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Recommended Weight Distribution System for 36-foot Toy Hauler Travel Trailer

Question:

I have a Toy Hauler travel trailer 36 foot long with total GVW thirteen thousand pounds. what would be the best Reese weight distributing hitch to utilize? When they say with shank vs. Without shank...exactly what are they referring to? What is the difference between the 12000# unit and the 15000# one? Pulling trailer with a 2010 Dodge 2500 w/diesel.

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Expert Reply:

Some weight distribution systems are offered with the L-shaped steel shank portion included, such as the Curt shank # C17124. This is what installs in your hitch and holds the head assembly. Others allow you to choose your own based on the amount of height rise or drop you need to keep your trailer level when it is hitched. The Curt unit I referenced is intended for use in the drop position and provides up to 13-1/2-inches of drop to work with a truck whose hitch ball is substantially higher than the trailer coupler when the trailer is level. Shanks also have varying weight capacities.

Weight distribution (WD) systems need to be selected to match your fully-loaded trailer's measured tongue weight (TW). The trailer TW will be added to the weight of anything in the truck bed that sits behind the rear axle, such as a loaded cooler or generator. We offer a scale # 5780 to measure TW but there are other methods outlined in the linked article.

The TW of a properly-loaded trailer will be between 10 and 15 percent of its gross weight. In the case of your 13K trailer your TW is likely to be between 1300 and 1600-lbs. The particular Reese system that you referenced works with a TW range of 200 - 600-lbs so this would be too light for your application.

Since your trailer is a long 36-footer you will want to choose a WD system that includes sway control to steady the trailer. Once you know your total TW figure you can use the link provided to choose a system that suits your TW and the type of brakes on your toy hauler, electric or surge. You can use the filters on the page to narrow the results shown based on your requirements and preferences, such as whether or not you wish to select your own shank.

Let's say your TW is 1500 - 1600-lbs and the trailer has electric brakes. A great option is the Reese Strait-Line Trunnion Weight Distribution System # RP66075. All you need to add is a shank like # RP54977 and a hitch ball like # 63840 (for a 2-5/16-inch ball). If you need a different shank rise or drop to keep the trailer level a link is provided. We offer shanks for both 2-inch hitches and 2-1/2-inch hitches.


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