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Old 06-14-2006, 09:28 PM   #1
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Worthwhile upgrading Dual-cam?

Hi, folks,

Here's my question: I have an older Reese Dual-Cam hitch with the bolt-on cams on the bars that is showing slight wear in the forward part of the bars or the hitch itself. It's still working okay, but would there be any advantage for me to upgrade to the round tubes with the curved ends rather than my bolt-on cams?

Would they even work with my existing hitch mount?

The major complaint I have with my older dual-cam is the noise it make when it comes off the cam for slow speed manuevering.

Thanks,

Lamar
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Old 06-14-2006, 09:45 PM   #2
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Just to let you know my 2 month old well used Reese dual cam makes quite a racket when turning it tight spaces.
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Old 06-14-2006, 11:22 PM   #3
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Worthwhile upgrading Dual-cam?

Greetings Lamar!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeHarbor
Hi, folks,

Here's my question: I have an older Reese Dual-Cam hitch with the bolt-on cams on the bars that is showing slight wear in the forward part of the bars or the hitch itself. It's still working okay, but would there be any advantage for me to upgrade to the round tubes with the curved ends rather than my bolt-on cams?

Would they even work with my existing hitch mount?

The major complaint I have with my older dual-cam is the noise it make when it comes off the cam for slow speed manuevering.

Thanks,

Lamar
I have the older style Dual Cam system on both of my coaches. With three sets of weight distribution bars, I do have one set of the new style weight distribution bars that do not require the bolt-on cams -- so far is towing is concerned, I don't notice any difference in their performance. The one thing that I have noted, however, is that the new style weight distribution bars require a slight adjustment to the levers mounted on the tongue as the new bars are a bit longer than my older bars (particularly the 500 pound weight distribution bars that I utilize when towing the Minuet with the Suburban).

The new style weight distribution bars have posed no problems with either of my hitch heads -- one was purchased new in 1995 and the other was purchased new by the previous owner of my Minuet in 1978. The new weight distribution bars are quite a bit more expensive than replacement cams for existing bars -- unless the bars have takne an undesirable "set" or bend, my suggestion would be to stick with what you have and replace the bolt-on-cams.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 06-14-2006, 11:38 PM   #4
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Reese says you can put a small amount of vaseline on the aft portion of the bar where it goes over the cam to decrease noise -- wear at that point is to be expected. But you are supposed to grease the front of the bars where they sit in the sockets of the hitch receiver. I saw definite wear there in less than a 1000 miles towing. Then I read the grease advice in the Forums and both wear and noise have diminished.

Is that what you mean by "forward part of the bars or the hitch itself"?

Both the Dual Cam and the High Performance Dual Cam bars are rectangular tapering. (see Reese) "Round" as you say it is a bit confusing to me. The Dual Cam incorporates both weight distribution (the bars and chain loading) and anti-sway (the bars on the cams). Considering the wide variety of non-major-name WD gear installed by dealers, I'd say you are on good ground with either Reese product. Equalizer is equally admired by other members.
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:31 AM   #5
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Do not expect the new style Reese hitches to performane much better than the old style. The engineering design features are the same although the physical design has changed. I would not spend the money to upgrade, unless you can not buy new cams or followers when the old ones wear out. Expect them to wear and replace them when they do. I drop the bars when I have alot of low speed manuvering to do.
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:39 AM   #6
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just to add: new bars will fit the old head. The trunion design hasn't changed. I had to do the opposite, that is, I needed to buy a new hitch head to go with my old dual-cam setup, and it works just fine. (the old hitch head and shank that came with the trailer was a "weld-up", and non-adjustable, and my tow vehicle is different from the one for which this was made, so I had to buy a new one). Anyway, I confirmed it with Reese before buying it, that I wouldn't need to buy new bars to go w/ the new head, and they were right.

as for the noise: Its amazing how a little dab of vaseline quiets that down to nothin'. They say to use that because its not really all that slippery...you don't want to eliminate friction there, because thats what makes the whole thing work. But its does seem counter-intuitive that anything that reduces friction enough to eliminate the noise would not also lower the effectiveness of the hitch. But they say it doesn't. (and I haven't noticed any change in performance, either, for whatever that's worth). They do say not to use any type of "grease" on the cams, as that could affect performance.
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:47 AM   #7
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I have used vaseline on the head pivots. THe Cams are clean and still make noise when I turn tight.
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:38 PM   #8
Round on both ends
 
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Thanks for the replies, guys. Mine makes a heck of a racket during slow speed manuevering, too. It's almost embarrasing at the gas station or on curvey entrances to campgounds. I was hoping to hear that the bar with the integral cams might make less noise.

I just went out to look at my hitch, and attracted my neighbor who saw my flashlight and said he thought it was the police because the cops use bluish flashlights. No, it's only a cheapo LED.

Anway, he has a much newer SOB (2005 Coachman) with a dual-cam, and we went over to look at his. Like mine, his lower further part (trunnion?) is just as oval or elongated shaped as the slot in my hitch.

If there's no advantage to the new design, I'll stick with what I have and save the bucks. (Save the bucks and there's an Airstream involved? What a concept.)

It's good to know that the new style bars will work with the older hitch. Mine is apparently a "high-performance" model because the front end looks very much like the same trunion on the Reese website. My hitch does have two "bumpers" on top that their picture is not showing. This is good to know because I think I'll find that I need lighter liftbars with this stiffer truck. I need to go back and reread Nick C.'s analysis and Inland Andy's advice.

I just had the back end of my Dodge lowered two inches (by flipping the axle spacers from the bottom to the top of the axle) at the deeler, and I still need to lower the hitch another two - three inches to get it near the Airstream's ball height. That's the project for next weekend. Now to find a torque wrench that can do 300 ft-lbs... If there's one in this town, I haven't found it yet.

I'm going to the diesel shop Monday to see what they have. They're a CASE/Cummins dealer.

Lamar
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Old 06-18-2006, 07:29 AM   #9
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Due to geometry, the loads at the front end of the w/d bars are much higher than the loads on the cams. The rotary motion speeds are also very low. If left without grease they wear very quickly. The frictional dampening at this location is a minor contributor to the stability of the rig. I would suggest you use something with a higher viscosity than the Vasoline, which is a gelled low molecular weight USP food grade oil. A chassie lub or wheel bearing grease or what you use on the ball would be a better product to minimize wear. Use the Vasoline on the cams to quiet them down without eliminating the friction and wear. You have to consider the cams and cam followers as a desposible part (like brake linings or pads) and replace them when they get worn and lose their self centering ramps.
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