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Old 08-12-2020, 11:41 AM   #1
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2021 16' Bambi
Williamsburg , Virginia
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Question Equalizer Weight Distribution Hitch Questions for 16X (2021)

Brand new here and to RVs. Taking the plunge like a lunatic because I have to get out of my situation and life is too short. That said, I don't want to be ripped off, but I also don't want to go cheapo-not-gonna-last and I want to be safe and have no issues . . . .

Texted the dealer as to what Weight Distribution Equalizer Hitch for a new 16X (delivery date this fall sometime, don't have exact date).

Dealer: "I would suggest a weight distribution equalizer hitch. We carry the Equalizer e2($561)and e4($806). They are great weight distribution hitches with the E4 being the heavier duty of the two."

I searched around a little and see people saying something about "too stiff" and too much or this and that. I know opinions are opinions, but I really need some voice of reason to chime in and tell me if I would be safer and better off in the long run as a FT Rver who may do boondocking and lord knows what else (just me, older female, and dog) going for the E4.

I don't know what else I "should" have the dealer do for my basecamp before I take delivery. Anything else? The "X" apparently has a few more things included, but obviously not the "Weight Distribution Hitch." Do I need to get "jacks"?

Well, as you can see I am confused and trying to understand. I may be going up mountain roads in cold weather. I may be parking in the BLM areas. Assume I may go all kinds of places in this thing. Tow vehicle is 2002 Escalade (already got brake light thing installed) and is well-maintained, which is not to say I won't replace that later down the road..

Thanks for not laughing at the dumbbbbb qs! Heh.

Sheri


UPDATE: Dealer is suggesting the e2. Says my Basecamp is so ultra lite this is the way to go.
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Old 08-12-2020, 11:48 AM   #2
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Get a hitch based on the tongue weight of the trailer.
You mentioned a Basecamp, so the tongue weight is about 500lbs?
I think the Fastway e2 is fine for that. It's the baby brother of the Equalizer (never heard it called e4, but I haven't shopped lately)
If the $561 includes installation, that's not too bad.
(Amazon $454)
You can buy the hitch for less and do it yourself, but then you show up at the dealer and they don't want you taking a day to adjust things.
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:06 PM   #3
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I have an Equal-Izer hitch sized for up to 7,000 pounds, towing a trailer that we might load to 5,500 pounds. That capability is necessary going down the highway, not crawling along to some campsite. As Mollysdad says, choose the equipment most appropriate for you combination. (IYou should seek assurances that the sway control is adequate.)
Jacks? Stabilizer jacks? Check the Basecamp specs - I’d be amazed if they aren’t included. You’ll want something in a light trailer.
Or did you mean a breakdown jack? Make sure your tire changing equipment will cover a flat on the trailer. ( Read the A-S manual before traveling, to avoid a roadside dilemma.)
Your salesperson should be providing you with this information.
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Old 08-12-2020, 10:37 PM   #4
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Thank you!! Yes the sales guy is happy to answer but I am not there in person (yet). It is eight hrs away (dealer) and I reserved a Basecamp 16X to take delivery sometime between Sept 1 and end of the year. So he said it comes with stabilizer jacks and he is setting aside an Equlizer ($561) to be installed (if that’s the word?) at delivery i just wish I could see how all this connects and how to do it myself sooner. It’s the waiting that is so difficult! :-)

I think that is all I need then, to tow it safely? Equilizer and the stabilizer jacks. I may try to find a diagram of this stuff and videos showing how to set up and tear down. Dealer will show me but I like to get a jump on stuff! Thank you again!!
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Old 08-13-2020, 09:56 AM   #5
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What is your tow vehicle?
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Old 08-13-2020, 11:34 AM   #6
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Keep in mind the stabilizer jacks are for when you're parked. They help keep the trailer from rocking when you move around.
I confess I've had my Airstream for three years and have yet to put the stabilizers down. I guess I'm not sensitive to movement.
The hitch is for when you're driving. It has built in sway control.

The stabilizers and the weight distribution hitch are not used together.
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Old 08-13-2020, 12:57 PM   #7
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My Two Cents

Just wanted to mention. I am not real sure you even need a WDH with the 16X and the Escalade. The basecamp has a hitch weight of about 450# and a gross weight of 3500#. The Escalade has a tow capacity of 8000# so the tongue weight capacity is about 800#.

I tow a 20 ft toy hauler trailer with a 3/4 ton dodge and I don't use a WDH. The toy hauler has 950# of tongue weight and a gross weight of about 7500#. The Dodge has a tow capacity of 12000# and tongue weight capacity of 1200#. I purchased a 10000# equalizer hitch and tried it. The WDH puts a lot of stress on the frame of the trailer. We did several tests by putting the TV & trailer in different positions and realized it is not worth the stress on the trailer. I resold the hitch and went with air bags. We get offroad a lot and go thru dips and potholes (the stuff you expect when offroad) and realized the hitch did not perform well in those situations. We did install the airbags on the Dodge to help the suspension when we hit those nasty dips in the highway and we allow the ball to travel free. There is a lot less stress in the hitch when the ball is able to maneuver. The WDH is an asset under prime conditions such as driving down the highway but not off road.
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Old 08-13-2020, 01:40 PM   #8
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I agree with MickeyC in post #7. A weight distribution hitch seems unnecessary with the Basecamp and Escalade combo. Freeballing is the way to go, especially if you will be towing your Basecamp on on rough roads.
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:55 PM   #9
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Thank you! I got the dealer's recommendation, I'm a sucker for dealer recs, yep. (When I say "I got" I mean they said they will set one aside for me, I have not paid for a thing and won't be billed etc for a WDH, so if I talk to them after all your great info and we agree it's not such a great idea, well, I do NOT have to get it, or pay for it, etc.) If I DO want it, though, they're setting one aside for me and said they will install and set up etc. when I pick it up. It's the $561 one. See how techy I am? haha Anyway, I appreciate the input! Always welcome and thank you SO much!
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:57 PM   #10
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I am so green, it's funny as hell! Yep, now I see what you mean, from watching a few videos (I just have not had TIME at all to watch or read much since this decision and putting down the deposit). Nothing is written in stone here, that's the good news. If I bought something from the dealer (WDH, e.g.) and it turns out I don't need it, well, it won't happen. They just said they would "set one aside" for me for the date I go pick up the Basecamp. So, no harm no foul, yet.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and explain things. It is most helpful!
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:00 PM   #11
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Thank you so much for this reply and explanation!
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:02 PM   #12
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Keep in mind the stabilizer jacks are for when you're parked. They help keep the trailer from rocking when you move around.
I confess I've had my Airstream for three years and have yet to put the stabilizers down. I guess I'm not sensitive to movement.
The hitch is for when you're driving. It has built in sway control.

The stabilizers and the weight distribution hitch are not used together.
Haha, yeah I figured that out (finally). I kinda figured it, but I have been so busy and distracted, you guys have no idea, I have not had ONE minute to stop and google things like I normally would. I think I need to focus more on a good sensible order in which to "do" things with this adventure, including the purchase, etc. of course. And get myself organized!

Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetawA-S View Post
I have an Equal-Izer hitch sized for up to 7,000 pounds, towing a trailer that we might load to 5,500 pounds. That capability is necessary going down the highway, not crawling along to some campsite. As Mollysdad says, choose the equipment most appropriate for you combination. (IYou should seek assurances that the sway control is adequate.)
Jacks? Stabilizer jacks? Check the Basecamp specs - Iíd be amazed if they arenít included. Youíll want something in a light trailer.
Or did you mean a breakdown jack? Make sure your tire changing equipment will cover a flat on the trailer. ( Read the A-S manual before traveling, to avoid a roadside dilemma.)
Your salesperson should be providing you with this information.
Thanks Don! All good info. Saving.
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidingmyRV View Post
What is your tow vehicle?
Hi! 2002 Escalade. I think I got this sorted, thanks to all of you guys helping me get clues here! Thank you so much!
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:18 PM   #15
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If you are only considering the Equalizer brand E2 is the only one you should consider. The E4 is indeed more stiff than you want (in my opinion the E2 is also too stiff but I could be talked out of that). For the 2021 Basecamp the Andersen is a very nice choice as it is forgiving, won't over tension on rough back roads like the Equalizers will and it is easy to set up. Give it a look and see if you think it is right for you.

Your tow vehicle is big relative to the Basecamp so without WD and Sway Control your set-up will remain stable in excess of 75-80 mph. With sway control it will go higher yet, so those who suggested no WD make an okay point, however with WD it will ride slightly nicer, handle the bumpy right lane slightly better, give you slightly nicer steering feel and glide past the semi-trucks just a bit better. Is it worth the cost and hassle of hooking up each time? IDK it's a judgement call in your case. I have yet to meet someone who said they prefer less margin of safety though.
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:38 PM   #16
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I NEVER use any form of WDH or Sway Control bars for 16' Bambi. in some states WDH is required for trailers above 6000 lbs. My Ford Explorer does superbly without WDH because it has build in Sway Control System or Trailer Sway Control (TSC). I believe in and preach 60/40 internal weight distributing. 60/40 requires putting heavier stuff between tongue and axle. Light stuff goes to rear part. it never failed me. Been towing for 27 years and had one swaying incident. I pulled off and moved a microwave toward tongue in Coleman Niagara popup which solved the swaying problem. my rule is heavy stuff forward, light stuff rear... it never fail me. but I cannot say for longer AS trailer like 22' and up to 33'.

one size does NOT fit all, i say the same with 16' to 20' AS trailer... whatever works for heavier and longer AS would not work with 16' to 20' AS. Whatever works for 16' to 20' AS trailers would not work for heavier and longer AS trailers. Dealers are making money selling unnecessary WDH system for small AS trailers.

If you feel you have to buy WDH, by all means buy em. I ain't stopping you at all.
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheriMICA View Post
I am so green, it's funny as hell! Yep, now I see what you mean, from watching a few videos (I just have not had TIME at all to watch or read much since this decision and putting down the deposit). Nothing is written in stone here, that's the good news. If I bought something from the dealer (WDH, e.g.) and it turns out I don't need it, well, it won't happen. They just said they would "set one aside" for me for the date I go pick up the Basecamp. So, no harm no foul, yet.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and explain things. It is most helpful!

Iím right here with you in utter confusion land. It is really hard to be buying such a huge crazy expensive thing with no first hand knowledge of it or even RVing. I also really appreciate how helpful everyone here is. Hopefully Iíll know enough someday to pay it forward! Lol
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:42 PM   #18
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LaRoze, hi! I guess we can learn together a bit here then! Nice to “meet” you and know I’m not the only new person trying to just figure things out ok and nor get ripped off. Or killed. Ha. I know once I GET the damned thing and read and SEE things in person, I can figure stuff out. Hands on and all, with input from everyone here. It’s just hard being new to RVs and not even HAVING mine here yet but trying to order “must-have” stuff so I have it all set up safely and properly for the drive back from where I will pick it up. That first towing-drive will be 8 hrs. Just me. I think I’ll be ok.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:04 AM   #19
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SheriMICA, I’m also quite new in that we brought our 2021 16rb home 8/29, & have been camping once. We didn’t know that we might NOT need the sway bars, but have them now. They’re noisy, & somewhat heavy depending on one’s strength. My biggest challenge has been backing due to the short tongue. It’s amazing how much there is to learn, and then upon reading people’s comments, deciding what will work beat for us!! Best of luck on your new journey!
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:10 AM   #20
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Noisy Equalizer Hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by SUP'n Woman View Post
SheriMICA, Iím also quite new in that we brought our 2021 16rb home 8/29, & have been camping once. We didnít know that we might NOT need the sway bars, but have them now. Theyíre noisy, & somewhat heavy depending on oneís strength. My biggest challenge has been backing due to the short tongue. Itís amazing how much there is to learn, and then upon reading peopleís comments, deciding what will work beat for us!! Best of luck on your new journey!
I am assuming you have the E2 version for your Basecamp. Equalizer makes a product called "Sway Bracket Jackets". They are about $20.00 for a pair and slip right on to the L Brackets mounted on the frame of your Basecamp. They quiet things down considerably. Shame on your dealer for not recommending them.

Personally if I was towing a Basecamp 16' with an Escalade I would put it right on the ball with no WD hitch. Not needed. I would give it a bit of a test drive and then maybe add an inexpensive sway control if needed. The dealer got you for the cost of the E2 and the install. Safe travels.
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