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Old 02-20-2006, 03:44 PM   #1
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Weight distributing hitch choices

I need help in choosing correct weight distributing hitch and sway control setup.
I’ve read the forum threads. I’m SOooooo confused.

Towing ’64 Safari, 22’, 3800 lbs loaded, 350+/- tongue weight.

I have only Reese, Drawtite, Uhaul and Valley to choose from (welcome to Alaska..no choice shopping). Salesmen all tell different stories of my needs; theirs is best stuff, etc.
Also told Reese and Drawtite are now same parent company, same parts.
Buying on line may be easy/cheaper but shipping to Alaska is killer.

Dealer here sells a Reese Strait-line® hitch “kit” which “looks and feels” right.
It’s a better value than separate purchase. But, it may be overkill.

It consists of Reese #66020 WD hitch w/600 lb square trunnion bars and #26002 dual cam sway control (bolts to frame). Then I also need the hitch bar and ball.

Specific Questions:
Is this setup adequate? What about 600# vs 800# bars?
What are +/- of trunnion bars vs round bars?
Will a WD setup too stiff cause damage? (I’d prefer dual cam to friction if it doesn’t cause damage.)
Reese vs Drawtite? Same/same?
Anyone know a free shipping web dealer?

I know you’ve done this thread idea before.
Any thoughts are helpful.
Just trying to be safe on the road.
I had SERIOUS sway coming up the AlCan Hwy.

Thanks,
Safari64
Eagle River, Alaska

Alaska: the last foreign country still friendly to Americans.
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:12 PM   #2
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You'll probably get all kinds of replys but do a search on "equalizer" brand, after having had the Reese with dual cam, I can say the equalizer does a better job of preventing sway. I've talked to one Airstream dealer that has said that under the right circumstances, the dual cam can actually contribute to a loss of control. I bought my equalizer for about $600 from a local rv dealer and it included everything except the receiver hitch which came from the factory on the truck.
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:55 PM   #3
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Safari64

A weight distributing hitch rating is determined by two things.

You spelled out the trailer specs, but you must also know the exact tow vehicle as well.

Different rating hitches are used dpending on the trailer/tow vehicle combination.

Andy
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:51 PM   #4
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62 Overlander,
We have used the "Equalizer "Brand hitch for our Globetrotter, 4200 lbs loaded weight, hitch wieght of 720lbs. Towing with a our 1969 Cadillac to Springfield last year, with coil springs all around, the set-up was a "white knuckle" experience. The Equalizer hitch has no centering position, so the hitch caused the Cadillac body to twist on the coil springs after a turn. The Dual Cam is steadier for our use, and "centers" itself after turning.
Also, should you have a warranty problem with the "Equalizer" brand hitch, they will require you to ship the assembly to Utah at your expense.
We are happier with the Reese.
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:53 PM   #5
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Reese has been "top of the line" in many ways, for over 40 years.

They have an excellent warranty program.

Andy
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:16 AM   #6
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Thanks for the help.
I’ll be towing with a Dodge 2500 4x4 extended cab pickup. On few occasions I will have to use a Jeep Grand Cherokee for the personnel/equipment carrying capacity. I know it’s NOT a good AS tow vehicle but have to use Jeep off road for work while unhooking and leaving AS as field office/camp.

What is the operational difference between round bar vs trunnion bar WD hitch?

At 22 foot is my trailer TOO small/light to warrant the square trunnion bars?

I want heavy duty but not something that will damage trailer or tow vehicles.

Thanks, Safari64
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Old 02-21-2006, 01:09 AM   #7
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You can do Reese Dual Cam in the 600# bars and be okay, I think.
Maybe a little light on the trunnion bars for the Grand Cherokee, but not over hitched for the 2500 pickup.
You could always get 800# bars for the Grand Cherokee, and 600# bars for the 2500 truck and re-adjust the ball mount head for height and angle each time you changed tow vehicles.
I know it seems backwards...light weight bars for the truck and heavy weight bars for the Grand Cherokee, but I am right on this.
The 2500 truck is stiff suspension, so you need a limber trunnion bar to provide the sway control and always have pressure on the dual cam sway controls. It is like having a limber tip fishing pole when landing big bass.
Then you need the heavy bars for the lighter suspension Grand Cherokee to help the Jeep hold up the trailer, making the bars do more work because the suspension on the Jeep is not stiff like the 2500 pickup.
---just my 2 cents---
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari64
I need help in choosing correct weight distributing hitch.
What about 600# vs 800# bars?
This link may help you with your decision. Or not.
http://www.airforums.com/forum...s-19236-3.html?
Nick.
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dscluchfc
Then you need the heavy bars for the lighter suspension Grand Cherokee to help the Jeep hold up the trailer, making the bars do more work because the suspension on the Jeep is not stiff like the 2500 pickup.
---just my 2 cents---
I would think the 600lb bars would be more than adequate, even on the Jeep. We're not talkin' about a huge amount of tounge weight, here...even for a small suv.

I wonder if you even need wd w/ a beast like that dodge. (unless maybe you've got a ton of bricks in the bed, too). sway control? maybe. But the long wheelbase and huge capacity...I doubt a vintage trailer like that could push you around much.
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:03 AM   #10
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Safari64

First of all, your tow vehicle is "super heavy duty".

Therefore that in itself limits the hitch rating, so that you don't cause damage to the front end of the trailer.

A Reese 550 or 600 pound hitch, with full sway control, would be the optimum choice in your case.

Please keep in mind that friction sway controls have no idea if your rig is in a straight line, or not.

The Reese, simply because of it's design, and when "properly installed", always seeks to keep the rig in a straight line. As soon as you make a turn, the torsion on the bars, "unequally" increases, as well as twists the tow vehicle to the turning side, which within reason, forces the rig to go back to the straight line, if you simply let go of the steering wheel.

The straight line sway control, is an all weather device. Friction sway controls, must be backed off, when the weather becomes inclement. That to me, is the time I would like more help, certainly not less.

Andy
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:25 PM   #11
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Thanks guys, This is the help I needed. Every input is very helpful.

I do quite a bit of inclement weather travel. Lots of ice and frost heaving bumps. We get electricity in the igloos next month.

Any thoughts on effects to trailer frame from the dual cam sway control that bolts to the frame vs the parts that u bolt (other than interference with LP bottle rack and you could swap hitch from trailer to trailer)?

Safari64
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:46 PM   #12
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Safari 64.

The dual cam installation is easy and stright forward.

Andy
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:21 PM   #13
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Andy, Thanks a lot for the help

No damage other than 4 holes drilled in the frame to mount, correct?
Not sure the Ubolts would clear the bottle rack

Safari64
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:40 PM   #14
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There is another option out there in Sway Control Land. I have no experience with this system but it does look interesting True Center Sway Control it is on the bottom of the page. Blue Ox has a good reputation for a quality product.

Aaron
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