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Old    Bu Coo (brett564)      Join Date: Jul 2006       05-25-2011, 12:33 PM Reply   
A friend recently told me about these various weight distribution hitches that are out there, and added it should save gas and maintainance for my truck and the trailer itself. Does anyone have any experience with these? Are they worth the money? Any thoughts?
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-25-2011, 1:31 PM Reply   
Some of the small 1/2 ton SUVs & pickups coming out of Detroit now days have a tow rating with & without an equalizer. I fell for it & bought a Nitro a couple years ago. Rated for 3500 lbs without & 5000 lbs with an equalizer. Then paid $300 for the equalizer. Then test drove the truck with the boat in tow with & without the equalizer.
So the bottom line is that it does change things. Rather than the truck squatting in the rear, the equalizer pushes the weight to the front of the truck. Makes the whole thing sit level. Makes the truck steer & brake a lot better. Might even take out the "tail wagging the dog" problems with a single axle trailer, but I have a tandem so that was never an issue.
Save on maintenance? Yea, probably will make your shocks & springs last longer. Especially the rear.
But improve gas mileage?? That seems like a stretch to me. Your still driving an underpowered vehicle with the gas pedal on the floor to go up a hill, no matter which end of the truck is weighted down.
Hooking up the rig is not all that easy either. It's just a change in the process, but it makes it twice as long & you'll love all the grease getting all over your board shorts & Reefs.

In the end I decided I'd rather have a bigger truck that is better able to haul the 5k lb load on it's own. So I sold the Nitro & bought an Avalanche. The rear coils on the Av are a little soft, so if I'm towing a long distance &/or have a lot of weight in the truck or boat, then it gets a little bouncy. So I installed a $100 set of Firestone air bags in the coils. So now I pump a little air in the bags & the truck rides great, even loaded up.
Old    Bu Coo (brett564)      Join Date: Jul 2006       05-27-2011, 7:03 AM Reply   
Bill, that is exactly the kind of information I was hoping on getting. Thanks. Given the cons you stated, I will prob pass on the weight distribution stuff. Regarding the airbags, the rough ride my Sierra gives me is a little annoying on long trips, I like that idea.
Old     (HighVoltage)      Join Date: Aug 2010       05-27-2011, 8:46 AM Reply   
Do you have a link to the air bags you installed for towing? I'm curious if they will fit my sierra too.
Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       05-27-2011, 9:19 AM Reply   
You can get the firestone helper bags for trucks with leaf springs just about anywhere. Pep Boys have them on the shelf for most american 1/2 tons.
Old    Timmy! (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       05-27-2011, 9:20 AM Reply   
Look for the Firestone Ride Rite kits - lots of 4x4 shops carry them. The one on the Avalanche will be different than the Sierra because the Avalanche has coil springs in the back instead of leaf's (they ride a ton better).
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-27-2011, 10:46 AM Reply   
Exactly what Timmy said. I believe they have the kit available for most any rear suspension setup.

I picked them up on Amazon, which was like $20 less than the local shops had them.

Good luck on whatever you decide to do Brett. For what it's worth I'm really happy with the Avalanche.

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