Last Updated on June 16, 2023 by Will Sabel
When it comes to towing, a lot of things can go sideways if your vehicle isn’t equipped with the right hitch. Trust me, I didn’t want to sound ominous at the beginning like this. Let’s hope you’re not but if you are towing with subpar equipment…the consequences can be drastic. So, to avoid that let’s get real and hook you up with a hitch that will make towing easy and safe.
Enters Fastway e2 hitch from Progress Manufacturing, a robust trailer hitch packed with tons of features and a much safer option than a simple ball mount.
Why Fastway e2 and Not a Four-Point Weight Distribution Hitch?
Choosing this product also means you are discarding traditional chain-style weight distribution hitches. They can be a bit handful and require add-ons like anti-sway bars. But this bad boy here doesn’t require any add-on. It’s a complete package that has a lot of potentials.
However, if you’re interested in a four-point system weight distribution hitch then you have to go with an equalizer hitch. But the thing is they’ll cost you a fortune and by fortune, I mean roughly $500 and more. Are you comfortable spending that kind of dough on a hitch?
If you’re not, then why not take a good look at Fastway e2? It doesn’t cost as much as Blue Ox but still offers lots of cool features. To name a few, it has superb sway control, a smart weight distribution setup, and an intelligent hitch adjustment system. Own a Convertible? Don’t worry, it also has a decent convertible trailer angle adjustment system.
Before jumping into the product, let’s take a short detour and find out how a weight-distribution hitch work. The better you understand the mechanism the better performance you’ll be able to extract from your hitch. But if you’re already well-accustomed to this then do skip this part. If you’re not, then please read on…
Why do you need a hitch (weight distribution) in the First Place?
A weight distribution hitch is also referred to as sway-control hitch, anti-sway hitch, or trailer equalizer. If you have a trailer to tow with your vehicle, then it can offer you a helping hand and keep you safe while you’re out on the road.
Their main function, however, is to distribute the downward force from heavy trailers across more of the tow vehicle. Why does it need to be distributed? Well, if not distributed correctly it can put too much pressure on the rear of your vehicle. Consequently, it’ll wear down your vehicle’s integrity and give you a difficult time controlling it at the same time.
A good weight distribution hitch like Fastway e2 helps spread the downward force across your vehicle’s axles and the trailer’s axles. It makes sure the weight of the trailer gets spread evenly from just the hitch to the entire tow vehicle.
There’s one more thing. You may want to get a weight distribution hitch in case you don’t want to lose your transport’s warranty. As a matter of fact, almost all car manufacturers require your vehicle to have a certain gross weight.
Let’s assume you own a truck that weighs close to half a ton. For a vehicle like this, you need one at 5,000 pounds total load. It’ll include any cargo that you will carry in the tow vehicle. But if you own a heavier transport say a one-ton truck then its user manual will specify what version you need.
Forget all this stuff…just know that all veteran campers prefer a weight distribution hitch. As they make their climb the height may and will cause uncontrolled motions. A good WDH can take care of that and keep the climb safe and easy.
A common mistake people make is that they think if the weight is not that heavy, a simple ball mount will do the job instead of a weight distribution hitch. When in reality it’s not about the weight of your trailer. It’s actually about how much it weighs in relation to your tow vehicle’s capacity, and how it affects your whole towing experience.
Next time your steering feels odd and the tow vehicle seems to be dragging along the road even though you’re not over the weight limit…well, it means you, my friend, need a weight distribution hitch.
So, What does it offer?
Right out of the gate, it will improve your towing experience by a huge margin. A weight distribution hitch like the Fastway e2 won’t let the rear end of your vehicle to sag. This sagging is the root cause of your trailer swaying and bouncing in the first place. It also affects the driving experience.
By eliminating sagging your towing experience will become smooth. And not to mention, you will get more stability and control while steering your vehicle.
Sway control is less annoying when you use a weight distribution hitch. Your trailer won’t fishtail at the rear end anymore. I mean with proper weight distribution your trailer becomes stable and the arms of this hitch will eliminate any kind of side-to-side motions.
And with that being said let’s jump into the Fastway e2 hitch and discover whether it can live up to its promise…
Features of Fastway e2
This trailer hitch has no shortage of features, I give you that. It’s a complete package. Whatever you need to tow from RVs, boats, cargo, construction to ATV trailers…it will haul them smoothly like butter on the road-thanks to its features. So what are they? Let’s take a look…
Say Goodbye to Annoying Sway
Fastway e2 comes with a clever built-in Sway Control. No need for an extra add-on to control sway on the road. It can take care of sway without any hassle. With this installed you’ll be able to drive smoothly and safely.
Also, passing large vehicles like massive semi-trucks isn’t going to be a problem anymore. If you need to turn your vehicle suddenly you’ll find e2 surprisingly adapt to those maneuvers. So, what’s the magic?
Well, Fastway e2 has a 2-point anti-sway system. It uses good-old friction between the spring arms and the brackets mounted to the trailer frame. It hugely minimizes the trailer sway while you’re towing along the road.
Now, you could argue that Equal-i-zer hitches use 4-points of friction for sway control, and e2 uses only linear friction. Yes, that’s true. But Fastway e2 still packs a punch if you’re not looking to spend much on a trailer hitch.
Because of the linear friction mechanism, the weight distribution bars intersect the “L” brackets. It causes a lot of noise. That’s the only downside of it. But again, given the results it offers, you can easily turn a blind eye while you’re making a turn or go over rough terrain and ignore the loud clunking noise once in a while.
Flexibility in Choice: Round Bar and Trunnion Model
Fastway e2 weight distribution hitch offers you two choices. You can either go for the ‘Round Bar’ model or the ‘Trunnion’ model. However, when they come face to face…trunnion always wins. Round bars are best suited for lighter applications. They can also become a bit of a chore while installing.
They are relatively cheaper than the trunnion model( everyone’s favorite). On the other hand, trunnion bars are much easier to install and perfect for towing heavier trailers. Not to mention, it’ll give you more must-necessary ground clearance than the round bars model.
If you’re only going to tow light equipment and don’t mind the hassle of installing it, go for the round bars. They’ll also cost less but in my humble opinion, you might want to go for the trunnion model. They’re better in every possible way. Spend once, but wisely.
Back Up Like a Single Unit
This is the perk that I love most when it comes to hitches that have integrated sway systems. Backing up is no longer a thing to worry about when you’re towing. You DON’T need to disconnect your Fastway e2 hitch.
Just simply back up like a single unit. The trailer will not feel like an extra thing rather it’ll work just like an extension of your vehicle. Hence, you can back up or make a difficult turn without disconnecting the hitch from your trailer. Don’t worry your transport won’t experience any damage while maneuvering like that.
However, there’s a catch. It says in the owner’s manual that you are strongly advised to disengage weight distribution before towing or backing the trailer where there is a significant transition in grade which puts extreme strain on your hitch. That means if you’re going from a flat to a steep uphill driveway the distribution bars will not hold.
They will give away since they aren’t designed to withstand a sharp vertical angle between the tow vehicle and the trailer.
The Magnum Opus of Fastway e2: Precise Weight Distribution Set-Up
Previously, Fastway’s weight distribution system wasn’t something to be proud of. They were still using primitive chain-controlled spring bars. My word they took some time to adjust. So Progress Manufacturing discarded the old system and came up with a new one. One that doesn’t require any add-ons and removing of the hitch when backing up or making tight turns.
The built-in sway control system eliminates any kind of sway and simultaneously makes way for intelligent weight distribution. To set it up, you only need to move the “L” brackets up or down.
To get the best out of the weight distribution system you need to know how much weight it supports. Take some measurements of your tow vehicle first. You’ll need to take three measurements to be exact. First, while the trailer is attached and then without it. Finally, take one more reading when the weight distribution bars have some tension.
After that, you’ll have a clear idea of your trailer’s actual weight and tongue weight. Once you’ve done that choose the next highest-rated hitch.
If you don’t adjust the hitch according to its weight distribution bar, it won’t work properly. But don’t worry, the Fastway e2 hitch is available in three different weight versions. They are 4,500 lbs, 6,000 lbs, 8,000 lbs, 10,000 lbs, and 12,000 lbs.
Clever Convertible Trailer Angle Adjustment
This is a crucial feature if you’re a fan of convertible trailers. Thanks to the versatile nature of e2, you can use this without any worries. As we all know for better sway control and weight distribution we have to adjust the trailer angle correctly.
How can you achieve that? Well, with e2 it’s rather easy. First, adjust the WDHs and spring arms and then you work on fixing the trailer angle. You’ll need to take front and rear axle measurements for that.
However, since Fastway e2 has built-in sway control you don’t have to hassle with separating chain adjustment of the ball mount anymore. This trailer angle adjustment will help you to make difficult turns, especially on downhill roads.
A Top-Notch Hitch Adjustment System
It’s a fact that the same setting will not be applicable for every single vehicle since every vehicle and hitch has a different setting. What worked for your next-door neighbor might not work for you. So, how can you adjust the setting of your hitch?
Well, Fastway e2 tried their best to take the guessing game out of the game. Their hitches have advanced settings that are suitable for literally every use. Whether you’re planning to make a long or short trip it’ll deliver with the best possible driving and towing experience.
Still, you might want to make some manual adjustments to get better results. After doing so a couple of times you’ll get a general idea of what you need to adjust to what extent. For example, if you couple the empty trailer with the trailer frame only, the ground clearance will need some minor adjustments.
And to lock the hitch properly, you have to install a hook to the spring arm area. One more thing and you know this already but I’m just gonna go ahead and say it anyway…if your trailer has clean water and a propane tank then it would need a separate hitch adjustment than a trailer without them.
To simply put, even if you buy the hitch having the correct weight version it’ll only give the best results if the adjustments are made appropriately. And since the scenarios will vary from vehicle to vehicle and hitch to hitch, you should take some time to manually adjust your unit before taking it on the road. It might sound like a drag but to have a better driving experience you should take care of these little but crucial things.
Don’t depend too much on the built-in adjustment system. Fine-tune it to your need. Remember, a hitch can either be your best companion or your worst enemy.
How to Install
Once you get your hands on the product and are ready to install it, you’ll need to follow some steps. Don’t worry, if you’re new to this the following paragraphs will help you. I will describe everything step by step. So, let’s begin…
At first, simply raise the hitch coupler with the camper tongue jack. In that way, you can move around the hitch ball which is mounted on the tow vehicle more freely under the trailer coupler. Then line up your tow vehicle and trailer so that the hitch ball is rightly under the trailer coupler.
Now, use the tongue jack to gently lower the trailer coupler onto the hitch ball. And then engage the coupler hatch. Don’t throw the tongue jack away yet. You’ll need this for this next step too.
Raise the trailer and the rear of the tow vehicle with that tongue jack. Now install the weight distribution arms into the “L” brackets. If you can’t get the trailer to raise, don’t worry. Tongue jack won’t always make the cut. In that case, you can use a snap lever and place the arms onto the brackets.
After that, install the “L” pins and make sure the arms are engaged with the brackets properly. That’s pretty much it. Later on, carefully remove the tongue jack and you’ll be all set to go. Just make sure to connect all safety chains, trailer electric connections, safety breaks, and the little things.
Do a double-check before you start your journey just to be sure that everything is in the right place. Here’s the video if you find the instructions hard to follow:
Installing Fastway e2 Trunnion Style
Installing Fastway e2 Round Bar Style
Installing Fastway e2 4.5k Light Duty Trunnion
Detaching the Fastway e2
Detaching a weight distribution hitch such as the Fastway e2 is quite different from detaching other ball mount hitches. If you’ve just upgraded from a ball mount to WDH then this section will come in real handy for you. So, without further ado let’s see how to detach a trailer from the e2.
First things first, check your trailer properly before moving on to detaching the trailer. Then leave the coupler coupled. You might want to rush to your tongue jack and raise your trailer using it. But don’t do that. Because if you do, all the weight of the trailer will shift to the spring arms alone and you won’t be able to move that.
So, leave the coupler coupled and let the tow vehicle and trailer be hooked up. What you want to do is use the tongue jack to bring them up. And then simply take the weight off of the weight distribution hitch. After that change the angle that has between the trailer frame and the spring arms.
To do that raise the hitch high enough so that the spring arm is quite loose. And then simply pull it off from the “L” bracket. Once it’s loosened enough take the “ L” pin out and detach the spring arm. Now, you can lower it again to release the coupler.
Let it come down far enough so that the latch will be released easily. Let the tongue jack go up again and it’ll be detached completely. And that’s basically it.
You don’t need to fight with your hitch, remember it’s your buddy!
What I Didn’t Like
Finding faults has never been difficult with this hitch. We already discussed the loud clunking noise because of its spring bars. But that only occurs when you’re going over a bumpy road or making a sharp turn.
The next thing that can be considered as a defect is that it only uses 2 points for anti-sway control. But come on, the sway can be felt hardly if you have mounted everything correctly. And in this price range, it still delivers the goods.
You can argue that installation is a bit tricky. But again, this should become a habit once you use it a couple of times. The feeling of setting the whole rig by yourself should also give you a warm feeling of satisfaction.
Things that Hooked Me Up
I have tried to go through the features and their benefits as much as I could. But for the sake of the article let’s try to be brief and go over them once and for all.
To be honest, the price tag is a huge win for me. In this price range finding a decent weight distribution hitch is a miracle. Especially one that has so many great features and practicality.
Next thing is that it has a pretty decent ground clearance. This is often overlooked but ask any veterans and they will tell you how important it is. Hands down Fastway e2’s ‘Trunnion’ model gives its users a good deal of ground clearance for a better driving experience.
No add-ons are needed, the hitch is already better off. Moreover, you don’t need to disconnect anything while backing up or driving in relatively harsh weather.
Wrapping it up
Fastway’s build is solid. The whole thing weighs just about 103 pounds and looks pretty cool too once you attach your trailer to it. The build is coupled with a sublime piece of engineering. All the parts work coherently and in harmony. You don’t have to manhandle it at all (might have to while installing it at first).
E2’s concept is so simple that it makes it all the more effective. The parts are built with caution and care. They don’t feel fragile or cheap at all. It is designed to work with virtually all kinds of vehicles. It’s elegantly simple to use.
The integrated sway control makes your driving as smooth as possible. So there is literally no need for add-on sway control devices. Pricing is reasonable, the features are cool and it makes towing incredibly safe too.
All you have to do is make sure that you have the right version for your needs. Otherwise, your hitch won’t deliver the results that it’s supposed to. Just make sure of that and read your manuals carefully before hitting the road. After all, you can’t be too careful these days.