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Old 05-06-2015, 09:38 PM   #1
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Towing Question

New 2015 explorer. 5000# tow, 500#tongue. New wolf pup is 2800# empty. Dealer felt we only need the sway bar?? Didn't think we needed a weight distribution hitch. New to tt towing. Any thoughts from the forum. Thanks

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Old 05-06-2015, 11:19 PM   #2
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Get both for piece of mind. Better to have it than second guess yourself if things could be better.

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Old 05-06-2015, 11:59 PM   #3
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Honestly, if 2800 lbs is a dry weight then you are looking at 3800-4300 lbs loaded trailer weight. Ideal tongue weight is 13-15 % of loaded ft weight. This means you are looking at a loaded tongue weight of 495-645 lbs. While technically a sway bar is enough for that size trailer, you will be at or near your vehicles limit on payload. I would recommend going a step higher than a simple wdh and friction sway bar to getting a wdh with an integrated sway control (ie reese dual cam, reese strait line, equal-i-zer or something of the like).I would get one recommended for 600 lb tongue weight. Something like This.

You may find This link particularly helpful to understanding a wdh.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:17 AM   #4
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That's a borderline call, but personally, I would go with a WDH. It will only improve your tow control and prevent potential uneven tire wear. At any weight putting your loads across all axles is always preferable.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:52 AM   #5
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No way I would pull any TT with an Explorer without a WDH.
Your dealer is an Idiot!
A popup sure but not a TT.
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:51 AM   #6
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X2 on the WDH. It just tows so much better too. Mine weighs a little over 3k and I use a WDH. Easier on the TV receiver too. Plus....when your family upgrades TT, that is what usually happens, you will already have a WDH.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:15 PM   #7
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Tough call. Here is a link for the Ford Towing Guide. You will find that Ford does not recommend using a WDH for ANY of their vehicles unless TW exceeds 500 lbs. I don't agree with that thinking, like most others here.

But tha't a very light camper you have there, at 2800 lbs dry. But someone mentioned 3800-4300 as an estimated loaded weight. That's seems overly-conservative to me. Typical conservative estimates for loaded weight over dry:
Popup = 600
Small TT = 600-800
Large TT = 800-1000
5er = ??? (some people live full time out of these beasts!)

I would use the 800 lbs figure, putting you at 3600 lbs. At 13%, that's 468lbs TW.

I recommend you try a local trip with just the friction sway controller, to see how it runs loaded. It would be good to get an actual TW measurement loaded as well.

Worst case, your out about $50. Going straight to an Equalizer (which I highly recommend if needed) is a $500 decision which you aren't sure you need to make yet.

This is the route I took with our first camper, a popup, behind a '97 Chrysler minivan. I was confident that I could keep the 2400lb dry popup to no more than 3000 lbs or so, but had no idea how loading it would affect the TW. So I did just what I recommended to you. Simple drawbar with a welded sway-control tab to accept the little ball (they also make an adapter that clamps under the ball).

It towed fine, but I found out that TW was 375lbs. 350 on this van required a WDH, and it showed. So I got a 400 lbs rated Single Bar WDH. The head was built to accept a friction sway controller, so I was actually out nothing.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:18 PM   #8
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Get both from the start.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:29 PM   #9
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I assume you bought the TT to enjoy. If getting there and back is a white knuckle ride wondering what might be around the next turn, you won't enjoy it. Get the WDH and go have fun.

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Old 05-07-2015, 05:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by oxcamper View Post
Get both from the start.


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