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Old 07-24-2003, 08:22 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Recommendation on weight distribution hitch

I'm now in the market for a weight distribution / sway control for the Airstream. There are several to choose from and the pricing varies. Can anyone recommend one over the other ?

Reese carries a strait-line hitch with dual cam HP sway control and from what I can tell EAZ-LIFT, BLUE OX AND EQUAL-I-ZER have similiar setups.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated


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Old 07-24-2003, 08:58 AM   #2
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Camping when I was young, we used Reese. We have at least 25-30 years of exp with Reese. Top notch engineering and products. That is not to say there are not others out there that are equal or greater, however, I can only speak to the use of the Reese.

One suggestion is that if your trailer is 22' or under dual cam isn't really needed unless you plan on going larger than 22' later down the road. For 22' and smaller the friction will serve you well.

I paid about $800 for the entire setup for hitch, mounting, weight bars, friction sway and brake controller and all installation. I felt it was a fair deal for the area I live.



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Old 07-24-2003, 10:37 AM   #3
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I just got home after 900 miles with the Reese...

...Dual cam, and I'm happy as a clam with it.

I would probably recommend it a little over the Equalizer, as it has a spring-return effect, not just a friction effect. It does make some interesting noises when you're making a sharp turn in the gas station, though!

Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller - $106 with free shipping at
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Old 07-24-2003, 11:48 AM   #4
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Recommendation on weight distribution hitch

Greetings David!

I too am a long-time Reese weight distributing hitch user. The Reese Straight Line hitch with Dual Cam Sway Control has been my hitch of choice for nearly twenty years. It is a wonderful system that once properly setup results in a secure, predictable towing experience. The one thing to keep in mind when purchasing a Dual Cam equipped system is that the spring bars must be fairly closely matched to the actual hitch weight of your trailer - - for instance on my '78 Minuet, 500 pound bars are used with a hitch weight of 440 pounds - - on my '64 Overlander with a hitch weight of 725 pounds spring bars with a rating of 800 pounds are used.

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:41 PM   #5
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By far and away the most common hitches are the EAZ lift, Draw Tite or equivalent with a friction sway attachment. These run about $250

Next up might be the Dual Cam which is a bit better for sway control. These add about $150 to a Draw Tite.

An alternative to the DC and about on par for performance is the Equal-i-zer. This one is not as sensitive to spring bar loading and has a simpler mechanism compared to the DC. The Equal-i-zer can be had for about $400.

The pullrite at about $1500 gets into the very good handling category but requires special tow vehicle mounting. [The blue ox fits in about this cost range but I do not know about its performance or other detail)

The Hensley Arrow at around $3,000 is also a very good handling solution but lengthens the hitch a bit, is rather heavy, and requires a bit of learning to get it hitched up right.

For a start from scratch point, I'd suggest the Equal-i-zer for the low end or the Hensley for the high end.

pages on sway and hitch setup for additional information and useful links.

Generally, under 20' is not too much of a concern, from 20' to 30' the DC or Equalizer usually are all that is needed. for more than 30' a Hensley or Pullrite start to make sense.

Also, the center return vs friction (DC vs EQ) is an interesting debate. What the DC is using is the essence of an oscillating system while the EQ is using a damping mechanism. Both seem to improve handling about the same from what I can tell.

The pullrite and HA, BTW, provide better handling and control by moving the pivot point forward of the tow vehicle rear axle. This means trailer movement tends to try to move the vehicle sideways rather than rotate it.
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Old 07-24-2003, 07:37 PM   #6
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Kevin---you have an interesting reply regarding the spring bars. We just had the Reese Dual Cam installed ( 1000# spring bars on 2002 Bambi ) & I questioned both the dealer & Reese tech regarding the spring bars weight. They both told me this weight ( 1000# ) would be o.k. I'm concerned regarding transfering damaging shock to the TT. Neither one explained clearly to me why they have different weight spring bars. There must be a reason ? The way you explained the issue makes sense to me & if nothing else I'll go by my gut feelings & have the 800# bars installed. FWTW I wanted a sway control for piece of mind towing & while we are content with the Bambi, who knows what the future holds regarding TT size.
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Old 07-24-2003, 07:50 PM   #7
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Think of spring bars as you would the springs on your axles. Too strong and you get a harsh ride. Too weak and the handling suffers.

The DC is especially sensitive to spring bars as the loading on the cam depends upon spring bar loading and, if that is not right for your rig., the effectiveness of the cam system suffers.
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Old 07-24-2003, 09:10 PM   #8
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My wife and I just purchased a 31' International LY. The load distributing hitch that came with the trailer is in very poor shape. I will be pulling the trailer w/ an 02 Dodge 3/4 ton 4WD. I have been shopping for new LD hitches on somewhat of a budget. The most recommended hitch for my rig has been the Eaz Lift 1009. I believe that is is rated for a tongue wt of 1000 lbs. Would this hitch be adequate for my rig? Too heavy, not heavy enough? The truck came stock with a Mopar class IV hitch. I am really sure that the tongue/trailer weights fall w/i my hitch capacity, correct?

Slade Weaver
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Old 07-24-2003, 10:56 PM   #9
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Well, you can't buy a hitch...

....that's too strong! That would be a "high-class" problem, like "I have too much money, where will I ever spend it all?" or "Gosh, I'm too thin, I'd better have another double bacon cheeseburger and a chocolate shake!"

While you're thinking, and rightly so, about weight distribution, think about sway. Wtih a 31' trailer, you need to keep that in mind.

I went with a Reese dual cam (that I got ever-so-slightly used from RV Salvage down on Lincoln) for $300 - quite the bargain! I was really, really happy with it - I was towing my "new" Tradewind home during the major windstorm Monday night, and we came thru fine, even on some of the high passes coming down from Payson.

Cliff's Welding out in East Mesa knows what they're doing with hitches, and they'll give you good solid advice.

P.S. Did you buy that unit from up in Scottsdale?
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Old 07-25-2003, 06:42 AM   #10
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Thanks for the advice! I will check out the sources you mentioned. So The 1009 would be a bit of overkill huh? We purchased the TT from a gentleman in Glendale. It is a bit older (1978), but in pretty decent shape.

Thanks, Slade
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Old 07-25-2003, 12:31 PM   #11
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Be glad you didn't buy the unit in Scotttsdale... had the Major Tail Droop!

...and as far as I can tell NOTHING is overkill when it comes to hitches and safety!
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Old 07-28-2003, 09:47 PM   #12
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Pullrite is KING!!!!!!!!!
Never has so few. Done so much, With so little, That now we can do anything, With absolutly NOTHING!!!! AIR# 300
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Old 07-29-2003, 06:58 AM   #13
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Under 23 feet a ball is enough unless you tow with a Yugo.
The whole world (except US & CDN) has done it since trailers exist, some lighter ones are towed by light cars & the heavy ones by larger cars...but only with a ball...& thats a FACT

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Old 07-29-2003, 07:40 AM   #14
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I seriously doubt that "fact". my 23' trailer has a tounge weight of 580 lbs; the factory installed hitch on my truck (as well as the owner's manual) clearly states that the hitch is rated for 500 lbs without weight distribution, and 1000lbs with WD. But forget the book...if you hitch my trailer up to my truck with the ball only, it looks remenicient of the VW toureg commercial, where they first hook up the trailer to a beetle, and its front wheels come up off the ground. (ok, not THAT extreme, but there's a serious nose-high/ass-low attitude that results). you'd have to be insane to think that was a safe towing combination, and we're talking about a 1/2 ton pickup truck.

Look at the list of trailer weights on Airstream's site. many of the shorter trailers listed have tounge weights in excess of 400 lbs, which would be pushing it. Later model trailers got heavier and heavier...recent Bambi's have a 500lb tounge weight.

now..with a 3/4 or 1 ton truck; sure. but not a half ton, or any car. The older 300lb tounge-weighted banbis/caravels, ok, maybe.

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