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Old 03-26-2004, 04:13 PM   #1
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original sway control

Well, now that I've finally got my tow vehicle (89 chev 2500 mint cond). It's silver and matches the A/S great. I'm now in the hitch acquistion stage. The truck has a 10000/1000 reciever. My A/S(27ft overlander) came with some kind of anti-sway device that the owner said was original. He gave me this rather large hitch unit(shank?) that the bars attach to. He also said it works very well. Does anyone still use theirs or have any experiance with these older systems? I'll more than likely replace with a modern set up for piece of mind but was curious non the less. Looks like I'll go with the equalizer, I've really enjoyed the recent Equalizer vs Hensly thread. Such a helpful forum, I probably would have used my Jeep as a TV, which by the way, is for sale now. Thanks all.
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Old 03-26-2004, 04:22 PM   #2
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I don't believe Airstream ever had a load leveling hitch of their own. Both Equilizer and Reese have systems that are as old as your coach and it could be one of those. Photos would help.

Mark
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Old 03-26-2004, 04:56 PM   #3
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Original Sway Control

Greetings!

Quote:
My A/S(27ft overlander) came with some kind of anti-sway device that the owner said was original. He gave me this rather large hitch unit(shank?) that the bars attach to. He also said it works very well. Does anyone still use theirs or have any experiance with these older systems?
My suspicion is that you likely have a Reese Dual Cam setup. They were quite popular in the 1960s and 1970s with owners of the larger Airstream trailers. My '64 Overlander had one from the time that it was new - - the owner who had preceded me, however, decided to remove the original component so I had a new unit installed. If the hitch of your Overlander has brackets dropping down on each side like those on the hitch on my Overlander, you have a Reese Dual Cam Sway Control System:



The photo above is pre-restoration, but has the clearest view of any in my album of the dual cam system. There really isn't much to wear out in the system other than the saddles that mount on the spring bars, and they are readily available from Reese at a modest charge. I am still using the 1978 Vintage Reese hitch that came with my Argosy Minuet, and all I did was add the Reese Dual Cam system as an accessory. You can learn about setting up the Reese Dual Cam system on their website at:

Reese Dual Cam Sway Control - - Illustrated and Described (Scroll down toward the bottom of the page to see the original bracket mounted Dual Cam System.)

Reese Dual Cam System Installation and Adjustment Instructions

Reese Dual Cam Sway Control Parts Diagram

Reese Trunion Style Ball Mounts

Reese Round Bar Weight Distributing Hitch

Reese Hitch Head Installation and Adjustment Instructions

If your trailer came with a basically complete hitch, you might want to consider adjusting it to your tow vehicle and giving it a try before making the replacement decision. If it is one of the Reese products, or for that matter any of the other major manufacturers still in existence today, you should be able to replace any worn parts if any are necessary at modest cost. My experience has been that the most often needed part is a dropped draw bar if you happen to be towing with a 4WD 1/2 ton vehicle or just about any of the 3/4-ton or larger verhicles.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 03-26-2004, 05:20 PM   #4
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U-Neek hitch

hitch that came with our '52 Cruiser:
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Old 03-26-2004, 05:22 PM   #5
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page 2
(BTW, we now use a new Reese hitch)
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Old 03-26-2004, 05:51 PM   #6
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Eaz-Lift

It might be an Eaz-Lift. If you need more info send me a private message.
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Old 03-27-2004, 11:13 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replys

I'll run over to the rig this afternoon and take a closer look. There are brackets in place that looked like part of an anti sway system. I guess the best thing to do is get everything hooked up and bring it down to hitch joint. Would you say that hitch technology has not changed all that much over the years? I'm new to towing so forgive me if this is a silly question.
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Old 03-27-2004, 11:36 AM   #8
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interesting pictures of early fifties hitch!

When using the term 'equalizer' these days it pays to be a bit careful. Lots of folks use that term for any load leveling hitch and not the brand name Equal-i-zer load leveling and sway control hitch.

The Eaz lift and its ilk are the first step. These use sping bars to lift the hitch point and move tongue weight towards the trailer axles and tow vehicle front axle.

The friction anti sway is perhaps one of the most common (see pic above). It uses a small ball beside the trailer ball and a bar that goes through a braking mechanism mounted on the trailer A frame. These add about $100 to a load leveling hitch.

The Reese Dual Cam is very popular and uses a special bracket mounted on the A frame to use a loaded cam mechanism to resist rotations around the pivot. These add about $200 to a load leveling hitch and can be an add-on to the Eaz Lift and similar hitches.

The Equal-i-zer performs about the same as the Dual Cam and is a mechanically much simpler hitch. It isn't an add on and costs about $400 for everything except the ball and receiver.

The Pullrite and Hensley Arrow improve handling by moving the pivot point forward. They tend be mechanically complex and rather expensive. Their performance (or maybe their cost) tends to general a near religious zeal for them among many users (just look at some of the discussions!)
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Old 03-27-2004, 11:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Leipper

The Eaz lift and its ilk are the first step. These use sping bars to lift the hitch point and move tongue weight towards the trailer axles and tow vehicle front axle.
'ILK' say you?
And the Equal-i-zer sway control is better?

When I removed my Eaz-lift anti-sway ball pivot , the bottom of the ball was rusted out so that it looked like a half inflated soccer ball.


Leipper,
Thanks for a concise synopsis of sway controls.
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Old 03-27-2004, 01:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
'ILK' say you?
My dictionary defines ilk as "family, class, or kind" as the first definition.

Yes the Equal-i-zer brand hitch is much better than the EAZ lift in several respects. For one, it has a very competent and capable sway control built into its design whereas the EAZ lift, as is, is only a weight distributing or load leveling hitch.

As I mentioned, be very careful to know what product you are thinking about when you see "equalizer." I try to be very careful about brand names and use Equal-i-zer to refer to a specific brand hitch, avoid using equalizer as a generic term for load leveling hitches when I mean EAZ Lift or its ilk.

Most folks start with an EAZ or similar hitch and then add a friction bar. If that doesn't quite ring their bells, they often swap out the friction bars for a Reese Dual Cam add-on.

A good number of folks who 'been there, done that' and need a new hitch but are a bit concerned about expense, will pick up an Equal-i-zer.

And a small number, relatively speaking, who have no qualms about spending $3000 or so, go for the Hensley.

An even smaller number seem to go the Pullrite route, maybe because it can be had for about half the cost of a Hensly.

But no offense meant and I am sorry if my use of dictionary vocabulary sparks such.

And thanks for your compliment!
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Old 03-27-2004, 01:27 PM   #11
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Dictionery

Bryan,

Just good natured pulling your chain. Thanks for the def. I always thot ilk has more sinister meaning. At least when my dad used it, it meant 'stay away from that ilk'.
Good write-up on hitches. I'm still a little leary of the Equal-i-zer, seems like the friction provided by the head and the bars would be a little less calibrated than the Dual Cam, and I got the feeling from your write-up that they were practically equal.
Is the Dual Cam better than the Equal-i-zer when it comes to sway control?
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Old 03-27-2004, 03:06 PM   #12
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so not all is created equal i zer?

Just got back and have a couple of photos to post. It looks like an EZ lift. There is a little ball on the curb side on the frame and a bar that connects it to the TV. I couldn't find the other bars but the PO said he had them smewhere. Any thoughts? Worth keeping and improving or should I go with a new setup?
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Old 03-27-2004, 03:47 PM   #13
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After you deal with the rusted out A frame, I'd go with a new load leveling hitch. The Equilizer (brand) and Reese Dual Cam appear to be about even in performance, design, and cost. I have a Dual Cam and have no complaints whatsoever.

I'm not a big fan of friction sway control. To me they are largely an exercise in wishful thinking.

And then there is Pullrite and Hensley....

Mark
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Old 03-27-2004, 04:02 PM   #14
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j54mark, I don't have a lot of experience with working on steel frames and would like your input on this. From what I can tell this rust is on the surface. Now I have not begun my research yet but was thinking that some sanding and paint would solve the problem. It is very solid, but not very pretty. My restoration isn't to begin until I get back to Canada. Does surface rust present a structual problem?
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