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Old 06-09-2019, 09:46 AM   #1
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Would I need a WDH

Hello, I am considering purchasing a 213HW and wanted opinions on whether or not I should use a weight distribution system and/or sway bar. I will be towing with a 4-runner which is rated at 4700 towing capacity and 500 tongue weight. I have been using one with my current 17' Hideout travel trailer. As my husband doesn't like to camp, it is a lot of work for a woman so that is one reason I want to downsize to the Aframe. I used to own an Aliner classic and had no problems towing it but I know this one is longer and heavier. Note* I would be using the electric brakes. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:24 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. In my opinion you are really close to needing one. The 213HW specs show an unloaded tongue weight of 372 pounds. The tongue weight will probably be in the mid 400 pound range loaded. We had a Flagstaff T21QBHW A-frame, that I did not use a WDH on, but its empty tongue weight was only 311 pounds. Since you already have a WDH I'd probably have it moved over. At a minimum you'll need sway control.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:06 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! That is what I was afraid of. Lol. Sway bar - no problem but that WDH is a pain!
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:50 PM   #4
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A lot of folks with R-Pods use the Fastway E2 WDH. That includes a whole lot of single women campers who say it is easy to use. Etrailer carries them, See Here for the one you would need. It might be easier to use than your current setup.
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:22 PM   #5
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I towed the largest non-HW PUP with a 2006 Ford Explorer V8 for a few years. PUP was 3,500 lbs. Never used a WDH.

If I got over 65 mph on the freeway, it could get squirrely. Did fine through through the mountains and twisties. Went to 3the eastern part of CO ... drove it to Custer, SD ... and everwhere in between.

It was definitely more stable behind my F-150 -- more weight and longer wheelbase.

I don't think I'd get a WDH for a single-axle, fold-down type of trailer. The key is the relative height of that trailer. My PUP was pretty low. HWs are pushing it, in terms of height and the subsequent interaction with wind.

Any conventional trailer, I wouldn't tow 10 feet without a WDH to control the big wind sail behind the TV.
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 67L48 View Post
Any conventional trailer, I wouldn't tow 10 feet without a WDH to control the big wind sail behind the TV.
A WDH or sway control? I use a friction sway control but I don't use a WDH.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SherryO View Post
Hello, I am considering purchasing a 213HW and wanted opinions on whether or not I should use a weight distribution system and/or sway bar. I will be towing with a 4-runner which is rated at 4700 towing capacity and 500 tongue weight. I have been using one with my current 17' Hideout travel trailer. As my husband doesn't like to camp, it is a lot of work for a woman so that is one reason I want to downsize to the Aframe. I used to own an Aliner classic and had no problems towing it but I know this one is longer and heavier. Note* I would be using the electric brakes. Thanks for the advice!
You will be much happier with a WDH, and will thank yourself when you see how it tows with a WDH.

I can highly recommend the Fastway E2 600/6000 WDH/anti-sway combined into one unit. That's what I used after my minivan and A122 A-frame porpoised going down the road at just 30mph.

We kept the E2 unit when we sold the A122 and moved up to a Flagstaff T21TBHW (same as A213HW). I added a washer (up to 5 instead of 4) to compensate for the higher tongue weight, and I'm back to almost a stock ride on the minivan. Close enough that DW is quite happy to drive for several hours at a time towing the A-frame.

I periodically go camping by myself. The biggest drawback: the hitch head is heavy (about 50lbs), so make a cart if you need one. If your electric tongue jack is marginal, replace it with a strong electric or manual one (I use a manual tongue jack). My bars slip into place or are removed without a lever about 2 cranks of the tongue jack after I start lifting the rear of the minivan.

The WDH/anti-sway adds about 4 minutes to set up/take down time (I'm slow).

I strongly recommend a Prodigy brake controller. I bought a Prodigy 2 because it was cheaper than a P3, and I didn't need the extra prompts on the screen. But the Prodigy is such an improvement over the brake unit the dealer installed. NO MORE getting jerked as the van and A-frame slow to a stop. I set the voltage so I can just barely feel the trailer tugging on the minivan when I apply the brakes. That way, the 2 brake together, and stopping distances are normal.

Hope this helps, but above all enjoy your A-frame. I do.

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Old 06-09-2019, 09:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SherryO View Post
Hello, I am considering purchasing a 213HW and wanted opinions on whether or not I should use a weight distribution system and/or sway bar. I will be towing with a 4-runner which is rated at 4700 towing capacity and 500 tongue weight. I have been using one with my current 17' Hideout travel trailer. As my husband doesn't like to camp, it is a lot of work for a woman so that is one reason I want to downsize to the Aframe. I used to own an Aliner classic and had no problems towing it but I know this one is longer and heavier. Note* I would be using the electric brakes. Thanks for the advice!
I own a 4runner and an a128s Aframe. I personally would not tow my trailer with the 4runner without the wdh. It makes a huge difference IME.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:59 AM   #9
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Thanks to all for the great advice. I would rather be safe than sorry. Happy Trails!
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:11 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=pgandw;2114835]"You will be much happier with a WDH, and will thank yourself when you see how it tows with a WDH."

Curious as to how one knows how much better something will be without ever doing it before.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:10 PM   #11
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When you say the WDH is a big pain what do you really mean? The only "painful" thing I can see is tensioning the bars which most people do the hard way by lowering the trailer onto the ball and then attaching the bars using the "pipe handle" supplied with the WDH to lift against the tension.
Attaching the bars to the trailer while it is on the ball but jacked up doesn't even require the pipe handle to install; lowering the trailer then puts the bars in tension. Removing the bars are just as easy by raising the trailer first. If that isn't what you are referring to then never mind. I've just watched too many people hurt (or almost hurt) themselves by trying to remove the bars while under tension.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:32 AM   #12
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Being a 58 year old woman, I was just hoping to not have to do all that and it was one of the reasons I was considering downsizing to a pop up. I previously had an Aliner that didn't require one and it was a lot easier to hook up than my current 17' Hideout. The weight of the hitch itself is hard for me to put on and off my 4-runner plus the bars, sway bar and all those locking clips really hurt my hands. Not to mention all the grease! LOL. It is doable though and I will do it for safety. That is why I asked. Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:17 PM   #13
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If the weight is an issue, look at the Andersen Weight Distribution Hitches. They are light and easy to install.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:08 PM   #14
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Thanks! I will check into the different kinds that were mentioned by everyone.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:11 AM   #15
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We have a T21TBHW (about the largest Aframe Forest River makes) and tow it with a 2007 V6 4Runner.
We have now camped with this combo for 3 seasons - Texas to Maine & Texas to Banff (Canada). We have not had a single issue without an EH.
Try for yourself without it first; then decide.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moosure View Post
We have a T21TBHW (about the largest Aframe Forest River makes) and tow it with a 2007 V6 4Runner.
We have now camped with this combo for 3 seasons - Texas to Maine & Texas to Banff (Canada). We have not had a single issue without an EH.
Try for yourself without it first; then decide.
That is good to know!! I may try it on a short trip and see. Do you use a sway bar? Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:12 PM   #17
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No sway bar either.
I had to install a hitch and brake controller + decided on a transmission cooler, but the hitch required nothing extra.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moosure View Post
We have a T21TBHW (about the largest Aframe Forest River makes) and tow it with a 2007 V6 4Runner.
We have now camped with this combo for 3 seasons - Texas to Maine & Texas to Banff (Canada). We have not had a single issue without an EH.
Try for yourself without it first; then decide.
I would bet that if you were to use a WDH for one good long trip you would be sold.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:30 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by RedLdr1 View Post
A WDH or sway control? I use a friction sway control but I don't use a WDH.
Good point. I was discussing the sway and control principles of towing a tall box, which is a sway control issue, not a weight distribution problem.

I tend to conflate weight distribution and sway control, since the newer WDH have such good integrated sway control. Probably not a great way to articulate my thoughts without at least more context. I don't know anything about devices that exclusively control for sway.

Thanks.
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:24 AM   #20
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We tow our A122 with a Highlander with nothing but a hitch. I have yet to feel any sway or feeling of being out of control.
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