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Old 04-01-2017, 02:11 PM   #1
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Smile Weight Dist Really Needed for 16' Sport?

Good day! I have read and read but need a little help (newbie). I have a brand new 16' Sport - and TV is 2017 Lexus GX 460 (tows 6500 lbs - max tongue weight 500 lbs) Sport is 3500 lbs GVWF - 350 tongue weight (plus 40 lbs propane plus 40 for battery)…so total of about 440 lb) Anyhow, my Lexus has TSC (trailer sway control) but the dealer says I def need weight distribution hitch at $750. I want to be safe, but the more I read here, just don't know what to do! Many thanks for your experience and guidance!
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:34 PM   #2
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This is from GX460's user manual:

● If the gross trailer weight is over 2000 lb. (907 kg), a sway control
device with sufficient capacity is required.

● If the gross trailer weight is over 5000 lb. (2268 kg), a weight distributing
hitch with sufficient capacity is required.

Your trailer weighs less than 5000#. However, GX460 has a very short wheelbase. I personally would not tow this combination without a weight distribution hitch with sway control. If you are new to towing, IMO, you should not take an unnecessary risk. Just get the hitch. My 2 cents worth.
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Goingcamping View Post
Good day! I have read and read but need a little help (newbie). I have a brand new 16' Sport - and TV is 2017 Lexus GX 460 (tows 6500 lbs - max tongue weight 500 lbs) Sport is 3500 lbs GVWF - 350 tongue weight (plus 40 lbs propane plus 40 for battery)…so total of about 440 lb) Anyhow, my Lexus has TSC (trailer sway control) but the dealer says I def need weight distribution hitch at $750. I want to be safe, but the more I read here, just don't know what to do! Many thanks for your experience and guidance!
I believe the Airstream specs on base weights are for an empty trailer, no water, but it does include the battery and full propane tanks. Anyway, i don't think you need sway control if you have 10-15% of the trailer weight on the tongue.
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:18 PM   #4
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Look at the Andersen hitch for that rig.
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:38 PM   #5
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Look at the Andersen hitch for that rig.
I agree. I've had a few Andersen products, they make good stuff. I think their WD hitch would be perfect for this combination.
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mergatroyd View Post
I believe the Airstream specs on base weights are for an empty trailer, no water, but it does include the battery and full propane tanks.
I agree with this too. Your dry tongue weight spec includes batteries and propane. It's on the Airstream website.
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:43 PM   #7
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Find out what amount of wt is on your vehicle front axle, versus what amount is on your rear axle. If the rear axle is less than the front by a couple hundred lbs... measure the height above ground of your front fender at the top of the wheel well... and do the same at the rear wheel well.
Now hook up your trailer and re-measure the wheel well height.
If your front WW height was 30" and the rear was 31" and after the trailer is mounted the front remains at 30" then as long as the trailer is level you should not need WD hitch. (This excersize is designed to determine if front axle weight decreases excessively. If not, you do not need WD.) Drive it and see how it handles.
There's a good chance you do not.
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Old 04-01-2017, 04:30 PM   #8
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Look at the Andersen hitch for that rig.
The Anderson hitch is not compatible with most airstream couplers. I have a 2016 sport 16 and I know mine falls into this category.
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Old 04-01-2017, 04:54 PM   #9
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WD hitches also help dampen the undulating motions of the rig on uneven road surfaces at certain speeds, and thus benefit almost all combinations of TV and trailer. The question really could be, therefore, why would you not get a WD hitch?

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Old 04-01-2017, 05:05 PM   #10
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Only question: will it increase your safety margin for when **** happens?
What's $750 on a $60,000 trailer if it increases safety and better protects your loved ones?
You want a largest possible safety margin for when things go wrong out on the road - and it will go wrong!
That's what an accident is - by definition - unexpected, and the one with the largest safety margin survives.
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Old 04-02-2017, 01:19 PM   #11
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Husky 32216 Center Line TS with Spring Bars - 400 lb. to 600 lb. Tongue Weight Capaci

I'm using a Husky 32216 Center Line TS with Spring Bars - 400 lb. to 600 lb. Tongue Weight Capacity (2-5/16" Ball) with a 2017 16' Bambi. $298.40 plus free shipping.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 04-02-2017, 01:27 PM   #12
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I agree with Mergatroyd. I tow a 21' 5,000 lbs. boat on tandem axle trailer with a 2008 Range Rover HSE without weight distribution and have never experienced any sway or lightness on the steering axle. My rig doesn't squat because of air suspension.

I would try it without WD and see what it drives like at various speeds and conditions. If it feels light on the steering axle compared to without the trailer, or the TV squats at the rear, then yes, you would benefit from WD. JMHO and you must do what feels right and safe for you.
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:14 PM   #13
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Zillions of opinions on this so you have to weigh your own margin of safety. I had a 16 sport and towed it with both a Nissan frontier and a Ram eco diesel 1500. I used WD and sway control and both and it sure towed nice and never a issue. You might go your whole life and never get to the limits where it makes a life saving difference, but of course without it and it happens it's too late.
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:32 PM   #14
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Sounds like you might need a Hensley Cub. Call Hensley and ask them about your towing combination. I don't know if ProPride makes a comparison. The shorter the wheel base the more you need a trapezoid hitch design.
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:38 PM   #15
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OK, I'm a newbie. My first question of many, I'm sure. n2mp60 referenced a Husky 32216 unit, that to my unpracticed eye, looks like a replacement for the hitch on the Sport. I'm picking up a 16' Sport in a month. Plan to tow it with a 2017 Toyota 4Runner. Should I be looking at something like this?
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:48 PM   #16
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You should at least have friction sway control, in addition to what electronic sway control is included with the Lexus.
Believe me, the tail will wag the dog. I don't care what others have said. Seriously consider what others have suggested for safety reasons, WD hitch with sway control.
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Old 04-02-2017, 03:12 PM   #17
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My trailering experience pales in comparison to the Airframes senators, so with that caveat ... I have a Sport 16 that I tow without a weight-distributing hitch.

It does have a friction sway control ... an inexpensive addition and not much hassle to use.

I pull it with a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban. It does fine.
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Old 04-02-2017, 04:23 PM   #18
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That's what an accident is - by definition - unexpected, and the one with the largest safety margin survives.

Is that why many of us are in this World?
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Old 04-02-2017, 04:55 PM   #19
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"Weight Dist Really Needed for 16' Sport?"

-Probably not needed, but a really good thing to have anyway.

Better ride, weight distributed more evenly and, above all, quite cheap insurance for an expensive trailer. Sway control/elimination is good to have too, whether built in to the WD system or added on afterwards.
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:44 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rostam View Post
This is from GX460's user manual:

● If the gross trailer weight is over 2000 lb. (907 kg), a sway control
device with sufficient capacity is required.

● If the gross trailer weight is over 5000 lb. (2268 kg), a weight distributing
hitch with sufficient capacity is required.

Your trailer weighs less than 5000#. However, GX460 has a very short wheelbase. I personally would not tow this combination without a weight distribution hitch with sway control. If you are new to towing, IMO, you should not take an unnecessary risk. Just get the hitch. My 2 cents worth.
Agreed and well stated. There is nothing better than the confidence that comes with trailering safely. You could "tow" the 16' AS and would likely get from point A to B. But, my experience is you do the same trip actually enjoying the experience rather than constant "worry" when your "set-up" is as it should be rather than "minimal."

Adam Geuss
2017 16' Airstream Sport/2017 Dodge Durango (5.7 hemi) weight distribution/anti sway hook-up.

2014 23' Airstream International Serenity with 2011 Ford 250 6.7L TV.
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