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Old 06-27-2018, 04:10 PM   #43
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2019 23' International
Orlando , Florida
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Equalizer hitch on Sport 22

I purchased a Sport 22 last year. The sales person said after talking to Airstream he recommended a 4,000 pound hitch based on advice from Airstream to use the lightest hitch possible.

When arrived to pick up the trailer, the installer suggested I didn't need the Equalizer for such a light trailer. I asked that he go ahead and install it anyway.

After installation, I noticed it was a 12,000 pound hitch. The same installer said this is what they install on Airstreams. The salesman was on vacation so I took the trailer but asked the service department to install a hitch more in line with a trailer that might weigh 4500 pounds loaded.

I towed the trailer on two, or three outings with the 12,000 hitch. It felt stiff and like it was too much hitch.

Called the salesman asking why this hitch was installed when he recommended a 4,000 pound version. Got no response, Called Equalizer who said it would be fine. Called Airstream who were nice but would not address this matter with a consumer.

Finally, when responding to a customer survey, I expressed my dissatisfaction to the dealer who then became responsive. A 6,000 pound Equalizer was installed which I am happy with and believe to be the right hitch for the Sport 22. This trailer was at or near the limit of a 4,000 pound version.

To the question of did I need a weight distribution hitch? Recently I found I had a dead battery when hitching up (I replaced the manual jack with a powered version which is essential for me due to a physical limitation). So I hitched to the ball but did not install the bars and drove 1.5 hours at freeway speeds to charge the battery before pulling over to install the bars. There was no comparison...with the bars, sway completely stopped and porpoising decreased greatly. The rig rides level too, which I like. My 2 cents.
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:56 PM   #44
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2017 16' Sport
Indian river , Michigan
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Ken

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbisquit View Post
Thanks for the replies so far. We are in the process of searching for a new TV. We are zeroing in on a Ford F 150. We know it's over kill. But the design inside and out really appeal to us and there seems to be some really good deals right now. I've been trying to wade through all the WD or not for a small trailer threads but it really seems to come down to preference. I will need to get a hitch no matter what, so if I can get a used equalizer for $250 I think that makes sense. But I'm totally new to pulling anything over a 1000lbs.

My main concern is if the higher rated sway bars will add some undesirable performance to towing a lighter trailer?
I pull my 16 Sport with a new F-150 mated with 2.7 and the trailer hits the sweet spot with a 6 speed trans. I have over 7000 miles on a year old Sport. No strain or tow issues in the least. I would not pull with anything less however, just my opinion. the only issue with Fords is the reduced gas mileage with those Turbos. I got 14 on the Freeway south to Florida from Michigan but got 24 once the trailer is unhooked. Personally Iíd do the 3.5 so that you can tow the 26 that your going to want in the future.
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Old 06-27-2018, 05:00 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Kpope69211 View Post
I pull my 16 Sport with a new F-150 mated with 2.7 and the trailer hits the sweet spot with a 6 speed trans. I have over 7000 miles on a year old Sport. No strain or tow issues in the least. I would not pull with anything less however, just my opinion. the only issue with Fords is the reduced gas mileage with those Turbos. I got 14 on the Freeway south to Florida from Michigan but got 24 once the trailer is unhooked. Personally Iíd do the 3.5 so that you can tow the 26 that your going to want in the future.
I might also add that I have weight distribution and re-checked the set up on my own with the book that comes with the distribution hitch. Much to my surprise they were spot on. No adjustments needed.
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Old 06-27-2018, 07:27 PM   #46
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When you go in to have your Equalizer set up, take the factory torque spec for the main mounting bolts to the shank very seriously. For a 6K it's 320 lb. ft. Make the tech guy set it precisely with a long manual torque wrench. Torque sticks for impact drivers don't go that high. Under-torqued bolts will cause many headaches starting with alarming feedback from the trailer at highway speed. Over-torqued bolts stretch and can even twist off.
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:12 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Posse96 View Post
I have a 19' Flying Cloud, pulling with a 2017 Tundra. I really like the Equalizer hitch which performed well in two close calls with falling rocks and a bad other driver. The truck and trailer were as one and we avoided any accidents. One thing I subscribe to is buy new when it comes to hitches (and many other things). You have the manufacturer's warranty and if your trailer dealer installs it, it's on them for proper installation. Used items, you get no warranty, no guarantees. Safety first and your insurance carrier will be happier with new. You shouldn't have any issue if you went higher weight rated hitch on your 16 footer, but it will have some increased weight. Yet, at 6000 lb rating, it means you could go up to a 23' , Airstream and that hitch will still work. I've contemplated going from 19' to 23' myself and discussed this with my AS dealer here in the SF Bay area (Fairfield) and they're the largest in the US. I would stick with the 6000 lb Equilizer, new, and if a day comes you go up in trailer size, over 23', then switch out. You'll be pleased with the Equilzer. Once installed, you'll here some popping sounds, it's the hitch arms, makes you think something broke. It is normal as it breaks in and Equilizer makes a grease to use on those arms where they connect to the main body of the hitch that eliminates the noise. Hope this helps.
My tv and trailer situation are similar to yours and I appreciate your feedback on this subject. I had the dealer install a new EQ (Equal-I-Zer) brand and precisely set the torque and distribution levels on the 22 frame. His EQ expert then carefully gave us a 30min tutorial. He did caution against using grease as the WD load bars will stop growling and popping over time. I kinda like the sound as it reminds me it is working.

We have had two near miss incidents. One involved an emergency stop where the electric brakes showed how well they work in tandem with the EQ hitch - no fish tail or jackknife at all. I am talking TV and AS emergency stopping. Just turned over a bottle of oil and vine we had left loosely secured in the overhead bin. The wife had a major cleanup.

The other involved an extreme slalom maneuver where I had to do an emergency lane change then back to the same lane. The EQ provided the textbook stability and prevented the ďtail from wagging the dogĒ. The AS low CG is also a major help when you have to slalom.

My prior trailer of same length and weight only had anti-sway drag bar and behaved poorly with the same TV. All in all you need a well matched and professionally installed unit for your 22. It is a safety device that keeps your investment insured from rogue crosswinds, road bounce, and emergency maneuvers.
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:18 AM   #48
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I believe as stated by others that Andy Thompson's advice is best.
I have heard Andy say the only disadvantage to equalize hitch is that the bars are not tapered and as such do not flex as one may like, under certain situations. An example would be when you pull into a parking lot that has a ditch (or 'v' shaped swell) to cross on entry. When the TV is on one side of the swell and the trailer on the other, there is a tremendous load on the bars of the hitch. If the bars are not tapered, this load is transferred to the TV via the receiver. On too many vehicles the receiver is not welded/designed with enough support. Craw under an F-150 and compare what you see to an F-250.

I towed with an F-150 using an Equalizer and had to get the receiver rewelded and beefed up. I now use a hitch with tapered load bars.
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Old 06-28-2018, 04:34 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by DonDiego View Post
I believe as stated by others that Andy Thompson's advice is best.
I have heard Andy say the only disadvantage to equalize hitch is that the bars are not tapered and as such do not flex as one may like, under certain situations. An example would be when you pull into a parking lot that has a ditch (or 'v' shaped swell) to cross on entry. When the TV is on one side of the swell and the trailer on the other, there is a tremendous load on the bars of the hitch. If the bars are not tapered, this load is transferred to the TV via the receiver. On too many vehicles the receiver is not welded/designed with enough support. Craw under an F-150 and compare what you see to an F-250.

I towed with an F-150 using an Equalizer and had to get the receiver rewelded and beefed up. I now use a hitch with tapered load bars.
It's also useful to understand the context for his position. Andy is known for setting up lesser vehicles to tow trailers beyond their design envelope. Lesser vehicles that don't have the structure and durability to handle these loads, let alone the huge torsional loads that are placed on the vehicle when weight distribution is applied. More-so in that these vehicles don't have the rear axle ratings, so more leverage again gets applied to transfer loads to the front axle.

Any typical tow vehicle rated for the job from the manufacturer, won't have the slightest issue with an appropriately sized Equalizer hitch. It's again, when these WD hitches are used with tin can unibody vehicles that the stiffness causes a problem. An F150 or F250 doesn't have these problems. A minivan, X5, or Toureg (and their sister platforms), do. Hence the reinforcements that need to be done to handle the WD torsional loads, and the need to use more "tender" tapered bar WD hitches. It's ultimately an issue of the two vehicle, and not a fault of the Equalizer WD system.
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:26 PM   #50
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we use a 6000 lb hitch with both WD and sway control on our 2017 sport 22FB pulled by an audi Q5

the WD uses taperd bars

we also use a P3 brake controlled

i would not pull the trailer without all this items
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:41 PM   #51
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People may disagree with me but Iím pulling a 16í Sport with 2018 Toyota 4Runner with nothing but the receiver hitch that comes with vehicle. No problem and Iím in Rocky Mountains a lot. I believe the key is Airstreamís design. Iíve pulled w crosswind as well. I just wanted to try pulling wo special hitches and have had no problems
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:08 AM   #52
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Forestburg , Texas
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Originally Posted by Csandahl View Post
People may disagree with me but Iím pulling a 16í Sport with 2018 Toyota 4Runner with nothing but the receiver hitch that comes with vehicle. No problem and Iím in Rocky Mountains a lot. I believe the key is Airstreamís design. Iíve pulled w crosswind as well. I just wanted to try pulling wo special hitches and have had no problems
Our 4Runner becomes one with the Airstream using the EQ WD system. In 30pmh prairie crosswinds and when a big rig passes us, the TV and AS act as one. I drive in the Rockies as well. It is a different experience as you well know.

I sent an email message to EQ yesterday inquiring about using stiffer and more robust spring bar setup on lighter trailers such as the 22FB Sport. Tech support got back in an hour and said the WD hitches rated for 10,000# could be used on a 4500# Sport. He said itís done all the time and the setup on the bars is changed to accommodate the difference in weight. They cause no damage. EQ has been partners with AS for decades now.

By installing a 1000/10,000# EQ on the light weights, and setting the tension correctly, you can grow into a heavier rig without buying a new WD along the way.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:14 AM   #53
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We have put over 20k miles on our 2015 16' and have yet to wish we had an equalizer or a sway bar. Our TV is a 2017 Pathfinder (recently upgraded from a 2013), and have not had a problem. Have been on many steep switch back roads and in all kinds of weather: high winds, snow, sleet, you name it. I've observed that the AS actually stabilizes our vehicle in high winds. Moral: try towing without it before you buy.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:56 AM   #54
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Hi and welcome,

I haul my 16' with a F-150 and just use one anti-sway bar. I have also hauled without and it's been fine but eventually want to go farther and longer (so far have stayed pretty local) and would like the additional peace of mind and sturdiness that the as bar provides. The F-150 is so adequate for towing a 16. Good choice!

Happy travels!

Kim
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:52 AM   #55
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Weíve towed our Sport 22 via a Ford F-150 for thousands of miles with no WD or AS and have had virtually zero issues with sway. Just a few times there was a tiny amount of sway at higher speeds and higher winds but nothing to cream your shorts over. My F150 does has built in electronic sway control which of course is not as effective as AS bars but very sufficient for towing the Sport 22.

Our dealer told us when we purchased the Airstream that the F150 probably didnít need any help and to try without it and then decide. Glad we didnít waste the money.
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:52 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
Do not purchase the Andersen hitch. It is a poor design and the owner of the Andersen company is currently the subject of a thread involving the defacement of an Arch on public land.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f224...179854-28.html

Issues with hitch - poor weight distribution and limited sway control due to small cone surface area.

Equal-i-zer hitch is well liked because it is simple to install after original setup. However, it is too stiff for the Airstream chassis design. If you end up with one, do not run heavy bars and take extreme caution when transitioning driveways and road dips. Note sharp backup turns can bend the A-frame brackets and break bolts, but that is all more likely with the clones.

The Eaz-lift with a friction sway strut is least expensive solution and is flexible enough for the AS. The problem with it is that it is delivered with a cast shank, but a solid welded steel shank is easy enough to find as a replacement. Total is about $350. A brake pad sway control strut does need to be adjusted for sharp backup turns. Recommended as good performing cost effective hitch.

The Reese dual cam is a very good hitch with integrated sway control and it is recommended that the heavier/stiffer the tow vehicle, the lighter bars you should use.

The Blue Ox Sway Pro is a flexible hitch with spring bar sway control. A good alternative. Issue with it is controlling the spring bar energy when setting or releasing. Easy if you raise the rig with tongue jack.

The PPP hitches are expensive, but quite effective at sway elimination. The Hensley Cub is the light weight version and less expensive. If $1500 is in your budget, research the design. Recommended as best performing hitch.

Of course, the above is my personal opinion. Suggest you research and determine what is best for you.

Travel safe - Pat
You speak the truth. I had to jump a median to do a U-turn (police made me do it) and I think my WDH EQ hitch torqued the frame slightly. Lost 6 rivets. However, I have NEVER had any problems on level roads. So, I'll keep my EQ and put the rivets back when it happens. I have never had such a great ride as with the EQ. I can pull 75mph and don't even know the AS is back there.
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