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Old 08-19-2007, 12:27 PM   #15
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More on the Eq

Hey Randy,

Good post there. Josh is the guy I spoke to on the phone. He's really helpful. I did find, however, that I could not get the link plates to hold fast to the tongue without torqueing them enough to bow them. Hence the doubler plates. Josh said that shouldn't be necessary, but in my case, it was.

I think just welding them to the A-frame would be the best solution. If you want to keep the Eq when you sell the trailer, it'll cost you about $76 to buy new link plates from them. Actually less, as you'd only need the outer ones.

I may need to add one washer on my own setup. I've got the arms pretty much parallel to the tongue, and the whole rig looks level/parallel to the ground. But when I measured, I've got the back of the truck squatting down 1.25" and the front coming down 0.25". One more washer would crank just enough more preload into it to probably get it really close, front to rear, in the squat.

I just pulled it over 800 miles last week like this and it towed like a dream. I could "one finger" the rig down the road. I drove in some 30mph sidewinds through the outer banks of NC and the rig bounced a little, but nothing at all like it did before I set up the Eq.

Truly, the only problem I've seen with this hitch has been in getting the link plates to not shift on the A-frame. Even with my doublers rubber sheet and 50 ft-lbs on the bolts, my curbside one shifted a little. But it shifted once and has stayed put. I figured that's it's "happy" spot. I torqued them to 60 ft-lbs (note: you cannot torque them like that without the doubler plates) and it's not moved an ounce since. I use that dry film moly spray lube on the contact points and that silenced it except for really tight turns in parking lots. Other than that, you never hear it.

It might not be a Hensley Arrow, but for the money, I think it's hard to beat. I still think the Hensley is the best. But, at 1/5 the price, the Eq. is a very nice hitch. Really, it does everything I want it to do.

Oh, one other point to make. My old Airstream has a 4" deep section for the tongue. My Avion has a 6" deep section. When you do the math, the 6" section is almost four times stiffer than the 4" one. The point is: you need to be careful with older Airstreams (even moreso than newer ones) about how much preload you crank into the load distribution bars. You can bend the A-frame.

One other point: It's killing my power jack to lift the trailer and the back of the truck to "de-tension" the system so that I can more easily "snap" the load bars into the L-brackets. I think a heavier jack is going to be in order. I'm actually leaning toward trashing the power jack and installing a modified Bulldog side wind type utility trailer jack with the drop foot. I don't mind hand cranking a jack that's geared right, and the drop foot eliminates the need to carry ten tons of blocking. I really like the one on my flat bed trailer. I think one of those on the travel trailer would be money well spent. It'd also eliminate the issues I've been having with the power jack.

Take care!
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:39 PM   #16
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This is my first thread on here....I didn't read everything in front of this so it might have been said.
Two quick things. I talked to the engineering folks that build this and the reason that the brackets shift is they are torqued too much. They don't give a torque requirement but so far mine (even with the space for the gas line that I plan to fix soon) has not shifted at all. That is not unusual apparently. The second comment is that Equilizer has a new product that I bought and installed in under three seconds. It removes all noise and popping. Small teflon or plastic like plates that slip over the 'L' brackets at the bottom. No more lubrication is required. I've only had them on for a few miles but I have silence from back there.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn G
This is my first thread on here....I didn't read everything in front of this so it might have been said.
Two quick things. I talked to the engineering folks that build this and the reason that the brackets shift is they are torqued too much. They don't give a torque requirement but so far mine (even with the space for the gas line that I plan to fix soon) has not shifted at all. That is not unusual apparently. The second comment is that Equilizer has a new product that I bought and installed in under three seconds. It removes all noise and popping. Small teflon or plastic like plates that slip over the 'L' brackets at the bottom. No more lubrication is required. I've only had them on for a few miles but I have silence from back there.
Do you have a part number for those Teflon lube plates? I'd like to put something permanent on mine so I don't have to worry about forgetting to spray some silicone on them when hitching up.

On Edit: I looked up the part number on Equal-i-zer's web site. It is Product ID : 95-01-5150. The cost is $17.95/pair.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:30 AM   #18
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Glenn,

I talked to Josh a few times. Basically, if I didn't tighten the bolts enough to start bowing the plates, I could move the link plates with my hands. Literally. I called Josh back and told him this. He said it was OK to bow them a little, but not to get crazy with the torque. I could not get them to hold still, and I wasn't torquing them; only going snug with a hand held wrench. I had just sanded and repainted my A-frame and it's very smooth. I followed Josh's directions to the T, but couldn't get them to not move.

I think you need a certain amount of roughness there to provide some friction, otherwise the link plates will shift.

Anyway, being an engineer myself, I just whipped up a mod that worked out fine. I used a half inch thick doubler plate and a thin sheet of rubber between the doubler and the frame. I only torqued them after I'd done the doubler plate mod. This allowed me to apply more clamping force with more friction (via the rubber). I told Josh I was going to do it. He said it shouldn't be necessary, but it certainly couldn't hurt. Anyway, it worked for me. But, it's cool for those who put it on as-directed and it worked. I couldn't get it to work that way.

Cheers,
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:17 PM   #19
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The things that slip over the L brackets are called Sway Bracket Jackets. You can call 1800-578-4478 to order them.

John
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:41 PM   #20
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Sway Bracket Jackets

I just spoke with Josh Jones at Equal-i-zer, and he said the disclaimer on this product is thay you will give up some sway control for the quieter operation. His recommendation is steel on steel for best sway control, or a little lube on the L-bracket pads. The lube does give up a little sway control, but not as much as adding these pads.

BTW: the phone number is 800-478-5578

Randy
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:04 PM   #21
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I haven't been out on the hiway with the pads yet, but so far they haven't seemed to affect the sway control. This is a bit of hit and miss it seems to me. If when I'm out on the road I get some sway I'll pull them off. Greatful for the above info..
The info. on how to get them is in the threads above.
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:17 PM   #22
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From my side of the picture, I'll live with the noise. I don't want anything to compromise the sway control. Anyone familiar with towing knows that many hitches have their creaks, groans and pops. I lived with them on my Reese Dual-Cam, and now the Equal-i-zer. At least when I'm in a campground, some heads do turn, and maybe that's a good thing since at least folks either see me coming or stay out of my way as I'm maneuvering into my site!

Jack
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:45 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
At least when I'm in a campground, some heads do turn, and maybe that's a good thing since at least folks either see me coming or stay out of my way as I'm maneuvering into my site!

Jack
On our last trip I had our golf cart in the bed of the truck. I have the tail gate raised at about a 45 degree angle and that clears the tank covers. The last time we went camping I was flagged down as we turned into our loop and was told that the tail gate hit the tank cover. It could have happened since there was a slight dip down into the loop from the main road, but I think that the lady heard the pop of the Equal-i-zer hitch and thought that was the sound the tail gate made hitting the tank cover. I got out and saw not damage so I thanked her without dispute and got back in and went on to find our camp site.
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:46 PM   #24
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Hey Everyone,

On the tire pressures, I usually run about 55psi in the front of my diesel Dodge since it's so super front heavy and 40-45psi in the back. For towing, I've been leaving the front the same and running 68psi in the back. It seemed to do just fine at that. I may get one of those infrared thermometers and start checking tire temps. Maybe I need more in the front?

Type ya later!
My 2004 2WD DODGE 2500 CTD owners manual recommends 50-psi FF and 50-psi RR when unloaded; 50-psi FF and 70-psi rear loaded. I am currently using 55-psi FF and 65-psi rear with this 7,600-lb trailer in tow. I would be leery of exceeding or falling below recommended pressures by very much at all (despite all the tire experts out there) as the manufacturers had their hats handed to them with the Ford Explorer rollovers. Load Range E tires (121-rating; 80-psi max) are at their lower limits below 50 psi if I understand several knowledgeable folks correctly.

I have a laser temp I picked up at GRAINGER (fits in a pocket) and have seen 127-135F temps across the tread directly upon stopping (same with YOKOHAMA trailer tires and lower); even all around. Most important point to measure -- again, if I understood correctly -- is at shoulder/tread joint. I measure temps just below that.

Depending on truck bed load I find that (at 5,000 miles combined) that 50-55 FF and 65-70 rear seems to be best. I always deflate rears to 50-psi after towing as the trucks handling is adversely affected by higher pressures (noticeable even to passengers in any fast wheel motions at highway speeds). I plan to add a rear anti-roll bar and up-size the front in the near future; BILSTEIN shocks have been a good help.

Thanks for the experiences with the hitch. I have a HA but enjoy seeing what I can learn (still some details to work out) from others experiences.
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:57 PM   #25
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I have now installed the Bracket Jackets and have experienced no loss of sway control. The noise is cut about 90%

John
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:54 AM   #26
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I towed a little over 300 miles each way this Labor Day Weekend and made a few tweaks to my hitch since I had towed with the golf cart in the bed last time.

At first I had raised the L-brackets to the next hole. As it turned out, I moved one too many holes and this was the 6th hole from the top. This put too much weight on the front axle and not enough on the rear. The rear of the truck and the front of the Airstream were noticeably high in the air compared to normal. I had not taken the time to hitch up and check the set up before the trip and didn't have time to adjust before we left that evening. It didn't look that bad so I decided to make the adjustment at the first fuel or bathroom stop. It began to rain just slightly and the road was a little wet when I stopped at a red light just before getting on the interstate. There was a little incline at this traffic light and when I started to pull away at the intersection my rear wheels spun a little. I have limited slip differential so I knew there wasn't enough weight on the rear axle for sure. So I drove very carefully, and much slower than usual, 'till I got to an exit that had a grocery store where I could pull into the parking lot and have plenty of light to make the adjustment. I lowered the L-brackets to the recommended 5th hole and continued on our way. This put more weight on the rear axle and the truck and Airstream were level again.

A note here: With the first set up on this trip (L-bracket in the 6th hole, the truck and trailer rig handled pretty good with the extra weight on the front axle). However, I was very concerned that the Airstream might fish tail or jack knife in an emergency maneuver.

When we arrived at the camp site at 2:00 AM I didn't bother to unhitch. The campsite had a level concrete pad so I just lowered the stabilizers and hooked up the electricity and water. The next morning when I went to unhitch, I noticed that the spring bars were not parallel to the A-frame as they should be. I raised the L-brackets this time to the 4th hole before we left and the bars were parallel to the A-frame. Basically, I returned the brackets to the location they had been originally.

I think the clamping brackets probably need to be adjusted so that I can move the L-brackets 1/2 a hole to get the right adjustment. Or, the number of washers behind the hitch head may need to be adjusted. I'm not sure which, but the front of the Airstream is riding just a little high.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:35 AM   #27
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Good post MM!

I should think you could make up some shims and place under the link plate bolts on top to move your setup a half a hole.

Cheers!
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:10 PM   #28
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no loss in sway control...of course!

It doesn't surprise me to learn that by adding the L-bracket jackets you're not noticing any loss of sway control (or bounce control for that matter)...you're not affecting friction enough to compensate for the lack of rigidity to begin with.

I did quite a bit of research and took many empirical measurements and found that the amount of "slop" between the L-bracket and bracket that clamps it renders any useful sway control essentially nill at this location. While the load bar is firmly pressed against the bottom of the L-bracket, the L-bracket allows movement negating the intended effect. You cannot tighten the 5/8" square headed bolt sufficiently to provide a rigid surface to create needed friction.

The majority of the (advertised) sway control comes from the load bar pockets in the hitch head...this is a rigid, highly compressed region that provides measureable friction or resistance to rotation. If my memory is correct, I think the sales material for the EQ says that friction is created on the ball top, bar sockets and L-brackets...OK.

Mathematically, there is very little friction produced even when nothing is lubed to account for detectable or "driver-sensed" control improvements. The magnitude of the required friction or resistance to slide/turn would be tremendous compared to the all-up weight of my 15k lbs. combination.

I have solved this problem (more of a personal pet peeve) by a slight modification to the L-bracket mounting but by no means insist my setup solves the complexities of towing. I know that some believe that the L-bracket movement is needed to allow the bars to rock back and forth to allow for the various TV/trailer movement...OK.

I've towed all over the US since I re-mounted my L-brackets several years ago and can attest that I have not had to tighten, or otherwise mess with the hitch, just keep it lubed.

While many are quick to credit the "friction" of the EQ as the primary cure for their ill-handling rigs, i.e. sway, bottoming, etc., more credit should go to the improved load balancing or equalization of the TV and trailer when using the EQ...that is the true benefit.

I like my EQ and wouldn't have anything else; for ease of install, hooking up and load balancing...I still recommend to my towing buddies, but try to get them to understand some pretty simple physics first.

Marc
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