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Old 11-10-2013, 12:53 PM   #15
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If your happy with what your using......it's adequate.

If others are unhappy with what your using......it's not.

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Old 11-10-2013, 01:11 PM   #16
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Well said Bob, that pretty much sums up most threads on this forum.
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:12 PM   #17
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I really wish there were a way to test them all. Like 10 setups with the same exact TV and TT but with different hitches. Say a closed test course with certain turns, obstacles, braking requirements, etc. You could drive every one of them knowing the only*** difference is the hitch and then decide. But that's not going to happen. Why that hasn't been 3D modeled somewhere is beyond me...

***thats not really true - the experience of the driver is crucial, exact speed, reaction times, etc., but you know what I mean...

So it ultimately boils down to knowing what you're trying to accomplish and why. If you know that, you'll make the right decision.

Preventing, rather than reacting to sway was my #1 desire and given what I spent on a new TV and TT, i was prepared to pay a lot for that peace of mind. My only choices therefore were PullRite, Hensley Arrow or ProPride. For me, PullRite was my preference but it is not manufactured for my TV. Of Hensley Arrow and ProPride, both do (in my view) the exact same thing but the PP has several upgraded design features and improvements that made it the best choice for me.

As for weight distribution, I do wish I had taken Sean's advice and ordered the 1400# bars. I didn't really understand I could dial in as little or as much of that as needed and I think I need more than the 1000# bars I have (tongue is about 1100) although on different scale trips, I've achieved the 50% FALR my TV manufacturer requires for my setup. So the prevention of sway is a perfect yes, but the WD capabilities could be improved just by following the manufacturer's suggestion (I wouldn't object to 100% FALR even if not required).

Speaking about MFG suggestions, my TV TT combo also recommends sway control (despite having active sway control electronics in the TV). That being the case, if I could be comfortable with moderate WD and good sway reaction (rather than prevention), I'm very confident nearly every other hitch could work for my application. The Andersen looks very compelling to me as I don't need 100% FALR and that brake lining cylinder, ease of setup, light weight and low price make for a pretty compelling looking solution even if all the kinks haven't been worked out yet. Blue Ox looked easy to understand and use, no removal of WD to back up, etc. equal-I-zer and EZ lift and all the others surely "do the job".

You just need to know what you want to do, why, and what it's worth to you. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say 98% of us are in good shape - religious war notwithstanding. :-)
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:43 PM   #18
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I'm gonna go out on a limb and say 98% of us are in good shape - religious war notwithstanding. :-)
I agree - that was my initial question (which was admittedly a little rhetorical). But I haven't read anything so far that changes my - still open - mind.

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Old 11-10-2013, 01:45 PM   #19
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If your happy with what your using......it's adequate. If others are unhappy with what your using......it's not.

Bob
LOL.

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Old 11-10-2013, 04:15 PM   #20
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The recent podcast on TheVAP.com had an interview with Andy Thompson of CanAM in Ontario, Canada. In that interview, Andy discussed some of the history of weight distribution hitches. Might be worth a listen.

Not to start another arguement, but to provide information.

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Interesting listening....
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:04 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
I really wish there were a way to test them all. Like 10 setups with the same exact TV and TT but with different hitches. Say a closed test course with certain turns, obstacles, braking requirements, etc. You could drive every one of them knowing the only*** difference is the hitch and then decide. But that's not going to happen.
I have offered to get this independent testing done a number of times. It all falls on deaf ears. I can't get even one other hitch manufacturer to step up and contribute financially to the testing and the reporting. If I pay for it alone everyone will say it is biased. We all need to contribute.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:43 PM   #22
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@Michael - I have a Blue Ox because it came with the trailer. I've only towed with it for a 1,000 miles but it seemed to do OK in a variety of conditions. I don't have an emotional involvement with it yet.

Poppy
I think it takes spending 2 grande on a hitch to cause an emotional involvement
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:24 PM   #23
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LFC it only seems to take a few hundred dollars based on my readings of the Andersen hitch on multiple threads... Robert nailed it. You will like what you have until it fails to perform and then you won't. Hopefully it won't be an expensive educational moment.

Since I am new and learning I am still looking for the thread arguing over whether to grease or not grease the ball, or if the Andersen no grease is the best...
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:25 PM   #24
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I have offered to get this independent testing done a number of times. It all falls on deaf ears. I can't get even one other hitch manufacturer to step up and contribute financially to the testing and the reporting. If I pay for it alone everyone will say it is biased. We all need to contribute.
Seems like this would be an excellent product line for testing by Consumers Reports. There are millions of trailers on the road and hitches are a vital item. You might consider sending them a proposal.

Poppy
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:13 PM   #25
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LFC it only seems to take a few hundred dollars based on my readings of the Andersen hitch on multiple threads...
The 3 Weight Distribution hitches I've owned all functioned flawlessly....All for $300 or less.

I'm so emotionally attached to mine (don't tell her) but honestly I'm ashamed to say I couldn't tell you her name without going outside and looking....

I do recall my current luv has long sleek 800 lb legs that I chain her to the Airstream with when sitting atop her well lubed 10 or 12,000 lb ball.

If I'm running the interstate at 70 plus I might even strap on her sway bar just to keep her from straying when I blow by those big rigs.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:01 AM   #26
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Some great points, but IMO it all comes down to the individual and circumstance. If you are towing a smaller (lighter) trailer and pay attention to how it is loaded and balanced, and the same with an adequate tow vehicle, there may be a number of WD hitches that really are overkill, especially if you are an experienced and cautious driver. However, as you near the capacities of the trailer and/or tow vehicle the weight distribution of your AS/TV becomes more and more critical.

Towing my old 800 lb canned ham made no noticeable difference in handling and very little difference in braking when hooked to my 1/2 ton with suspension upgrades. The same cannot be said of my current AS. The basic WD and anti-sway hitch I have makes a difference I can feel, especially at highway speeds. It also allows me to carry more load in the trailer safely.

I do not believe there is a "best for everyone" answer, hence the ongoing debate. Frankly, I was more concerned with the "best I could afford" as a any of the very high end hitches would have priced me out of some other upgrades I needed to do to the AS prior to departing as a full timer.

My suggestion would be to recognize that there may not be one simple answer and do your own research based on personal preferences, situation and budget. Then ask a multiple choice question when you have whittled it down to a few options. The open-ended questions stir an endless debate without any real conclusions, other than that there are many passionate people with Airstreams!

By the way, I have a name brand factory "rebuilt" hitch that cost less than a third of new. The box had been opened, but I couldn't tell the thing had ever been used before. Maybe it was just a return. The WD and built-in anti sway have performed flawlessly.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:41 AM   #27
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Thank you Lou. Your post is consistent with the intended spirit of this thread. It was not intended to be a sniping platform and many thanks to the moderators for keeping it clean.

The title of the thread is perhaps too over- arching given the many variables involved in towing: type of TV; size and weight of TT; conditions towed under; margin of safety required for peace of mind; etc. But I really like Sean's idea of comparative testing under controlled conditions. Thinking I might run it by Consumer Reports myself. They couldn't cover all of the combinations, but they could test using median equipment and conditions.

Poppy
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:42 PM   #28
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No. Not all weight distributions hitches are adequate, and it's hard to mention brands without an uproar of resentment. We use them for safety and towing comfort.

First look for a tried and true hitch that can evenly distribute the weight of your trailer tongue for a smooth ride and sure-footed steering under adverse conditions such as a combination of heavy cross-wind, large trucks passing, and slick road surface. Not all of them pass this test.

Then look for sway control for additional safety. This could be a separate sway control bar(s), built-in sway control, or the Hensley-style that eliminate the possibility of sway.

Your personal level of safety may be determined by the type of tow vehicle you use, the type of traffic and roadways you typically travel on, and the amount of Airstream towing you do.
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