Q-Man and AnacortesArmyGuy and many on this thread, thank you. I've really valued your input and it has factored into my decision on how to proceed with my family's trip to the east coast. Sincerely. I am grateful for that input as I believe it's helped me to figure out how travel with my family as safely as possible.Adding the weight of a WDH to your already tongue heavy setup is only going to put more weight on the rear axle and lift your front axle even more, it would be dangerous. Using a WDH should solve sway(Ascent systems excluded) but exacerbates too much weight on the rear axles. That's without even getting into frame stress issues.
It is a very cool trailer, but designed in an era when a truck would be towing it. There is no magic bullet that will make it safe to tow with the Ascent.
I know my last post may have sounded like sour grapes as I've been caught with a trailer that doesn't work very well with the Ascent. I have a hard decision to make but my previous point isn't really about my situation. It's more about a pervasive sense in the responses to this thread that WDHs are unnecessary to pull a trailer safely. From the research I've done and the consistent testimonials I've read from users of WDHs with incorporated sway control there is a real value from their use and I think it's misguided to suggest that they are unnecessary because Subaru guides against their use. Again, I'm not talking about my specific situation. I'm talking about the many, many user testimonials I've read. I have yet to read a testimonial that says, "Hey I tried a WDH and it was a waste of money. Pulling a trailer without one is just as easy as with one." I haven't read anything like that. Instead what you hear is that WDHs with sway control make towing easier, reduce driver stress and create a more confident towing experience. So just because Subaru recommends against their use on the Ascent doesn't mean they shouldn't be seriously considered if you choose to tow a trailer.
Please consider that the tenor of this conversation is a lot like confirmation bias: If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.