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Old 12-18-2013, 03:28 PM   #15
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On the hitch you will never see the end of advice in a written forum. Your best best is to go to a campground on a Sunday morning and watch and ask questions. You have to see the different systems under actual conditions to see what you won't see here in writing.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:48 PM   #16
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Kscherzi - good to know. I noticed the Equalizer hitch is the one listed on the Airstream Accessories Order Sheet, and I was wondering about it - if it is indeed the same as the one you have. I am thinking I might put together a pros and cons list to try and wrap my brain around the question of the hitch. Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:52 PM   #17
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HowieE - yes, I am starting to get the picture, lots of differing opinions on hitches. All the advice is helpful, though, and so far there seem to be four contenders I can research. I like the idea of going and seeing the different systems in action.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:21 PM   #18
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I use an Equal-i-zer 4-point hitch. I had an Eaz-Lift before. Both are great hitches, but the Equal-i-zer is so much easier to hook up. I want to buy a used Hensley or Pro-Pride when I grow up. I say used because that's the only way to hit the price point I want to be in.
I would say if you are able to afford it get a Pro-Pride from the beginning. I will probably be buying a used Hensley because there is one semi near me at a reasonable price. He bought a new Pro-Pride because he deemed it slightly better.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:25 PM   #19
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Streaminlife - welcome and you're asking all the right questions. Everyone has opinions and always assume positive intent.

My free advice (worth everything you're paying for it) is to know WHY you make your decisions based on WHAT you're trying to accomplish.

There are so many opinions and experiences, I fear it's impossible to be happy with your setup unless you know the why behind the what.

For me (and your mileage may vary significantly so take this with a salt lick), I knew the single most important factor for me was to prevent sway from happening. For that, there were 3 choices - PullRite, ProPride and Hensley. PullRite no longer manufactures a trailer hitch for my model tow vehicle so down to 2 choices. ProPride is a more modern version of the Hensley Arrow and the newer, subtle, nuanced differences fit my needs best. Decision made.

Tow vehicle - I purposely overdid it and went with a 3/4 ton diesel pickup to ensure great towing capacity and cargo carrying capacity. I have a 27fb Flying Cloud and could probably do with a half ton truck, or, if I were interested in a trip to Canada could probably get set up with a better daily driver at CanAm (e.g., minivan, SUV, station wagon, midsize sedan, etc) but I wanted to ensure all my weights were WELL within manufacturer recommendations. Decision made.

If I weren't clear on WHY, every post here would make me depressed second guessing my setup. I'm fully satisfied with my decisions and now just enjoy camping like you read about! The worst day in the Airstream is MILES better than the best day in the office :-)

Last - my wife and I went to a CDL driving center for a 2-day safe RV driver training program. Having never done this before, I couldn't see how driving around in an empty parking lot would help. How would I know what the heck I was doing? This structured program (75% of which was in reverse! ) gave TREMENDOUS confidence and peace of mind. Brand new truck and trailer - that was a no brainier decision and one I highly recommend though again, your mileage may vary considerably.

Know the why behind the what and enjoy enjoy enjoy whatever you do! :-)
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:11 PM   #20
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I just looked at the ProPride website, and wow they are expensive! On the other hand, the Equalizer hitch is not cheap. I can see how spending the extra money now COULD save money later. Safety being first measure, I can see us coughing up the extra money and going with something like the ProPride. Since we will be living in our AS for months and traveling all over the U.S., safety (i.e. sway control) is one of my big "WHYs" behind the what.

Our Toyota was a planned purchase, specifically for towing our soon-to-be AS. The problem is that I focused on the towing capacity only, and failed to consider payload, tongue weight and all that other good stuff: 10,000 (minus) 7,600 seemed to yield a big enough margin for extra weight, but I had no idea there would be much more to consider than just the tow weight. My fault for not digging deep enough and also relying too much on our salesperson at the car dealership for answering my towing questions. Live and learn, and I am so happy to have found this forum.

I am going to carefully consider all the numbers and hitches and things. As of now, I feel good about moving ahead with the 28' and perhaps one of the more expensive sway control hitches.

The WHY of the bigger, 28' trailer is primarily comfort, but since the WHY of safety outweighs the WHY of comfort, we can always go with the 25' if the margin seems too close weight-wise. I am hoping the safety WHY and the comfort WHY will line up perfectly, now that would be really cool.

ONE QUICK QUESTION while I think of it: Is the ProPride hitch weight distributing, too??
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:36 PM   #21
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Again, you have enough truck. I have the heaviest Airstream made and my Tundra does fine. Tongue weight, me and my wife, some fire wood, and a couple of bikes is still within the payload of the Tundra.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:50 PM   #22
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M.hony - that is good news, thanks. I am feeling better, much less unsure about the decision to go ahead with the 28'. Good to know there is room for some extras like firewood and bikes. Have you weighed yourself all loaded up?
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:03 PM   #23
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Yes. I posted scale tickets earlier- about the 4th post in this thread- at about 1:27pm.
Something like 14,440#. We were as loaded as we would ever be.
It is possible to haul too much firewood and be overloaded. I have done it. The truck didn't complain, but I know I was exceeding the numbers.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streaminlife View Post

Snip...

The problem is that I focused on the towing capacity only, and failed to consider payload, tongue weight and all that other good stuff: 10,000 (minus) 7,600 seemed to yield a big enough margin for extra weight, but I had no idea there would be much more to consider than just the tow weight.

Snip...

ONE QUICK QUESTION while I think of it: Is the ProPride hitch weight distributing, too??
Yes, the PP is weight distributing.

Are you looking at a new 28? If so, GVWR is listed as 7300, not 7600, so you have 300# more payload capacity than you think. Also, my 27fb has a GVWR of 7600 but fully loaded for camping with WD applied (meaning, some of the trailer's tongue weight is also sitting on the trailer axles) I come in at 5880 on the CAT scales. I don't know for sure, but my guess is yours won't weigh in at 7300 fully loaded for camping (scales is the only way to know for sure).

So I don't know for certain, but it sounds like you'll have plenty of towing and payload capacity with your setup.

And yes, the PP isn't cheap nor is it light on the trailer's tongue. That's another reason to be sure you know why - there are many hitches that can distribute weight effectively and support some sort of sway control/reaction. They are lighter and they can range from $500 to $3000. Every decision has tradeoffs. Make the right choice for you and be happy! :-)

(And yes, the PP is the right choice ;-) - sorry, that was just for comedy :-) )

:-)
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:09 PM   #25
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The whole idea about hitches is that most weight distributing/anti sway hitches control sway-
Hensley and Pro-Pride eliminate sway-
That is the reason I will purchase a used Hensley or Pro-Pride soon.
Who knows? When I am able I might buy a new Pro-Pride.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:12 PM   #26
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The Equl-I-Zer 4-point is the easiest weight distributing/anti sway hitch to hook up that I am aware of-
Hensley Arrow and Pro-Pride are even easier as far as I can tell- less steps-
Everything remains attached to the trailer- unlatch 2 pins and drive out- reverse to hitch up-
It does seem tricky to align a 2" stinger with the trailer hitch, but I have a backup camera...
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:21 PM   #27
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Thanks everyone, I can't tell you how helpful this thread has been. M.hony - Ok, now I understand what you posted earlier is the scale ticket - I did not realize that before and thought that was something different. I should have asked!

M.hony & SteveSueMac - Thanks for posting the actual weight of your rigs, puts my mind at ease. I think we will be good to go!

My other question has to do with trailer brakes. I've been searching around on the forums but can't seem to figure out how to choose the best trailer brakes for our set-up. Anything I need to consider safety-wise? (Please bear with my almost complete lack of knowledge in this area.)
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:24 PM   #28
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m.hony - I hope you get the hitch of your dreams soon!
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