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Old 09-10-2011, 10:42 PM   #1
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2006 22' International CCD
2007 Base Camp
Elk Valley , British Columbia
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2008 Sequoia Air Susp - 22' International

So... I sold my Basecamp and bought a 2006 22' International (CCD)... I towed the Basecamp with a Tacoma and the class 3 Airsafe hitch. The Basecamp was about 450 on the tongue, and I didn't use any type of sway control - never had it misbehave - likely due to it's smaller and slippery design.

So... I get my 22' delivered from California to British Columbia... the hauler shows up and I note the included WD hitch is some type of Equalizer... never dealt with one before, so we go about the whole up/unlatch/down/uncouple/up routine... as there was no load bar to be found...

So... get around to the other side of the hitch, and the "L" bracket that is supposed to be supporting the other bar is gone... great. I hope the hauler didn't kill someone in Oregon with it... As I'm contemplating the situation, I decide it's best to not have only one side of WD connected, throw the bars in the back of the Sequoia, and hit the road.

My drive was from Revelstoke to Quesnel... which is very hilly, lots of corners, lots of big truck traffic, and mostly 2 lane highway. I didn't have any big winds, but passed lots of trucks and the trailer never budged an inch.

I'm contemplating the whole need for a WD with this set up at all... the trailer maxes out around 4500... the hitch is 450... which sounds perfect to me, no? Why would I want to tinker with a WD hitch? The other issue is, I have the auto-air suspension in my Sequoia... and have read a large print "TURN IT OFF" in several threads.

Why? As far as I know, it's not changing the spring rates, it's just levelling the chassis, no? It musn't have been much of a load, as the air suspension only ran a few seconds to get up to level...

Back to the WD... and sway... my Basecamp was a single axle, <> 2400lbs loaded, and no worries. The 22 is a dual axle... and other than a bit more weight (and boost level on my controller), seems to feel about the same... but, of course I've moved into a Sequoia and not the Taco...

To get any sway control from the WD... I have to have a decent amount of tension right?... it seems to me that putting 200lbs on the bars would be the minimum place to start... but I don't think that will hardly bend them.

Where I am at is wanting to use my bouncy AirSafe which made pulling the Basecamp a whole lot more fun. If that doesn't work... I think I'd need the lightest WD/sway set up made... I only have the cheapo Airsafe which won't let me add WD...

What do y'all think I should do?
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:52 PM   #2
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We have been trailering for 15+ years, and would not recommend towing without a WD hitch. We had an equalizer hitch, but recently upgraded to a Reese Dual Cam 800# hitch.

I think the equalizer hitch would be way too stiff for your rig.

The Reese is a much better configuration (more expensive as well -- but worth it).
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:11 PM   #3
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What do y'all think I should do?
Hi, Friday,

Are you clear on the difference between weight distribution and sway control? They are interrelated but only indirectly.

The purpose of the weight distribution hitch is to compensate for the fact that you are putting several hundred pounds of tongue load some distance behind the rear axle, which means that its effect is to increase the load on the rear (driving) axle and decrease the load on the front (steering) axle. From the safety standpoint, the reduction of the weight on the front wheels--and consequent reduction in steering ability--is the more important of the two effects.

I am not familiar with either the Sequoia or the Airsafe hitch, but my tow vehicle has two tongue weight ratings, one for a deadweight hitch and one for a weight distributing hitch. The limit for the deadweight hitch is only a few hundred pounds; anything over that and you need a weight distributing hitch. The air suspension can adjust the front and rear ride heights but it does nothing to change the weight distribution on the front and rear axles.

Sway behavior--the tendency of the trailer to steer the tow vehicle, like the "tail wagging the dog", depends on the relative weights and wheel bases of the trailer and tow vehicle and the distance between the hitch ball and the rear axle. The longer that latter distance the more sway you are going to have.

We tow a 4,000 pound gross weight 1980 International Caravelle 22 ft trailer with a 7,000 pound gross weight Silverado extended-cab short bed pickup truck. Depending on the tank status the tongue weight is in the 4-500 pound range. We use a weight distributing hitch with only light tension on the bars. We no longer use the friction sway damper that came with the rig and I have never been able to detect any sway with or without it.

Look at the weight ratings of your hitch receiver and tow vehicle and decide for yourself. My best guess is that you probably should have some weight distribution.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:15 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nuvite-F View Post
Hi, Friday,

Are you clear on the difference between weight distribution and sway control? They are interrelated but only indirectly.

.
Yup, I get that the typical WD setup creates friction as a byproduct, that is then marketed as 'sway control'.

I guess for my configuration I am considering that I am towing about 1/2 the max my vehicle is rated for, and the trailer is 'balanced' by the standards of 10 to 15% of the weight on the hitch. Really, transferring 200lbs of weight to the front axle is the same as me getting in the front seat... and about 3% of the mass of the vehicle... (it's over 6000lbs empty).

I guess the real issue is I've never experienced trailer sway with any trailer I've had... but, I've never had worn out vehicles that tend to wallow around in worn out shocks and saggy springs... When I look at the 'before and after' pictures of the WD... my truck already looks like the 'after'. It's level.

Since my baby Airsafe has the tab for it, maybe I'll just try a cheapo friction sway device... as if that doesn't work, I need to either get a bigger Airsafe that will work with a new WD hitch, or repair my Equalizer. It looks kind of old to me... I don't know if they even make a bar as light as I'd want to try...

Or, if I am going to spend money... just get than baby Arrow...

Hmmm....
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:04 AM   #5
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I'm also questioning the thinking of hanging 100 more lbs off the back to transfer 200 lbs to the front...

As a side note, the hauler dragged it 2000+ miles with only one side of the WD connected... so I'm thinking the minimal amount of load he had on the bar wasn't doing a whole lot... should it have made the trailer behave badly?
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