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Old 10-21-2019, 08:08 PM   #1
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Equipment advice

We are hoping to pick up our 2007 23' International Ocean Breeze on Saturday. However we need anti sway bars, and a backup camera!
Dealership sells Blue Ox, is there a better, more cost efficient option?
We will be towing with a 2019 Tundra, all the backup cameras I see have their own screen. Is there a good one that will display through our existing LCD screen in the truck?
Thanks!
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:08 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your new-to-you Airstream! Blue Ox Sway Pro is a good weight distribution / anti-sway option. We started with a FC23FB and moved it to our 27’ Globetrotter but upgraded the spring bars to accommodate the increased tongue weight.

Our dealer originally sold us 550# bars which were too light for the 23’. We weighed the tongue with the trailer loaded and found it closer to 750#. Called Blue Ox and they recommend 1000# bars. Worked like a charm for the FC23FB. We’re now using 1500# bars on our GT + Ram 2500.

Regarding the camera and monitor, unless you can find a third party integration device, check with Toyota to see if they support it. The Big Three are offering optional trailer cameras that integrate with the dash displays. Maybe in a few years it will become mainstream and standard for tow vehicles!

Check eTrailer for different backup camera options.
Attaching photo of our Blue Ox setup and the Ram optional trailer camera that displays on the truck’s radio.

Happy camping!
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:09 PM   #3
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My suggestion is to use the search function and look for hitch input. It really comes down to personal preference, and you can get that insight reading on the various hitch posts.
I personally use a Reese dual cam and happy, there are others happy with the Blue Ox (but search recent threads for what you need to do so you don't hurt yourself)....see already opinion setting in.
Because the dealer sells Blue Ox and if you decide to have them install another hitch I would suggest you read the installation directions and watch them when they do the install to be sure it is done right....don't ask me how I learned that lesson.
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:20 PM   #4
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Hi

Some dealers sell one brand and are familiar with a couple ef other brands. Some only understand what they sell. Assuming they have some sort of warranty on their work, it likely works best on the stuff they sell......

Indeed "never seen one of these before ..." is *not* what you want to hear as they go to install this or that.

Bob
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:33 PM   #5
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Grants Pass , Oregon
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Thank you, does the dealer have to install the hitch? We've had one recommended that hubby wants to order, 1000# bars, the EZ Hitch? I will do a search. Just for peace of mind, we'll have them install their back up camera w/monitor. Its a 4-5hr drive home, and I'll feel better. We can always swap it out later.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:55 PM   #6
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Not to get into a spitting match here, but Hubby wants big bars????? With an Airstream it is all about balance....I run 800's with a 28 and am happy. Others as I said before will have their own opinion and offer it soon.


From Grants Pass and driving time I would hope you are heading east to the dealer rather than west to the same dealer....better reputation on service.....from the same company. Still a solid company.


I suggest doing some research on this forum and certainly other trailer forums to get opinions from others then make your decision.
I do think the more important consideration is how the hitch connects (are you happy with it), dealer support (are they there or just selling you something), then are you happy (does it connect they way you want and how you want so you can enjoy camping).


And to your question about cost and safe hitch.....good hitches and proper set up are not cheap so it all comes down to how you like the connection process of the hitch you bought and feel safe and comfortable towing with.


Sorry we can't give you a definitive answer.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:09 AM   #7
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Too many variables...especially if you have low time experience.

There are lots of situations but basic rules of physics rule. Trailer properly leveling, proper loading and weights... drive under 65... way under if newbie. Practice evasive maneuvers.. before you put your libations onboard.
https://youtu.be/w9Dgxe584Ss For starters,,,
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadesohippy View Post
Thank you, does the dealer have to install the hitch? We've had one recommended that hubby wants to order, 1000# bars, the EZ Hitch? I will do a search. Just for peace of mind, we'll have them install their back up camera w/monitor. Its a 4-5hr drive home, and I'll feel better. We can always swap it out later.
Hi

There are some very big tools involved in playing with the nuts and bolts on the hitch. Indeed people *do* own that sort of stuff. Even so it's not a lightweight job. I would not suggest it as a DIY project unless you routinely work on big equipment.

The install needs to be done before you pull out of the dealer lot. The install on the hitch needs to match up with your trailer. There are adjustments that take a while that need to be done for it to work right. A 4 to 5 hour drive with a new trailer / tow combo is not something you want to do without a properly set up hitch.

There are literally dozens of different hitches out there. There are threads here that go into hundreds of posts debating their relative merits. There is no one single hitch that everybody agrees is the "right one". Costs range from a couple hundred dollars well into the many thousands of dollars. Install adds on to that.

====

Indeed this is not the only gotcha when hooking a tow vehicle up to a trailer. You will need proper towing mirrors. You will need a 7 pin connector on the back of the vehicle. You will also need a brake controller. Without those bits getting home (or even getting on the road) is highly problematic.

Past that there are a bunch of numbers relating to the various trailer weights (dry weight, loaded weight, tongue weight). Those numbers but up against the towing capacity, axle ratings, payload capacity of your tow vehicle. Depending on what options you have on. a tow vehicle the numbers can be all over the map. A good starting point is the sticker on the driver's door post.

====

Running a backup camera into the vehicle screen means buying the camera from the vehicle manufacturer. Ford will sell you one for their trucks. I have not heard of other outfits doing the same. We have a backup camera on the tail end of our trailer (it came stock). We never use it.

Lots of fun !!!

Bob
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:59 AM   #9
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My backup camera has no display. It has two self adjusting lenses for wide fov and is self deployable where I need it through two built in mobile devices. It has been known to issue a loud “STOP!” when necessary. It requires a supply of good Pinot Noir and a pat on the fanny with “thanks” after a successful parking job.

Has always worked for me!
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:19 AM   #10
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Equipment advice

ShadesOHippy, we picked up our 2020 Globetrotter 27FBT in August and the dealer installed an Equalizer Anti-Sway hitch (1,000/10,000 model) and I love it. I’ve pulled other travel trailers in the past with WD hitch setups (chains, pins etc) and much prefer the EQ design. Rock solid ride with our Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

And, Uncle_Bob is very accurate in describing the myriad of factors that also factor into to a safe and secure towing “package”.........it isn’t just the hitch style or brand. Your trailer weights, tow vehicle capacities and ratings, brake controller type and settings are critically important too. Unless you want to hear from your hazard insurance guy/gal that your potential claim is denied because you were towing illegally based on the weight ratings of your tow vehicle and trailer setup.

Regarding camera setup, our AS came with the camera installed and remote display. I use it but don’t really believe the view is the greatest. It helps but is very basic. Having a co-pilot with eyes/ears watching me backup works better for us.

Good luck!
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:28 AM   #11
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Voyager Wireless Backup Camera systems

For what it’s worth, newer Airstreams come with Voyager wireless backup cameras. You just need to tap into the running lights on the trailer then turn them on to power up the camera.

We use ours all the time - gives me three lanes of traffic view; very helpful when deciding to change lanes. Voyager now has a 7” widescreen monitor compared to the 4:3 version that we have.

https://voyagercameras.com/products/wireless-systems

Here’s a photo of ours in use. *The Smoke remote is monitoring our freezer/fridge temps while traveling.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:54 AM   #12
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Shadesohippy, you have received some good answers to your questions. I am towing a 25FB with my 2017 Tundra. You will be very happy with this combination. Have over 48K miles towing this trailer with first my 08 Tundra and now the 2017.


I use an Equalizer Hitch and am very happy with it. It is easy to hook and unhook regardless of how level the site is. It behaves like advertised and I always feel safe no matter what the conditions are. Of course, this is the only brand hitch I have ever used so I can't really compare it to the others.


Your Tundra comes with a very nice screen to help you back up the truck and connect the hitch. It also comes with a built in brake controller. I don't know anything about getting a backup camera to play on this screen. I hope you got the extendable trailer mirrors on your truck. If not I suggest you try to add them. Do you "need" a backup camera on the trailer? It sure would be nice but many tow without them and if your mirrors are up to the task, you can do it too.


Last thing. When I started towing I installed a Prodigy II controller. It was great. I moved it to my '08 when we got our Airstream but when I got the new Tundra I thought I would retire it. Nope, in 2017 they provided a "solid state" controller, at least that is what Toyota told me. I asked them if it was a proportional controller or a timed controller. They couldn't (or wouldn't) answer that only repeated that they were "solid state." It was timed controller and I had some serious issues with it early. Locking up brakes on a slow gradual stop. At higher speeds, like 40mph, making a panic stop took too much time for the brakes to engage. I took the original one out of the dash, found a mounting plate for the Prodigy and installed it in place. It works great now. So, you might want to ask about what KIND of controller they are using now. Since the big 3 have gone to very good controllers I would think that Toyota has jumped on the wagon by now. If not, there is a fix.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:09 AM   #13
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We have had Reese, Equalizer, and now 3 Blue Ox Sway Pro's on our 4 different AS's over the years. BO Sway Pro works well, but please view the video on how to properly load using the power jack....it does provide great antisway and WD...
For rear camera, this is the first AS we have had the camera. It has helped us several times while backing up, especially in rain. Also, use it all the time to see traffic I pass when wanting to change lanes or see whos behind me.
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:59 PM   #14
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This is all such great information! A little background, hubby and I have lots of experience hauling horses, so we are familiar with mirrors, speeds, braking distance, all that fun stuff. However, we have not had a travel trailer, nor have we pulled with our current truck (2019 Tundra, we bought for pulling an Airstream). We will be reading through this thread and watching youtube videos to continue learning. We are plumbing contractors so we have most of the tools required, but will have hitch installed at dealership to ensure everything is lined up correctly.
Keep the information coming please!
MPSGolf your device sounds like its got lots of practice. We have tried a similar method, however Irish and Italian tempers sometimes clash a little more then a glass of Pinot Noir can handle ��
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Old 10-22-2019, 04:23 PM   #15
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Hi

If you switch over and decide to try the DIY route, you will need a torque wrench that goes up to around 450 foot pounds for the bolts on some hitches .... (and some way to hang on to the assembly while you put that torque on it )

Bob
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:10 PM   #16
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When it comes to WDH's you will find a myriad of opinions. I had a Blue Ox for my 28'. Didn't like it. Too much bow affect when big trucks passed by. If I had a 23' I would really consider the propride hitch. Much more expensive, but makes towing so much nicer. But that's my opinion after using both. Other's have their opinions.

If you get the Blue OX, PLEASE jack up your trailer to take almost all the pressure off the bars BEFORE tightening AND loosening. OR you can get hurt.

As to rear camera I have the Voyager. It came installed. Easy to use. You WANT a rear camera whatever kind you can find. A real plus seeing what is behind you while changing lanes and backing up.

Also whether you install or don't you want to get a torque wrench that meets the requirement of your hitch, because YOU WILL need to check it out from time to time. And I'm speaking from experience on this.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:06 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=Daquenzer;2300870]When it comes to WDH's you will find a myriad of opinions. I had a Blue Ox for my 28'. Didn't like it. Too much bow affect when big trucks passed by. If I had a 23' I would really consider the propride hitch. Much more expensive, but makes towing so much nicer. But that's my opinion after using both. Other's have their opinions.

If you get the Blue OX, PLEASE jack up your trailer to take almost all the pressure off the bars BEFORE tightening AND loosening. OR you can get hurt.

As to rear camera I have the Voyager. It came installed. Easy to use. You WANT a rear camera whatever kind you can find. A real plus seeing what is behind you while changing lanes and backing up.

Also whether you install or don't you want to get a torque wrench that meets the requirement of your hitch, because YOU WILL need to check it out from time to time. And I'm speaking from experience on this.[/QUOTE

I have a new F350 and found that it will display the image from the voyager camera on the truck’s display. I still choose to use the voyager display unit so I can free up the trucks display for other functions like navigation, etc. FWIW
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadesohippy View Post
Thank you, does the dealer have to install the hitch?
Technically, no.
I bought my Equalizer from Craig's list and took the trailer part to the dealer. They balked at installing anything they didn't sell.
We compromised by my paying one hour labor for their hitch guy to install the brackets. It got me home fine, but since then, I've changed the setup anyway.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:27 PM   #19
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shadesohippy,
We too have had many questions and have found many answers in the forum. Those who have responded with posts to your question are some of the same people who have responded to our posts and questions. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful the AS community is; especially those who have replied to you. And, how willing they are to help someone with questions that seem 'dumb,' they are not rest assured on that point. I know I have asked some 'dumb' ones only because I was just a 'newbie.' Good luck and enjoy many happy adventures with your TT.
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Old 11-09-2019, 06:30 PM   #20
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When we bought our mpg many years ago our tow vehicle was partially set up for towing. The dealer installed an Equal-I-Zer wd hitch and a brake controller. When we arrived to pick up the trailer they took the car (Mercury Mountaineer) and got right to work. Even so, a couple of guys got an hour or so of overtime that day - and they have done this job frequently. Doing it yourself can easily take a day. How much is your time worth?
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