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Old 01-24-2014, 02:19 PM   #1
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1989 34' Excella
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Equalizer/Sway Bars?

Anybody know where I can find a hitch and bars that will work with the set up? My current hitch sits 8" inches higher than trailer tongue and the bars did not come with the trailer. Or should I just take the time to unbolt the old stuff and completely replace? THANKS

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Old 01-24-2014, 08:50 PM   #2
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The part to the rear of the a-frame is a saddle for any old weight distribution bars with the chain links on the weight bar.
The little ball to the right of it is for any old anti-sway brake shoe thingy.
EazLift, Reese, Curt- any brand of that type weight distributing/anti-sway hitch with these parts.
You put the weight bars in the hitch head, then put the chain in the saddle, lift it up to the top, and insert a retaining clip.
Then you put the anti-sway brake shoe on the little ball on the trailer tongue and the hitch head and tighten it down.
These arrangements can be bought for about $400.
They are economical, and they do transfer some weight to the front axle of the truck and control trailer sway, but several steps are required to hitch up.
I don't have a clue what the black thing coming down off the a-frame at an angle at the front is.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:23 PM   #3
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My advice would be to go with new. I believe it would be the safest thing to do.

Ken
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:30 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I'll run it up to the local RV dealer and see what he thinks needs to be replaced.
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
I don't have a clue what the black thing coming down off the a-frame at an angle at the front is.
I believe the black thing is a cam support arm which is part of an older Dual Cam weight distribution hitch.

In use, the arm would be pointed rearward and downward and held up by the bail via a chain to the chain lift.
The rear end of the WD bar would have a "saddle" attached which rides on the cam at the end of the cam support bar.

Ron
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:00 PM   #6
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Since the usage history is unknown, perhaps the prudent choice would be to start with a completely new WD unit. While at the RV dealer, have them inspect the ball socket on the "A" frame for wear or any cracks.
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:10 PM   #7
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Thanks Switz.....dealer was buried on a Saturday, will have to wait until next week.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:20 PM   #8
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Equalizer/Sway Bars?

Greetings Stogiemann!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stogiemann View Post
Thanks Switz.....dealer was buried on a Saturday, will have to wait until next week.
I wouldn't rush to condemn the existing parts. What you have is a "classic" clamp-on Reese Dual Cam Sway Control hitch that was quite common prior to the introduction of the Reese High Performance Dual Cam Hitch a few years ago. Any Reese hitch dealer can order any replacement parts that may be needed on your Dual Cam System, but I rather doubt that there will be any parts worn to the part of needing replacement. I have a friend with a family heirloom 1960 with a Reese Dual Cam System that has been in use since the mid-to-late-1960s without requiring replacement of any of the parts mounted on the coach's hitch. The saddle that attaches to the weight distribution bar is more likely to wear and need replacement in my experience . . . and even then, that part is quite long-lived.

The current Reese weight distribution bars with the down-turned trailing end can be used with the "classic" clamp-on Reese Dual Cam System (you may need to adjust the brackets on the hitch as the length is a bit different than the old style straight weight distribution bars with the bolt-on saddles). When selecting weight distribution bars for your Reese Dual Cam system, it is critical to consider the tow vehicle being utilized as well as the hitch weight of your Vintage Airstream. I use this exact hitch with both my Airstream and Argosy with two different tow vehicles with the following settings:
  • 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International -- 6,100 pounds loaded, ready for vacation with hitch weight of 750 pounds.
    • 1999 GMC K2500 Suburban -- 600 pound Weight Distribution Bars.
    • 1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible -- 800 pound Weight Distribution Bars.
  • 1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre -- 3,100 pounds loaded, ready for vacation with hitch weight of 550 pounds.
    • 1999 GMC K2500 Suburban -- 350 Reese Light Weight Distribution Bars (when these wear out or break, I will be left with 600 pound bars which are a much stiffer than necessary as the 350 pound bars were discontinued two decades ago or more).
    • 1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible -- 600 pound Weight Distribution Bars.
The Reese Dual Cam system performs best when there is tension on the weight distribution bars, and with a heavy, truck-based tow vehicle this usually means going with bars carrying a rating less than the hitch weight of the Vintage Airstream; while a car-based tow vehicle typically needs weight distribution bars very closely matched to the hitch weight of the Vintage Airstream with erring on the side of bars with ratings exceeding the actual hitch weight to compensate for the car's typically less stiff suspension. I have run the set-ups on the Suburban since 1998, and have not experienced anything less than rock-solid towing. I have only utilized the Cadillac for towing since 2005, and have been thrilled with the performance of the Reese using the described settings.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin

P.S.: The photo below is of my Minuet's Hitch as configured for the Cadillac:

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Old 01-27-2014, 05:01 PM   #9
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NICE. I'll take it up to the local Reese Dealer and see if he can order replacement bars and check it all out. Appreciated!
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:20 PM   #10
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NICE. I'll take it up to the local Reese Dealer and see if he can order replacement bars and check it all out. Appreciated!
Let us know what happens. I'm curious to see what you end up with.

Ken
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:40 PM   #11
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Without starting the age-old "which hitch is best" issue, I have a Reese Dual Cam between a Chevy Tahoe and my 25' Tradewind. I have to tell you that I've made lane changes that were abrupt to the point of being downright stupid, and zero problems with this setup.

The only issue you'll have is that it makes some gosh awful noises on tight turns at low speeds. The noises are alarming, but harmless.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:39 AM   #12
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Thanks drboyd...my wife says the same about me!...Ken, I'll keep you posted on the end result. Too cold today to make guys work on steel, supposed to warm up by the end of the week.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:13 PM   #13
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1989 34' Excella
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Weather finally broke here in Texas and I was able to take off the old hardware and clean up the exposed metal with a wire brush and compressor. GLAD to see only small amounts of surface rust, no major weak spots. Nice on a trailer 25 years old and who knows where it has been sitting. Didn't have a large sand blaster available and a little too windy to use spray paint, so all hand-brush painted. One coat of Rust-Oleum High Performance Metal primer, and two coats of Rust-Oleum High Performance Protective Enamel - smoke grey.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:26 PM   #14
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FINAL RESULT. Installed yesterday the Curt Hitch, Curt sway bar and equalizer. I needed to drop from my truck at 26" down to 18.75" for trailer. Old hitch was too high and needed a 9" drop. Pulled it around the block and just two exits down the interstate. Seems solid. Total cost $325.
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