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I was gifted a travel trailer this week, and it comes in at about 4300 lbs. I'll be towing it with a 2019 VW Atlas SE with 4-Motion. I've never towed with something this new. I'm used to an older truck, just hook up what I want and go.

I understand that I am not supposed to use the load distribution system that I have, but can I still use a sway control system? I'm looking at the Reese Friction Sway Control Kit.

I'm also looking at some air bags for the rear springs. Anybody know if these are really needed? Any recommendations?
 

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I was gifted a travel trailer this week, and it comes in at about 4300 lbs. I'll be towing it with a 2019 VW Atlas SE with 4-Motion. I've never towed with something this new. I'm used to an older truck, just hook up what I want and go.

I understand that I am not supposed to use the load distribution system that I have, but can I still use a sway control system? I'm looking at the Reese Friction Sway Control Kit.

I'm also looking at some air bags for the rear springs. Anybody know if these are really needed? Any recommendations?
I have a similar question. Surprised no responses.
 

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I have a similar question. Surprised no responses.
I did some research, and ended up getting an Equal-i-zer 600 lb weight distribution and sway control hitch. I also installed the Draw-Tite 76176 receiver rather than use the OEM receiver the Atlas came with from the factory.

I got the Firestone Ride-Rite 4175 air bags for the rear as well, but have not installed them yet.

With the WDH and Draw-Tite receiver, I just got back from taking the trailer for about a 2000 mile trip from Oregon to Los Angele. It worked great. I was very grateful for the sway control when we encountered significant gusty winds on I5 in California.

I‘m tossing a picture in here of what is looks like. The back of the Atlas sits a bit lower than I would like. I raised the sway bar holders one notch on the way home and the trailer got squirrelly, so I had to pull over on the freeway and drop them back down. It took all of about 10 minutes to make the quick adjustment and everything pulled great again even though the back of the Atlas was a bit low again. I might try it again, but raise the sway bars a notch while also adjusting the ball height as well (I think I should bring the sway bars up one notch AND drop the ball a notch).

But before I do that I’m really hoping the air bags do the trick once I get those on, and it’ll be perfect.

I’m happy that I decided to skip the warning in the user’s manual and go with a WDH with sway control that doesn’t involve me having to get out and take off the sway control when I get to tight places.

Most of the information I needed was taken from this thread. I hope between my bit of experience I shared and that thread it helps you out.

1614
 

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I did some research, and ended up getting an Equal-i-zer 600 lb weight distribution and sway control hitch. I also installed the Draw-Tite 76176 receiver rather than use the OEM receiver the Atlas came with from the factory.

I got the Firestone Ride-Rite 4175 air bags for the rear as well, but have not installed them yet.

With the WDH and Draw-Tite receiver, I just got back from taking the trailer for about a 2000 mile trip from Oregon to Los Angele. It worked great. I was very grateful for the sway control when we encountered significant gusty winds on I5 in California.

I‘m tossing a picture in here of what is looks like. The back of the Atlas sits a bit lower than I would like. I raised the sway bar holders one notch on the way home and the trailer got squirrelly, so I had to pull over on the freeway and drop them back down. It took all of about 10 minutes to make the quick adjustment and everything pulled great again even though the back of the Atlas was a bit low again. I might try it again, but raise the sway bars a notch while also adjusting the ball height as well (I think I should bring the sway bars up one notch AND drop the ball a notch).

But before I do that I’m really hoping the air bags do the trick once I get those on, and it’ll be perfect.

I’m happy that I decided to skip the warning in the user’s manual and go with a WDH with sway control that doesn’t involve me having to get out and take off the sway control when I get to tight places.

Most of the information I needed was taken from this thread. I hope between my bit of experience I shared and that thread it helps you out.

View attachment 1614
Thanks for the picture and explanations! I've got the exact same specs on my Atlas (2019 SE, factory towing, 4Motion), and am looking to rent a travel trailer through Outdoorsy in the TN/NC mountains this summer. Many of the trailers listed come with the weight-distribution hitches and sway bars (weren't an issue when I pulled trailers with our family Aerostar growing up... 🤷‍♂️) so I am doing my research now.

If you have any updates with your experience or any unforeseen issues, especially driving in mountains, I'd be interested to hear!
 

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If you need a WDH I would NOT use it with the factory hitch. I'd do as others have and install a secondary aftermarket hitch.
 

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It was recommended to me that I purchase the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas - Curt Trailer Hitch Receiver (Custom Fit - Class III - 2") which bolts onto the frame, and that its use eliminates the need to use weight distribution. The ball on the (2700 lb.) trailer I am pulling is 2 5/16". I appreciate the advice I get here! Any thoughts?
 
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