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Old 04-29-2020, 05:43 AM   #1
JBWardFamily
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Weight Distribution Question

Hi all. I'm hoping to pick up a "new to us" 2017 Cougar X-Lite 33MLS next week. An old timer (stepdad) told me that with my 2019 F250, I probably didn't need a weight distribution hitch. Is that even close to true? I'm still planning to get one, but the question I have is that when you get to your site, do you have to remove the bars to make the tight turns? Also, what is the most economical way to get the 8 inches of drop I need for the hitch to be level? The suspension is stock on the F250, but I do have 35/12.50/18s on them which took me two inches higher. Thanks.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:19 AM   #2
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When you hook it up the first time, measure how much the rear drops and if your headlights point higher than normal. This usually means less weight on the front tires and squirrelly handling. If so, you need WD. I'm sure there are more exact descriptions to follow, so free bump.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:20 AM   #3
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The XLite 33MLS is a 36' 10,000 pound trailer. Having that much length behind any truck would require a weight distribution WITH SWAY CONTROL hitch. When you consider the tongue weight will be around 11-12% of total trailer weight, you're going to be in the 1000+ pound tongue weight. That would require a weight distribution hitch. When you consider the 11' tall trailer sidewall that's 30+ feet long, you're looking at a "flatwall size" that's larger than most 26' sailboat sails... Trying to handle that much "sidewind catcher" without sway control will probably make your first trip with sidewinds or multiple 18 wheelers passing you enough to "convert you to a "sway control user"...

With the larger tires, you'll need to verify that they can support the weight placed on the rear axle by towing and you'll probably also need to lower the hitch head on the hitch block to keep the nose of the trailer "level or slightly lower than the axles" for best towing.

Also, remember that the Ford ratings for your receiver are based on the 2.5" size. If you insert a "conventional hitch" into the receiver using the 2" adapter sleeve, you significantly reduce the receiver weight ratings.

You're about to buy one of the "largest size, ultralight trailers" that's being produced. You will want the maximum amount of towing equipment to "control that big beast" to provide the most safety for your family and the other people who share the road with you.

It's entirely possible that you can "tow in ideal conditions" for several trips before you encounter the true personality of your trailer in adverse conditions. Preparing for that eventuality before it happens is the key to safe towing.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:23 AM   #4
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In my opinion yes you need a WDH with sway control. Your trailer is similar to mine and I'm at about 1,000 lb hitch weight. With 36'+ behind you that's a lot of "sail area" to push you around, even in a 3/4 ton.

You said you "suspension" is stock but then stipulate a tire that I assume is not. Your tires are a very integral part of your suspension. Oversized tires will have a negative impact on handling and stopping (tnerfore CONTROL). What's the load rating on those tires? Having "fat" agressive tires on a truck are not ideal for towing and will negatively impact sway.
If you have a 2" rise from the tires thats a 4" larger diameter tire. It may look nice but it will suck for towing. As for an "economical" 8" drop for a weight distributing hitch, good luck. But don't cheap out on the only thing between you and your new camper. Check out etrailer.com they have lots of hitches.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:25 AM   #5
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Looks like John types faster than I do!
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:35 AM   #6
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Thanks all for the replies. I'm definitely not going to skimp on the hitch and will probably end up with a Class V (2 1/2 inch) 12k lb rated one after getting it home. The tires are 2 inches bigger than stock, so it's really only an inch taller. They are BFG AT/KO2s and rated to tow as high as the truck. I've previously owned a 5th wheel with a F250 and the same size tires with good results.
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Old 04-29-2020, 07:26 AM   #7
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First, IMO a wdh/sway control is mandatory. Having done it I can assure you that 250 isn't going to drive along as if there's nothing back there and it will also try to get away from you if you don't have one.

That said, personally I would recommend an Equalizer 4 point. I used one for years and it never failed to perform. They also make all sorts of sizes/weights along with drop hitches that will fit your truck just fine. You DO NOT have to disconnect to park, back etc.
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Old 04-29-2020, 07:36 AM   #8
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I tow with a 2017 F250 diesel. I use the four point equalizer brand hitch with sway control and I am very happy with it. Equalizer has drop shanks available to deal with the height of your truck. I have never had to take of the WDH to back up or make tight turns.
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Old 04-29-2020, 08:56 AM   #9
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Some of the friction type sway 'bars' could use loosening up before maneuvering really slow and tight turns or backing up as they will creak a lot if not. I used to hear sounds coming from the front of my truck without loosening them...pretty weird.
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Old 04-29-2020, 09:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keystoned View Post
Some of the friction type sway 'bars' could use loosening up before maneuvering really slow and tight turns or backing up as they will creak a lot if not. I used to hear sounds coming from the front of my truck without loosening them...pretty weird.
This is a good point. There is a break in period where they they a little noisy and they also need to be greased on a regular basis. My hitch is silent.
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Old 04-29-2020, 09:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keystoned View Post
Some of the friction type sway 'bars' could use loosening up before maneuvering really slow and tight turns or backing up as they will creak a lot if not. I used to hear sounds coming from the front of my truck without loosening them...pretty weird.
Typically the "friction bar" style sway control needs to be removed before making a very sharp turn in either direction going forward or reverse. The bar is mounted "off center" and therefore can be bent if the trailer angle is too extreme in relation to the tow vehicle. Most people say while backing up but that's just when your most likely to "jack knife" the rig backing into a tight spot. Any WDH with built in sway control will not have that issue.
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Old 04-29-2020, 09:32 AM   #12
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My opinion mirrors those already given. 10K and 36' is a lot without the hitch. Yes, there are a lot of hitches available but the four point is one of the best.
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Old 04-29-2020, 09:35 AM   #13
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IMHO regardless of tow vehicle or RV a WDH system with sway is ABSOLUTELY mandatory.
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Old 04-29-2020, 10:47 AM   #14
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Is this the one you all are talking about?

https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Dist...EQ37140ET.html

I only find them for a 2 inch hitch receiver. I have the 2 1/2 to 2 inch adapter sleeve. Will that hurt anything using that reducer? It says it is capable of 14k with 1400 tongue weight, but does the reducer sleeve impact that at all?
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Old 04-29-2020, 11:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBWardFamily View Post
Is this the one you all are talking about?

https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Dist...EQ37140ET.html

I only find them for a 2 inch hitch receiver. I have the 2 1/2 to 2 inch adapter sleeve. Will that hurt anything using that reducer? It says it is capable of 14k with 1400 tongue weight, but does the reducer sleeve impact that at all?
That is the hitch I am talking about. They make 2 1/2 inch drop shanks. I have called them before and they were extremely helpful. It might be worth giving them a jingle to see if you can buy the whole setup with a 2 1/2 inch shank to fit your truck.

Edit-I think you can buy the WDH without a shank and then buy the shank you need separately.
https://www.equalizerhitch.com/store...2-drop-15-rise
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Old 04-29-2020, 11:42 AM   #16
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Mike is correct. Equalizer sells the 4 point sway control hitch "without" the shank. They advertise on their website that you can select the shank you need based on your trailer and/or truck requirements.
https://www.equalizerhitch.com/store/no-shank-hitches
https://www.equalizerhitch.com/store/shanks

I've always received knowledgeable, on point help every time I've called their customer service department. (800) 478-5578

The hitch "ain't cheap" but you will get "value for your investment"....
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Old 04-29-2020, 12:14 PM   #17
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Never removed or bent my "friction bar" style sway control and the only part I greased was the tightening 'bolt'. Greasing the friction part would like greasing your brakes.
I went to an Anderson hitch after a while and it had it's own sway function along with WD.
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Old 04-29-2020, 01:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keystoned View Post
Never removed or bent my "friction bar" style sway control and the only part I greased was the tightening 'bolt'. Greasing the friction part would like greasing your brakes.
I went to an Anderson hitch after a while and it had it's own sway function along with WD.
The friction created by the equalizer hitch is not metal on metal contact but rather from the force of the spring bars pressing on the l brackets. Equalizer says to grease the hitch.

https://www.equalizerhitch.com/manua...ar-maintenance

We’re agreed you shouldn't grease your brakes
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Old 04-29-2020, 01:47 PM   #19
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I think we're talking 2 different types of "friction bars". https://www.towuniverse.com/Reese-Fr...IaAqlLEALw_wcB
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Old 04-29-2020, 02:17 PM   #20
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I think we're talking 2 different types of "friction bars". https://www.towuniverse.com/Reese-Fr...IaAqlLEALw_wcB
Ah yes. I think your are right Marshall.
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