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Old 03-05-2020, 08:14 PM   #1
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camper towing question

Hello I had a towing question. we are trading our 2011 coachmen catalina 26bh camper amd downsizing to a new clipper 17bh. with the new clipper being significantly smaler and lighter. would i still need to use a weight distributing hitch. our tow vehicle is a 2012 gmc sierra 5.3L. i wasnt sure myself so i figured id ask the community here for experiences. Thanks in advance
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Old 03-05-2020, 08:31 PM   #2
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Not exactly sure on your truck but on my half ton ford a WDH is not required below 500lb tongue weight. Hard to say for sure without knowing your specific truck tongue weight info.

A WDH would matter to me for sway control depending on the tow. You may need different bars or a different hitch depending on what you have if you wanted to use it. I would want the wdh just for the sway control but you may not need it for that either.

I towed our cargo trailer with my half ton and didnt need anything with sway control. It was 20ft and had a 500lb tongue max and was stable as could be.

My vote is depends....not real helpful but it's a tow it to know thing to me.
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Old 03-05-2020, 08:39 PM   #3
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As in every other "can I tow x with y" thread you need to know your real life tongue weight and your hitch weight limit. Then you will know the answer to your question.
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Old 03-05-2020, 08:42 PM   #4
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When we bought are first tt 17 ft trail light hybrid when towing home had alot of sway without wdh . It was a major difference when towing with it I would recommend it for sway and stability
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Old 03-05-2020, 09:53 PM   #5
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ok let me rephrase that. its not a matter of if i can tow the camper. per the manual and camper specs i can tow with either hitch. however i believe my questions have been answered. just looking for some real world experiences. I think i will stick with the wdh for stability and safety. thanks for the replies
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Old 03-05-2020, 10:00 PM   #6
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I don't know what your owner's manual recommends, but my 2019 only mandates a WDH at 7000 lbs and above. Below that, it's recommended. Since your trailer gross is almost 4000 lbs, I'd say it wouldn't hurt. My 192RBS is about 5000 lbs when I hit the road and I use the WDH that the dealer provided. I did find that the sway bar did nothing for me and stopped using it almost immediately. It's rock solid without the sway bar and I had no trouble towing it from Arizona to Alaska. Your experience may differ.
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:17 AM   #7
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I'm at a different scale, but my experience may be analogous to your own.

I went from an F-150 towing a 7,000 lb trailer to an F-350 pulling the same trailer. On the F-150, I needed the WDH to both distribute the weight back to the front axle and also for the integrated sway control.

When I moved up to the 1 ton, I no longer needed to redistribute weight (per the measurements). So, from a pure weight distribution and front axle perspective, I no longer need the WDH. However, I still took the time to set it up properly because I wanted the anti-sway properties of the Equal-I-zer 4-pt system. The anti-sway locks that trailer into place so well that I can't imagine towing without it. Really nice for cross winds we get, the twisties in the mountain passes, and for combating the vacuum effects of passing big rigs.

You may come to a similar conclusion (and maybe you already did based on your response above): you may not need the weight distribution properties of your WDH, but the integrated sway control makes it worthwhile to use.
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:26 AM   #8
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I had a WDH for my 2012 Roo 19 and my 1/2 ton Silverado. One day I decided to take it the 4 miles to storage without bothering with the spring bars.

That one trip showed me the benefit of a WDH just for ride comfort, not even talking about leveling out the truck (which wasn't really sagging much, maybe an inch, BTW).

Can you do it w/o a WDH? Yes.

Should you do it w/o a WDH? I'd say NO, but that's my experience.

UPDATE:

Also, I see the Clipper is a single axle trailer. Single axle trailers tend to be more susceptible to sway. So getting a WDH with sway control, like an Equal-i-zer, seems like a smart move to me.
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Old 03-06-2020, 03:47 PM   #9
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Concur with the others. I'd use the WDH you already have if it will work with that new TT. I would not rush out and buy a new WDH until I've towed it a bit without the WDH.

Side story: I upgraded from 2008 V6 Explorer to a 2019 V8 F150. Went from needing a WDH to it being optional. Used it anyways. Lost a load bar on a 70 mile trip, Didn't notice till setting up at the CG. Just used a basic ball for the trip home. Wind was up so I ran between 5-10 slower than the trip up. No WDH, no probs. But I prefer the locked in towing feel.
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