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Old 09-08-2012, 12:42 AM   #1
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We are buying a Sunset Trails ST20CK. Dry weight is about 4000 lbs and hitch weight is about 400 lbs. The carrying capacity is however 3000 lbs. If fully loaded that trailer would be 7000 lbs? and the hitch weight 700 lbs? We are pulling with a 3500 Dodge Ram 4x4. We need a 6" drop on the hitch because of the height of our receiver and need to get a hitch with the proper maximum capacity. Also, our dealer says that we do not need sway control or a weight distriubtin hitch. I am sceptical about not needing these. Any experience/advice? Thanks. Yellowstone Bill
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:25 AM   #2
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You definitely want a weight distribution hitch with sway control. With hitch weights approaching or exceeding 500 lbs. and trailer lenths over twenty feet that is my recommendation.
Dale & Carol
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:53 AM   #3
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I would recomend a the Equ-i-lizer hitch system

If you get the 1000/10,000 version would be all set when you up-grade.

And you will never have an issue with WD or sway.

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Old 09-08-2012, 02:57 AM   #4
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Yellowstone Bill,
First off welcome to the forum!
Here's a few things I have learned as a rookie.
Not sure if you have double checked the actual weights. The best place to start is in the cupboard door as that is a good estimation from when it rolled off the factory floor as opposed to the brochure. Then you have to add on all the goodies so you may be surprised how much it actually weighs. I know we were! If you load up your trailer to say 7000 lbs that will give you a trailer tongue weight of 700 lbs which is 10% of your GVW .This is the very minimum recommendation for a stable tow. From my understanding closer to 12% would be better giving you a tongue weight of about 840 lbs. So you see the weight can add up. I am no expert but as dalemac337 has stated anythting over 500 lbs should have a WD hitch and over 20 feet should have some sway control. If nothing else it will just make things tow and ride a little smoother and make your first trip more enjoyable. Besides these 5 star Full Time Campers know their stuff!!


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Old 09-08-2012, 03:54 AM   #5
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By going with the Equal-I-Zer you can change the drop settings to whatever you need to, that's one of the nice things about them. I have one and as a rookie myself I will tell you I don't want to know what the ride is like without one. They are a dream.

Welcome to the forum and good luck and happy camping.


Jim & Linda Tator
Watertown, WI
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:39 AM   #6
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Our previous trailer was a 34' Mountaineer and we had no problems towing it with a 2003 Ram 3500 with a standard weight distributing hitch. and no sway control. In my opinion the sway control is just wasted money for the truck/trailer combination you are looking at. It may provide some piece of mind but is not likely necessary.

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Old 09-08-2012, 06:17 AM   #7
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You've got a lot of truck there for that size trailer. If it was me, I would take a chance on what the dealer told you and give it a try. When you pick it up at the dealers and head for home, you will probably be able to tell before very long whether or not he was right. If you need the WD hitch, you can always put it on.

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Old 09-08-2012, 06:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Canucklehead
In my opinion the sway control is just wasted money for the truck/trailer combination you are looking at. It may provide some piece of mind but is not likely necessary.

That is until a US driven semi truck goes blowing past you at 80 mph and tries to push the trailer away from it, steering the truck into the semi, causing the driver to do steering corrections.

Or you get caught in the remnants of the hurricane that made it all the way up to Ohio a few years back.

Or simply driving US I-70 or I-80 westbound where the US gets real flat and windy.

Then they would have wished that they "wasted" some money for sway control.

It is the reality of where the trailer will be pulled at that will determine if sway control is needed.

Does someone need it for pulling 15 miles to the campground on local roads, probably not. It is out on the highways, on curvy mountain roads, exposure to winds both natural and pressure waves from trucks that indicate sway control in some form is a prudent investment.

Simply match it to the combination.

Edited by: drcook
psssttt drcook = David R, not Dr. but thanks for the compliment. Most folks just call me Dave.

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Old 09-08-2012, 12:39 PM   #9
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You didn't say what year your 3500 was or whether it is a dually. While an equalizer and sway control might be nice, I have towed two different trailers over the past twelve years with my Ram 2500 4X4 diesel without either.

I am surprised that your truck didn't come with a hitch from the factory. Most dealers order them with the tow package for the extra cooling, etc.

I did order mine, so I got everything I thought I might need for towing, except the 4.10 gears. I even ordered the HD transfer case with the PTO because it has a larger shaft diameter.

I have ~215,000 miles on my truck and ~1/4 of that was towing, both up and down the east coast and across to Wyoming, S. Dakota, etc. I've never had a problem with semis passing me or the winds crossing Wyoming. Of course, I've been towing trailers since the early '70s of one type or another.

That being said, it's up to you. I am not trying to talk you out of adding these items. Someone above said try taking it home without and see what you think. You can always add them.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:31 PM   #10
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I think here in Indiana a weight distributing hitch is required by law fortravel trailers over a certain size. I would vouch for the sway control for the strong cross winds that we experience here in the flat midwest.
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