost traction and had the rear end attempt to swing out only to have the Dual-Cam bring it right back in. I would not tow without the Reese Dual-Cam WD at all. I am a very happy/firm believer in safety trumping convenience.
What were those conditions when this happened? Could you discern between what the dual cam was doing and what the built-in anti-sway feature was doing?

Also, what is the configuration of your Sierra - 4WD, crew cab, long bed, etc.?
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:20 PM   #10
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I tow my light Avion, 4000 pounds, without WD, but I do use sway control. It is a cheap addition to a regular hitch. I have a one ton Dodge am well within the hitch limits. Jim
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:22 PM   #11
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2012FB, the sway control is what probably helped you more than the WD. Jim
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:41 PM   #12
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Pulling a long steep grade in the snow.

I will clarify that even with past F250 Superduty, Excursions, Denali XL and the 2012 Sierra Denali HD Crew Cab standard box I have run WD.

My 25FB probably has at least a 1,000 pounds on the tongue and drops the rear-end down about 4" at least.

The WD puts it back level and evens the load.

Since the purchase of the 2012 25FB I went with the WD with built in Sway Control (Reese Dual Cam).

When the rear end brakes loose the spring tension of the WD springs pull the rear end back into position.

I managed to do this twice, once on I80 coming back with the trailer in the snow with the cruise control set. Yes, I ignored the signs!!

The other was I-25 on Raton Pass, this time it just broke loose. By the time I let off it was already pulling back in.

My experience make me a believer in both.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wncrasher View Post
What were those conditions when this happened? Could you discern between what the dual cam was doing and what the built-in anti-sway feature was doing?

Also, what is the configuration of your Sierra - 4WD, crew cab, long bed, etc.?
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:42 PM   #13
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:06 AM   #14
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When I bought my trailer I drove 800 miles home without w.d. And no sway control,I have a 2012 silverado 1500 ext cab 4x4 with tow package and z71 suspension, my trailer is smaller 19 foot and lighter about 3800 lbs empty but been a single axle I would think it would be less stable , it towed like a dream. The back end of the truck would be slightly lower 2 " maybe ,I had a wd hitch ordered before picking up my airstream so now I tow with it and I use the torsion bar chains in the second link (not a lot of tension on them)and my truck now sits level they are 800lbs bars I think. And the airstream tongue weight is somewhere around 600lbs, it tows really nice!
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:13 AM   #15
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In the pacific northwest I see a lot of white box trailers sizes from 20 to 30 feet being pulled by whatever truck the owner can get hold of. No WD hitch, just a cheap stinger and a ball. Very commonly the ball is way too high or low. Usually there are 2 adults, at least 4 kids, 2 dogs and an ATV in the bed of the truck. I am always amazed that they get there and home after their trip.

I am not advocating what I see, but there are an amazing number of them out on any given weekend. Hunting season is worse, they never seem to use a WD hitch. The funny thing is that I also virtually never see any wrecks. Flat tires, yes, but wrecks are rare.

I sure as hell know I would never tow without a WD hitch.
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:34 AM   #16
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I would not advocate not using WD unless one has a very light tongue weight and a three quarter ton truck. Sway control is always advisable. My one ton ,which has an additional set of springs over a three quarter ton, can go even higher on tongue weight without WD, but I still use sway control. Six hundred pounds of tongue weight dies not even compress the overload springs on my truck. I previously towed a 25ft FB with the same setup and the results were the same except the normal three quarter ton springs were in effect all with sway control. I am well within all weight limits. The main reason I use sway is I have a short bed srw and the sway control helps. Just my experience here. Jim
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:54 AM   #17
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When we picked up our trailer, the PO suggested setting the lifter bars and sway control so loose that they might as well have not been there. I knew better but let it go - in part because we were hitching at a very awkward angle (trailer was basically level, but the front of the truck was facing up a slope) so it was hard to tell whether it was set up right or not.

As soon as we pulled on to an interstate, a truck passed us at a pretty good speed, and got the trailer swaying. A friend that helped us find and buy the trailer was following us for a few miles and commented on it (later) - she saw it clearly and remembered it. I tightened the sway control at our first stop.

We also had issues with porpoising. That was solved by tightening the lifter bars. Now the trailer tows like a dream. I definitely won't tow any distance without W/D. If I were just moving it a short distance (around town or something like that), where highway speeds wouldn't be involved, I wouldn't worry about the W/D or sway, but that's the only exception.

Now, a light trailer with a well-matched (or overmatched) tow vehicle, with the trailer loaded correctly, probably can get away without any W/D. After all, that's basically what U-Haul trailers are, and as long as they're loaded correctly they tow fine.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:43 AM   #18
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My car hauler trailer is a big box, but it sits very low to the ground - much lower CG than a TT, and it's 25' long. It's also something I haul without a WD hitch and it's very well behaved on the highway.

I wonder if it's more a function of the truck than anything. Most of the Fords seems to have very compliant rear suspensions - guys report getting airbags and such because the squat so much with a load. I suppose that makes them have a much smoother ride than the GM trucks.

Although it may sound like it on here, I'm not opposed to using WD, as I have on many trailers in the past. I just don't want to if I don't need to. In fact, there's an equalizer setup sitting on the floor in my shop if I need it. I was just wanting to guage the users out there who have big trucks and may be getting by just fine without it on a 25 or 27 foot trailer.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:59 AM   #19
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If youalready have the hitch with sway control. I would install it. Jim
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:00 AM   #20
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I'm always surprised when this question comes up.

There are simply no disadvantages to using weight distribution and sway control/elimination, regardless of your tow vehicle. Spread the load over all the axles and mitigate the chances for terminal sway - what could be simpler and safer?

It's cheap, too, compared with the cost of your beloved Airstream.
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