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Old 06-04-2012, 03:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
If it wasn't so much work and trouble, I've often thought it would be cool to be able to drag your trailer over to the hitch store, and install/test every brand of weight distribution hitch made.
Actually, I'd like Steve to do the tests so I don't have to.

But Steve has hit on it—there are no truly objective comparisons of hitches I am aware of, so we have to rely on anecdotal evidence, and judge who sounds most logical. And one specific brand may not work nearly as well on certain truck/trailer combinations.

Objective testing for most everything we try to understand is lacking. I suppose that keeps the Forum going. If QC at the factory was good, we wouldn't have that either.

If we really knew what was true, all we could talk about is how pretty our trailers are.

Gene
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:25 PM   #16
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I have an Equalizer and IMHO I would go with the lighter one and mail order it. FWIW Airstreams prefer a "soft" hitch to a hard hitch. I am actually going to buy an Air Safe hitch for my F350 Dually to soften the suspension down for my 1975. I do tow with my wife's F150 and we hitch that one up with the 8k hitch even though they call for the 12k. Zero towing problems, only issue is my bride bought the 4.6 V-8...

Aaron
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:51 PM   #17
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You Guys are FANTASTIC!

Thanks -- no, really -- THANKS - to all of you who weighed in on this. Understanding the "soft ride" nature of the AS is new info. And, the discussion of "dual cam" and "equalizer" is a good one with great information, and more than just "I like Fords; you like Chevys." And, the stories are more than just good tales, they have little nuggets of wisdom from your experience that I do appreciate. So, sincerely: thank you.

I have looked at a lot of the threads on here about this subject - and if the Hensley (hoho) or ProPride wasn't about 30-40% of the value of the trailer, I think I'd go with them right off the bat! But, I am getting some valuable info locally from a forum member here in Missoula who has had experience with both Reese and Equal-i-zer brands and suggests the latter, based on that experience. The present owner has an equalizer and is willing to throw it in with the trailer (since he has a new one for his new AS) but he's modified the old one some and I don't think the coupler will really work out... long story: I think I'll just buy a new one. I had already determined that the "spare clips" was a good and cheap arrow to put in your quiver, and had thought about springing for the "thin-wall" socket, but didn't realize there might be other "thin-wall" sockets at a much cheaper price out there. On the other hand, that local forum expert says I'd have to also carry around a hefty air compressor or a wrench as long as a baseball bat!

I really DON'T think I'll be towing at gross weight a lot. And, yes, it is the 1500 Sube with the trailier package. What I've towed before is utility and boat trailers with the long distance stuff only utility trailers with the stinger and ball. Now that I have researched a lot of these threads I realize that for a couple of long trips pulling some of the biggest, 4500 lb U-hauls, with just the stinger/ball (including hefty cross-winds in So. Dakota) I probably was skating on thin ice and didn't realize it....

I also know that for every person using the P-P and HA systems there seem to be three others (based on that survey thread) using -- successfully -- something else. I liked that C5 comment (I think that was who it was) about "you get what you pay for, but get only what you need" or something like that. I guess the point of this paragraph's thought is that I will gain more experience with towing with this 27' Overlander, and that will lead to more knowledge and wisdom -- but attaining that experience with a new Equal-i-zer is not a bad decision -- just that there are others with different experiences with other systems that find those systems are fine systems too. As Jack said just on the Reese and Equalizer, these hitches are "good products."

So, I feel more comfortable with buying from one of the big internet RV parts places and that the 6000 pound system will work just fine. And, that I'll learn a lot installing it, plus have the owner willing to help with that (I haven't asked if he has the thin-wall socket) as well as others here in MSO. And, even if Steve did all the "real" on-the-road testing work with various combos, it doesn't mean that each of us drivers will employ the same skill set in putting it all to use! This has been great information!

Again- it sounds trite - but thank you to all of you for taking the time to help out a newbie! Now... I hope I'm not starting another round to say I HAVE decided to get the DirecLink controller!

Dave
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:42 PM   #18
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I will throw in my three cents here and echo what Jack said above: I have used both the Reese Dual Cam and the Equal-I-Zer. Of the two, I prefer the Eq. However, they are both good hitches.

I have a long, painful, detailed thread on here somewhere about setting up an Eq. If you haven't found it yet, it's actually a pretty thorough read. I'm an engineer so I'm painfully into details.... But really, it's not that hard to set up.

One point I will make: I don't know how heavy the headstock is on the 6000lb model. You can always machine the bars down to make them more flexible. One gent on here did just that with a grinder. It's not hard. You want the heaviest headstock you can get, and then make the bars match whatever you're towing.

In my case, I'm pulling a 34' Avion which grosses about 5 tons. Well, the 10,000lb Eq (or is it 12,000....whatever I got the heavier one) and the 14,000lb Eq use the same load bars. But the 14,000lb Eq has a much stouter headstock. I bought the 14,000lb model and have never looked back. I have towed thousands of miles with this combo and it works great.

Is the Eq as good as a projection hitch like the Propride or Henseley Arrow? No. It is not. Simple physics dictates that. But, it is a good hitch in its own right.

ALWAYS load your trailer to be nose heavy. Always! Put your blacksmith tools in the front. That makes your trailer stable. NEVER make it tail heavy. That makes it unstable. Keep it nose heavy, and nearly any weight distribution hitch will do a good job for you.

Best of luck!
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:54 PM   #19
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Bit of a side note...one way to help stabilize an Airstream and lower the CG is add water to the fresh water tank. Most of them are just ahead of the axle and mounted low. This rule applies to the 70's and up models.

Aaron
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:05 PM   #20
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PM me for phone number. I am in Missoula and will detail just how easy the install is as well as other sources of the hitch locally - that are way less expensive than what you were quoted.

I'm the fellow with 10 bars modded to make the ride more comfortable for our AS.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:12 PM   #21
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Mefly - WILCO! And I did read about the bar grinding... actually one of the reasons I asked if it was the couplers that were different, or the bars between 6K and 10K models.

Jim, I did read your post - and thanks for the reminder - I'll go back and read it again! And, thanks Aaron about the water tank tip!
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:28 PM   #22
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The heads all have different part numbers for the weight they are rated for... so I'm assuming there is some difference. The load bars are a separate issue... you can use lighter or heavier bars if you find you need more or less lift. If you are only transferring a few hundred pounds, the 600 lb bars will be fine - you'll just get more flex from them then going to 1000 lb bars. More flex give you a squishier ride... possibly some porpoising if your tow vehicle has crappy shocks...
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:08 PM   #23
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On the Equal-I-Zer brand, the bars are not interchangeable among different rated models. The reason is the bars are thicker for larger weight rating, and the head is fitted tightly to that particular size bar. A larger bar will not fit a smaller head, and smaller bar will be loose in a larger head, loosing its friction point for sway control.

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