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Old 06-17-2013, 09:42 PM   #1
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WDH advice needed!

I recently bought a horse trailer and I am having difficulty deciding what WDH setup to go with.

Ease of hookup/disconnect is important to me as I'm a 5' tall, 105lb girl who just doesn't have a lot of weight/height to put behind manipulating a hitch.

Must be able to back up with it on, as we do a lot of backing in close quarters at horse shows.

My tow vehicle is a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 5.7L, factory tow package.

The trailer weighs approx. 2600lbs empty and fully loaded with 2 horses weighs roughly 5000lbs. Because these are horses, I do not have the option to redistribute weight in the trailer-- they go where they go.

Tongue weight is estimated to be ~375lbs. It doesn't change much whether the horses are loaded or not, because their weight sits over the axles and is not loaded forward of the front axle.

I am wondering what weight distribution hitch I should be looking at. I was thinking the equalizer, but I am not sure I can snap in the bars myself and I am worried the brackets will move. I would prefer not to have to weld onto my trailer (all aluminum).

My wheelbase is short, so the best sway control possible within a reasonable (sub $600) price range would be the best. I can technically tow this trailer with this vehicle without the WD, but I really want the sway control. Wondering if maybe just some Timbrens and sway control device would do the same job with a lot less hassle?

I have only ever towed goosenecks, this is my first bumper pull, but I had to downsize with only 1 horse and no need for a giant truck and trailer.

I really appreciate any help.

ETA: the total length on the floor of my trailer is 13'4" and hitch to bumper is 16'6". The max tongue weight for this vehicle is 720lbs.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:05 PM   #2
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I have the Husky Centerline hitch. You would have to spend a little more.
It has WD and sway control. You would have to increase your tongue weight a touch (minimum is 500 lbs).
The pluses of this hitch:
Bolts onto your trailer frame (no drilling or frame modification)
You can back up with the hitch (you do not have to remove the bars)
Minuses of the hitch:
You will have to have your tow vehicle lined up fairly straight with your trailer to hook on the WD bars
You need to raise the tongue of the trailer to put the WD bars on easily (power tongue jack is ideal)

Info on the hitch here:
http://www.huskytow.com/wp-includes/...-A_HITCH_1.pdf

Others will chime in with their hitches.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:17 PM   #3
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Not sure I actually can increase the tongue weight. By design, horse trailers are light in front. The horses (1000lbs each) stand directly over the axles.

I think to get the tongue weight to 500lbs I would have to put about 200lbs of dead weight directly in the nose of the trailer, which would obviously be dangerous to living cargo in an accident.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:25 PM   #4
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You could perhaps talk to the tech people at Husky to check about the requirements for the tongue weight if you want to persue further. I was thinking adding something outside the trailer on the front of the frame if there is room (don't want to hurt the horses). Regular trailer carries propane tanks, batteries etc which add well over 100 lbs.

Good luck with the other hitch possibilities. You'll get something suitable that fits your needs!
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:30 PM   #5
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I have no experience with this hitch. My son recently bought a new TT. The dealer installed a Anderson hitch. It takes a different approach to sway and weight control. I think if I ever buy a new hitch I'll go with it. Do a Google search their also a utube video about the hitch.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wntrwhte View Post
Not sure I actually can increase the tongue weight. By design, horse trailers are light in front. The horses (1000lbs each) stand directly over the axles.

I think to get the tongue weight to 500lbs I would have to put about 200lbs of dead weight directly in the nose of the trailer, which would obviously be dangerous to living cargo in an accident.
Horses are large animals. The front legs are normally ahead of the trailer axles which gives you more tongue weight. This is unless you have some compartment up front preventing this. If that is the case, you may need to add dead weight. Too light of tongue weight will cause a dangerous situation. You will want at least 10% of the gross trailer/horse weight on the tongue. If you have a power tongue Jack, the equalizer is very easy to use. I have also seen people have good success with the updated Anderson hitch with built in sway control.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by steeleshark2 View Post
Horses are large animals. The front legs are normally ahead of the trailer axles which gives you more tongue weight. This is unless you have some compartment up front preventing this. If that is the case, you may need to add dead weight. Too light of tongue weight will cause a dangerous situation. You will want at least 10% of the gross trailer/horse weight on the tongue. If you have a power tongue Jack, the equalizer is very easy to use. I have also seen people have good success with the updated Anderson hitch with built in sway control.
Do not have a power jack. Those are very uncommon on horse trailers.

The design of the trailer is that there is roughly 6' of space in front of where the horse's front feet go, to accomodate the horse's head/neck and also some equipment. However, nothing heavy goes there as it's not safe in case of an accident, everything is secured.

I am guessing the tongue weight is 375ish empty and about 420 fully loaded. This particular model is actually the shorter one that produces more tongue load. These are also available with even more storage space in front and an 18'6 overall length, tongue weight there is about 480 fully loaded despite being at least 600lbs more trailer.

Horse trailers are a little different than TTs-- there is only about 3' from nose to hitch to pop something on there, at best maybe I could put a battery in.

The trailer looks like this, except it is 18" longer between the doors marked and the nose radius begin. The axle position (dual axle) is marked by the yellow bars, and the horse stands between the rear bumper and the front doors--so there really is not much horse in front of the forward axles except for the head/neck.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steeleshark2 View Post

Horses are large animals. The front legs are normally ahead of the trailer axles which gives you more tongue weight. This is unless you have some compartment up front preventing this. If that is the case, you may need to add dead weight. Too light of tongue weight will cause a dangerous situation. You will want at least 10% of the gross trailer/horse weight on the tongue. If you have a power tongue Jack, the equalizer is very easy to use. I have also seen people have good success with the updated Anderson hitch with built in sway control.
These are not TT with a lot hanging off the rear to cause a pendulum. Can't follow TT rules on these trailers.

I would go and ask around to other people in the business. I was actually having this discussion with a horse owning friend after I blew by an E150 on a grade who appeared grossly overweight.

Personally, I would go simple with a regular WDH and if needed, a friction sway bar. It doesn't sound like a bunch of tongue weight and a short trailer.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:53 PM   #9
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Been trying to ask around but horse folks are the last to adopt WDH assemblies-- the general answer when asking about this is "buy a 3/4 ton truck so you don't need them"

I do know folks towing very similar apparatus without the WDH and they claim to be pretty happy. Of course, someone who's never had to drive evasively or stop under heavy load will probably be happy.

I may try it without and try the Timbrens. I'm worried I may do more harm than good with a WDH if the tongue weight is low and the trailer is short.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:57 PM   #10
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I have an Andersen Hitch for sale. I think it would work extremely well for your requirements. My Wife is also a small woman and she had no problems applying the WD for me while I was doing the safety chains. All you need to do is ratchet down the nuts on the end of the chains. The brackets are bolt on with set screws (no drilling). Sway control is built into the ball shaft. PM me if interested in mine that is for sale. Or look here:
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ale-41867.html

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