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Old 01-29-2006, 07:59 PM   #1
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Equalizer

We had this put on our tow vehicle at the dealer-even though we had already purchased a weight distribution hitch and the dual cam sway control. They told us that the Equalizer would do the job of both of those, and we are true believers after driving 8+ hours home. We never felt any sway the whole way, and the 18 wheelers did nothing to us. I immediately felt comfortable on the interstate towing-which I was nervous about. The 22' Safari tracked very well! Made me feel I could tow something even longer- .

So if you're thinking about the Equalizer, I'm convinced it's great! Can't compare it to anything else, because my 10' pop up didn't require anything like this!!
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:34 AM   #2
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We have an Equal-I-Zer too, and we love it as well.

For some reason, they don't seem to be as popular as those of us who have them expect them to be with others. I think there are several reasons:

1. People are confused about the difference between the Eqaul-I-Zer brand hitch, and the use of the generic term "equalizing hitch," which describes a broad category of different things.

2. They look sort of crude and simple. It's hard to believe something that plain could be as effective as the more complex and attractively finished alternatives.

3. People that buy the most exensive trailers made are probably more likely to buy expensive hitches to go with them. Heck, if you're buying a large Airstream, a couple grand more for the "top of the line" hitch seems appropriate, and relatively insignifcant in terms of additional cost.

A year or two ago, there was a thread here by a gentleman who actually tested an Equal-I-Zer hitch and one of the others (can't remember if it was a dual cam or a Hensley), with the same trailer and tow vehicle. As that was the only reasonably direct comparison of any two hitches I could find, I gave it a lot of weight in my decision making. If I remember correctly, he said the Equal-I-Zer was lighter, simpler and cheaper, and he could detect pretty much no difference in handling between the systems.

But until I try a different hitch on my rig (while changing nothing else), I guess I really won't know. I can tell you this story though. The day we brought our Airstream home from the dealer, we gave the hitch the worst test we've ever put it to. Because it took so long for the dealer to go through all the systems with us, we didn't get finshed there until it started to get dark. So we left for home (at the time, we lived just outside the DC beltway) headed north on I-95 just before the evening death rush began.

I had never towed anything that big before, and I was pretty anxious about driving in traffic, so I wanted to make good time. I was in the middle lane of three, probably going about 65. Cars and trucks were passing on both sides at much higher speeds. I would have gotten into the far right lane, but I didn't think I could stop in time if the maniacs merging in from the numerous on-ramps failed to yield.

Then as we got to the bottom of a long shallow grave, a semi tanker snapped into my path from the right. He was going at least 90, and as I saw him come into view on my right, I could tell he was going to clip the right front of my truck with the back of his trailer as he came into my lane. I slammed on the brakes and flung the steering wheel to the left hoping to avoid the collision.

Miraculously, he missed us by inches. The Airstream never swayed at all, and just tracked into the lane right behind my truck. Perhaps a different kind of hitch could perform better under some combination of circumstances, but after that scare, I've been a huge Equal-I-Zer fan. The nice thing is that it's all been smooth sailing since then. Even after nine months of full timing, that was the scariest incident we've encountered. And it happened when we'd put maybe 10 miles on the trailer!
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Old 01-30-2006, 03:07 AM   #3
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FiveGreers good choice in hitch! That is what we are/were using to tow our 31' with a 1/2 ton pickup. And yes you probably could have gotten away with the 25, if the weight wasn't too high. I have seen Suburbans pulling some big Airstreams!
I did quite a bit of reading before buying and ended up with the Equalizer Hitch. I like the simplicity of it. I considered the Reese Strait Line dual cam, but couldn't find a dealer with one for me to look at. I have been happy with it and would reccomend it to anybody.

AgZep, I know exactly how you feel about DC traffic...I avoid that stretch of I-95 like the plague. I will look for any alternative route I can if I have to go to or thru that area.

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Old 01-30-2006, 07:17 AM   #4
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hi all, thanks for your testimonials. you have made me finalize my decision on the Equalizer hitch. donna
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Old 02-01-2006, 06:31 AM   #5
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Yes, the Equilizer hitch is terrific and...

well worth the price. I spent about $375 for mine and the price has been well worth it. Don't forget about properly inflated tires, too. That also makes a big difference in how your rig handles during towing.
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Old 02-01-2006, 07:02 AM   #6
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I studied alot to when I bought mine, really wanted a Hensly but out of my price range, so I bought a Reese weight distribution and dual cam HP, toung weight 1000 lbs. Nice thing about the dual cam is you can back up while turning with out having to get out and dissconect your sway control.
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Old 02-01-2006, 08:49 AM   #7
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We just went from a WD hitch and friction control to a Reese Dual cam. The difference is night and day!!! I can't believe anything could be easier to hook up that this dual cam.--Pieman
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Old 02-01-2006, 08:52 AM   #8
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We also have the eqal-i-zer too, and it has functioned without issue. Only pointers I can offer are:
  1. keep the head well greased, and optional to lube the "L" bracket to reduce/remove the "popping" noise on certain turns.
  2. Get yourself a "lifesaver" pack with extra pins. You never know if you might need it. Losing a pin in the middle of a nowhere campsite would be real bad....
Kevin
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Old 02-01-2006, 09:02 AM   #9
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I also have an Equal-i-zer hitch and I'm a believer also. I used a Reese dual-cam for 25 years and its an excellent hitch. The Equal-i-zer is just much easier from a hookup and unhitching standpoint when the tow vehicle and trailer are at extreme angles. In the case of the Reese you need to get that bar out of the cam loop bracket. When you are at an extreme angle, the bar on the inside of the angle can't get enough clerance to allow the loop to drop over the end of the bar. Not an issue with the Equal-i-zer.

Also for those of you with the heavy hitch weights, Equal-i-zer does make a model that can handle up to 1,400 lbs. I'm using that on my hitch heavy Classic slide out.

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Old 02-01-2006, 09:25 AM   #10
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Nothing but praise from me as well about the EQ. I agree with Kevin and Jack: buy the spare cotter pin/accesorie kit. It would just take one stormy, dark evening and a lost retaining cotter to really get the profanity going and blood presure rising.

We bought the spares and figure now that we have them, we probably will never have to use them. If we didn't have them, well you know 'ol Murphy...

A year or so ago, Equalizer was working on some new "L" bracket thingies that were supposed to be coated (teflon?) so that operation is a little quieter.

That's my only beef with the EQ: Sometimes when making certain turns, it sounds like the AS is bending in half!!! I do keep movable parts of the hitch head areas greased lightly, as well as "L" brackets.

I wipe off excess grease and road gunk on occasion before re-greasing.

Jonathan
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Old 02-01-2006, 09:29 AM   #11
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Got my Equalizer as part of the AS deal. Knew nothing of these kind of hitches since the biggest thing I have towed before was a 14ft fishing boat. Also have nothing but good things to say about it. Never used a Hensle before but can't see the Hensley being $2700 better than the Equalizer.

I was told to grease the hinged part a little if I want but not to grease anything else. What is the scoop on greasing?
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldwing70
I was told to grease the hinged part a little if I want but not to grease anything else. What is the scoop on greasing?
You can grease the saddles where the bars pass through, and also the L-shaped retainers that hold the bars on. If you do that, the whole thing is much, much quieter. And there is no loss of sway control because the bars are under so much torque from the weight of the trailer. I re-grease ours about every other time we tow. Make sure you wipe the areas to be greased first, as other have said, or the grit will stay in your grease and grind down your hitch parts.
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidh
Nice thing about the dual cam is you can back up while turning with out having to get out and dissconect your sway control.
On the Equal-I-Zer, the friction control is a side benefit of the way the weight distribution bars mount to the frame, so there's nothing to disconnect while backing. Backing is as easy as putting the tow vehicle in reverse gear.
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylev
A year or so ago, Equalizer was working on some new "L" bracket thingies that were supposed to be coated (teflon?) so that operation is a little quieter.

Jonathan
Someone at a rally had the teflon coated bracket. Its the bracket that the bar rides on. As a matter of fact at one point I heard that they were supplying these for free upon request. That may have been for beta testing, who knows. I think I'll give them a call and see what the story is. I'll report back!

Regards,

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Old 02-01-2006, 11:21 AM   #15
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Another Equal-i-zer fan here!
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Old 02-01-2006, 03:44 PM   #16
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Here is a link to their site and a Quicktime video. I sent them off an email about the teflon L bracket availability.

http://www.equalizerhitch.com/productinfo/video.php

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Old 02-02-2006, 03:02 PM   #17
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Well it looks like a few of you have been contacting the folks at Equal-i-zer regarding the noise reducing brackets. Here is the scoop from them.


"Our company has moved from the town of Lindon, UT to Provo, UT and we have changed the company name to Progress Mfg Inc. We still pride ourselves in manufacturing the Original Equal-i-zer 4-Point Sway Control Hitch. Our company recently had its 60th anniversary having started as Mobile Manufacturing in 1945, so we've been around quite a while. You are the third person to inquire about what some people have called "Teflon" L-Brackets as a result of the Airstream forum on the subject. I see that you are a moderator for this forum, and thank you for your support of the Equal-i-zer Hitch. I have previously explained the details about this optional L-Bracket accessory to "Bambi Bandit" in your forum, but I will provide the same information for you as well:
"We do have an accessory L-Bracket item available that the forum is referring to, but there is a misunderstanding about the description of this part. A few years ago these items were being tested, and had been given out to select Equal-i-zer customers at no charge. Now that these items have been tested, they will no longer be given out for free, but are now sold as accessory items.
The L-Brackets are not coated with Teflon, but rather have plastic pads fastened to the base where the Spring Arms rest. Also, the pad is actually not made of Teflon, but of high density polyethylene. This accessory part is called a Noise-Reduction Pad. Due to the property of this material, it will reduce the amount of noise when the Spring Arms are sliding through the Sway Control Brackets, and this is the sole function of this accessory. However, this plastic surface does also reduce some of the friction that is normally generated on the L-Brackets to contribute to the 4-Point Sway Control. Understand that using the Noise-Reduction Pads will also reduce some of the effectiveness of the 4-Point Sway Control. It will be a trade-off for what you feel is more important: less noise or complete sway control.
The Noise-Reduction Padded L-Bracket is sold for $36.00 each plus shipping ($72.00 for a pair). These padded L-Brackets will replace your current L-Brackets, which you can keep as spare parts. You can also purchase just the Noise Reduction Pads, but this will require that you have two holes drilled in the vertical side of each L-Bracket to install the pads. Each pad costs $10.75 plus shipping ($21.50 for a pair), and comes with two bolts and two Nyloc nuts for fastening the pads to the L-Brackets. If reducing the noise is more important than complete sway control, then this option would help provide what you are looking for without the mess of lubricating the L-Brackets. You can order these and any part for your Equal-i-zer Hitch over the phone by calling our toll-free number listed below and asking for Customer Support.
It should be noted that lubricating the friction surfaces in the Hitch Head is essential not only to reduce noise but to prolong the life of the hitch, while lubricating the L-Brackets is optional, and will help to reduce the noise. This does not reduce the sway control like using the Noise-Reduction Pads will. If you choose to lubricate the L-Brackets, the sliding motion of the Spring Arms will spread the grease up and down the bars. This not only becomes messy when you need to handle and store the Spring Arms, the build-up of dirt over time may also cause binding, which can result increased wear and making more noise. If you lubricate the L-Brackets, you should plan on regularly cleaning off all this grease to prevent dirt and road grime from sticking."
I hope this information has been helpful. If you would like, please share this information to benefit the other Airstream forum users. Please let me know how I can further assist you.
Thanks,
Josh Jones
Progress Mfg Inc.
Customer Support
1-800-478-5578
jjones@progressmfg.com


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Old 02-02-2006, 03:57 PM   #18
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Jack.

Thanks so much for the information and following through with this. I'm thinking of just keeping my set-up well lubed, and cleaned and pass on the noise reducer things. I also wonder how often one would have to replace the actual "pad" surface due to the rubbing of the spring bars.

As long as my unit is really not bending in half, I suppose I'll leave well enough alone, and only go straight with no turns.

Jonathan
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Old 02-02-2006, 04:14 PM   #19
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Well, given enough miles I'm sure you are going to see some wear there, although what the rate of wear is, I'm not sure. From Josh's note I can see their point of concern is the friction areas of the hitch head. While I have lubed that area infrequently, its obvious that I might need to give it a little more attention since excessive wear can cause that area to loosen up in an accelerated fashion. The two nuts on the hitch head that you torque to 45 ft lbs keeps that friction at its optimum.

I didn't know that the noise reduction pads sacrifice some of the sway control. Like you I'll live with the groan that the bars make during low speed. I'll consider it like a back up warning that some vehicles have. When heads turn when the groan occurs, I know that folks see me. I don't want to compromise one bit of the sway control.

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Old 02-02-2006, 04:44 PM   #20
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Early in our ownership of our AS, we used a traditional weight distribution hitch. After a stomach churning white knuckle ride up I 94 cros Michigan, I bluntly told my husband, this ain't hacking' it! I don't care WHAT you have to say! Then I called our RV tech and said to him, Ryan, I don't care what it costs, have a new hitch laid out for us when we get back! Okey dokey! All I sell is the four point equal-i-zer. Wondered how longit would take for you to switch!
Best thing we ever did! We've beenover that stretch many times and never felt a thing! Easy to hook up and use. Company has great support for users, and much of it is on the site.
http://www.equalizerhitch.com/productinfo/
There might be a better product. Might be. But not in this price range, and I can't bring myself to believe the high dollar 'premium' hitches are the thousand times better than the equalizer as reflected by price differential!Equalizer vs say a hemsly at 3 grand!

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