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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased a weight distribution hitch system recently to use with my trailer which is a 6'10" x16' tandem 3500 lb axles utility type trailer. I have towed it pretty well loaded before with my 2005 F150 r/c FX4 and the rear end squatted pretty good with a standard draw bar. The other vehicle that will be towing it is a 15 Explorer that will tow 5k with the wd hitch. I have a couple Round Fenders and attachments I take to tractor shows and a 425 with loader and a lot of ballast that I move around a bit. I have a few questions having never used one before. When you unload do you need to disconnect the chains on the bars to the hitch or would it reduce the rise on the front of the trailer as the load moves behind the rear axles onto the ramps? Also does turning tightly while maneuvering effect the hitch at all? The hitch is an Ultra-Fab 750lb tongue weight.


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I connect the springs when I hook up the trailer and then load. I do not disconnect them when unloading.

However, I do have rear jacks on the trailer that get set prior to loading/unloading so there is no tongue rise.
I prefer to have rear jack legs on a trailer for this very reason. I saw a tongue come loose onetime when someone was loading and it wasn't very pretty.

I've had mine turned pretty tight (but not jack knifed) and haven't had any issue either.

Make sure to put some grease on the ends when you put the springs in the receiver.
 

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I connect the springs when I hook up the trailer and then load. I do not disconnect them when unloading.

However, I do have rear jacks on the trailer that get set prior to loading/unloading so there is no tongue rise.
I prefer to have rear jack legs on a trailer for this very reason. I saw a tongue come loose onetime when someone was loading and it wasn't very pretty.

I've had mine turned pretty tight (but not jack knifed) and haven't had any issue either.

Make sure to put some grease on the ends when you put the springs in the receiver.
Oooooooo, rear jacks, great idea! It's such a simple idea I never thought of it. :banghead: I will definitely be using this technique from now on as the hitch lifting off the ball has always been a fear of mine.
 

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I have a W/D anti-sway setup that uses spring type trunion bars. The arms act as a bridge, and the friction surfaces where they pivot damp any swaying. I have bent the pins that retain the ends of the trunion bars when trying to turn tightly while offroad with the bars heavily loaded. Since then I always disconnect the bars and swing them parallel to the rear bumper when I'm maneuvering. I lose some ground clearance, but I can turn the trailer easier and not damage anything. I use my tongue jack to unload the bars instead of using the tool.

Reese - Trunnion Bar w/Sway Control

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I have enough travel in mine that I would bend something else :nunu: before I got to bend a pin.

Another factor is the width of the V tongue on the trailer. Shorter/wider tongues could limit the travel more that longer/narrower ones.

You bring up a good point - Check your setup and its limits before hooking up the trailer! :thumbup1gif:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the info, i have thought about the rear jacks, they would even let you load the trailer while disconnected as long as it was chocked good. Hitch should be here today probably mess with it this weekend.
 

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Thanks for all the info, i have thought about the rear jacks, they would even let you load the trailer while disconnected as long as it was chocked good. Hitch should be here today probably mess with it this weekend.

I think I would prefer to have the trailer hooked to the truck.

Good luck with the hitch. It takes some fiddling but once you have the setup figured out it will be well worth it.

While you are playing with the spring tension, don't forget that you can shift the load on the trailer as well.

On mine at least, there is a sweet spot that the trailer almost feels like it isn't there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I also made me a tongue weight scale out of a 2 ton bottle jack so I can get an idea of how I have it balanced.


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I also made me a tongue weight scale out of a 2 ton bottle jack so I can get an idea of how I have it balanced.


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Post that up please, maybe in a new thread.


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Thanks for all the info, i have thought about the rear jacks, they would even let you load the trailer while disconnected as long as it was chocked good. Hitch should be here today probably mess with it this weekend.
I would suggest never, EVER, doing this. Wheel chocks are a poor replacement for a 2 plus ton vehicle for stabilization.

I would also caution you about towing that trailer with your Explorer and also swapping over to a F150 with the same setup. A WDH must be adjusted specifically to suit the weight of the trailer and cargo AND the vehicle it is attached to. For the Explorer, you have lower weight limits overall, likely a lower insertion point (relative to the ground) for the shank, and different tongue weight capacities. In general, the trailer is probably about 1800-2000 lbs itself (maybe a little less). So, you're looking at a max of about 2500 lbs or so of cargo (don't forget to allow for chains and such). With the Explorer only being able to pull 5k and tongue weight maxing out at 500 lbs, there's ilkely no need for a WDH at all.

Keep in mind, too, that the Explorer is ONLY rated to pull 5k with the factory hitch. Any aftermarket hitch on that vehicle and the max tow rating is 3k, I believe. The factory hitch actually bolts to the vehicle's understructure to create the higher tow capacity. I also don't remember if the Explorer comes with a 7-pin harness with tow package, and you WILL need a brake controller for that trailer because of weight capacity rating.

If you have an anti-sway system with the WDH, be sure to understand if that particular anti-sway affords the ability to back up with it attached or not. Some systems are NOT designed to be used in reverse, and you will damage them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for your concern, but a wdh should be readjusted each time it is used on a different vehicle, trailer and also depends on the load. The receiver hitch is actually higher on the Explorer than the F150 and the draw bar is adjustable and can compensate for that. And according to the hitch on the explorer the wdh is required to tow 2-5k. Obviously I will be using the brake controller I installed on both vehicles.


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Brake controllers are wonderful things, especially the new ones. They older ones that you had to connect to the master cylinder were a bit of a pain. Of course there was also "room" under the dash then...
 

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Brake controllers are wonderful things, especially the new ones. They older ones that you had to connect to the master cylinder were a bit of a pain. Of course there was also "room" under the dash then...
They still exist, and are viewed as being the most useful because of their ability to control trailer brakes based on the pressure created in the master cylinder. Harder braking is detected WITHOUT an inertia sensor and the controller reacts more quickly and accurately to driver braking.
 

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They still exist, and are viewed as being the most useful because of their ability to control trailer brakes based on the pressure created in the master cylinder. Harder braking is detected WITHOUT an inertia sensor and the controller reacts more quickly and accurately to driver braking.
With all of the stuff under the non-existent "dash" in new trucks and all of the anti-lock / traction control components added to braking systems I would not want to try and install one....

I agree that they are better in the sense that the brakes react with more driver control. My old Ford still has they hydraulic actuated controller.

I have an electronic controller in my Tundra. Not a cheapy but not the high end either. It works pretty well. It has a ramp effect on the voltage so that it builds up the braking. For what I am towing it works well, but I am not towing heavy stuff either.

It would be nice if the auto manufacturers would build in a trailer brake controller given the complexity of the newer systems. Who knows, maybe they do. I haven't been in the market for a while.
 

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With all of the stuff under the non-existent "dash" in new trucks and all of the anti-lock / traction control components added to braking systems I would not want to try and install one....

I agree that they are better in the sense that the brakes react with more driver control. My old Ford still has they hydraulic actuated controller.

I have an electronic controller in my Tundra. Not a cheapy but not the high end either. It works pretty well. It has a ramp effect on the voltage so that it builds up the braking. For what I am towing it works well, but I am not towing heavy stuff either.

It would be nice if the auto manufacturers would build in a trailer brake controller given the complexity of the newer systems. Who knows, maybe they do. I haven't been in the market for a while.
I have a Prodigy P3 that I used in my 2011 Tundra - worked excellently with the 10k trailer I had behind me. I was going to install it into my 2015 Sierra, but it has a factory controller installed that is fully integrated with the various controls and such already. From what I understand, it works pretty well.

I agree that there isn't a lot of room in today's vehicles for "extras". There's a controller out there called Max Brake that is a two-piece design where the bulk gets hidden away under the dash and you're left with what looks like the mic for a CB Radio to hang on the dash. It has an additional piece to tap the master cylinder for pressure detection. Spendy.
 

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My 2010 F150 has the factory brake controller. It works really well and the vehicle dynamics are tuned for sway control among other things when it detects that a trailer is attached.
I'm pretty sure mine is similar in having the ability to auto-assist with sway. Honestly, I don't understand why even an add-on controller couldn't be leveraged for this in most new trucks. My Tundra, for example, was completely wired and came with a factory wire/plug to add a controller. The truck would have no issue of "knowing" when something was connected to the 7-pin harness, and could certainly leverage the brake controller to assist if it detected sway. I had a 2008 Acura MDX that had anti-sway tuned right in (applied the rear brakes of the vehicle) and it didn't come with a factory hitch!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I was really surprised that the new explorer did not have a built in controller it does have the sway control built in which is nice.


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My 2010 F150 has the factory brake controller. It works really well and the vehicle dynamics are tuned for sway control among other things when it detects that a trailer is attached.
I can vouch for the Ford factory brake controller. It makes the braking seemless. And add to that the sway control built in to the truck computer is a big plus.

This thread has been an interesting read for me. I've never towed a trailer that needed a WD hitch but am dreaming of one day getting a small camper to do some touring. I like reading about this so I know what I am talking about and what to look for if/when the time comes.
 
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