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Old 01-31-2011, 08:33 PM   #1
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1200# bars too much for my set-up?

I just picked up a used Reese 1200# straight line WD hitch for our Ford Excursion and '77 Argosy 26. Max weight is 6100lbs and tongue weight is 600lbs. Are the 1200lb bars too stiff for my application? From what I read on the forum, I think a 600 to 800lb bar would be much better/safer. If so, anyone willing to trade bars or have some to purchase? Thx for any help!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:08 PM   #2
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Yes, 1200lbs is too much. I had the reese dual cam system with 1200lb bars towing my 2007 Safari 27FB with a 1/2 ton Ford Expedition and it was too stiff; causing rivets to pop and drawers to open in the trailer. The problem was compounded when I purchased a 2006 F-350 Dually (replaced my wrecked Expedition). I replaced the 1200lb bars with 800lb bars and purchased an AirSafe Hitch (pictured). This seems to have resolved my issues of popped rivets and drawers opening when towing. I believe the 1200lb bar setup was also responsible for the crack (pictured) in the skin beneath the locker in the front of the trailer.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:09 PM   #3
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I forgot to add that it is very difficult to find the 600lb square bars from Reese as they are halting manufacture of the 600lb distribution system. That is why I have the 800lb bars.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp View Post
I just picked up a used Reese 1200# straight line WD hitch for our Ford Excursion and '77 Argosy 26. Max weight is 6100lbs and tongue weight is 600lbs. Are the 1200lb bars too stiff for my application? From what I read on the forum, I think a 600 to 800lb bar would be much better/safer. If so, anyone willing to trade bars or have some to purchase? Thx for any help!
Yes, you'd be much better off with the lighter bars.

A while back I bought a whole hitch assembly on EBAY to get the lighter bars from it, and then took the rest of it and my heavier bars, but it back on EBAY and sold it. A lot of hastle, but it ended up a lot cheaper than buying new bars.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:49 PM   #5
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200# bars too much for my set-up?

Greetings Camp!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp View Post
I just picked up a used Reese 1200# straight line WD hitch for our Ford Excursion and '77 Argosy 26. Max weight is 6100lbs and tongue weight is 600lbs. Are the 1200lb bars too stiff for my application? From what I read on the forum, I think a 600 to 800lb bar would be much better/safer. If so, anyone willing to trade bars or have some to purchase? Thx for any help!
You can add me to the chorus of excessively over-hitched with 1200 pound weight distribution bars. The Excursion provides a more subtle ride than the typical 3/4 ton pickup, but it is still much firmer than the full-size automobiles that were generally utilized to tow our Argosys when they were new. My original hitch was setup by a shop with no Airstream knowledge or experienc, and they insisted upon 1,000 pound weight distribution -- in less than a year the rough ride resulting from the stiff bars had caused cracks in the shell of my Overlander above the entry door as well as being likely contributors to metal outriggers puncturing the banana wraps in several points in the fron 6 feet of the coach.

In addition, if you are utilizing Reese Dual Cam Sway Control, it likely isn't doing much to control sway as the dual cam system relies upon the weight distribution bars being rather heavily tensiones to provide the sway control. The difference in the performance of my Reese Dual Cam Sway Control was amazing when I made the switch from 1,000 pound weight distribution bars to 600 pound weight distribution bars.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:18 AM   #6
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Good info. I'll change the bars for sure. I have a laundry list of things to do, don't need to add structural failure to the list. I didn't think of Ebay. With some luck, I think I can get the right bars and still save $$ over a new hitch. Overlander, I haven't seen a 75 Eldorado in years. Now that is a vintage tow vehicle!
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:39 AM   #7
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It's not the size of the bars, but the load you place on them. You can load 1200# bars to 600# and you can load 600# bars to 600# >/<.

Adjust the pre-load...no need to change the bars.

I can't understand why Folks find this so confusing...like to spend $ I guess...

Good luck.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:47 AM   #8
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It's not the size of the bars, but the load you place on them. You can load 1200# bars to 600# and you can load 600# bars to 600# >/<.

Adjust the pre-load...no need to change the bars.

I can't understand why Folks find this so confusing...like to spend $ I guesss...

Good luck.
Bill, The problem isn't when running straight and level down the road or sitting still. You're corrct in that.....say 600 pounds of flex is 600 pounds of flex regardless of bar rating when setting the unit up. But the rate of bend relative to force applied to the trailer and TV when running up entry ramps to driveways etc. is very different. I believe this is where the damage comes from. the various rated bars ramp up force very differently for a given amount of bar end displacement.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:06 AM   #9
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1200# bars too much for my set-up?

Greetings Camp!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp View Post
Good info. I'll change the bars for sure. I have a laundry list of things to do, don't need to add structural failure to the list. I didn't think of Ebay. With some luck, I think I can get the right bars and still save $$ over a new hitch. Overlander, I haven't seen a 75 Eldorado in years. Now that is a vintage tow vehicle!
Here are a couple of photos of my Eldorado the earlier ones date to 2003 when I was towing my '64 Overlander back from the Airstream dealer following the hitch setup on the Eldorado. The photo with my Minuet was taken in 2008 in Yellowstone National Park.



This was the realization of a dream for me. I had always wanted a convertible towcar from the first time that I saw The Long, Long Trailer. I don't think I ever enjoyed towing my Overlander more than when I towed it home after having the Eldorado fitted with the towing equipment so that I could tow the Overlander.




As the Eldorado has aged, the OEM wheels have worn out-of-round and this has made it very nearly impossible to keep its wheelcovers attached which explains the absence of its wheelcovers in this photo. The car also protested the heat of summer towing by melting its plastic front fender extensions as we towed through the Rocky Mountains approaching Rocky Mountain National Park.

Kevin
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:12 AM   #10
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:16 AM   #11
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Very cool car, I used to wrench in a Cad dealership in the 80's.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:37 AM   #12
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My father used to have a Cadillac coupe like that, same color and all, but I thought this thread was about hitch bars?
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:43 AM   #13
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Hitch bars, while serving a very important purpose, are boring. Convertible Caddy tow vehicles are ....cool!! My son asked if I could tow the argosy with my 68 corvette. I like it without the wheel covers. How did you keep it from bottoming out? Just WD hitch or beefed-up suspension? Uh, oh, now I'm hijacking my own thread.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:23 AM   #14
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I switched to 600# bars from 1000# bars and noticed a big improvement in ride and handling with my F350.
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