Fastway E2 Hitch - Is It Worth Buying?
Buyer’s Guide and Advice
Vehicle hitches are useful for more than just towing trailers. They can be added to smaller cars and crossovers to increase storage capacity or to accommodate a cargo or bicycle rack. Installing a hitch to connect steps to your larger pickup is useful for getting stuff into the bed, even if you aren’t carrying a trailer.
Front-mount hitches are also popular for attaching ploughs and carrying extra cargo. The square tube coming out of the back into which a hitch ball slides is standard on most late model heavy-duty trucks, although there are additional aftermarket heavy-duty varieties available to suit your unique needs.
Why Is A Hitch Important
The way you load your caravan has a significant impact on its towing stability. We should all know how to load our vans properly, but regardless of how well we load, there are additional factors at play that will affect the stability of a tow vehicle and caravan combo.
As you may be aware, the weight of the caravan’s coupling onto the towbar causes the back of the vehicle to sag, see-sawing weight off the vehicle’s front-end. The steering and braking performance will suffer as a result.
What Is A Weight Distribution Hitch And Why Do You Require It
Stabilisers used to be synonymous with load levellers and equalisers, but in the context of caravans, it is now more typically used to prevent the caravan from tipping or becoming unstable while people are inside. Stabilisers, corner steadies, and corner jacks are all used for the same purpose.
When the weight of the caravan or trailer is added to the tow ball, load levellers, equalisers, and WDH all seek to prevent the rear of the tow vehicle from sagging. Load Levellers and Equalisers are relatively simple, however, the Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) is widely recognised for its changeable ball heights and ability to handle heavier loads. The abbreviation Hitch can also be used to refer to a Weight Distribution Hitch.
The purpose of an Anti Sway Device is quite different. Its objective is to prevent trailer sway, rather than trying to level the Vehicle/Caravan combination. They can be coupled in one unit, and a WDH can also minimise sway, but the Anti Sway device is commonly thought of as an afterthought, added to address a sway problem that persists after a WDH has failed to eliminate sway in all scenarios. Poor design, bad weight distribution within the caravan/trailer, or even poor wheel alignment causes the type of sway they’re trying to fix.
How Do You Know You Need A Weight Distribution Hitch
Let’s start by dispelling one myth. If your tow vehicle or tow bar specifications specify a maximum tow ball weight, using a WDH will not increase the maximum tow ball weight. You must keep your tow ball weight at or below the set minimum.
The weight of your caravan should be roughly 10% of its total weight on your tow ball. Your tow vehicle will have its own set of limits that must be followed. Incorrect ball weight is problematic since it impairs your car’s ability to steer and brake. You can reorganise your load using a Weight Distribution Hitch or a Ball Weight Scale to correct your ball weight.
All of these items are designed to keep the caravan and tow vehicle at the same level. This is important because if the weight isn’t distributed properly, the front of the tow vehicle and the back of the van will elevate.
The Best In Class Hitch
However, there exists a hitch that has distinguished itself from being your ordinary run of the mill hitch. We of course are referring to the Fastway E2 Hitch. There are no additional items to purchase or install with the Fastway e2 hitch. There’s nothing else to store. There’s nothing else you need to take out before returning to your campsite or making a u-turn. Before buying the E2 hitch, we recommend you familiarize yourself with the characteristics of this important tool.
Integrated Sway Control
The Fastway e2™ hitches have the convenience of Integrated Sway Control™ built into the hitch; so you have sway control engaged whenever you are hitched up and towing. The e2™ utilizes unique sway control brackets instead of old ‘add-on’ sway bars or cam-type attachments that are added to chain-style hitches.
- Integrated sway control offers many benefits including no backing or turning restrictions, and simple and easy to understand adjustments.
- Built with sway control in mind, the e2™ hitch is better than a chain-style hitch with add-on sway control devices.
Add-ons are a pain to remove while backing up and making tight corners, and old chain-style hitches don’t have built-in sway control. The strong brackets on the e2 hitch provide constant sway control, allowing you to get on the road faster and enjoy your journey. The increased weight of a trailer attached to a tow vehicle might cause the vehicle to teeter-totter over the rear axle. The tow vehicle’s front end rises, while the back end lowers. Because there is less weight on the front axle, steering and braking control are reduced, resulting in a dangerous towing position.
Highway hop, loss of steering control, and sagging at the rear of the tow vehicle can all occur if the weight distribution is not properly distributed.
The Fastway E2 hitch revolutionises the way a tow vehicle and trailer are connected. It acts as a link between them, allowing them to work as one unit rather than two, and spreading the weight more evenly between the trailer and vehicle axles. The steering wheels will stay more firmly planted on the ground when properly set up, delivering improved braking and steering control.
Sway Control Brackets
Downward pressure on the trailer tongue and upward pressure on the spring arms trigger the sway control. The rotating sway control is linked to the sway control brackets via the spring arms, which disperse the trailer tongue weight. The rotating friction sway control may safely and effectively keep the trailer in line with the tow vehicle and battle sway due to the strength of the sway control brackets.
Through two places of linear steel on steel friction, the unique rigid sway control brackets provide the ease of natural and mechanical integrated Sway Control. Instead of swinging freely at the bottom of a chain, the spring arms on the Fastway e2 rest on top of a bare metal bracket. Sway is prevented by friction at these two places, which decreases driver stress during towing. Without worrying about towing!
- For greater stability and control, weight is evenly distributed over the axles of the tow vehicle and trailer.
- Both the tow vehicle and the trailer have a level ride.
- Integrated Side-to-side movement is prevented via 2-point friction sway control.
- Spring bars are held in place by brackets, resulting in a stiff structure that keeps the trailer in line. “As if it were on rails!”
- Winds and or rapid moves do not produce sway because of steel-on-steel friction.
- There are no lift chains, thus there is no unwanted movement.
- The system’s unique design allows it to work with surge-type braking actuators.
- Trunnion spring bars flex to provide a smooth, controlled ride.
- No-drilling! Clamp-on brackets can be moved along the A-frame of the trailer.
- Traditional washer design achieves desired tilt.
A 3″ drop/rise shank is standard on the Fastway e2TM Sway Control Weight Distribution Hitch. Larger drop/rise shanks, available in 4”, 6”, and 8”, may be required depending on the height differences between the Tow Vehicle tow bar receiver and trailer coupler. Depending on your arrangement, these modifications will differ.
Why Should You Buy This?
Easy to set up and control the sway while keeping the ride level. Fastway provides many YouTube tutorials on how to properly set up per trailer and vehicle ride height if you’ve never done so before. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can save a lot of money and avoid a trip to a mechanic by doing it yourself. Be aware that the box it comes in is HEAVY. You can’t go wrong with this buy because it gets the job done.
- It fits any caravan or trailer A-Frame since it has 6 different chassis bolt hole positions (6 inches, 5 inches, 4 inches or even 3 inches)
- The Black JackTM can be spun 360 degrees for simple operating access, thanks to many shaft hole configurations.
- Surface mount open cavities allow you to install over existing cable fittings, giving you more installation options on the A-Frame.
- Upper and lower support brackets are designed to minimise any lateral movement produced by uneven surfaces.
- The BlackJack ClampTM is a slimline design that is only 160mm broad, allowing installation in compact or congested places.
Pros Of The E2 Hitch
Why do you need the car and van levels in the first place? Balance. When the caravan is linked up and sits either nose-up or nose-down, its weight shifts, affecting the rig’s dynamics – and frequently dramatically. With the E2 hitch, you can avoid all these problems with ease.
Keep in mind that a level rig is only one component of a complex mix of criteria that contribute to a safe, well-balanced rig. A good tow vehicle mass, a long tow vehicle wheelbase, proper tyre pressures, a large caravan coupling to wheelset measurement ratio, proper unladen caravan weight distribution, and finally correct vehicle and van payload distribution all play a role in being able to tow your caravan down the road without it crashing into the nearest field.
A caravan wheelset serves as a pivot point or fulcrum. If the van is hitched up nose-up, there is too much weight on the back of the vehicle, resulting in poor towing dynamics. The excess weight at the back of the vehicle will act as a pendulum, causing the trailer to swing from side to side.
Cons Of The E2 Hitch
In some caravanning circles, the Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) has taken on a mythological reputation as the single safety gear that ensures your unit won’t swing into a roll-over. Towing without one, according to some, would be suicidal.
While the WDH has its place, it is not the panacea that some claim it is. A WDH puts enormous stress on the caravan and vehicle chassis, particularly the vehicle towbar. In many cases, the caravan either needs to be properly balanced or is just too nose-heavy for the tow vehicle. A WDH’s spring bars must be slackened in all instances before tackling differences in road surfaces such as spoon drains or steeply inclined driveways, or it may put weights on the car and van that it was not designed to exert, which might cause damage. Even if your caravan has a big tow ball download (more than 250kg, or more than 15% of total caravan weight), you must still level your rig before adding a WDH, as mentioned above.
DIY Tips To Get Your Hitch Level
So, how do you ensure that your rig is level? Start by making sure you’re not buying something mismatched, such as a tall off-road caravan tied to a low passenger vehicle, as an extreme example. When hitched, even some 4WD pick-up trucks have low-set towbars, causing the trailer to be nose-down. A tall, massive 4WD US-style pickup linked up to a road-going pop-top, on the other hand, is likely to give the trailer a nose-up attitude.
First and foremost, you must measure the trailer. Get a spirit level and position it on a horizontal component of the trailer, such as the A-frame, while the vehicle is parked, uncoupled, and on level ground. Adjust the jockey wheel until the spirit level indicates that the trailer is absolutely level. To check that the measures are the same, measure one of the longitudinal chassis components at the front and then the back of the vehicle.
It’s now possible to compare the heights of the trailer connection and the vehicle tow ball. It’s difficult to achieve a perfect, same measuring point on the coupling and tow ball, but the lowest lip of the 50mm coupling assembly and the corresponding point on the tow vehicle’s tow ball are reasonable places to start. To determine where to measure the tow ball so that it matches the coupling height measurement, you may need to attach the trailer to the car.
For almost five years, the Fastway e2 has been offered in Australia. Titan RV imports it from the United States, where it is said to be the most popular WDH on the market.
The weight distribution function of the e2 is similar to that of other WDHs on the market. There’s a drop hitch for the hitch receiver on the towbar, steel brackets for attaching to the caravan’s A-frame, and heavy-duty torsion bars for shifting weight from the vehicle’s front-end to the caravan’s tyres, thereby levelling the ride.
The e2’s torsion bars, on the other hand, are kept in place by special L-shaped brackets, the height of which may be modified according to your setup’s needs, rather than by steel chains. As with other WDHs, each bar must be levered up with the help of a bar provided.
Unlike a standard sway-bar configuration, the e2 Fastway does not need to be removed while reversing the caravan because the torsion bars simply glide on the L bracket as you turn the van.
The Fastway e2 is available in two styles: a ‘round bar’ style for vans with couplings on top of the A-frame, and a ‘trunnion’ style for vans with couplings underslung.
It costs about the same as a conventional WDH, but because it also has an anti-sway feature built-in, it represents excellent value — there’s no need to buy extra anti-sway bars, etc.
Rather than being rated for applicability based on a tow ball weight range, as some other WDHs are, the e2 is qualified for towing capacity up to 3500kg, so you won’t need to buy another WDH if you upgrade or downsize your rig in the future. For heavier rigs, an e2 is also available.
The Fastway e2 is a fantastic performer. It’s very useful because it combines weight distribution and anti-sway in one gadget. Finally, the Fastway e2 was deafeningly quiet!