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 > Newbie Ques for hitch selection

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iamandy

Texas

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Posted: 05/25/22 10:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank You everyone for your responses.

I did make a mistake when I didn’t properly qualify a number. What I mentioned as vehicle weight is not the curb weight, it was GVWR, which is indeed 6000 lbs (5952 to be precise). The curb weight as rightly pointed out above is 4600 lbs.

Some clarifications regarding the trailer. In unloaded state, the hitch weight (or tongue weight is 11% 369/3318). Rated towing capacity is 5000 lbs with 500 lbs tongue weight. The SUV is rated for full 5000 lbs towing capacity with 2 adult occupants.

I will never have more than two adults including driver in the car while towing and except for propane, battery and some water I will have minimal cargo. Someone estimated 200 lbs of food. This trailer doesn’t even have space to store that much food. At most we’ll have 50 lbs food and 50 lbs of other interior cargo like bedsheets, pillows, clothes. Total cargo would never exceed 200 lbs. It’s not hard for me to calculate that and stick to it.

Now back to my original question. Given this setup, does WDH help with sway and stability?

I went through the manual and didn’t find anything.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 05/25/22 10:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^Yes it does, although not likely sway will be an issue (it’s a figment of most RV TT owners imaginations).
The greatest benefit will be weight distributing which you’ll likely want/need as passenger car rear suspensions are very soft and compliant compared to vehicles designed more for hauling and towing. It’ll keep your car from doing the Carolina squat!


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ktmrfs

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Posted: 05/25/22 11:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

have you or someone actually weight the tongue? And if so was it with full propane tanks, battery(s) in place and fresh water filled? If not do so. If it is what the mfg claims that weight does not account for propane or batteries or any cargo.

If it is empty by the time you fill one propane 5 gallon tank and add one battery you likely will add close to 100lbs to the tongue weight. Add the rest of the stuff and you could end up over 500lbs. of net tongue weight.

sway control and weight distribtion are esencially two seperate functions.

sway control systems generally require a WD hitch setup in some form, either as a method to attach a friction sway control bar or integral to the wd function.

Many WD hitches by themselves provide no direct sway control directly but get axle weights back to where there is better balance, but doesn't directly stop sway if it starts.

WD may help with stability by getting weight back on the front axle


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iamandy

Texas

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Posted: 05/26/22 11:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like I’m well within the limits. Tongue weight is 369 lbs “with” full propane and battery. Dealer measured. Total trailer weight is 3360 lbs and even if fully loaded upto it’s maximum capacity it’s 4000 lbs. If I load some cargo in the rear I can actually reduce some tongue weight. Although it’s very unlikely I’ll ever fully load it but for sure I won’t exceed tongue weight capacity of my SUV.

As a cautious measure I have added a friction based anti-sway bar using a double ball hitch mount. Along with Trailer stability assist feature it should be OK. At least initially I’m not getting a WDH but if initial experience is not good I might consider it later.

Since posting initially. I have come across several threads where people have posted detailed experiences towing travel trailers with MDX that were significantly heavier than mine.

I’ll post mine as well here after picking up mine this Monday. It’s a 200+ mile drive.

ktmrfs

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Posted: 05/27/22 10:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

iamandy wrote:

Looks like I’m well within the limits. Tongue weight is 369 lbs “with” full propane and battery. Dealer measured. Total trailer weight is 3360 lbs and even if fully loaded upto it’s maximum capacity it’s 4000 lbs. If I load some cargo in the rear I can actually reduce some tongue weight. Although it’s very unlikely I’ll ever fully load it but for sure I won’t exceed tongue weight capacity of my SUV.

As a cautious measure I have added a friction based anti-sway bar using a double ball hitch mount. Along with Trailer stability assist feature it should be OK. At least initially I’m not getting a WDH but if initial experience is not good I might consider it later.

Since posting initially. I have come across several threads where people have posted detailed experiences towing travel trailers with MDX that were significantly heavier than mine.

I’ll post mine as well here after picking up mine this Monday. It’s a 200+ mile drive.


your current hitch weight is barely over 10% I'd advise not shifting stuff around to reduce the tongue weight. That can get you into a stability issue and sway with to low of tongue weight.

The addition of a friction sway control was a good idea.

Grit dog

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Posted: 05/27/22 10:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good analysis. And I agree the trailer appears to be in your vehicles published capabilities. But drive it easy and gently. It’s no truck or big suv, by a good margin.
But you’re backwards on the hitch thing.
You WANT weight distribution and you WANT plenty of tongue weight. And with both, you’ll lessen or eliminate the need for sway control. But RVer s use sway control more than other types of trailers so keep it.

Grit dog

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Posted: 05/27/22 10:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And fwiw, the lack of knowledge no offense meant , is why many recommend more vehicle than you need. Because an overkill vehicle reduces the magnitude of risk of poor decisions becoming costly issues.

* This post was edited 05/27/22 01:05pm by Grit dog *

spoon059

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Posted: 05/27/22 04:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Y-Guy wrote:

Check your owners manual first, the online version I found said, "A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance." Which it totally not what I expected.

Unibody frames usually don't recommend a WDH. The frame isn't strong enough to handle the forces.


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iamandy

Texas

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Posted: 06/04/22 04:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So I bought the trailer mention in original post. Picked it 230 miles from home and immediately towed it back home.

MDX towed like a Champ !

I got an anti-sway bar installed which was very helpful since it was windy and there were open valleys with gusts. With that, felt comfortable towing. Just slowed down when there were strong gusts. Was comfortable driving at 65-70 when there no gusts and 50-55 when there were gusts.

Tekonsha P3 proportional brake controller too helped I guess since never felt the trailer pushing the SUV.

Also went to a scale and got all axles measured. Front of my car came in 568 lbs below limit. Rear came 355 lbs below limit. Trailer axle came in at 3200 lbs.

Didn’t individually measure tongue weight.

Gas mileage dropped from 19mpg to 12 mpg. Trailer stability assist never came on since anti sway bar handled it quite well. The rout has several pretty steep grades and MDX handled them with ease including the automatic transmission using the right gears.

Grit dog

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Posted: 06/04/22 10:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wonderful!

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