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Old 01-10-2015, 07:44 PM   #1
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Towing, WDH's and Brake Controllers

Greetings everyone! Just signed the papers on a new 17Z and excited to get it next weekend. I have some questions before picking it up that I hope some people here can answer.

My TV: Honda Pilot 2013, EXL - 4500 tow rating per the manual, 450 lbs tongue weight. In reality, I know it's more like 4100 lbs with 2 people, 2 kids, dog, stuff in the SUV, etc.

I bought the 17Z primarily because it's rated for around 3000 lbs (the sticker on ours says 3056 lbs) with a max GVWR of 3500 and the tongue weight should be around 350. Now when I asked the dealer about WDH's, they told me, "You don't need one", but after reading all the forums and spending a lot of time online, it seems that I do and it will make for a smoother ride, reduce sway, etc.

My research suggests the Equalizer 90-00-0600 (600 lbs) should be the best fit for my combo. Additionally, I want to add the P3 brake controller.

Can anyone give me advice on if this is a good combination in advance of showing up at the dealer and towing this home? Suggestions on different equipment? Do I really need the WDH with the load I'm towing?

Additionally, I read some of the forums that talks about the WDH's on the single axle trailers moving too much weight to the 3000 lb axle, stressing it to near it's limit. That I clearly don't want to do.....

Thanks again from a new Jayco owner!

NorcalRV'er
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:19 PM   #2
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Check your hitch on the Pilot. My wife has a 2012 Pilot EX-L with what I thought was a tow package. The hitch receiver that is concealed in the rear bumper is no more than a bumper hitch as it is not attached to the frame. The receiver sleeve is welded into the metal bumper behind the bumper cover. Also, there is no electrical connector for the trailer lights and brake control. Hopefully yours has a true tow package on it. If not, I would not tow anything with it until you get the correct hitch set up. If you have that issue addressed, then I would recommend the WDH and a brake controller. I am not sure about the effect on the single axle with the WDH - hopefully someone else on here can address that for you. Good luck and enjoy the new trailer!
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:37 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. Hopefully your TV does have a towing package. I have the equalizer wdh and would not tow without a wdh.
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies! You had me worried, so I got under the back of the TV and it appears that yes, the hitch is welded to what appears to be one of the hidden trailer hitch units, with the arms extended and bolted directly to the frame.

The manual and online specs all say the EX-L has the towing package installed, minus the 7-way harness and brake controller. However, the wiring plugs for the brake controller and 7-way plug are all waiting for the harness. I bought the OEM part and actually installed it last week, plugged into the existing connectors.

I've got a 15k service Fri at the dealer, will confirm with them again that the vehicle is ready to tow. If not, then more online shopping!

Thx again!
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:10 AM   #5
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norcalRVer,

Welcome to JOF!

Quote:
Originally Posted by norcalRVer View Post
snip...... I bought the 17Z primarily because it's rated for around 3000 lbs (the sticker on ours says 3056 lbs) with a max GVWR of 3500 and the tongue weight should be around 350.
Do to the limited CCC, most 17Z owners find that they will be towing the 17Z at it's 3,500b GVWR. The recommended "loaded" tongue weight range is 10% to 15% of the trailer's gross weight..; so 3,500lbs = 350lbs to 525lbs recommended tongue weight range. One's individual loading habits influence gross weight and tongue weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by norcalRVer View Post
snip......Do I really need the WDH with the load I'm towing?.......snip
IMO your TV/TT combo would benefit from a properly sized/adjusted WDH. I would also confirm that your owners manual doesn't have any WDH usage restrictions, and confirm your OEM receiver's "WD Mode" limitations. A manual friction sway control arm should be installed with/or without a WDH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by norcalRVer View Post
snip.....Additionally, I read some of the forums that talks about the WDH's on the single axle trailers moving too much weight to the 3000 lb axle,......snip
Yes, this can happen with some TV/TT combinations. The main function of a WDH is to transfer a specific amount of weight off a TV's rear axle to the TV's front axle (suspension), the nominal weight transferred to the trailers axle(s) is a by-product of the WDH meeting the TV's front axle weight requirements.

The only way to confirm "all" your weights, tongue weight, and if a WDH is sized/adjusted properly under "loaded" conditions is a visit to your local CAT scale.

CAT Scale 'how-to': https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f37/how-to-weigh-your-tv-tt-3871.html

Bob
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:41 PM   #6
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That equalizer hitch is very nice. Just make sure your pilot can indeed handle a weight distributing hitch! Some SUVs are car based and dont have full frames. That can lead to devastation on "uni-body" type vehicles.

If your Pilot can not handle that type of hitch, you will suffice. That trailer is truly light enough that your Pilot will do fine without the EQ hitch -- however, PLEASE add a friction sway control.

Having said that. IF your Pilot can withstand an EQ hitch, then definitely do invest in it. It makes all the difference in towing
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:11 AM   #7
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I second everything Bob said.

The Pilot's manual says not to use a WD hitch. That tells me that the hitch they have installed may not be up to the job if you use a WD hitch. However, lots of Pilot and Ridgeline owners report that they use a WD hitch. You have to make that decision.

That said I would not tow that trailer with an SUV or small PU without one. We had a '03 Kiwi 17a (ancestor to the 17z) that we towed with various vehicles including a Suburban and a Trailblazer. Even with the 'Burb I used the WD hitch. The issue isn't the rear "squat", it's that the tongue weight is taking weight off the front wheels, and thereby steering control. You have to restore that control and the way to do it is with a WD hitch.

Most vehicles rated to use a WD hitch have a spec for this, in the case of GM for example, you measure the height of the front fender before putting on the trailer and adjust the hitch to bring the front fender back to stock height.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:40 PM   #8
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Hey again all, thanks for the comments and suggestions. I posted the same question to Etrailer and they suggested the Straight Line WDH. Looks like a great product, I'm going to give it a try and see how it works. I will post some photos and updates next week after towing it home (200 miles or so).
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