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Old 02-26-2006, 06:18 PM   #1
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Which Hitch should I use?

Hi Everybody,

I know many have been "down this road" before, but I want to ask again.

Since I finally received my title (see other posts...), my Airstream is officially mine. I was getting ready to buy an Equal-I-Zer (dashes in the right places ?) hitch when I got to looking at my trailer closely. Digging through the closets, I found some bars. Based on pictures I've seen and doing a bit of web searching, it appears that I got a Reese Dual Cam with the trailer.

Now, I should say that I've used a Dual Cam in the past. My father had one on a 26' Terry that he used to own and that he let me borrow. It towed OK, but I thought it a pain to hook up what with the chains and all.

However, it seems that I already have a Dual Cam with my Excella. So, should I still be thinking about the Equal-I-Zer or should I just use the Dual Cam that I got "for free" with the trailer?

I am an engineer, and I will admit that I got the DVD's from both Equal-I-Zer and Hensley. In my mind, nothing compares to the Hensley. But, I don't have the extra green right now to buy one.

In addition, I towed the trailer home from the dealership behind my 4-door long bed Dodge Ram on just the ball and safety chains and never knew it was back there. Admittedly, I wasn't crossing Wyoming with a 50 knot crosswind, but in you all's opinions, should I just stick with the Dual Cam? Do I even need to use it?
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Old 02-26-2006, 07:41 PM   #2
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Jim,

Lots of folks have favorite brands and in the end you'll have to weigh cost vs. benefit.

THe Hensley is suppose to be a great hitch. Those that have them, love them and would not be without them and for $3k, I would prob feel the same way.

I have a Reese Dual Cam. It seems to work well. If it were me, I would start with what you have, since a dual cam is a good system. If you don't like it, you can always try something else, but if it's free/came with the coach, give it a try and make the decision from there.

...and yes, even though your truck can handle the hitch weight, I'd use it because it adds a level of rigidity to the connection than a simple hitch on ball. Add to the fact that you're sway control is part of the weight bars through the dual cam, yup, you should use it*

*provided the bars are not too stiff and will *overhitch* the setup.
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:11 PM   #3
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Which rate bars?

How do I tell what the rate on my bars are? These still have the sticker, but it's warn partially away. I can make out a 00, but can't see the first number on them. I think they're in the hundreds of pounds then (as in not 1000lb rate bars), but don't know what. Can I mic the cross sections of the bars and then use that to get the rate?
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:24 PM   #4
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Jim, You're probably OK with the bars that came with the trailer. They're probably either 900 or 1,000 lb bars which is OK for a trailer like yours. In any event, you're not going to bend the frame with them. And yes, the Dual Cam is a good hitch. I'm prejudiced as the Reese is all I've ever had, but if you've got it, there's no reason to go out and spend $400 on something else. And, since your trailer is well balanced and well behaved, you should just notice a nice solid feel that perhaps wasn't quite as solid before.

Roger
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
How do I tell what the rate on my bars are? These still have the sticker, but it's warn partially away. I can make out a 00, but can't see the first number on them. I think they're in the hundreds of pounds then (as in not 1000lb rate bars), but don't know what. Can I mic the cross sections of the bars and then use that to get the rate?
Jim,
I know that works on the Equalizer bars, they are different sizes based on the weight ratings. IIRC they go up in 1/8" increments...maybe give Reese Products a call or see if they list the thicknesses of their bars.

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Old 02-26-2006, 08:31 PM   #6
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If they are not 1000# bars, you should be OK. From what I've read here, given the fact you have what appears to be a 3/4 ton pickup, the less the better given the stiff suspension, even better at or slightly below the actual hitch weight will the bars be more effective if used for weight and sway control. I had 1200lb bars and they did nothing with the Suburban (which is 3/4 ton also), but they did wonders for the soft Impala SS suspension. I downgraded to 800# bars and the sway worked better, at least from what I could tell.

Problem is that if your bars are too big (size in terms of #s), the sway control will not really work well without some flex on the bars. When you hook it up, see if there is any flex to the bars. Dual cam must have some flex for the sway to be effective.
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:40 PM   #7
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You will find the answer to the bar diameter/load rating question in this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forum...not-13393.html?

It's worth reading all the way through, or at least #12 on.
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:29 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone.

I tried clicking on the thread link here but it didn't seem to take me into the thread, just opened up the portal page again in another window. Maybe the ellipses in the thread name are messing it up?

Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:42 AM   #9
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Retry?

http://www.airforums.com/forum...not-13393.html?
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:32 AM   #10
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Retry redux: do a search on words: Reese resuscitate

Sorry about the bad links.
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:58 PM   #11
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Don,

Good thread. Took me a while to read it, but it did answer a lot. Looks like I need to get a set of the 550lb bars. I downloaded Andy's post saying how you can measure the width of the bars to get their rating. I'll do that.

I don't have the actual hitch unit that plugs into the truck's receiver. I've got the stuff that attaches to the trailer A-frame and the two bars. I'll need to get a ball mount assembly that can accomodate the bars.

Admittedly I did tow it home from the dealership on just the ball, with no brakes, and it did just fine. But I only went about 35 miles. After seeing what happened to that poor guy in the thread (and his trailer was IDENTICAL to mine), I'll be doing something!

My dad had a Reese Dual Cam on his Terry 26' with the slideout. He despised that hitch, said it tried to throw him off the road. I've seen so many guys on here that love this hitch that I have to wonder if Dad wasn't doing something wrong. Do you think he had too heavy a bar setup? He had it hitched to a '99 Dodge Ram 3/4 ton HD with the diesel. I pulled it once behind a 2001 Ford Excursion and it did just fine. I've now got a crew cab long bed Ram to pull the Excella. Just want to set it up properly.
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