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Old 11-27-2006, 07:24 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3DogNight
...Their hitches are adjustable ...[and]... that this was done through adjusting the hitch ball angulation with the use of supplied spacers to "dial in" the exact amount of tension needed...
Someone correct me if I am wrong since my experience is with Reese hitches:

"Dialing in" an Equalizer is the same thing as "counting chain links" on a Reese. The spring bar itself, on either hitch, can still be inappropriate for the towing combination.

Tom
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:44 PM   #30
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Now I have a VW Touareg.It is fully loaded so it has the airsuspension.The vehicle has settings for the lift and lowering but the computer has its own settings and can not be done manually.What I am trying to get at is I use a 1000# equalizer hitch but do not use the distribution part of it.All I use it for is the sway.I pretty much have it set to almost the lowest setting it will go and I can load the bars with my hands with no problem.Will this in turn produce any problems with the trailer.I am thinking not so.But I am sking because you never know.Thanks
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:47 PM   #31
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Sorry

I am not trying to be rude in any way but what does the 70's have to do with what is now?I am just curious because it is so long ago.Has anything changed since then?I am still a newbie at this stuff and I really want to know.Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:36 PM   #32
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600# Equal-I_Zer towing 19' Bambi CCD w/ Silverado 2500HD crew cab. Have towed about 2500 miles. Very pleased. So far no hint of sway.
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Old 11-27-2006, 11:15 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Jerry.

We talked with all the hitch manufacturers back in 1970 and then again in a1971, regarding what they are telling users.

We assured them that the data we had (Caravanner Insurance Company), demonstrated otherwise.

We also told them that since the front end of an Airstream flexes, a rigid hookup was damaging to the trailer as well as to the A-frame. We informed them that our field tests, which were all documented, also said otherwise.

They basically said that from a "liability" point of view, they were "not" going to change what they tell owners.
.


Simple.

Liability.

And so it is.

Andy

Andy, What I neglected to say in my previous post concerning my phone conversation with the Equalizer tech was not only did the company recomend going to the next hitch size up if the tongue weight was over the listed size [which would be the case on my on order 20'Safari listed at a dry weight of 600# using a 6,000#/600# hitch]. He also said if you did not follow that recomendation and used in their estimation too light of a hitch, again in my case a 600# hitch it would VOID their warranty.
Now, what you have said more than once [actually a whole bunch of times] and what TomW said in his latest post on this thread makes more sense to me logically than what the tech was trying to say. I guess it boils down to we are all big boys and girls and at some point you gotta call it as you see it and take responsibility.
I would much prefer to see something break on the hitch rather than tear the trailer apart. Which brings up a couple of other queations. What type of failures and problems have you seen in your experience with rigs being under hitched using WD type hitches? The final question being with a guestimated tongue weight of 750# to 1000# when finally loaded with all the toys and propane am I really overhitched in your estimation with the 1000# hitch? Jerry
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Old 11-27-2006, 11:32 PM   #34
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Hitch

800 lb bars. Works great and no sway on my 19' Bambi towed by a 2005 Tacoma PU 6 cyl with tow package.

JERRY
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:02 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devoman
Now I have a VW Touareg.It is fully loaded so it has the airsuspension.The vehicle has settings for the lift and lowering but the computer has its own settings and can not be done manually.What I am trying to get at is I use a 1000# equalizer hitch but do not use the distribution part of it.All I use it for is the sway.I pretty much have it set to almost the lowest setting it will go and I can load the bars with my hands with no problem.Will this in turn produce any problems with the trailer.I am thinking not so.But I am sking because you never know.Thanks

Hi, My opinion on this statement is, that if there is very little pressure on the bars, then there would be minimum sway control. This is because the pressure on the bars helps equalize the load and friction where the bar slides controls sway. In other words, if little or no pressure is on the bars, you might as well just leave them off. Cause problems with trailer? Only if you lose control because you are defeating the purpose of the Equal-i-zer hitch design.

Bob
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:30 AM   #36
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Equal-i-zer and Airstream 2000 to present

Hi, Andy. No dis-respect to your experience, But what I think some of us are trying to say is; You are talking about hitches and trailers built 35 years ago. Is my Equal-i-zer the same now as it was in 1971? [if they made them then] And is the frame or ["A" frame] on my 2005 Safari exactly the same as one built in 1971? I would believe, or at least want to believe, that my frame is better and stronger than those made 35 years ago. And if my Equal-i-zer is adjusted, maybe 100#s higher than it should be, how long will it take to do visual damage? One year? Ten years? Thirty five years?
I understand and respect your experience, but most every one of your posts makes me think the sky is falling. One perspective is an Airstream could last fifty years; And the other perspective is, I bought an egg shell mounted on tooth picks.

DEAR ABBY [ANDY] please help me. Lost in Lakewood.


Bob
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Old 11-28-2006, 03:31 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, Andy. No dis-respect to your experience, But what I think some of us are trying to say is; You are talking about hitches and trailers built 35 years ago. Is my Equal-i-zer the same now as it was in 1971? [if they made them then] And is the frame or ["A" frame] on my 2005 Safari exactly the same as one built in 1971? I would believe, or at least want to believe, that my frame is better and stronger than those made 35 years ago. And if my Equal-i-zer is adjusted, maybe 100#s higher than it should be, how long will it take to do visual damage? One year? Ten years? Thirty five years?
I understand and respect your experience, but most every one of your posts makes me think the sky is falling. One perspective is an Airstream could last fifty years; And the other perspective is, I bought an egg shell mounted on tooth picks.

DEAR ABBY [ANDY] please help me. Lost in Lakewood.


Bob

Andy, I second the above sentiments of ROBERTSUNRUS and I feel I am in the same boat as BRADK. (Why can't it ever be easy..)

I have a 2000 Toyota Tunda 4x4 (1/2 ton) with the good TRD suspension. I am towing a 2005 19’ bambi CCD. Per Airstream specs tongue weight dry is 510#.

The local Airstream Dealer installed my Equal-i-zer. 1000/10,000 pound hitch.

I also called Equal-I-zer with the same concern regarding over hitching and got the same answer as 3DogNight.

I would be willing to ‘spring’ (yes pun intended) for a new set of bars to compromise and test this issue out. However, Equal-I-zer does not make a set of 750/800# bars that I can find. I checked their website and a few others.

So, I am left with 3 options. (Well really 2..)
  • Get a new 600# hitch setup and only be within 90# of my dry tongue weight. (Too close to the tongue weight limit for me… with 2 full 30# tanks of propane.. Now I am down to about 30#...) Add a full 23 gallon tank of fresh water under the front dinnete and I expect I would be at or over 600# and void the hitch warrenty.
  • Stay with my 1000# setup and risk injuring my trailer.
  • Buy a MR Fusion and use the anti gravity option. (Yes I am kidding folks…)
Andy, again - I appreciate all the help you have provided to me and others on this forum. Please advise as there must be another option as I love this hitch. You suggest 750/800# bars for my setup and there is no 750/800# options with the Equal-I-zer. Have you had any frame issues caused by over hitching in the last 7 years on a 19' bambi Safari or CCD?

Thanks in advance

JDL
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Old 11-28-2006, 05:34 AM   #38
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Spring bar selection is a timeless issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, Andy... You are talking about hitches and trailers built 35 years ago. Is my Equal-i-zer the same now as it was in 1971? ...
While the appearance of both Equal-i-zer & Reese hitches has changed slightly over the years, the functionality has not. Each company nailed their respective designs down long ago, and the only changes made now are to reflect better/faster manufacturing methods.

Selection of the proper spring bars is the issue here and not the hitch's design. As I have found out by experience, dealerships were recommending the wrong bars 35 years ago just as they appear to be doing today.
Quote:
...And is the frame or ["A" frame] on my 2005 Safari exactly the same as one built in 1971? I would believe, or at least want to believe, that my frame is better and stronger than those made 35 years ago...
Based on this thread, I would say your 2005 frame is weaker than the one built in 1971.
Quote:
...how long will it take to do visual damage? One year? Ten years? Thirty five years?
Damage due to too-stout spring bars is mileage based, so looking at a calendar does not apply. But if you want a number, I will say 'less than seven' as that is the number of camping seasons my Airstream's previous owner used inappropriately stiff spring bars.

Bent A-frames, like mine, are easy enough to identify: On flat ground, measure the frame's distance from the ground at the back, front, and just before it is welded to the coupler. If the the last distance is higher, your A-frame is bent.

Tom
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Old 11-28-2006, 07:59 AM   #39
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I have to say, reading this thread last night and then re-reading this morning I think there's a bit of panic-button stuff going on here. As I go through my trailer's stats, with full tanks, battery, fresh water I'm over 600lbs on my tongue with my bambi. THe manual says 510 but that's without 80lbs of propane, water, stuff. That takes me over the "MAX tongue weight" of a 600 setup. Equal-i-zer has been hitching people for a bunch of years and 2 of their people advised me to go with the stronger model... with all due respect to everyone involved in this discussion...I have to go with the opinions of the hitch manufacturer. In chatting with them, I certainly didn't perceive a cover your butt motive.

Now, faced with the *unlikely* (my thoughts) scenario that my frame will bend in 7-30 years from potentially being slightly oversprung, vs. being over the load capacity on my hitch?? I'll take the sturdy hitch thanks.

I have never felt any sway, movement, or roughness in the setup that I have now.

my 0.02,
b.
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:56 AM   #40
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Questions: What does the number associated with the spring bars actually mean? Are 1000# bars from all manufacturers "N" inches deflection with a 1000# load?

It appears to me that each manufacturer is simply recommending a specific model of their bars for a range of tongue weights... so the actual bar stiffness may vary dramatically from vendor to vendor.

My Equalizer with a tongue weight rating of 1000# has plenty of bar deflection (~2-3" difference when the bars are off the L-brackets vs on the L-brackets) and a nice soft ride with my F150. Subjectively, I think we are fine.
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:08 AM   #41
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I am having a difficult time understanding how spring bars with a higher load rating would do damage to a properly loaded trailer frame. Let us also not forget that this discussion assumes static load. As we are moving our load (camper) down the highways and bi-ways, we are changing this static load to dynamic loads: yaw, sway, pivot, pendulum, etc. These would all have the effect of intermittently increasing that load exponentially. Imagine the force on those bars as you come down hill and hit your brakes as the light turns red! Adequate spring bars, in conjunction with vehicle and trailer suspension systems should all work in unison to compensate for these forces. Without knowing the flexural modulus of the frame steel and spring bars, and the spring rate of the trailer and vehicle suspensions, my first assumption, (yes I know what they say about assumptions) is that the steel used in the frame is more than adequate to overwhelm the suspension if so overloaded (can you imagine? Take a look at the frame.). This means you would need to completely bottom out the suspension of both tow vehicle and camper before you start to develop enough force to permanently deform the frame steel.

If there were any damage traceable to spring bars and hitch manufacturers, you could be sure they would minimize their exposure by selling only the lightest rating of bars manufacturable.

“Adding overloads defeats the purpose of the hitch and will contribute to trailer front end damage as well as contribute to sway.”
Not sure how this could be, as regardless of what spring bars you use, you should be adjusting your hitch to result in fairly equal drop (loads) front-rear. If 600# of tongue weight is placed on 600# rated bars, and 1000# tongue weight is placed on 1000# rated bars, we can assume the amount of flex in the bar would be comparable?
Sway, could also result from improper hitch setup, not sure how higher rated spring bars would contribute to sway if the above is true? With the Equalizer hitch, friction is the system component used to control sway.

I bought the 1000# bars when I got my first camper many years ago, and am glad I did as I have moved up twice since then! I would not use 1200# bars with a Bambi, but I am all for buying a little more than you need due to reasons stated above.

Am I missing something in my very unscientific analysis?

Sure would be nice to hear from Progress Mfg on this one. I would hope they, and other hitch manufacturers, are the experts. Not some day dreamer like me just trying to think this thing through!

Bill
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:59 AM   #42
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I think the concerns are that very stiff bars used on a light trailer, especially with a stiff tow vehicle suspension, will:
  • Put a lot of presure on the trailer frame between the ball and the L-bracket - which could bend the trailer A-frame.
  • Result in a very rigid articulation between trailer and tow vehicle - transferring bumps between them, and shaking the trailer apart over time.
We are trying to balance between stiff suspension vs towing capacity, and balance between stiff bars to transfer more tongue weight vs softer bars that will have more "give".
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