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Old 04-25-2016, 10:56 AM   #1
MOS
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Purchase Equalizer from dealer or buy online??

Should I buy my equalizer WD hitch from the dealer and have them install or buy online and install it myself ??
Pros and Cons ?
Thanks
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:10 AM   #2
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Depends on how much the dealer is charging and whether you're handy. Got mine online, it's a pretty straightforward install. You'll need some large sockets, a torque wrench and a measuring tape. Also access to a large flat area to calibrate the setup.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MOS View Post
Should I buy my equalizer WD hitch from the dealer and have them install or buy online and install it myself ??
Pros and Cons ?
Thanks
As with everything else, the answer is "...It depends..."

I got an equalizer which was included on my first trailer when I bought it. I ended up having to adjust it, and so needed a torque wrench that I didn't have. Luckily I found one on e-Bay for a decent price. Even the one I bought isn't strong enough to torque the ball.

I traded trailers in February and part of the deal was a new Equalizer installed on the new (to us) trailer. I still had to adjust it when I got home.

I have had to change the number of washers and the position of the bar brackets several times in the tuning process. Personally I don't think a dealer can get it set up right in one shot, and you will probably significantly change the loading when you get the trailer home anyway.

My recommendation would be to buy the hitch yourself, but if it doesn't come with a ball installed on the head you will want to take it to a shop that can adequately torque it.

Then get yourself a torque wrench that will go up to 350 lb-ft for torquing the shank bolts. You will need a cheater bar to do that. By the way, my dealer used a impact wrench with torque sticks to torque the bolts on the bar brackets. They were WAY to tight. When I need to change them, I almost couldn't get them loose. Also the dealer didn't mount the brackets the right distance from the coupler, so I had to change the whole installation.

It is not difficult to install an equalizer and the factory instruction are pretty clear, but you will probably have to adjust it several times to get it right so it is good to be able to do it yourself.

By the way, the secret to the shank bolts is to put the hitch in your receiver upside-down to tighten the bolts.

Al
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:16 AM   #4
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Dealer will install correct one and correct heights,hopefully and stand behind it.Wanted to supply my own but dealer talked me into buying his ,had issues with it they stood behind it
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:26 AM   #5
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Hi from AZ. . . sounds like Al needs a better dealer, My AS came with an equalizer set-up fo a different truck. My tech (independant AS guy) set it up perfectly for me, 1st time. . . 14k towing & no problems....regards, Craig
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:27 AM   #6
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The price the dealer quoted you for the trailer might include the Equal-i-zer hitch.
The dealer will install the hitch, but it will most likely need adjustment.
I could never get the dealer or the service center at Jackson Center to adjust mine properly.
I could never get Equal-i-zer to tell me 6 washers in the hitch head is OK. The folks at Equal-i-zer insist 5 washers should be enough, but my setup required 6.
The folks who answer the phone at Progress Manufacturing just go over the same instructions I already have.
I know what should work in theory/on paper, and I also know what really works in the real world.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:51 AM   #7
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There is no way a dealer can install and setup any trailer hitch with an empty trailer sitting on their lot. Once all the owners stuff is loaded into the trailer, the weight and balance will be entirely different than when new and empty. The best they can do is mount it.

But most owners will have to acquire a torque wrench that is capable of 250 to 350 ft pounds and those are not cheap even at Harbor Freight. Typically at those torque values, one is looking at a 1" socket wrench versus a " socket wrench.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:53 AM   #8
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As noted in other posts you will need several different sized sockets, which I was lucky enough to find at a used hand tool store we have in a neighboring town. I also found the odd socket needed to tighten the ball, which after 10,000 miles was not loose to the touch, but I was able to tighten using the socket I got.

I'd do it myself if I were you, as I take ours apart completely after each season to check it over, grease it and then put it back together. Unless of course the dealer quoted the trailer with the hitch, then I'd have them install it and watch them do it.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:55 AM   #9
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You'll appreciate knowing how the hitch is setup by doing it yourself if at all possible. Get a trailer friend you trust for help. Many stories about inaccurate installs by dealers on most any hitch.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
As with everything else, the answer is "...It depends..."

I got an equalizer which was included on my first trailer when I bought it. I ended up having to adjust it, and so needed a torque wrench that I didn't have. Luckily I found one on e-Bay for a decent price. Even the one I bought isn't strong enough to torque the ball.

I traded trailers in February and part of the deal was a new Equalizer installed on the new (to us) trailer. I still had to adjust it when I got home.

I have had to change the number of washers and the position of the bar brackets several times in the tuning process. Personally I don't think a dealer can get it set up right in one shot, and you will probably significantly change the loading when you get the trailer home anyway.

My recommendation would be to buy the hitch yourself, but if it doesn't come with a ball installed on the head you will want to take it to a shop that can adequately torque it.

Then get yourself a torque wrench that will go up to 350 lb-ft for torquing the shank bolts. You will need a cheater bar to do that. By the way, my dealer used a impact wrench with torque sticks to torque the bolts on the bar brackets. They were WAY to tight. When I need to change them, I almost couldn't get them loose. Also the dealer didn't mount the brackets the right distance from the coupler, so I had to change the whole installation.

It is not difficult to install an equalizer and the factory instruction are pretty clear, but you will probably have to adjust it several times to get it right so it is good to be able to do it yourself.

By the way, the secret to the shank bolts is to put the hitch in your receiver upside-down to tighten the bolts.

Al
Al conveys my experience exactly. I did have the Equilizer installed by a very reputable hitch dealer, but have had to adjust periodically depending on conditions. Get the tools (consider part of your upgront cost, but your backend maintenance will be much less), watch their video, and take the time to be sure it is done right and that you understand how it actually works. It has been a terrific hitch for me. Do buy and carry spare pins! I've not broken one, but I did give one to a fellow in Nova Scotia last year who had broken one.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:03 PM   #11
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Research them carefully and buy your own, dealer will sell what is easiest for them to install and make some money on.

We got an Equal-I-Zer with our new trailer, they installed it then we had to adjust it properly later. Too stiff a ride and semi bow wave push on the highway. We bought an Andersen based on recommendations here, it was a lousy hitch for our truck/Airstream. Then ordered a ProPride while 2,000 miles from home to get home safely, had it drop-shipped to a local installer, and they did a good job. Effortless, comfortable towing.

We have tweaked it a few times to our load and truck changes, but it's the hitch we wish we had bought in the first place. Our Airstream dealer talked us out of it saying their hitch was fine, the one they always use, and they don't like servicing units with Hensley/ProPride. (But they will, just have to leave the stinger for them to hook up). It's sales pitch to get you out the door quickly. And ProPride will not give them a discount, you get it in the direct sales pricing.
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:34 PM   #12
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Get a brand-name hitch.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there a GM recall on factory hitches a while ago??

Tom
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Old 04-25-2016, 03:21 PM   #13
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new Bambi

Brand new to trailering and bought a 16 Bambi Saturday. Will pick it up next week. TV is an 04 Landcruiser with Class 3 hitch. Any advice on need of equalizer hitch and trailer break away? I have read the comments on the other posts but none seemed to have a 16 ft trailer. I have boats that weigh more and are longer so just seeking some advise.
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:27 PM   #14
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never mind all. I found an old post that gave me all the info I needed. I think I will tow it home without and go from there.
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