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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All, new to the forum, just recently purchased a 2017 Armada 4WD Platinum. Will soon be purchasing a boat we will be towing. I expect the boat to be in the 4000 - 4500 lb range with ~1000lb trailer for total weight of 5000 - 5500 lbs. I was hoping any of you who are pulling similar weights (generally 23 - 24' boats) could let me know what trailer ball hitch you use, what brake controller you installed and any other relevant advice.
 

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With that weight behind your Armada, be absolutely sure you use a weight distribution hitch, (WDH), with anti sway. The hitch you get will be determined by the tongue weight of the trailer, loaded with the boat and any gear.

Be sure to buy an "oversize" hitch. In other words, if the tongue weight is 590, don't buy a hitch rated at 600, go for the 800. Cost difference is negligible.

Boat dealers have no where near as much experience as RV dealers, with a WDH. Or, use a commercial hitch company.

They can install the brake controller and properly size the hitch.

I like, and have used a Camco Eaz-Lift Recurve R6. Many dealers carry this as does Amazon.

Bottom line, don't skimp on the hitch or controller. Your life may depend on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you sir, I appreciate your response. I've seen different inputs on the use of a WDH, specifically in relation to whether they impact the functionality of the brake controller. It sounds like your setup is configured where this is not an issue?
 

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If the trailer is heavy enough o require a WDH, and yours is, it must also have brakes, requiring a brake controller.

There is one exception. That is if the trailer has hydronic brakes, not electric. This is also called, surge brakes. Many boat trailers use this type of brakes, as the wheels go in water.

The surge brakes use the trailers momentum and own weight, which pushes against a hydraulic cylinder when you step on the towing vehicle's brakes.

Where electric brakes are run by your brake controller. ALWAYS disconnect electric brakes before backing in the water.

Track down a owners manual for your year and model, it will state brakes and WDH are required for that weight.

The Camco Recurve R6 I used had adjustable anti sway. This was done easily when stopped with a 13mm Allen wrench.

Have you watched the video?

Thank you sir, I appreciate your response. I've seen different inputs on the use of a WDH, specifically in relation to whether they impact the functionality of the brake controller. It sounds like your setup is configured where this is not an issue?
By the way, a big reason I bought the 2021 SL is it has a factory installed brake controller on the dash. A nice feature.

If the trailer is heavy enough o require a WDH, and yours is, it must also have brakes, requiring a brake controller.

There is one exception. That is if the trailer has hydronic brakes, not electric. This is also called, surge brakes. Many boat trailers use this type of brakes, as the wheels go in water.

The surge brakes use the trailers momentum and own weight, which pushes against a hydraulic cylinder when you step on the towing vehicle's brakes.

Where electric brakes are run by your brake controller. ALWAYS disconnect electric brakes before backing in the water.

Track down a owners manual for your year and model, it will state brakes and WDH are required for that weight.

The Camco Recurve R6 I used had adjustable anti sway. This was done easily when stopped with a 13mm Allen wrench.

Have you watched the video?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If the trailer is heavy enough o require a WDH, and yours is, it must also have brakes, requiring a brake controller.

There is one exception. That is if the trailer has hydronic brakes, not electric. This is also called, surge brakes. Many boat trailers use this type of brakes, as the wheels go in water.

The surge brakes use the trailers momentum and own weight, which pushes against a hydraulic cylinder when you step on the towing vehicle's brakes.

Where electric brakes are run by your brake controller. ALWAYS disconnect electric brakes before backing in the water.

Track down a owners manual for your year and model, it will state brakes and WDH are required for that weight.

The Camco Recurve R6 I used had adjustable anti sway. This was done easily when stopped with a 13mm Allen wrench.

Have you watched the video?
YEs, I watched it, thanks. What I find amazing is how little information there is on how to install a WDH on a boat trailer. Just logging terms on youtube or Google produces very little actual video, only on installing on a tow trailer with a V.
 

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Here is a good article from etrailer, a reputable company. Apparently a boat trailer tongue is known as a "pole tongue". And, requires an adapter to use a WDH.

I suppose another issue, you don't mention is how far will you tow and will it be interstate of back roads?

If just a short ride to the water at low speed, maybe not an issue, but, be sure to follow the 10-15% tongue weight rule of thumb to help avoid sway.

Near me, a couple weeks ago, a Tahoe towing a camper, went into a sway situation and both flipped over.... trailer sway is a very dangerous thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Papi GG, I didn't see the article attachment, if you don't mind sending to me I'd love to read it. A lot to get right here and honestly, there seems to be pretty vague information available. Seems like an opportunity for one of these WDH manufacturers to own education for boaters in this area.

Never mind, found the article. Makes sense how this works on a pole tongue. Generally I will be towing locally.....have ramps within 15 - 20 minutes of my house, but we do have a lake house a little over 3 hours away I'd like to tow it to as well when we get there, so the extra protection of the WDH with integrated sway makes sense.
 

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There are new WDH made specifically for boats. Almost ALL boat trailers have hydraulic brakes - I've never seen any other, but I suppose inland stuff can handle. Here in salt water, NOPE. New disc brakes are very good today. Standard WDH interferes with the "surge" push that boat trailers use which was mentioned. I towed 7000 lbs all the time with no problem - Bayliner 2850 + trailer. Braking was OK but I did not apply full tension to the bars. Here's an article referencing new designs made for boat trailers. It's pretty simple to attach. The brackets just bolt onto the trailer tongue frame. Might depend on how long your "bars" are and trailer design. I didn't have any problem. Actually used the ones I had on a horse trailer. Used same brackets.

The load size you mention is well within the ability of your vehicle to tow. Heck I tow my trailer with a 2000 lb load all the time with no sway bars - about 3500 total. I can hardly notice it's there. Also has surge brakes - so I can loan it to anyone without worrying about "brakes".


 
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