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Old 10-24-2003, 04:57 PM   #15
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Why?

I have been following this thread with quite some interest. I am buying a new hitch for the AS. I have used various types over the years. IMHO the friction sway have been a pain to use, but better than the alternative. I have been leaning towards the Reese Strait Line, but my local dealer only stocks the 1200 TW model and doesn't seem interested in ordering the lighter one. I prefer to match hitch to vehicle and trailer, and the 12k is just a little heavy for a 7200GVW AS. I have also looked at the Equalizer but have not seen much feedback on it. I have used Reese products for a number of years. Towed a 29' SOB with out a sway control but on a WDH behind an IH Travelall. No problems, same SOB behind a Dodge Crew Cab gave us the fits and we had to add the friction sway.

Aaron
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Old 10-24-2003, 06:00 PM   #16
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Reese Friction Control or Dual Cam?

Greetings Aaron!

If my experience is any indicator, especially if you are still towing with the Dodge Crew Cab you will be glad that you insisted upon the spring bars that most closely match your hitch weight. With my dual cam systems, I have found that with the heavier tow vehicle the lighter bars are a MUST have for everything to function properly - - anything more than 500 pound bars for my Minuet/Suburban combination and the effectiveness is impacted, but for my softly sprung Cadillac it takes the 600 pound bars to get the proper adjustment (Minuet hitch weight between 525 and 550 pounds). With my Overlander, I have been utilizing the same 800 pound bars with both the Suburban and Cadillac (Overlander 750 to 770 pounds hitch weight).

The Brand X dealer who originally sold me my Dual Cam System included the 1,000 pound bars. They were so stiff with the K1500 Z71 club cab pickup that I had at that time that pressure wasn't sufficient for the system to work properly and it just didn't perform to what I expected when towing the the Rocky Mountains and Black Hills (the trailer felt "twitchy", but didn't actually sway). When I stopped at an Airstream dealer in Idaho, their Reese hitch installer checked the setup and immediately recommended the lighter 800 pound bars (they still seem a bit heavy for the Suburban when the trailer is lightly loded but are perfect with the Cadillac).

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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Old 10-24-2003, 06:07 PM   #17
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Hi Kevin,
Nope the Dodge is ancient history it was a early 70's model, that had been retired from the local phone company line crew. Our current tv is a beefed up 2003 F-150 that is probably going to be replaced very shortly with something a lot heavier duty, like a F-250 PS or V-10 I know where there a couple of F-250 Crew Cab XLT work trucks with the rubber floors, V-10 with the heavi duti towing package, power everything on them coming off of lease in the next couple of months. The price should be right. Looked at an 03 PSD Super Cab, 8' bed too, but they are a little proud of it. Still waiting for the issues on the 6.0 to die down. Something will come along

Aaron
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Old 10-30-2003, 07:51 AM   #18
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Thanks one and all

As usual, this forum comes through. Here's my conclusion based on all the comments: While both the friction bar and dual cam setups work as advertised, the dual cam does not require fooling around with while on the road. On the other hand, it costs more. The question boils down to: Does the dual cam's ease of use justify the added cost? My dealer says the dual cam costs about $100 more than a friction setup.

Sounds like money well spent.

Thanks to all.
Don
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Old 06-23-2004, 09:12 PM   #19
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Question Dual Cam Weight ratings?

I have been looking at WD hitches and had thought that the Strait Line, which incorporates the Dual Cam was the way to go, until I read Kevin's post about how the tongue weight had to be at least 500#s. We are towing the 66 Safari twin, with a 97 Expedition, no air ride. The old Airstream info says that the dry trailer weight is 3400 and the tongue weight is 377. Yes, we have loaded it up a bit when we took our trip, but it seems like hitting that 500# mark could be iffy if we're not right on. Does this setup work if the tongue weight is, say, 450?

Secondly, I talked to a dealer today about hitches and right off,after I told him what my rig is, he said I needed a 1200 pound hitch. What??? Is he talking in some other way than I expected? I thought that the numbers the manufacturers gave (i.e. Strait Line 800) referred to the max tongue weight of the trailer to be used with that hitch. Wouldn't a 1200 be overkill and maybe just plain wrong for my rig?

John
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Old 06-23-2004, 10:08 PM   #20
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Reese Friction Control or Dual Cam?

Greetings John!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AYRSTRM2
I have been looking at WD hitches and had thought that the Strait Line, which incorporates the Dual Cam was the way to go, until I read Kevin's post about how the tongue weight had to be at least 500#s. We are towing the 66 Safari twin, with a 97 Expedition, no air ride. The old Airstream info says that the dry trailer weight is 3400 and the tongue weight is 377. Yes, we have loaded it up a bit when we took our trip, but it seems like hitting that 500# mark could be iffy if we're not right on. Does this setup work if the tongue weight is, say, 450?

Secondly, I talked to a dealer today about hitches and right off,after I told him what my rig is, he said I needed a 1200 pound hitch. What??? Is he talking in some other way than I expected? I thought that the numbers the manufacturers gave (i.e. Strait Line 800) referred to the max tongue weight of the trailer to be used with that hitch. Wouldn't a 1200 be overkill and maybe just plain wrong for my rig?

John
The hitch weight required for use of the Reese Dual Cam system according to information that I received from the engineering department at Reese indicated that 400 pounds was the minimum hitch weight for satisfactory results with the Dual Cam system. The hitch weight on my Minuet approaches 550 pounds when the front mounted water tank is full and the coach is loaded for an extended trip; and on the Overlander the hitch weight approaches 770 pounds when it is loaded for an extended trip.

I was not satisfied with the performance of the hitch when using 1,000 pound bars. The switch to 800 pound bars for the Overlander solved the problem, and made the trailer/tow vehicle behave as a well-behaved unit. With the Minuet, I have found that the 500 pound bars work best with the Suburban as a tow vehicle and my very old set of 600 pound bars work best when towing with the Cadillac.

Good luck with your hitch quandry!

Kevin
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Old 06-23-2004, 11:49 PM   #21
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I too have had both. DualCam HP...no question about it...period!

As for price, if you are getting the new Reese weight bars, the cost is only $70-$80 more...that's right...ONLY $70-$80 more than the single friction bar. Reese friction cost me about $80 when we bought the '03 19' Bambi, while the DualCam HP, I picked up for $159 on line when we upgraded to the 25' Safari. I will say this, with the DualCam HP, I barely notice 18 wheelers blow by me. Once in a while I do, but compared to my old friction sway on the 19', it is far less of an issue since going dual cam.

I've said this on many other posts. Went to 3-4 hitch places...all of them said that up to 20' friction is good enough. Larger than 20', go dual cam.

My vote DualCam HP everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. You will be satisfied with it, no question.
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Old 06-24-2004, 07:15 AM   #22
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Here's another vote for friction bar sway control. Previously towed with Draw-Tite/Reese single cam and never felt comfortable. Switched to equalizer with dual friction bar set-up and the difference is night and day. Yes it costs more, but it was well worth the few $$ more for greatly enhanced towing. Besides it's easier on the hands because your knuckles don't turn white as you try to grip the steering wheel tighter.
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Old 06-24-2004, 08:53 AM   #23
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Don,
As a differing opinion you could look into the Equal-i-zer as an alternative. I was a Reese dual cam user for 8 years and can't say a bad thing about that hitch. My upgrade to the much heavier Classic forced me to upgrade my entire hitch system.

I chose the Equal-i-zer mainly on positive reports from other former Reese owners and my dealer's experience with this hitch (he sells Reese also). Bottom line I have found it to be exceptional, providing rock solid stability in cross winds. What I really like is the fact that I no longer have to deal with the saddle and chain assembly of the Reese and I didn't have to deal with the old U clamp assembly which always seemed to be in the area of the gas bottle holders. The new dual cam eliminates that assembly but requires drilling through the side of the A frame to bolt an assembly in. The Equal-i-zer requires no drilling.

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Old 06-24-2004, 09:33 AM   #24
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one of each

i currently have a friction sway control on my 31' and find my self stopping to adjust it at least twice per trip before it feels right, i also have a brand new Equal I zer on my 34' and it is rock solid, no chains to play with and works perfect. seems quieter than my old man's dual cam also.
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Old 06-24-2004, 09:50 AM   #25
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I have the dual cam. Dealers don't seem to like them because they are a pain to set the straight line on. Dealers want ease of installation and send you out the door having to deal with whatever shortcomings there may be in a friction bar hitch.
The dual cam, properly setup, is superior to the friction control bar.
The dual cam is pretty much self adjusting. It can be quieted down with alittle vaseline on the cams if the groaning bothers you.
There is no stopping 2-3 times pertrip to adjust the tension. There is no loosening it to back up.
There is a little more trouble in the install to get it set right. After that, there is no comparison, IMHO. The cams on mine were pretty worn when I bought my trailer. Last trip out, I broke one of the cam arms at some point turning a corner. It evidently got into a bind and snapped. I lost sway control on the street side as a result, but still had load equilization. No problem, I still had 1/2 the normal sway control on the curb side from the other cam/saddle set up functioning properly. So, I coathanger wired the cam bar up so that it would not pose a drag the pavement hazzard, and purchased two new cam arms when I got back home.
A friend of mine that has towed Airstreams with dual cam setups for 38 years said he has broken 2 cam arms in 38 years, and that it sometimes happens when they are about worn out. The ones on my trailer were 20 years old.
Replacements were $80 each due to the recent price increase of steel.
Installation was easy, and I look forward to my next trip.
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Old 06-24-2004, 11:19 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dscluchfc
I have the dual cam. Dealers don't seem to like them because they are a pain to set the straight line on.
I would probably agree with you. My local Airstream dealer has more experience with the Equal-i-zer brand and had not yet put on one of the new strait line dual cam hitches. With that in mind, I didn't want to be part of the learning curve, especially when you are drilling 2 holes in the "A" frame.

The older "U" bolt version of the dual-cam required movement of my gas bottle tray in my SOB. When I bought my Safari, proper mounting of the bolts required them to be under my gas bottles. I raised the bottles slightly to accomdate the bolts. I didn't want to deal with that on the new Classic.

As it ends up I have no regrets on my choice of an Equal-i-zer. My recommendation to others is that the dual-cam, equal-i-zer comparison is probably dead even. It really comes down to personal preferences and choosing either hitch will give you good sway control.

Jack
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Old 06-24-2004, 12:56 PM   #27
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Pullrite

Last year I made a decision to go with a Pullrite hitch system. I just love that fact that anti-friction or dual cam systems are not needed because of the way the Pullrite works. Yes, I spent the big money for the Pullrite....but no more "white knuckes".
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Old 06-24-2004, 01:11 PM   #28
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Jack, mine is the old style with the U bolts under the LP bottles.
Still, once installed, you have to find a level straight road of several hundred feet to line the tow rig and trailer up STRAIGHT, then set the cams and saddles in the proper towing position. Most dealers don't want to mess with it is what I have observed. They just want your money in their pocket, and you on the road.
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