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Old 01-03-2010, 06:07 PM   #1
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sway/equalizer hitch and clearance

I bought a sway/equalizer hitch a year ago, Took it home. Looked at my truck ,a 2001 F250 crew cab diesel short box, optioned out like a F350 w/SRW, and my trailer, 1980 international 31ft. and said...

Boy, if i put that on, there will be very little clearance between the ground and the bottom of the equalizer. The truck rides fairly level with the trailer on, maybe drops an inch (heavy springs). Most other travel trailers seem to much higher hitches than my airstream.

So i took it back and pulled the trailer like ive been doing for 10 years..

Commando!

Am i missing something?

Its one of the two eq/swy hitches that members fill pages on as to which one is better. Both look to have about the same clearance underneath
I do think my '90 F350 diesel crewcab long box was much better, i.e. great, at keeping the trailer straight behind me. (longer wheel base?)

I do want to get my wife behind the wheel. So i really want to get one of these put on... and i really should have it anyway...
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:27 PM   #2
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What is "very little clearance"? I don't remember having more than about 8" or so between the ground and the bottom of my Reese Dual Cam when I towed my '94 tri-axle 34' behind my Y2K Excursion. It never dragged anywhere.

Roger
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:22 PM   #3
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OK. in responce next spring when the 2 ft of snow melts and its at least 5 degrees F above zero, i will re-check the clearance
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:56 PM   #4
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The short wheel based may contribute to sway more than anything else. That is why the crewcab tows better.

In my opinion, if both rigs ride level (not a dip at all!) and the TV is rated for the load I don't see a need for WD. I tow a boat and trailer weighing in at 7K + and don't use either. Been doin' that for a decade or so. Boats are loaded a lil more heavy in the rear than an A/S though.

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Old 01-03-2010, 10:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by werpknarly View Post
OK. in responce to reply #1... next spring when the 2 ft of snow melts and its at least 5 degrees F above zero, i will re-check the clearance.. in responce to reply #2, ive seen enough "adverts" from Inland RV in this forum in other Hitch Threads. anyone else?

btw MR RV sales person... i've spend my life hauling 5 to 6 tons of fertlizer and seed behind heavy duty pickup trucks AND we've taken 4000 mile round trips with/out white knuckles. AND if you read my post. i do intend on getting a anti sway system. SO why did you waste my time AND others trying to scare me? lets not pollute this tread anymore.
I just want to say that:
1) I find Andy's posts insightful in general and do not find them to be "adverts" or a "waste of time."
2) Having farmed for many years in the Midwest and having hauled a certain amount of the subject commodities myself, I respectfully suggest that a load of fertilizer or seed as typically pulled behind a pickup is much more stable than an Airstream: lower CG, less wind load, and stiffer suspension. And you aren't going to pull your load of fertilizer in a freeway situation where you have a 30 MPH crosswind, five motorcycles passing you, a semi in front of you blocking your forward vision, and a complete idiot in an Astrovan pulling into your lane after stopping to make a cell phone call from the shoulder.
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werpknarly View Post
I bought a sway/equalizer hitch a year ago, Took it home. Looked at my truck ,a 2001 F250 crew cab diesel short box, optioned out like a F350 w/SRW, and my trailer, 1980 international 31ft. and said...

Boy, if i put that on, there will be very little clearance between the ground and the bottom of the equalizer. The truck rides fairly level with the trailer on, maybe drops an inch (heavy springs). Most other travel trailers seem to much higher hitches than my airstream.

So i took it back and pulled the trailer like ive been doing for 10 years..

Commando!

Am i missing something?

Its one of the two eq/swy hitches that members fill pages on as to which one is better. Both look to have about the same clearance underneath
I do think my '90 F350 diesel crewcab long box was much better, i.e. great, at keeping the trailer straight behind me. (longer wheel base?)

I do want to get my wife behind the wheel. So i really want to get one of these put on... and i really should have it anyway...
What exactly does "fairly level" mean? Besides the rear squatting, is the front end rising and how much? What is the effect on the tongue weight on the truck's loaded front and rear axle weight? What is "SRW" you mention above?

For whatever it is worth, I am in agreement with the consensus that a WD hitch is an integral part of towing a larger Airstream.

But you are right about clearance and the WD hitch. With my F250 and Husky hitch I have less than 6" clearance. I did bottom out once in the past year, which was no big deal, but you do have to be careful.
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:52 PM   #7
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SRW = Single rear wheel
DRW = Dual rear wheel aka dually

Also the trailer will have less leverage in bringing the front end up on the long wheel base rig with the 4 door cab. (Crewcab) Especially with the oil burner in the front end.

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Old 01-04-2010, 02:32 AM   #8
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I generally agree with Andy in this case with one exception: there are more than one brand of hitch on the market that is as good as the one he sited. Use your own judgment.

Also, I have found that with my current F-250 I have less ground clearance that I had with my '05 F-250. The reason is that the new generation F-250's came with a softer first spring in the rear to make the ride softer and more like an F-150. What happens is that that first spring will compress with a load 'till it reaches the second, stiffer spring. I don't know anything about the Y2K models.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:27 AM   #9
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Level

I'm a bit of a novice but doesn't the trailer being level determine the amount of ground clearance for the WD arms. Level is level and no matter what truck you attach if the trailer and truck are level then the amount of ground clearance won't change.

I support Andy 1000%. I have found his entries in this forum and his personal help on the phone to be invaluable......Tim
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:57 AM   #10
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I'm a bit of a novice but doesn't the trailer being level determine the amount of ground clearance for the WD arms. Level is level and no matter what truck you attach if the trailer and truck are level then the amount of ground clearance won't change.
Yes, while technically 'hitch height' is determined by the Airstream's tongue height, and the clearance of the WD arms to the ground would be nearly constant as would the ball mount portion of the hitch, the vehicle receiver height determines how much of the drop on the draw bar is used, and how high the ball mount portion of the hitch is located on the draw bar. It's possible to have the draw bar drop mounted either above or below the receiver box depending on the receiver height, so it's relative location on a truck can vary widely, although it's seldom lower than the rear axle's differential; it just hangs out further.

Roger
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:50 AM   #11
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Thumbs up The original question...



No I don't think you will be too low.
When I first hitched to the 06 Burb I thought the same thing.
This photo is with a 4" drop which I had to replace with a 6", to get a level trailer, so it now rides even lower. Haven't actually measured but bet it's below 8". I still have never bottomed out under normal conditions. I just loosen the bars to gain some height when setting up on uneven ground.

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Old 01-04-2010, 08:26 AM   #12
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I tow with a stock Equilizer with spring bars with an Excursion. The ball of the hitch is quite a bit below the bumper and the bottom of hitch itself is several inches below the ball.
It looks like there isn't much clearance but in 4 years of towing (much of it in Mexico, land of topes) and lots on forest service roads I have had little trouble.
Problems come when I hit a vado or tope too fast. Then I get a scrape. The low point seems to be where the clamps attach the spring bars on the trailer. When I first got the trailer I scraped off a clamp (no other damage), now I carry spares.
To tow properly, the trailer must be level. On any high clearance vehicle, the hitch of the trailer will have to be very low to tow the trailer on the level. I am sure there are low points with other hitches and the problem is not confined to Equalizers.
I agree with other posters, I would not tow around the block without spring bars, except in an emergency.
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