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Old 02-03-2007, 08:46 AM   #1
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1965 26' Overlander
1990 34' Excella
Vintage Kin Owner
1975 20' Argosy 20
Upper Black Eddy , PA
Join Date: Nov 2005
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A hitch for my 65 Overlander

I'm in the process of trying to find a hitch system for my 1965 26' Overlander. The dry weight is approx 4230 lbs., hitch weight 420 lbs., hitch ball height 18-19", Hitch ball size is 2. The trailer currently does not have sway control, but it does have the snap up brackets and trailer end balls for the friction type sway controls. My TV is a 1990 Chevy full size van, which was specially equipped with heavy duty leaf springs in the rear (the original owner had these added as he did not tike how it towed his travel trailer without them--he stated that with the HD leaf springs, the van could tow up to 9K pounds.)

Do I want to stay with the friction sway control or is a dual cam set up better (safer)?

What is a trunnion style system?

I really don't know much about hitches. From this forum, it seems that some people like the Equa-li-zer brand, some people like the Reese. Is Draw-tite good? Would any of these brands be better for my specific set-up? Hensley Arrow seems to be out of my current price range. Speaking of price, is purchasing a used hitch a reasonable why to save on cost (there are a few other major things that need to be done to get my trailer campable!). I just want to be safe when I'm on the road. Any advice would be really helpful!


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Old 02-03-2007, 09:28 AM   #2
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
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Hi Kathy. Hensley first -- it is the gold standard and provides exceptional control. That would become most desirable when a trailer is both long and heavy. I'd think you can be very safe with some other choices.

Friction antisway is an attention intensive type system. The tension applied needs to be checked with some frequency. Its downfall is that it loses effectiveness when wet -- just when you need it the most.

I have a Reese Dual Cam. It works. Forget about worring what "trunnion" means. Equalizer is equally accepted by very satisfied and demanding owners. You would not go wrong with either one. I'll have to let others more familiar with Draw Tite speak to that.

You have one of the 2" hitches? Interesting. Kevin Allen (overlander64) has spoken about those. Airstream converted to 2 5/6" in the late '60s. Part of the Reese or Equalizer purchase will be a new hitch bar to fit in your TV receiver. I'd certainly want the strength of a new ball -- inexpensive insurance! I can't find the post but Kevin has said you might need to look around to get at least a 6000# rated 2" ball. They can be had, maybe from an RV dealer. RJays has a good one I see -- a 10,000 pounder in chrome or a 7,000 pounder in stainless. I've worked with RJays and have been very happy -- quick service, price is right! These balls have the heavy duty shank bigger than your thumb. The right stuff! Buy the ball and present it to your weight distribution/antisway installer to put on. They won't even blink... it'll just show your savvy.


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Old 02-03-2007, 09:39 AM   #3
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1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
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I have a Reese with a trunion style head. It is just a basic head that the wd bars lock into. I added a friction sway controller before my recent trip to 29 Palms. It is not a bad setup, but many better setups exist. The sway controller did help with the wake that bigs rigs cause as they blow by you at 80+ MPH. The down side is, I had to remove the unit in a snow storm I ran into as I got close to the Palms. It also has to be removed when backing into a spot.

The reason I have the Reese is that it came with my trailer, it works well and it has the correct size bars for my unit. If I were going to buy a new setup, I would most likely go with the Reese dual Cam setup.


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Old 02-04-2007, 11:45 AM   #4
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
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Hi again Kathy. This morning at the gym I listened to episode 32 of the Vintage Airstream Podcast. After minute 21 they discussed the broad topic of weight distribution and sway control with a Reese representative. I'd recommend listening to it -- fairly general and quite informative.

Click VAPcast & Show Notes Archive along the left column at the above link. I use the free subscription option through iTunes loaded in my computer; you don't need an iPod -- can listen on your 'puter.

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Old 02-04-2007, 12:18 PM   #5
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
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I used to use a 3/4 Ford ton van to tow my Overlander. I had a Reese with a frictional dampener. It worked pretty well. Drawtite is very similar and is now owned by Reese so they are exactly the same now. The thing about the frictional dampener loosing effectiveness when wet is actually an advantage. They recommend you take it off when roads are slick. You do have to take it off before making short hard turn parking manuevers or you will bend it. I do not think you really need to go to the expense of buying a Twin Cam or Hensely or Pullrite. I have heard bad reports about the Blue Ox, but that was from people new to towing.
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