Recommended Weight Distribution System and Electric Over Hydraulic Actuator for Tug Boat Trailer

Question:

I have a 2016 F-150 with the 3.5L eco boost engine and a 157 in. wheel base, and a 3.55 limited slip differential. I believe the max towing is 11,600 pounds. The factory hitch can haul 5000 lbs with 500 lb tongue weight conventionally or 12,200 lb with 1,200 lb tongue weight with a weight distribution hitch. I have a Curt 10,000lb weight distribution hitch with sway bar, and I recently added Firestone Ride Rite 5000# air bags with a Air lift wireless one controller. I have been towing a 26 foot travel trailer that has a tongue weight around 682 lbs and with full water and gear probably weighs around 7000 lbs. I recently bought a 25ft. Ranger Tug boat that came with King galvanized trailer with disk brakes with a surge brake controller. The weight of the boat and trailer should be around 9000 pounds. Since I havent towed a boat with this combination before Im concerned about doing so safely. The options Ive come up with are 1 dont change anything since the air bags will level the load and bring everything up to specs., 2 change the hitch to a hitch that will allow me to tow 10,000 lbs conventionally, 3 convert the trailer to electric over hydraulic brakes and possibly change my weight distribution hitch system. 4 Get a bigger truck. Ive read that weight distribution systems that use chains like my Curt system do not work well with surge brakes even if I were to remove the sway bar and my current system wont work with the single stem trailer I have now since the surge brake controller would be in the way. Ive heard a number of people say that they prefer electric over hydraulic systems because of the increased control when braking is better than surge brakes. Ive also heard some people say that they would never tow that much weight with anything less than a 3/4 ton truck, but the new 1/2 ton trucks tow much more than models just a few years earlier, and I really love my truck. Its main use is for 60 miles of daily commuting and I expect that at most I would be towing the boat less than 500 miles per trip for several times a summer, hopefully a lot less than that. Do you think my current set up would work or would you suggest a different option?

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Helpful Expert Reply:

I did some research and your F-150 with the combination you have is the 11,600 lbs if you have the max towing package. If you do not it drops to 10,600 lbs.

The upgrades you have done to your truck are really nice so I can see why you don't want to change vehicles. What I recommend is keeping your current hitch, upgrading your weight distribution system to the Reese Steadi-Flex Weight Distribution System w/ Sway Control - Trunnion - 14K GTW, 1.4K TW # RP66561 because it will work well for the weight of the trailer as well as the sway control needed for a trailer that length. For the best sway control, I recommend the Strait-Line Weight Distribution w Sway Control # RP66130 along with shank # RP54970. You will also want hitch ball # C40030 with either system.

The surge brakes will work on your trailer with either of these weight distribution systems, but you are correct that an electric over hydraulic system will give you more control and a smoother ride. For an EOH actuator and all the other parts needed for your upgrade, I recommend the HydraStar Marine Electric Over Hydraulic Actuator w/ Breakaway and 7-Way RV Harness - 1,600 psi # HS381-9067. This kit will work with a Ford factory integrated brake controller or an aftermarket controller like # 90195 which has a special EOH setting.

I've attached some articles and videos to help. Let me know if you have further questions.

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Jason S

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Question:

I take it that with either of the WD systems you suggested I would also need to get the Reese Pole tongue adapter to work on my boat trailer since it has just a single stem, correct?

asked by: Tim

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Helpful Expert Reply:

Many of the larger boat trailers don't have the single pole tongue. Since you have a pole tongue you will use the Reese Pole-Tongue Adapter for Weight Distribution Systems # RP58393 as you stated, but you cannot use the Reese Strait-Line system # RP66130 with that adapter. The reason is you won't be able to use the dual cams because there is nowhere to mount them.

For your system, I recommend the Pole Tongue Adapter # RP58393 and the Reese Steadi-Flex # RP66561 which is compatible.

helpful expert reply by: Jason S
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Jason S

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Question:

One more follow up. Since I don't need 2 WD systems, I'd like to convert my travel trailer to the Reese system. What would be the part number or numbers for a second set of sway control brackets for the Reese Stedi-flex WD system #RP66561?

asked by: Tim

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Helpful Expert Reply:

Unfortunately Reese does not have separate replacement brackets for their Steadi-Flex Systems, so I can't get you just the brackets you were seeking for the second trailer.

An alternative option is the Curt TruTrack Weight Distribution System w/ Sway Control # C17501 which will allow you to use the Replacement Frame Brackets # C17508 and will be compatible with the Reese pole tongue adapter # RP58393.

I've attached a video of this system to help.

helpful expert reply by: Jason S
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Jason S

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