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Old 09-15-2009, 11:55 AM   #1
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Reese sc vs equalizer wd hitch

Wondering if anyone can compare pros and cons of the Reese SC vs the Equalizer WD hitches. I am leaning toward the Equalizer but the Reese looks good too.

Thanks.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:28 PM   #2
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My Experiences

First off, let me preface my remark here to tell you that I do not have an Airstream. (I do own a 27' Pilgrim travel trailer, my TV is a Mercedes ML320 BlueTech Diesel). I first found out about this forum while Google-ing some RV questions.

After doing much research (but not enough!) I purchased the Reese SC after considering the Equalizer as well. Was it good or bad? Since it was my first towing experience, I had nothing to compare it to. It was what it was...

Several months later after doing more research; and feeling a little bit dissatisfied with my towing experience (I thought for sure it was my TV); I consulted this and other forums to help shine some light on my dilemma.

I'm sure like most of the readers here, you're probably convinced of one thing; the bigger the TV; the better. If a 1/2 ton won't do, get a 3/4 ton and so on..... Just throw some mass at the trailer; thatíll calm her down.

So with my new gathered knowledge I was seriously looking at a new Ford F-150 to tow my TT. But literally 2 days before I was going to make my new Ford purchase, I stumbled upon a few forum entries from Andrew T at Can-Am RV and decided to give him a call (Can-Am is an 8 hour drive from my house). This man; Andrew, has a whole different take on TV's and hitches compared to the vast majority of what is written in this and other forums.

After speaking to him for about 30 minutes on the phone, I was convinced that my towing woes were not caused by the 'small' stature of my TV but by the typical hitch setup and subsequent installation method used by my RV dealer.

The following weekend I made my way over to Can-Am in London, Ontario for my makeover. They removed (threw away) my WD assembly and installed a custom welded ball-mount/shank so that the hitch is as close to the rear bumper as possible. The ball-mount is now tilted downwards. Then, they installed an Eazy-Lift WD hitch featuring tapered round bars. Because of the ball-mount angle, the torsion bars are angled as well towards the ground, which really allows them to be torqued up (pulled upon) therefore forcing the front of my TV down. (As a side note, Andrew reinforced my factory hitch so to really be able to take that downwards force). After all was said and done, the rear of my TV was down 1/2" and the front was down a 1/2"; the TT is now perfectly level!

Andrew wanted to take me out for a test drive with the new setup and he drove first; I sat in the passenger seat. We were going down a deserted stretch of road not far from the dealership going about 50 mph. Without warning he changed lanes in a fraction of a second. I thought to myself, OMG, I'm gonna die. You don't jerk a TV pulling a 3 ton TT like that; surely we'll end up on our side in a ditch. After making a 1/2 second prayer to the almighty, he did it again; emergency lane change maneuver!!

To my amazement we were still intact, going 50 down the road. WOW!!
"I just wanted to feel the overall balance"; he said; "Feels good to me!"

He pulled over and let me have a try. What a freakin difference! My Mercedes is handling awesome! I don't need a pickup truck. This is crazy!

Since then I have towed about 5000 miles; loving every minute of it. Iím not saying this is good for everyone; well that would be politically incorrectÖ.right? Sometimes the solution is not to overwhelm the TT with a bigger/heavier TV but to hook them up properly.

Weíve all seen the unbalanced setups rolling down the highway; the TT pointing down at the hitch while the TVís rear sits on the floor and its front sitting high up in the air. You can just imagine the driverís white-sweaty knuckles gripped tightly on the steering wheel. Thereís a better way. Now I can understand why Can-Am sets up Jaguars, mini-vans and Dodge Chargers to pull 34í Airstreams. Because they can, and they do it well.

I do not work or am in any way affiliated with Can-Am RV; just a really happy customer spreading the word.

So to answer your question, boy can I ramble, I would stay clear of the Equalizer or the Reese SC. Get a good Round Bar (Tapered) and install it right. Maybe ask your dealer to send one of their technicians to Can-Am for a class. Or better yet, take a trip to London, ON and let Andrew set it up for you. Itís worth it!

Itís time to change the notions of towing out there. Just think, if more folks thought they could tow with their existing vehicles, the RV industry would sell more RVís. Thatís a good thing; no?

OK; let me have it guys. I can take itÖÖ.

Just one happy RVíer,
Ron Feinberg
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 TWind View Post
Wondering if anyone can compare pros and cons of the Reese SC vs the Equalizer WD hitches. I am leaning toward the Equalizer but the Reese looks good too.

Thanks.
The Reese SC, to my knowledge, is fairly new, and so you probably won't find many with experience using it. Both hitches (Reese SC and the Equalizer) use the same basic principle for sway control, friction. However, the Equalizer has four points of friction, the Reese SC two. But, the Reese has the brake material for a friction point, the Equalizer metal to metal.

I have the Reese Dual Cam, and once it is adjusted correctly, it works really good. But, and there's alway a "but", it's a real PITA to get adjusted perfectly. And, if it's not adjusted perfectly, the sway control does not work well at all.

Guess I'm just interested also in anyone's experience with the Reese SC.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:01 PM   #4
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Thanks Ron for the story. Since I'm in Mississippi it is a little far to visit you guy's shop, but sounds like they are really on the ball. I have a 2001 Tundra which has plenty of power but I am concerned about stability due to the rather narrow track compared to full size trucks. I'll look into the Easy-lift. I thought the new Reese would maybe have some advantages because of the friction material. I had planned on a Dual cam, but several friends have the Equalizer and like the fact that they are no chains to deal with. Maybe someone will have some towing experience with the SC.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:08 PM   #5
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Just to clarify, I did tow with the SC and wasn't happy with it. Ride was too stiff; also meaning I was beating up the trailer. I've attached a picture before I changed my hitch. Notice, the front sitting higher than the rear.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:42 PM   #6
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Just to clarify, I did tow with the SC and wasn't happy with it. Ride was too stiff; also meaning I was beating up the trailer. I've attached a picture before I changed my hitch. Notice, the front sitting higher than the rear.
So, simply stated, you've gone from a trunion type hitch that was probably not setup correctly, to a round bar type hitch that is setup correctly.

It is a well known fact that the trunion bar hitches, size for size, ride rougher than the round bar hitches, and to counteract that issue, lots of people have gone to one step lighter trunion bars.

It is also clear in your picture above the hitch is not setup properly, so it comes down again, to setup.

A good hitch setup improperly will not work well, no matter the manufacturer. Do you happen to know the tongue weight of your trailer and the weight rating of the Reese trunion bars you were using?
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:29 AM   #7
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The tongue weight is about 650 lbs. My Trunnion bars were rated at 750 lbs. One big thing as well to note; that with my new welded shank/ball-mount setup my hitch-ball is 5" closer to the rear bumper; which makes a huge difference in the overall feel.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:02 PM   #8
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Smile Basic Leverage Principle

I know the original post is old, but for those like me that came late to the party, I hope this reply may help.

DISCLAIMERS:
I'm not an airstream owner (but it's a really good forum!), nor am I an experienced trailer tower, but I'm very good at research and engineering and have done a lot in determining what weight distribution (WD) system to buy.

My TT is a 25' 4,500lb dry weight w/547lb tonuge weight TT. My factory tow package allows 8,700lb trailer weight with 870lb tongue weight with a WD. So, my WD needs are small...yet still very important.

There's a basic leverage principle that has to be understood here for all WD systems. WD systems use leverage to shift weight forward onto your tow vehicle (TV) frame. This helps level your TV.

Think of your TV rear axel as the pivot point of a teeter totter,and the teeter totter is perfectly level.

If you put one pound a foot from the pivot point it may not move the teeter totter much at all. But if you put one pound at the very end of the teeter totter it will likely push the teeter down significantly.

So, when the RV guy moved your trailer ball 5" closer to your rear axel, he shifted a lot of weight foward onto your truck frame. In addition, when he moved the angle of your ball, he likely added more force onto your WD bars which again moved weight forward onto your truck frame.

By moving more and more weight forward, your TV and TT leveled out which is exactly what allows for a smooth ride.

If your TT & TV are not level, then basically your front end of your truck and back end of your trailer are up in the air and are pivoting on the ball of your hitch...which is what causes sway.

So, I don't think the RV guy did anything that couldn't have been done by properly adjusting the Reese SC ball angle or L brackets to increase the tortion on your WD bars.

WD and sway can also be affected by how you load weight into your trailer. My fresh water tank sits in front of my TT wheels, so that increases my tongue weight. So, I adjust some of my weight behind my wheels to help off-set that.

If I can't adjust the weight, I have to adjust the WD system. So, if you're not watching what you're loading and where, you may have issues too. It's the same principle of weight and balance when loading a small plane...only you're less likely to die if your weight and balance is off in your TT.

Per the Equal-i-zer and the Reese SC, I think they are probably pretty closely matched. It's more about how you set them up. I'm leaning towards the SC because I like the brake pads for friction, decreased noise level (not that you can hear it when pulling) and that the break pads can be replaced.

Hope this has helped.

Steve
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