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  #11  
Old 11-18-2007, 11:06 PM
Scott O
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I just noticed that EdFromMaine's recent post on his Portland to Portland trip told about his use of a Ridgeline as his TV. He used a WDH, but with a larger trailer. You might contact him for info.
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2007, 05:44 PM
JapChinLvr
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Welcome to the Trailmanor! Custom RV Guys are amazing. They really knock themselves out for you. The first thing you should buy for the TM is a membership to this site. These folks will help you out so much!
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2007, 05:55 PM
TraceyMac
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Thanks JapChinLvr (that's a neew breed on me) - It's good to hear positive things about the dealer we are about to give a lot of money to. I agree on the value of the site - in fact I am already signed up - got the forum membership before I got my TM. The information on the site is invaluable for someone like me that is new to both TMs and camping in general. I really appreciate the time and effort folks go to in sharing their knowledge and wisdom - hopefully I can learn before I make some of the usual mistakes. We get the TM (2008 2720) in about a week and a half - can't wait!!
Sign me GermanShephardLover
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2007, 06:27 PM
mtnguy
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Tracey, welcome to the forum!!

I am a believer in a WDH, even with heavier TVs like my F150. The WDH gets some of the geometry back into the vehicle, like the manufacturer intended. The TM tongue weights are a little heavier than most comparable sized trailers......but that is what makes them tow so well.

Just my $.02.

Chap
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  #15  
Old 11-26-2007, 12:59 PM
mike-rm-cd
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Tracey: Welcome to the fun new world of TrailManors. We started (a year ago) with a used 2002 2720SD. Towed it to Arizona and back without a WDH. Towed just fine. Then I talked to my tire/brakes/hitch guy, and he convinced me to try a $400 Reese WDH (550 # spring bars). This set-up made the TM tow much better than the previous "just fine."

In July, we traded up to a 3326. Used the same WDH (550# bars), and it tows very nicely and sits level. TV is '05 Toyota Tundra, short bed, nothing fancy. The dealer "insisted" I needed 750# bars, so I borrowed two from my tire guy, and tried them on a couple of trips. Everything is just as level, but there is no "give," or flex when I use them.

So I gave them back, and use the 550# bars, and it's a happy camper. The dual axles may also help, in my case. I weighed the TM recently - 4600 lbs.

I think experimenting and trying both with and without makes good sense. Another data point - when we towed the 2720SD without using the WDH, the TM trailer hitch would tend to "scrape" a low point in a driveway, say to a gas station.

Also, it's another story for another time - but when you first start forward (say from the gas pumps on the left side) go forward far enough (use your mirrors) to make sure you don't bump something (like the steel protective bars near the gas pumps). Or, the TM doesn't always turn like you assumed!! Mike
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  #16  
Old 11-26-2007, 07:38 PM
PopBeavers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post

I am a believer in a WDH, even with heavier TVs like my F150. The WDH gets some of the geometry back into the vehicle, like the manufacturer intended. The TM tongue weights are a little heavier than most comparable sized trailers......but that is what makes them tow so well.
Chap
With a sufficiently large TV, I don't believe that anything is gained by adding a WD hitch. I also don't think that anything is lost, other than money.

I was advised by the factory that I would not need one.

I believe that the purpose of a WD hitch is to remove the sag in the rear suspension of the TV and to prevent the "bounce" that occurs at the hitch when harmonic oscillations set in. I have neither.

If you believe this, then the question becomes how big is sufficiently big? I would guess that any TV with out a frame is small enough to need a WD hitch. I am a little surprised to find out that a 1/2 ton truck also needs one. I know that when I connect the TM that my rear bumper sags about 5/8 inch and the front bumper rises less than 1/2 inch. It has never bounced.

For me, any trailer that is big enough to be required by law to have brakes installed is big enough that I want a TV with a full rigid frame. I have never been a fan of uni-body construction, ever since I watched my 1975 Pinto station wagon collapse when someone rear ended me on the freeway, while I was inside. I was stopped and the person that hit me was only doing about 45 mph. We each need to find out own level of comfort.
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  #17  
Old 11-26-2007, 09:52 PM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopBeavers View Post
With a sufficiently large TV, I don't believe that anything is gained by adding a WD hitch. I also don't think that anything is lost, other than money.

I believe that the purpose of a WD hitch is to remove the sag in the rear suspension of the TV and to prevent the "bounce" that occurs at the hitch when harmonic oscillations set in. I have neither.
Wayne, I know we have discussed this before, but how do you feel about the fact that the trailer's tongue weight, applied behind the rear axle, unloads the front wheels? At what point does that become significant? In my opinion, that is the primary purpose of a WDH - to restore the proper weight on the front end (the steering and braking end) of the tow vehicle. There are any number of ways to remove the sag so that the headlights point in the right direction, and some of our members swear by air bags or helper shocks. But neither of those restore the proper loading of the front end.

I can't speak to "bounce", never having experienced it.

Bill
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  #18  
Old 11-27-2007, 06:39 AM
Shandysplace
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Default WDH - Yes or No

From our Suburban Manual:

"If you are using a weigt carrying hitch, the trailer tongue should weigh 10% of the total loaded trailer weight (465 lbs. estimated for our 3326). If you're using a weight distributing hitch, the trailer tongue should weigh 12% of the total loaded trailer weight or 552 lbs."

But the highest tongue weight recommended on the tongue is 500 lbs.

Should we just try the trailer first and if there's no sag, forget the WDH or pay attention to the numbers above and have one installed when we take delivery?
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  #19  
Old 11-27-2007, 10:48 AM
PopBeavers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill View Post
Wayne, I know we have discussed this before, but how do you feel about the fact that the trailer's tongue weight, applied behind the rear axle, unloads the front wheels? At what point does that become significant? In my opinion, that is the primary purpose of a WDH - to restore the proper weight on the front end (the steering and braking end) of the tow vehicle. There are any number of ways to remove the sag so that the headlights point in the right direction, and some of our members swear by air bags or helper shocks. But neither of those restore the proper loading of the front end.

I can't speak to "bounce", never having experienced it.

Bill
I have never weighed my truck without the TM attached, but when I did weigh it the weight on all three axles, TV front, TV rear and TM was pretty close to being the same. I do remember that the TM axle weight was 3380. The truck axles were between 3300 and 3399 as I recall.

There is no change to steering that I can detect as the driver.

There is no noticeable change to the aiming of the headlights, though obviously they are a little high. The headlights appear normal to me as the driver, and oncoming traffic has never flashed their headlights at me.

My truck is quite likely a little heavier than the average TV used with a TM and my wheelbase is also quite likely a little longer than the average TV used with a TM.

If I don't pay close attention to the speedometer I will hit speeds higher than 70 mph without even knowing it. So, in areas with low traffic, I just set the cruise control to 55 and let the computer maintain the speed.

I still believe that not all trucks will be helped with a WD hitch. Since the F150 has been reported as being helped with a WD hitch, and I am reporting that I don't see that it would change anything, my conclusion is that a 3/4 ton truck or larger appears to be the smallest truck that is above the boundary line of use or do not sue a WD hitch.

fwiw, the one time I made a near panic stop when towing the TM, I was surprised at how quickly it stopped and how straight it stopped. The impression I got was that I stopped in pretty much the same distance that I would have stopped if I were not towing.

We love our 1500HD, but may replace it next year with a 2500HD, so we can get an 8 foot bed instead of the 6.5 foot bed. I need more room to haul more stuff.

Now, if I ever have to make a panic stop, when towing downhill, in an off camber turn, then I might reach a different conclusion. But as long as I continue to not encounter that situation I have great confidence in what I am driving.
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  #20  
Old 11-27-2007, 12:31 PM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopBeavers View Post
My truck is quite likely a little heavier than the average TV used with a TM and my wheelbase is also quite likely a little longer than the average TV used with a TM. <snip> I still believe that not all trucks will be helped with a WD hitch. Since the F150 has been reported as being helped with a WD hitch, and I am reporting that I don't see that it would change anything, my conclusion is that a 3/4 ton truck or larger appears to be the smallest truck that is above the boundary line of use or do not sue a WD hitch.
Wayne -

Based on my own experience with my Explorer (which counts as a 1/2 ton, I believe), as well as the reports of others, I think that you have reached a pretty good conclusion. It is a rule of thumb, of course, and I suppose there may be exceptions. For example, a really long-wheelbase 1/2-ton truck (crewcab long bed, for example) might get away without a WDH, because the front end won't be unweighted very much, out at the end of that long lever arm. But I think there will not be many exceptions. Thanks for the thoughts and reasoning.

Bill
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