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Old 03-20-2006, 08:16 PM   #1
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2006 19' International CCD
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equalizer install advise...

Hi everyone,

I "pimped my ride" today in preparation for our new 19' bambi CCD arrival next month. I had a Prodigy brake controller and a 7 pin plug installed in my vehicle this morning.

The dealer that I bought my AS from (Bretz RV and Marine, Missoula) apparently will not sell me or bring in an Equalizer brand hitch "we only sell Reese". So, I purchased one up here and am taking it down with me to install when I pick up the trailer. It looks very simple to install, but as with anything, there are "monkeys in the wrench" at times.

Can anyone comment on installation tips for the Equalizer?

- problems?
- incompatibilities?
- extra stuff?
- type of hitch ball?

thanks for any help,
brad.
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:52 PM   #2
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The E-Qual-Izer brand (is that what you bought?) is not hard to install, so long as you have the right size wrenches or sockets. If you've already got it that would be easy to check, make sure and take your tools (and a tape measure) along.

The only 'tricky' part is in getting the head angle set so the spring bars are parallel to the frame when they are under tension. I had to do several 'trial and error' iterations to get it the correct way, because you're trying to get the truck suspension to settle by the same amount (front and back) and have the trailer level. The techs that do a lot of these usually get it right with fewer iterations (practice makes perfect). If you're going to do it yourself at the dealers, plan enough time in case you need to work on it a bit. You could always practice so you're familiar with how it fits together, and how the angle adjusts, before you get the trailer.

Also, even though the dealer doesn't sell that brand, he might be OK with setting yours up for you - lot's of people already have a hitch when they get a new trailer.

If you have the tools and mechanical ability, it's worth learning how to adjust the hitch yourself. I found I re-adjusted mine a couple months later after the loads in the trailer & the truck had settled down.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:30 PM   #3
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That's all good advice for anyonw with that hitch. We had to adjust our Equal-I-Zer once after we'd been full-timing for a month or two, due to packing in an extra half ton of stuff. It turned out that I did not have a wrench of appropriate size. A trip to the nearest Super Walmart solved that one for $10.

Once I understood what was going on with the adjustments, it turned out to be a very easy process, and well worth doing. Having equal pressure on your tow vehicle wheels is really important for optimal handling.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:36 PM   #4
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Oh, one other thing. Before we installed the hitch on our CCD, we had the dealer install frame guards on the trailer; the kind that come on classics. My thought was that they would protect the a-frame from hitch induced scratches, which would eventually lead to rust.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:42 PM   #5
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One of the biggest issues on the Equal-i-zer is the mounting the ball onto the hitch. The nut sits down in a recessed "hole" under the hitch. Many standard socket sets are to big to clear the distance between the nut and the recessed area it fits into. My dealer has a specially ground socket head which gives him the clearance he needs. I usually stop by the dealer's once a year and have him torque the ball nut, since my socket head won't fit in the recessed area.

Jack
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
One of the biggest issues on the Equal-i-zer is the mounting the ball onto the hitch. The nut sits down in a recessed "hole" under the hitch. Many standard socket sets are to big to clear the distance between the nut and the recessed area it fits into. My dealer has a specially ground socket head which gives him the clearance he needs. I usually stop by the dealer's once a year and have him torque the ball nut, since my socket head won't fit in the recessed area.

Jack
thanks for the replies gents, any home-made solutions to this issue?

thanks,
b.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradk
. . . . any home-made solutions to this issue?
thanks,
b.
Afraid not. If you have a 450 ft-lb torque wrench, you will have the know-how to grind down the socket.

If you don't, take it to a shop.

Sorry, that's the brutal truth.
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Old 03-20-2006, 10:51 PM   #8
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After an especially frustrating experience at the local trailer shop trying to get my hitch adjusted years ago, I stopped by Sears and bought the 3/4" drive socket set, and have done all of my own adjustments since then. I can't get the job done with my 1/2" drive stuff. My torque wrenches don't go to 450 pounds, but I've never seen a shop use a torque wrench on my hitch, either. So, I tighten stuff a lot (these are big bolts, hard to over do it) and have not had any problems through the years.

I don't recall having particular problems getting to the hitch ball nut with the sockets that came with the set - I'll check this weekend when I visit my Airsream in winter storage.

To say it again, I don't think a 1/2" drive works without using a pipe cheater on the handle. I don't like that approach, although there are probably those who do it without trouble. Best to go to the shop if you don't have the right tools, I agree.

I think the cost of the big socket set has more than paid for itsself through the years in avoiding shop charges, and I like being able to make adjustments and to check the bolts for tightness without having to visit the shop. My neighbors appreciate my having the big set, too!

Just my 2 cents!
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:00 PM   #9
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according to the installation manual... the angle of the torsion bars isn't important... the only fool-proof way to effectively setup the LL, is take it to the scales...

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