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Old 11-17-2015, 08:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kingsmen 33 View Post
I had an Equalizer for my 25' FC pulled by 5.5L V8 GMC. Pulled well.

Bought new 28' FC three months ago and pulled it across country with same hitch/tow vehicle. Towed well but at higher speeds getting below 10 mpg. The 5.3L also did a lot of downshifting going up hills.
Bought new GMC Sierra HD with Duramax diesel. This is 3/4 ton truck. Pulls 28' great at all speeds. The GM specs say weight distribution hitch not needed with a trailer under 10,000 pounds. Tongue weight rating is 1,500 pounds. I did a 500 mile test drive with the equalizer and then came home for 500 miles with just a tow ball and no weight distributing hitch. Their was no difference in handlling at any speed or road condition. Tested up to 85mph. I now use the ball only and have eliminated the heavy and dirty equalizer. I was surprised, but the heavier truck made a big difference.
I also have all of the tow data for MPG for the 5.3l V8 versus the 6.6L Duramax. If interested I can publish this data.
I did the very same thing when I bought my 3/4 Silverado 6.6L Duramax. When it's hitched the trailer is level, the truck drops 1.5" in the rear to level and the front rises 1/4". Pulled it all over several states with no problem. It great not having to mess with WD. However; nobody seems to agree that it is safe. I even talked to the guys at etrailer and they say it's ok until it isn't. They said if the trailer weight is more that 50% of the tow vehicle you need WD. They have about scared me into putting my hensley back on. I'm not sure what to do at this point.
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:41 AM   #16
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" . . . it's okay until it isn't."

Towing without weight distribution and sway control may be fine going down the highway year after year until something happens. Swerving to avoid something in your lane, traveling downhill on a curve in the mountains hitting an extreme crosswind, many situations where you suddenly need the best possible steering control and resistance to trailer sway oscillations introduced by the event.
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Old 11-17-2015, 10:08 AM   #17
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I think it also depends on TV and your level of comfort.
When we brought our new to us 75 Overlander 27' home it was on a normal hitch since neither I nor the PO knew what to do with the WD hitch it came with.
200 winding mountain road miles later with a section of 50mph crosswind gusts we made it home just fine. The F250 SuperDuty diesel never knew the trailer was back there.
Now that I know how to set up the WD hitch I'll try it next time we tow. If there is no noticeable difference I'll sell it.
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Old 11-17-2015, 10:32 AM   #18
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Good friends of ours rolled their F250/28' Airstream combination in severe crosswinds in Arizona a few years ago. Mountain highway, downhill cute, it began to sway and it was suddenly rolling. They were badly injured. That's when we began to take hitch setups more seriously and finally ended up with a ProPride/Hensley design.
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:30 AM   #19
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Eeep!
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:35 AM   #20
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85 mph and it feels great!!

I am an advocate of having a tow vehicle that is large enough for the service and admire folks for stepping up to that expense.

However, the major factor in optimizing towing stability is speed even with the big truck. That certainly does not mean faster is better. I do not want to be near anyone towing a TT at 85 mph, particularly in the absence of a proper hitch setup. My caution grows exponentially if their trailer is equipped with ST tires.

The notion that one can judge the setup by feel is false. Quoting a vehicle dynamics expert, “It is not possible for a driver, no matter how experienced, to assess (by feel) how that rig will behave in an emergency.” Just ask someone who has wrecked how it felt when all of a sudden it didn’t feel right any longer and things went real bad in a big hurry.

If you can afford the big truck and an Airstream, spend a little more and get a decent hitch setup properly.
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Old 11-18-2015, 08:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Alphonse View Post
I am an advocate of having a tow vehicle that is large enough for the service and admire folks for stepping up to that expense.

However, the major factor in optimizing towing stability is speed even with the big truck. That certainly does not mean faster is better. I do not want to be near anyone towing a TT at 85 mph, particularly in the absence of a proper hitch setup. My caution grows exponentially if their trailer is equipped with ST tires.

The notion that one can judge the setup by feel is false. Quoting a vehicle dynamics expert, “It is not possible for a driver, no matter how experienced, to assess (by feel) how that rig will behave in an emergency.” Just ask someone who has wrecked how it felt when all of a sudden it didn’t feel right any longer and things went real bad in a big hurry.

If you can afford the big truck and an Airstream, spend a little more and get a decent hitch setup properly.
I never run over 65 mph but what you say certainly makes sense. I'm going to put the Hensley back on the trailer. I actually have two, one came with the trailer I recently purchased sort of silly not to use one.
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:53 AM   #22
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After reading the above posts, most of the problems are driver error, hitch or no hitch, you don't swerve at highway speeds, you brake and go straight , unless you want to take a chance in rolling your outfit, I can drive a ways and tell if the outfit handles good or not,I have been running big trucks with pup trailers for almost 50 years, and a mile or two you can tell if you are loaded right or not, same with my pickup and airstream...it's all in experience.... Make no mistakes..
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:03 PM   #23
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What hitch for 28'?

Sometimes it is necessary to swerve at highway speeds.

There is at least one instance where I had not swerved in a large vehicle, there is a good chance that I wouldn't be posting today.

I will take all possible measures to avoid an accident.

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Old 11-18-2015, 02:20 PM   #24
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Yes, we've hit four deer and swerved to avoid countless others in our daily commutes on Minnesota back-country roads. And a couple with our Airstream combo. I like a maneuverable tow vehicle/hitch/trailer combination that can handle an emergency lane change if it has to.
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Old 11-18-2015, 05:29 PM   #25
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Yes, we've hit four deer and swerved to avoid countless others in our daily commutes on Minnesota back-country roads. And a couple with our Airstream combo. I like a maneuverable tow vehicle/hitch/trailer combination that can handle an emergency lane change if it has to.
Doug,
You must like venison!
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Old 11-18-2015, 05:46 PM   #26
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Dick, I really don't care for venison but will partake to be a good sport. The last one I hit almost came through the windshield. That helped reinforce my decision for early retirement and no more backroad commuting in the dark of long winter nights. That was 12 years ago and have never regretted it.
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Old 11-18-2015, 08:45 PM   #27
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Old 11-19-2015, 03:48 AM   #28
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I recently was the great white hunter (in a white rental car). Left front headlight took the initial hit and the entire plastic rear end was torn off. Glad it was not the truck with an Airstream behind. I never even saw the deer before impact.

In that part of southern Indiana, I-69 construction has resulted in lots of additional deer strikes. The only good news, if any, is that a truck cruises that area all night picking up the dead deer and in the morning drives to the Indianapolis Zoo with fresh meat for the big Cats.
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