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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, new member here; have owned the 2012 FJ Cruiser for one year; am now getting a towable trailer.

Looking for this answer - does a weight distribution hitch system such as the Recurve R3 600lb help with the maximum stated tongue weight of 500 lbs for the FJ?

The "base dry hitch weight" for the towable is 413 lbs. It has two 5 gln propane tanks and will have two batteries (not sure if the "dry" weight does or does not include full tanks/both batteries). The Recurve hitch system is listed at 85.8 lbs on Amazon) - putting the overall weight just under 500 number (not counting propane/batteries); but if it's truly distributing the weight; is that OK? I.e, is it actually distributing the 413 lbs of the hitch weight + 86 lbs WDH weight to the tow trail axle and both axles of towing vehicle so that there isn't really that actual weight of 499 lbs on "the tongue"?

Thank you.

Specs on the trailer are:

2020 Rockwood GeoPro G19FBS; UVW 3,075 lbs, base hitch weight 413 lbs.

Thank you.
 

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I don't think that's frame mounted. It would hang down a bit lower. Check etrailer.com for a Curt frame mount to compare. You can pull the silver valance off by those 4 (10mm ? ) bolts on the bottom, plus a few blue clips underneath and check. The OEM hitch has 6 bolts to the rear crossmember and that is not a good idea with a WD hitch. It doesn't spread the weight out. The 6 bolts will stretch.

I had a similar setup and trailer with that much weight, unloaded. You'll need a 7 pin round trailer brake controller, a transmission cooler installed and maybe helper air bags in the springs depending on which springs are in it now.

Does your rig have the Flat 4 pin harness already? If not, you'll need that too. Amazon, about $90.

Except 10~12 MPG, around 150 miles per tank. Less if it's hilly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hi Hannibal, thank you. i did look at that website, but am not seeing on this FJ i have, underneath, where those bolts would be. however, in looking at the rig from the back, the receiver hitch appears to be integrated with the silver piece, appearing to be from the "factory". photo below.....i just now re-read your note about it being a "valance" piece, and tomorrow I'll see about removing it to check. it just looks factory install from how the valence has the cut out for the receiver.

Thank you for the top on the 7 pin, we are getting that at the rv dealer (along with the WDH) , and then will get the transmission cooler installed. will check out the air bags, depending. it still likely has the stock springs. it's a 2012; only 57K miles.

thank you.


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Much better pic, that's OEM. Silver valance comes off, 2 different ones available with or without hitch, silver and Trail Teams black.

The 7 pin mates to the OEM flat 4 connector, then they have to run the 3 other wires. Make sure they fuse it!

Do you have the flat 4 already installed?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, the 4 flat four pin is already installed. will ensure on the fuse.

Ok, so if this is OEM; and with the WDH, are you still saying to check for 4 or 6 bolt, and if it's 6 bolt, that is not ideal? My biggest concern of course is 1) this OEM receiver can handle a hitch with that 3K aprox dry weight and 2) Using the 85lb WDH with the 413 dry tongue weight will work, since it's right at the 500 lb mark and there's two batteries/2 prop tanks, (hoping the WDH moves some of those lbs back to the trailer axle off the hitch/receiver.

thank you.
 

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6 bolts hold the hitch to the crossmember under the valance and the WD hitch on the trailer will not distribute unless it's a frame mounted like the Curt.

The OEM hitch is tying all that weight to the center of the bumper vs having all that weight tied to the frame rails that run the entire length of the vehicle. You will literally be jacking your rig up and down from the hitch when hooking up the WD bars vs spreading that out to the frame rails. I hope that explains it better?
 

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There's a thread on here that explains why a WD dist hitch should not be used with an OEM Crossmember mounted hitch. It basically said, the 6 OEM bolts were literally being stretched before the metal hitch itself bent.
 

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In the same thread that @Hannibal is referring to, I think there is also a mention of using a ProPride or Hensley hitch for anti-sway if you stay with the OEM hitch.
If you are not familiar these hitches, they use a four-body linkage to move the apparent hitch point forward closer to the rear axle - simulating a fifth-wheel setup. The thing to watch is braking on large downhill grades, make sure your trailer brakes are adjusted to come first. It's a ingenious hitch and very useful with the FJ OEM one where you don't want run the more typical WD and AS type hitches
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Follow up question, all - if we skip using the OEM current receiver/hitch (which appears to be bumper mount) and have RV dealer install a frame mounted hitch; and still use the Recurve R3 or similar WDH would that work? The cost of a new frame mount install appears moderate (couple hundred i believe); and then i'd be back to original question of the tongue weight currently at 413lbs plus the weight of the WDH and batteries. Those Hensley's and ProPride's appear over $2,000. My dad has an opinion on using a Equal-i-zer brand WDH.
 

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IMO you really should figure out the weight of the trailer loaded ready to go and see if it still fits within the FJ's capacity.

Nice trailer though
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Mikey - definitely makes sense, with the listed weights of UVW 3,075 lbs, base hitch weight 413 lbs and the 4,700 limit was estimating that with the two adults up front, gear in the rig, rack/kayaks on top of FJ, full water in the trailer, gear/food in the trailer we'd still be under that 4,700 number, though higher than the "80%" some seem to say is best.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Silver Valence and OEM ( factory, dealer ?) receiver hitch and 4 pin wiring. Posting the photos here in case of use to others. @Hannibal had told me about the 4 bolts, but seeing is being! From what I can see being under the rig, it really seems that a frame mounted receiver hitch with more than four bolts would be a much better way to go when towing something closer to maximum weights (in addition to the weight distributing hitch/sway bars, trans cooler, 7 pin and brake controller.
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4 bold receiver and 4 pin wiring.

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Don't forget, before you use it for the 1st time, you have to have water in the black tank as well. Otherwise you'll create the dreaded Pyramid of :poop:.

It's not an OEM 4 bolt receiver. There's 2 more bolts higher up under the bumper "cover". Grade 8.8 bolts are OEM. I used grade 10.9.

Zinc plated for moderate corrosion resistance. A tempered medium carbon steel. Class 10.9 is stronger than class 8.8, and is commonly found in high strength automotive applications.

If you plan on this maxed out weight, all I'm going to say is use a frame mounted receiver and for added stopping power, take a look at our BIG BRAKE thread. Not to be rude, but the liability is on you. Have you considered a smaller/lighter trailer? Just because it says 5K# & 500# tongue limit, doesn't mean to push it to that. The FJ's short wheel base doesn't make it an ideal tow vehicle for larger trailers/boats, etc.

I had a 17' 3K# and would not drive w/ loaded tanks to reduce weight. 8.34#'s per gallon of water, Propane full, 40# per battery, etc. it all add's up. Expect 10~12 MPG on flat hwy, less if it's hilly.

Good Luck and Have Fun!

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Discussion Starter #19
Silver Valence and OEM ( factory, dealer ?) receiver hitch and 4 pin wiring. Posting the photos here in case of use to others. @Hannibal had told me about the 4 bolts, but seeing is being! From what I can see being under the rig, it really seems that a frame mounted receiver hitch with more than four bolts would be a much better way to go when towing something closer to maximum weights (in addition to the weight distributing hitch/sway bars, trans cooler, 7 pin and brake controller. View attachment 1130071 View attachment 1130064 View attachment 1130065 View attachment 1130066 View attachment 1130067 View attachment 1130068 View attachment 1130069 View attachment 1130070 View attachment 1130071 View attachment 1130073 View attachment 1130073 View attachment 1130064 View attachment 1130065 View attachment 1130066 View attachment 1130067 View attachment 1130068 View attachment 1130069 View attachment 1130070 View attachment 1130071 View attachment 1130073 4 bold receiver and 4 pin wiring.

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correcting this edit, but leaving here, so others see my error that @Hannibal called out; as i had failed to see there was the additional 2 bolts above the main 2, behind the bumper cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
got it; makes sense, and understand what you and others said prior about not putting the WDH on this 6 bolt receiver when only attached at rear of frame, vs the side frame mounted receiver system; as stated the weight was not good on those 6 bolts in that single location just around the receiver. seeing is believing.
 
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