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Old 10-24-2014, 11:48 AM   #1
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Weight distributing hitch for hardside

I tow a Rockwood A122BH with a Nissan Frontier pickup truck. It works well enough but my dealer suggested a weight distributing hitch because these are not light weight trailers. I've not had a problem towing without although I do notice that the front end of the truck feels "light" or floaty while driving. Who uses a wdh on these trailers?


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Old 10-24-2014, 12:11 PM   #2
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It all depends on an individuals experience and particular setup. But the way I look at it is that a WDH can't hurt anything other than your wallet. As long as it's setup right it's not going to make your towing any worse by having one. It might be overkill and not really help either in some cases (like a 500lb utility trailer pulled by a DRW 1 ton as an example of overkill) but it definitely won't hurt.

If you're noticing issues with towing, like the front end 'floaty' you mentioned, then see if you can try one out. Might even see if your dealer has a similar rig with one installed you can test drive to get a feel for the difference in handling before you commit to buying one.
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:42 PM   #3
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I had a 2280BH popup that was heavier on the front end than my current TT due to the storage rack on the front. It put the ball almost 6' from the front of the camper. The Ridgeline I was pulling it with was more than enough and I ran it without WDH for almost a year. When I did finally put one on...wow. After I measured, I found out that even though the back end came down less than 2" when hitched, the front end was coming up about an inch. With the front end planted, it was night and day. I'd say measure the wheel wells up front before and after hitching and, if it rises more than 1/4", go with a WDH.
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:44 PM   #4
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if you are light on the front end then you probably need a wdh. How level does your truck sit hooked up? Honestly the best answer is to go get weighed (www.catscale.com). Do 2 passes. One of just your truck loaded with all passenger, pets and gear that you usually take when camping plus a full tank of fuel. Put the front axle on scale pad 1 and the rear axle on scale pad 2. For the second pass hook your trailer up and put the truck front axle on scale pad 1, rear axle on scale pad 2 and the trailer on scale pad 3 (still hooked to the truck). Now look at your weight tickets. The difference between the two tickets gross weight is your trailer weight. The difference between the two rear axle weights is your tongue weight. What happened to your truck axle weights? I'll bet your rear axle got heavier and your front axle got lighter. The goal of the wdh is to redistribute that tongue weight. Some of it will be sent back to the trailer, some to the front of the truck. The idea is typically to return the front axle to as close to unloaded weight as possible without going heavier. This threads may help you.
how wdh works:
RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Towing: Weight Distribution (WD) Hitch --- How it Works
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Old 10-24-2014, 01:08 PM   #5
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On a small trailer I would look really hard at an Anderson. They are lighter than most WDH and most people that have them like them. Be aware that there is a certain type of coupler they won't work on, so you'll want to check into that.
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Old 10-24-2014, 02:02 PM   #6
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Stop at a truck stop that has a Cat Scale on the way out of town next time. Get the axle weights with and without the camper to see if you are overloading the rear and/or really pulling any weight off the front end. About $12 for the first reading for a three axle weight and $2.50 for each additional reading. Well worth it to find out the actual conditions of your particular setup.

If the axle weights are OK you can use air bags as an alternative to level to truck. Otherwise get a WDH. From my experience, driving with a WDH is more comfortable because of the solid feel it gives. However I do not use one with my current setup because of significant over capacity of my TV.
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Old 10-24-2014, 07:42 PM   #7
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don't bother ... i tow with exactly the same truck as you ... but i don't have the front thingy on trailer ...so that maybe a bit of difference.
My frontier does very well pulling my A122.. its a crew SE 4x4.
We tow with the 5.5 box fully loaded ...cooler, clothes, baby Q, 49 lbs trailer and road safety equip, fishing fishing stuff and a EZ up awning.
However ... if you are new to this truck, you probably have noticed that the truck could be a little light on the forward end, as the split between front and the rear is 60/40. You may have experienced a little wheel shake when going over some road rage.. but his is all normal, for this truck.
My only advice for you .. is ditch the idea of a WDH, and spend your money on a tune for that 4.0 litre. The tune for the truck was the best money i have ever spent.

D-mo
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Old 10-24-2014, 08:13 PM   #8
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One more thing, check out the ratings on your truck hitch receiver for with and without wdh. Then see what your trailer loaded tongue weight Muscat the scale. If you are over the rating without the wdh or your front axle is significantly lighter then you need a wdh. Another school of thought comes from the world of measuring. I feel it is less accurate and in vehicles that have stiffer suspensions then it is wholly inaccurate. Measure your wheel wells hitches and unhitched. Typically, more than two inch rear drop/sag indicates a need for wdh.
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