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Old 01-02-2012, 11:44 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by steverino View Post
Gene, yes, when socket bolts are torqued to 65 lbs, the sockets will not turn by hand. To move them, I put a spring arm into the socket and use the leverage of the arm to turn the socket. As such, I can see how the sockets contribute to sway control, especially when further loaded with spring bar under tension. This is the "rotational friction" mentioned above.

I had to retorque the bolts a couple times when i first got the hitch, and then on periodic re-checks, they have stayed pretty tight.

Steve
Hi, this is true. After I take my hitch all apart, to clean and re-lube the sockets, I torque my bolts to 80 lbs. Then after some use, the excess grease is squeezed out and I re-torque the bolts. If the sockets swing out with little or no pressure, you need to re-tighten the socket bolts. On mine, I have to un-hitch to gain access to my bolts. [actually the nuts] On mine, the nuts are on top of the hitch head and my socket with extension won't fit while connected, but on the newer models, the nuts are under the hitch head.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:08 AM   #30
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It took me a bit to gain insight into their phrase "rotational friction" when they discuss the sockets. I finally think I understand it though. They are of course talking about rotation on the horizontal plane.

If you insert your bar initially, you will see it hangs downward toward the rear. The socket is unloaded at that point. You then lift the other end up onto the L-bracket. Now, it is the lifting which applies tremendous tightening of the socket in it's head mount. When you lift with several hundred pounds pressure, you make that socket incredibly hard to turn on its horizontal axis. That is the friction that provides most of the sway control.

Frankly, I doubt very much if it makes much difference if those sockets swing somewhat easily when unloaded, as long as there is no wiggle in the vertical axis, of course. The magic here occurs upon loading that socket with the hundreds of pounds of upward lift of the bars when you lift them onto the L-bracket. That puts an enormous bind on those sockets. More bind = more friction. I also doubt that some lubrication will have much effect on the friction, which is a function of how much vertical force is being applied to displace (pinch) that socket within the head mount. And, it also explains why the head is so massive. It must contain this rather large force trying to rotate that socket vertically in the head.

It's rather ingeniously simple, and fairly elegant physics wise. I really didn't know how this hitch worked when I bought it. It has taken me a bit to understand it. Now that I do, I have even a bit more appreciation for its effectiveness.

I think if I were Equalizer, I would work on better marketing materials which would explain it much clearer. They are short selling their idea with not very clear explanations.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:16 AM   #31
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Balls? I don't have no Greasy Balls...!

Of course I've cheated a bit - I installed a Quickbite coupler on our AS during our 'rebuild' period...It's 'jaws' are made of Stainless Steel, and when you use a SS or heavy chrome ball, you don't need grease!

You back right into that sucker and it snaps shut and locks automatically...a SS pin through the top strap locks everything in place...

Here's a peek...
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:55 AM   #32
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Ray,
Now THAT is the cat's whiskers! First modern thing I've seen as a part of a hitch.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:56 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by redwoodguy View Post
It took me a bit to gain insight into their phrase "rotational friction" when they discuss the sockets. I finally think I understand it though. They are of course talking about rotation on the horizontal plane.

If you insert your bar initially, you will see it hangs downward toward the rear. The socket is unloaded at that point. You then lift the other end up onto the L-bracket. Now, it is the lifting which applies tremendous tightening of the socket in it's head mount. When you lift with several hundred pounds pressure, you make that socket incredibly hard to turn on its horizontal axis. That is the friction that provides most of the sway control.

Frankly, I doubt very much if it makes much difference if those sockets swing somewhat easily when unloaded, as long as there is no wiggle in the vertical axis, of course. The magic here occurs upon loading that socket with the hundreds of pounds of upward lift of the bars when you lift them onto the L-bracket. That puts an enormous bind on those sockets. More bind = more friction. I also doubt that some lubrication will have much effect on the friction, which is a function of how much vertical force is being applied to displace (pinch) that socket within the head mount. And, it also explains why the head is so massive. It must contain this rather large force trying to rotate that socket vertically in the head.

It's rather ingeniously simple, and fairly elegant physics wise. I really didn't know how this hitch worked when I bought it. It has taken me a bit to understand it. Now that I do, I have even a bit more appreciation for its effectiveness.

I think if I were Equalizer, I would work on better marketing materials which would explain it much clearer. They are short selling their idea with not very clear explanations.

Yup, you've got it, on all counts.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:36 AM   #34
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Is it good I decided after 2 months in college not to pursue engineering.

Gene
Gene, you missed your real calling by going into law. I think stand up comedy is your thing.

Years ago when I bought my hybrid trailer I purchased a new Equalizer hitch with 600 lb (?) bars. To get everything leveled I had to crank it up pretty tight. Early on this produced quite a bit of noise as others have described. It did get better over time and the addition of some lubrication also helped.

When I got the Airstream it came with an Equalizer hitch of the 1K variety. To level this system I did not have to crank it nearly as tight as the other. I get very little banging and clanging. I use an old pair of leather work gloves to handle the hitch. They stay with the hitch at all time. This works for me.

Gene, Steverino explained the 4 point friction thing well. The last time I took the trailer into the shop, the tech was helping me hitch up when he finished and when swinging the bar onto the L bracket he noticed that it was swinging a little too easily. He told me to tighten up the bolts when I got home. I did, and it made a noticeable difference.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:36 AM   #35
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Well, I've towed over 40,000 miles with loose sockets and it has worked (so far). But, come spring (or sooner) I'll tighten them. I'm glad redwood' started this thread because none of the other Equalizer threads I've read have mentioned this, probably because Equalizer buries the information where amongst all the new stuff there is to learn, I've never noticed anything about it.

Any thanks to dzn' for pointing this out, and to Bob Sunrus for confirming it. There's always more to learn.

It appears the Equalizer works so well, setting it up really badly as the dealer did won't impair it that much, but of course doing it right is better.

Glad to see redwood's has the propane line in the right place.

Gene
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:39 AM   #36
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Gene, you missed your real calling by going into law. I think stand up comedy is your thing.
A twisted sense of humor helps in the practice of law. It prevents cynicism from getting too far out of control.

Now, this guy walks into a bar with a hitch head with a greasy ball…

Gene
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:57 AM   #37
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dzn',

Now that I'm back after learning that trunnions had to do with cannons and not really understanding what that was all about, I remember that every discussion about Equalizer gets confused because people are using different words to describe the same things.

I don't believe Equalizer uses "trunnions". Maybe it means the bars.

They call those things on the side of the hitch head "sockets" (Equalizer: "Socket
Rectangular steel tubes on the Equal-i-zer® hitch head where the spring arms are inserted.").

Then there is the assembly on each side of the tongue with brackets: "Sway Control Bracket
Equal-i-zer® and E2™ brackets bolt on to the trailer frame. The spring arms rest on the bracket creating steel on steel friction sway control" [emphasis supplied].

Then there's this definition: "Linear Friction
Steel on steel positive friction created at the connection point of the spring arm on the L-bracket. Provides integrated sway control."

And more: "Rotational Friction
Downward pressure from the trailer tongue and upward pressure from the spring arms, created at the connection where head sockets rotate inside hitch head. Provides integrated sway control."

The 4 point sway control refers, according to these definitions as I understand them, to the 2 L brackets and the 2 sockets. All it says about the sockets is they "rotate inside hitch head". What rotating there is as I see it is horizontal as the tow vehicle turns. The sentence says to me there is a tension between the bars ("spring arms") pushing up against the tongue weight pushing down.

The socket bolts must come installed from the factory because there is little about them that I saw in the owner's manual. My sockets easily rotate. Are you saying they shouldn't? I have not tested the torque of the bolts. If torqued to 75 lbs., will the socket compress and not rotate easily?

Is it good I decided after 2 months in college not to pursue engineering.

Gene
Yup, I misused trunnion term. Sockets is what I meant....sorry for the confusion. Too much Reese on the brain. Reese uses trunnions at the spring bar to head interface.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:12 AM   #38
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Trunions Bad, Sockets Good...

Indeed, trunions are why I like the Reese system less and less the more I use the Equalizer.
With the Reese, I was surprised and disappointed at the wear on the trunions, even when properly lubricated.
I was also surprised how quickly you could flatten the cams on the dual-cam sway control.

I was happy to be here to witness the Redwood Guy's epiphany and his full and fair appreciation of the elegant simplicity of the Equalizer design.

Great thread!
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:20 AM   #39
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Indeed, trunions are why I like the Reese system less and less the more I use the Equalizer.
With the Reese, I was surprised and disappointed at the wear on the trunions, even when properly lubricated.
I was also surprised how quickly you could flatten the cams on the dual-cam sway control.

I was happy to be here to witness the Redwood Guy's epiphany and his full and fair appreciation of the elegant simplicity of the Equalizer design.

Great thread!
I've heard that trunnion wear thing before. I haven't had my dual cam long enough to note any wear, but I really don't understand it. I had a Draw-tite WD with an add on friction control on my old SOB. Draw-tite and Reese are the same company and I bet I had close to 100,000 miles on that hitch and had no significant wear on the trunnions.
As for the cams. The sway control is actually better and better as the cam lobe wears to the shape of the "hook" in the spring bar. After that, it's just wear. And you can flip them from side to side and start over.

Like I've said many times before, I actually like the design and simplicity of the EQ better, but until I can use 600# bars in a 10,000# head, they're not for me. (Still waiting on the offer of free or cheap 600# bars from one of you fellow forum members so I can experiment with sleeving the 10,000# head for 600# bars) Any takers?????
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:23 AM   #40
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Mine has a sticker on each socket which reads:

"For longer hitch life, keep Equal-i-zer rotational friction surfaces lubricated. Keep socket bolt tight (approx. 45 ft.lbs.)."
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:32 AM   #41
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The hitch head sockets are different sizes for different bars. The hitch head may also be different to fit the sockets. I've thought the same thing—buying lower weight rated bars—to reduce the bar weight rating, but I'd apparently have to buy the whole thing, or most of it. I wonder if it could done (use lower rated bars) using washers on the bolt inside the socket? I love washers, they fix so many things that don't fit.

It might be that heavier bars may provide more rotational friction even if the sockets are loose. This is a wild guess based on my two months as an engineering major.

Someone stopped here some time ago and her Reese had bent something. We tried to straighten it without a lot of success. We did break a pipe wrench trying to fix it, something I didn't think could be done. I didn't understand just how the Reese worked, but the system looked kind of screwy to me (ignorance makes for analysis such as "screwy") compared to the simplicity of the Equalizer system.

Now, does anyone know what the Equalizer 2 is and how it differs?

Gene
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:37 AM   #42
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The hitch head sockets are different sizes for different bars. The hitch head may also be different to fit the sockets. I've thought the same thing—buying lower weight rated bars—to reduce the bar weight rating, but I'd apparently have to buy the whole thing, or most of it. I wonder if it could done (use lower rated bars) using washers on the bolt inside the socket? I love washers, they fix so many things that don't fit.

It might be that heavier bars may provide more rotational friction even if the sockets are loose. This is a wild guess based on my two months as an engineering major.

Someone stopped here some time ago and her Reese had bent something. We tried to straighten it without a lot of success. We did break a pipe wrench trying to fix it, something I didn't think could be done. I didn't understand just how the Reese worked, but the system looked kind of screwy to me (ignorance makes for analysis such as "screwy") compared to the simplicity of the Equalizer system.

Now, does anyone know what the Equalizer 2 is and how it differs?

Gene
I think you would need more than washers. All that "slop" between the bar and socket would give you very little sway control on center. IMHO, the tighter the fit (within reason) between the spring bar and socket, the better the on center sway control feel.
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