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Old 03-21-2008, 10:07 PM   #15
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1967 17' Caravel
1959 17' Pacer
Corrales , New Mexico
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OK, here's the quote from the Pilot's manual about the WD hitch (don't know why I didn't look this up last night -- duh):

"A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance."

So it sounds as if they only object if it's not set up correctly. As long as I load the trailer properly and take it to a scale, make sure the weight on the front and back axles are within limits, the tongue weight is OK, the Reese is set up carefully according to instructions, etc., then I assume we'll be fine -- and safer than we would be without it. We won't be carrying much extra weight, since we're just planning to use it for short (3-4 day) family camping trips, and I'm used to backpacking and tent camping and always travel light anyway.

Thanks so much for all the help and advice -- this forum is the best!
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:12 PM   #16
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1967 17' Caravel
1959 17' Pacer
Corrales , New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
The goal of the WD hitch is to distribute the hitch weight between the front and rear axles of your truck. The 300 hitch weight you listed is for a dry trailer with no options. Add some propane, water and other stuff and you are looking at 400 pounds. Still not a lot of weight. The WD hitch when setup correctly will move around 200 pounds forward.
For some reason I thought the dry weight was about 250, so I was figuring around 300 loaded. But I just looked it up and you're right, the hitch weight of a 67 Caravel is 300 dry -- thanks for pointing that out!
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Old 03-21-2008, 11:20 PM   #17
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1975 27' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corraleno
OK, here's the quote from the Pilot's manual about the WD hitch (don't know why I didn't look this up last night -- duh):

"A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance."
That was probably written by a lawyer or risk manager who doesn't understand towing.

Even an improperly adjusted WDH (that is, with insufficient tension) is better than none. Also, it reads "not recommended"; the manual isn't saying that your vehicle would be damaged.

The worst thing that could happen is that the Honda receiver will flex and the weight transfer will be less than totally effective. There are ways to reinforce and stiffen receivers, and lots of OEM receivers need it (like those used on GM pickups for a number of years).

With respect to unibodies - I tow with a unibody vehicle, with Eaz-Lift 1000 lb bars that have plenty of tension on them. The challenge with a unibody design is finding good mounting points for the receiver. Apart from that, I am comfortable saying that unibody is superior to body-on-frame because it will flex only a fraction of the amount that a full frame flexes when the torsional load is applied. A unibody is much stiffer, and a given amount of tension on the weight distributing bars will transfer more weight to the front tires as a result.

I think Inland Andy's recommendation is completely logical. An alternative might be an Eaz-Lift with 550 lb bars, and a single friction sway control.
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:21 AM   #18
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2008 34' Classic
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Hi Coraleno

I would agree with Albert to consider the Eaz-Lift 550 hitch, you can put on a sway control but you really won't need one as the Honda is quite stable. The reason I like the 550 hitch is that their torsion bars have the most travel when you go through dips etc so they put the least strain on the A frame of an older trailer. As well Eaz-Lift's shank design allows the ball to be 4-5" closer to the bumper than the Reese cast shank does.

We have many customers with Pilots towing substantial Airstreams with no problems. On larger trailers we do strengthen receiver this is more due to the inadquacy of the receiver than any problem with a unit body. Today unit body's are much stronger than full frame vehicles.

Andhy
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:15 PM   #19
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Unibody is superior, period. No dead weight body pieces. One can see in a few places online the old Chrysler diagrams for installing a WDH.
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