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Old 07-19-2006, 04:38 PM   #29
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B25guy - I also have noticed the looseness in the L brackets of the Equal-i-zer, but hadn't mentally connected it with a sway dampening degradation like you have mentioned. I think your idea has merit - could you post a photo of your solution?
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Old 07-20-2006, 12:59 AM   #30
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Equal-i-zer Hitch

Hi, In answer to some of you and from my experiences with useing the Equal-i-zer Hitch. First, I bought an angle guage to set up my hitch angle. Since the receiver has play in it, I set mine at ten degrees down. Under load, it pulls its self up to six degrees down. Second, my set up requires the ball bracket to point downward makeing it drag. [too close to the ground] I cut mine off at the bottom of the gusset. Or cut to remove one adjusting hole. Third, as for the "L" brackets coming loose, only the left one came loose on mine and it was caused by the angle of the "L" bracket when you tighten it with the set bolt. Notice when you tighten the right "L" bracket the set bolt pushes the bracket to the rear of your trailer; therefore any movement of the spring bars will push the "L" bracket and set bolt in the tighten direction. On the left side when you tighten the "L" bracket set bolt, it pushes the "L" bracket to the front of the trailer. Therefore, the spring bar pushes against the "L" bracket in the direction to loosen the set bolt. My cure was to hold the left "L" bracket in the rearward direction, use red locktite, and super torque the set bolts. No more loose "L" brackets.
Theoretically, Your tow vehicle is supposed to be either level or preferably equally down in both front and rear. Mine won't go down in the rear because I have self leveling rear air suspension. As for the statement, larger trucks haveing more play in the steering; My answer to that is, Now days, smaller vehicles use rack and pinion steering versus larger trucks use recirculating ball gear boxes. Gear boxes are looser by design and have more play in the control valve / worm gear.

Bob
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Old 07-20-2006, 07:50 AM   #31
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Dan

Thinking I had opened a can of worms regarding the Equal-I-zer, I snapped a couple of pictures last night...I'll post them ASAP.
BTW, when I mentioned this issue with the manuf in late '04, they said it was normal and the way they designed it??

Marc
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Old 07-20-2006, 08:04 AM   #32
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I suspect that most sway is very small, in terms of degrees of rotation. This suggests that any slop in the system will render anti-sway ineffective. I'm thinking that even the play in the hitch receiver/drawbar interface may be a problem!

I have owned my Equal-i-zer for 3-1/2 years, and I have no idea if it actually does anything to reduce sway. I have not had sway problems - just a wiggle when semi's pass by. But that does not mean that the hitch is working, it may only mean that the trailer is towing well due to proper loading, etc. Frankly, I wonder if the Equal-i-zer does much to reduce sway... it's design and construction are very crude. Tension on the bars makes their pivot points bind, causing friction (and rapid wear). The small amount of movement at those points during a sway event, combined with the large mass and inertia of the trailer, makes me wonder if the setup does anything useful.
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Old 07-20-2006, 08:21 AM   #33
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Dan,

My thoughts exactly. When I actually positioned the entire rig in realistic angles, what I measured was extremely small angles (it certainly feels like much more when driving) and yes, if memory serves, it took nearly 10deg of offset to produce 5/8" of linear motion in the bars...this is what the bottom of my L-bracked's slop measured. Conclusion at that time was that I wasn't getting "secondary sway" benefit with under 10deg of sway???
I have almost come to the conclusion that because I'm towing with a nearly 7000lb truck and the trailer tows sooooo much better than SOB's, the hitch is cosmetic. Like I said before, I do get a couple of hundred pounds of weight on my front axle due to the W/D properties, which makes a huge difference in my kidney's comfort (people who have owned this kind of truck know what I'm talking about). But I had always been suspect of the anti-sway properties it touted, but only because of the L-bracket slop. Now in fariness, for smaller TV's, it might make all the difference in the world, I don't have that experience to compare. Anybody who's moved from a smallish to largish or vice versa TV can opine?
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:25 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmac
Frankly, I wonder if the Equal-i-zer does much to reduce sway... it's design and construction are very crude. Tension on the bars makes their pivot points bind, causing friction (and rapid wear). The small amount of movement at those points during a sway event, combined with the large mass and inertia of the trailer, makes me wonder if the setup does anything useful.
Simple way to answer your question. Next time you go out on a trip, don't install the spring bars. You will know if it does anything or not. I'm not saying it does, just that you can answer the question easily enough.
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Originally Posted by B25guy
I have almost come to the conclusion that because I'm towing with a nearly 7000lb truck and the trailer tows sooooo much better than SOB's, the hitch is cosmetic.
Your setup should be easy to confirm whether there are sway control or not as well. Your truck should be adequate to control sway if anybody's is. Let us know what your results are.

I would like to know if the issues I have might be with the hitch or with the trailer. My Airstream is currently at Jackson Center having some body work done as a result of being introduced to a now deceased deer at 50 mph a few weeks ago and I have asked that they check the alignment while it is there being repaired. Since my problems seem to be speed specific, I think it might be alignment not hitch related. I am open to any opinions or suggestions on this from fellow forum members.
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:36 AM   #35
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Minnie - If I were to test by not installing the spring bars I would be disabling two items: 1) weight distribution and 2) friction sway control. If I noticed a towing difference I would not know which function made the difference.

I would like to try B25's idea to see if the added friction from tighted L-brackets provides a noticable improvement, ie; when trucks pass.
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:54 AM   #36
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Hey guys.

I would think the way to test this would be to use just a plain ball mount adjusted to the right height.

I wouldn't just use the EQ hitch/ball thing because I think it sticks out further than just a ball mount.

I read somewhere that it's better to have rear axle of TV closer to trailer axle. (Is this correct????) That EQ set up does stick out a bit, and I have the bruises on my legs to prove that.

It would be interesting to test that theory.

Jonathan
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:00 AM   #37
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Like I said, "almost come to the conclusion", the jury's still out.
For completeness, when I did the very first pull of the A/S from the dealer, like some, I just went on a little 40mi jaunt up Parley canyon in Utah and thoroughly enjoyed the towing experience. I remember thinking that these A/S's do tow like they say! When I got home and after going over the whole trailer with amazement on my recent purchase I noticed that there was very little if any weight on the bars...in fact when I pulled the pin and removed the keeper, the bars just swung away with little effort. After reading the manual and looking over what the dealer had set up, I quickley realized they hadn't set up anything at all. I set up the recommended number of washers giving me a good tilt down and adjusted the L-brackets to achieve noticable pre-load on the bars. Since that time, I noticed much improved ride in the truck (specifically front axle) but no real change in sway. I've towed lots of trailers over the years so I wasn't just ignoring obvious traits or imagining a dream-like ride. All this said, I like the W/D, put up with a little annoying sway for the first year and now feel like the hitch truly joins the two together-Firmly with my L-brackets "welded". Simple physics leads me to believe that size/mass of TV will make a positive influence with sway or whatever we choose to call it. From an aerodynamics (like with airplanes) standpoint (and we're not too far off with the A/S shape), speed will have other really heady influences but save that for a few beers at the next campground.
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:43 AM   #38
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Jonathan,

I think you mean to say having the TV axle close to the hitch point. You can imagine the side-to-side leverage advantange of having a really short distance when the trailer wants to go one direction and the TV's rear wheels want to go another. With the ultimate towing setup (sway issues only) being the 5th wheel, the closer you get to that effetively zero distance is best. I fully recognize that my LWB with gobs of overhang back there and adding the additional length of the Equal-I-zer, will allow some instability. By watching my speed and steering input, I feel as if it is well within my limits as well as the TV...I'm still ~13k lbs of rolling load. Common sense tells me that the various points of friction; ball, bar sockets and now solid L-brackets contribute some degree of control...just not as much as some people may believe. Looks like another engineering/whiteboard lunch today! Friction, what was that about Mu?
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Old 07-20-2006, 12:01 PM   #39
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marc.

Thanks for clarifying that.

Jonathan
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Old 07-20-2006, 02:53 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmac
Minnie - If I were to test by not installing the spring bars I would be disabling two items: 1) weight distribution and 2) friction sway control. If I noticed a towing difference I would not know which function made the difference.

I would like to try B25's idea to see if the added friction from tighted L-brackets provides a noticable improvement, ie; when trucks pass.
I agree that you would elliminate the W/D aspect of the hitch and that would have a tremendous affect on handling, but that would be stering mostly since you would be reducing the contact force of the front tires on the road.

I have tried many solutions to the sway I have encountered with my trailer. The two that have had the most affect were equal and maximum tire pressure in the rear tires, and the other was torquing the socket lugs. I called Equal-i-zer and they recommended 45-60 ft.-lbs. I torqued them to 60 and just a little more. I put 76 lbs of tire pressure in each of the rear tires and 58 in the front. I had virtually no sway. Was it the tire pressure or the torque on the lugs? I'm not sure. I think it was some of both. I had just had the alignment in my truck checked and the tire shop said it was spot on. So I think it is comming from the trailer side of receiver.

My truck shifts into its final gear at about 65 mph. It is at that speed that I begin to experience sway. It continues until I reach about 75 mph. I know that is not the "safest" speed to tow at, but I feel there is less loss of control at that speed so I have been towing at that speed on the interstate. It also allows me to not be resigned to the right lane which is always beat pretty rough by the semis. Therefore, the ride is smoother and again I feel more in control than if I were getting beat to death by rough asphalt/concrete. My coach is an '06 so I feel ok for now at that speed with the tires. I know if I continue with that speed of towing I will replace the tires after three years instead of after 4-5 as most people recommend. When I travel on two lane roads, I keep the speed down to around 55. BTW, my RPMs are the same at 75 as they are at 55 because of the shift points in the tow/haul mode.

When I suggested not installing the spring bars, I suggested this mainly thinking in terms of the heavy duty 3/4 ton or higher tow vehicle. If yours is a 1/2 ton, it certainly wouldn't be an option. I'm not sure if my F-250 would set down too much in the rear without the weight distribution to handle well enough to tell if there was any sway or not. Just a suggestion though. All I know is that when I torqued the lug nuts tighter, the swaying seemed to reduce. The factory rep told me that when new, they would wear very quickly at first and that would reduce their friction in the sockets and reduce their sway control.

If you haven't torqued your lug nuts since the hitch was installed, or if you haven't this season, this may be part of your experience with slight sway. Mine went away for a 900+ mile trip, but returned on the next trip. Go figure?
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Old 07-20-2006, 03:07 PM   #41
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Minnie - Yes, torqueing the Equal-i-zer pivot bolts seems to be important step. Mine were loose due to wear where the bar sockets rub against the head.
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Old 07-20-2006, 03:16 PM   #42
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""I put 76 lbs of tire pressure in each of the rear tires and 58 in the front.""


m'mate........

i'm no tire pressure expert but i do have an inflated ego!

anyway reading that you have 58 front and 76 rear....well that was going to be my suggestion for the CAUSE of your wiggles....even before ya typed the info....

power stroke super duty right?
heavy duty springs front/rear on the truck
(like fx package or 4x4 or camper package)
very heavy nose out of the box? (58/42...or so)
have you been to a scale and weighed your set up with w/d bars loose and tightened?

truck tire pressures are posted in the truck and lots of folks have their on emprical set ups...and tire manufacturers also have suggestions....

i like a firmer ride so.......

-unloaded, not towing i usually have 65-70 front and a few lbs less on the rear...

--loaded but not towing i usually have 70-74 front and 70-72 rear.....

---loaded and towing i usually have 76-80 front and the SAME or 2-4 lbs less on the rear...

why?
after fully loading the trailer and truck..and adjusting my w/d bars....my truck axles measure at 4500lbs+ and are virtually the same f/r...

some folks actually get the front intentionally heavier with their w/d bars...which is closer to the original distribution on the truck un hitched...

regardless, if you are towing/driving with the fronts 20lbs lower than the rears....that could very well be the issue....imo.

fronts do a LOT of work carrying loads and steering......
and balancing f/r tire pressures could make a big difference,
when pulling a trailer with 800-1000 lbs on the receiver...
distributed correctly....

others should comment too please,
but me thinks your front tires are too soft....

and that may be the problemo....

cheers
2air'
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