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Old 05-28-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
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1973 23' Safari
Hampton Cove , Alabama
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Anti Sway Hitch and Brake Controller

We're "newbies" to the Airstream Forum! Please recommend best anti sway hitch and brake controller for 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser (with lift kit and 285/70/17 tires) towing a Vintage 1973 23' Safari Land Yacht. We plan to go cross country from Alabama/Florida to California/Arizona.

Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:22 PM   #2
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Hi. Welcome.


There is no best. Depends on what you're trying to accomplish and what your preferences are. You will get a ton of info on these questions, but ultimately if you know what you're trying to do and why, you can listen through the equivalent of "Mac vs PC" debates and go with what works best for your needs.

Having said that - get a ProPride hitch :-)
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:30 PM   #3
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I have a Hayes Energize III brake controller. Works great. I have 2 different equalizer/anti-sway set ups- one I like much better than the other. Setup number one- the torsion bars are put in from the bottom at the hitch, swung around to the trailer a-frame, chain links put on a saddle and lifted up, then anti-sway attached to 2 small balls and the brake shoe tightened down- works but a lot of work. This setup is for sale. Current setup- Equal-I-Zer 4 point hitch weight distributing and anti-sway in 2 bars with pins in each end- much easier to use.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:51 PM   #4
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Normally, I would agree with "SteveSueMac" because the ProPride is definitely the best, IMHO. However, in your case, I would be concerned with the weight of the hitch (about 230 lbs.), and your FJ Cruiser's ability to haul it. Also the FJ Cruiser is rated to tow 5000 lbs. of trailer, and have you weighed your trailer?

And, while the "with lift kit and 285/70/17 tires" certainly look cool on an FJ, they do nothing but hurt to towing performance of the vehicle. I tow a 17' Casita with an FJ with an Andersen hitch, and it does well, but with your setup and your trailer, I would be a little concerned.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:25 PM   #5
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I do not know what the "best" is. The Reese straight line hitch is a very wildly used hitch. Get the weakest bars, which are 600 lbs. The Prodgy 2 is a very commonly used brake controller. With your special rig you might need to do some research and see if something different is needed. You will need a big drop bar in the receiver to get the ball down to the trailer height, which I think is 17.5 inches. The trailer needs to set level, particularly if it is a tandom axle. I tow with a 4x4 3/4 ton so the only thing really in common is I have the hitch on a 6" or maybe 8" drop bar. And it is a little tricky to figure out how much drop you need ahead of time without knowing how the trailer loads the TV. I got one with holes in it so I could adjust it up and down You might want to look at the ProPride and call them and ask about the drop, etc. It is a good hitch. I have seen some articles on towing with that TV in the trailer magazines, but tossed them.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH
Normally, I would agree with "SteveSueMac" because the ProPride is definitely the best, IMHO. However, (snip).
Just to be clear - my note was an attempt at irony...(maybe not a great attempt, but an attempt nonetheless :-) )

I can't say ProPride is best - it is for MY number one need - preventing sway from happening in the first place. I don't want a system to react to it, I don't want to attempt to control it - I just don't want it to happen. With every decision come trade offs. PP is much more expensive than most, weighs a lot more than most and is going to be a problem for my dealer on service calls since all they really know is how to stick the ball on their forklift in to the coupler to move the trailer around...dang.

But it solved my #1 concern so for me, with my personal parameters, it's absolutely the best. That Sean turned out to be so great at service was another huge bonus.

Others mileage may vary :-)
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:36 PM   #7
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We have a 1973 Safari 23' that weighs 3500 lbs. The towing capacity of the 2008 FJ Cruiser is 5000 lbs. We took the trailer on a test drive today - and it towed fine. We will definitely have to get the drop hitch to compensate for the lift kit.

Did you all install the ProPride hitch yourself or at a dealer?
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sbbrown View Post
Did you all install the ProPride hitch yourself or at a dealer?
I've installed several of them. Of course the first was the most difficult, but if you spend the required time to read the instructions, and understand them, it's certainly doable.

It would be best to have a helper, and a floor jack.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:35 PM   #9
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If you are new to this Please look up some local campers and go see there systems first hand.

Ask about the experiences of hitching up and towing.

You do not want to spend several thousand dollars on the comments you will find here without more thought.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:39 PM   #10
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I love my Equal-I-Zer 4 point, but when I grow up I want a Hensley Arrow. I can still feel 18 wheelers when they go by. It's not bad, just noticable. People who own the Hensley say you no longer feel anything. I also like my Eaz-Lift for the ability to add or reduce tongue weight, but the Equal-I-Zer with its one setting is so much easier to hook up.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:16 AM   #11
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I'll throw my two cents in on brake controllers.
The best is Maxbrake. It is also the most expensive. I have used cheaper brake controllers and this is one are item where you get what you pay for. It is very easy to adjust (only one initial adjustment needed) and very consistent, seamless stops.
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