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Old 12-10-2007, 05:39 PM   #1
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
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Newbie with Hitch question

Well i just purchased a 2007 25' Safari FB SE and was wondering what type of hitch system i should use, as all the info and posts seem to just confuse me more. My TV is a 2000 Ford F350 4x4 w/ a 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel. I am also going to be pulling the trailer at the same time my pop-up camper (alaskan) is on my truck. My total GVWR (at 9700 #) is not an issue, as combined loads will be within this range, nor is the power required a problem. I will be driving on gravel, and some rough roads at times (not just asphalt). I have never towed a trailer so my ? is what (hitch) mfgr/system should i use in terms of provoding weight distrbution and sway control . The airstream service dealer is suggestion a hitch setup that combines both features into one. I haven't asked him which one he is suggesting yet,as i have about one/two weeks before i go to take delivery and they set up the hitch system at that time. Would appreciate any imput as i'm pretty clueless at this point. thanks in advance.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:14 PM   #2
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Fred,

Sounds like quite a rig.

Here's the bad news: there is roughly an even split of opinion on whether the Reese dual cam or the Equalizer is a better system. You won't get a clear preference one way or another.

I vote for Reese!
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:37 PM   #3
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You will find strong recommendations for whatever system people are comfortable with. Nearly all, if not all, owners of the Hensley Hitch are very strong supporters of it (we are!). It is expensive and most of the discussion has been around the price, not its effectiveness. In fact, it probably would be far less controversial and more universal in its use if it cost 1/3 of what it does. There are those who maintain that the company price gouges because there has been no competition. A new hitch company using a very similar system is now starting up. It will be interesting to see what their price will be.

Bottom line, if you can afford it, give the Hensley very serious consideration. Other than cost, its one drawback for you might be that it hangs a little low for some gravel roads.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:46 PM   #4
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The largest percentage of users within WBCCI events I have attended seem to go with the Reese twin cam. I own one and like it for my 31 foot trailer. I also owned a Reese with just the frictional damper which was good when I pulled my 26 foot '63 Overlander with a 3/4 ton van. I also have an Equalizer which I find too rigid for use on my truck. It is only a frictional damper and does not self center like the twin cam. With your smaller trailer and reasonable size truck you may not need the twin cam, but if your inexperienced in trailering, you might want the extra safety. None of the hitches do a lot for travel at slower speed on gravel roads. They main claim to fame it preventing sway on asphalt roads at higher speeds.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for reply Mark,
It took me the past several years of fishing/camping to figure out the rig i really wanted. Bought a 5th wheel in 2001 and just used it once (was just using my overhead camper through that period). sold it and bought the airstream just last week. problem was my trips are mainly fishing based and where i fish alot i cannot get a trailer or 5th wheel into the campgrounds. When you drop a 5th wheel as a base camp you have a hitch in the way which forces one to tent camp (vrs camper on truck and trailer combo) in isolated areas, hence the rig change.
From what i've read so far ,your right . On top of that it looks like the Hensley (thread) may also complicate my decision. Well at least I'll be somewhat informed,reading these threads, as their doesn't seem to be a book "Hitches for Dummies"
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:06 PM   #6
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Fred: I've had both the Dual Cam and currently a Hensley. With your set up, I think you would be happy with the dual cam. If you want to upgrade later to a Hensley, you won't be out big bucks with the dual cam setup. I used the dual cam with a 29' Airstream and I thought it was fine. Since then upgraded to a bigger trailer and more time on the road.
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:40 PM   #7
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Hi guys, tks for the reply's,

Tim,
Well i don't mind the cost of the hensley as I already have serious bucks tied up in my rig setup (but would prefer not to spend that much). I don't like the fact that you mentioned it hangs down low, as i need ALL the ground clearance i can get, and as you know (as i've been told) their is nothing one can do to increase the ground clearance under airstreams (like flipping an axle on other rigs). Also don't like the fact the Hensley is heavier by 100 lbs (vrs others)as i am sure i will be exceeding GVWR somewhat when rig is filled with all the accessories i will be bringing along.

Dwight,
what do you mean when you say the Equilizer is too rigid for your Truck ? or i guess i need to find out what the twin cam does vrs a frictional damper. Does each one function seperately like one is for weight distribution and the other for sway control ?

Hook,
from what everyone has said previously, it seems like my best bet would be to go with the Reese with Dual cams
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:57 PM   #8
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With that type T.V. (especially wheel-base) any brand-name weight-distribution hitch will work.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:10 PM   #9
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I have had great luck with the dual cam by Reese. Your trailer weighs about the same as ours and you have a 350 series ford so the simplicity of the dual cam is a great advantage. You may want to look into your truck being too stiff and doing potential damage to the AS on rough roads etc. Some 350 dual wheel TV can cause pre mature problems with Rivets and appliances. good luck.
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:49 AM   #10
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You may want to check the thread "airsafe hitch" relating to dampening the hitch. I just ordered one. I will be towing with a 3500 & a Reese dual cam.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:09 AM   #11
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Take a look at the Blue Ox I have one and it is painless.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:49 AM   #12
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Welcome, that will be one cool set-up! With that truck you do not need anything elaborate (or expen$ive!).

Equalizer, best $399 I have spent, never a problem, rock steady over 10's of thousands of towing miles.

No need to spend any more than that with your truck.

Good luck-post pix when you get the whole set-up!

Bill
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
Welcome, that will be one cool set-up! With that truck you do not need anything elaborate (or expen$ive!).

Equalizer, best $399 I have spent, never a problem, rock steady over 10's of thousands of towing miles.

No need to spend any more than that with your truck.

Good luck-post pix when you get the whole set-up!

Bill
I agree with Bill. For a 25' behind an F-350 almost anything is overkill. I pull a 23' behind an F-150 with an Equaizer, and it's perfect. Never any sway in high winds and passing trucks. Just one-handed effortless handling.

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Old 12-12-2007, 10:53 AM   #14
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Dear Fred,

We use the Hensley. It is pricey, but it works exactly as advertised. We do a lot of miles at highway speeds, so the Hensley really pays off. In 25,000+ miles, we have never experienced the slightest discomfort regardless of the amount of crosswinds or the number or speed of passing semis (it is more often us passing the semi). Others here on the Forums report the same results with Reese, Equalizer, and Blue Ox units. I have never tried them, so I cannot comment.

I would really like to hear more about you Alaskan. We have been considering getting one for our next TV. We want to Kayak in the back country and take the truck out camping with the Yak, and Leave the Airstream at a base location. Please post some pictures. You might consider starting a thread regarding your Alaskan-equiped truck pulling an Airstream.

Brian
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