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Old 08-01-2016, 10:26 AM   #21
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Always hook mine up, regardless of distance. The piece of mind is priority.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:49 AM   #22
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So the message is clear; "No Shortcuts With Trailering"
Just the other day coming home a combo TV-TT was jackknifed. Cause unknown to me, but I am sure the occupants where shaken up.
After over 50 years of owning an RV I have seen a few accidents with RV's involved.
Mostly due improper equipped and "SPEED".
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:45 AM   #23
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Even when moving the trailer from the side yard to the driveway, it's easier to do a loop around the neighborhood to point the trailer in the best direction for backing in. I will fully hook up the trailer with WDH. Is it overkill? Maybe. But it's best practices and safest for everyone.
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:17 PM   #24
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Our storage is about 2 miles from the house and the speed limit is 35 MPH max the whole way - if I plan to bring it home and unhook it again, I'll leave them off. Having towed horse trailers, boats, and race car trailers with no WD/sway, I am comfortable with that. But, that's just me...
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:59 PM   #25
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Our storage is about 2 miles from the house and the speed limit is 35 MPH max the whole way - if I plan to bring it home and unhook it again, I'll leave them off. Having towed horse trailers, boats, and race car trailers with no WD/sway, I am comfortable with that. But, that's just me...
Does it take long to connect the Reese DC hitch? That would play I role I think. On my Equalizer hitch, it's literally swinging the bars onto the brackets and dropping in the locks, so it's a no brainer. But I could see being more willing to do without on short trips if it were 5 minutes of effort to get it all connected up. I don't have any experience with any other hitches than the one I've got now.....
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:07 PM   #26
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Does it take long to connect the Reese DC hitch? That would play I role I think. On my Equalizer hitch, it's literally swinging the bars onto the brackets and dropping in the locks, so it's a no brainer. But I could see being more willing to do without on short trips if it were 5 minutes of effort to get it all connected up. I don't have any experience with any other hitches than the one I've got now.....
It doesn't take long - it is more the wear-and-tear on the electric jack that I am minimizing. On the Reese, you have to lower the jack onto the ball, latch the ball latch, then raise the jack back up to lift the back of the truck a bit, put the bars on and latch the chains up, then run the jack back down to go.

Without the bars, I just lower it onto the ball and go... to go a couple of miles up the street, and then reverse the process to unhook it at the house, makes no sense to me. There is a bar that you can use to raise/lower the latches, but if you don't raise the truck some to get the pressure off, that can be dangerous...
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:45 AM   #27
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Always use Weight Distribution Bars. Never use Sway Bars, don't need them.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:09 AM   #28
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Unless I missed it I don't see that the OP offered up what his truck and trailer combo was so it's difficult to offer an opinion that aligns with his exact situation.

That said, when I had my 1/2 ton and a 6,000# TT I would always hook up WDH and sway regardless of travel distance.

When I moved up to a 3/4 ton I stopped using the WDH after my 2nd tow. I figured a 600# tongue weight on a truck capable of 1500# was plenty of capacity. I can't say there was a big difference in towing or stopping, and I drove a few trips at 200 miles each that way.

To each his own but I don't think saying you must use WDH in all circumstance is true. But hey, I'm also the guy that doesn't think you need to use 4 Low to go up a dirt driveway so perhaps I'm not the guy to ask about doing things "cautiously"
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:54 AM   #29
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When I moved up to a 3/4 ton I stopped using the WDH after my 2nd tow. I figured a 600# tongue weight on a truck capable of 1500# was plenty of capacity. I can't say there was a big difference in towing or stopping, and I drove a few trips at 200 miles each that way.
It's not so much the capacity - the major safety issue with a WDH is making sure that you are level when towing and that both sets of wheels have maximum contact with the ground.

If your front wheels are as much on the ground (same weight/height) as before you hitched up and your hitch receiver is rated to hold the total tongue weight (and this may not be the same number as your truck's capacity for the axle), then you presumably don't need a WDH.

I've seen trucks with rear axle specs of 1500lbs but a hitch receiver with a maximum weight rating of 900lbs.. I had to replace the hitch receiver on my Silverado 2500 because it was not rated enough to hold the tongue weight of my TT.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:52 AM   #30
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Good points. I did check all my numbers and was well within spec in that regard, and was level without the WDH. My truck happens to have electronic sway control too, though I've never felt it 'in action' so who knows if that even works lol

In a way this just helps prove my point though, that without knowing OP's truck, trailer, and travel distance goals, we are all offering advice that may not directly apply to his situation (other than pointing out caution is a good general rule)
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