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Old 12-30-2010, 10:42 AM   #1
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Which Hitch to buy?

I have purchased a 2004 25' Safari last month. I'm towing it with a 2011 Tundra 4.6. I have to purchase a hitch and not sure the right way to go.
I'm tending to lean toward the Reese SC hitch 600# vs the EAZ-Lift adjustable weight dist hitch. With the EAZ-Lift I will also need to purchase a sway bar. With the Reese, its all in one. I understand that the Reese makes less nosie also.
Any help would be appreciated...looking forward to getting on the road.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:00 AM   #2
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I went with what the Airstream dealer recommended. Reese Strait-Line, Trunnion Bar, with Dual Cam

I've no complaints about it and find it extremely stable in all conditions, pulling with the 1/2 ton and the 3/4 ton truck.

Pretty easy and fast to hitch and unhitch once you get used to it. WD bars do double duty as sway control. Not too expensive. Nothing to adjust once set up. It does "creek and groan" sometimes in very tight parking maneuvers as the bars slide on the cams.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:47 AM   #3
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experienced?

Alot depends on the experience you have towing too. You should be reading all of the threads on hitches.
We highly recommend the ProPride. A little more money but well worth its extra cost. Easy to hook up and absolutely great!
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:04 PM   #4
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Between your two choices, I would go with the one that has the anti sway built in.

Now, to muddy the waters, have you considered the Equalizer? I like mine and when dialed in properly it makes very little noise. Way back when I got my first trailer the idea of using a pry bar to snap the chains in place just didn't appeal to me so I got an Equalizer. My Airstream came with the same hitch so I didn't have to try anything else. I have a similar set up to yours and my trailer behaves very nicely behind my Tundra.

Reese makes a very good hitch and many here like them. I don't think you can go wrong with either choice, Reese or Equalizer. If you have lots of money to spend, get a Hensley or a Pro Pride.

Like they say, just my $.02 worth.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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I am towing a 25' with a Reese straight line and 800 lb bars. I like it a lot. With the Tundra that ought to be a good combo.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:03 PM   #6
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ProPride - why spend all that money on an Airstream and tow vehicle (let alone your families safety) and short change the connection between the tow vehicle and trailer?
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by JFScheck View Post
ProPride - why spend all that money on an Airstream and tow vehicle (let alone your families safety) and short change the connection between the tow vehicle and trailer?
None of the above hitches, nor most of the commercial available hitch setups, should be characterized as a risk to family safety when towing a 25' Airstream with a 1/2 or 3/4 ton pickup.

It is all about understanding the limitations of one's rig and driving accordingly.

Towing a 25' with a mid size SUV, might easily warrant investing 3x the money for the slight edge a Propride offers. I guess, by extrapolation of the "family safety" curve, one should dispense with these WD/AntiSway contraptions altogether and buy a seriously "safe" TV:

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Old 12-31-2010, 06:58 AM   #8
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What Wayward said.

Personally, it rankles me a bit to read the message from those with PP and HA hitches that I somehow don't care about the safety of my family or others on the road. The insinuation that Reese and Equalizer hitches are hazardous (or at least, not safe) is a bit over the top.

If you have the money and you want to purchase a PP, then by all means, do so. Please keep the other comments to yourself.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:53 AM   #9
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We have a 2005 Safari 25FB, named Lucy. We have camped in Lucy for 780 nights and have towed her 70,000 miles in all types of terrain and road conditions. We use a Hensley Arrow to tow Lucy. Yes, it is an expensive hitch system. I think that it is well worth the investment. I have never had the first anxious moment while towing Lucy in any conditions. Severe cross winds and passing semi trucks are absolutely meaningless. My Suburban 2500 tow vehicle is more susceptible to these conditions when NOT towing Lucy.

I have a big investment in Lucy and her tow vehicles. We use her a lot. When it comes to towing Lucy on the highway, I have a narrow comfort zone. Any trailer sway whatsoever is unacceptable.

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Old 12-31-2010, 08:18 AM   #10
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We started out using a Reese Dual Cam and then 10 years ago switched to a Hensley Arrow and it was worth the money as far as towing goes. We are on our 2nd Airstream and 2nd Hensley Arrow. If the ProPride had been a choice when we bought our current Hensley Arrow I may have gone that route.....the quality and customer service in recent years with Hensley have dropped a little in my opinion.
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:55 AM   #11
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I have towed many different trailers, with many different weights and cargo, with numerous vehicles over my lifetime (from multi-horse 5th wheel trailers, race car trailers, some pretty big boats, all types of RV & Toy Haulers, even large aircraft when I was a young Naval pup)....

I have towed across our great country many times with my 10 month old "Airstream" this year (24,000 miles) through all types of weather (to include those crazier than normal gusts last year heading into Denver from Nebraska) - I have a "rock solid" feel at all times transversing up and over and back down all of the mountain ranges of North America and across the country via our freeways and small two lane roads.

Recently I have helped two fellow Airstreamers hook up their new trailers to their tow vehicles and give them some tips....

One was an Airstreamer who purchased a 23' International from a dealer in Irvine, CA and was using a Suburban 1/2 ton as his tow vehicle and "Reese" hitch - the other was a fellow Airstreamer who purchased a 25' Safari and was using a 2008 Dodge\Ram 1500 with a "Equalizer" hitch in Comanche, Texas.

After towing both vehicles with my friends and passing along some tips I picked up (many from seasoned folks on this forum), I was not comfortable with our final settings when towing their trailers. Now granted I am very comfortable with my tow package and how it performs... - Both times I asked them to tow my 25FB Classic Airstream with a TDI Touareg and ProPride hitch.

They both immediately recognized the differences in handling (especially in pre-staged "emergency lane changes" and slalom drills) braking, stability, air waves from various other vehicles, etc.

At my strong suggestion after I drove their tow rigs and then they drove mine - they both purchased upgraded hitches based on the "ProPride-Hensley" design - and are very happy - in fact amazed at the difference.

If you are happy with your tow package that's fine, but do a search on this board and you will find many people who were "happy" but are now "happier" with the upgraded hitches.

If you are sick of hearing folks express the benefits of the more expensive hitches then just move right along - for me I will continue to ask people to investigate any means to provide a safer, more enjoyable towing experience as well as pass along any information that I believe would be beneficial to my fellow Airstreamers.

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Old 12-31-2010, 10:33 AM   #12
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Truce?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFScheck View Post
If you are sick of hearing folks express the benefits of the more expensive hitches then just move right along - for me I will continue to ask people to investigate any means to provide a safer, more enjoyable towing experience.
Not wanting to make tons of enemies, let me tell you that I am relatively new to this board. In my other life with an SOB, I frequented a different board that was brutal at times. Some there came right out and said things like, "if you travel with your refrigerator on you are risking the lives of your wife and children!" Statements like this are hard to just take and then "move right along." Then there were the Prodigy brake controllers who said the same stuff, the 3/4 ton diesel drivers and, as always, the weight police.

Here is my point. The PP probably is a better hitch and would be advisable in many conditions. I have driven a lot of miles as well with my 25 ft. FB pulled by my 2008 Tundra over the North Cascade highway, the Siskiyous in Northern California and the Cascades in both Oregon and Washington. I have driven in very high winds in the plains of Eastern Washington and Oregon and the Columbia Gorge on both freeways and two lane highways all of which included interaction between 18 wheelers. I NEVER felt at risk nor have I ever experienced any sway or undue trailer actions. Driving my set up is and always has been an enjoyable experience.

I can not speak for others but for me, I do not feel that I am putting anyone at risk on the highways. If I had a 30 footer, I might not feel the same way. If I drove a smaller sized SUV with a unibody construction, I might go the way of a PP. But, I don't have either of these so this is where I am. The HA and PP are better hitches from all that I have read. If my setup was squirrelly on the road, I would be the first in line.

I am glad that you are happy with your choice of hitch. It is better, I am OK with that. I am also OK with those who say you need a big diesel to pull your Bambi. These statements are the ones that I can read and "then just move along." But when folks say that my decisions are putting the safety of my family at risk, it is harder for me to do so. I hope you understand this fine point.

Best wishes, and Safe Travels.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:33 AM   #13
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.......................................

Please keep the other comments to yourself.
Since we are on the subject of censoring others comments:

Perhaps you should ignore them if you don't agree or counter them with some reasonable argument other than it makes you feel bad.

After reading the definition of rankle, I think that is something you might want to avoid. If a particular member (including me)continues to rankle you with his comments, the forum has a tool that allows you to ignore all post from a particular member. That way the rest of us can read uncensored posts.

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Old 12-31-2010, 10:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFScheck View Post

If you are happy with your tow package that's fine, but do a search on this board and you will find many people who were "happy" but are now "happier" with the upgraded hitches.

If you are sick of hearing folks express the benefits of the more expensive hitches then just move right along - for me I will continue to ask people to investigate any means to provide a safer, more enjoyable towing experience.
I think pulling a 25' Airstream with a Touareg is pretty cool and that it can be perfectly safe and fun. However, if you do a search on that here, you will find many people who consider it unsafe to pull a 25' Classic with anything less that a 3/4 ton truck, let alone a lightweight SUV.

I may venture to say everyone here has made tradeoffs and compromises in setting up our rigs, including yours.

No one wants to hear that one of the many factors considered in setting up our rigs puts our family at risk.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jomondnv View Post
I have purchased a 2004 25' Safari last month. I'm towing it with a 2011 Tundra 4.6. I have to purchase a hitch and not sure the right way to go.
I'm tending to lean toward the Reese SC hitch 600# vs the EAZ-Lift adjustable weight dist hitch. With the EAZ-Lift I will also need to purchase a sway bar. With the Reese, its all in one. I understand that the Reese makes less nosie also.
Any help would be appreciated...looking forward to getting on the road.
As you have probably determined by now, this is one of those highly contentious subjects. I believe that any of the hitches mentioned in this thread will do an excellent job if they are set up properly. And, setting them up properly is the key. It may take several attempts to get the correct setting for your TV and AS.

I like the Reese Strait-Line setup (WD withe SC) for my setup although it did take me several times to get the settings right (I have a 3/4 ton Dodge Ram diesel 4WD long bed with a 27' FB Classic Limited). I know there are folks that will think that my TV is to big, but, I am at the limit of what I can tow without overloading the TV (diesel and 4WD both reduce the carrying capacity of my TV).

If I were using a SUV for a TV, I would probably go with a higher end hitch because of the softer (read less stable) ride of the SUV. On the other hand, I think that the higher end hitches would be over kill for my TV.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:19 PM   #16
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I guess I am moving right along. Sal.
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:30 PM   #17
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For the record - the Touareg weighs 5,825 lbs as compared to a Suburban at 5,600 to 6,300 lbs so I wouldn't say my gal is skinny...

In fear of continuing to beat this dead horse - no more comments from this member of the peanut gallery as I've answered the OP's question in regards to the subject of this Post - my comments are my opinions and I never wish to offend anyone but at the same time I'm gonna give my opinion when asked...

Best wishes to everyone for the New Year!
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:34 PM   #18
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I have a simple formula:

A WD/anti-sway hitch is a safety device. Following the law of diminishing returns, you can spend disproportionately more for an excellent one than a good one, and a small amount more for a good one than a crappy one.

Simply buy the best hitch you can afford. If you don't have a $2k+ budget, there's nothing wrong with that. Buy the best hitch you can with the finances you have available.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:17 AM   #19
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The "risking life and limb" claims are usually spoken by religious zealots who have "seen the light"...and everyone else is subject to eternal damnation.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:22 AM   #20
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An Eaz-Lift is a doorstop. The difference between an Equal-I-Zer or a Dual Cam and a PP/HA/PR is that the former pair are adjustable door stops.

As radial tires are "too expensive" consider that re-capped bias ply tires hold air just fine. Same for disc brakes: My vehicles have always stopped, thus drum brakes all around are perfectly adequate for any conditions described. I'll do fine even with brakes only on the rear wheels. Traction control, anti-roll and other electronic safety features of modern TV's have no statistical safety basis. A rubber-roofed, stick-built TT is a great value, and an Airstream is an ostentation. Aerodynamic qualities and independent suspension are overrated for road performance. No reason to move forward from the technology of the 1960's, its just a trailer I don't use very often. Etc.

The OP can take it for granted that -- as with radials versus bias, or drum brakes versus disc -- those without experience of best hitch rigging have no basis for comparison. The differences are real. And dirt cheap considered rationally. I can do maneuvers with mine the day long that would have them off the road and disabled in short order.

Trailer disc brakes round up the trifecta of what I've called the gold standard: sway-eliminating hitch, trailer disc brakes, and state-of-the-art brake controller. The best hitch rigging is never expensive. Tow vehicle or trailer size/type have nothing to do with it. Performance margins matter. False economies are just that.

The weak link is then the choice of TV as some are better than others in re performance . . an Airstream is more capable than many TV's. It isn't the trailer that needs the help is the ironic, way of looking at it . . keeping the TV upright and lane-centered in challenging conditions is the hitch rig goal. Especially with pickup trucks and SUV's.

The best performing trailer was the difficult decision. The hitch rigging is just a few details (adjustment numbers derived from scale readings) after making the same decision about performance, again, in concerns hitch brand/type: the best is sufficient. All others lack, and should be avoided for best performance.

A used HA can be found for 1/2 the cost of new if $$ is a concern.

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