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Old 12-30-2007, 06:36 PM   #57
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Randy
Sorry To come down so hard on ya that's /that 45 yrs Over the Road talkin. When U weigh remember to split everything Steering then the Drive then split the two trailer axles.
Some CAT scales can do it all in one setting. THe Steering ,Drive and TRailer are all on differnet platforms on the scale. CAT scale has a website and U can find the locations there. Only one thing try and find a quiet time of day. Also u can find pubic scales at scrap yards and paper recycling places if they buy and sell. Also some moving and storage places have scales. I have my truck weighed but not the comb yet.I have access to a 70ft state certifed scale,where I worked for 20yrs,lucky me.
Best of luck to U

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Old 12-31-2007, 08:31 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikethefixit
Randy
Sorry To come down so hard on ya that's /that 45 yrs Over the Road talkin.
Roger,

No offense taken. I appreciate the feedback, especially for those with lots more experience than I. Thanks for the tips on how to find a scale and get the weight done properly. I'll start looking around here for one, so when I load up for our next big trip (Bozeman in June 2008) I can get the weigh done before we hit the road and can make any final adjustments.

Thanks,

Randy
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:55 AM   #59
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After following this thread closely over the past six months, and using the detailed instructions to install and dial-in my hitch, I'm happy to report that yesterday, during one of the windiest January days on record in north Texas (sustained winds of 50 mph, with gusts up to 70), I (stupidly) towed my Airstream back from the shop over a number of elevated highways, overpasses, etc. with nary a problem.

I'm not going to lie -- I was squeezing the wheel so hard I thought it would snap, but that wasn't due to anything that the hitch or trailer were doing. They were rock-steady the entire time. At one point, I was going down a hill, being passed by a semi doing 15+ mph faster than me, with a 40 mph side wind hitting me. No sway whatsoever. If I wasn't before, I'm sold on the Equalizer ...

When I got home, I inspected the hitch and brackets, and noticed that one of them had moved slightly due to the thrashing it took. So, tonight, I'll be straightening it and tightening the bolts once again. Other than that, no worries ...
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:24 AM   #60
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phoenix491: After getting mine dialed in I can't say enough good things about it. Glad you had a safe trip. Now you can relax--just a little--in those conditions.

Randy
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:53 AM   #61
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For the price, I sure like mine.

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Old 01-30-2008, 06:56 PM   #62
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After the discussion with Sean about moving my hitch ball closer to the truck (starts around post #47), I decided to ask for Progress Manufacturing's opinion. I sent them the pictures, recommendations from Sean, and my concerns. Here's their reply:
Quote:
Randy,

Looking at the pictures and discussing it with my co-workers, it seems that there are a lot of people that feel both ways are best, out one, or in the in-most hole. I think that youíre perfectly safe with it out. Putting it to the in-most hole does give you more contact between the shank and the receiver, which does mean that youíve got more steel-on-steel grip. Progress Mfg. hasnít tested this, so thereís no official position, really. I think so long as youíve had no noticeable troubles as you drive that you shouldnít worry too much.

If for some reason you do decide to move the shank to the deeper hole, I would recommend that you reassess your adjustments for the hitch.

Thanks,
Daniel Hicken
Customer Service Representative
Progress Mfg. Inc.
Phone: 800-478-5578 ext. 119
Fax: (801) 377-6616
Because I like being able to fully open the tailgate, and since I haven't been having any problems, I think I'll leave the hitch bar installed in the rear most hole for now.

Randy
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:11 PM   #63
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Equal-i-zer capacity

I don't know if anyone has experienced this before, but I was noticing that
my tow vehicle (07 Tundra) and trailer were riding slightly lower at the hitch
the last time we were out. I thought, well, maybe something had slipped. I already had seven washers on the hitch head, having gradually added them trying to tweak the weight distribution and handling. When I was putting the bars away my wife (Janetb) noticed that one of the bars had a pretty good bend in it, right where it attaches at the socket end. (why didn't I notice this) The other bar was bent as well, but not as much. Well, this got me thinking about what could have caused this--big bumps(plenty of these in CA) or the approach to our driveway (steep)--but I came to the conclusion that the 1000#bars on my truck and trailer combination are a little too light, and had been gradually bending with use. The bent bars gave me the excuse to order a new 1200# Equal-i-zer , and I am happy to report that the whole set up works much better that the 1000# bars. The truck is perfectly balanced with five washers, rides smoother with no porpoising, and there is no tendency for the steering to take an off-center set when going straight. I think that too many washers tends to cause binding at the hitch head, and you can certainly see the wear. Another interesting thing is that the new set up is really quiet.

Terry
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:27 AM   #64
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Terry, I'm way no expert, but something doesn't sound right.

A 1,200 # Hitch for a 25' FB SE Safari seems like way too much hitch for a, what, 700 # tongue weight? Reduced binding at the hitch head and really quiet? I think you may have virtually neutralized your sway control in the process of adjusting your weight distribution.

I think you may have over tweaked your original hitch set-up and that may have caused some of the previous bad manners of your hitch, i.e. the porpoising, noise, and off-center steering wheel.

The bent bars? I have no idea. Do you carry an ATV or other heavy load in the rear of your truck/tow vehicle? The hitch and bars will only transfer so much weight to the front axle no matter how many washers you put in the head or how many holes you move the brackets up or down, I can never remember which without looking at the bars in place, but anyway, you can only adjust so much weight distribution with a hitch before moving up to the next size hitch, but it seems if you are loading down the rear of the tow vehicle and trying to level it out with the hitch, that may have caused the bending of the bars, but I don't know that for sure. Some one else will have to chime in on that one.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:47 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollertoaster
I don't know if anyone has experienced this before, but I was noticing that
my tow vehicle (07 Tundra) and trailer were riding slightly lower at the hitch
the last time we were out. I thought, well, maybe something had slipped. I already had seven washers on the hitch head, having gradually added them trying to tweak the weight distribution and handling. When I was putting the bars away my wife (Janetb) noticed that one of the bars had a pretty good bend in it, right where it attaches at the socket end. (why didn't I notice this) The other bar was bent as well, but not as much. Well, this got me thinking about what could have caused this--big bumps(plenty of these in CA) or the approach to our driveway (steep)--but I came to the conclusion that the 1000#bars on my truck and trailer combination are a little too light, and had been gradually bending with use. The bent bars gave me the excuse to order a new 1200# Equal-i-zer , and I am happy to report that the whole set up works much better that the 1000# bars. The truck is perfectly balanced with five washers, rides smoother with no porpoising, and there is no tendency for the steering to take an off-center set when going straight. I think that too many washers tends to cause binding at the hitch head, and you can certainly see the wear. Another interesting thing is that the new set up is really quiet.

Terry
You already have a "heavy duty" tow vehicle.

With the 1200 pond bars, in time, you will beat the trailer to death.

You should use 750 pound bars, at the maximum.

There are two factors when selecting a hitch rating, that must be considered.

1. Use no more than necessary, to make the trailer be level with respect to itself.

2. The hitch bars should bend, at least 1 inch.

If the bars are not bending, the hitch rating is excessive.

Excessive hitch rating, cause many problems, such as frame fatique, aluminum fatique, shearing of rivets, shaking the furniture loose, shell water leaks, etc.

Add to that running gear that is not properly balanced as an assembly, and a repair shop will love your check book, putting the trailer back together again.

Andy
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:15 AM   #66
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Andy, Tom,

I realize that you might conclude that I am overhitched, but the tongue weight
of the trailer probably approaches 1000# when fully loaded. This would be at the limit of the 1000# bars. The truck actually rides better now, since it is nearer to the top of its suspension. Small bumps are absorbed better,
and the big undulations are damped quickly. Tracking is better, too.
There is plenty of tension/friction for sway control--just no more groaning from the hitch head. I respect your opinion Andy, but I feel that this setup
is safe and is not damaging to the trailer. There are a lot of case by case scenarios that may have slightly different setup requirements. BTW, my truck is a half ton.

Terry
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:25 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollertoaster
I don't know if anyone has experienced this before, but I was noticing that
my tow vehicle (07 Tundra) and trailer were riding slightly lower at the hitch
the last time we were out. I thought, well, maybe something had slipped. I already had seven washers on the hitch head, having gradually added them trying to tweak the weight distribution and handling. When I was putting the bars away my wife (Janetb) noticed that one of the bars had a pretty good bend in it, right where it attaches at the socket end. (why didn't I notice this) The other bar was bent as well, but not as much. Well, this got me thinking about what could have caused this--big bumps(plenty of these in CA) or the approach to our driveway (steep)--but I came to the conclusion that the 1000#bars on my truck and trailer combination are a little too light, and had been gradually bending with use. The bent bars gave me the excuse to order a new 1200# Equal-i-zer , and I am happy to report that the whole set up works much better that the 1000# bars. The truck is perfectly balanced with five washers, rides smoother with no porpoising, and there is no tendency for the steering to take an off-center set when going straight. I think that too many washers tends to cause binding at the hitch head, and you can certainly see the wear. Another interesting thing is that the new set up is really quiet.

Terry
Terry,
1200 lb bars for a 07 25 Safari FB? Woah! Way too heavy. You may have bent them getting up your "driveway. I would remove them before going up and down the hill. Put them on/off at the bottom.

I have 1200 lbs bars for my 10,000 lb GVW trailer. 770 tongue weight at 7030. Trying to keep the loading as even as I can my tongue weight should be 800-1000 lbs. I really have to weigh it.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:50 AM   #68
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Of note, the 14,000lb Equal-I-Zer and the 12,000 lb model use the same load bars; only thr hitch head varies. Progress says that if your tongue weight could go over 1000lbs, you must move up to the next size load bar.

My trailer grosses at 9600lbs but the tongue weight is right at 1000lbs. I got the 14,000lb hitch. It tows beautifully. The bars do deflect, but I've not meaured them. I pull with a Dodge 2500 CTD. It's a heavy setup, but it rides quite well.

However, I am now pulling a 34' Avion instead of the 31' Airstream, and the Avion has a much more solid structure. I'm not worried about it coming apart.

Since Equal-I-Zer is relying upon friction, rather than cam locks, I wonder if it isn't part of their spec to have less deflection than Reese?

All I can say is, I've pulled with both, had good luck with both, but really like the Eq.

Take care,
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:25 PM   #69
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Terry, I think Andy's advise is good for the Reese even though I have no experience with that brand or that type of hitch. The Equal-i-zer uses a different method of sway control and the bars should not have bent at all. I'd weigh the tongue at a CAT scale if I were you (found at truck stops and travel centers) to make sure about the hitch weight. I suspect that if you have a 1000# hitch weight in a Safari you may have it overloaded. That may account for the previous handling characteristics you mentioned and the fact that they are camouflaged now.

If you are carrying a heavy load in the back of your truck while towing, that too, could account for the uneven weight distribution. Remember, you are distributing the tongue weight equally between the front axle of the tow vehicle, rear axle of the tow vehicle and the two Airstream's axles. So if there is any load in the bed of the truck, you need to consider the 1/4 of the tongue weight as having been added to the bed also. I.e., if you have a tongue weight of 1,000# and equally distribute it to the four axles and are carrying 500# in the bed of the truck, perhaps a dirt bike, you are really carrying 750# on the rear axle. 500# may not be enough to squat the rear very much but 750# might be. Also, your brackets my have been in the wrong hole and that may be why so many washers were required behind the head pin.

I just have never heard of anyone with a Safari of any length needing the size hitch you require unless they were compensating for something.
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:14 PM   #70
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good post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollertoaster
I don't know if anyone has experienced this before, but I was noticing that
my tow vehicle (07 Tundra) and trailer were riding slightly lower at the hitch
the last time we were out. I thought, well, maybe something had slipped. I already had seven washers on the hitch head, having gradually added them trying to tweak the weight distribution and handling. When I was putting the bars away my wife (Janetb) noticed that one of the bars had a pretty good bend in it, right where it attaches at the socket end. (why didn't I notice this) The other bar was bent as well, but not as much. Well, this got me thinking about what could have caused this--big bumps(plenty of these in CA) or the approach to our driveway (steep)--but I came to the conclusion that the 1000#bars on my truck and trailer combination are a little too light, and had been gradually bending with use. The bent bars gave me the excuse to order a new 1200# Equal-i-zer , and I am happy to report that the whole set up works much better that the 1000# bars. The truck is perfectly balanced with five washers, rides smoother with no porpoising, and there is no tendency for the steering to take an off-center set when going straight. I think that too many washers tends to cause binding at the hitch head, and you can certainly see the wear. Another interesting thing is that the new set up is really quiet.

Terry
Terry,

I may be the only positive comment on the forum regarding your set up and solution. I personally believe that every truck/trailer combo is different and such the set up requirements are also different. I also believe that no one can give you more advice than someone with your exact set up. So hopefully, a Tudra/Safari 25FB owner can respond in kind.

Here are my thoughts with all typical disclaimers to prevent hostile (kidding) reverberation at your expense:

Although I have a 3/4 ton, the suspension is unique in that it is designed for maximum articulation for rough road and of road conditions, It may even be a soft as your Tundra, but probably not. As I have continued to "experiment" with different set up combinations, my experience has proven there is logic in your perspective that prove themselves out on the road. I also noticed using the washers for more weight distribution was contributing to binding and noise, and in fact, put more pressure on the bars without any evidence of distributing weight to the front axle of the TV, the reason for having steering/handling issues. I also found that the ball hitch height was the most important factor for a good starting point, and in fact, the closer the hitch ball height is to the trailer coupler height at level, the more effective the weight distribution. If the trailer is tongue high, even one inch, the weight distribution bars will put more weight on the trailers rear axle and almost none on the TV's front axle, no matter how far you crank it down. As for the weight of the bars, the Safari 25 FB, especially the SE with twin pano windows, has a very heavy tongue weight, if fully loaded to say 7300 lbs, the tongue weight will be in excess of 1000 lbs. At 7100 lbs, my tongue weight is 998 lbs. 1200 lb bars could be the right solution for your set up.

I spent a good hour talking to the techs at Progress Manufacturing, the makers of Equal-i-zer hitches, and they confirmed all of these concepts. It is possible that your first set up was too high at the coupler, with the tongue being to high, and such, the constant force created extra stress on the bars causing them to deform at the ends. Just theory, no flaming please.

Most important, if it feels good and drives safely, and it works for you, what we all say are only words for thought and meant to be helpful. To confirm your set up is working, get it on the scales with and without being hooked up to make sure the system is right.

Thanks for your information, it has helped me.

time
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