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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,197

    Default weight distributing hitches? Brake controllers?

    The weight-distributing hitch is being "lost" in the divorce, since it wasn't mine to begin with. Now I need to replace it. This one is way old, so can't replace it with the same thing. Suggestions?

    Also, the new truck doesn't have a trailed brake controller built into it. My trailer is a 2h BP, about 3500lb empty. Soon-to-be-ex-hubby's truck didn't have a brake box, and we hauled the trailer with it just fine. But should I get a brake box put on my new truck, and if so, what kind? I don't even know how they work.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,442

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hampton Bay View Post
    Also, the new truck doesn't have a trailed brake controller built into it. My trailer is a 2h BP, about 3500lb empty. Soon-to-be-ex-hubby's truck didn't have a brake box, and we hauled the trailer with it just fine. But should I get a brake box put on my new truck, and if so, what kind? I don't even know how they work.
    I suspect, then, that your trailer does not have electric brakes, and instead has surge breaks. There is no way you'd haul it "just fine" if it had electric breaks and you didn't have a break controller. Depending on the age of his truck, it's also quite possible it's already integrated into the computer system, and not a detached add-on.


    As for how they work, Google is your best friend.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    14,613

    Default

    If you are buying a modern truck it will probably just be a matter of pushing a plug in to a receptacle under the dash to install a brake controller, having mounted a bracket to hold it. I'd try towing with a regular hitch before deciding to buy a weight distributing model. I hate those things.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2010
    Posts
    574

    Default

    You'll find TONS of great information on Horse Trailer World Forums http://www.horsetrailerworld.com/for....asp?forumid=2 search WDH (weight distribution hitch) and brake controllers.

    Also here is a link to basic info. on trailer brake controllers: http://www.etrailer.com/faq-brakecontroller.aspx

    What brand/year is your trailer?
    Proud Native Texan!
    owned by 3 Cardigan Corgi's + 3 wonderful horses!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,197

    Default

    His truck was a 2004 Silverado, and I would almost guarantee it didn't have a brake controller. I actually found out after hauling it for 2 years that the brakes weren't even wired up, which I did fix. Dunno what kind of brakes it has, it's a 1989 Kieffer 2h. But we never had a single problem hauling it without the brakes functioning. I just figure they are on there for a reason, so maybe I should make them work.

    And yes, installing a controller on the new F-150 is very easy. I knwo how to do it, just don't know what to buy.

    The trailer does haul better with a WD hitch though. I've hauled it without and it was OK, but fully loaded it's pushing the recommendation for hauling without a WD hitch.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,343

    Default

    I much prefer to pull my trailer with my Equilizer hitch. I sometimes will tow very short distances without it (I do have self adjusting shocks) but my trailer is so much more stable with the Equilizer.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,234

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    I used a Reese Weight Distributing hitch, back when I had a 2H trailer. The distribution of trailer tongue weight (loaded or empty) over entire truck was a great help in good hauling. Loved the bars, easy to use, on and off, worth the purchase money to me. Made the entire outfit more stable in wind or semi trucks passing. What I learned with my first hitch, was to set the ball above level, so that when LOADED trailer is on truck, the hitch is level. If you haul much in truck when trailer is on, you will need ball set a bit higher still, to get that level hitch when everything is in truck AND trailer.

    An uphill or downhill tongue on trailer makes for a poor ride for the equines, puts excessive wear on the hitch ball itself. So TELL the hitch folks BEFORE they get the ball location fixed on the hitch, about needing ball higher than unloaded truck's level spot. Tell them it is for a HORSE trailer, so you get the right size hitch and attachement to frame of truck. Pricy, but safety is worth the money.

    If you are going to be using an F150, you NEED all the assistance you can get with a special hitch and weight distribution set up. It will aid you and you won't even know it, keeping control of truck and load behind.

    I have always used Tecumseh brake boxes and been quite satisfied. The newer ones have much easier adjustment, readouts, to know they are doing their job correctly. If you got the Trailer Package on your new truck, it should be all plug-in to hook up brake box and trailer plug. If no package, you will have to work a bit harder! I would go to a place that sells hitches, ask about the various models of brake boxes, see what features they have. Get them to explain how to set the box for hauling loaded or unloaded. Some boxes are set up for working at different intervals, because testing has shown people "don't really mean it" when they start stopping. They will brake once or twice before REALLY stopping, so brake box may be set to kick in on second or third light brake application. Got this from my hitch guy with our new brake box installation!

    Knowledge is power, so even any boring reading on the links will make you better informed in choosing a new hitch and brake box.

    Glad to hear you got trailer brakes fixed and ready to be used. They will make a difference in how you safely stop your load behind. You may want to have the hitch guy ride along to make sure you have things set correctly, since you are not used to the feel of trailer with working brakes. Learn the settings you will want to use in most instances. Take notes!! I did notes with the new, changed brake box, which was real different that the old one. I like the new one!! And I can DEFINATELY tell when the brakes are NOT working, with the 4H trailer pushing on my LARGE truck. That was when I found I needed a NEW brake box! Better to have brakes WORKING all the time.
    Last edited by goodhors; Nov. 30, 2011 at 02:17 PM.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    5,222

    Default

    I have a cheapy brake box that came with my truck, it works fine, I think it's a DrawTite one. So you don't have to get the $300 one if you are on a budget. Now, I have noticed with a friend's Prodigy controller, you have to pay less attention to how your brake as it works more smoothly. But once I got used to mine and I'm each on the brake pedal, it does the job quite sufficiently.

    Also when getting weight distribution bars, you can get them with or without sway control. The Equalizer one is all in one, less expensive ones will usually just have weight distribution alone with no sway bar.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    14,613

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hampton Bay View Post
    And yes, installing a controller on the new F-150 is very easy. I knwo how to do it, just don't know what to buy.

    The trailer does haul better with a WD hitch though. I've hauled it without and it was OK, but fully loaded it's pushing the recommendation for hauling without a WD hitch.
    Check your F150 owners guide - it has a section all about brake controllers.
    2011 F150's have trailer sway control included in the towing package.
    http://www.ford.com/resources/ford/g..._F150nov18.pdf
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,197

    Default

    truck does have the factory towing package, and the install on the brake box is very easy. I have the plug and wiring thingy, just need the box to attach to it

    Is the Equalizer a good brand of WD hitch? I know nothing about the brands available. I would like an adjustable one, as the last one wasn't, and this trailer's tongue sits fairly low when the trailer is level.

    Also, I'm not quite understanding the "install" part of a WDH? The one I had goes into the receiver like any other hitch, and the bars mount to that. The only "install" is putting the hitch into the receiver and bolting the brackets onto the trailer tongue.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2010
    Posts
    157

    Default

    The reason why you would want the WD hitch for a new truck is because of the type of shocks in the back end they put to make the ride more comfortable in the truck. The coil springs used make the ride smoother, but they also compress when trailers more than 2000lbs are attached. The WD hitch keeps the truck and trailer level, and causes less wear on the tires.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    14,613

    Default

    Lots of WD hitches; http://www.etrailer.com/dept.aspx?fu...Fcmm7QodIGfYjw
    Installation instructions included.

    Equalizer; http://www.equalizerhitch.com/

    Brake controllers; http://www.etrailer.com/bc-2011_Ford_F-150.htm
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,234

    Default

    Congrats on the Package, should make life lots easier for you.

    Not familiar with brands other than Reese, but haven't heard complaints about Draw Tite. Don't know anyone with an Equalizer to ask about it.

    The "install" part is where the ball hitch that fits into receiver unit of the frame hitch, is fitted for height to YOUR truck. If you have 4WD, your frame receiver would naturally be much higher than 2WD truck. Each type truck would need the ball hitch part adjusted differently, to fit for level towing.

    So the ball hitch part, needs to be up or down, from the frame where it slides in, to make trailer ride level. The hitch installers SHOULD be customizing that ball hitch level to your truck. This is where you say "I want ball to be set slightly high". Explain reason is so loaded trailer with horses, saddles, etc, will be level when you are driving. I had no issues with my hitch installers when I explained the reason I NEEDED the ball hitch set a little higher than their "average" trailer hauler would want.

    Seeing a trailer going down the road with tongue below level is very ugly. Especially when you think about horses have to brace backwards the whole trip or bottoming out on driveways.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hampton Bay View Post
    truck does have the factory towing package, and the install on the brake box is very easy. I have the plug and wiring thingy, just need the box to attach to it

    Is the Equalizer a good brand of WD hitch? I know nothing about the brands available. I would like an adjustable one, as the last one wasn't, and this trailer's tongue sits fairly low when the trailer is level.

    Also, I'm not quite understanding the "install" part of a WDH? The one I had goes into the receiver like any other hitch, and the bars mount to that. The only "install" is putting the hitch into the receiver and bolting the brackets onto the trailer tongue.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,197

    Default

    Ok, got it on the install part now. I can do that myself.

    I found a WDH on Amazon that got good reviews. It's a Camco?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 1999
    Posts
    829

    Default

    I don't know about Camco, but I love my Equalizer. One factor to check is how heavy the hitch is to lift, since I had a hard time lifting the first wdh I tried (65 lb). The Equalizer is lighter and does a great job at both equalizing and reducing sway. For break controllers, Prodigy is the best.



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