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Old 06-25-2016, 03:49 PM   #1
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
Glen Burnie , Maryland
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Help, I think I'm overhitched!

When I took delivery of my 2015 25í FC FB, the dealer installed an Equal-i-zer hitch with #1000 bars. My 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 already rides like a lumber wagon and I realized right away that the bars were too stiff for the trailer.

Iíve since upgraded the Airstream to 16Ē LTX tires which smoothed things out considerably, but itís still a harsh ride. I recently tuned the rig and ended up with 7 washers (!) to get everything balanced properly. L brackets are in the neutral position but the bars have about an inch or so of bend as you can see in the pictures.

Iím considering a trunnion hitch like the Reese Dual Cam or Blue Ox but Iím unsure about how much spring rate I need in the bars to still get adequate weight distribution and a better ride for my setup. Inland Andy recommends #550 bars for a 3/4 ton truck but I wonder if I might need something a little stiffer? My calculated tongue weight is a little north of 800 lbs. (15%).

Any suggestions for how I should proceed? I imagine it would be difficult to return a set of bars to etrailer if they donít work for me.
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:15 PM   #2
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800 Lbs with the Reese Straight Line not the Dual Cam. Straigth Line is much easier to adjust as time goes by. Pay attention to the possible contact between the bars and the outside yokes when backing up. If the hit change setup to clear or as I did reverse the yoke attachment on the tongue before I changed to an Andersen.
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:59 PM   #3
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1991 25' Excella
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With an 2500 you dont need to worry about the weight transfer as much. Id go with a lighter bar or a different hitch like the Anderson wd hitch.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:48 PM   #4
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You didn't mention if you had made the trip to the truck scales yet. And I also wonder if your hitch did get your tow vehicle back to sitting pretty level.

Measure the height of your front fender wheel well lips to level pavement without the trailer but with your gear in the back and record. Weigh each axle of your tow vehicle without the trailer but with typical travel gear loaded in it and record the results. Then hitch up without any load on the bars and weigh again as well as weighing the trailer axles. Finally load the bars so your vehicle front fender wheel well lip is pretty close to what it was without the trailer. Now drive over the scales and get the weights again. How much tongue weight did you distribute to the front axle?

It seems to me that 7 washers is too much tilt on the hitch head. I think you want the bars pretty parallel to the trailer frame members when the hitch is loaded.

Is the ride better if you drop the bars and pull the trailer over typical roads? Heavy duty pickups sometimes ride better with a heavy load in the bed. Like you said, our heavy duty trucks ride rough, especially unloaded. I understand shock absorber change on our trucks can improve the ride considerably. Maybe your truck is an off road set up coming with very stiff shocks?

The equalizer hitch relies on friction for sway control. I find mine works well enough. In the old days of softly sprung tow vehicles, you could drop 800 pounds on the rear bumper and the front tires would almost be off the pavement! Poor steering control! Thus weight distributing hitches were invented. As suggested, I do run the bars a little less loaded than ideal just to smooth the ride, and my truck can handle the tongue weight load. (No, the front tires do not come off the road!)

David
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:57 PM   #5
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Read my EQ bar modification to save you $$.
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:08 PM   #6
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I would start by moving your L brackets as far back on the trailer frame to the maximum recommended. Adjust from there
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Old 06-26-2016, 09:55 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the great replies!

Yes, I do need to weigh the rig now. Hope to do it soon - there's a CAT scale near me but the folks who run it are not very helpful (full price for reweigh, etc.) so I've been putting it off.

Here are the CAT numbers I got on my weigh back from FL back in Feb. This was a slightly different setup - 4 washers and L-brackets up one notch:

Steer: 3800
Drive: 4380
Trailer: 5820
TOTAL: 14,000

In this most recent adjustment I went 'by the book' and measured the truck's front wheel wells and the trailer's front and rear corners one foot in. I was able to get the front WW to drop back about halfway from the highest measurement, so technically this setup is 'spot on'. The truck normally rakes front to rear and this setup preserves that. The trailer is perfectly level after I raised the hitch a notch. New shocks were installed a few months ago.

I agree that there's too much head tilt. With the bars this tight, there's really not much compliance in them at all. In time, I may bend the A-frame.

I never thought of moving the L-brackets back - that would allow the bars to flex more, but I'd have to be careful. Too much, and a tight turn while backing could be disastrous!

I'll play around with it some more and give you an update in a couple of days - thanks again!!
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Old 06-26-2016, 10:19 AM   #8
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A couple of thoughts from another Equal-I-zer owner...

In the pic, your trailer looks nose low to me. I would start by finding a very level spot and parking the rig then measuring for level (front to back) using the trailer floor between the axles as the measure point. If you are nose low, first raise the ball on the shank. Nothing else works right if you are not running the trailer level when on level ground.

As others have said, if you think the ride is hard, you want fewer washers, not more. You may also try reducing the tire air pressure on the trailer by a bit. My 16" Michelin LTX MS2 are rated up to 80 psi cold. I ran that way for a while but now prefer 70 psi. It's easier on everything. There is also a lot here n Airforums about truck tire air pressure. You can lay all of the opinions on that subject end-to-end and they don't reach to a conclusion. I run my rear tires (Bridgestone Duelers) at their max 44 psi cold. Other Forum users say they like their particular combination f truck, trailer, hitch and tires to run at the truck manufacturers normal pressure. I'm just guessing, but from what you're driving and what you report on the ride you are more likely to be happy at normal pressure as reported on the truck's door pillar sticker on all 4 tires... Just a guess.

The readings from a CAT scale are really only useful if you take three passes. 1.) Just the truck (I do mine with full fuel and all the camping gear plus passengers or deadweight to simulate passengers); 2. The truck and trailer with the weight bars in the bed so there is no weight distribution effect from the hitch; and 3.) truck and trailer with weight bars in place as you would travel when camping.

The comparison of these three passes lets you see the individual axle weights, gross combination weight, gross vehicle weight, gross trailer weight, tongue weigh, WD effect to the front truck axle, WD effect to the trailer axles, etc. one pass doesn't give you that.
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Old 06-26-2016, 10:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Powerarrangr View Post
Thanks for all the great replies!

I never thought of moving the L-brackets back - that would allow the bars to flex more, but I'd have to be careful. Too much, and a tight turn while backing could be disastrous!
My L-Brackets are set to the maximum. For the most part, everything is fine, but taking a very sharp turn will allow a bar to slide out of the bracket. This has happened once going forward, tight turn to get to a gas pump. It happened backing up into a tight space. No harm done, it's a pretty sharp angle, nothing you can do at any kind of speed. When it comes out you just have to jack it up again and put the bar back inside the retaining clip.
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:34 AM   #10
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Another Equalizer Owner

I believe 7 washers is too much. These bars should not show an obvious bend to them. I agree, you look over hitched.

You can remove the stiffness by reducing the number of washers, lowering the L brackets, or doing both. After doing this, you might have to move the ball up to return the trailer to level. I don't agree with an earlier post to measure the frame between the wheels. This is the pivot point. You have to measure the frame towards the front and then again towards the back to check for level. You can use the measurement between the axles as a target I suppose.

When I purchased my trailer the PO had the brackets moved up. In my case both of the pins were bent. I got out the directions and found an optimum distance for the L brackets. I moved them and purchased new pins and after 6 years and about 30K miles, everything is better.

Make sure you weigh the set up. Taking too much weight off the front truck axle is not a good thing. Oh, if you haven't already done so, look at the directions for setting up the hitch. They were pretty helpful. You can download them from the Equalizer website.
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Old 06-26-2016, 01:04 PM   #11
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As yet another happy Equalizr owner, all good advice.

First, check trailer level and adjust by moving ball height as required.

Next, measure truck at front wheeland rear wheel wells and make a note.

3rd, attach trailer w no bars, and re measure front and rear wheel wells. When WD applied, front wheel well height should be about halfway between unhitched and hitched with no WD. Never put on so much WD that front wheel well height is below unhitched height.

Adjyst your L brackets up and down first (it's faster) until you get the right amount of WD as described in 3rd.

5th, once you count how many holes you had to lower L bracket to achieve this, put the L brackets back to where they were and remove the same number if spacers that you had to adjust the L brackets by. (Equalizr says that one spa ER approx equals one hole in the L brackets.) totally agree that 7 is extreme-you'll probably end up between 4 and 6.

Double check that trailer is level and your good to go!
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Old 06-26-2016, 01:59 PM   #12
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I have the 90000600 Equal-I-zer hitch on our 25 FB FC. Our TV is a 2500 HD DMAX. This setup has worked perfectly for 7 years and thousands of miles. Too light for many "experts" but not for Andy at Inland or me.
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Old 06-26-2016, 02:14 PM   #13
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I would think Inland would lend you the 550 # bars for a trial run. My initial reaction was 1000# bars are way to stiff for a 3/4 ton truck and a 25 Foot FB. I run 1000# bars on my '96 Classic 25' on a Dakota with the Hensley Arrow. The Dakota has an additional rear leaf and re-curved springs. I towed my '89 25 Classic with Reese hitch and 750# bars. They were too light for the standard springs so the additional leaf was proposed as a better fix to evidence of straining of the hitch and frame than just beefing up the hitch head and attachment.
JCW
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Old 06-26-2016, 02:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powerarrangr View Post
When I took delivery of my 2015 25í FC FB, the dealer installed an Equal-i-zer hitch with #1000 bars. My 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 already rides like a lumber wagon and I realized right away that the bars were too stiff for the trailer.

Iíve since upgraded the Airstream to 16Ē LTX tires which smoothed things out considerably, but itís still a harsh ride. I recently tuned the rig and ended up with 7 washers (!) to get everything balanced properly. L brackets are in the neutral position but the bars have about an inch or so of bend as you can see in the pictures.

Iím considering a trunnion hitch like the Reese Dual Cam or Blue Ox but Iím unsure about how much spring rate I need in the bars to still get adequate weight distribution and a better ride for my setup. Inland Andy recommends #550 bars for a 3/4 ton truck but I wonder if I might need something a little stiffer? My calculated tongue weight is a little north of 800 lbs. (15%).

Any suggestions for how I should proceed? I imagine it would be difficult to return a set of bars to etrailer if they donít work for me.
Last year, I traded in MY 2015 25'FB for a 2016 30' FC DUE to the 25 ft'er being uncomfortable and UN suitable.
It HAD the Equalizer hitch installed by Andy at CanAm, which seemed alright
I decided to go for a Reese dual cam for the newer FC and swapped them.
BAD MOVE!
The TV, a Ford F 150 wiggles down the highway like a snake that's tied to a lamp cord.
And to remove it requires a small scissor jack to release the second chain.

Next week the FC GOES back to CanAm to have the Reese removed and the Equalizer reinstalled.

BTW: The 30'er is comfortable and just perfect for the two of us Even the wife is happy in it, and she had been my grouchy critic in the past.

Part of the learning curve, I guess.
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