Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-29-2008, 07:37 PM   #1
New Member
 
1989 25' Excella
Yorba Linda , California
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1
Spring Bars: Round or Trunnion? Any opinions???

Looking at two of the common weight distributing hitch brands (Draw-Tite & Reese), it appears that both brands have fairly similar variations of common weight distributing hitches - each supposedly being compatible with the Dual-Cam sway control system.

I would very much appreciate any opinions or thoughts regarding the differences, if any, between Round style Spring-Bars and Trunnion style Spring-Bars? Are there any benefits or drawbacks to one type or the other. There must be a reason why the manufacturers make both types/styles of spring-bars???

The Draw-Tite and Reese Trunnion style spring-bars appear fairly similar. On the other hand, their Round style spring-bars and the hitch heads to which they attach are noticeably different in appearance.

a. Draw-Tite uses a fairly solid looking hitch head that appears to totally enclose the vertical end of their Round spring-bars. The bars are held in place with spring loaded pins that are released by pulling on the two tabs or clips on the rear face of the hitch head. The bars may also be able to be released by rotating them outwards(?).

b. Reese uses a more open hitch head for their Round spring-bars. In fact, their hitch head looks similar to a Trunnion style hitch head. The vertical portion of Reese's Round spring-bars are each held in place and pivot where they pass trough holes in the lower and upper portions of the hitch head assembly. They each have two contact points, similar to a Trunnion style hitch head.

It appears to me that both the Draw-Tite and the Reese Trunnion style spring-bars, as well as the Reese Round style spring-bars, are generally lubricated with a light application of oil when the spring-bars are inserted into their respective hitch heads??? This appears to make them easier to lubricate when installing and easier to clean both the hitch head and the spring-bars when removing them and storing them???

On the other hand, the Draw-Tite Round style spring-bars appear to require an application of grease before inserting them into their hitch heads??? I would think it might be easier and faster to wipe off a light coating of oil than it would to clean off grease??? But I have been told that the Draw-Tite hitch heads with Round spring-bars never seem to wear if they are kept properly greased.

If anyone would care to share their experiences, thoughts or opinions regarding any of the four different hitch head / spring-bar combinations mentioned above, I would very much appreciate your input!

Vendors only seem to know what they sell, and sometimes don't appear to know much about what they are selling! A lot of people are using a hitch that came with their trailer when they bought it, either new or used. Some people either did some research or relied on real-world experience when deciding which hitch head / spring-bar combination to use/buy.

I am confused and looking for direction from those more experienced than I am. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
Geoffrey
__________________

__________________
Geoffrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 09:16 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
Round bar hitches are usually lighter weight than the square cross section bars. Grease is oil that has been suspended in a soap to make it thicker. if you can keep the oil from dripping out it is as good as grease at reducing friction and wear. Unfortunately, it also makes the hitch easy to turn which does not dampen the sway. If you do not use a hitch with some self centering mechanism like the twin cam or the hensely you usually need to install a frictional dampener. I thought Reese bought out Drawtite some years ago so they really are the same company. I owned a regular Drawtite (with dampener) and replaced it with a Reese Twin Cam when I went to a bigger trailer. I picked up a Equalizer at a garage sale cheap but have never used it. I'll likely sell it off at a Region or International swap meet.
__________________

__________________
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 09:22 PM   #3
Site Team
 
azflycaster's Avatar
 
1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,127
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
I believe they are the same company. Both websites show the same building.


Plymouth Facility, 2005


Draw-Tite Headquarters, 2005
__________________

Richard

Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 09:34 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey View Post
Looking at two of the common weight distributing hitch brands (Draw-Tite & Reese), it appears that both brands have fairly similar variations of common weight distributing hitches - each supposedly being compatible with the Dual-Cam sway control system.

I would very much appreciate any opinions or thoughts regarding the differences, if any, between Round style Spring-Bars and Trunnion style Spring-Bars? Are there any benefits or drawbacks to one type or the other. There must be a reason why the manufacturers make both types/styles of spring-bars???

The Draw-Tite and Reese Trunnion style spring-bars appear fairly similar. On the other hand, their Round style spring-bars and the hitch heads to which they attach are noticeably different in appearance.

a. Draw-Tite uses a fairly solid looking hitch head that appears to totally enclose the vertical end of their Round spring-bars. The bars are held in place with spring loaded pins that are released by pulling on the two tabs or clips on the rear face of the hitch head. The bars may also be able to be released by rotating them outwards(?).

b. Reese uses a more open hitch head for their Round spring-bars. In fact, their hitch head looks similar to a Trunnion style hitch head. The vertical portion of Reese's Round spring-bars are each held in place and pivot where they pass trough holes in the lower and upper portions of the hitch head assembly. They each have two contact points, similar to a Trunnion style hitch head.

It appears to me that both the Draw-Tite and the Reese Trunnion style spring-bars, as well as the Reese Round style spring-bars, are generally lubricated with a light application of oil when the spring-bars are inserted into their respective hitch heads??? This appears to make them easier to lubricate when installing and easier to clean both the hitch head and the spring-bars when removing them and storing them???

On the other hand, the Draw-Tite Round style spring-bars appear to require an application of grease before inserting them into their hitch heads??? I would think it might be easier and faster to wipe off a light coating of oil than it would to clean off grease??? But I have been told that the Draw-Tite hitch heads with Round spring-bars never seem to wear if they are kept properly greased.

If anyone would care to share their experiences, thoughts or opinions regarding any of the four different hitch head / spring-bar combinations mentioned above, I would very much appreciate your input!

Vendors only seem to know what they sell, and sometimes don't appear to know much about what they are selling! A lot of people are using a hitch that came with their trailer when they bought it, either new or used. Some people either did some research or relied on real-world experience when deciding which hitch head / spring-bar combination to use/buy.

I am confused and looking for direction from those more experienced than I am. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
Geoffrey
The Reese, straight line hitch with the square bars, is my preference.

1. The bars have greater flexing that the round bars, which is an advantage.

2. The trunion ends on the bar, when worn, can easily be replaced instead of the have to replace complete round bars. They do wear in time.

3. The ball mount for the round bars, also must be replaced in time, because of the wear in the round hole.

4. You can grease the straight line ball mount and torsion bars as much as you want to, since the surplus simply falls off. In this case, more is better than less, since the less may not be adequate. I do not recommend oil, since it disappears rather quickly.

5. With the round bars, if you want to change the rating, you must also change the ball mount.

6. Using the Reese square torsion bars, allows a person to change ratings, without the need to change the ball mount too.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 09:52 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Tom Nugler's Avatar

 
1972 25' Tradewind
Currently Looking...
McHenry County , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,129
Images: 5
I'm using the Draw-Tite WD hitch with 750# round bars on the Globetrotter. I don't recall ever having any sway over the 9 years and 3 different tow vehicles. Maybe it's the small size, single axle or just dumb luck.
Usually everything gets cleaned and a dab of moly grease goes on each bar end. Oil doesn't seem to hold up and the bars groan. I took it apart last year when I got the new TV and didn't see any appreciable wear. But then we probably don't travel more than 1500 miles a year.
There are countless threads on this subject, but controlling sway seems to have as much to do with trailer size, weight and loading as it does with the hitch.

Just my experiance,
Tom.
__________________
AirForums # 2806
WBCCI / VAC # 6411
TAC IL-11

Not All Who Wander Are Lost.

Avid supporter of trailing edge technology.
Tom Nugler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 10:16 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
wkerfoot's Avatar
 
1979 23' Safari
1954 29' Liner
Orange , California
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,667
I prefer the trunnion style bars for the additional ground clearance and the tighter turning radius. I saw a round style drop out when someone backed up and jackknifed the trailer, can't do that with the trunnion style.

Bill
__________________
Bill Kerfoot, WBCCI/VAC/CAC/El Camino Real Unit #5223
Just my personal opinion
1973 Dodge W200 PowerWagon, 1977 Lincoln Continental, 2014 Dodge Durango
1979 23' Safari, and 1954 29' Double Door Liner Orange, CA

http://billbethsblog.blogspot.com/
wkerfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 01:18 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
georgezink's Avatar
 
1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Cape Coral , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 135
Images: 29
I know it's been a while, but I'd like to explore this a bit more. I'm planning to get a reese strait-line for my 6 metre minuet. As you may know this is a very lite trailer with tongue weight about 450# or so and total weight of just over 3000#. Andy prefers trunnion bars, suggesting they have greater flex, but should I get the 600# trunnion bars or the lighter duty 550# round bars, given the light weight of my trailer and my light duty tow vehicle (Honda Pilot)? I'm currently using a 600# Equil-i-zer, but think my ride is much to stiff.

One other question for minuet owners or anyone else with an opinion. Do you have any concern about drilling the two 17/32 holes in the frame to accommodate the sway control, given it's a c-channel frame and fairly small and light weight?

Any advise would be appreciated.
__________________
flcracker
georgezink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 01:31 AM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
georgezink's Avatar
 
1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Cape Coral , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 135
Images: 29
Correction

Sorry, the hitch weight on my Minuet is 395 pounds and the dry weight is 2450...
__________________
flcracker
georgezink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 02:10 AM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Spring Bars: Round or Trunnion? Any opinions???

Greetings georgezink!

Quote:
Originally Posted by georgezink View Post
I know it's been a while, but I'd like to explore this a bit more. I'm planning to get a reese strait-line for my 6 metre minuet. As you may know this is a very lite trailer with tongue weight about 450# or so and total weight of just over 3000#. Andy prefers trunnion bars, suggesting they have greater flex, but should I get the 600# trunnion bars or the lighter duty 550# round bars, given the light weight of my trailer and my light duty tow vehicle (Honda Pilot)? I'm currently using a 600# Equil-i-zer, but think my ride is much to stiff.
I have the Reese Strait Line Hitch with Dual Cam Sway Control on my '78 6.0 Metre Minuet. The hitch weight on my Minuet when loaded and ready for the road with full water and LP tanks has a hitch weight of 575 pounds. I use the 600 pound bars with my Cadillac and an old set of 350 pound "Light Weight" bars from my 1980 towing setup for my K2500 Suburban. I suspect that the 550 pound bars woult be nearly ideal for your Honda Pilot tow vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by georgezink View Post
One other question for minuet owners or anyone else with an opinion. Do you have any concern about drilling the two 17/32 holes in the frame to accommodate the sway control, given it's a c-channel frame and fairly small and light weight?
I didn't like the idea of drilling my frame so I ordered the original style Dual Cam with the U-Bolt attachment . . . I like how easy it is to set up . . . I haven't been hearing good things regarding the difficulty of properly setting up the HP Dual Cam system. Something else to keep in mind with the U-bolt mount is to order the proper sized U-bolt the "standard" setup evidently ships with the U-botls for the larger framed trailers which doesn't work well with an Argosy or Airstream from the Vintage years.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
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)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 07:17 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
Geoffrey,

First I would offer this word of advise....listen to people who use these hitches, not to the people who sell them. They are all biased toward the style/brand they sell.

Over the years I've had several versions of each type of hitch, round and trunion style bars. If properly maintained (cleaned and lubricated) you won't wear out either in the life span of three or four tow vehicles.

The only significant difference in performance between a trunion and a round bar hitch is, with appropriate sized bars (800 pound bars for 800 pound tonge weight), the round bar will ride better than the trunion style bar.

Will they wear? Yes, any time you have metal to metal movement with load on the joint, you will have wear, on any of the hitches. But, like I said, all of them will out last several tow vehicles if maintained. Good luck with whatever style you choose.

Steve
__________________
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 09:48 AM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
georgezink's Avatar
 
1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Cape Coral , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 135
Images: 29
Thanks for the responses.

Overlander64, did you have any problems installing the original style cam? Did the gas tanks cause a problem for the U bolts? Any other advise?

SteveH, any idea why the round bars would ride better than the trunnion bars? Is one easier to install or set up than the other?

Thanks to all...........
__________________
flcracker
georgezink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 09:58 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgezink View Post
Thanks for the responses.


SteveH, any idea why the round bars would ride better than the trunnion bars? Is one easier to install or set up than the other?

Thanks to all...........
The round bars are more flexible comparing given sizes. If you will check around this site, specifically one of the more "experienced" members actually avocates and instructs users to not go by Reese's bar weight recommendations, but to go one or even two sizes smaller to improve the ride quality. These steps are not needed or advised with round bar hitches.
__________________
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 02:16 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Mikethefixit's Avatar
 
1977 27' Overlander
Trotwood , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,153
Send a message via Yahoo to Mikethefixit
I use the 1 inch square trunnion bars.I think that's 550 lb bars. I have the old style Reese/Draw-Tite Dual cam. I use the 550 bars because of the 1 ton TV. This gives me and my trailer a soft ride. I use 6 links under tension.I can flex the bars by jumpin on the tongue. I had to have my U-bolts made at a spring shop. They don't interfere with the Propane tanks. I do give the cams a little dab of grease before each trip. The PO used 1000 lb bars(1 1/2 in square) which was way to rough a ride.I used the setup he gave me one trip that was enough.(less that a 100 miles)It scared me to death and I aint afreard of nuffin.
Best to start a 550/600 lb bars first.
Roger
__________________
Roger & MaryLou
___________________
F350 CREWCAB SW LONG BED
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
KA8LMQ
AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
Mikethefixit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 09:11 PM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Spring Bars: Round or Trunnion? Any opinions???

Greetings georgezink!

Quote:
Originally Posted by georgezink View Post
Thanks for the responses.

Overlander64, did you have any problems installing the original style cam? Did the gas tanks cause a problem for the U bolts? Any other advise?

SteveH, any idea why the round bars would ride better than the trunnion bars? Is one easier to install or set up than the other?

Thanks to all...........
The U-bolts actually posed fewer issues with the Minuet than with the Overlander. The LP tanks have to be removed to gain access to the frame, but the actual carrier plate for the tanks does not interfere with mounting the cam arms. I learned something with shuffling spring bars for my four basic towing combinations . . . over the years, Reese has made at least two different lengths of the trunion-type spring bars . . . I have found that the shorter length worked better on both of my coaches (I think that the shorter spring bars must be older models as I know that my 350 and 550 bars are more than 29 years old).

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
__________________

__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
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)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trunnion style vs Round bar WD Hitch ? Davis Hitches, Couplers & Balls 7 03-29-2008 04:01 PM
Reese round bar or trunnion? erock53 Hitches, Couplers & Balls 21 05-09-2007 11:28 PM
Reese Dual Cam Trunnion Bars dscluchfc Hitches, Couplers & Balls 17 04-21-2005 06:52 AM
Spring Bars Strong Enough? Navigator Hitches, Couplers & Balls 2 10-05-2004 09:48 PM
weight distributing bars/trunnion bars teutonik Hitches, Couplers & Balls 2 12-04-2003 07:58 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.