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Old 02-19-2011, 05:36 PM   #1
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Need help choosing hitch

We purchased our first airstream 16 ft last year, towed with a borrowed truck for the season, but have now purchased our own tv, a honda ridgeline. Now we need to know what kind of hitch we should get. Last year we towed with a tundra, and had no problems with sway using only the ball, chains and brakes, but the ridgeline is a lighter, smaller truck, and we are not sure what we should do. All help is appreciated.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:26 PM   #2
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Need help choosing hitch

Greetings streamy!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by streamy View Post
We purchased our first airstream 16 ft last year, towed with a borrowed truck for the season, but have now purchased our own tv, a honda ridgeline. Now we need to know what kind of hitch we should get. Last year we towed with a tundra, and had no problems with sway using only the ball, chains and brakes, but the ridgeline is a lighter, smaller truck, and we are not sure what we should do. All help is appreciated.
You will find that most veteran Airstreamers have their favorite hitches and aren't readily disuaded. There are many threads on the Forums regarding selection. My advice, based upon more than 20 years utilzing the hitch is the Reese Strait-Line that includes the Dual Cam Sway Control. The lightest rating available according to the on-line catalog is 600 pounds for the weight distribution bars, and I suspect that should be a good match for your Airstream 16'/Ridgeline. I use this exact hitch when towing my Minuet with my '65 Dodge Coronet 500 or my '75 Cadillac Eldorado -- I suspect the hitch weight involved to be quite similar as will be the need to transfer weight forward.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamy View Post
We purchased our first airstream 16 ft last year, towed with a borrowed truck for the season, but have now purchased our own tv, a honda ridgeline. Now we need to know what kind of hitch we should get. Last year we towed with a tundra, and had no problems with sway using only the ball, chains and brakes, but the ridgeline is a lighter, smaller truck, and we are not sure what we should do. All help is appreciated.
Your owners manual will tell you the factory does not recommend an equalizing hitch. We have been towing with our '06 Ridgeline purchased April '05 without any problems.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:08 AM   #4
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Your owners manual will tell you the factory does not recommend an equalizing hitch. We have been towing with our '06 Ridgeline purchased April '05 without any problems.
What factory does not recommend a load equalizing hitch?

That is absolutely against all forms of safety.

Not using a load equalizing hitch towing your Ridgeline, is not safe, and that unfortunate day will come, as statistics and physics differ with your opinion.

Andy
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
What factory does not recommend a load equalizing hitch?

That is absolutely against all forms of safety.

Not using a load equalizing hitch towing your Ridgeline, is not safe, and that unfortunate day will come, as statistics and physics differ with your opinion.

Andy
Sorry Andy and with all due respect, you obviously don't have a clue about Ridgelines. Page 211 of the 2006 Ridgeline Owners Manual is quite clear that a weight distributing hitch is not recomended. This is not my opinion. I wasn't aware you have a degree in automotive engineering.
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
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I am not an automotive engineer, however I have destroyed a few vehicles in my day I would believe that Honda doesn't want to recommend a load equalizing hitch because the Ridgeline is uni-body construction. This could put undue stress on the body and cause failure of some sort.

I have no clue what the rated capacities are for the Ridgeline but I believe that if you use the 75% rule, a good sway control and drive conservatively you should be fine.

I worked for a towing company for several years and the bulk of accidents involving trailers that we cleaned up appeared to be caused by overweight trailers for the vehicle towing them, improperly loaded, or improperly hitched trailers, with the bulk of those being failure of some sort in the hitch. Things like a 10K trailer on a Class 3 hitch...

I have seem some UGLY stuff out there and it really does make you wonder sometimes.

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Old 02-20-2011, 05:33 PM   #7
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I believe that VW says the same sort of thing about the Touareg but people who own them have by and large concluded that weight distribution improves safety.

WD hitches aren't used much outside North America. The European way of doing things is to have much less tongue weight by moving the trailer axles forward. Then they use a longer tongue to compensate, to a degree, for the loss of stability. Some offshore manufacturers are unaccustomed to WD hitches and fail to recommend them out of ignorance.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by streamy View Post
We purchased our first airstream 16 ft last year... now purchased our own tv, a honda ridgeline.
Now we need to know what kind of hitch we should get...
for the op and others who may be curious,

here is a thread with basically the same question, and a reliable user's report.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ent-19446.html

with a follow up thread on this exact combo, the 'cruck and bambi...

that goes IN 2 details on the hitch'n biz...

with pics of the receiver, a discussion of w/d yes/no on a ridgeline,

and even a perfectly GOOD hitch recommendation...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...-ii-21000.html

then there is a nice TRIP REPORT on the combination just a few months later...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ico-23337.html

another member (marshall) towed a 19teenr with this vehicle for a good long time...

here's just 1 of his threads,

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...cle-16035.html

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-20-2011, 06:19 PM   #9
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I do believe that the unibody construction is the reason that Honda advises against weight distributing bars. With no real frame under there, the stress on the body could be too great.

That said, those with Touaregs pull larger trailers using HAs or PPs. Does the design of these better hitches reduce the stress on unibodies and still provide the equalizing effect of the Reese and Equalizer hitches?
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Old 02-20-2011, 06:26 PM   #10
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I do believe that the unibody construction is the reason...
while the ridg' has a unibody...

it is a 'hybird' using ladder/frame rails WITH the uni'.

the structure is very strong and with benefits of each technology.

it's the receiver and how it attaches, imo that's a wimpy part of the set up.

and w/d puts a lot of stress on da receiver.

look at the pix of the receiver, look at the bolt locations and torque specs.

IF one remains well within the H ratings for towing,

w/d isn't an absolute requirement (tongue load under 4-500 lbs)

that's also covered in toasty's thread above.

cheers
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Old 02-20-2011, 06:30 PM   #11
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The unibody isn't the issue here - after all, there are plenty of unibody SUVs (and even my Honda Odyssey minivan) that don't prohibit using weight distribution. Anyway, the Ridgeline is an enhanced unibody with extra frame rails.

My understanding is that Honda is concerned about improperly set-up weight distribution. Why they're more worried about it in a Ridgeline (which Honda states is designed for towing) compared to a Pilot or Odyssey - not sure.

As 2air noted, lots of folks use WD on the Ridgeline happily. My understanding is that Andy Thomson at Cam-Am RV, who specializes in setting up more esoteric rigs, also uses WD on Ridgelines. I would if I bought one, if only to get the additional anti-sway function.

Tom
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:19 AM   #12
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YOU need weight distro - VW has admitted it, Honda's folks use it too - (BTW - can't use airbags with weight distro, must deactivate)...

Enough Said....
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFScheck
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YOU need weight distro - VW has admitted it, Honda's folks use it too - (BTW - can't use airbags with weight distro, must deactivate)...

Enough Said....
Why should air bags be deactivated?
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:26 AM   #14
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Why should air bags be deactivated?
I think they're talking about "air ride" rear suspension airbags, not passive restraint airbags in the cabin.

The operation of the airbags could interfere with the setup of the wd.
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