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Old 10-07-2013, 08:54 PM   #1
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WDH Really Needed?

Hello Everyone. First post from a newbie. Interested in purchasing a Shamrock 183 hybrid trailer. TV is a 2008 Buick Enclave with max tow rating of 4500 lbs. the Shamrock is 3600 dry so I will be close. Really like the Andersen WDH but dealer says a full WD Hitch is unnecessary and all I need is a sway bar and chains. I believe his version was EZ Lift. Am I missing something or is he wrong?
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:21 PM   #2
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Not knowing the tongue wt, but I would guess the dealer is wrong. I would go with a wdh with sway control and brake controller.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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You'll need some more figures to make a determination. Like the weight of the trailer at the hitch and your vehicles capacity at the hitch.
Also realize that your 4500 lbs is you and a full tank of gas. Once you add family and gear you will be hitting your max weight easily. Could be a problem.
I'm sure more knowledgeable folks will chime in soon.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:26 PM   #4
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Dry weight shows around 400 lbs. meaning you'll probably be closer to 500. I'd imagine that Enclave has a pretty soft suspension as well. You definitely want WD or you'll be pointing your headlights into the trees.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:08 PM   #5
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heck yea he's wrong.

you know if you read your Enclave's owners manual, it should tell you how much trailer/hitch weight will require you to use a WDH.

NO WAY would a tow vehicle with only 4500lbs. tow capacity NOT need a WDH, towing a trailer that will easily be close to that max amount.
you'll be lucky that the actual hitch weight won't be over the Enclave's max.
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
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Short answer: Yes. You will want a WDH for this rig. Check your owners manual, and I'll bet it's listed in there for any trailer more than 3500lbs. They probably want trailer brakes for anything more than 1500 lbs (?).

Hereare the specs for current Shamrock (including the 183), which are Roo clones. The dry "ship" weight his listed at 3459lbs, and GVWR is 4806. I'm guessing that the 3600 lb weight that you mentioned is the actual empty weight on the sticker of an actual trailer you have in mind.

Typical recommendation is to plan for 800 lbs over listed dry weight for your actual loaded trailer weight. That puts you at 4259 lbs of loaded trailer; let's call it 4300lbs. From conventional truck math, that would only leave you with 200 lbs for passengers in the Enclave.

But IIRC, the Enclave, like many crossovers and even minivans, actually have a combined weight rating (GCVWR) that allow you to have more in the tow vehicle than just the driver, even when you are at max tow rating. The reasoning behind this is that the limiting factor on a beefy full frame truck is usually the drive-train, because the structure is so stout. But for a crossover, the drivetrain is fantastic if it has extra cooling from a towing package...but the structure is limited. The result is a limited tow rating (what the structure can handle), but an allowance for more in the tow vehicle because of the strong drivetrain.

In the case of the Enclave, IIRC, the GCVWR is 10,400lbs. I remember this becuase I shopped these crossovers before I settled on the Mounty (12,000 lb GCVWR and cheaper). Subtract 4300 lbs, an you are left with 6,100 lbs for the loaded Enclave. I found a base curb weight of 4922 for an AWD Enclave. Not sure what yours is, but lets be conservative and call it 5100. Subracted from 6,100, and you have 1,000 lbs available for driver, passengers, and anything else you put in the Enclave.

You need to check my numbers, especially the 10,400 GCVWR. It's possible that this was the number for the Traverse, which may have had more cooling. But this is the type of math you need to do, when towing with a minivan or crossover. It's not necessarily the same as when towing with a full-frame truck.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebrakeman View Post
From conventional truck math, that would only leave you with 200 lbs for passengers in the Enclave.


I found a base curb weight of 4922 for an AWD Enclave. Not sure what yours is, but lets be conservative and call it 5100. Subracted from 6,100, and you have 1,000 lbs available for driver, passengers, and anything else you put in the Enclave.
Don't forget this doesn't even take into consideration the tongue weight of the trailer or the hitch weight.

Look at your door sticker and find the curb weight and the GVWR..the difference will be payload. Take the payload and subtract 100-200 lbs for margin of error (as thebrakeman did above by using a 5100 lbs curb weight), subtract a reasonable weight for any additional passengers, about 75 lbs. for the WDH, and about 50 lbs of junk. What's left is what you can add in tongue weight....payload is the limiting factor in MOST tow rigs.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:41 PM   #8
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As others have said. I think the dealer is wrong. You will need a WD hitch and anti sway to be safe. You will be already struggling with the Enclaves suspension and tires. The air shock suspension will not react well the he forces from the trailer and the tires will have sidewall flex to go along with that.

Also if the Enclave is not an AWD you will be minimizing your drive tire traction and braking ability

My nickels worth
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:58 PM   #9
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it wouldn't surprise me if the trailer's frontal area will exceed the max for the Enclave.

i'll guarantee that if you plan on doing mountains, you'll soon be looking for a bigger tow vehicle.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
it wouldn't surprise me if the trailer's frontal area will exceed the max for the Enclave.

i'll guarantee that if you plan on doing mountains, you'll soon be looking for a bigger tow vehicle.

x2

Even with a Suburban, wind load on the front crossection of the trailer slows me to a crawl and kills gas mileage, never mind hills.
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