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Old 05-17-2016, 10:03 PM   #1
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2012 Tundra-2014 25'International-Equalizer Hitch

I have been towing our 2014 25 foot International with a 2012 4x4 Tundra 5.7L Crew Max and the Airstream dealer's Equal-i-zer hitch with 1,000# bars #90-00-1000 for several years without incident. I have a Snug Top shell on the short bed of the Tundra. Even in high cross winds, no sway and pulls stable on paved and gravel roads in the Rocky Mountains.

I have NO confidence in this Dealership in Denver to be of any help.

The trailer is level while towing, but the back of the Tundra is sitting low and no weight seems to be transferring to the front of the Tundra. There were three washers, so I went to five washers with no change in the Tundra's sitting low in the rear, but the trailer is 1.5" higher in the front than the rear with the addition of two washers.

I reduced the washers to four... same situation. No weight transfer to the front of the Tundra and the trailer is 1.5" higher in the front than the rear, still.

I am trying to get the Trailer to tow LEVEL and the Tundra to be LEVEL, or close to level, while towing. If it helps, I can give before and after fender well measurements and front trailer frame and rear frame clearance from the pavement.

I have tried to make sense of several Threads concerning Equalizer hitches. There is a lot of opinion and a lack of details to give me any insight as to what I am doing wrong... if anything. The Equalizer hitch manual is written as if I set hitches for a living and do it for a career. It appears to be written by a group of attorneys to reduce any liability in the event of an accident.

I have measured the Fender Wells of the front and rear BEFORE attaching the hitch ... AND AFTER. The rear of the Tundra will go down, yet there is NO CHANGE to the front.

The hitch manual for me does not help. The debates over brands does not help me as the Dealer in Denver sold these hitches, hooked me up and waved... good bye.

I can blather on and on about Boondocking... but you would think that figuring this out by reading on the Forum would help give me an idea of where I am going wrong.

I am more confused than ever.

Can someone with a 2008 to 2016 Tundra with a 25 foot Airstream give me an idea of how yours is set up?

1- Number of washers being used
2- How the ball section is mounted onto the bracket that slides into the receiver. My receiver section is flipped upside down.
3- Is it even reasonable to have the Trailer and Tow Vehicle... LEVEL at the same time?
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:33 PM   #2
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I have an equalizer as well with 1000# bars. I also have a 25' trailer with about 800lb of tongue weight.

I had to get pretty aggressive to get the appropriate weight transfer since I have a 121" wheelbase and a 7500lb GVWR. I have 6 or 7 washers - as many as I could fit, and then also raised the L brackets so there are 3.5 holes showing above the L bracket. The spring bars are not parallel to the frame when the bars rest on the L brackets.... rather they raise up slightly from the hitch to the L brackets.

It's really dialed in now... And my 2012 infiniti QX 56 handles very very well with the appropriate amount of weight transferred to the front. With the L brackets just one hole lower, the truck used to bounce more when going over dips on the highway, and the steering definitely felt looser. Just raising the L brackets one hole made the entire setup feel much more stable and predictable, and steering is noticeably more precise.

Just add a bunch to washers... Measure, if you need more weight transfer then raise the L bars, measure again... If you have too much weight transfer after raising the L bars keep them where they are and back off a few washers.

My setup is almost deal level - both truck and trailer. The trailer is perfect - 17" from ground to frame rail front and rear of the trailer.

My truck sits almost perfectly level as well - front and back are only 3/4" difference which is negligible.

On ball height mine is about 3/4" - 1" higher than the top trailer coupling when the trailer is sitting level and the suv is unloaded / unhitched.

BTW I live up in Broomfield if you have interest in making the drive north to compare setups and mess with your hitch adjustments...
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:32 PM   #3
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Wolfrat... thanks for your information.

I have been watching the videos on www.equalizer.com which make it a bit more clear. I am going to do through the manual and video explanations to see what can be accomplished.

Getting the experience is the hardest part. Appears that I know enough now to work on getting this all settled.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:42 PM   #4
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I had a 2010 Tundra with my Classic 25fb 1100lbs tongue weight, Equalizer 1000lb bars.

I started with 4 washers but switched to 5. I felt maybe 6 were needed as my front fender was not returned to solo distance but within the 50% returned to distance as the manual states. I felt the Tundra felt a little light in the steering especially going around tight corners at speed.

What are the front and rear vender clearances solo, with trailer and trailer with WDH applied? Going to a scale would be nice but after you have achieved the desired vendor clearances.

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Old 05-18-2016, 06:44 PM   #5
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Will test this adjustment in June!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
I had a 2010 Tundra with my Classic 25fb 1100lbs tongue weight, Equalizer 1000lb bars.

I started with 4 washers but switched to 5. I felt maybe 6 were needed as my front fender was not returned to solo distance but within the 50% returned to distance as the manual states. I felt the Tundra felt a little light in the steering especially going around tight corners at speed.

What are the front and rear vender clearances solo, with trailer and trailer with WDH applied? Going to a scale would be nice but after you have achieved the desired vendor clearances.

Kelvin
*******

I did go to the www.equalizerhitch.com site and watched a series of videos. They were better than expected.

I went back to the manual that came with my hitch and trailer. I added some weight into the back of the Tundra, although I had an empty fresh water tank in the Trailer... all of these will be taken in consideration as I get some towing handling done.

I then understood better what to do and the sequences.

The Denver Airstream Dealer installed THREE washers. The trailer rode level, but the Tundra was down three inches or more in back and no change in the front.

Under Adjusted Weight Distribution.

I purchased SIX Number 8 washers at a local hardware shop. Number 8 is the hardness of the metal of the washer. Number 10 is the highest. This number 8 information I picked up on an Equalizer thread on this Forum. Each cost 40 cents each. They are a larger diameter, maybe 25 cent size. Take in your Spacer Rivet and washers to check for fit. The exterior diameter clears everything. The thickness of the new and Equalizer washers are the same.

Kelvin said to use five or six on his post. I also noticed on the Equalizer site that five or six were also a good place to start. So... I had SIX and used SIX. Kept the three smaller diameter Number 8's that the Denver Dealer used and they took the rest for themselves.

My 25 foot Airstream now has 16 Inch wheels and 16 Inch Michelin LTX tires, so my level trailer sits at 7.5 inches Front to Back from the bottom of the frame to the floor. Switz on another thread had that worked out already.

This time I had to use the tool bar to get the Spring Arms onto the L brackets for the first time. I use a stack of wood blocks, about 10 inches, under the lift pad and did not want to jack the trailer up too far in the event the automatic shutoff did not work and had electric jack problems like someone posted on the Forum.

I believe my top of hitch and the top of the ball were at 21 inches. They aligned very close to exact with the six washers as I backed the hitch up to the trailer sitting level. Imagine that...

This is a literal pain in the lower back experimenting with washer count, L bracket setting, bolts on the Shank.

I used a 19mm that is 13" long for the two Shank Bolts and an adjustable monkey wrench to keep the bolt from spinning while torquing the washer, lock washer and nut.

The ball nut needs a thinner deeper socket to fit in the tight spot to tighten. I did a thread about mine being LOOSE from the Dealer and I promptly bought what I needed to tighten the nut, washer and lock washer. I was not very happy about that...

The L brackets use a 3/4". The angle set bolt is a 5/8". There may be a metric size but I grabbed those by habit and they fit fine. The 19mm is an odd size and you may have to order one. Most places go from 18mm to 20mm and those are cheaper.

Have a tape measure. A level for inside the trailer just to verify that your bubble levels on the exterior are... correct. My exterior levels were OFF an inch, so I recaulked them on a closer to level surface I was using in our garage. Both front to back and the left to right trailer bubbles.

If you think this is too long. Good. My lower back aches from multiple setups and found a sweet setup... finally. My good dealer in Denver... thanks for the memories. Their setup may have been just good enough for me to leave the parking lot and wondered WHY the back of the Tundra was sitting down 3 inches.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:19 PM   #6
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Hello.....I have the same truck....Tundra 2014...and towed a Bigfoot TT with the Equilizer...great set up.

Just bought a 2016 26U AS from Canam RV here in London, Ont. Any Thompson is the owner and recognized towing set up go to guy. He would not recommend the Equilizer Hitch for an AS because of the stiff ride it places on the trailer. I let his experts set up my outfit....the majority of the time they use the Easy Lift system with 2 Husky sway control units.

My rig sits almost perfectly level and tows really well. Just did 3500 miles and easily cruised at 60 to 65 miles per hour and had the extra I needed to pass when needed. No sway whatsoever.

Here's a link to Canam RV http://www.canamrv.ca

Andy has some towing videos on there you might want to watch for extra info. A phone call to him might give you some insight into a different Hitch arrangement for your combination.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:16 AM   #7
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Are your L brackets adjusted so the bars are parallel to the trailer frame? If they are raised up then you have to jack the trailer connected to the Tundra higher to clear the L bracket or you will need to use the pry bar.

With the trailer level is your hitch head ball slightly higher or level with the top of the trailer coupler?

Post a photo of what your setup looks like now.


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Old 05-19-2016, 12:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Are your L brackets adjusted so the bars are parallel to the trailer frame? If they are raised up then you have to jack the trailer connected to the Tundra higher to clear the L bracket or you will need to use the pry bar.

With the trailer level is your hitch head ball slightly higher or level with the top of the trailer coupler?

Post a photo of what your setup looks like now.


Kelvin
*******

The top of the coupler and top of the ball were almost exactly 21 inches. I preloaded about 150 pounds of cargo into the Tundra bed. Empty water tank, but full provisions in the trailer. I expect the full fresh water tank to compensate for any additional weight into the Tundra bed.

As others have said... it takes a while to get everything tweaked. Doing it myself did teach me a lot on how all of this works together. Anyone selling other hitches... go somewhere else, as I am sure all are capable of doing what they are designed to do... it is just figuring it out on your own.

The bars after getting a look at the trailer and Tundra had nothing I noticed as far as over loaded for a bend. I will know once we are on the road, but was pleased with the back of the Tundra sitting, maybe just an inch low and the front very little change. This I will measure 'before attached and after' when my lower back feels better. All of this is not as easy as shown on the video!

I did not raise the trailer/tow vehicle as high as I could. I need to impress the little Lady my muscles still function under duress... The stack of wood 12"x12x3" blocks used under the jack foot to save battery power to elevate AND can be used to level trailer or cross low spots while Boondocking.

Since I am frugal, I used up my photograph option years ago.

If someone is scratching their head, as I did for a year+... I can give a count of where the brackets are currently set and the receiver.

The Airstream Dealer did not set this up right with three washers. So much for depending on the... experts.

The Equalizer videos after a couple views did help. The trailers were different, so do not use their settings, other than to understand how it all works together. I am anxious to get moving in a couple weeks for some serious Off the Grid mountain camping and will comment about anything negative.

There never was any sway with the improperly set hitch set by the dealer. Just that the tow vehicle was sitting low, trailer level and the front no change.

I have never had a towing sway under serious cross winds of Wyoming, 18 wheelers on I-40 in Arizona or the lousy pavement conditions between Flagstaff, Arizona to Kingman, Arizona. The Arizona DOT puts up a $100 sign for rough roads and spends ZERO to repair this long stretch of broken pavement.

Sorry for the long winded description of events, but it is all in the details that nobody on other threads seem to pass along. It is a steep learning curve... but try it if you notice an over or under adjusted hitch. I am glad I did what I did. Was a big improvement over how the trailer and Tundra 'cooperate' together, for once.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:31 PM   #9
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I tow a 2013 Classic 30 with a 2007 Tundra CrewMax 5.7 iForce and Equal-i-zer hitch with 1,400# bars.
To get the truck level, I put 6 washers in the hitch head and moved the L-brackets up on the trailer tongue.
The dealer, Airstream service center, and Equal-i-zer were no help. They could only spout the directions that came with the Equal-i-zer hitch.
So I just kept trying different things until I got the best I could.
The trailer rides ever so slightly nose down. It isn't even detectable unless I measure the front and rear of the trailer- like maybe 1/4" nose down on a 30' trailer.
The only other option was nose high and it didn't handle well.
Before I did trial and error on my hitch I didn't have enough weight distribution or sway control.
It all works very well now.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:40 PM   #10
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L-brackets all the way up
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6 washers
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The whole rig rides fairly level.
The L-brackets are not parallel to the trailer tongue as recommended in the instructions.
I couldn't get enough sway control when set up according to Equal-I-zer's instructions.
The weight bars get closer to the trailer tongue at the L-brackets.
This setup provides good weight distribution and sway control.
There are differences in our rigs, though.


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Old 05-19-2016, 01:07 PM   #11
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m.hony's photographs compared to MY 25' setup...

Check M.hony's photographs to follow my description of setup for my 25 footer with a 2012 Tundra Crew Max.

-My hitch ball is FLUSH at the top, while m.hony's has one setting hole adjustment showing.
-My L bracket has TWO hole settings above where the bolts are set.
-I am using SIX washers and looks pretty much like the angle of the ball in the photograph.

Other than the 30' Airstream... ours has the same profile.

When we get hooked up to leave town... I will try to remember to take a level, put it onto our 1000# bar and measure whatever deviation from FLAT I find. Every little detail may help someone... if my changes have fixed MY ISSUES.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:27 PM   #12
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2008 Tundra with 25' AS

I have pulled my 25' about 50K miles with my 08' Tundra (Also a CrewMax with the Snug Top.) I had five to seven washers but the secret for me was raising the ball on the truck. I generally pull with my F350 but the Tundra will do a fine job as well. Unfortunately, I don't remember what ball height I was using on my 2" Equalizer and I had reset it for my F350. Then I switched to 2 1/2" Equalizer on the F350 so I can't even look back to the old 2" to give you setup data. One thing to remember is that the topper isn't light and the tongue is north of 800 lbs. so it may be tough to get it where you would like to see it. (And by the way, your Denver dealer did a terrible job of setting mine up originally, so your lack of confidence there is justified.) In the end, I had Tundra and trailer both level. I pulled our Colorado passes a great deal with the combo with no problems. I just got tired of seeing 4000 RPM on the ups, thus the F350.

On a side note, I was putting a lot of pressure on that hitch head with the Tundra setup and in fact had a weld crack on the hitch head. Equalizer promptly sent me another hitch head and I had no further cracks in many miles.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:14 PM   #13
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Ray: I read but don't always understand some of your posts. But I understood this one!

Our rigs are nearly identical. Our TV is a 2014 Tundra Crewmax limited 5.7L 4x4 (close enough?) and the Airstream is a 2015 Eddie Bauer 25. Our Equal-I-zer hitch was purchased from and set up by an Airstream dealer with the trailer and they put 1,000 pound bars on with 4 washers and with the "L" brackets set so the bars would be parallel with the "A" frame members.

I was never successful using the "measure the height of your front wheel well before and after method". The differences were too small to measure accurately in real world conditions and there were always other factors that could have produced the changes I could measure (such as moving, unhitching and rehitching). I only trust scales with weights before and after changes to set up the hitch, then actual driving to verify results. After 2 or 3,000 miles with the original setup I didn't like the ride. There didn't seem to be enough weight being moved from the rear axle of the truck. I had more bounce and porpoising than I felt was right. I raised the "L" brackets and got the weight shift I was looking for. That was 95% Front Axle Load Restoration (let me know if you want more info on that method for WD setup). I can send you the precise weights I got on three passes over the scales but they are on my PC and I'll have to fire it up to get them.

I've driven 15,000 miles with that setup and been generally happy. We will be home in Florida in a month (in Utah right now) then heading out again. Before we go on the next trip I will reset the hitch using our local CAT scales. Like Minipad noted above, I want to raise the hitch ball. I believe my trailer is slightly nose low now. Maybe an inch, no more than two. That's enough to put more load on the front axle of the AS than the rear and I'd prefer to balance the two. I believe the dealer measured the height of the trailer's hitch point, set the ball height there on the Tundra and didn't account for the fact that the truck would sink a bit under the tongue weight of the trailer. I'll compensate for that. The truck will still sink, but the trailer will be level when it does. I also intend to put the "L" brackets back to the original lower position. The reason is they are wearing unevenly since the tension bars contact the front most heavily despite the fact that I have the brackets slightly rotated with the tops forward and the bottoms to the rear to minimize that. I believe that having the bars contacting fully across the brackets will improve anti sway function, although I have (thankfully) had zero sway issues or concerns with either the original or current setup. To compensate for the movement of the brackets I will add at least two washers. I have not explored the maximum number of washers that can be added. I'll go to that point if necessary to get the front axle load restoration as close to 100% as possible.

Let me know if you need pics or more details. It's dark here as I write this, but truck and hitch are 23 1/2 feet in front of me and the peaks at Zion are 3,000 feet above me and tomorrow in the light I can photograph both.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:37 PM   #14
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Just a little clarification a wd hitch doesn't actually transfer weight directly to the front axle of the truck, it moves it to the front axle of the trailer. Now by lowering the tongue weight. The truck well sit more level and keep the trucks weight more evenly distributed between itself.
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