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Author Topic: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.  (Read 2067 times)

eprovenzano

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Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« on: February 16, 2017, 08:43:25 AM »
I'm in the market for a Weight Distribution Hitch.  I'm trying to educate myself as to their use...  I understand the setup for both the TV and camper, but I'm confused on the anti- sway use.  Does a chain style WDH with a friction anti-sway fight the TV when making sharp turns?  I'm also confused at to the procedure required when backing the camper onto a site. 

Rarely am I lucky enough to find a campsite that's pull through.  Most of the campsites I seem to frequent require a bit of finagling to get the camper onto the site.  Can someone please educate me a little about the use of the WDH, particularly when at the camp site and the what's required when backing onto a site that at times requires some 90 degree angles. 

From what I've read... If the WDH has a separate anti-sway unit, it must be released prior to backing up (that's completely understandable). My question (as I've never used one before) does the weight distribution need to be released as well before backing onto a site.  I ask as I'm looking at two different models of WDH,  One is the chain style which I'd add a friction anti-sway attachment, and a E2 Equalizer WDH with built in anti-sway.  The E2 is a bar style and does not use chains.

Like I stated, I understand the need to release the friction anti-sway prior to backing up, although the E2 is designed to backup without any intervention.  Again when using a chain style WDH, do you need to release WD portion of the hitch prior to backing up considering some of the severe angles I need at times to get onto a camp site.  From what I've read, the E2 does not require anything and can be used like a regular bumper pull hitch. 

Of course there's a sizable price difference between them...  Currently I'm leaning towards going with the E2, but being a cheap SOB, I don't like to spend money I don't need to... What's the forum's thoughts...   

regval

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 08:56:52 AM »
I have a friction anti-sway bar on my WDH, which is used to tow my travel trailer. I always release the friction of the anti-sway when backing to reduce the chance of damaging the anti-sway bar.
I don't release the WDH tension bars until I'm parked.

Reggie
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer
Lawrenceville, GA

"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

kdbgoat

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 08:58:56 AM »
Yes, it is recommended to remove friction type devices before backing up. I don't know about the E2. I use a Reese Dual Cam, and don't have to remove the bars before backing, and most others don't either if properly set up. I think I would have issues with other things before I would have issues with the hitch. Unfortunately, I crunched the corner of the bed on my 2013 Ram, and didn't have an issue with the hitch.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

eprovenzano

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 09:26:27 AM »
Thanks guys... I've bumper pulled trailers for years but never needed a WDH until now...  The E2 is somewhat similar to the Reese Dual Cam but not quite up to its capabilities.  If I understand what your're telling me, when backing up when using a chain style WDH that uses a friction anti-sway, simply release / remove the anti-sway and back the camper into place. 

I appreciate the responses...  thanks.

lone_star_dsl

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2017, 09:30:52 AM »
When I had my TT and WDH, I removed the bars before backing into a site and sway control.
2007 KZ Sportsman 36SE3 Toy Hauler
2016 Ram 3500, CTD, Aisin, Dually
Monument, CO

Gods Country

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 09:36:51 AM »
My friction sway is suppose to be removed before making sharp turns.  Typically I remove the WD arms too.  They need to come off anyway.

Joezeppy

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 10:20:25 AM »
I used the original Equal-i-zer hitch on two TT's and never unhooked to backup - frequently at severe angles.
Joe & Kim
Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
2010 GMC Sierra 2500HD - 6.0L
2017 Keystone Hideout 295BHS
Andersen Ultimate Aluminum 5th wheel hitch

Jeff in Ferndale Wa

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 10:39:20 AM »
I've been using the E2 for a couple years now, and haven't yet had to unhook before backing in. It's my only experience with WD hitches.
2007 Springdale 260
2008 Ford F250
2004 Honda Goldwing GL1800
Rampage Motorcycle Lift

Currently at work in King Cove, Alaska

Patnsuzanne

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2017, 05:53:35 PM »
We use the Equalizer and have not needed to pull the bars when backing into a site, including a number of tight ones with a pretty tight angle from the truck.
2016 Toyota Tundra Extended Cab
5.7 V8
Equalizer WD hitch
Tekonsha P3
Venture Sporttrek 27RL

Cant Wait

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2017, 06:18:40 PM »
X2 on not having to unhook our Equalizer  brand hitch for the 6 years we had a TT.
2012 Winnebago "Our Incredible Journey"  40U
2008 Dakota Sport 4x4
2004 Subaru Baja - DW's
2005 Honda Shadow Aero - TOAD for now
Home - Western NY

scottydl

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2017, 09:53:02 AM »
My friction sway is suppose to be removed before making sharp turns.  Typically I remove the WD arms too.  They need to come off anyway.

This is my general technique also... although as mentioned, the spring bars (L-shaped with chain hangers) seem to be designed to handle the sharp-turn backing and rotate accordingly.  The function anti-sway device I usually just remove completely before I back into a site.  Again that's probably not required and could just be loosened, but it eventually needs to be removed anyway as mentioned above.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

eprovenzano

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2017, 08:21:44 AM »
Just wanted to thank everyone for their comments...  After careful consideration and a lot of research, I ended up purchasing a Curt Weight Distribution System w/ Friction Sway Control.  It's the Round Bar style 1K TW, 10K GTW with separate anti-sway friction control.  I also had to order a extended drop hitch to accommodate the height of my truck. 

Next will be to find a nice level spot to set the WDH up...

Again thanks for the responses. 

trcgdb

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2017, 06:19:05 AM »
My dealer installed a Centerline WDH but he never mentioned the need to remove the sway bars before backing into a site. I haven't had a problem yet but should I start removing them.
2016 Salem Hemisphere Hyper Lyte 23RB
2015 Ram 1500 Eco Diesel
Quad with 3.55 rear end

eprovenzano

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2017, 07:30:48 PM »
With the purchase of the NTU HTT last fall and a new TV (2015 Ram 1500), and the thought that we want to do a 1500 mile trip soon, I thought I'd better get weight distribution hitch set up. I've watched several videos on the setup read and re-read the instructions and thought I'd take advantage of a sunny Sunday afternoon and get the hitch set up.

I followed all the instructions and ended up after the weight distribution is in place with the tongue about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch higher than dead level. The measurements of the truck was the rear squats about a 1/2 inch and the front is within a 1/4 inch of its unladen height.

Knowing the camper is not fully loaded, I tried to to cover for the items we still need to put into the camper, so I had an additional 200 lbs of weight in the bed. Of the truck behind the axle. I'll recheck all measurements again once we're fully loaded, but I'm comfortable that I'm very close with this current. setup . 

Now I just need to finish transferring the old gear from the pup.  I need to dewinterize, but that will be done just prior to heading out.

blw2

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2017, 10:45:13 AM »
......

Now I just need to finish transferring the old gear from the pup. ....

ha ha, good memory.  Reminds me of the day we traded our popup to the MH.  It was raining by the time the deal was done, and the stuff was in the back of the pickup under cover, and in the cab.  There wasn't enough space in the campsite we had reserved that night, so we found a larger parking lot in the state park, opened the MH awning, and backed the truck up under the awning to the door and pitched it all in.  With fresh memories of the work that popup could be in the rain, I was really loving the MH life!
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

eprovenzano

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2017, 09:04:23 AM »
Just an update after our 1,500 mile trip.  My Ram 1500 Laramie pulling a 23' Palomino HTT from the Pittsburgh area to Huntington Beach State Park SC (just below Myrtle Beach) went without issue.  When we pulled out, it was all of 9 degrees.  It was a struggle (frozen hands) to get the WDH set up.  My hands were so cold, I decided to try it without the friction sway bar.  The WDH made pulling the HTT easy.  No seesaw effect, the trailer tracked perfectly. About 6 hours into the trip, we started to experience some high winds.  I didn't have any queasy moments, but decided to put the friction anti-sway bar on during a refueling stop.  Again... a perfect compliment to a good set-up.  You could feel the winds, pushing / pulling you, but the trailer tracked like it was on rails. 

The trip home again was a non-issue...  we had to travel through an area with a severe high wind warnings.  Not once did I have a while knuckle moment.  The truck and trailer stayed where I pointed and never wavered.  For those wondering if they need a WDH...  the answer is yes... With the WDH the TV and trailer are more of a single unit.  When going over bumps the suspension of the two work together.  Without, you get the seesaw effect of the tail wagging the dog.  I'd also recommend getting some sort of anti-sway control. it really does perform as advertised.  For me, I'm very happy with the Curt WDH and friction anti-sway.  Someday I may upgrade to a better system, but for now, I'm one happy camper.

Thanks to those who helped guide me and answer my many questions. 

Joezeppy

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2017, 10:09:34 AM »
Glad you had a good trip. It is amazing what a difference a good WDH can make. I had towed my prior TT to a couple of local campgrounds (under 10 miles) without the WDH hooked up. All the weights were within the trucks's specs but it rode totally different, especially on the back roads!
Joe & Kim
Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
2010 GMC Sierra 2500HD - 6.0L
2017 Keystone Hideout 295BHS
Andersen Ultimate Aluminum 5th wheel hitch

muskoka guy

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  • 2000 Coachmen Santara 370 isb cummins diesel
Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2017, 10:47:00 AM »
Not always advisable to travel in a severe wind warning. We stopped one night in a 40 ft dp because the winds got up. We heard on the tv that a tractor trailer got blown on its side the same way we were heading. Sometimes better to wait it out than take a chance.

RVRAC

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2017, 12:46:46 PM »
"Not always advisable to travel in a severe wind warning. "

X2.  Glad you had a good time.
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.

drewtk

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2017, 01:32:40 PM »
I always remove my bars if it's a decently sharp back in.

kwbush

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  • South Jersey
    • The Buschs of Ruscombmanor Township and beyond...
Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2017, 04:11:08 PM »
I didn't remove the bars when backing in a space once (90* left and right), now I have two large dimples in my truck's bumper and have no further need to remove the bars anymore...  :-[


Forest Gump said it first... "Stupid is as stupid does"


Keith
Keith & Laraine Bush

2005 Fleetwood Prowler 270FQS
1995 Chevy Silverado C2500

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.    Mark Twain

eprovenzano

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Re: Using a weight Distribution Hitch when backing camper onto site.
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2017, 09:59:31 AM »
I didn't remove the bars when backing in a space once (90* left and right), now I have two large dimples in my truck's bumper and have no further need to remove the bars anymore...  :-[


Forest Gump said it first... "Stupid is as stupid does"


Keith

NOW THAT"S FUNNY!!!!

 

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