Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-10-2011, 10:10 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,407
Images: 5
Equalizer vs. Reese dual cam road test

Some time ago there was a post asking for opinions on Eq vs. Reese dual cam from someone who has towed with BOTH. There were no responses to that request. I am now in a position to give an analysis of both with several thousand miles towing with each.

Rules of engagement:
1) Hensley and PP are not in this evaluation only because I have no personal experience with either and just can't see dropping the cash for that price class of hitch unless I receive a windfall. They are fine hitches, I just haven't used one. So this post only deals with us lower price class buyers. If you can afford a PP or Hensly, go for it.

2) This post is MY HUMBLE OPINION based on MY experiences only!!! I am not interested in opening up the traditional arguments...my opinions are mine....take them or leave them. OK? Fair?

Hitches used:
1) Equalizer 10,000 pound ball mount and 1000 pound bars
2) Reese dual cam 10,000 pound ball mount and 800 pound bars

My trailer is a 30' Classic, 8500 total weight, with hitch weights varying from 850# to 975#, depending on trip and "toys" etc. aboard. Verified with shurline scale before each trip start.

Various TVs used.

I am 100% confident in proper setups of both hitches, from years of experience as well as nuggets of knowledge picked up in these forum threads. I use weight slips as well as measurement of TV and AS for setups.

So, here we go:

Setup:
Eq is very simple to adjust, with only 2 possible adjustment areas; head tilt and L-bracket height. (OK, torque on the torsion bar trunnions is an adjustment, but only have to torque them down a couple times a year, at most. BTW, spec is 45#feet minimum torque. I like about 60#feet of torque.)

Reese is complicated to adjust to varying loads. There are 3 adjustment to contend with; head tilt, cam arms, and chains. (OK, really you shouldn't be moving the chains up and down, they should be at 5 links under stress and all your additional flex needs should be accomplished with head tilt. HOWEVER, virtually any relatively significant change in load or ANY change in head tilt requires the cam arms to be adjusted. More on this later.

FOR EASE OF SETUP EQUALIZER WINS.

Noisy operation:

EQ creaks and moans with some occasional pops when the bars move suddenly and "slap" the L-brackets or retainer pins. This can be reduced to an acceptable level by lubing the friction surfaces at the trunnions and the L-brackets. Bracket Jackets can be purchased for the L-Brackets. They work fine with no greasy mess and don't seem to noticeably change performance.

Reese was VERY noisy out of the box, with all the noise coming from the cam to spring bar interface. SUBSTANTIALLY louder creaks and pops than the EQ. With the trunnion lubed, there is no appreciable noise from that area. Vasoline (NOT GREASE) applied to the cams greatly diminishes the pops and creaks from that interface. I did one other thing to the spring bars which VIRTUALLY eliminated all noise. When the bars are bent to form the cam pockets (in a forge???), during manufacture, they are anything but flat in the surfaces which interface with the cams. I found tooling marks, and twists which caused a non-uniform contact with the cams. Some of the twists and "lips" left during the bending process, very quickly cause grooves to be cut in the cams. Every turn causes the bars to pop in and out of these grooves. LOUD popping resulted. I took a DREMMEL stone and lightly worked the high spots on the spring bars, and after several tows, and examining and "tooling" contact patterns after each tow, I now have pretty even contact patches on both cam/bar interfaces. It's now pretty doggone quiet until vasoline wears off. (500 - 600 miles), and then it's just a little creaky.

FOR NOISE IT"S PRETTY MUCH A PUSH, except the Reese took more fiddling to get there.

On Road Performance:

EQ is rock solid and very predictable with the same amount of RESISTANCE to motion in both directions of trunnion travel during a sway activity. This give a feeling of a very dampened or dead type of movement. When you get a truck push AND you don't induce more sway, you get the one motion toward the curb and one motion back to center...very dampened and predictable.

Reese is very solid on center and wants to stay there...MAYBE a little better than EQ, but the difference is imperceptible to the point that you think you may be trying to convince yourself that there is a difference. HOWEVER, where I find the Reese a little quirky is when you do go off center, by it's design, it wants to actively find center again. This seems to cause 3 motions: The truck push toward curb, the cam system "pulling" you back to center...AND what feels like a small "snap" off center to the streetside. I think this is because if you have the proper flex (tension) on the bars they will want to SNAP back to center and "overrun" the center point a little. I don't think this is a worse performance than the EQ, but it is an extra motion in the "wag" that I don't prefer. I prefer the deadness of the friction in the EQ. Also, I have found that it doesn't take a lot of load change, either in the truck bed or the front of the trailer to cause the cams to not be centered in the spring saddles since last adjustment. You can't just eyeball this. It can look centered but try slipping a .010 or .020 feeler gauge between the spring bar and cam face. This is enough to cause a twitchy on center feeling.

I PREFER EQ FOR ROAD FEEL although sway "control" is a push when I purposely induce a sway (where safe and appropriate to do so).

But, folks, here is the deal breaker! We have, in other threads discussed in depth the flexibility (or lack thereof) of various bars and brands, and the possible detrimental effect on your AS. (See Inland RV for article and graphic test results). Search for threads and you can read for days!
I just couldn't live with the stiffness of the 1000# EQ bars, even with a half ton TV suspension. I won't clarify any further here on that subject, as there are MANY threads and posts re. that. Unfortunately, EQ only sells lower rated bars matched with lower rated ball mounts. I think I would try a 600 pound EQ bar, but it comes with a 6000 pound ball mount. I weight in a 8500 pounds....not going to happen. Various EQ bars are not interchangeable with any given ball mount. The trunnions are different sizes. I need a 10000 pound ball mount with 600# (or less with the STIFF EQ ratings) spring bar.

SO! even though I like the performance and ease of setup of the EQ, until they wake up and provide a way for US to dial in our setups, REESE DUAL CAM is the winner.
__________________

__________________
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2011, 10:56 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
Grand Master's Avatar
 
1963 24' Tradewind
Anderson / Sun City , Indiana / Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 444
Thanks for this comparison.

I have an Equalizer with 600lb bars and tow a '63 Trade Wind. I agree with you assessment and am happy with my 600lb bars.

In another post, there is a discussion about tyhe worst roads in America. Having driven some of them in the last two years, I have noticed that on a bad washboard road that the trailer and tow vehicle seem to be working against each other. The car feels like it wants to go up and the trailer is pushing down. Then a second later, the opposite sensation.

Anyone else experience this? Is there a remedy other than driving slow or avoiding these washboard roads.
__________________

__________________
Mike Brumback
WBCCI #1200
Grand Master is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2011, 12:20 AM   #3
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Some time ago there was a post asking for opinions on Eq vs. Reese dual cam from someone who has towed with BOTH. There were no responses to that request. I am now in a position to give an analysis of both with several thousand miles towing with each.

Rules of engagement:
1) Hensley and PP are not in this evaluation only because I have no personal experience with either and just can't see dropping the cash for that price class of hitch unless I receive a windfall. They are fine hitches, I just haven't used one. So this post only deals with us lower price class buyers. If you can afford a PP or Hensly, go for it.

2) This post is MY HUMBLE OPINION based on MY experiences only!!! I am not interested in opening up the traditional arguments...my opinions are mine....take them or leave them. OK? Fair?

Hitches used:
1) Equalizer 10,000 pound ball mount and 1000 pound bars
2) Reese dual cam 10,000 pound ball mount and 800 pound bars

My trailer is a 30' Classic, 8500 total weight, with hitch weights varying from 850# to 975#, depending on trip and "toys" etc. aboard. Verified with shurline scale before each trip start.

Various TVs used.

I am 100% confident in proper setups of both hitches, from years of experience as well as nuggets of knowledge picked up in these forum threads. I use weight slips as well as measurement of TV and AS for setups.

So, here we go:

Setup:
Eq is very simple to adjust, with only 2 possible adjustment areas; head tilt and L-bracket height. (OK, torque on the torsion bar trunnions is an adjustment, but only have to torque them down a couple times a year, at most. BTW, spec is 45#feet minimum torque. I like about 60#feet of torque.)

Reese is complicated to adjust to varying loads. There are 3 adjustment to contend with; head tilt, cam arms, and chains. (OK, really you shouldn't be moving the chains up and down, they should be at 5 links under stress and all your additional flex needs should be accomplished with head tilt. HOWEVER, virtually any relatively significant change in load or ANY change in head tilt requires the cam arms to be adjusted. More on this later.

FOR EASE OF SETUP EQUALIZER WINS.

Noisy operation:

EQ creaks and moans with some occasional pops when the bars move suddenly and "slap" the L-brackets or retainer pins. This can be reduced to an acceptable level by lubing the friction surfaces at the trunnions and the L-brackets. Bracket Jackets can be purchased for the L-Brackets. They work fine with no greasy mess and don't seem to noticeably change performance.

Reese was VERY noisy out of the box, with all the noise coming from the cam to spring bar interface. SUBSTANTIALLY louder creaks and pops than the EQ. With the trunnion lubed, there is no appreciable noise from that area. Vasoline (NOT GREASE) applied to the cams greatly diminishes the pops and creaks from that interface. I did one other thing to the spring bars which VIRTUALLY eliminated all noise. When the bars are bent to form the cam pockets (in a forge???), during manufacture, they are anything but flat in the surfaces which interface with the cams. I found tooling marks, and twists which caused a non-uniform contact with the cams. Some of the twists and "lips" left during the bending process, very quickly cause grooves to be cut in the cams. Every turn causes the bars to pop in and out of these grooves. LOUD popping resulted. I took a DREMMEL stone and lightly worked the high spots on the spring bars, and after several tows, and examining and "tooling" contact patterns after each tow, I now have pretty even contact patches on both cam/bar interfaces. It's now pretty doggone quiet until vasoline wears off. (500 - 600 miles), and then it's just a little creaky.

FOR NOISE IT"S PRETTY MUCH A PUSH, except the Reese took more fiddling to get there.

On Road Performance:

EQ is rock solid and very predictable with the same amount of RESISTANCE to motion in both directions of trunnion travel during a sway activity. This give a feeling of a very dampened or dead type of movement. When you get a truck push AND you don't induce more sway, you get the one motion toward the curb and one motion back to center...very dampened and predictable.

Reese is very solid on center and wants to stay there...MAYBE a little better than EQ, but the difference is imperceptible to the point that you think you may be trying to convince yourself that there is a difference. HOWEVER, where I find the Reese a little quirky is when you do go off center, by it's design, it wants to actively find center again. This seems to cause 3 motions: The truck push toward curb, the cam system "pulling" you back to center...AND what feels like a small "snap" off center to the streetside. I think this is because if you have the proper flex (tension) on the bars they will want to SNAP back to center and "overrun" the center point a little. I don't think this is a worse performance than the EQ, but it is an extra motion in the "wag" that I don't prefer. I prefer the deadness of the friction in the EQ. Also, I have found that it doesn't take a lot of load change, either in the truck bed or the front of the trailer to cause the cams to not be centered in the spring saddles since last adjustment. You can't just eyeball this. It can look centered but try slipping a .010 or .020 feeler gauge between the spring bar and cam face. This is enough to cause a twitchy on center feeling.

I PREFER EQ FOR ROAD FEEL although sway "control" is a push when I purposely induce a sway (where safe and appropriate to do so).

But, folks, here is the deal breaker! We have, in other threads discussed in depth the flexibility (or lack thereof) of various bars and brands, and the possible detrimental effect on your AS. (See Inland RV for article and graphic test results). Search for threads and you can read for days!
I just couldn't live with the stiffness of the 1000# EQ bars, even with a half ton TV suspension. I won't clarify any further here on that subject, as there are MANY threads and posts re. that. Unfortunately, EQ only sells lower rated bars matched with lower rated ball mounts. I think I would try a 600 pound EQ bar, but it comes with a 6000 pound ball mount. I weight in a 8500 pounds....not going to happen. Various EQ bars are not interchangeable with any given ball mount. The trunnions are different sizes. I need a 10000 pound ball mount with 600# (or less with the STIFF EQ ratings) spring bar.

SO! even though I like the performance and ease of setup of the EQ, until they wake up and provide a way for US to dial in our setups, REESE DUAL CAM is the winner.
Thank you for your efforts and post.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2011, 01:07 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
ROBERTSUNRUS's Avatar

 
2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,269
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 51
Hi, I fully agree with your statements on your experiences with these two hitches. I only have experience with my Equal-i-zer. I have made spacers so that my "L" bracket mounts never move or slip on my frame rails. I have recently been using the "L" bracket jackets and like them. Concerned about the stiff spring arms, I relocated my "L" brackets from 29"s where the dealer installed them to the max of 32"s to allow for better flexing of the spring bars and more leverage, with less pressure on the spring arms. I replaced my spring arm socket bolts and nuts with grade eight parts and I now torque the socket bolts to 75 lbs.

I wonder if you can change only the spring bar sockets or have some sort of sleeves made so the 600 lb spring bars can be used in the 1,000 lb sockets. [on the 10,000 lb hitch]
__________________
Bob

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2011, 06:15 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
I have both the old style Reese Twin Cam and Equalizer hitches with only the 1000 pound bars for the Equalizer. The Twin Cam 1000 bars are less stiff and lighter that the 1000 pound Equalizer bars. I agree with the analysis of the first poster.
__________________
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2011, 06:53 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,407
Images: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I fully agree with your statements on your experiences with these two hitches. I only have experience with my Equal-i-zer. I have made spacers so that my "L" bracket mounts never move or slip on my frame rails. I have recently been using the "L" bracket jackets and like them. Concerned about the stiff spring arms, I relocated my "L" brackets from 29"s where the dealer installed them to the max of 32"s to allow for better flexing of the spring bars and more leverage, with less pressure on the spring arms. I replaced my spring arm socket bolts and nuts with grade eight parts and I now torque the socket bolts to 75 lbs.

I wonder if you can change only the spring bar sockets or have some sort of sleeves made so the 600 lb spring bars can be used in the 1,000 lb sockets. [on the 10,000 lb hitch]
My understanding is the trunnions are not interchangeable between a 6000# ball mount to a 10,000 pound ball mount. The distance between the top and bottom friction surfaces for the trunnion is diffrent on each ratd ball mount. I had also though about a sleeve for a 600# bar to fit into a 10,000# ball mont, but I worry about durability.
__________________
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2011, 06:58 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,407
Images: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
My understanding is the trunnions are not interchangeable between a 6000# ball mount to a 10,000 pound ball mount. The distance between the top and bottom friction surfaces for the trunnion is diffrent on each ratd ball mount. I had also though about a sleeve for a 600# bar to fit into a 10,000# ball mont, but I worry about durability.
I actually even taked to Eq tech service about them doing something to allow the customer to mix and match bars to tune their setup. They said they'd "talk to enginering" and have them call me. That was several months go.
__________________
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2011, 07:20 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,407
Images: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Master View Post
Thanks for this comparison.

I have an Equalizer with 600lb bars and tow a '63 Trade Wind. I agree with you assessment and am happy with my 600lb bars.

In another post, there is a discussion about tyhe worst roads in America. Having driven some of them in the last two years, I have noticed that on a bad washboard road that the trailer and tow vehicle seem to be working against each other. The car feels like it wants to go up and the trailer is pushing down. Then a second later, the opposite sensation.

Anyone else experience this? Is there a remedy other than driving slow or avoiding these washboard roads.
If the distance between the peaks nd valleys in the road are just right to match up to your distance from rear TV axle to center of trailer axles, it can set up some porpousing or jerking sensation. 5'ers talk about this all the time. Fifth wheels sem to be really sensitive to it. Other than playing with your bar tension or adjusting your speed, there's not much you can do. I assume your setup doesn't do this all the time...just certain roads and certain speeds????
__________________
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2011, 08:10 AM   #9
Fuil-Timers
 
DreamStreamr's Avatar

 
2005 25' International CCD
Everywhere , North America
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 631
Images: 38
Send a message via Skype™ to DreamStreamr
nice thread thanks

Two comments:
we occasionally but rarely experience that porpoising effect and find we can lower speed a bit and find we can dampen the oscillation a bit and just hang on until we're through that low-bid section of highway.

we also have the 1,000 pound Equalizer bars and have 1,100 pound tongue weight, so no concerns with the match-up on our trailer and truck.

The Equalizer hitch has done us great five years now.
__________________
Living the Dream

Jim Cocke,
International President
WBCCI Wally Byam Airstream Club
dreamstreamr.com
dreamstreamr.wordpress.com
DreamStreamr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2011, 09:25 AM   #10
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,002
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
I've had both hitches and currently have an Equal-i-zer. One thing I have found is that sometimes back in sites that leave you minimal pull forward space, you sometimes end up all twisted once you get the trailer properly positioned. With a Reese Dual Cam, if your tow vehicle is too much at an angle to the trailer, you will find it near amount impossible to remove the hitch bars since you can't get them out of the saddle. No such problem with the Equal-i-zer and you can hitch or dehitch at any tow vehicle angle.

Performance wise while I had my concerns originally (more towards my unfamiliarity of the hitch), I've grown to become a believer. My Classic just sits behind my van rock solid. I've had some folks following me in some heavy cross winds and they were surprised that the trailer just tracked, with no indication of sway.

Since my hitch weight exceeds 1,250 lbs. I'm using the 1,400 lb. Equal-i-zer hitch and bars.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2011, 09:25 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,822
Images: 3
The only noise I have with my Reese is immediately after I hook up and make the first turn out of the shed or camp site. After that first loud noise, I almost never hear the hitch.

After a couple of years, swap the cams from side to side. You will then have brand new wearing surfaces. I am about ready to swap mine after 6 years of use. The cam looks terrible, but works just fine.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2011, 12:55 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Also, I have found that it doesn't take a lot of load change, either in the truck bed or the front of the trailer to cause the cams to not be centered in the spring saddles since last adjustment. You can't just eyeball this. It can look centered but try slipping a .010 or .020 feeler gauge between the spring bar and cam face. This is enough to cause a twitchy on center feeling.
dznf0g,

Thanks for your report, and your efforts. Your experience with the Reese Dual Cam hitch mirrors my own, and the highlighted portion of your original post is the reason I no longer use the Reese hitch.

It works good when it's right, but it rarely stays right for very long.
__________________
Regards,
Steve
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2011, 05:28 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,407
Images: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
dznf0g,

Thanks for your report, and your efforts. Your experience with the Reese Dual Cam hitch mirrors my own, and the highlighted portion of your original post is the reason I no longer use the Reese hitch.

It works good when it's right, but it rarely stays right for very long.
Ya know, hearing from others who have the same "fiddling" issues with Reese, I am going to look into sleeves for some lighter bars for my 1000# EQ ballmount. When I do something and have something to report, I'll add comments and, I guess, will have some iron of one brand or another for sale!
__________________
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2011, 05:37 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
I believe if I were looking for a no frills, simple to use, anti sway weight distribution hitch today, and did not want to spend the money for a ProPride, I'd get this: Reese SC Weight Distribution System w Sway Control - Trunnion - 10,000 lbs GTW, 800 lbs TW Reese Weight Distribution RP66153

Should work just like an Equalizer, but with the ride of the Reese.
__________________

__________________
Regards,
Steve
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Eagle Cam pmclemore Off Topic Forum 10 03-31-2011 11:01 AM
Jammed Test Switch on Ventline dacantu General Repair Forum 0 03-25-2011 10:10 PM
Reese snap up brackets Khulse Hitches, Couplers & Balls 0 02-05-2011 02:03 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.