Hey Guys. Just looking for your thoughts on wether or not a weight distribution hitch (WDH) is required for my ride. I'm going to be towing a 25' travel trailer dual axle. The tongue weight is about 500Lbs and the trailer weight is around 5000-5500Lbs. I'll be a seasonal driver maybe 3 - 4 times a year. The dealer indicated I wouldn't need a WDH as this trailer is light and the dual axle will provide a low tongue weight and good balance. He mentioned something quick about the EXPY independent suspension handles a little better with load, but I don't think that plays much here.
I will be towing with a 2008 EXPY EL Limited, no air bags.
You are definitely within specs of any expedition with the tow package. Will it hurt to have a WDH, no, but for the use you are stating I don't think you need it. Does the trailer have brakes? If so you may consider a controller, there are a bunch that are plug and play.
i would go with a WD hitch just for the fact you can add a actual working sway controller system to it when youre towing in windy conditions. Plus if the WD hitch is set up right then it is safer for you and the people around you than if you just had to hooked up a drop mount.
I think even with a 500lb tounge weight your ride is going to be sitting a bit low and the WD hitch can fix that, plus make the ride a bit more enjoyable.
that trailer will have brakes and you will need a trailer brake controller.
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and no, the Expy won't really notice the 500 lbs tongue wieght. It is a 8 passenger vehicle and has the rear springs to hold that sort of weight.
I'm 280lbs myself and my EL Limited doesn't even squat a tiny bit under my weight when I crawl into the rear.
Hopefully the trailer has e-brakes...at least surge brakes at the very least.
a WD hitch would be nice...but not for that weight. and a Brake controller would be nice if possible
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You need a WDH with the soft coil spring suspension of the Expedition. And your 5000 pound trailer should have a MINIMUM of 500 pounds on the ball for safe towing. 10% to 15% is the requirement. Our 5000 pound trailer puts 750 pounds on the ball when we're carrying a full load of freshwater.
A 1000/10,000 pound Equalizer (tm) is my recommendation. This WDH has built in sway control.
I assume you have a brake controller? Tekonsha Prodigy or P3 are state of the art and not expensive.
Very nice, thanks guys. I'm concluding that the WDH isn't something you need to tow this but will certainly help for increases safety and support. The trailer is actually rated at 505 Lbs at the tongue dry so I would assume 505-650 LBS with gear and water?? I don't yet have a brake controller but yes this trailer does have electric brakes. I was just going to get he dealer to install something common for that, but perhaps I should shop around.
Chuck, have you ever towed your rig without the WDH? Your's looks similar to what we are getting and wonder what your experience is with our without.
You have to have it but you will be allot safer, happier and have a smother ride if you had it. I don't know how the weather is were your at but I'm sure alberta has wind kinda like we do and there is nothing like having a swaying trailer jerking you around because you were to cheap to opt for the WD You can normally find them on craigslist for pretty reasonable. and for a brake controller just get the tekonsha prodigy is great and you can get a wiring harness that plugs in under the dash and saves allot of hassle.
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My opinion is, you are at a threshold of needing, and not... When one hits a threshold, in anything, round up. You should get a weight distributing hitch. I am sure you already have a brake controller, as I dont think the camper place, that sold you your unit, would let you off the lot without one. Isnt that weight a 3500 lbs rule?
Anyways I would reccomend one (WDH) but will also reccomend trying to find one used... I have bought many, complete sets, head bars nap up brackets for around $150... Sure beats the new cost. I will also reccomend light bars. The torsion bars come is different weights, 500 to 750, or 750 to 1000 lbs weight ratings. Get the light ones, and make sure your ball height is set at trailer specs. 19 or 19 1/2 inches, ect... what ever it is.
In closing, you dont have to spend alot of cash, to acheive safety. I have an extra draw tight brake controller, U haul is also made by DrawTight, cost is around $100... SO everything should cost less then $250. And you are safe. Do you need this? maybe not... Do you want to be safe? maybe so... Keep the rig level... Axles have allignment, and a level rig will travel true, with little tire wear, and proper brakeing
Thanks again guys for your notes. I think I will invest the little cost to get this setup. On another note I decided to talk to one of the folks at the dealership who they referred to as the (expert). He mentioned that once again it wasn't required and actually said it could be harmful for this setup. He said that since this rig had a lower than normal TW that the WDH could actually cause the TW to be lower than the 10% requirement, and could cause the rear wheels to be too light on the road. I guess that might be true on a totally empty load so I'll just make sure to balance everything right.
Factory brochure weights try to make their trailers appear light so the dealer can sell you a trailer that's too heavy for you to tow. Trailers on the dealer's lot are at least 300 pounds more than their listed Dry Weight (doesn't include factory options like the awning, spare tire, etc) and tongue weights are usually understated at well.
The brochure tongue weight for my camper was 367 pounds.
The scale is accurate! This is before I filled with freshwater.
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