Recommended Weight Distribution System for 23 Foot Travel Trailer w/ 5400lb GVWR

Question:

I’m looking at the Fastway WD/Sway control system and would like your opinion on which model. I have a 23’ Travel Trailer with a GVWR of 5400 lbs. and an unloaded tongue weight of 490 lbs. I carry 2 30 lb propane tanks on tongue which weigh 100 lbs total and a battery. So that puts me at about 600 lbs. I also have a 42 gallon fresh water tank that I may prefill prior to my destination shorter trips otherwise I would run empty. The tank is probably about 6-8 feet behind tongue so not sure how much this adds to tongue weight but it has to put me up over 800 lbs. Would the Fastway FA94-00-1000 be a good choice without overkill? I also use a 2” ball so wondered if that’s OK with this setup. Or do you have another suggestion. I like the price point of the Fastway and the ability to back-up with it installed. I pull this with a F-150-1/2 ton and trailer has electric brakes. Ive also considered the Curt C17062 for less money but do realize it does not allow backing up- How big of a deal is that, what needs to be disconnected to allow backup?

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Expert Reply:

In addition to all the items on the trailer that will increase its dry tongue weight, you'll also need to add the weight of anything you carry in the bed of the truck behind the rear axle.

The right way to do this is to load up the trailer as you would typically have it, and take it to a truck scale or use the # 5780 Sherline Tongue Weight Scale.

Ideally, the TTW of your trailer should fall as close as possible to the middle of the effective range of the weight distribution system you choose. Because of their large surface area, travel trailers are particularly susceptible to trailer sway caused by crosswinds or turbulence caused by crosswinds or oncoming traffic. This is why I recommend getting a weight distribution system with the best sway control system you can afford. A good sway control system can be worth its weight in gold when you consider how much hours of white-knuckle driving can take out of you.

The Fastway system works well. As far as its sway control performance goes, I'd rate it as a good choice for moderate sway. A w/d system that uses a 4 point sway control, like the Equal-I-zer would be more effective against sway. I'd refer to the Fastway as a 'better' choice and the Equal-I-zer as 'best'.

The Fastway system you referred to, part # FA94-00-1000 is what I'd recommend at that price point as long as the tongue weight didn't get above about 850 lbs- I like to leave a little cushion between the trailer's tongue weight and the top end of the system's capacity. If the loaded tongue weight gets above 850 lbs, I'd recommend the next highest rated system, part # FA92-00-1200 with a 1200 lb capacity. Either system includes the weight distributing shank, but the 2 inch ball with 8000 lb capacity is sold separately as part # EQ91-00-6080.

For better sway control performance, I'd recommend the Equal-I-zer # EQ37100ET which is rated for trailer tongue weights ranging from 600-1200 lbs. If the tongue weight gets closer to 1000 lbs (same scenario as above), go with a higher rated system like # EQ37120ET. The shank is included, for a 2 inch ball you can use the ball mentioned above. To install the ball on the Equali-i-zer systems, you'll need a thin walled 1-7/8 inch socket. If you don't already have one, we offer it as part # EQ70-00-4800.

The Curt # C17062 system you mentioned would be less effective, as far as the sway control component goes. The friction sway unit would indeed need to be disengaged before backing the trailer to prevent damaging it.

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Michael L

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