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Old 11-20-2005, 07:54 PM   #1
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Another hitch comparison - Equalizer vs. Blue Ox

I'm just about to get back into Airstreaming. I used to own a '75 Tradewind that we pulled with a Suburban and a pullrite hitch - worked great.

Now I'll be pulling a '53 21' Flying Cloud (dry weight 2700 lbs) with a Honda Ridgeline (towing capacity 5000 lbs).

I want a hitch that will certainly safely tow the trailer and reduce the sway as much as possible. But I also want one that can easily and quickly be hooked up by one person.

From what I have read from the forums the Equalizer seems to be much easier to hook up than the Reese Dual cam with antisway - feel free to jump on this if you disagree, but this is my starting assumption.

I also have looked at the Blue Ox weight distribution hitch and this seems even easier to hook up, but I don't know if it is in the same league as the Equalizer and Reese in terms of towing safety?

Marshall I know you have the Ridgeline/Blue Ox combo so I hope you will comment on this.

Advise appreciated.

- Mike
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Old 11-20-2005, 09:35 PM   #2
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another hitch comparison

Don't know about the Blue Ox, but I have Equalizer and find it easy to install, adjust, and hook up. The hook-up angle is not critical, as on some others, and performance has been very good.

It's also better looking than most. After all your'e planning on hooking it to an Air Stream!
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Old 11-20-2005, 10:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
From what I have read from the forums the Equalizer seems to be much easier to hook up than the Reese Dual cam with antisway - feel free to jump on this if you disagree, but this is my starting assumption.
I don't see much difference in hookup. I would guess 30 seconds longer at the maxumum to hook up the Dual-Cam and less than that if the tongue can not be jacked high enough to place the Equalizer bars in the saddles without using the tool.

Generally, Airstreams tow so well that any competent anti-sway hitch arrangement is satisfactory.

I talked to the rep about the Blue Ox at the International; it seems to be a nice design. The previous Blue Ox required some major rework to the trailer tongue; the current design does not.
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Old 11-20-2005, 11:15 PM   #4
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Had used a Reese Dual-Cam for 7 years and now an Equal-i-zer for the last two. I find the hookup for the Equal-i-zer faster than the Dual-Cam. In addition the angle of the tow vehicle does not impare hookup or unhitching on an Equal-i-zer. It does make a difference on the Dual-Cam.

Jack
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Old 11-21-2005, 06:14 AM   #5
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Only thing is......

I too have the Equal-I-zer and am pleased with it. There is one issue. If you have to use the "tool" to position the sway bars, how do you get them off (assuming you cannot jack the front high enough). With the Dual Cam, The same "pipe" used to lift the chain onto the saddle can be used to release it.

I have NOT found this to be a problem. My jack always provides the necessary tongue lift to remove the bars.

Just my .02$ worth.

dave
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Old 11-21-2005, 07:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
In addition the angle of the tow vehicle does not impare hookup or unhitching on an Equal-i-zer. It does make a difference on the Dual-Cam.

Jack
I've had the dual cam "HP" for a few years now which is not that different from the orig dual cam from Reese and this hasn't been an issue, since I know what chain to put it on. It goes on fairly easily. My next thing is to downgrade the bars from the approx 800lb bars to the next level down. Also planning (if the wallet can swing it) an air hitch and centrimatics for an overall softer ride for the Airstream since the Burb is a bit harder on the Safari than the Impala was.....
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Old 11-21-2005, 09:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davesamuelso
I too have the Equal-I-zer and am pleased with it. There is one issue. If you have to use the "tool" to position the sway bars, how do you get them off (assuming you cannot jack the front high enough). With the Dual Cam, The same "pipe" used to lift the chain onto the saddle can be used to release it.

I have NOT found this to be a problem. My jack always provides the necessary tongue lift to remove the bars.

Just my .02$ worth.

dave
I used the tool at first and then realized it just was a matter of raising the hitch high enough to slide the bars off. Never have had to use the tool again.

Jack
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Old 11-21-2005, 09:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I've had the dual cam "HP" for a few years now which is not that different from the orig dual cam from Reese and this hasn't been an issue, since I know what chain to put it on.
Not really as much as a chain issue Eric, but if you get the tow vehicle at too great an angle, the bar on the inside turn angle can't be pulled off since the hoop that sits over the cam is blocked by the bar, which is extending back further in the cam. I sometimes got in this position when backing into a spot that had limited clearance and I was forced to cut the tow vehicle at an extreme angle with little clearance to straighten it out.

When this happened I jockeyed back and forth to straighten out more and got the clearances I needed. It also meant a little more work on the pull out since I couldn't angle to tow vehicle as much as I wanted to make the departure easier.

Again nothing against the Reese hitch and personally had no bearing on me switching to the Equal-i-zer brand. It's just one of those little quirks that you learn to avoid.

Jack
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Old 11-21-2005, 09:51 AM   #9
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I see what you mean. I will have to try a far more pronounced angle to duplicate the results. I had a fair angle a few times and didn't have that issue you describe happen.....of course I installed the cam system myself and I'm not the sharpest tack in the box, which means I could have installed it wrong and that's why I don't see the issue.
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Old 11-21-2005, 10:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I see what you mean. I will have to try a far more pronounced angle to duplicate the results. I had a fair angle a few times and didn't have that issue you describe happen.....of course I installed the cam system myself and I'm not the sharpest tack in the box, which means I could have installed it wrong and that's why I don't see the issue.
Its very well possible you haven't gotten yourself in that position. It only happened to me about 6 times total in 7 years of using the dual-cam...and its just one of those things you get out to unhitch and you know you are at a bad angle and one look tells you no way you can get that bar off.

Those spots we had up in Mackinac City were a good example of not much room to maneuver (narrow road, not much room to pull forward especially if the tow vehicle across from you was sticking out too far). Thankfully they were deep enough to allow you to straighten out the tow vehicle. If they had not you would have been in one of those tight turn situations where the tow vehicle would have been at a pretty good angle in respect to the trailer.

Jack
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Old 11-22-2005, 09:28 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I just have a couple more detailed questions that I want to direct to Jack.

1. Sounds like getting an electric jack would make a big difference. I think you talked about raising the tongue pretty high to then slip in the bars.

2. If you are in a tight spot can you first just drop the trailer tongue on the ball and pull the trailer around a bit to a straight and level spot before you put on the bars?

With my pullrite you couldn't move at all without having the bars attached. Of course I tried to move it once in a tight campground without the bars and I almost lost a propane tank.

- Mike
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Old 11-22-2005, 09:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by air19
Thanks everyone for your responses. I just have a couple more detailed questions that I want to direct to Jack.

1. Sounds like getting an electric jack would make a big difference. I think you talked about raising the tongue pretty high to then slip in the bars.

2. If you are in a tight spot can you first just drop the trailer tongue on the ball and pull the trailer around a bit to a straight and level spot before you put on the bars?

With my pullrite you couldn't move at all without having the bars attached. Of course I tried to move it once in a tight campground without the bars and I almost lost a propane tank.

- Mike

Mike,
I use the Equalizer brand hitch. Item#1 yes the electric jack is a big help in hooking up. Item #2 I do it all the time, especially if I am just moving the trailer a short distance around the home place.

Aaron
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Old 11-22-2005, 02:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by air19
Thanks everyone for your responses. I just have a couple more detailed questions that I want to direct to Jack.

1. Sounds like getting an electric jack would make a big difference. I think you talked about raising the tongue pretty high to then slip in the bars.

2. If you are in a tight spot can you first just drop the trailer tongue on the ball and pull the trailer around a bit to a straight and level spot before you put on the bars?

With my pullrite you couldn't move at all without having the bars attached. Of course I tried to move it once in a tight campground without the bars and I almost lost a propane tank.

- Mike
1. Mike it doesn't have to be raised an inordinate amout, just high enough to let the bars slip onto/or off of the brackets mounted on the A frame. Yes a power hitch is pretty handy.

2. As I noted in a previous post, the bars can go on and off at a pretty severe angle. No need to straighten out the tow vehicle. Just leave them attached until you get the trailer into its spot.

Jack
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Old 11-27-2005, 10:26 PM   #14
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Ridgeline Blue Ox BX2004 combo

Mike (air19),

My experience with a Blue Ox BX2004 weight distributing hitch system over several years has been very good, both on my first tow vehicle (2000 Honda Odyssey, towing over 28,000miles) and now on my 2006 Honda Ridgeline with over 7,000 miles towing. I also have the BX1600 friction anti-sway attached. Twice I've had the need for product support from Blue Ox and they have been outstanding to work with, helping me at every step and providing replacement for broken parts at no cost or shipping charges. They have shown to me they are very customer-oriented.

I cannot comment on how it may or may not be safer than another weight distributing hitch system as I didn't have much experience with others, except for about 6,000 miles with a Reese WD system.

In conditions where there are crosswinds, the BX2004 and the tow vehicles seem to behave very reliably and rigidly, with no swaying observed yet on the Ridgeline and only two instances on the Odyssey, where there was an initial sway impulse, dampening over the course of about 5-10 seconds; in other words, observable sway but more than critically damped. On both cases of sway with the Odyssey, I had been travelling over 65mph, and was passed very fast close alongside by a tractor-trailer, something that will obviously happen anytime without warning.

One thing I find that works well to control vertical action of the trailer while using the BX-series hitches is the dual-acting spring. When I encounter bumps, speed washboard warning strips and irregularities on the road surface, including potholes and shoulder conditions the BX2004 allows a predictable and easy recovery back into stable operation, faster than I experienced with the Reese. I've heard from one other BX2004 user (a trailer dealer in the Midwest) that he observed the same thing, and in his opinion the BX2004 worked better in that regard than other hitches he used.

To me the combination of features, including the mounting arrangement, were important factors in choosing it. I would conclude from comments of others that the Hensley has probably the best reputation for antisway control of any of the systems, and the Pull-rite is close.
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