Originally Posted by HandiJohn1
The WD hitch is something I am still trying to figure out what I need.I know too heavy and the trailer will act like a beaver tail on the road-no good-and too light will not have any benefit either.
So I own a camper that should weigh 3600 pounds empty.My truck could pull 7000 pounds.I am sure I could add 2000 pounds of stuff for my trip.so I am at 6000 pounds.
Is a 10,000 pound WD hitch too stiff?
There are 2 ratings on a WD hitch. They limit the amount of pull which is the 10,000#. However the second rating line up with the loaded tongue weight of the camper. In many cases, not all, the WD bars are rated around 10% of the pull ratings. So a 10,000# pull rating "may" have a 1,000# max loaded tongue weight rating. But then again it depends on the WD bar itself what the tongue weight rating is.
On Travel Trailers most times we do not run out of pull rating but often can on tongue weight rating.
See these WD bars.
This one is a 800# tongue weight with 10,000# pull rating.
This one is a 1,200# tongue weight with 12,000# pull rating.
The size of the WD hitch and WD bars you need is one that is heavy enough for the weight of your loaded trailer tongue and large enough to pull the loaded camper. The best way to do tongue weight is by loading the camper with camping "stuff" and then weigh the tongue. You can do this at a commercial truck scale, garden center etc. Or you can use the bath scale method where they use leverage to not overload the scale. If you want to try the bath scale method, see here. Scroll down a little bit to see the method. It is not totally accurate but good enough for this on small campers.
Determining Trailer Tongue Weight | etrailer.com
So once you know the loaded tongue weight then you get a WD hitch with WD bars strong enough for the weight. You can be a little over, just not grossly over. And you really do not want to be under by a lot as the spring bar is not heavy enough then.
I lost track, what year is your camper? We can look it up and estimate what league of tongue weight you are in.
Also need to look at the receiver on your truck. There is a sticker there most times or in the owners manual that lists the rating of the receiver. Here is the tag off my truck before I upgraded the receiver for more tongue weight.
Mine was rated for 1,250# in weight distributing mode. Meaning when using a WD hitch. Point in this is the TT loaded tongue weight does not want to be a lot larger than the weight distributing mode of the truck receiver. In this case either move some things in the camper or upgrade the receiver if the rear axle on the truck can handle it. Just do not move all the weight off the front and put it on the back wall. The camper needs to be balanced right too.
Now to backing up, you may have heard the catch all statement about, do not back up with the sway bars on... The problem with that wide open statement is no on ever explained it. The WD hitch and a friction sway bar has no idea which direction the truck is going. I'm also assuming you are referring to a standard WD hitch with a friction type anti sway bar. The type of WD hitch I have, has no sway bar, just WD bars and high friction on cams to create the anti sway system. There are a lot of different brands and type of WD hitches. Some better than others pending what trailer they are going on and how you are using it.
Here is the deal on this. For the WD hitch part, in most all cases the WD bar can stay on when backing up. The hitch needs to be set up right to not bind but I have not yet seen one that you cannot safely back up with the WD bars on.
Now to the friction sway bar. Again these telescoping devices have no idea which way the truck is going. If you need to back up a small amount to make a turn, then go for it. Back up, turn and go back forward. Just go slow, do not stomp on it. The sway bar will track right along just fine.
OK now at the camp site. Here is where the concern can come from. When backing into a camp site where you crank the steering wheel really hard, there is then the potential of the sway bar to grab and get bent when the turn is close to max angle going semi fast. So they recommend either loosening up the sway bar or take it off, but you still leave the WD bars on while backing.
Most times at the campsite you have to get out and check in and pay or move a picnic table. Then just take off or loosen it up. You do not need the sway bar driving around in camp. This only is needed on the large backing turns as you can approach jack knife faster back up than going forward. If the back into the site is pretty straight, then just back up.
Here is a pic of a standard round bar WD hitch with a friction type anti sway bar.
Hope this helps and ask away if you need more.