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Old 03-31-2019, 09:53 AM   #1
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Equal-i-zer removal problem

Complete Newbie here. Just took delivery on 25' FC, towing with F-150 w/ tow package. Dealer installed the Equal-i-zer which is extremely noisy; I realize this is a common "problem." I assume this will moderate with break-in and lubrication.
Upon un-hitching after 120 miles, one sway bar came off with significant effort, the other would hardly budge. I am not a weakling but not a body-builder either. After removing the L-pin I slowly moved up the rig on a gravel lot, thinking that I might find a different level taking the pressure off the stubborn bar, but it popped off before I went 3-4 feet.
My initial question is, am I doing damage to the bar/hitch system in this process? There was no visible damage.
Thanks for any advice, grateful to be a member of this community.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:02 AM   #2
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A little bearing grease on the moving parts quiets it down significantly, but be careful... you will get it on everything... especially your clothes.

Leave your trailer lock attached to the ball, crank the jack up lifting the trailer up slightly and the back of your vehicle, and the bars will slip right off the brackets. Same when putting them on.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Sneakinup View Post
A little bearing grease on the moving parts quiets it down significantly, but be careful... you will get it on everything...
Wouldn't putting grease where the WD bars go onto the A-frame tongue brackets reduce the friction anti-sway component of the Equal-i-zer hitch?
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:23 AM   #4
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Equal-i-zer removal problem

Nope. The sway control happens on the other end of the bars. The pivot end at the tongue is to allow the system to smoothly pivot when you turn. Grease will keep it quiet and allow it to turn properly. Grease also lets you take the bars off easily.

Of course the grease will make a mess when you remove and store the bars.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:23 AM   #5
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Thanks for quick response! I followed instructions in manual and by the pre-delivery guy; raised/lowered the the hitch to various levels without reducing the pressure. (Inline fuse blew, but that's a different issue, after replacing the fuse twice, had to crank manually). Beginning to think that hitch was improperly installed
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:26 AM   #6
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Equal-i-zer removal problem

Not unusual. Find the directions, and check your setup. Stuff that pivots on the hitch end needs a bit of grease to prevent wear. Even PPP hitches need grease on the vertical part of the bar ends where they go into their sockets.

That end should pivot freely to prevent wear and some nasty-sounding noises.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:31 AM   #7
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Nope. The sway control happens on the other end of the bars. The pivot end at the tongue is to allow the system to smoothly pivot when you turn. Grease will keep it quiet and allow it to turn properly. Grease also lets you take the bars off easily.

Of course the grease will make a mess when you remove and store the bars.
I think we are talking about different ends of the bars - I wasn't referring to the ends that go into the hitch heads, but the ends that rest on the 'L' brackets on the A-frame tongue.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:36 AM   #8
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I believe that's correct, the pressure that prevented me from removing the stubborn bar appeared to be at the trailer side of the bar.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:42 AM   #9
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I bought the sway bracket jackets for my equalizer L-bars. It eliminates having to deal with regreasing them every trip. It really cuts down on the noise. The noise, however, is the friction that makes them work. I have greased the spring arm in the hitch head of mine without having any impact. I have to do it about every other trip or else just deal with the noise.
https://www.amazon.com/Equal-i-zer-9...gateway&sr=8-1

There are several YouTube videos on how to set up the hitch. Just search for Equalizer Hitch on the YouTube site. Here's one on how to hitch and unhitch
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:44 AM   #10
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If you put the tongue jack all the way up, you should easily slip the bars on or off. That is how the design works. If the head of the equalizer is mounted too low (pointed down) on the receiver, you are getting way to much pressure on the bars. Adjust the head according to manufacturers instructions. You probably have too many washers in the head.
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:09 AM   #11
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No grease on the bars at all. But do occasionally grease the hitch head sockets the bars slip into. They come already greased from the factory. Don't put any grease on the L brackets that are permanently mounted on the trailer. The bars should always be grease free. You can also put some grease on the ball if desired.
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:16 AM   #12
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Two things are critical to the weight distribution bars tension and pressure on the L brackets.

1) Tow vehicle attitude relative to the trailer. If the tow vehicle nose is high or pointing up relative to the trailer, it's going to cause the bars to press down harder on the brackets. Rig close to the level is ideal. Nose down works even better.

2) I think you've already figured this out, but raising the whole rig via tongue jack is the primary way of relieving tension. If still not high enough, retract jack fully and fit the tongue jack foot in a more extended position.

Outside of this, it's possible they setup your Equalizer with too much down angle. Because they likely set it up without stuff in the truck bed. More load has the effect of lowering the rear ride height increasing WD tension.
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfox58 View Post
Complete Newbie here. Just took delivery on 25' FC, towing with F-150 w/ tow package. Dealer installed the Equal-i-zer which is extremely noisy; I realize this is a common "problem." I assume this will moderate with break-in and lubrication.
Upon un-hitching after 120 miles, one sway bar came off with significant effort, the other would hardly budge. I am not a weakling but not a body-builder either. After removing the L-pin I slowly moved up the rig on a gravel lot, thinking that I might find a different level taking the pressure off the stubborn bar, but it popped off before I went 3-4 feet.
My initial question is, am I doing damage to the bar/hitch system in this process? There was no visible damage.
Thanks for any advice, grateful to be a member of this community.
To answer your first concern, no it will not get less noisy. It "creaks" at parking lot speed, but not on the highway. Do NOT lube the pads where the bar slides, that's your sway friction.
I drove into my storage yard one day and someone yelled, "Put some grease on that thing!"

Now as to removing the bars from the pads.
1. disconnect your lights, safety chains, and emergency brake cable. Chock the trailer tires. Put the truck in park or set the brake. Do I need to say that?
(Just so you don't forget.)
2. With the truck still connected to the trailer, raise the trailer tongue using the jack...a lot. (you won't get the rear wheels off the ground, but it looks weird.) Every inch you raise it takes some pressure off the bars.
3. Pull the bars off. Careful! I use a short loop of a strap to keep my fingers clear. Yes, one comes off easier than the other, and I have no idea why!
4. If the bars won't budge, raise the tongue some more.
5. When the bars slide off, lower the tongue, release the coupler, and raise the trailer only.
6. Pull forward.
7. Level trailer.

I carry a tube of white lithium grease, and give the ball a dab before every time I hitch up. This makes it easier to uncouple.

My jack has two arrows by the switch. "Up" and "Down". But for a while I thought, "How come when I push "down" the jack foot goes UP? When I push "Up" the jack foot goes DOWN???
Then it dawned on me. The switch is telling me which way the trailer tongue will go. DOH!

BTW, did the dealer supply these on the "L" brackets? They help with the wear and tear of the brackets. Easy to put on.
Sold on Amazon.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfox58 View Post
Complete Newbie here. Just took delivery on 25' FC, towing with F-150 w/ tow package. Dealer installed the Equal-i-zer which is extremely noisy; I realize this is a common "problem." I assume this will moderate with break-in and lubrication.
Upon un-hitching after 120 miles, one sway bar came off with significant effort, the other would hardly budge. I am not a weakling but not a body-builder either. After removing the L-pin I slowly moved up the rig on a gravel lot, thinking that I might find a different level taking the pressure off the stubborn bar, but it popped off before I went 3-4 feet.
My initial question is, am I doing damage to the bar/hitch system in this process? There was no visible damage.
Thanks for any advice, grateful to be a member of this community.
All good responses here. It would help to post a photo of your rig hooked up while parked on level ground. There are several interrelated factors involved in the setup that experienced eyes can help you analyze from a photo.

That said, I also apply grease to the ball and friction surfaces on the hitch head every couple of weeks. [https://www.equalizerhitch.com/manua...ar-maintenance] I also use the sway bracket jackets. My hitch is practically silent with only a rare creak.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:36 PM   #15
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Equalizer wins a number of both good and bad prizes.
Good: it seems to work pretty well, and doesn't take a lot of real estate on the trailer tongue, so basically it's a hitch I can live with.

But if there's a hitch in the history of the planet that has more loose proprietary parts I don't ever want to see it. It's like they had a contest for "who can design something with the most fiddly bits" and this happened.

Anyway, sometimes the pivot where the bars fit into the head can be pretty tight, and the proprietary claw used for installing the bars is useless for pulling them off the bracket. I'm not in the mood to sit on the ground and yank on the bar or wrap my belt around it and give it a tug.

A length of 2x4 can work won't scar up the paint on the tongue and can lever the bars off the L brackets. It's as elegant as the collection of loose bits, so aesthetically it fits.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:43 PM   #16
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I had Equalizer on my second 25' AS 6 years ago; one of the bars twisted not long after we took delivery, while backing up in a parking lot. Replaced with the Blue Ox Sway Pro...never had another problem. Same principal as Equalizer for hooking up the bars...use your tongue jack as others have said, to take tension off the stabilizer bars. We have disconnected the stabilizer bars in tight parking situation where we really needed to do tight turns to park or to hook up and pull out of tight camp site. In cases like this, (rare) we either disconnect the bars when parking and maneuver with just the ball connection. Same when we leave; pull out on the ball then when level, drop the jack and leverage while installing the stabilization bars when the TV and AS are in straight line.

I do like the design of the Blue Ox better with the chains suspending the bars, and the bar design themselves adding spring tension to help with the stabilization of the AS under tow. I have had no issues backing with this systems with my older 25' AS and our current 28' AS. Good luck!
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
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[...]Anyway, sometimes the pivot where the bars fit into the head can be pretty tight, and the proprietary claw used for installing the bars is useless for pulling them off the bracket. I'm not in the mood to sit on the ground and yank on the bar or wrap my belt around it and give it a tug. [...]
Sounds like you need to raise your tongue jack higher. My 5'4" wife puts our Equalizer bars on and off without any tools at all. They just slide into place.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:47 PM   #18
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Equalizer problem

Thanks for all the replies. I will look into the L-bracket "dampers" on Amazon. I assume that since nobody surprised shock at pulling the trailer up slightly to "pop' off the recalcitrant sway bar that I am not doing damage to the hitch system. I am also thinking that my winch did not go high enough to relieve the pressure and will try a block next time.
I must say I am impressed with all the help that has been offered and looking even more forward to joining the AS community; that's one reason I purchased one in the first place!
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:57 PM   #19
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Sounds like you need to raise your tongue jack higher. My 5'4" wife puts our Equalizer bars on and off without any tools at all. They just slide into place.
It's pretty new, the hitch head is tight. The bars don't just swing out, and based on my interpretation of the instructions, this is within "normal."
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:19 PM   #20
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Blowing 30A Fuses on the Tongue Jack

Silverfox58,


I can blow the 30A fuse of the tongue jack on my 2015 FC28 very simply: Just switch immediately from lowering to raising. The fuse will blow every time. And, if I'm in a hurry (which I shouldn't be--but sometimes am...!), I will forget and voila! I get to replace the fuse.



I have switched the fuse to the blade type automotive fuse--they are much easier to find. It was harder finding a blade type automotive fuse holder with 10 GA wire leads--but they are available. A friend tried using one with 14 GA wire leads.... It didn't last very long at all, and arcs and sparks were flying for a couple of seconds.



I have made sure the mechanism is properly lubricated, but I suspect mine is one of the marginal tongue jacks AS installed during the period when my AS was made.



I have to use the tongue jack to be able to get the bars on the brackets when hitching (raising the trailer and tow vehicle with the tongue jack) without using the Equalizer persuader tool. When unhitching I almost always have to use the tongue jack to raise the AS and tow vehicle to be able to safely (!) get the bars off the brackets. (If I use the Equalizer-provided persuader tool for this without raising the trailer and tow vehicle, sometimes the bars will FLY off the brackets--dangerously.)

Anyway, everyrthing works just fine--as long I don't quickly switch from lowering to raising. It usually happens when I'm unhitching and I move the switch in the wrong direction and when I realize what I've done I move the switch too quickly in the other direction. Waiting one or two seconds makes replacing fuses totally unnecessary.


I have also added the Teflon pads to the brackets--they help greatly in keeping the noise from the hitch down while towing and maneuvering and I haven't had any sway issues with the pads. I also use the Equalizer lube on the bar "sockets" and a very slight amount on the hitch ball which also helps to reduce noise, and wear.


One of the best purchases I have made for my AS outings is the HitchGrip. It makes installing and removing the hitch from the receiver almost effortless--and prevents getting grease on everything (usually my clean pants or shorts!). Very handy tool!!!



One last thing which I have found that I am now paranoid about: The nut holding the hitch ball to the receiver assembly does loosen over time. Mine, even with a lock washer and blue Lock-Tite on the threads, will come loose over time (I'm not a fan of the red Lock-Tite for anything I may eventually want to take apart; don't ask how I reached this decision). I now carry a socket that fits in the space (which is VERY tight) and a very long breaker bar and cheater pipe. I check the nut tightness before I hitch up, and I have been surprised at how often I find it has loosened. The socket was not cheap--but the peace of mind it provides is priceless.


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