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Old 12-05-2003, 02:40 PM   #1
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Just picked up the new Reese Dual Cam HP

Very impressive design. Anyone have any direct exp with this? Since going from a 19' coach to a 25' coach, I am abandoning my friction sway bar and felt outside of the Hensley, this would be a good fit since I had most of the useable parts from my recent hitch purchase earlier this year.

Good, bad or otherwise, I'd love to hear some real world use stories.

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Old 12-05-2003, 02:56 PM   #2
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I have a dual-cam, (came w/ the trailer from the PO) and didn't' even realize that's what it was until someone here posted a link to the installation manual, and out of curiosity, I looked at it. I couldn't understand from the verbal descriptions what everyone was talking about. When I saw the pictures, I was like "duh?! that's what *I* have!!". I just thought that my hitch, and what turned out to be "sway bars", was what a weight-distributing hitch looked like!

I also had no idea what people were talking about with this "sway" thing. I mean, yeah, I understand that some people's trailers move back and forth, and "gee, that must be pretty scary".....but why doesn't mine do that? LOL! After reading these horror stories, I actually went out on the highway w/ my trailer in tow, in SEARCH of sway. Every time a truck passed me, I tried to detect some sort of lateral force, and couldn't feel any. So I watched for a really fast truck, and when one came past me, I took my hands off the steering wheel altogether. STILL nothing. Until I realized that I had a dual-cam sway control, I had concluded that it must just be that my trailer isn't all that heavy, and my truck has a fairly long wheelbase.

I'd try to take the unit out on the road without the sway control, just to see the difference in handling, but with the way the bars/chains/etc are set up, there's no way to actually do that.

Now, my trailer is a little shorter than your new one is going to be, and also a lot lighter. And you're not going to be towing w/ a truck, right? so its probably a good thing for you to have.
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Old 12-05-2003, 03:04 PM   #3
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I talked to several folks and the idea was that anything under 20' can have the friction, but larger should have a better sway control. Now I know exactly how it was with my Bambi pulling with the Impala SS when the trucks flew by, so I do sort of have a base line to go by even though the new coach is about 1400lbs more in GVWR. I would suspect a truck would even be better.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 12-05-2003, 03:20 PM   #4
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I really like my dual cam; the dealer originally installed the friction bar AND then did not want to change to the dual cam (said it would void my factory warranty as the propane line was in the way) even though I was willing to pay....so went to another Airstream dealer and they did it no problem.

My tow vehicle actually drives better towing than on it's own. I was wondering--on your dual cam does the bumpt in the bars actually fit down in the stirrup tight?

The dealer (Oasis here in Tucson) installed mine and like I say it works fine, but just wondering???
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Old 12-05-2003, 03:44 PM   #5
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It's all so funny to me, this towing stuff. I just spent $350 on a Curt weight dist. setup with adjustable hitch height, safety chains, etc. We chose to bypass the sway bars at this time. I also had SilverTwinkie's gracious gift of a Voyager brake controller installed into the Tahoe.

After spending all that money on towing gear, I arrived home to my very first package from Airstream... I tore it open and found my big yellow sweatshirt with the Airstream name and logo. I sat there, surrounded by all this gear and it struck me. I was looking at a guy on a ten-speed towing the same trailer I was afraid would push up the nose of my SUV! : )

And for those of us who wonder about that picture... it wasn't a gimmick!
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Old 12-05-2003, 03:50 PM   #6
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Actually, there is one "gimmick" involved. The trailer must be loaded to all but eliminate the tongue weight.

Mark
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Old 12-05-2003, 03:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by j54mark
Actually, there is one "gimmick" involved. The trailer must be loaded to all but eliminate the tongue weight.

Mark
So, theoretically I could've gotten a sway bar and skipped the "torsion balanced, dual cam, socka-doodle, super-duper $350 weight distribution package" by putting a few well-placed sacks of white rice in the bathroom? ; )

Just kidding, I know it's more complicated than that.
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Old 12-05-2003, 04:48 PM   #8
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Well, according to the directions, they should fit tight. I still think I need to fine-tune mine. What seems to be right also makes it difficult to hook up the trailer unless the truck is perfectly straight. which I don't think is right. But if the truck is turned much, ONE of those spring bars will stick out too far to the rear, so far that the the "loop" thingy on the sway-bar's cam won't quite reach over the end of the spring bar. But if I move the cam arm's mounting plate further aft to resolve this, the cams don't quite mate w/ the spring bar's cam.

Bredlo: if you look at the trailer weights page on Airstream's site, you can see that the shorter model trailers often have a higher tounge weight than the larger trailers. Its close to 600 lbs on my 23 footer, whereas on a 31 footer of similar vintage, its significantly less. That's because there isn't much aft of the axle on my trailer, but there's a whole bunch of trailer aft of the axles in a 31 footer...and overall, the 31 weighs alot more in terms of "gross weight".
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Old 12-05-2003, 04:55 PM   #9
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That's a really good point, Chuck. I hadn't noticed that. I suppose there'd be less chance of the shorter trailers suffering "butt sag" than the longer ones, too - meaning in a 19 footer I could get away with stainless steel to create a shower in the rear and not have to worry quite as much about it being a heavier material.
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Old 12-05-2003, 08:25 PM   #10
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We're pulling a 19' Bambi & have a Reese Dual Cam set-up. Maybe a little over kill for the Bambi, but I like the "security". Also we're probably going to upgrade in a couple of years when the wife retires, so we should have a WD system ready to transfer & one that I'm familiar in using. I'm really pleased with the Dual Cam, except for the fact the tow vehicle has to be pretty straight on when hitching up or disconnecting.
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Old 12-05-2003, 08:52 PM   #11
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Great sway system

I'm posting this via wireless internet at a WBCCI rally. Teriffic performance; much faster than my dialup line at home.

I just did my first tow while getting here since installing a Reese HP Dual-Cam on my 25' Classic. Much of the tow was down I-35 at 70 mph with a lot of 18-wheelers zooming by and a stiff, gusting crosswind. Result ... zero unwanted trailer motion. Actually, the rig was much more stable than the truck alone in crosswinds. The entire rig felt much stiffer than with the previous friction bar.

A side effect is that backing the trailer in a straight line seems easier. Just let the wheel go and the trailer tracks straight back, guided by the cams.

I haven't had to hook up at an angle yet, but I can see where hooking up at an extreme angle would be a problem. Solution would be to move to somewhere without bars where the truck and trailer would be aligned and finish the hookup there.
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Old 12-06-2003, 12:54 AM   #12
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I have to concur, the reese dual cam set up works great. I towed my 26 ft Overlander 20 miles at 55 mph with my Tahoe to get the hitch installed, I had never towed anything before and was freaking out. The trailer was very squirrelly and I felt I had no control. Coming home no problemo. Couple of weeks later, I took a 750 mile trip, and felt like a pro. On one day a blue norther blew in, wind gusting over 45 mph, I was towing on the interstate at 65, very stable. You could feel the gust, but the truck and trailer would move as one, I even tested, and let go of the steering wheel, it would move a bit with the wind, and then correct. The truck and trailer would track straight down the lane. I worried that my short wheelbase Tahoe was gonna be too short for the 26 ft trailer, but with the dual cam set up I am confident that I can handle any situation. Mike
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