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Old 02-10-2019, 06:42 PM   #1
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2015 Wolf Pup with MDX - Need Pro help Please

Hello,

I am new to this forum and also trying to understand the towing "theory". Thus, I need some help...

I am thinking to purchase a 2015 Forest River Wolf Pup 16BHS but first I want to be 100% I can tow it with my 2008 ACURA MDX AWD SUV with oil cooler installed.

The MDX has towing capacity 5000lb with Weight Distribution (WD) and 4000lb without WD. My hitch is rated 4000lb with 400lb tongue weight and OEM 08L91-STX-200 trailer hitch harness.

The Wolf Pup has UNLOADED VEHICLE WEIGHT=2800lb (according to Forest River brochure), DRY HITCH WEIGHT= 424lb, GVWR W/BRAKES=3924lb

It is important to mention that I live in South Florida, meaning no hills, mountains or any elevation (everything is flat).

So, my questions are:

1.Can I tow the specific travel trailer based on the specifications of both the car and the trailer?
2. Is a WD mandatory?
3. Does this trailer come with electric brakes and if so does the OEM hitch harness control the trailer's brakes?

Thanking you all in advance for any help.


LL
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:03 PM   #2
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I was towing similar with my 2011 Pilot so yes you can. Inflate your rear tires to max side wall pressure though.

Get a WD with sway control. I did It without and was not fun.

You will need a brake controller- get a prodigy with the harness that plugs into factory connector above the e-brake pedal. I used Velcro to hold to dash and worked just fine.

Get your transmission fluid and rear differential fluid changed with factory fluid before you start to tow. Change both every 15k of driving/towing.

Pm me with any other questions
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:33 PM   #3
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The fictional dry tongue weight already exceeds your receiver's max of 400lbs, before you add the weights of the WDH, battery, options, water and cargo.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:28 PM   #4
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Thank you HONDAMAN174 and Bikendan for your replies.


So I guess I will have to purchase a Weight Distribution unit to increase the Tongue Weight capability to 500lb before even towing the trailer home (about 230 miles drive).
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lambrosfl View Post
Thank you HONDAMAN174 and Bikendan for your replies.


So I guess I will have to purchase a Weight Distribution unit to increase the Tongue Weight capability to 500lb before even towing the trailer home (about 230 miles drive).

Look at your vehicle owners manual. Often vehicles have different max TW for WD and non-WD hitches.

As has been said, dry TW is a pretty useless number. You need to use actual TW when ready to travel. Your actual can be significantly higher than dry. A method to determine if you are withing limits is to use your tralers GVW rating * .15. You should never exceed the GVW and 15% of that is the max recommended TW. You should be able to arrange stuff in your trailer to stay under 15% if you ended up that high.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lambrosfl View Post
Thank you HONDAMAN174 and Bikendan for your replies.


So I guess I will have to purchase a Weight Distribution unit to increase the Tongue Weight capability to 500lb before even towing the trailer home (about 230 miles drive).
Even with a WDH, you still will probably be over 500lbs. on actual loaded tongue weight.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:24 AM   #7
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I tow a 2019 16BHS with a 2008 Explorer 4wd V6 factory tow package.
Not fun on the hills but it does OK.
My signature line shows this and my WDH. Engine power is lacking but handling and braking are great. Do NOT get an inexpensive time controlled brake controller! Lesser brake controllers just apply more and more voltage to the electric brakes when you have the brake lights on. Locking up the brakes. A PROGRESSIVE brake controller has a small accelerometer in it that detects you going slower and lessens the voltage to the trailer brakes, preventing the lockup and smoking on long downhills. I also recommend the Prodigy P2. I had the other type first. It was a learning experience I do not wish you to share ;( You likely have an underdash plug for a controller since you have the factory tow package. Adapter wiring harnesses are available for plug and play. You must orient the progressive controller in the direction of travel.
I'm not going to search for my earlier posts with more data for links but you can. I CAT scaled my TT for actual camping weights and have discussed my MPG under various circumstance. Also there are a lot of modification posts for our TTs on the board.
RV.net forums also have a lot of great related info.
Your hitch should list capacities with and without a WDH for towing weight AND for tongue weight.
Your TT has a 3500# capacity single axle. The additional weight over that in the GTWC is assumed to be carried by the tongue weight on the TV's rear drive axle. After weighing, I found I was a little overweight on my TV rear axle GAWR ;( A weight reduction program insued immediately. So keep the tires pumped up on all when towing. It's too easy to max out weights with an SUV & TT this size.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:25 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your detailed replies.


As mentioned above, I am new to towing a travel trailer so please excuse me if the following question/thinking makes no sense:


I understand that based on my vehicle's towing capabilities, I am on the limit of being able to tow the specific travel trailer.



I also understand that the main issue here is the tongue weight that in my case is 15% of the UVW of the Wolf Pup (2800lb) which results to ~424lb. My hitch is rated 400lb TW without WD (500lb with WD).



Acura states the following in the owners manual:
"A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance."


Maybe is because distributing too much weight in the front axle interacts with the cars SH-AWD system or VSA. This is just an assumption though, not a fact. Maybe is just a matter of properly adjusting the WD.



This trailer will be mainly used to go to the Disney's Fort Wilderness campgrounds, a 3-hour drive from where I live. The reason I am mentioning this is because each travel trailer spot has full hookup utilities, meaning I will have the water tanks empty while traveling.



So here is my question:

Is it clever/normal practice to ONLY put extra weight (luggage, kids toys, propane tank, etc) to the very BACK storage of the travel trailer (which btw has a single axle), in order to reduce the front vertical tongue weight?



Thanking you in advance.


LL
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lambrosfl View Post
I also understand that the main issue here is the tongue weight that in my case is 15% of the UVW of the Wolf Pup (2800lb) which results to ~424lb. My hitch is rated 400lb TW without WD (500lb with WD).

Acura states the following in the owners manual:
"A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance."

This trailer will be mainly used to go to the Disney's Fort Wilderness campgrounds, a 3-hour drive from where I live. The reason I am mentioning this is because each travel trailer spot has full hookup utilities, meaning I will have the water tanks empty while traveling. LL
What a bunch of lawyer gobbledygook! Don't use a WDH because it will screw up your vehicle handling IF improperly used. Your hitch is factory, right? It lists capacities while using a WDH, right? An improperly adjusted WDH on ANY normal tow vehicle will screw up your handling!

Empty tanks when traveling is best except you may want a little fresh water availabile for toilet flushing, depending on your travel route. In FL, likely not needed.

Most storage in the 16BHS is in front of the axle. The rear dinette bench storage area is on the axle and there is under the bottom bunk storage. In my case, I needed to rethink having all the good to have, just in case stuff I was hauling, extra water jugs, tools, chairs, and soft goods. I also stopped carrying firewood in the TV and trailer. I either buy locally, have another haul it in, or pick it up on a second trip for local CGs. After a few trips, you will figure out what stuff is excess weight and remove it.

I still think about adding a second battery and second propane tank but the added weight, especially on the tongue (plus the materials costs holds me back. IF I ever get solar, THEN I'll get another battery. I have a spare propane tank but I leave it at home when using electric campsites. For long range travel and boondocking I plan on swapping out the 20# for a 30# tank for an easier compromise than going dual 20# tanks. I use electric for the fridge, space heater, & most all cooking. Extra tongue weight is the primary reason I haven't got an electric tongue jack.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:24 PM   #10
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You will want a Prodigy P3 (not the older P2) brake controller. Be aware of your vehicle's total cargo capacity (CCC) from which the tongue weight will subtract. The average WDH weighs close to 100 lbs (the Andersen weighs < 50). This weight plus cargo may well exceed the capacity of your rear axle and/or tires. Towing over limit as you plan will very likely reduce the service life of your MDX if you do much of it.
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