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Old 11-29-2022, 11:44 AM   #1
live4fun
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Default Recommendations on WDH for new Tow Vehicle

I recently replaced my tow vehicle with an identical truck, but new one. For the last 10 years Iíve had a 2008 Honda ridgeline which was four-wheel-drive, 5000# capacity, about 6000 pounds GVWR, and in the payload of 1558#. I just replaced that vehicle with a new Honda ridgeline 2020. It has almost the same identical specs as a 2008; it has a GWHR of 5710#, it has 280 foot pounds of torque, and also a tow capacity of 5000 pounds. So with my 2008 I never used a WDH hitch and just had a regular ball hitch on the back. We clocked tens of thousands of miles with that rig and my Trailmanor rig over long trips, gravel roads and steep grades. Our Trailmanor is a 2020 2720 QS with an unloaded weight of about 3200 pounds and fully loaded probably 4500 pounds (Iím very conscious of keeping the weight low and lite) .

So like I said, I never used a WDH hitch in my old set up and now that I have a new tow vehicle, itís time to reconsider my hitch configuration. I have read many of the threads in the forum and everyone seems to like the WDH hitch arrangement on their TM.. My question here is what brands of hitches do people most like. The Anderson WDH hitch seems to be popular. The Equalizer WDH hitch seems to be broadly mentioned. And there are a few others- Fastway, Reese, Blue Ox and so on . So if you have a couple moments and want to tell me the pros and cons about your WDH hitch that you have and maybe you have similar TM capacities and TV requirements that I have, you can give me some feedback here and I would be greatly appreciated of any and all comments. Thanks again, I get so much unbiased opinions about TMs stuff and are grateful for that aspect of this product. See ya! Kurt
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Old 11-29-2022, 12:25 PM   #2
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live4fun,

You might want to refer to your vehicle's Owner's Manual. It's a wealth of knowledge.

I may be wrong but I believe that Honda does not recommend a WDH. A lot of that may have to do with it being uni-body construction. It also may be due to Honda's unique computerized steering and brake stabilization control.

I had a bad braking experience with our Honda Ridgeline and I eventually sold it. I could not stop the rig (towing the TM) in an emergency stop, entered the intersection on a red light and nearly caused an accident (totally my fault).

I have towed TMs for 15 years with a variety of vehicles (mostly Chevy 1/2T trucks) and never had anything remotely like that happen. It seemed like the Honda slowed very slowly and would never come to a stop. I bought an Anderson WDH and test drove the Honda at that same intersection, same speed (40mph), same weight. The road is a moderate downhill grade with a stop light at the bottom. Both times the Prodigy brake controller was properly set and the trailer brakes did their job. On this test run, the Honda stopped in what I felt was an appropriate distance. However, I had already lost my confidence in the vehicle.

Do some research on towing with a WDH with the Ridgeline. Try to stick to more professional websites and stay away from opinionated forums. I doubt you will ever find a Honda owner (with or without a WDH) that will say that they made a mistake in their decision.
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Old 11-29-2022, 12:35 PM   #3
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As far as WDHs go, I like the Anderson for a variety of reasons.

1. The hitch is a lot lighter. Most WDHs are very heavy and awkward to handle.
2. When you arrive to your campsite, the Anderson is quick and easy to disconnect from the trailer.
3. In the event of a rear collision, the Anderson WDH chains will merely collapse and should not effect the "crumple zone" of the unibody tow vehicle. A WDH with steel spring bars will definitely effect the uni-body "crumple zone" which may result in passenger safety being compromised.
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Old 11-29-2022, 03:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
I had a bad braking experience with our Honda Ridgeline....I could not stop the rig (towing the TM) in an emergency stop.
I am curious about how a WDH affects stopping distance. Without a WDH, the hitch weight unloads the front end of the tow vehicle, of course, which would make it easier for the front wheels to lock up and skid in a panic stop. A WDH helps to correct this deficiency by keeping the front wheels more fully loaded. The amount of available stopping force is limited by the grip of the rubber on the pavement. As long as both the front and rear wheels of the tow vehicle maintain traction, how does a WDH change stopping distance?

Wavery, in that first panic stop experience, did the front wheels lock up? If so, I think your experience reflects one more reason to tow with a WDH.

I am obviously no master of towing geometry, so you are welcome to scoff a bit.

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Old 11-29-2022, 04:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill View Post
I am curious about how a WDH affects stopping distance. Without a WDH, the hitch weight unloads the front end of the tow vehicle, of course, which would make it easier for the front wheels to lock up and skid in a panic stop. A WDH helps to correct this deficiency by keeping the front wheels more fully loaded. The amount of available stopping force is limited by the grip of the rubber on the pavement. As long as both the front and rear wheels of the tow vehicle maintain traction, how does a WDH change stopping distance?

Wavery, in that first panic stop experience, did the front wheels lock up? If so, I think your experience reflects one more reason to tow with a WDH.

I am obviously no master of towing geometry, so you are welcome to scoff a bit.

Bill
The front wheels on an ABS braking system should not lock up the wheels under any condition. Your statement, "The amount of available stopping force is limited by the grip of the rubber on the pavement" is not exactly acurate. The ABS is designed to achieve maximum traction and when the rubber starts sliding on the pavement, traction is greatly reduced. Therefore, the ABS has to find which has the most actual "stopping force", the brake pads or the rubber on the road. In order to keep the rubber on the road from sliding, the brakes may have to give up some load but it does it in pulses.

When driving on ice (for instance). The time between brake pad pulses is extended to maintain steering and still achieve a balance of brake force vs tire traction. The end result is far less actual brake force to prevent tire skid. Once the tires start skidding, it's game over.

The same thing applies to towing. If I would not have had the trailer pushing me down the hill, the brakes would have been quite adequate to stop the vehicle without even activating the ABS. However, due to the increased weight/inertia, the braking had to be reduced by the ABS to avoid the vehicle from going into a skid and losing tire traction and steering control.
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Old 11-29-2022, 04:51 PM   #6
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And the addition of the WDH improved the situation? I'm trying to understand how.

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Old 11-29-2022, 06:09 PM   #7
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I second the Andersen. It’s a night and day difference towing with it versus without.
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Old 11-29-2022, 07:17 PM   #8
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And the addition of the WDH improved the situation? I'm trying to understand how.

Bill
The WDH places more weight on the front wheels. This increases friction and reduces the tendency to skid, which allows the ABS to apply more pressure on the brake pads.
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