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Old 07-11-2003, 08:33 AM   #1
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Weight Distribution Question

I have a 1998 Bambi 19' with a tongue weight
of 500 lb. I would like to know what model EAZ Lift Weight Distribution Hitch you would recommend, the 750 max or 1000 max weight allowed?
I don't usually have that much weight in the back of the vehicle but know that has to be taken into concederation.

Thanks for any help on this matter, Randy
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Old 07-11-2003, 09:01 AM   #2
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I find that even without any weight distribution device it tows perfect.
I wonder if these devices are needed.
Airlifts or Firestone bags compensate hitch weight with more versatility
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Old 07-11-2003, 09:25 AM   #3
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Hitch

The lighter bars should be more than adequate. Using too heavy a bar tends to beat up the trailer and worsen the ride of the tow vehicle. As a side benefit, the lighter bars are a lot lighter to put on and off.

I use 550# bars on my International because I already had them. The tongue weight is over 600#, but with a Z71 pickup, the truck barely moves under the hitch load. The ride is excellent.
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Old 07-11-2003, 09:35 AM   #4
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for any hitch load that changes the attitude of the tow vehicle (raises the front and/or lowers the rear more than an inch or so), a weight distributing hitch is a good idea. At the very least you don't want your headlights bothering people!

Sway control is another issue. Always a good idea but usually not needed for the under 20' trailers.
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Old 07-11-2003, 11:00 AM   #5
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The rating of the hitch that is use, must also take into consideration what tow vehicle is used.

To not do so is guess work.

To use air shocks or air bags, or overload springs, to level the rear of the tow vehicle, when towing, is an accident that "WILL" happen.

Years of research by Caravanner Insurance Company, more than proved that fact.

There will always be the person who won't listen, or chooses to ignor facts, but if and when they lose control and hurt someone, they will become accutely aware of what liability insurance is for.
It's to cover their negligence and mistakes.

The question becomes more so, of how do you cultivate someone who has little or no regard for safety for themselves, their families, and the public at large.

ANY guardhouse lawyer, will mop the court room floor with anyone that has chosen to ignore towing safety rules.

Towing without a load equalizing hitch and/or a sway control, places that individuals neck, in a huge noose.

Talk to anyone, that has lost control and they will make a believer out of that person, PRONTO.

Or, settle with the estate of the driver, WHO THOUGHT, he was immune to the rules of safety, AND PHYSICS, as I did. That order of work, was far from heart warming.


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Old 07-11-2003, 11:04 AM   #6
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hey Andy,
I remember you commenting about the air-bags before, and I was wondering what you think of the new VW suv that was discussed in another recent thread. Apparently, it has an "air adjustable suspension" of some sort "stock" from the factory. Do you think that's a bad thing? or is it entirely different than adding after-market air bags?
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Old 07-11-2003, 11:10 AM   #7
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Any system that can remove weight from the "load equalizing hitch," progressively defeats the purpose of the hitch.

Any truck scale will prove that.



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Old 07-11-2003, 11:39 AM   #8
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Andy,

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that a load leveling hitch with sway control of any type is a liability management device as well as whatever other purpose it may serve. Makes sense.

This gets me to thinking about legal requirements - I know they exist for chains and brakes but I haven't seen any for load leveling or sway control. And this gets me to wondering how a law would specify these things. - also curious as to how a lawsuit would go about establishing that the lack of such devices for a hitch functioning within ratings would argue the case.

Also, do you know of any insurance company that provides incentive for particular hitch setups?

I am prompted with this curiosity by some of the discussions about Hensley, Pullrite, and other hitch types and the preponderance of simple hitches on the road.

Anyway, jsut curious,. Would appreciate your (and anyone elses for that matter) thoughts if you feel it worthwhile to help my curiosity itch.
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Old 07-11-2003, 12:23 PM   #9
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Bryan.

It's a matter of "industry standards." It's also a matter that the laws of Physics are severly jeopardized when towing with less than acceptable rigging.

Any, repeat, any truck scale will more than adequately demonstrate what is correct and what is not correct rigging. A simple matter of weight and balances.

Further, any time you are on a public road you automatically imply, that you are doing so, safely. It doesn't take much to prove that towing without a load eqaulizing hitch, is unsafe.

I am not aware of any insurance company that offers credits for proper rigging.


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Old 07-11-2003, 09:00 PM   #10
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An interesting thread, as I am in the middle of trying to figure this thing about spring bars weight rating. I have just had installed a Reese W/D with a Dual Cam Sway Control. The load bars that came with the W/D are rated at 12,000 # & this is the unit that was installed by a local TT dealer on our 1500 Ram pickup. We are pulling a 2002 Bambi, which is rated at 4500#, so I am more than sure the WD set-up is fine, perhaps even somewhat overkill with the Dual Cam Sway Control. I am questioning the spring bars rating ( 12,000# ) & told the dealer as such. I feel spring bars rated at 800#would be better, for the TT & the ride. I am, however , not the expert, so I called Reese in this regards & was told by Reese, that the 12,000# bars would be o.k. for this application & that the 12,000# spring bars WOULD NOT transfer any shock damaging effect to the TT. Now, if I read Andy correct he is saying just the opposite. Is there a right or wrong with the spring bar ratings? What to do! What to do! Whatever ,but do it right.
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Old 07-11-2003, 11:50 PM   #11
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Trailers are pulled without these devices all over the world & these weight hitches only exist in the US & Canada.
You won't see one anywhere else, & their trailers can be as heavy as here.
When in England, I asked many "caravan" dealers who said they never heard of these hitches, they are also unknown all over Europe...no problems or safety issues exist, or the european parliament would have tackled the issue...they are very strict on safety matters.

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Old 07-12-2003, 07:23 AM   #12
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The "rule of thumb" to determine the rating of the torsion bars, is somewhat basic.

The heavier duty the tow vehicle, the lighter rating bars should be used.

When the bars are attached, the weight distribution on the tow vehicle should be near equal. That is to say, if you transfer 600 pounds to the tow vehicle, 150 pounds should be applied to each wheel, AND. at the same time the bars should bend at least one inch.

Therefore if the rating is too high, the bars will not bend enough, causing more road shock to the front of the trailer.

If the rating is too low, the bars will bend excessively.

Again, any truck scale will prove what combo is correct for any combination.

With regard to towing with just a ball, and using air lifts or air bags, perhaps people in other countries are not as law suit happy as we are in America.

Personal opinion has nothing to do with what "is correct."

The laws of physics does.

Personal opinion, however strong, does not and will not change the laws of physics.

Towing without a "load equalizing" hitch, demonstrates a lack of safety concerns, not only for themselves, but the innocent person as well.

In plain language, IT'S DUMB.


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Old 07-12-2003, 08:58 AM   #13
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For sure other countries are not as "law suit happy" but they are as "safety concerned", even more than you could imagine & if it was "dumb" they wouldn't do it...

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Old 07-12-2003, 09:20 AM   #14
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European trailers

Their trailers are much lighter than ours and have a very low tongue weight. The trailers I saw in the UK are usually wide opn inside.

I saw a guy lift the tongue onto the ball of what must have been a 16 to 18' caravan. How they avoid sway, I don't know except they usually don't pull very fast (I spent over an hour stuck in a line of traffic behind one in Scotland).

They are also usually pulling with independent rear suspension which aids in stability.
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Old 07-12-2003, 10:39 AM   #15
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Comparisons between the US and European countries might be interesting but there are entirely too many differences in roads, travel styles, fuel costs, vehicle preferences and other things to make it very instructive without extensive qualification.

In this country, I think a proper census will show that there are an awful lot of people who do not use spring bars or sway control, exspecially as the trailer length goes below 22 feet or so or the tow vehicle goes towards larger trucks. This sets the 'industry standard" and, I think, will also often meet Andy's other criteria of the truck scales.

Spring bars are part of a suspension system. If the shocks and springs in your truck are rated for extra load, you will get a rough ride. If rated for too small a load, your handling will suffer (as will safety). The same consideration applies to spring bars.

I'd tend to agree that it is rather dumb to run without proper rigging as it is easily noticed by poor handling - and there is no need for that.
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Old 07-12-2003, 11:01 AM   #16
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I gotta agree with Andy on this one...

I'm just getting ready to pick up my first Aristream next week, and I want to trip home to be boring. BORING! No "white knuckle" events, no rapid pulse, no nothing.

I've invested a lot of time, energy and money in picking out the right hitch, which in this case is a reese dual cam. Now the bars are 1000# bars, and the tongue weight is probably 650#, so they are a little heavier than I'd like, but they're still gonna be safe....

...and boring.
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Old 07-12-2003, 02:59 PM   #17
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Weight Distribution Question

Greetings Drboyd!

With a hitch weight of 650 pounds, you may be satisfied with 1,000 pound bars depending upon the tow vehicle involved. It is my opinion that the best operation of the Dual Cam System would be had with 800 pound bars - - my experience with 1,000 pound bars on my Overlander with similar hitch weight being towed by any one of the following ('84 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, '95 Chevrolet K1500 Club Cab Z71, or '99 K2500 Suburban) was that the Dual Cam System seemed to be far less effective than with the 800 pound bars - - it seems like the amount of pressure placed on the pring bars bears a relationship to the effectiveness of the Dual Cam System. With my Suburban, I was only able to drop 2-links on the 1,000 pound bars (never experienced any true "white-knuckle" experiences with this setup, but the trailer did not feel "solidly-linked" to the tow vehicle); but am able to drop up to 4-links with the 800 pound bars depending upon the way that I have the trailer loaded (with this setup, the trailer feels like it is solidly linked to the tow vehicle and still no "white-knuckle" experiences).

Good luck with your first trip!

Kevin
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Old 07-12-2003, 04:26 PM   #18
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Thanks overlander64!

I've heard conflicting opinions about the 1000# bars. Personally, I'm a little hinkey about 'em, but I went out to one of the local Reese dealers, (and a pretty reputable slash knowledgable one at that) and he told me they would be fine. Matter of fact, I was gonna offer him $$ to trade me for some 800# bars, and he talked me out of it. How 'bout that?!?

I'd be glad to trade 'em straight across for a set of 800# bars, but I don't need to have one set on the trailer and the other set gathering cobwebs in the garage....

I'm pretty psyched about getting the trailer. I got a copy of a 1979 owners manual on CD off eBay (very nicely done, by the way!) and read thru it this morning. I figure the more time I spend planning, reading and thinking, the smoother the trip will be.

Everyone on the board here has been an incredible help!!
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Old 07-12-2003, 08:50 PM   #19
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Kevin ----I'm a little green in regards to what you mean by dropping 2 links or 4 links. I'd appreciate it if you could explain what you mean. I have the Reese WD w/ Dual Cams with 1000# spring bars & I'm having a heck of a time getting consistent answers in regards to proper weight of the spring bars. I called Reese, in regards to the weight ratings of the spring bars & was told they ( 1000# )would be fine for my rig (19'Bambi w/ 1500 Ram ), however I really feel 800# would be better. I would like to make an intelligent decision, but need better facts to do so.
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Old 07-12-2003, 11:26 PM   #20
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Weight Distribution Question

Greetings A. E.!


When I wrote of links dropped, it refers to the number of links beyond the peg on the snap-up bracket. In other words, three dropped links would mean that the fourth link is on the snap-up bracket peg - - or four dropped links would mean that the fifth link from the end of the chain is on the snap-up bracket peg. I always treat each side of the hitch the same in regard to the number of links dropped.

In regard to spring bar selection, the general line from Reese and most hitch dealers is similar - - the heavier the bars the better. I happended to run into a Reese hitch technician who was VERY aware of Airstreams and advised me on the selection of spring bars to optimize my Dual Cam Sway Control System - - at the time I was on my second set of bars - - first were 500 pounds (far too light and bellied out - - permanently bent in the center) - - the second were 1,000 pounds (too heavy and the Dual Cam System never seemed to be fully functional and the truck-trailer never really felt like they were a tightly joined unit). The technician fitted the hitch with 800 pound bars, and the difference in the feel while towing was phenomenal - - the truck-trailer reacted as a fully-joined unit and the Dual Cam Sway control performed exactly as promised.

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