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Old 06-14-2024, 06:26 PM   #1
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Which Camco TR3 or Recurve R3

I'm looking for a weight distribution hitch to tow my GeoPro 20 BHS (3600 lb dry / 490 lb tongue weight) with an F-150. The two Camco products seem to get good reviews and are reasonably priced (R3 cheaper), but I don't know which weight to look at... 400 lb. (max 600 lb tongue weight) or 600 lb. (max 800 lb tongue weight). Camco suggested the stiffer one, but it seems to me I might be better off with the lighter one. What do you pros think? Anyone use these hitches with similar weight trailers?
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Old 06-14-2024, 07:45 PM   #2
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More weight

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Originally Posted by g.spalding View Post
I'm looking for a weight distribution hitch to tow my GeoPro 20 BHS (3600 lb dry / 490 lb tongue weight) with an F-150. The two Camco products seem to get good reviews and are reasonably priced (R3 cheaper), but I don't know which weight to look at... 400 lb. (max 600 lb tongue weight) or 600 lb. (max 800 lb tongue weight). Camco suggested the stiffer one, but it seems to me I might be better off with the lighter one. What do you pros think? Anyone use these hitches with similar weight trailers?
Don't decide based on a dry weight number. Your trailer will always weigh much more than that. Figure 12% of the maximum weight. Get the higher capacity WDH.
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Old 06-14-2024, 08:26 PM   #3
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You'll be closer to 20%. I use the Fastway e2 800 lb trunnion bar WDH with my GeoPro. It is still good for only a 700 lb tongue weight. If you have a pair of good golf cart batts on the tongue (150 lbs), a bike rack with 2 bikes on the tongue, some water in your fresh tank, 2 full propane tanks, and all the other stuff you normally camp with, expect your tongue weight to be easily 600-700 lbs, maybe higher. Nature of the beast with single axle units.
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Old 06-15-2024, 05:41 AM   #4
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My spec'd tongue weight is 778 lbs. first thing I bought when I got home was a tongue weight scale, we loaded up like we were going on a year long sabbatical, checked the tongue weight it was a whopping 1200lbs (about 13-14% of trailer weight) , went looking for information, found this site -- and started to read the threads, learned a lot and still learning, took some sage advice (NJKris is spot on) to heart and put the camper on a diet, tongue weight is still around 1100lbs but within my comfort factor. The EAZ-Lift R3 has worked well for me it shifted enough weight to the front of the truck and the sway control is easy to adjust, plus it seems to provide a soft ride, 1200lb bars may be better but I don't want to over stress the trailer tongue.
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Old 06-15-2024, 09:30 AM   #5
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My spec'd tongue weight is 778 lbs. first thing I bought when I got home was a tongue weight scale, we loaded up like we were going on a year long sabbatical, checked the tongue weight it was a whopping 1200lbs (about 13-14% of trailer weight) , went looking for information, found this site -- and started to read the threads, learned a lot and still learning, took some sage advice (NJKris is spot on) to heart and put the camper on a diet, tongue weight is still around 1100lbs but within my comfort factor. The EAZ-Lift R3 has worked well for me it shifted enough weight to the front of the truck and the sway control is easy to adjust, plus it seems to provide a soft ride, 1200lb bars may be better but I don't want to over stress the trailer tongue.
Thanks for the kind words! Yeah, that tongue weight percentage goes out the window on single axle trailers like our GeoPros. A decent set of batteries and the other gear I mentioned pushes that tongue weight up pretty high, pretty quick.
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Old 06-15-2024, 09:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spalding View Post
I'm looking for a weight distribution hitch to tow my GeoPro 20 BHS (3600 lb dry / 490 lb tongue weight) with an F-150. The two Camco products seem to get good reviews and are reasonably priced (R3 cheaper), but I don't know which weight to look at... 400 lb. (max 600 lb tongue weight) or 600 lb. (max 800 lb tongue weight). Camco suggested the stiffer one, but it seems to me I might be better off with the lighter one. What do you pros think? Anyone use these hitches with similar weight trailers?
Here is an interesting video for you to watch:


I also contacted Camco and was told to pick the weight trunnion bars that puts your tongue weight right in the middle. My fully loaded tongue weight is 500 lbs, unloaded weight 400 lbs. He recommended the 400 Lb bars that are rated 400 to 600lbs because as he put it "you want the bars to be able to work". I also was worried about stress on the A-Frame since these newer trailers are built to a minimum. There were also some online complaints of damage to the R3 Recurve bars from jack knife (sharp back-in) maneuvers because they are fixed into the trailer bracket and can't shift.
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Old 06-15-2024, 10:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by wlfclf2000 View Post
Here is an interesting video for you to watch:


I also contacted Camco and was told to pick the weight trunnion bars that puts your tongue weight right in the middle. My fully loaded tongue weight is 500 lbs, unloaded weight 400 lbs. He recommended the 400 Lb bars that are rated 400 to 600lbs because as he put it "you want the bars to be able to work". I also was worried about stress on the A-Frame since these newer trailers are built to a minimum. There were also some online complaints of damage to the R3 Recurve bars from jack knife (sharp back-in) maneuvers because they are fixed into the trailer bracket and can't shift.
I can see that happening. Although my trunion bars are made to slide a bit on the A-frame brackets (friction for sway control), if I go over unusual terrain, like a dip going into my campsite, the brackets on the A-frame become canted a little, and eventually require remounting the brackets vertically. I need to remember to disengage/removed the bars before doing these harsh maneuvers. Maybe sharp angle backing also does it, but I'm thinking it's big dips and such that make them cant rearwards.
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Old 06-15-2024, 10:21 AM   #8
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I would try towing without a WHD

F150 should handle such a small load
measure your front fender before and after you hookup the trailer

if your front fender moves UP a lot look at WDH
V6 engine may weigh less so it is easier to lift with trailer weight on back?
The old V8's I towed with were beasts ... and I even towed a trailer with bobcat on it...

(PS... I think the bobcat was a bit over weight ... but my boss and the rental company said it was OK)
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Old 06-15-2024, 10:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by NJKris View Post
I can see that happening. Although my trunion bars are made to slide a bit on the A-frame brackets (friction for sway control), if I go over unusual terrain, like a dip going into my campsite, the brackets on the A-frame become canted a little, and eventually require remounting the brackets vertically. I need to remember to disengage/removed the bars before doing these harsh maneuvers. Maybe sharp angle backing also does it, but I'm thinking it's big dips and such that make them cant rearwards.
NJKris,
I was referring to the R3 Recurve. The trunnion bars have a bolt at the bracket that locks them in from shifting fore and aft. The TR3 is designed like yours so the bars can shift on the bracket.
I had an Andersen Hitch, but my tongue weight was not enough to engage the anti-friction cone without cranking up the weight distribution which I did, and the hitch worked fine. The problem is I tow with a Honda Ridgeline. I did not like putting more weight forward as the Ridgeline is a unibody vehicle. The TR3 allows me to add anti sway without shifting more weight.
For someone who has a body on frame truck with a tongue weight 600 to 800Lbs the Andersen would be a great hitch.
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Old 06-15-2024, 10:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
I would try towing without a WHD

F150 should handle such a small load
measure your front fender before and after you hookup the trailer

if your front fender moves UP a lot look at WDH
V6 engine may weigh less so it is easier to lift with trailer weight on back?
The old V8's I towed with were beasts ... and I even towed a trailer with bobcat on it...

(PS... I think the bobcat was a bit over weight ... but my boss and the rental company said it was OK)
Depends on the year? My 2015 V8 has a 500 lb tongue weight limit with no WDH (Something like a single axle GeoPro can easily exceed that). My hitch weight allowance goes up to 1220 lbs with a WDH.
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Old 06-15-2024, 10:59 AM   #11
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NJKris,
I was referring to the R3 Recurve. The trunnion bars have a bolt at the bracket that locks them in from shifting fore and aft. The TR3 is designed like yours so the bars can shift on the bracket.
I had an Andersen Hitch, but my tongue weight was not enough to engage the anti-friction cone without cranking up the weight distribution which I did, and the hitch worked fine. The problem is I tow with a Honda Ridgeline. I did not like putting more weight forward as the Ridgeline is a unibody vehicle. The TR3 allows me to add anti sway without shifting more weight.
For someone who has a body on frame truck with a tongue weight 600 to 800Lbs the Andersen would be a great hitch.
Yeah, a lot of those unibody vehicles you have to be careful with.
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Old 06-18-2024, 04:16 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone... I'm going to order the TR3 600 lb. with maximum tongue weight of 800 lbs.
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Old 06-18-2024, 08:24 PM   #13
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Yeah, a lot of those unibody vehicles you have to be careful with.
I think having a unibody just makes me more cautious. The truck pulls this trailer great and really does not squat like many body-on-frame trucks. I think there are many who are doing damage to their trucks because they think "because it's a truck" it can take it.
My Ridgeline is very comfortable and capable. I hope to get out soon with the new hitch and dial it in. I went with the 400 to 600 Lb TR3 Hitch because I actually have a hitch weight scale and I know my hitch weight. My trailer has a rear kitchen and large pantry so fully loaded it only adds about 100 lbs to the 400Lb tongue making it 500 lbs.
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Old 06-20-2024, 11:27 AM   #14
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It makes the most sense to find accurate hitch weight as you did, rather than guess, in order to end up with the right bar spring weight. (Specs for your trailer at RVUSA website show 516 lbs. dry.) But hitch weight scales seem pretty expensive for a one-time use.
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Old 06-20-2024, 11:38 AM   #15
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Alternatives

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Originally Posted by g.spalding View Post
It makes the most sense to find accurate hitch weight as you did, rather than guess, in order to end up with the right bar spring weight. (Specs for your trailer at RVUSA website show 516 lbs. dry.) But hitch weight scales seem pretty expensive for a one-time use.
There are several alternatives, but only one seems really attractive.
  1. Get the trailer home, load it up, go to the CAT scale and take three measurements ($10). Then buy the WDH. That drive, loaded, without the hitch could exceed the TV's limits, and the drive could be dangerous.
  2. Build the adapter that lets you use a bathroom scale. It requires some skills. Accuracy depends on the accuracy of the adapter measurements and the operator's skills.
  3. Get your dealer to loan you his hitch scale. Load up the trailer at home and measure the hitch weight there. Only requirement is that you need a flat spot at/near home.
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Old 06-20-2024, 11:59 AM   #16
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Empty weight rating

For the life of me, I can't understand why people insist on using Empty Weight numbers for calculating or deciding on anything. While it is not incorrect, it is the weight as the unit left the factory. It will ALWAYS be more than that number. Likewise for tongue weight.

It is like people, as a baby you weighed xx lbs as you came out of the factory. The fact is, you will never be that weight again.

Please for your safety and the sanity of others, always use GVWR and 15% of that for tongue weight.

Empty weight + cargo weight is GVWR.

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Old 06-20-2024, 01:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by g.spalding View Post
It makes the most sense to find accurate hitch weight as you did, rather than guess, in order to end up with the right bar spring weight. (Specs for your trailer at RVUSA website show 516 lbs. dry.) But hitch weight scales seem pretty expensive for a one-time use.
That is correct but some things I removed from the trailer (like outside griddle and shelf and inside large table) as I won't be using. My trailer has a rear kitchen so everything from food to pots, pans, toaster oven, etc. shift weight to the rear of the axil. I switched out the battery to lithium so that helps. I also use large bins in the truck bed for all set up supplies as it gives me good access and makes it easier when I get home to store. I have a Bak Revolver bed cover, so the truck bed is secure.

When I purchased the trailer, I towed it home without a WDH and it towed fine. I really am interested in sway control; we have all seen those videos of how fast trailers can get out of control. I don't need or intend to shift all the tongue weight so the TR3 is ideal as I can control sway independent of how much weight is transferred.
I did purchase a hitch scale for $160 and use it every time I load up. This is a small investment considering how much I have invested the truck and trailer. I also CAT scaled the rig to make sure everything was safe.

We just returned from a two-week Maryland to San Antonio trip fully loaded with 10 gallons in the fresh water for flushing on the road and the tongue weight was just over 500 lbs. These single axel trailers are tricky to balance.
Good luck and always have fun...
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Old 06-20-2024, 09:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by wlfclf2000 View Post
That is correct but some things I removed from the trailer (like outside griddle and shelf and inside large table) as I won't be using. My trailer has a rear kitchen so everything from food to pots, pans, toaster oven, etc. shift weight to the rear of the axil. I switched out the battery to lithium so that helps. I also use large bins in the truck bed for all set up supplies as it gives me good access and makes it easier when I get home to store. I have a Bak Revolver bed cover, so the truck bed is secure.

When I purchased the trailer, I towed it home without a WDH and it towed fine. I really am interested in sway control; we have all seen those videos of how fast trailers can get out of control. I don't need or intend to shift all the tongue weight so the TR3 is ideal as I can control sway independent of how much weight is transferred.
I did purchase a hitch scale for $160 and use it every time I load up. This is a small investment considering how much I have invested the truck and trailer. I also CAT scaled the rig to make sure everything was safe.

We just returned from a two-week Maryland to San Antonio trip fully loaded with 10 gallons in the fresh water for flushing on the road and the tongue weight was just over 500 lbs. These single axel trailers are tricky to balance.
Good luck and always have fun...
Yup. You don't want to go too crazy 'balancing'. More hitch weight is good as long as you are within limits of tow vehicle.

Quote:
Uneven weight distribution is a significant cause of trailer swaying. If you load too much weight towards the rear of your trailer, the trailerís rear gets overburdened. In such cases, the rear end can act as a pendulum that swings back and forth during the movement of your trailer. As the trailer makes this movement, it can pull your vehicle along. Loading too much weight towards the front of your caravan can cause your towing vehicle to sag, and your front tires may lose traction. This problem will diminish your steering control, and make you lose control over your vehicle. Manufacturers tell trailer owners to ensure that the hitch weight exerted by the trailer at the hitching point should be at least 10% to 12% of the entire trailer weight to prevent swaying.
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Old 06-20-2024, 09:27 PM   #19
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Yup. You don't want to go too crazy 'balancing'. More hitch weight is good as long as you are within limits of tow vehicle.
When I say balance, I mean making sure to keep the tongue weight at or above 10%. My trailer weighs about 4400-4600 lbs so 500 lbs tongue weight is ideal.
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Old 06-21-2024, 07:46 AM   #20
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Does anyone have info on how long the brake material inside the Eaz-Lift sway control mechanism is expected to last? I have the R3 hitch. Can't find any info on the Eaz-Lift website about a service interval, or if the thing is even serviceable vs. disposable.

Has anyone seen photos of the mechanism disassembled?
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