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Old 05-10-2015, 06:02 PM   #1
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WD Anti-sway hitch for LR3/AS 23D

We're getting our first Airstream in a couple of weeks. We're new to everything including towing. I've been posting some questions and I've been trying to learn what I can about the best set up for our configuration but I'm just going to have to ask--

What might be the best option for a weight distribution and anti-sway hitch for our configuration?

Before anyone just yells out their favorite hitch, here is our situation.
Towing with a 2006 LR3 V8 tow weight 7770lbs; hitch weight 770lbs; Land Rover Quick Release hitch receiver; self-leveling air suspension.
2014 Airstream 23D Gross weight 6000lbs; hitch weight 720lbs

Here are some points I don't need addressed:
Tow vehicle options
Different Airstream options
LR hitch weight stated in manual vs hitch weight on hitch receiver
Curt fixed hitch receiver as it drops tongue weight to 600lbs
Land Rover recommendation to not use WD system

OK, now here is where I'm at, which is not very far.
ProPride
I would gladly fork out the money for the ProPride if that was the best way to address my #1 concern which is safety and it worked great, distributed weight, etc. However, it is like 200 lbs!!! Don't have much lee-way in tongue weight. So I'd be buying a hitch that is going to redistribute it's own weight?
Andersen
This would be my second choice from what I've learned about it anti-sway and anti-bounce properties and quiet operation despite that it seems it's lacking a bit when it comes to WD, at least it only weighs about 60 lbs. However, it's not recommended with use with the Airstream trailer coupler and we would have to cut it off and re-sodder a new one on?!?! That feels like a deal breaker. I don't know that I can commit to that one like that.

The rest, Blue Ox Sway Pro, Equalizer, etc. are noisy and clack around a lot from what I've read. I sure would like to not have that going on as an already slightly paranoid towing newbee. How am I supposed to tell if something wrong is really going on if I just ignore all the noises. That's not all, but it seems harder to tease out the differences between these and make a choice. Still dealing with an extra 100 lbs or so.

This is where I throw my hands up in the air, I just don't know.
How does a person that's never owned a trailer or towed anything choose the best product under these tight weight allowances? (I have found LR3 Airstream and trailer towers so please no discouragement. Just need to make a good decision here so we can be prepared to pick up the trailer which is out of state. I'm a little scared of you people after reading some of that Andersen thread ).
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:32 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your new Airstream!

Any hitch will make some noise because you have metal on metal. Some hitches specify a certain lubricant in specific places, while others say NO lubricant. Follow the instructions for your hitch. When you get your trailer and hitch, go for a ride with a service person with the trailer attached. Point out any new sounds and the service person should be able to tell you if that is a normal sound or not.

Yes, a weight distributing hitch will have to distribute some of its own weight, and a heavier hitch will have to distribute more weight than a lighter one. That hitch weight will also be part of the weight your tow vehicle will have to handle.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:19 PM   #3
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My husband called Can Am today and they basically told him towing with the LR3 would be fine. Just use "a WD system". For best value, they recommended the Eaz-Lift WD Hitch and mentioned they also sell Blue Ox and Husky. That was it, noting that doing the kind of hitch reinforcement they are accustomed to doing on smaller TV's was not likely to happen in our area. Plus, we wouldn't have anywhere to put the spare tire (that's just our observation).

Need to make a decision Thinking of just getting the Sway Pro.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:24 PM   #4
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Blue Ox is not noisy.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:46 PM   #5
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Being a newbee as you said, ease of use is also important. On my first Trailer I was talked into a Reese Round Bar & although it did the job it was a lot of work to connect & disconnect especially as it had dual friction bars to put on & take off. I had a 36 ft trailer & a 3/4 ton Ford diesel TV that together all worked well.

Like yourself, I've done the research on Hensley, ProPride, Anderson & all the rest at this buffet table of WD Hitches & have narrowed it down to the Equalizer 10K for my application of a RAM 1500 pulling a 25ft Airstream. Here's why: It works very well & it's easy to use. How do I know that....simple, I got rid of the Reese on my last setup & replaced it with a Equalizer. I've talked with many people in all kinds of tow situations & it's a hitch that always seems to work & work well.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:59 PM   #6
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We have an Equalizer. This is our first WD hitch, although we have towed boats for years. Our dealer seems to have it dialled in very well. It is very easy to use in daily practice. In slow speed turns, as in a campground, it can sound like the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.


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Old 05-11-2015, 09:08 PM   #7
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WD Anti-sway hitch for LR3/AS 23D

Agree with mrprez blue ox good hitch.
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:05 PM   #8
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Great luck with the EQ brand ... or is it attention to detail when I set it up ???
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:09 AM   #9
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Hi Lola,

Congratulations and welcome to the family. =)

You don't have much wiggle room with your setup so I would consider going with a
Reese WD. The shank with ball will add around 50 lbs, which will bring you to your limit. Sure it's noisy, and nerve racking at first, but you get use to.

You could also consider switching out the deep cycle batteries with Lithium Ion ones. They are very expensive but have a longer use life and weight considerable less 15 lbs vs. 53 lbs. That's a 76 lbs. reduction on the tongue weight.

Smart Battery® | 12V Lithium Ion Batteries for RV Marine and Automotive

Good luck on your decision.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:11 AM   #10
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We're a month into owning our first airstream. It's a 23D as well. Towing with a 2015 Yukon, we decided on a Hensley. I'm no expert, but I test drove with the equalizer and didn't like the noise. The Hensley is mostly silent, easy to use (with a backup cam), and through two trips (one extremely windy day) haven't felt a single second of sway. They sell remanufactured hitches that are like new.

When I look at my Yukon specs there's a 'max tongue weight' and a 'max tongue weight with WD hitch'. I think adding the WD hitch adds an extra 400+lbs to the max allowable tongue weight.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:41 AM   #11
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I used to have a 19' Flying Cloud towed by a Toyota FJ Cruiser. I chose an Equalizer as a compromise between cost and function. It took multiple attempts to get the load balancing and sway control to my liking, but it was eventually quite good. One of the problems with the Equalizer was the clamps on the A-bar would move around - even by as much as an inch. This was due to the A-frame not being box-shaped. It was eventually resolved by welding the clamps to the A-frame.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:41 AM   #12
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Thanks for the tip on the batteries GenXair.

Local, I think the Hensley, like the PridePro, is just too heavy for our set up : (
Interesting about the max tongue weight with WD hitch.

We called Blue Ox to get some recommendations on the whether to use the 800# or 1,000# bars and to see what kind of WD we might be able to expect. He recommended the 1,000# but had literally nothing to say about WD % or amount of any kind. Disappointing.
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Old 05-13-2015, 05:38 AM   #13
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WD Anti-sway hitch for LR3/AS 23D

Quote:
Originally Posted by LolaT View Post
We're getting our first Airstream in a couple of weeks. We're new to everything including towing. I've been posting some questions and I've been trying to learn what I can about the best set up for our configuration but I'm just going to have to ask--



What might be the best option for a weight distribution and anti-sway hitch for our configuration?



Before anyone just yells out their favorite hitch, here is our situation.

Towing with a 2006 LR3 V8 tow weight 7770lbs; hitch weight 770lbs; Land Rover Quick Release hitch receiver; self-leveling air suspension.

2014 Airstream 23D Gross weight 6000lbs; hitch weight 720lbs



Here are some points I don't need addressed:

Tow vehicle options

Different Airstream options

LR hitch weight stated in manual vs hitch weight on hitch receiver

Curt fixed hitch receiver as it drops tongue weight to 600lbs

Land Rover recommendation to not use WD system



OK, now here is where I'm at, which is not very far.

ProPride

I would gladly fork out the money for the ProPride if that was the best way to address my #1 concern which is safety and it worked great, distributed weight, etc. However, it is like 200 lbs!!! Don't have much lee-way in tongue weight. So I'd be buying a hitch that is going to redistribute it's own weight?

Andersen

This would be my second choice from what I've learned about it anti-sway and anti-bounce properties and quiet operation despite that it seems it's lacking a bit when it comes to WD, at least it only weighs about 60 lbs. However, it's not recommended with use with the Airstream trailer coupler and we would have to cut it off and re-sodder a new one on?!?! That feels like a deal breaker. I don't know that I can commit to that one like that.



The rest, Blue Ox Sway Pro, Equalizer, etc. are noisy and clack around a lot from what I've read. I sure would like to not have that going on as an already slightly paranoid towing newbee. How am I supposed to tell if something wrong is really going on if I just ignore all the noises. That's not all, but it seems harder to tease out the differences between these and make a choice. Still dealing with an extra 100 lbs or so.



This is where I throw my hands up in the air, I just don't know.

How does a person that's never owned a trailer or towed anything choose the best product under these tight weight allowances? (I have found LR3 Airstream and trailer towers so please no discouragement. Just need to make a good decision here so we can be prepared to pick up the trailer which is out of state. I'm a little scared of you people after reading some of that Andersen thread ).

6000-lb TT GVWR. At .92 of maximum, 5,520-lbs. TW of 12.5%, 690-lbs. A guesstimation of a max load and an ideal TW percentage.

WD tensioned should leave 75-80% of TW on TV, so 540-lbs split between front and rear axle.

The Can Am approach is to get the ball as close to the TV as possible with significant rearward tilt on the hitch head. A fairly ordinary WD hitch at that point ( light in weight).

There are comments here by Andrew Thomson on LR vehicles. Search.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:09 AM   #14
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Lola T,

Take a look at the Reese SC hitch in the appropriate weight range. It is not too heavy, controls sway in a similar way as the Equalizer, rides better than the EQ because it has some flex, makes no noise, and has no restrictions on backing up.

We've been using one for a couple of years now, and like it.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:42 AM   #15
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Hi LolaT, glad you found airforums!!I enjoyed the thread in the LR forum!

I have the Equal-i-zer Sway control WD hitch as it is light and easy to set up. The noise is only present at low speed tight turns, more importantly, when you back up, you have to release the friction bars, this is tiresome.

The hitch has worked very well for us but is a compromise with a focus on weight and cost at the expense of versatility and total performance.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:39 AM   #16
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Reese has been the one I use most (although I do own a Equalizer). You may not need the HP model. Reese self centers. I do use a frictional dampener in some circumstances.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:36 AM   #17
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Agree with mrprez, Blue Ox Sway Pro is quiet, no backup restrictions and no sway so far for my application on a '08 Range Rover HSE. If it makes noise, it is probably not tensioned correctly for the TW.
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:32 PM   #18
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NWRVR, do you have the Land Rover Quick Release Hitch Receiver or did you use something else? I would be interested in learning more about your set up which is similar to ours. We have an LR3 V8 with same weight limits. We are in the process of installing the Prodigy P3 Brake Controller and maybe looking for a backup camera.
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Old 05-13-2015, 04:06 PM   #19
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NWRVR

How does that set up tow? I have an 2007 LR3 V8 HSE and so far have not even tried my 25ftRB with it. I am think of upgrading to a RR or LR4 next year but have not been feeling so great about the ability to tow my AS, any experiences you can share would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LolaT View Post
NWRVR, do you have the Land Rover Quick Release Hitch Receiver or did you use something else? I would be interested in learning more about your set up which is similar to ours. We have an LR3 V8 with same weight limits. We are in the process of installing the Prodigy P3 Brake Controller and maybe looking for a backup camera.
My RR HSE has the Westphalia factory hitch with a 550 lbs tongue weight limit. I don't know what the quick release is unless it is the 2" box receiver for a stinger with a 5/8" clevis pin to lock it in. I also have the P3 brake controller. Airstream Adventures Northwest sold and set up the Blue Ox Sway Pro with 1,000 lbs bars on my TV but I had Land Rover install the brake controller, 7-way plug, relay, ECU and update the software for towing.

The set up tows smoothly and I don't feel the AS until I get into the mountains. I tow in sport mode to use the gears to keep the speed down going down grades and on a long uphill grade the transmission will shift down to maintain 50 - 55 mph at 3,500 rpm. I only have approximately 600 towing miles making three trips from Portland to the coast over the Coast Range and I am very happy with the set up and handling.
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