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Old 03-27-2012, 10:38 PM   #1
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WDH or not?

I'm used to pulling a 33' 6575lb dry weight trailer without issue (TV was '08 5.7l Tundra)

Picking up a Swift SLX 184bh (20' 2740lbs dry) this weekend. TV is '04 Suburban (7400lb tow cap).

I have an Equalizer 4-way (10k lb). This is obviously overkill but I was thinking I could go light on the tension without issue. Then read some about small trailer frames flexing with Weight distribution hitches.

Chevrolet manual says WDH needed for trailers over 5000lbs.

Now I'm thinking I'll be okay without WDH.

Thoughts? Experiences?
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:58 AM   #2
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I've towed my 23B for long distances with and without a WDH and in my case the bigger determinant for successful towing was having a drop hitch extension. When we picked it up from the previous owner, I only had an extension with maybe a 2" drop so the trailer towed nose up and was a little squirrely. Next trip I used an extension with a drop of 6-8" which leveled out the trailer and improved the stability dramatically. Later I had the WDH and the ride was maybe a tad less bouncy but not much. Finally I added a friction style sway control (not that it needed one) and couldn't tell the difference with or without it, the sway control that is.

So to make a long story short, you most likely don't need one. If it were me, I'd still tow it without worry and look for a WDH bargain on Craigslist.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mcfarmall View Post
I've towed my 23B for long distances with and without a WDH and in my case the bigger determinant for successful towing was having a drop hitch extension. When we picked it up from the previous owner, I only had an extension with maybe a 2" drop so the trailer towed nose up and was a little squirrely. Next trip I used an extension with a drop of 6-8" which leveled out the trailer and improved the stability dramatically. Later I had the WDH and the ride was maybe a tad less bouncy but not much. Finally I added a friction style sway control (not that it needed one) and couldn't tell the difference with or without it, the sway control that is.

So to make a long story short, you most likely don't need one. If it were me, I'd still tow it without worry and look for a WDH bargain on Craigslist.
Your EcoBoost has integrated sway control, right? That may be why you didn't notice much of a difference with/without the friction sway bar.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:26 AM   #4
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Yes the 2011 F-150's with the Integrated Trailer Brake Controller have active sway controls built in to the PCM however when it kicks in there is a light on the dash that comes on (like you really need an idiot light to tell you your trailer is swaying!) like the one that lights up when Traction Control kicks in. This is according to the manual. I've never seen the sway control light up so I'm assuming that it has never kicked in.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:07 AM   #5
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I'd pull it a few times and then determine if you need a WDH or not. I would suspect that you will be perfectly fine. The suburban you are towing with is much larger than the trailer you are pulling, so I'm thinking that other than a loss of MPG, you will hardly notice that it is there.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:40 AM   #6
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So where is this "frame flexing" thing coming from?
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:33 AM   #7
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Use a hitch that will make the trailer sit level and pull it. If you are not happy then buy some lighter spring bars for your current hitch.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:58 AM   #8
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So where is this "frame flexing" thing coming from?
I've read about it a couple of times in regards to folks using heavy spring bars (1k+) on lighter trailers. I can see it happening if your tongue weight is only 400lbs and you put a 1,200lb WDH on it.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:58 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input. Picking up tomorrow and taking it for an overnight. I'll see how it goes with the regular hitch.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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dealer suggested wdh when we bought our 184. we also added sway bar. seemed logical to me but maybe i was oversold by the dealer since im kinda new at all this. at any rate, we towed 100 miles home from dealer, and have had two brief outings since. all seems well. we tow with a 2001 ford f150 6 cyl. auto, and have no trouble pulling this trailer.
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