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Hey @robtkurtz - I replied a bit longer near the bottom of thread explaining the differences in the aftermarket hitches vs OEM. Hope it helps - here are the parts:

Large shank to raise and level the trailer about to where the OEM receiver would sit. (Install WDH head using highest holes - this one works with a Curt WDH - probably would work with other weight distribution hitches - you would have to confirm)

Weight distribution rated aftermarket hitch made for Atlas.
@alramos - thanks for all your posts and the information you're sharing. You might have mentioned it and I missed it, but what was the main driver in switching from your original setup to the second hitch for your WDH system? Was there a performance issue or was it for peace of mind, knowing that the OEM hitch isn't designed for WD?

Congrats on getting out in your camper so much this summer -- enjoy the rest of your trip!
 

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@alramos

Appreciate your real world experiences in this thread. If you had to do it all over again would you skip the factory installed hitch and just install the aftermarket one you purchased?

Also have you heard about or had any experience with the Gen-Y torsion hitches? Seems to be an interesting product.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
@alramos - thanks for all your posts and the information you're sharing. You might have mentioned it and I missed it, but what was the main driver in switching from your original setup to the second hitch for your WDH system? Was there a performance issue or was it for peace of mind, knowing that the OEM hitch isn't designed for WD?

Congrats on getting out in your camper so much this summer -- enjoy the rest of your trip!
Good morning @Bill B - you are observant as I didn't directly come out and say why I switched over to the aftermarket hitch system. Just as you presumed, it comes down to peace of mind. I didn't have any negative experiences with the OEM hitch nor issues with performance - just wanted to know that I was using something designed to bear the weight and forces of a WDH. I probably would have continued to use the OEM hitch based on my previous experience if the hitch I switched over to didn't exist.

Thanks Bill - we have been fortunate enough this summer and certainly enjoying ourselves staying away from triple digits in the mountains and have a few more days of it before heading back.
 

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Thanks @alramos. You’ve been a great source of information. We‘re ordering our travel trailer today for pick up in November. I’m planning to start with the airbag helpers and a friction bar and graduate to the aftermarket hitch if needed. Northern Arizona is on our short list of places to visit. Continued safe travels to you!
 

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Discussion Starter #45
@alramos

Appreciate your real world experiences in this thread. If you had to do it all over again would you skip the factory installed hitch and just install the aftermarket one you purchased?

Also have you heard about or had any experience with the Gen-Y torsion hitches? Seems to be an interesting product.
Good morning @Reroll - regarding skipping the factory installed hitch I am unsure if I would have done that. There is much debate on whether or not there is additional features added to the Atlas when purchasing with the factory installed towing package, for example "enhanced cooling". There has also been some information about an "enhanced fan and alternator" set up. This along with with proper trailer harness wiring - which I haven't a need with the Curt Echo Brake Controller. I have heard of this, but have yet to verify or really look into it. To have the 5K rating was simply enough peace of mind for me. At the end of the day, it was only $550 added to sticker price, and we purchased with about a 5K discount overall - so I haven't lost any sleep over the hitch now sitting defunct, although the OEM hitch loops are still serving a real purpose by acting as back-up safety as mentioned in a previous post.

I have heard of the Gen-Y torsion hitch and have seen videos on it on YouTube. Although it seems like a great system for what it does - I am unsure if it would perform like I would want it to with the higher towing weights I am working with and stability I am looking for in a hitch system. I believe it would work well for lower weights, perhaps <3,500 lbs. I haven't spent enough time looking at the Gen-Y hitch for my application. Ultimately, I don't believe it does anything with transferring weight to front axle to increase safety with steering and balance during any serious traffic / driving event / maneuver.

I just came back from the Gen-Y site, and they apparently have a product made now for WDH - called "The Boss (Torsion-Flex) Weight Distribution. That seems like an interesting set up, but of course would utilize weight distribution. I am unsure the basic Gen-Y torsion hitch would accomplish much more than smoothing out the ride. I don't have a harsh ride with my set up. Gen-Y does also sell a sway control attachment - I would consider that with the basic Gen-Y hitch at minimum for improved safety.
 

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Hi All, thought I would share my experience over the weekend with the new setup.

Some background: My trailer is a 2018 Jayco Jayfeather with the Baja package, 3080lbs and around 4000lbs with water and gear. Tongue weight about 450lbs (used a hitch scale). I have a 2019 SEL premium with the tow package. Like some of us here I went back and fourth with the used of the WDH, I tried it for a couple short trips and found it to be much better, especially with anti sway. However my paranoia kicked in using the WDH and I just couldn't justify buying another hitch to mount below. I spoke to the RV dealer and a local trailer/tow shop and bother raised their eyebrow at not using WDH. Even the local tow shop said it doesn't make sense, the hitch that's installed should handle it fine. At this point I had already purchased the Firestone air bags so I decided to install.

The Setup: Last week I installed the Firestone air bags (charged to 30-35psi), as well as had a local shop weld an anti-sway ball mount to a 4" rise hitch. Used the bags and anti-sway bar - no WDH. Maybe 2" of drop on the back end but not nearly as bad as before. SUV didn't feel like it was sagging down the road. Brought my WDH bars and hitch just in case (did I say I'm paranoid?)

The Trip: From Prince George BC to Lac La Hache BC, about 300kms (186miles) - 600kms round trip of lots of rolling hills and straights (this is western Canada after all). 200kms of the trip on my way out the tanks were empty, then added a full water tank for the last 100kms - no change in performance.

Trailer performance : Happily surprised at how solid the trailer was. Didn't sway much and though bounce was slightly worse than with the WDH it was minimal and very manageable.

Atlas performance : Happy with the way it towed. The air bags kept the nose down which gave me much more confidence in the steering and braking. I could relax a bit while towing. On the straight stretches the Atlas did great, RMPs were about 1500 maintaining 100km/h (62mph), when it needed a bit of a push or acceleration 2500rpm got the job done. Some very steep hills I would need to be at 3500rpm or slightly higher to maintain/accelerate but I took it easy and in those rare and steep climbs I backed off the speed to 80km/h (Im on vacation!). However if I wanted to she would have gone faster. I actually passed a motor home doing 75-80km/h and commented to my wife if you cant do the limit get off the road! I would say that keeping RPMs from 1500-3500 is very good for an SUV with a V6. Engine has good torque and the 8 speed transmission is great to keep those RPMs down.

Fuel economy : On average (using the "since refuel" scree) was 21L/100kms (11.2mpg). It was ok, some on here say its great, but I dont think so but I also dont have a lot to compare to. Ive towed my trailer with a Dodge Ram with the Pentastar V6 and got about 17L/100kms (13.84mpg), but that engine was also gutless so....

Summery: Overall I think the Atlas did great for a "non towing vehicle" as far a performance with a trailer around 5000lbs. I think if you aren't using a WDH (I'm still not convinced you cant), you should be getting the air bags, they make a world of difference and are actually cheaper than a WDH anyways. I was comfortable and confident with the setup. Don't push her if you don't have to, use a brake controller, and drive smart. If you're in the 5000lb range for towing than maybe this story changes a bit but I wouldn't hesitate to add another 500lbs to the trailer.

Hope that helps!
1398
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Hi All, thought I would share my experience over the weekend with the new setup.

Some background: My trailer is a 2018 Jayco Jayfeather with the Baja package, 3080lbs and around 4000lbs with water and gear. Tongue weight about 450lbs (used a hitch scale). I have a 2019 SEL premium with the tow package. Like some of us here I went back and fourth with the used of the WDH, I tried it for a couple short trips and found it to be much better, especially with anti sway. However my paranoia kicked in using the WDH and I just couldn't justify buying another hitch to mount below. I spoke to the RV dealer and a local trailer/tow shop and bother raised their eyebrow at not using WDH. Even the local tow shop said it doesn't make sense, the hitch that's installed should handle it fine. At this point I had already purchased the Firestone air bags so I decided to install.

The Setup: Last week I installed the Firestone air bags (charged to 30-35psi), as well as had a local shop weld an anti-sway ball mount to a 4" rise hitch. Used the bags and anti-sway bar - no WDH. Maybe 2" of drop on the back end but not nearly as bad as before. SUV didn't feel like it was sagging down the road. Brought my WDH bars and hitch just in case (did I say I'm paranoid?)

The Trip: From Prince George BC to Lac La Hache BC, about 300kms (186miles) - 600kms round trip of lots of rolling hills and straights (this is western Canada after all). 200kms of the trip on my way out the tanks were empty, then added a full water tank for the last 100kms - no change in performance.

Trailer performance : Happily surprised at how solid the trailer was. Didn't sway much and though bounce was slightly worse than with the WDH it was minimal and very manageable.

Atlas performance : Happy with the way it towed. The air bags kept the nose down which gave me much more confidence in the steering and braking. I could relax a bit while towing. On the straight stretches the Atlas did great, RMPs were about 1500 maintaining 100km/h (62mph), when it needed a bit of a push or acceleration 2500rpm got the job done. Some very steep hills I would need to be at 3500rpm or slightly higher to maintain/accelerate but I took it easy and in those rare and steep climbs I backed off the speed to 80km/h (Im on vacation!). However if I wanted to she would have gone faster. I actually passed a motor home doing 75-80km/h and commented to my wife if you cant do the limit get off the road! I would say that keeping RPMs from 1500-3500 is very good for an SUV with a V6. Engine has good torque and the 8 speed transmission is great to keep those RPMs down.

Fuel economy : On average (using the "since refuel" scree) was 21L/100kms (11.2mpg). It was ok, some on here say its great, but I dont think so but I also dont have a lot to compare to. Ive towed my trailer with a Dodge Ram with the Pentastar V6 and got about 17L/100kms (13.84mpg), but that engine was also gutless so....

Summery: Overall I think the Atlas did great for a "non towing vehicle" as far a performance with a trailer around 5000lbs. I think if you aren't using a WDH (I'm still not convinced you cant), you should be getting the air bags, they make a world of difference and are actually cheaper than a WDH anyways. I was comfortable and confident with the setup. Don't push her if you don't have to, use a brake controller, and drive smart. If you're in the 5000lb range for towing than maybe this story changes a bit but I wouldn't hesitate to add another 500lbs to the trailer.

Hope that helps!
View attachment 1398
This is a fantastic review and thanks for sharing your experience. I wholeheartedly agree - for a "non-towing vehicle" the Atlas continues to impress me and is very capable. Great to hear your weekend trip went well with your current set up.
 

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Hi All, thought I would share my experience over the weekend with the new setup.

Some background: My trailer is a 2018 Jayco Jayfeather with the Baja package, 3080lbs and around 4000lbs with water and gear. Tongue weight about 450lbs (used a hitch scale). I have a 2019 SEL premium with the tow package. Like some of us here I went back and fourth with the used of the WDH, I tried it for a couple short trips and found it to be much better, especially with anti sway. However my paranoia kicked in using the WDH and I just couldn't justify buying another hitch to mount below. I spoke to the RV dealer and a local trailer/tow shop and bother raised their eyebrow at not using WDH. Even the local tow shop said it doesn't make sense, the hitch that's installed should handle it fine. At this point I had already purchased the Firestone air bags so I decided to install.

The Setup: Last week I installed the Firestone air bags (charged to 30-35psi), as well as had a local shop weld an anti-sway ball mount to a 4" rise hitch. Used the bags and anti-sway bar - no WDH. Maybe 2" of drop on the back end but not nearly as bad as before. SUV didn't feel like it was sagging down the road. Brought my WDH bars and hitch just in case (did I say I'm paranoid?)

The Trip: From Prince George BC to Lac La Hache BC, about 300kms (186miles) - 600kms round trip of lots of rolling hills and straights (this is western Canada after all). 200kms of the trip on my way out the tanks were empty, then added a full water tank for the last 100kms - no change in performance.

Trailer performance : Happily surprised at how solid the trailer was. Didn't sway much and though bounce was slightly worse than with the WDH it was minimal and very manageable.

Atlas performance : Happy with the way it towed. The air bags kept the nose down which gave me much more confidence in the steering and braking. I could relax a bit while towing. On the straight stretches the Atlas did great, RMPs were about 1500 maintaining 100km/h (62mph), when it needed a bit of a push or acceleration 2500rpm got the job done. Some very steep hills I would need to be at 3500rpm or slightly higher to maintain/accelerate but I took it easy and in those rare and steep climbs I backed off the speed to 80km/h (Im on vacation!). However if I wanted to she would have gone faster. I actually passed a motor home doing 75-80km/h and commented to my wife if you cant do the limit get off the road! I would say that keeping RPMs from 1500-3500 is very good for an SUV with a V6. Engine has good torque and the 8 speed transmission is great to keep those RPMs down.

Fuel economy : On average (using the "since refuel" scree) was 21L/100kms (11.2mpg). It was ok, some on here say its great, but I dont think so but I also dont have a lot to compare to. Ive towed my trailer with a Dodge Ram with the Pentastar V6 and got about 17L/100kms (13.84mpg), but that engine was also gutless so....

Summery: Overall I think the Atlas did great for a "non towing vehicle" as far a performance with a trailer around 5000lbs. I think if you aren't using a WDH (I'm still not convinced you cant), you should be getting the air bags, they make a world of difference and are actually cheaper than a WDH anyways. I was comfortable and confident with the setup. Don't push her if you don't have to, use a brake controller, and drive smart. If you're in the 5000lb range for towing than maybe this story changes a bit but I wouldn't hesitate to add another 500lbs to the trailer.

Hope that helps!
View attachment 1398
Thanks much for taking the time to post this super helpful overview. Your experience, along with others who have taken the time to share, gives me confidence that we should be ok with a 3600 lb trailer we’re expecting in November.

Is your Atlas AWD or FWD?
 
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