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Old 03-16-2018, 03:37 PM   #1
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Bolting a 1 1/4” ball to adjustable shank for sway bar

We would like to add an anti-sway bar to our current weight distribution system. We may do a complete update in the future, but for now this will give us extra security. We have already have a 1 1/4 ball welded to the trailer’s frame. The only solution I can see to add the ball on the hitch is by putting it through the top hole of the adjustable shaft, which is clear while towing. Is there any reason that would not work, or suggestions on updating this older system as a temporary solution?There is not enough length on the shaft of the hitch ball to add an adapter plate. Thanks!
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:45 PM   #2
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You do not have to change your WD head, there is usually a piece of flat steel included with the anti sway friction bar. Most people will weld this onto the head or I have even seen it bolted under the tow ball. The 1-1/4" ball needs to be at least 4" to the side of the head, the further away from the tow ball=more sway control.
I highly recommend welding!
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RachBets View Post
updating this older system as a temporary solution? Thanks!
That "older" system is an Equalizer Hitch, probably the most popular hitch out there for Airstream.
The anti-sway is built in by having the two torsion bars sliding on the "L" pads.
Have you experienced a sway problem? The existing bolts holding the torsion bars should be torqued to 100 ft. pounds.
The danger of welding is the head might be heat treated and thus weakened by welding. I'd call Equalizer and ask.
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Old 03-16-2018, 04:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by vintagemotor View Post
You do not have to change your WD head, there is usually a piece of flat steel included with the anti sway friction bar. Most people will weld this onto the head or I have even seen it bolted under the tow ball. The 1-1/4" ball needs to be at least 4" to the side of the head, the further away from the tow ball=more sway control.
I highly recommend welding!
Thanks! We don't have welding capabilities at the moment, but will in about a week when we arrive at our next destination and can do a more complete assessment of what we'd like the system to look like.
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Old 03-16-2018, 04:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
That "older" system is an Equalizer Hitch, probably the most popular hitch out there for Airstream.
The anti-sway is built in by having the two torsion bars sliding on the "L" pads.
Have you experienced a sway problem? The existing bolts holding the torsion bars should be torqued to 100 ft. pounds.
The danger of welding is the head might be heat treated and thus weakened by welding. I'd call Equalizer and ask.
We haven't had a bit of sway, and love our equalizer, but are about to drive from southern California to Colorado through the desert. Although we try to plan our driving around high winds, it's not always feasible, so we thought we'd add another safety measure.
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:00 PM   #6
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Hi RachBets,

I have the same Equalizer hitch that you have.

In case you're not aware, the Equalizer already is both a weight distribution and anti-sway hitch. And a very effective one at that. There is no need to modify it for anti-sway.

That said, you can adjust it. Those same long bars coming off the hitch head serve as weight distribution levers and anti-sway bars. Equalizer markets it has having 4 points of sway control: friction at each support bracket and friction at the bolted receiver of the hitch head.

You can dial in more anti-sway at the bolted receivers by tightening the bolts. Also by adding more washers shims to tilt the head further to cause more friction.

Lots of information here:
https://www.equalizerhitch.com/how-equalizer-works
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:46 PM   #7
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Wonderful, that’s just what we needed to hear, pteck. Thank you!
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:04 AM   #8
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If it is an equilizer tyoe hitch not an Equilizer brand hitch it may not have sc. The sc devjses usually come with a ball mount for the small ball.thus mount goes under the big ball.. The ball holds it down. You can akso buy an additional mount if you need two sc units as in a trailer of 25 feet or more. A better picture of your hitch would be helpful showing where it attaches to tbe frame. Thanks. That old of a trailer may have an old reese ir an eazlift hitch without built in sc.
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:04 AM   #9
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Please inspect the hitch ball nut to make sure its correctly tightened. I see a lot of scars on it that MAY have rotated the ball loosening the nut.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:28 AM   #10
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If it is an equilizer tyoe hitch not an Equilizer brand hitch it may not have sc. The sc devjses usually come with a ball mount for the small ball.thus mount goes under the big ball.. The ball holds it down. You can akso buy an additional mount if you need two sc units as in a trailer of 25 feet or more. A better picture of your hitch would be helpful showing where it attaches to tbe frame. Thanks. That old of a trailer may have an old reese ir an eazlift hitch without built in sc.
Please don't mislead her. The picture that she has already tells us what we need to know. I have the very same hitch.

Not all antisway hitches look and work the same. The Equilizer hitch has anti sway built right in. It's advantage is that it doesn't need those additional balls and arms. The extra ball on her trailer tongue must have been from a previous hitch to this one.

I can say it does look out of adjustment in regards to the tilt angle. It should have a significant down angle. Make sure there are washers (usually ~6-7) between the stinger and hitch head. There's an additional bolt at the bottom the lock in the angle slack.
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:56 PM   #11
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I hate to add to the concerns and confusion, but while the hitch in the original pic appears to be an Equal-I-zer, there appears to be a lot about it that isn't the same as the Equal-i-zer I use and there appear to be missing parts or aftermarket modifications.

In addition to checking the torque of the ball to the hitch head as GCinSC2 suggested, it appears that one of the bolts connecting the head to the shank is missing its washer. On my hitch those bolts are torqued to a mind boggling 320 pound-feet. I have no idea what happens at those pressures when a large flat washer is removed, but I'd check that and put it back if it's missing. Also there is what appears to be a bolt and nut in place of the steel pin and retaining clip that came with my hitch from the factory to connect the torsion bar to the head. If that's not how it shipped and that replacement lost its nut the entire bar could be lost. I'm not going to guess what might happen with one bar under tension and the other suddenly missing but it sounds like a pro-sway system.

I've pulled our AS about 30,000 miles from below sea level to over 11,000 feet and have the same positive experiences as others noted above with excellent weight distribution and sway control from my Equal-I-zer. I've never felt inclined to add a sway system on top of the built in sway control. However, if the item GCinSC2 noted and the points I think I saw in the picture are real, I would spend a few bucks having a qualified shop put that hitch in proper working order including torquing every bolt properly before declaring it fit for use.
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