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Old 07-04-2020, 07:09 PM   #1
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1/2 ton truck (Tahoe) towing 3500lb TT-WDH or not.

Hey Folks,
First post.

New to the TT life but not new to camping or pulling trailers.
I have a 2010 Tahoe with 8k tow capacity. I will be towing a 3500lb TT that has been properly loaded however the potential issue are the two bikes mounted to the 4" bumper. Around 100lbs with both bikes and the rack.
I have a WDH that came with the trailer (that I haven't used) however after reading all that I could find, the conclusion was a 1/2 ton truck towing a 19ft 3500lb trailer does NOT need or benefit from a WDH. I don't want to use it because it complicates hookup, un-hookup and backing up.
I wouldn't be asking this question however I am concerned with the bikes on the bumper. I know the bikes bounce around quite a bit however this is an oldschool bike rack that holds the bikes at the frame and does not stick out far behind the bumper. I see some of these folks with four bikes on new school tire mount racks. They stick out five feet!
The added torque and weight on the bumper via leverage is tremendous.

What are the thoughts of this wise group?
Does a WDH help out in my situation?
I should mention that I do use a Reese friction anti sway bar

BTW, not interested in relocating the bikes to another location.
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveW77 View Post
Hey Folks,
First post.

New to the TT life but not new to camping or pulling trailers.
I have a 2010 Tahoe with 8k tow capacity. I will be towing a 3500lb TT that has been properly loaded however the potential issue are the two bikes mounted to the 4" bumper. Around 100lbs with both bikes and the rack.
I have a WDH that came with the trailer (that I haven't used) however after reading all that I could find, the conclusion was a 1/2 ton truck towing a 19ft 3500lb trailer does NOT need or benefit from a WDH. I don't want to use it because it complicates hookup, un-hookup and backing up.
I wouldn't be asking this question however I am concerned with the bikes on the bumper. I know the bikes bounce around quite a bit however this is an oldschool bike rack that holds the bikes at the frame and does not stick out far behind the bumper. I see some of these folks with four bikes on new school tire mount racks. They stick out five feet!
The added torque and weight on the bumper via leverage is tremendous.

What are the thoughts of this wise group?
Does a WDH help out in my situation?
I should mention that I do use a Reese friction anti sway bar

BTW, not interested in relocating the bikes to another location.
Is the 3500lbs weight loaded for camping and weighed on a scale?
With no information on your Tahoe, maybe maybe not.
You do know that that amount of weight, bouncing up and down, on those bumper welds, won't be good.
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Old 07-04-2020, 08:33 PM   #3
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I would look into a bike rack that mounts above the LP tanks. I will add to the tongue weight, not subtract from it. It will also be much more stable for the bikes and they should not bounce.
I tow a 3500 pound TT with my F150. My truck is a supercrew with the long bed so my wheel base may be a bit longer than your truck. I do not use a wdh and have never had a problem with sway or a droopy turck rear end. I am careful how I load the trailer so that my tongue weight does not get out of range. The truck was also ordered with tow package and max tow. With the 3.54 EcoBoost I have never run out of power at any elevation or grade.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:41 PM   #4
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3500 dry or loaded up?

I tow a 4300 lb dry (5800 loaded) TT with my 1/2 ton pickup and the WDH helps alot.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:22 PM   #5
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I'd use a WDH. Then again I wear a belt and suspenders when camping. You won't need it until you do
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:27 PM   #6
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My honest answer is you won’t know until you try. Based on what you posted you should be fine. I believe you stated you had anti sway already. If you have all the stuff give it try have someone follow and see how the bikes do. At most might need to reinforce the rear bumper.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:01 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies folks.
The Gross Vehicle Weight is 3500lbs.
Trailer dry weight is 2800lbs.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies folks.
The Gross Vehicle Weight is 3500lbs.
Trailer dry weight is 2800lbs.
Then, you shouldn't need a WDH but you may want a anti sway bar, especially with a single axle trailer.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:46 PM   #9
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Since you have the sway bar the numbers seem like you should be good. I have pulled 4000lb trailers without any problems without a WDH. In the end you will know if you need it or not when you pull it the first time.

Bikes on the back I have no experience with so I leave you to watch your bumper welds.
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:22 PM   #10
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If I had one, I’d use it. You’d maybe be fine without one, especially if it is just short trips. My friend has been towing one for 15 years (with an extension even) with no problems. I wouldn’t recommend that though.
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:25 PM   #11
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If using a bike mount on the TT rear, there are reinforcements that bolt to the frame that are essentially huge J hooks to help support the TT bumper. TT rear bumpers are thin metal directly welded to the frame and have been proven too weak to handle more than the spare tire, especially sticking out as a long weighted lever arm.
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:44 PM   #12
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The Tahoe is sort of a different animal.

They have a ton of glass in the back. Shortish wheelbase.

When hooked up the tt and rv should be properly level. If not the wdh might be a good plan!

Be cautious. They do not recommend putting bikes on hitches bolted to sheet metal bumpers. Then too, The bikes get seriously thrashed about on the rear of a single axle trailer.
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Old 07-05-2020, 02:29 PM   #13
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I would use a WDH, but you don't need an expensive monster hitch...

the Harbor Freight WDH for about $200 ( use a 20% off coupon) and add the 2 5/16 inch optional ball is all you will ever need.

It will eliminate porpoising on those highways that have regular joints every 100 ft or so. Gives anti-sway property also.
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:15 PM   #14
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WDH or not

Since you already have a WDH at your disposal, I would recommend you try it on one of your camping trips to see if it brings the kind of benefits that you would expect. Our experience with three different TT's was that the WDH we used gave a better weight distribution between the TV and trailer, dampened the sway-inducing effects of cross winds and truck wind buffeting, and dampened bucking or "porpoising" on uneven highways. It really helped to reduce "stress and strain" on the driver on longer trips with lots of truck traffic and/or strong cross winds.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:05 PM   #15
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WDH

Look at your Cargo weight limit on your driver's door, it is more important than max tow #. You will always enjoy towing more w/ a WDH. Especially a WDH w/ sway control. I had a Tahoe and towed a 3500 travel trailer w/ it. Also a 16' flat bed. I used the friction bar anti-sway bar. Threw it away after towing several times w/ it. If you already have a WDH try it both ways. If you have a single axel trailer, follow it w/ the bike rack and bikes on it. If you have nice bikes, you may change your mind on doing it. If you decide to do not get some pool noodles to put between them. Tandem axel, much better, but still weak bumper.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:52 AM   #16
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MUST READ - question answered!!

I just watched a very interesting video with info I want to share.

SUPER IMPORTANT!!!!!

The man in this video had spoken with an engineer at Reese and asked this question about WDH and single axle trailers. What he explained is if you have a trailer with 3500lb capacity and you add a WDH, you will load the trailer axle with weight from your tow vehicle as the WDH spreads out the load.
In this video, the axle on this trailer was bowing out (bent) and the tires were wearing out on the inside from the camber. His camper was loaded correctly however the heavy tow vehicle weight was adding huge load to his trailer.
Point is Reese said to never use a WDH with a single axle trailer if you have a heavy duty loaded tow vehicle. He also said if you have a very light tow vehicle (small SUV, mini van, etc), then the WDH could be helpful because you are not transferring a huge load to your trailer axle.

Makes sense and can't believe how hard it was to get this information.
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Old 07-15-2020, 11:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveW77 View Post
I just watched a very interesting video with info I want to share.

SUPER IMPORTANT!!!!!

The man in this video had spoken with an engineer at Reese and asked this question about WDH and single axle trailers. What he explained is if you have a trailer with 3500lb capacity and you add a WDH, you will load the trailer axle with weight from your tow vehicle as the WDH spreads out the load.
In this video, the axle on this trailer was bowing out (bent) and the tires were wearing out on the inside from the camber. His camper was loaded correctly however the heavy tow vehicle weight was adding huge load to his trailer.
Point is Reese said to never use a WDH with a single axle trailer if you have a heavy duty loaded tow vehicle. He also said if you have a very light tow vehicle (small SUV, mini van, etc), then the WDH could be helpful because you are not transferring a huge load to your trailer axle.

Makes sense and can't believe how hard it was to get this information.
This is only news to someone with a single axle TT who has never properly weighed their towing setup. My first CAT Scale weights showed the WDH transferred 220# to the TV front axle and 80# to the TT axle. At the time, this meant a total of 180# over TT GAWR. Since then, I removed the excess weight on the 3500# TT axle.
Early WDH and full size FWD sedans were advertised driving with the sedan’s rear wheels removed.
Another reason to properly choose your WDH weight rating.
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Old 07-15-2020, 11:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveW77 View Post
I just watched a very interesting video with info I want to share.

SUPER IMPORTANT!!!!!

The man in this video had spoken with an engineer at Reese and asked this question about WDH and single axle trailers. What he explained is if you have a trailer with 3500lb capacity and you add a WDH, you will load the trailer axle with weight from your tow vehicle as the WDH spreads out the load.
In this video, the axle on this trailer was bowing out (bent) and the tires were wearing out on the inside from the camber. His camper was loaded correctly however the heavy tow vehicle weight was adding huge load to his trailer.
Point is Reese said to never use a WDH with a single axle trailer if you have a heavy duty loaded tow vehicle. He also said if you have a very light tow vehicle (small SUV, mini van, etc), then the WDH could be helpful because you are not transferring a huge load to your trailer axle.

Makes sense and can't believe how hard it was to get this information.
If the trailer GVW is 3500#, that is the total weight of the trailer. That is weight on the axle plus weight on the tongue. The only time you would ever have an issue is if the axle rating was less than 3500#.
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Old 07-15-2020, 06:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveW77 View Post
I just watched a very interesting video with info I want to share.

SUPER IMPORTANT!!!!!

The man in this video had spoken with an engineer at Reese and asked this question about WDH and single axle trailers. What he explained is if you have a trailer with 3500lb capacity and you add a WDH, you will load the trailer axle with weight from your tow vehicle as the WDH spreads out the load.
In this video, the axle on this trailer was bowing out (bent) and the tires were wearing out on the inside from the camber. His camper was loaded correctly however the heavy tow vehicle weight was adding huge load to his trailer.
Point is Reese said to never use a WDH with a single axle trailer if you have a heavy duty loaded tow vehicle. He also said if you have a very light tow vehicle (small SUV, mini van, etc), then the WDH could be helpful because you are not transferring a huge load to your trailer axle.

Makes sense and can't believe how hard it was to get this information.
Your Tahoe may not be a "very light tow vehicle" as compared to a small SUV or mini van, but it is definitely not a "heavy duty" one either. If your running 'P' rated tires you would be surprised how much sway can be induced into your TV.
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Old 07-16-2020, 12:26 AM   #20
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Obviously my Tahoe is not a heavy duty tow vehicle. However I referred to it as heavy duty in this case as I am not even at 45% of my tow capacity.


I don't think some of you understand my post so Ill try again. My GVW on the trailer is 3500lbs and I have it loaded to 3500lbs. However my tow vehicle is 7000lbs loaded so if I use a WDH I will load the single axle of the trailer along with my front tires as the weight is distributed from bumper to bumper. So instead of my trailer weighing 3500lbs, you are coming in well over 4000lbs stressing and potentially bending the axle.
If your tow vehicle is significantly heavier then your single axle trailer, don't use a WDH.
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