Weight distribution or sway control needed with small trailer

c good

Active Member
Original poster
Dec 8, 2011
My little 14 ft Geo Pro G14FK trailer weighs 2100 dry with Gross weight at 3000 lbs. I have a 5000 lb tow rating on the Envoy. Do I need weight distribution or sway control for something this small. I also have a good brake controller installed.


Platinum Donor
Dec 3, 2011
Brighton, CO
I routinely tow about 2500 with my XUV, and dont have either the brake controller, or weight distribution. Tows great, no problems.


My load is balanced near perfect, trailer carries about 95% of the weight, with nearly nothing on the hitch. I can, and have, lifted the front of my trailer off my hitch with 3 fingers.

Is this ideal? I dont know. Been towing like that for years without complaint.
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Jul 6, 2014
Suprised something that small has brakes. I wouldn't worry about it. I used to tow my 19 foot all over the place and that comes in at almost 4k. Seems your tongue and axle are pretty centered so that helps too.
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Master Blaster
Dec 4, 2011
Ottawa, ON
You don't need a WDH unless your tongue weight is such that the rear of the truck is sagging or you're over the tongue rating of the truck. Your tongue weight should be between 10-15% of the trailer weight so between 300-450. Max non-WDH tongue weight rating for the truck is 400 lbs. So you should be fine. If your tongue is closer to 400, you should get a WDH or helper springs or air bags. Over 400, you need a WDH.

All the required info is in your owners manual. If you don't have it:
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Active Member
Dec 20, 2011
I have an EXT I6, and used to pull my 19 ft boat and trailer just fine, no brakes on trailer, no sway bar etc. Maybe slow downs going up hills but that's not what you are asking. I didn't store my boat in a slip so trailered it quite a bit fishing different points on lake erie.

I weighed it once at the local gravel store because I was curious, boat and trailer = 3500 lbs. (fiberglass I/O engine with backup engine) Could drive and forget it was back there. So weight shouldn't be an issue for you. Shorter trailer like that will be trickier to back up on angles but you probably already know that :smile:
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Nov 13, 2021
No, you do not need it, but it sure makes towing nice. If you are just towing around your area then don't bother with the effort to hook it up, but if towing long distances then the little things will make it more enjoyable. The WDH will level out the truck so it does not sag and your headlights do not point up off the road. The WDH itself might oferr some sway control on a small trailer just due to the added friction, but unless you trailer sways then i would not worry so much about it. loading the weight on the trailer axles or just forward of it helps to minimize sway. Putting too much weight behind the axle will make it sway.
I had an 800lb (so the manufacturer claimed) cargo trailer and IDT it was too heavy loaded, and always used WDH, even when I had a 3/4 ton truck. It just kept everything happy.
I even had trailer brakes because I would go through, and down, mountains and having trailer brakes is more relaxing. The truck stops itself and the trailer stops itself so there is zero added weight to your truck's brakes.
If you have a WDH then use it, but the added cost, $250 plus, might not make it worth getting.
As I said, dont bother with one for short in-town trips.


Registered Member
Apr 19, 2020
Sway control always gave me a lot more satisfaction when towing - added to that I always have a WDH --- and I have three sets of arms ... 500lb, 2500 lb and 10,000 lb capacities from the old days of hauling a 38" RV trailer with everything I owned and a wife and 3 kids too.

BTW - trailer brakes and front controller and a breakaway system with a 12v battery are required on trailers over 3500 lbs gross weight - so just beware that some states enforce that law - others don't.

Typically I tow about 10,000 lbs with my firewood gathering (3 cords + trailer/saws/fire extinguishers/lunch/spare tires/gasoline/chains and snatch cables/etc) and I don't want the tail wagging the dog.

I have a 2-axle trailer and added the second whole brake package to the un-braked axle so I have all wheel-brakes; both trailer and tow vehicle.

Try to keep about 15% of the overall trailer and cargo weight on the ball for control.

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