Weight Distribution Hitch with a Travel Trailer - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Weight Distribution Hitch with a Travel Trailer

I'm sure this has been asked before but I'm having trouble finding the answer even after searching. I have a 2017 Colorado z71 short box with the factory towing package. I've always towed small boats in the past but we are buying a travel trailer and I want to make sure I have the right gear. I'm in the process of buying a brake controller but I'm wondering if I need a weight distribution hitch because I've never used one before. The trailer is 21'5" and has a dry weight of 3285, fully loaded of 4400with tongue weight being 485.

If anyone could give me some insight, I'd really appreciate it.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 04:27 PM
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I tow a ~5,500 lb travel trailer with this truck (and I wouldn't want to tow much more than that). I definitely recommend a weight distribution hitch. Specifically, I use the ProPride as it does a fantastic job of preventing trailer sway. That thing tracks right behind me; never had a hint of sway. It's pricey, but you are talking about your family's safety.

Last edited by Shawn O'Leary; 09-25-2017 at 04:32 PM.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeremy Lutz View Post
I'm sure this has been asked before but I'm having trouble finding the answer even after searching. I have a 2017 Colorado z71 short box with the factory towing package. I've always towed small boats in the past but we are buying a travel trailer and I want to make sure I have the right gear. I'm in the process of buying a brake controller but I'm wondering if I need a weight distribution hitch because I've never used one before. The trailer is 21'5" and has a dry weight of 3285, fully loaded of 4400with tongue weight being 485.

If anyone could give me some insight, I'd really appreciate it.
get both. anything you can do to relieve some stress from the truck will make it last that much longer and tow the trailer better.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 07:18 PM
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General rule of thumb, trailer over 2000 GVW pounds you want a brake controller and a weight distributing hitch. Get the right tools for the job!
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for chiming in. I'm going to do both. Appreciate it!
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 06:39 AM
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Get a WDH that also has sway control built in. There are a few manufactures that have it. The Equalizer 4-way, The reese has a cam locking system and there a few others. Travel trailers are big sail's and catch the wind. Don't cheap out on a WDH get a quality one. Watch this video for some insight and etrailer customer support is very helpful. A good place to buy from with good prices.
https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Wei...tribution.aspx
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Last edited by boborc; 09-26-2017 at 06:43 AM.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 08:37 AM
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Get a WDH that also has sway control built in. There are a few manufactures that have it. The Equalizer 4-way, The reese has a cam locking system and there a few others. Travel trailers are big sail's and catch the wind. Don't cheap out on a WDH get a quality one. Watch this video for some insight and etrailer customer support is very helpful. A good place to buy from with good prices.
https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Wei...tribution.aspx
I tried towing with a Blue Ox (I think that was the name) and the friction-based system for controlling sway wasn't fail-proof. That's when I got the ProPride. There's a similar system/technology called Hensley Arrow. Both of those use physics to prevent sway. It basically locks out the ball and projects the trailer's pivot point to beneath the rear axle. The only way the hitch will allow a pivot is if the turning force is applied by the truck - the trailer cannot impart a turning/swaying force. It's a lot more money, but really is a fabulous hitch.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 11:48 AM
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+1 on the sway controller on the heavy loads.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 02:03 PM
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I've found that with shorter trailers (under24-26'including hitch) they really like a lot of tongue weight. Mine is 26' total length and weights 5400 loaded, it tows perfectly with 700-750lbs of tongue weight, any less and it will wiggle a little even with sway control. As mentioned, you will need a WDH. There's a million on the market and all will work if properly setup. My dealer installed this one


and it has worked fine for me.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 06:17 PM
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General rule of thumb, trailer over 2000 GVW pounds you want a brake controller and a weight distributing hitch. Get the right tools for the job!
2,000lbs?

I have a 3,000lb Boat & trailer and it doesnít even have trailer brakes. Single axles are normally 3,500lbs each axles (what I have). When you have dual axle - youíre talking 7,000lbs and need trailer brakes.

Iím not sure if this varies by state on when/if you need trailer brakes.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 08:10 PM
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Wd hitch is a must. Boats have a much lower center of gravity. Iím towing a heartland wilderness 2750 rl right at 6k loaded. I have a Reese pro hitch with sway control. Also get the clearview tow mirrors.


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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Shawn O'Leary View Post
I tried towing with a Blue Ox (I think that was the name) and the friction-based system for controlling sway wasn't fail-proof. That's when I got the ProPride. There's a similar system/technology called Hensley Arrow. Both of those use physics to prevent sway. It basically locks out the ball and projects the trailer's pivot point to beneath the rear axle. The only way the hitch will allow a pivot is if the turning force is applied by the truck - the trailer cannot impart a turning/swaying force. It's a lot more money, but really is a fabulous hitch.
We have a blue ox sway pro hitch and tow a 5,200 lb dry weight travel trailer. The hitch has worked great once set up correctly. Have towed trailer from MN to AK and back and experienced no sway and only slight push pull when semi trucks pass. I would agree that the ProPride is a much better hitch but in my case at least was not necessary.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 10:46 PM
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2,000lbs?

I have a 3,000lb Boat & trailer and it doesnít even have trailer brakes. Single axles are normally 3,500lbs each axles (what I have). When you have dual axle - youíre talking 7,000lbs and need trailer brakes.

Iím not sure if this varies by state on when/if you need trailer brakes.
I said general rule of thumb... not law. I know i'd personally wouldn't want to tow over 2000 without trailer brakes but that is me. Seems it does vary by state, general weight requirement for supplemental brakes is 3,000 pounds GVW it seems. So I am a bit off but I like to er on the side of caution and safety. I see WAY too many 4-wheelers towing trailers they should not be with their vehicles!

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Shawn O'Leary View Post
I tried towing with a Blue Ox (I think that was the name) and the friction-based system for controlling sway wasn't fail-proof. That's when I got the ProPride. There's a similar system/technology called Hensley Arrow. Both of those use physics to prevent sway. It basically locks out the ball and projects the trailer's pivot point to beneath the rear axle. The only way the hitch will allow a pivot is if the turning force is applied by the truck - the trailer cannot impart a turning/swaying force. It's a lot more money, but really is a fabulous hitch.
There are other factors that help produce sway. You really need to address them all. A hitch alone is not the save all. Correct set-up is a major thing, Weight balance in the trailer, tire pressure, and quality of tire is a huge thing. A lot of RV manufactures use the cheapest tire available which are nicknamed china bombs by a lot of RV'rs. (made in china and go boom). Take a cheap tire from a rv and compare to something like a goodyear endurance tire. it is night and day. Just the stiffness in the sidewall is huge. And stiffer tires on trailers are better. I'am very pleased with the equalizer hitch with the endurance tire set up running at 60psi. 70mph and practically no sway. I feel very comfortable driving.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 11:36 AM
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We just put a deposit down on a new Geo Pro 19QB. The dealer is telling me I don't need a weight distribution hitch because the trailer is single axle. They throw in the WDH for free "if you need it". I'm guessing that is tied in more to the dollar amount. Any thoughts?

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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeremy Lutz View Post
I'm sure this has been asked before but I'm having trouble finding the answer even after searching. I have a 2017 Colorado z71 short box with the factory towing package. I've always towed small boats in the past but we are buying a travel trailer and I want to make sure I have the right gear. I'm in the process of buying a brake controller but I'm wondering if I need a weight distribution hitch because I've never used one before. The trailer is 21'5" and has a dry weight of 3285, fully loaded of 4400with tongue weight being 485.

If anyone could give me some insight, I'd really appreciate it.
Your Z71 doesn't have a brake controller ? Mine does, maybe cause it has the Diesel !
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 12:18 PM
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We just put a deposit down on a new Geo Pro 19QB. The dealer is telling me I don't need a weight distribution hitch because the trailer is single axle. They throw in the WDH for free "if you need it". I'm guessing that is tied in more to the dollar amount. Any thoughts?
I don't see the number of axles would be a factor at all, and if anything for the same trailer weight having a single axle would probably make it more likely to need a WD hitch. Unless I'm missing something, needing a WD hitch is a function of tongue weight, and that's a function of trailer weight.
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
I don't see the number of axles would be a factor at all, and if anything for the same trailer weight having a single axle would probably make it more likely to need a WD hitch. Unless I'm missing something, needing a WD hitch is a function of tongue weight, and that's a function of trailer weight.
This was my thinking as well. I feel like they just don't want to give me one since I'm not spending $50k. Which is fine, I didn't realize it was an option before we worked out the deal anyway. I will likely just purchase one on my own. I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something the more seasoned trailer towers might know.

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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 06:13 PM
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This was my thinking as well. I feel like they just don't want to give me one since I'm not spending $50k. Which is fine, I didn't realize it was an option before we worked out the deal anyway. I will likely just purchase one on my own. I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something the more seasoned trailer towers might know.
Definitely want a WDH w/ built-in sway control with a single-axle trailer (or really any travel trailer, single-axle or double-axle), whoever said that a single-axle trailer doesn't need a WDH shouldn't be selling trailers. They may have said that because single-axle trailers are lighter than double-axle trailers, but that doesn't negate the need for a WDH.

I've used the Fastway e2 hitch (cheaper version of the Equal-i-zer hitch, made by the same company but only has 2-point sway control instead of 4-point) but the weight of the hitch head was trigging a back injury so I switched to an Andersen WDH. Love it, super easy to hitch up and adjust whenever needed (not really the case for other WDH w/ built-in sway control because you have to unbolt and make adjustments) and it's silent (again not really the case with other WDH w/ sway control). Avoid a basic WDH that requires a separate anti-sway friction bar as those are pretty much garbage and make it a pain to back into tight spaces since you have to remove the friction bar first.

Andersen info: https://andersenhitches.com/Catalog/...ion-hitch.aspx

Equal-i-zer info: https://www.equalizerhitch.com

Fastway e2 info: https://www.fastwaytrailer.com/e2-hitch

There are other brands and types of WDH w/ anti-sway as mentioned earlier in the thread, lots of options to choose from based on how much you want to spend (if the dealer-provided option is a basic WDH with no built-in sway control I would decline or ask for at least the Fastway e2 which would be the lowest cost option).

Attached a pic of my Andersen hitched up and ready to go.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DieselDrax View Post
Definitely want a WDH w/ built-in sway control with a single-axle trailer (or really any travel trailer, single-axle or double-axle), whoever said that a single-axle trailer doesn't need a WDH shouldn't be selling trailers. They may have said that because single-axle trailers are lighter than double-axle trailers, but that doesn't negate the need for a WDH.

I've used the Fastway e2 hitch (cheaper version of the Equal-i-zer hitch, made by the same company but only has 2-point sway control instead of 4-point) but the weight of the hitch head was trigging a back injury so I switched to an Andersen WDH. Love it, super easy to hitch up and adjust whenever needed (not really the case for other WDH w/ built-in sway control because you have to unbolt and make adjustments) and it's silent (again not really the case with other WDH w/ sway control). Avoid a basic WDH that requires a separate anti-sway friction bar as those are pretty much garbage and make it a pain to back into tight spaces since you have to remove the friction bar first.
Based on your testimony and some internet research, the Andersen seems like the way to go. I'll pick one up this week when I get the trailer. Thanks for your feedback.
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