Originally Posted by richnritab
...I read a recent post by andy at inland rv that states some people are adding too much spring to their hitches…
Andy may have mentioned the sentiment in several threads, but it caught my attention when he went into some detail in the “Resuscitate A Smushed Airstream?
” thread. While I am a little slow in following up my promise to myself to acquire lower weight spring bars for my Overlander & ¾ ton Suburban combo, I have finally done it, and thought some of the details are worth sharing.
Using Andy’s spring bar width guide, it was determined that my Overlander had 1000 pound spring bars. Since my Airstream’s tongue weight is listed at only 478 pounds, and I knew that the previous owner had had the Reese Dual Cam hitch installed at a dealership, I was surprised at the selection until I remembered that the PO’s first tow vehicle was a mid-sixties Oldsmobile. 1000 pound bars would have been necessary with that car’s soft suspension.
Andy mentioned seeing a bend in the installed, properly selected spring bars. It made sense considering what the bars are supposed to be doing even though I had never seen my 1000 pound bars visibly deflect while the Overlander was hitched to my Suburban.
Since new-style spring bars are $300/set, I turned to Ebay and bid & won an old-style set of 550 lb bars complete with cam followers for around $20 plus shipping. Apparently the seller did not read Andy’s guide because the bars I received were 750 lb bars. Bringing this to the seller’s attention, I requested my money back plus shipping costs to cover returning the bars. The seller agreed to refund my money, but told me to keep or throw out the 750 pound bars.
Okay. So after PayPal advised me of a credit, the seller received positive feedback. A little later in the day I renewed my Ebay search for 550 pound bars. To my surprise, there was the same seller with a set of non-dual cam, Reese 550 pound bars for sale. I couldn’t really get mad as I had asked for my money back instead of asking for the right bars. So after PMing the seller & asking for a width measurement, I bid on & won this set for a few bucks less than the 750 pound set. So now I have a total of three sets of each of the different weight spring bars.
The odd thing about both the 550 lb & 750 lb bars is that none of the four bars fit that snugly in their respective trunnions whereas my 1000 lb bars do. In one of the pictures below, you can see evidence of this in the form of a misshapen, soft steel retaining pin.
Something else I did not expect was that both “new” sets of spring steel already have a bend to them with the 550 lb bars being the worst. Since the bars appear to be symmetric, plans are to flip them over in their trunnions, and effectively bend them back during actual use.
Does anyone see a problem with that?