Reader Tim Quan writes in with a question:
Hi – I also have a Lance 2185 and considering purchasing a 2019 Ford Expedition Max as a tow vehicle (w/Heavy Duty tow package). I’m wondering what type of weight distribution hitch you have and if you experience sagging due to the heavy tongue weight on the Lance? My current tow vehicle is a 2007 Lincoln Navigator that has auto-leveling air suspension but the newer Ford full-size SUV’s don’t have that.
This is a great question, since the hitch you purchase can have a dramatic impact on the success of your towing experience.
We use the Fastway e2 2-point sway control hitch ($465), with an 8,000-pound trailer weight rating, and 800-pound tongue weight with our 2019 Ford Expedition (with towing package), and 2020 Lance 2185. This was a champ of a hitch, and I’d recommend it to others. This was the hitch recommended both by our dealer, and separately by a colleague who has 20+ years of towing experience.
Our dealer installed the hitch on the trailer the day we purchased the trailer. However, I subsequently re-installed the hitch about a year later. It took me about an hour to remove and reinstall it, using the directions, which thankfully, I’d saved.
Things to consider selecting your hitch
A couple of things you’ll want to make sure you get in your hitch, whether you get the Fastway e2 or another one:
1. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
Our Lance 2185 had a dry weight of 5,028 pounds, and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 6,000 pounds. This means that the maximum weight of the trailer, when fully loaded, should not exceed 6,000 pounds. I was taught to increase the GVWR by 20% (1,200 pounds) for safety, and round-up. 6,000 pounds x 20% = 1,200 pounds. 6,000 pounds + 1,200 pounds = 7,200 pounds. I then rounded up to 8,000 pounds to select which Fastway e2 system to purchase.
2. Weight Distribution
You want to make sure your hitch has weight distribution, which evenly distributes the weight over the axles of the tow vehicle and trailer for stability and control, and creates a level ride for both the tow vehicle and trailer.
3. Sway Control
Make sure your hitch has a sway control feature that limits side-to-side movement caused by winds, or sudden maneuvers. Sometimes the sway bars make it a little more difficult to turn or back up sharply, but overall, the inconvenience is minor compared to the safety benefits. Also, be careful which sway bars you get. Some sway bars require you to get out of your vehicle and disconnect them before backing up. The design of the Fastway e2 system allows you to back up without having to disconnect the sway bars.
4. Chains vs. Bars
I used to have a hitch that used lift chains, and there was a constant issue with the movement of the chains while driving. The Fastway e2 system doesn’t use chains at all, which I prefer. I’ve found that the bar systems usually have integrated sway control and are easier to use, but also more expensive.
5. Hitch Head Tilt with Washers
The Fastway system uses washers on the hitch to control the head tilt. I didn’t love this part of the design, because it requires a bit of trial and error. However, once you get it (and the instructions are good), you don’t have to change it.
You can purchase the Fastway e2 2-point sway control hitch, with an 8,000-pound trailer weight rating, and 800-pound tongue weight for $465 on Amazon.
Travel well. Live better.