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Old 09-27-2011, 11:17 PM   #1
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Cool New owner question - Stabilizer bars

We just purchased a 2004 19' International CCD. I have a 1999 Ford F-150 extended cab 4X4 truck. The trailer did not come with towing stabilizer bars. Should I get some? Any recommendation on a brand? Thanks!
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rich-neesia View Post
We just purchased a 2004 19' International CCD. I have a 1999 Ford F-150 extended cab 4X4 truck. The trailer did not come with towing stabilizer bars. Should I get some? Any recommendation on a brand? Thanks!
Your talking about "load equalizing bars".

Heck yes, get some.

In your case I would recommend a Reese 600 pound dual cam.

Andy
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:13 AM   #3
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If you mean weight-distribution, you're kind of on the light-weight end of things... you're looking at around 500lbs tongue weight on a 4500lb trailer... so tongue weight wise you're in good shape. Once you drop it on the truck though, if you get the nose pointed sky-high, then a WD hitch would get you back in a safer, more-level attitude.

I tow a 22' International, which isn't too far off your 19' in weight... I've run it without WD and I like it... no funny business (but it's also a tandem, so it's less prone to wiggle than your single axel).

As far as what to buy... there are simple single bar Resse setups for quite cheap that will give you simple weight-distribution, setups that use friction as a byproduct of WD to give you sway control, then setups that use cams/friction for sway, then fancy multi-link setups that are primarily sway control that you can add WD.

My trailer came with an Equalizer hitch, which the previous owners didn't know how to use. It had 1000lb bars that they essentially tensioned to 50lbs... so it gave some minimal sway control and made them feel better... the bars need some twist to make them work... so get some light bars to start...
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:51 AM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

To answer your question, yes you should tow with some sort of weight distribution/sway control hitch system.
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Friday View Post
If you mean weight-distribution, you're kind of on the light-weight end of things... you're looking at around 500lbs tongue weight on a 4500lb trailer... so tongue weight wise you're in good shape. I tow a 22' International, which isn't too far off your 19' in weight...

I've run it without WD and I like it... no funny business (but it's also a tandem, so it's less prone to wiggle than your single axel).

My trailer came with an Equalizer hitch, which the previous owners didn't know how to use. It had 1000lb bars that they essentially tensioned to 50lbs... so it gave some minimal sway control and made them feel better... the bars need some twist to make them work... so get some light bars to start...
Not using a load equalizing hitch, in spite of your truck, is registering on the "loss of control" log sheet.

It's not a matter of what, it's a matter of when.

From a liability stand point, please advise all of your passengers that you are against industry standards for towing.

Andy
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Not using a load equalizing hitch, in spite of your truck, is registering on the "loss of control" log sheet.

It's not a matter of what, it's a matter of when.

From a liability stand point, please advise all of your passengers that you are against industry standards for towing.

Andy
Always so negative... so if rich-neesia buys your product and ends up in a big wad, your liability insurance will cover him?

What load am I supposed to be equalizing? My 'industry standard' owners manual says W-D should be used for trailers over 5000lbs. The Dodge manual says that, as well as the Chev and Ford manuals. When I drop my trailer on my truck, it sinks about an inch. It's already in the attitude that I am supposed to be aiming for with a W-D hitch.... no?

When I add the 100lbs of hitch to the back, it sinks a bit more... so basically, I am using the W-D hitch to offset the extra weight of the hitch... sounds great.

My trailer weighs 4500lbs, tongue weight is 450lbs. Again... on the light side of the recommended 10-15% of weight on the ball...

Some mastermind sold the previous owners of my trailer a 1000lb equilizer setup... which was set up with such care than it arrived at my door with one of the bar hangers missing... one spring bar just blowing in the wind... and the other with just enough tension I had to jack an inch to get it to release...

A Tacoma pulled it 2000 miles like this (or some part of it anyway) and the hauler said it worked better than pulling his Coleman...

I towed it another 600 miles after taking the other load bar off... got home and tried out my 'old' Airsafe hitch, which was super nice.

What do you recommend then? Any twist I put into the bars is going to put me ass-high...
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:59 AM   #7
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Your "on the ball" setup is ok, dependent on how you use it and how you load it. I own a couple Reese setups (frictional dampener and Dual cam), an Equalizer setup, and sometimes go without the W/D for my Overlander when I am pulling with my one ton Dually. If you are the casual user, just going a couple hundred miles for a weekend camping outing, I would not bother with the expense and hassle of the fancy hitches. If you are are on the go all the time, on Expressways with trucks passing you up, or travel in the mountains on winding downhill grades, I would get the best hitch I could afford. Try it without the bars for a couple of months and then decide how stable the rig seems to you in your kind of usage. If you are continuously making corrections to the steering wheel or gripping the wheel tightly all the time, it is time to buy a better hitch.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:00 AM   #8
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Your right. Enjoy your towing experience. There is no better knowledge then someone who is just getting started with an owners manuel. Dose anyone here have kids?
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:48 AM   #9
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Welcome Aboard....

"My trailer weighs 4500lbs, tongue weight is 450lbs. Again... on the light side of the recommended 10-15% of weight on the ball"...

That may be a factory "guess" at what the trailer/tongue actually weighs...

You only know after you load up and go to the scales...

My factory "guess" at tongue weight was off by 375lbs when loaded!
750 to 1125.

Be safe be sure.....

A properly set-up WD hitch with sway control is cheap insurance for any size AS.

Bob
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Friday View Post
Always so negative... so if rich-neesia buys your product and ends up in a big wad, your liability insurance will cover him?

What load am I supposed to be equalizing? My 'industry standard' owners manual says W-D should be used for trailers over 5000lbs. The Dodge manual says that, as well as the Chev and Ford manuals. When I drop my trailer on my truck, it sinks about an inch. It's already in the attitude that I am supposed to be aiming for with a W-D hitch.... no?

When I add the 100lbs of hitch to the back, it sinks a bit more... so basically, I am using the W-D hitch to offset the extra weight of the hitch... sounds great.

My trailer weighs 4500lbs, tongue weight is 450lbs. Again... on the light side of the recommended 10-15% of weight on the ball...

Some mastermind sold the previous owners of my trailer a 1000lb equilizer setup... which was set up with such care than it arrived at my door with one of the bar hangers missing... one spring bar just blowing in the wind... and the other with just enough tension I had to jack an inch to get it to release...

A Tacoma pulled it 2000 miles like this (or some part of it anyway) and the hauler said it worked better than pulling his Coleman...

I towed it another 600 miles after taking the other load bar off... got home and tried out my 'old' Airsafe hitch, which was super nice.

What do you recommend then? Any twist I put into the bars is going to put me ass-high...
We rarely sell hitches, and we certainly don't promote them.

As always, my desire is to promote safety, nothing else.

Everyone can do as they wish, with load equalizing hitches, but the objective is to maximize safety.

The other concern is for the passengers who have no idea how safe or unsafe any rig may be.

Attorneys today, use the smallest of straws and make mountains out of them. When they can show that their client was injured by someone that was towing an unsafe rig, the sky becomes the limit.

Certainly none of us ever wish to hurt someone else, but it does happen, and when it does, the sky falls.

Being as afe as one can be when towing, is always the ultimate goal, for everyone. But not everyone is on the same page as to what is safe as opposed to what can they get away with.

Andy
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post

Being as afe as one can be when towing, is always the ultimate goal, for everyone. But not everyone is on the same page as to what is safe as opposed to what can they get away with.

Andy
I'm not disagreeing with your general recommendations... I agree that a lot of rigs need help to get them just right.

I'm asking what I can do... because when I read my Equalizer manual, basically the target 'wheel spacing' I am shooting for is right where my truck sits when I hook it up.

I think what is affecting my setup the most is it is a Sequoia, and the rear overhang is quite short from the rear axle to the hitch. The EQ manual even cautions against over loading an SUV, as the WD effect is much more magnified the shorter the distances.

From my experimenting with it, the amount of tension needed on the bars to get me to 'level' was minimal... basically I needed to offset the extra weight of the hitch.

My FW tank is just forward of the axles, the GW and BW are behind... so a fresh load may give me some more weight to work with... but the manual is pretty cautious about SUV's and too much spring...

What can I do to make it safer? I looked at a friction sway control... which will work with my Airsafe just fine... or is there a WD configuration that would make sense for what I am working with?
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Friday View Post
I'm not disagreeing with your general recommendations... I agree that a lot of rigs need help to get them just right.

I'm asking what I can do... because when I read my Equalizer manual, basically the target 'wheel spacing' I am shooting for is right where my truck sits when I hook it up.

I think what is affecting my setup the most is it is a Sequoia, and the rear overhang is quite short from the rear axle to the hitch. The EQ manual even cautions against over loading an SUV, as the WD effect is much more magnified the shorter the distances.

From my experimenting with it, the amount of tension needed on the bars to get me to 'level' was minimal... basically I needed to offset the extra weight of the hitch.

My FW tank is just forward of the axles, the GW and BW are behind... so a fresh load may give me some more weight to work with... but the manual is pretty cautious about SUV's and too much spring...

What can I do to make it safer? I looked at a friction sway control... which will work with my Airsafe just fine... or is there a WD configuration that would make sense for what I am working with?
First of all, since you asked, I would get rid of the Equalizer hitch. Tests clearly show that those bars have the least amount of bend when hitting a bump, therefore making the ride for the trailer stiffer.

Next, your not towing the Queen Mary, so you certainly don't need 1000 pound bars.

I would suggest you switch to a Reese 600 pound dual cam hitch.
The ride will be softer, and the sway control will be far superior than what you now don't have.

Andy
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rich-neesia View Post
We just purchased a 2004 19' International CCD. I have a 1999 Ford F-150 extended cab 4X4 truck. The trailer did not come with towing stabilizer bars. Should I get some? Any recommendation on a brand? Thanks!
You may not really need weight distribution bars. However even with a 19 foot trailer, sway control is desirable, and if nothing else, will make you feel more comfortable. Sway can be induced by a wide variety of factors. I had a 15 foot Casita trailer that I towed with a Grand Cherokee. I had to be very careful with it because its wheels were much closer together than the truck ruts on the interstate. It would "fall off" one side or the other of the ruts and start swaying. At that time I didn't even know about anything other than "drop the ball on the hitch and go". Large trucks passing in either direction and a bunch of over things can cause sway. The catch comes in the fact that most sway control hitches require some weight distribution in order to provide effective sway control.

Unfortunately hitching systems generate a lot of heated discussions on these forums. I would suggest however that you read some of the threads in this part of the forums. Try to see if you can separate the factual from the emotional posts. In the end you will need to decide what is best for you.

My personal recommendation would be to get one of the systems that provides some weight distribution along with sway control. I would not recommend a specific one but would recommend that you research them and pick the one that makes the most sense to you. Perhaps you don't need any, but I believe, if you are asking in the first place, you will feel more comfortable with a combo WD and anti sway system.

Ken
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:38 PM   #14
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Andy:

I currently have an Equalizer hitch (with 1,000 lb. bars) installed by the dealer where we recently bought our 2012 Airstream 25FB. I had no handling problems, but we popped two interior rivets on our first 3,000 mile trip. Would I also be better off with the Reese hitch with 600 lb. bars even though our tongue weight is over 1,000 lbs? And is the Reese hitch as easy to hitch/un-hitch as the Equalizer?
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