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Old 07-16-2008, 03:53 PM   #1
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Reese Dual Cam too big for a 21' trailer?

Hey gang,

My buddy just bought a 21' SOB. The dealership set him up with everything. They sold him a Reese hitch, but it's not a dual cam. It only has weight distribution, but no anti-sway.

Well my friend took her on the maiden voyage last weekend and he was swaying all over the place.

Now, his tow vehicle is in mind too small, a new Toyota crew cab pickup. Not a Tundra, but the smaller one, and it's got a 4-cylinder. So the wheel base is like 108" or so. But anyway, the tongue weight of the trailer is light, reportedly like 385lbs.

He said the trailer was all over the road, swaying him really badly. I looked at his hitch and determined it had no antisway mechanisms to it. It has an ear on the receiver portion to put the little ball where you could hook a friction/oleo type dampener if he puts another one on the trailer tongue, but currently there is no anti sway mechanism.

I told him he should have gotten a dual cam. He said he didn't know what to get and had asked the dealership to set him up. He called the dealership and they told him this trailer doesn't have enough tongue weight to use a dual cam, so they gave him this other thing.

What do you all think? Is it possible to have a trailer that's too light to use the dual cam?

When I went shopping for a hitch, I narrowed it down to only three choices:
A) Reese Dual Cam
B) Equal-I-Zer
C) Henseley Arrow

In the end I wound up with the Eq, but I have used and like the Reese also.

What should Wally do?
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:09 PM   #2
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I have a dual-cam and like it. Equalizer has just as many happy customers. A point in their favor is that dual-cam & equalizer do not rely on friction antisway of olden days -- friction is not set-it-and-forget-it (though I won't argue dual-cam or equalizer are -- just improved in that department and don't change in the rain). Some can argue up or down on weight distribution, but this only makes sense when the TV is megasized IMO. Nobody should ever argue that one should do without antisway! He should run, not walk, to get into effective antisway!!!!

We have plenty of threads here documenting even 4-cylinder Tacoma drivers towing happily -- including some in the Pacific NW.

One quick check should be that his tongue weight is over 10% of gross trailer weight. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ale-24195.html. Getting to a CAT scale is better yet -- but he'll have to check when they are the least busy with over-the-road trucks. Running with much less than 10% on the hitch is like throwing an arrow backwards -- the trailer wants to switch ends at even moderate speeds. There wasn't much margin on the rear door Argosy trailers and they could be dangerous if the loading wasn't right.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:12 PM   #3
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: Reese Dual Cam too big for a 21' trailer?

Greetings Jim!

Your description of the events is almost too familiar for me -- I had a Nomad 17 footer in the early 80s that had similar road manners to those of your friend's coach. A Reese Dual Cam may be an option, but the actual tongue weight needs to be known to establish its suitability -- I had similar concerns when setting up my Minuet -- I contacted Reese and one of their engineers advised that the qualifying factor for application of dual cam sway control is a coach with at least 400 pounds of hitch weight. If the 385 pounds is the unladen hitch weight, the Reese Dual Cam woul likely be a good alternative when the coach is loaded for a trip. There is also the question of getting properly sized weight distributing spring bars to get the most advantage from the Reese Dual Cam System -- too often, it seems that RV dealers try to sell the 10,000 pound rated hitches as a one-size-fits-all product, but with the Dual Cam System it is critical to carefully match the spring bars to actual hitch weight involved.

I hope that this information proves helpful.

Kevin
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:15 PM   #4
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Reese lets one select the spring bars; others do not

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden View Post
...What should Wally do?
If a trailer that sways does not have enough tongue weight to engage a Reese dual-cam's device, then more tongue weight is needed.

The easiest fix is to buy the friction anti-sway device. It might even be sufficient.

The part about dual cam anti-sway that I like is that it never needs adjustment. Coupled-on friction devices do not fit in that category.

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Old 07-16-2008, 04:22 PM   #5
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Here's some more reading material:http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...rol-17986.html
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:25 PM   #6
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Great info coming in....

BTW -- 11-13% is the recommended range of tongue weight in proportion to the actual weight of the trailer being towed -- not empty weight, not GVWR -- what's actually being towed.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:51 PM   #7
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The TV tire air pressures matter too - soft & quiet ride radials that give the premiere commuting experience wiggle like mad when towing, the sidewall flexing side-to-side in front can make towing uncomfortably close to an all out sway incident....
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:37 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

That surprises me that that little truck can pull adequately. My friend's name actually is Wally (he should have bought an Airstream for sure with that name! ) and this is his first trailer. I tried to talk him into an older Airstream, but he wanted to go new. Anyway he surprised me one day with this SOB. I forget the brand name, but it's an aluminum framed trailer with the white box sides.

Anyway, I do know that his truck's tire pressure wasn't high enough. He was running about 31-32 psi. I checked out his tires and they say 44psi max. They didn't have any load ratings on there at all, no C or D, etc. I told him that to the best of my knowledge, they're essentially P-metric radials just like passenger car tires, although they have a more aggressive tread pattern and look like "truck" tires.

Anyway, he didn't have enough tire pressure. His hitch is a Reese and has the ear for the friction/oleo assembly. He may try to buy one of those to see if it works. It does sound like the dealership told him the truth about the Dual Cam from what you said above with the 400lb tongue weight, although if he's at 385 it'd be pretty easy to put something up front to add 15 lbs. The dealership didn't rule out the possibility of swapping him out to a dual cam.

So anyway, I told him to pump up the tires and either add the friction/oleo anti-sway shock or swap it for a dual cam. We should probably do the bathroom scale trick and get the real tongue weight. Although, I can deadlift 405lbs, so an easy test would be if I cannot lift the tongue, then it's dual cam ready

There is a CAT scale about 10 miles down the road from us, so we could maybe run down there at lunch time and get some real weights. I have the SAE paper that talks about having the CG 15% ahead of the axle(s) centerline and how that equates to about 10-15% of the trailer weight in tongue weight. We need to get real weights.

Of interest, he only got 12mpg towing. I got that pulling my 34 footer through the mountains of PA last month with a motorcycle in the bed. I have a Dodge diesel and could put Wally's truck in the back

I'll keep you guy's posted. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden View Post
That surprises me that that little truck can pull adequately.
I spoke up that people were doing it but it wouldn't be my first choice. waltero evidently switched to a 6 -- some mention here in this thread. It still takes some gumption to tow like this but I don't think a minimum spec tow vehicle is causing the sway.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...-tv-39008.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...0-a-42874.html
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