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Old 03-04-2021, 03:21 PM   #1
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Default Noob WDH question

Howdy all,

I am looking to pick up a new Ameri-Lite Super Lite 189dd (3850 GVW) and will be towing with an Acura MDX, 5K tow rating. I am wondering if I will need to do a weight distribution hitch or sway control hitch? Is this total overkill? I would definitely like to err on the side of safety!

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:33 PM   #2
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The 5k tow rating means next to nothing, to be honest. Your hitch rating is 500lbs tongue weight. At 3850 GVW for the trailer you are looking at about 575 lbs tongue weight, max. Specs for the trailer says 350 lbs hitch weight (which also means next to nothing, really). Add to the 350 lbs spec the weight of propane to fill the bottles and the weight of the battery(ies) on the tongue and you are getting close to 500 lbs before you add cargo in the trailer and any water you carry.

WDH? Yes. And you need to add 50lbs to the tongue weight to account for WDH head. Sway control? Maybe. I would get a WDH that has the option to add sway control. If you ever have to apply the trailer brakes to control sway, then you need sway control.
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:00 PM   #3
Chuck v
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My wife's MDX has a hitch and it is a bit of a pig to tow with -- too short a wheel base and too low a hitch we always tow with the 1/2 ton truck or at least the extended Aerostar van. I tend to subscribe to the guidance of keeping the ACTUAL trailer weight (use a scale, your estimates will be low and the factory numbers don't begin to account for options, fluids or people) to not more than 80% of the remaining tow rating of the pulling vehicle after accounting for its added payload which deducts from the 'factory' rating, which is just the bare vehicle and a driver of about 150 lbs.

Use a good proportional brake controller and of course a WDH...but with the MDX wheel base of 111 inches you are already trying to tow a 21 foot trailer that recommendations say should have a tow vehicle of AT LEAST 114 inches to start.

Stay safe out there.

2007 Tour Master T40C
Acura MDX toad

"It takes a great deal of time to recover from any improvement..."
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:04 AM   #4
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Thanks for your responses! I appreciate it! Looks like I'll have to do more research and most likely rethink my TT and or TV options.
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Old 03-05-2021, 01:28 PM   #5
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My two cents (well it is a discussion forum, right):

I would definitely use a WDH and add the sway control system right from the start. Short vehicle wheelbase + long trailer = more potential sway.

Until I got to this forum and read ChuckV's posts, I'd not been aware of a formula for tow vehicle wheelbase to trailer length. Good stuff.
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Old 03-14-2021, 09:22 AM   #6
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All gear, full coolers, propane, battery, ALL people in the tow vehicle, add up and when added to empty weight of trailer, gets you pretty close to "DON'T DO IT". A good number to remember is 80% of tow limit, that is 4000 pounds. With that number, you would be over. A ton of vehicles can 'tow' a trailer, but can it stop it safely is the real question. i would rethink this
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