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Old 03-18-2009, 09:56 PM   #57
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I guess I'll be re-reading my old issues of Airstream Living.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:13 AM   #58
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equalizer hitch - any negatives?

Andy,

So Sutton sold me a piece of junk with the equlizer hitch. I don't want to damage my safari 27. I tow with a 2500 chev extended cab. What do I need ???You talk reese with light bars do you have a "kit" for us poor equalizer folk? Is this a home install or do wwe need to find a local dealer?
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:49 AM   #59
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Happy With My Eqaul-i-zer Hitch

I will add my name to the list of satisfied customers using the Eqaul-i-zer brand hitch. The only other experience I had was a Reese with a friction sway control towing an SOB. So that would be like comparing apples to oranges.

We have towed our 30' '06 Classic with slide (lots of tongue weight) over the last three years and lots of miles with no jumbled trailer contents or loose or popped rivets. The TV is an '06 GMC 2500 HD 6.6L turbo diesel crew cab with 8' bed with a cap. While towing my speed and driving habits are conservative at best.

I don't claim to understand the science or physics behind it all. But the hitch was easy to set up and use and the towing experience has been great so far.

Before each season I disassemble the hitch, clean, lubricate, reassemble, and torque all bolts to the specification in the owner's manual (torque is also checked each time before I tow). Prior to the season last year I noticed some rust spots developing so I wire brushed everything, primed, and repainted it.

My mom always said not to discuss religion, politics, or the Gtreat Pumkin. Now I can add tow vehicles, weight distributing / friction control hitches, and brake controllers to that list.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:13 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, ironically we have three venders who claim their three hitches are the best and only safe hitches on the market; BULL. When ever I go camping I'm absolutely amazed that the hundreds of trailers dragged into the campgrounds from everywhere imaginable using every brand of hitch known to man [and woman] and they all made it there, and I'm sure they all made it back home. Not everyone has a Ha-Ha, a P-P, and a R.D.C.

I have and use an Equal-i-zer hitch that came with my trailer when I bought it new Sept. 7, 2004 and it works qiuite well. My tow vehicle and trailer are a good match and with my hitch it all becomes a team that works well together. Proper set-up and driver abilities are still the most important ingredients for a safe trip.

Hey Bob, since you included ProPride in the first paragraph I thought I would comment.

You will never find ANYWHERE I have said that the ProPride is the ONLY safe hitch on the market. I don't even think you can find anywhere Reese has said that about the RDC. In fact, I sell the Reese hitch so I must not believe it is a bad hitch.

As far as the HYPERBOLE of the word ONLY in claims or advertising, you'll only find one company that claims that and there's only two explanations for it. They are ignorant of the facts that there are other options for sway control/elimination, or it is just flat out dishonesty. The market will choose and has been doing so rather smartly as of late.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:59 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rashton View Post
Andy,

So Sutton sold me a piece of junk with the equlizer hitch. I don't want to damage my safari 27. I tow with a 2500 chev extended cab. What do I need ???You talk reese with light bars do you have a "kit" for us poor equalizer folk? Is this a home install or do wwe need to find a local dealer?
A Reese dual cam 600 pound hitch would work just fine for you.

Instructions come with the hitch.

Check with a local vendor, if you wish to purchase.

Andy
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:35 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rashton View Post
Andy,

So Sutton sold me a piece of junk with the equlizer hitch. I don't want to damage my safari 27. I tow with a 2500 chev extended cab. What do I need ???You talk reese with light bars do you have a "kit" for us poor equalizer folk? Is this a home install or do wwe need to find a local dealer?
Understand this..you didn't buy a piece of junk if you bought an Equal-i-zer brand hitch. It is a good proven system, and if you have followed this and other threads, most of us are extremely happy with this purchase. As noted earlier in this thread I have used both hitches and each has their good and bad points. Obviously just like the Reese, you could swap out the bars for lighter weight rated bars if you wish. It would probably cost you a lot less to do that than abandoning what you already bought, and purchasing another brand hitch.

Jack
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:47 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by handn View Post
Two, the supports for the springbars are merely clamped to the frame. They walk forward when driving the trailer I have to readjust them every few months. I cannot tighten them very tight because it just bends the clamps.
It does sound like you may have an installation issue. I've never had mine walk, although I have had a Reese saddle clamp move on my Safari. It became loose and actually bent during a back in. I was lucky it didn't fall off in route. You do have to check things occasionally on any hitch assembly.

As noted many of us did find an installation issue regarding the clamps that are mounted on the A-frame. The problem was the gas line and that some folks who have installed the Equal-i-zer clamps incorrectly ran the bolts through the wrong hole of the clamp due to interference of the propane line. That affected the ability of clamp to secure itself against the A-frame. Over tightening of that incorrectly placed bolt did nothing more than bend the clamp causing the clamps to become more insecure.

My dealer made this same mistake on my trailer and when I pointed this out he informed his installers to make sure the gas line is positioned out of the way of the clamp.

Jack
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:43 AM   #64
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I am another satisfied Equalizer hitch owner. We initially pulled a 2005 22' CCD with our 1996 Jeep Cherokee using the Equalizer with 600 lbs. bars. Some sway initially as setup by our dealer ( no weight transfer to the front wheels at all) but after reading the instructions and adjusting it in increments to transfer more weight to the front wheels it performed very well. I am of the opinion as some has noted that it is not the friction of the bars on the support brackets that help reduce sway but the sideways bending of the square bars being captured by the "L" clips that helps reduce sway.

We might see if there are any Engineers on the forum with a structural background that could model or at least describe how the sideways bending of the bars might help or not help fight sway. I didn't analyze it since me field is hydraulics, water and wastewater, but the bars will create opposing side forces when the trailer tries to sway. The bar pivots are located at on either side of the ball so they pivot differently than the trailer itself and the moment arm lengths will be different depending upon which way the trailer sways. All this means that the opposing force from the bars will be different and change as the trailer tries to oscillate or sway side to side.

We now use 1000 lbs. bars towing a 25' CCD with a Dodge Ram 2500. Until I hear a technical discussion on why the Equalizer can't help reduce sway I plan to keep using it but after hearing Andy and other's comments about shock transfer into the A frame of the Airstream I may get out the lighter head and 600 lbs. bars.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:41 AM   #65
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The lighter bars would probably be better on the A-frame according to Andy. I think the only advantage the heavier bars would offer is if you are trying to by-pass a load in the bed of the truck. You can always call Equal-i-zer's toll free number and get their recommendation for size and impact on the A-frame to be sure. They do have engineers on staff that can give you an answer. Since you already own both set ups, they will give you an unbiased answer since there is no sale on the table.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:36 AM   #66
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A bit more Equal-i-zer info that I've read, shows that they have been in business for over 50 years!

You don't stay in business that long without producing a product that continues to be in demand...new products come and go, Equal-i-zer appear's to continue to make a fair-priced, quality product many of us have come to use.

I don't work for or sell em', I just like their product and it's design works great for me...plus, as I've said above, it only takes a couple of minutes to 'Hook-Up-And-Go'...now that's my kind of hitch!...
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:34 PM   #67
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Thoughts to ponder:

I have both a reese and a equalizer WD hitch.

The reese (this is not the dual cam version) is for the AS and 2500 Lb Ram w/timbrens.
I am not sure of the bar poundage but I do keep it chained pretty light. The reese does not have sway control. The AS will sway if I want it to, not when it wants to. Sway control (IMO) is done with the loading of the trailer and pin/hitch weight. Also, AS has the axle a little too close to the middle for me. I was raised with the 60/40 rule for axle placement.

The equalizer WD is for the 22' 6500lb boat and 2500 lb ram w/ timbrens w/ 3000lb 12' truck camper w/ 4' hitch extension.
The bar poundage is 1000lb. This is to transfer the added leveraged hitch weight back into the boat trailer and the front axle. This setup I keep very tight but I'm dealing with several different forces than w/ just an AS and TV.

The boat will not sway when I want it to. However, I do not give all the credit to the equalizer hitch as the boat trailer's axles are more in the 70/30 range. This in itself reduces sway. The only reason I purchased the Equializer for the boat is the brakes. Instead of electric brakes it has an inertia actuator in the tongue. If the chains on the reese are too short they do not allow for the proper contraction of the tongue. Otherwise I may have went with a reese.

I also grease the fricton points to help allow the expansion and contraction of the tongue.

Another point I have is heavier bars are not better. We as a society think more is better w/ most anything (me included, super size me!).

There are other forums that have this discussion quite often. Read alot and make your choice. While reading you will be suprised what else you can learn.

Good-luck
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:09 AM   #68
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It doesn't seem we have heard from anyone who has been in a near accident, had to use emergency procedures to avoid something and their experience with a particular hitch. Maybe we have, but I don't remember. Maybe if we'd heard from people with all sorts of hitches and their emergency experiences, it would help, but it would still be anecdotal and possibly affected by personal bias.

Okay, I've posted this before: After installing a Hensley, I spent more than a mile at above 50-mph making violent lane changes, under throttle (not lifted), back and forth, back and forth. The company advertising was correct. My 34' 7,000# trailer (with beam axles; and greater frontal area than an A/S) followed my truck as if glued together.

Later, after numerous weighs, and re-weighs, I still had not gotten the "load distribution" correct according to either the NickCrowhurst calculator, or the Inland Rv rec of 2/3 forward onto the TV axles (distributed equally to each axle +/- 10%). Any argument about hitch efficacy has got to show numbers for any given rig combination.

My next step was to be removing the rear overload spring on my 3/4T Dodge truck and use some calculated length TIMBREN overload springs when not towing the trailer to get rid of some of the stiffness. I still had some weight issues with the trailer (F/R balance due to no furniture in the front) and expected to swap W/D bars to see what, if any, effect could be measured on a weight scale.

By a lot of detail concerning balancing the running gear and installing new shock absorbers, I eliminated clothing hangers jumping off the rods, and drawers coming open. Granted, my trailer (a Silver Streak) is built differently. But I took seriously Andy's comments about rivet loosening. And, I learned from the S/S Mailing List that cracks around the starboard-side front window were not uncommon . . and caused me to wonder about being "overhitched" as a potential cause. (By the way, Andy, saw a great looking S/S trailer that your shop re-did in about 1990; some great work on exterior panel replacement was evident in photos).

I kept the Hensley. And I'll be looking for some W/D bars of different weights so as to get any future rig AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE to proper load distribution. WITH scale weights.

For the money, the REESE Dual Cam with round bars appears to be the overall best for the money at that price range.

Otherwise, let's see the scale numbers. Just for starters.

I towed my trailer w/o any anti-sway control for over 45-miles to ROGER WILLIAMS AIRSTREAM to have the Hensley installed. I could make the "argument" that, since my truck outweighs the trailer I don't need any aftermarket anti-sway control (you'll see this misconception all over the Internet and at campgrounds), etc, etc. I had no sway except what I chose to induce . . and, obviously, had no situation to control, the salient point.

Andys' experience is nothing to sneeze at, either as an insurance investigator, or with a dedicated repair facility. I found both to be worth my time in perfecting the hitch rigging.

Cheap, at many times the price of different pieces of equipment.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:17 PM   #69
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The Equal-i-zer friction sway control comes partly from the pivoting friction, and partly from the bars pressing against the L-brackets. Friction = wear, which loosens the pivot bolts. If the bolts are loose, the friction anti-sway does not function properly.

Today I checked the torque on my the Equal-i-zer pivot bolts (45 ft-lbs as specified in the manaul). One side was okay, the other was noticably under torqued - after only one trip of about 500 miles. This has been a frequent occurance.

Equal-i-zer owners should be carrying a torque wrench on their travels, and check the pivot bolt torque every time you unhitch! (I don't think that you can accurately check the torque when hitched, as the bars place pressure against the pivots which will distort the reading)

I also clean and re-grease every time I unhitch/rehitch.
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:08 AM   #70
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After the first year of towing I've found little variance on the pivot bolts. I normally check them about 3 times a year to make sure they are at their 45 ft-lb setting. Obviously dependent upon the number of trips you take along with the type of roads can affect the torque of those bolts. I do a lot of Interstate travel so the trailer turns are minimal. For all intents the pivot bolts are a maintenance item that do loosen under use, and require follow up.

Jack
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