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Old 10-11-2020, 09:10 PM   #1
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1972 Argosy 20
Snoqualmie , Washington
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Which WDH

I never thought I'd be asking this question. I'm considering purchasing a weight distribution hitch. I've towed for years without one, but I want to go to a dual 6v battery system and the total weight would approach, or in one case exceed, my TV Hitch capacity. So, I need some education.
The hitch capacity of my TV is 600lbs. The measured tongue weight is 420lbs, ready to camp. Occasionally I'll put 50 - 80 lbs forward of the TV axle, but I understand this doesn't affect capacity. If I go to a two 6v battery system I'm now at about 480 lbs on the ball.
I occasionally tow with a full fresh water tank, which will add 117 lbs to the ball. Add to that the weight of the WDH itself (assume 80lbs), and worse case I'm at 670-680 lbs on the ball.
So, what weight rating of bars should I get to safely cover both situations? I don't yet have a hitch picked out, but I'm thinking EAZ-Lift or Dual Cam.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:15 PM   #2
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2020 30’ Globetrotter
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An EZLift with 600lb bars would serve you well.
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:23 AM   #3
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Tell me about your tow vehicle, it could be the 600 lb limit is not structural but is instead related to stability, in which case other adjustments would be appropriate. I'm presuming the trailer weight limit for your vehicle is 6000 lb or more.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Tell me about your tow vehicle, it could be the 600 lb limit is not structural but is instead related to stability, in which case other adjustments would be appropriate. I'm presuming the trailer weight limit for your vehicle is 6000 lb or more.

The TV is a 2011 Honda Ridgeline. The receiver is factory installed and according to the manual the tongue weight should not exceed 600 lbs. It's a class 3 hitch, and I don't know if this is a weight restriction based on how it's attached to the frame, but it appears to be a stability issue. I've attached the two relevant pages from the owners manual.
The trailer, before going to the dual 6v battery set up and without the full tank of fresh water weighs at 3753 lbs



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Old 10-12-2020, 09:01 PM   #5
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So this is how they figure the hitch weight and towing weight. If you have a 600lb hitch weight, you can max tow a 6,000lb trailer. That doesn’t mean the hitch can’t tolerate more weight. I have a CLass IV hitch. A class IV hitch is designed for no more than 1400lbs. However, my max hitch weight is 1250lbs and my max towing capacity is figured at 12,500lbs. So it is more of a stability issue per the vehicle, because to get to 1250lbs I used different tires on my F150. The different tires allow for more stability and therefore a higher towing capacity.
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Old 10-13-2020, 01:50 AM   #6
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Yeah, in the case of the Ridgeline the tongue weight is more of a guideline and not a hard limit to help the owner better balance the load, maintain reasonable passenger comfort given the rear spring rates, and avoid the axle and combined weight limits which represent the technical and safety considerations for this vehicle. The combined limit is engine, transmission and brake performance driven so watch that. If you stay below the combined limit and load the trailer for 13-15% tongue weight, you won't have safety/stability issues. This is why you have not felt the need to add a sway hitch before. Also you as a driver must not mind a small amount of movement from time to time.

In your case some forgiving Weight distribution (lightweight with flexible tapered bars) will improve performance and increase safety margin. GMFL had an excellent suggested hitch as you had already considered. The Andersen would also be an excellent choice if you don't have an Atwood 88xxx series coupler which you likely do have. Curt sells the same design as the EAZ Lift and they may be easier to find.

With the hitch, inflate your rear tires 5 psi more than recommended as long as you stay at or under the max stamped on the sidewall. This will improve cornering stiffness to compensate for the shifted load. take 2 psi out of the front for the same reason.

You have a good setup.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:36 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the excellent discussion. As usual I learned a lot.
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Old 10-13-2020, 11:06 AM   #8
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Our setup is very similar to yours. We are towing a 2019 Sport 22FB with an unloaded weight of 3,634 lbs and tongue weight of 422 lbs. We have a 2019 Ridgeline and the towing capacity is nearly identical to yours.

We generally see our tongue weight at 500 lbs (hitch has a built in scale). and expect the loaded trailer to be around 4,100 lbs. We haven't carried water yet but expect that we would be over 600 lbs with a full fresh water tank. We haven't tried traveling with water mainly due to the question of the brackets holding the tank inplace. Another Sport owner had a problem with the bracket screws popping out so until I can confirm those, I have avoided carrying water.

I avoided adding 6V batteries because the added weight on the hitch and reduced cargo capacity as a result. We went with 1 large Lithium battery, still at the front of the trailer but inside with 0 net weight change. I had 4 of the 6V batteries in my Camplite and I could feel the weight.

We started off using a bumper hitch but I didn't like the way the trailer was squatting in the rear. So we eventually gave in and got a WDH and have been very happy with the way our combo behaves and sits near level.

We have pretty decent sway control in the hitch and really appreciate that improvement.

Get a hitch that works for the weight you are applying to the truck. There are so many and depending on your budget, you should have no trouble finding one that will work.
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