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  #16  
Old 02-12-2010, 02:16 PM
coachbob's Avatar
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Thumbs up weight distribution hitch

I've been campiing for many years in everything from a tent camper to a 16 foot hard side to my current 33 foot Puma. Regardless of size I would not pull a travel trailer without a weight distribution hitch. Recently in travelling from Ohio to Florida pulling a 20 foot rockwood mini lite we drove through winds with gusts up to 50 miles an hour...absolutely no sway! We only stopped because we were getting about 3 miles to a gallon of gas.

In all of my trailers I have used the Equalizer hitch and it is worth every dime invested in it. The equalizer has heavy steel bars that sit on an "L" clamp on the V bars at the front of the trailer, it has no chains just steel on steel. Equalizers can be a bit noisy at first until they are broken in...don't worry about it, nothing will break and you are in no danger. Even after they are broken in they may squeak and squawk a bit when you round corners but to me it is a good noise, the sound of safety! The weight distribution hitch is so good that when my nearly 7,000 pound trailer is connected to my Chevy Express 3500 van it looks as though the van has nothing attached to it. It is perfectly level and pulls like a dream.

While I can't comment on other hitches I think I do have enough experience with Equalizer hitches to give them a resounding vote of confidence. With the price of the hitch you get total peace of mind. That alone makes it number one in my book.

Additionally I have talked via email and over the phone with the Equalizer people at their home office in Utah and found them to be exceptionally helpful and pleasant. Equalizer is a winner all the way around (and no, I don't work for them, never have and don't know anywone there).
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  #17  
Old 03-03-2010, 02:05 PM
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This is the one I have and I have no problems with it all works well. You can go to ebay and put this in and it will come up
Trunnion Bar Weight Distribution Hitch+Sway Control
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  #18  
Old 03-13-2010, 05:59 PM
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well Jon the happiest camper helped me again. thank you (wdh)
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  #19  
Old 03-13-2010, 06:06 PM
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BTW, I have found out since that it is okay to back up with the WDH. Still, you need to remove any sway bar control before backing up in case of jack knife.
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  #20  
Old 05-09-2010, 03:26 AM
Camper
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Default 2007 Tundra CrewMax 4x4 5.7L w/ 2010 Keyston Cougar 298BHS

I am going to purchase the Cougar and need to a WDH/Sway control setup to match.

I have never owned or towed an RV, but do have experience operating heavy duty tow vehicle/trailer combination's.

Dry weight of the trailer is 7900#'s. Max trailer weight is 10,875#'s. Tongue weight is 715#'s. My vehicles max tow rating is 10,100 so obviously I will not ever reach the GTWR with my current tow vehicle. Max payload is 1495#'s and must take into account ALL occupants, cargo, and tongue weight (a full tank of gas, spare tire, and all fluids are accounted for and do not need to be included when calculating payload according to Toyota documentation).

I have done all the calculations and 3 and half months of research and feel comfortable with the truck/trailer combination. So please don't bash me and tell me that the Tundra CAN'T pull this trailer. I'm sure a 3/4 ton Chevy/Ford/Dodge would pull it easier, but again, I don't plan on maxing out the towing/payload capacity of the truck and am comfortable with the setup.

I'm strictly looking for info on the WDH/Sway setups.

What is the difference between dual cam and friction setups?

What are the advantages of and disadvantages of each?

Do I really need to spend $2000+ on a ProPride or Henley hitch? I don't doubt they are worth it, but will the Equal-i-zer do the the job?

There is very little price difference between the 1000/10000# and the 1200/12000# versions. Will I see a performance increase if I step up to the 1200/12000# version even if my tongue and trailer weight never exceed the 1000/10000#?

It seems like the versions offered by Curt, Reese, Blue Ox, and Equalizer are all very similar. I would like to hear personal experiences from use of the different brands, and what you like and dislike about that particular brand. Right now I'm leaning toward the Equal-i-zer brand. Seems like it's got a solid reputation/track record with a reasonable price.

Thanks for your help and time. It is greatly appreciated.

Ryan
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  #21  
Old 05-20-2010, 10:48 AM
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Default Not sure if you are still looking, but...

I picked up my new TT on Tuesday morning and the whole experience was a hoot.

I arrived at the sellers house around 10 in the morning. I had had the hitch I ordered (Reese Straight Line Dual Cam) shipped straight to the sellers house to make sure it was there when I got there, and to save me from hauling the extra weight all the way across the country. We started installing the Reese Straight Line DC WDH/Sway control hitch after he gave me a quick tour of the trailer to make sure it was as describe. Well...Okay... the guy I was buying the trailer from started to install the hitch and I just helped hold stuff. This guy was a pro. It was obvious he possessed this skill set and knew exactly what he was doing. A few disclaimers. This guy was a machinist, a mechanic, and a carpenter. He was completely set up and ready to go when I got there. And he had had the hitch to look at over the weekend, so he had already read the instructions and formulated a plan of action. Not to mention he had every type of professional tool you could think of. He had the whole hitch installed and perfectly set up in about an hour and a half, it may have even been a little less than that. Would I have been able to install the hitch by myself? Yes, but it would have taken MUCH longer and I would have had to buy some new tools. If you plan on doing this yourself, figure out exactly what you need before you start or this could turn into a really expensive hitch by the time you factor in all the new tools you need to buy to install it. Not to mention the time involved running back and forth between the hardware store. Spend some time reading about the mechanics of the hitch and how it works. It will make it seem much more intuitive when you go to install it.

If anyone is interested, I ordered the hitch from rvwholesalers.com. The whole set up (1200/12,000 pound version) cost me $615 to my door. They weren't very helpful, but the price was right and the shipping was quick. If you get the Reese, make sure you order a shank and ball, as neither is included in the kit.

With the hitch installed the front of the truck stayed perfectly level and the rear squatted about a 1/2 inch. There was nothing in the trailer except for some water in the holding tanks, maybe about 60-65 gallons total in the various respective tanks (500 to 600 pounds). The tongue weight of the empty trailer is stated as 715. Logic would dictate that as the trailer weight is increased so does the tongue weight. Using the same ratio, at 8500 pounds, the tongue would be around 800 (realistically probably somewhere between 1000-1100, maybe a little less). The truck, however, was evenly loaded down with all my******(probably 200-300 pounds) for my extended stay in the trailer. There is also a hard tonneau cover on the bed which I'm guessing weighs 100 to 150 pounds, and the Toyota rubber bed mat (it's a heavy SOB), and a spray in bed liner. What I'm trying to say is I have no idea exactly how much payload I had in the truck. I'm probably estimating on the high side for everything, but again who know for now.


On the road, the Tundra, the hitch, and the TT performed perfectly. If I didn't say it already, I'm using the Prodigy brake controller set at 7.5 (it may need a little more as the trailer weight increases) and the boost setting at number 1. The Tundra pulled the trailer effortlessly. It was solid, smooth, and never once did it feel overwhelmed. The braking was superb as well. At one point some idiot talking on her cell phone cut me off as she tried to merge from an on ramp forcing me to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting her. Not even a hint of upset. The Tundra's brakes combined with the brake controller bled off the speed flawlessly, and more importantly, in a straight line. This can also be attributed to the Reese hitch. The Reese is one beefy setup. Yes it adds weight, and yes it's a little more than the Equal-i-zer, but man am I glad I ponied up and got it. After 250 short miles I will tell everyone who will listen to use this hitch. I know I have nothing to compare it too, but I can't imagine anything else would do any better, especially for the price. I drove on paved and unpaved roads yesterday. I drove on highways, city streets, and rural two lane highways and back roads. It was wet, dry, and even muddy at some points. It rained for a little while, and there were moderate wind gusts. I kept watching my mirrors, waiting for this white knuckle trailer sway phenomenon I kept hearing about for the past couple weeks, but it never came. The Tundra, hitch, and trailer just tracked straight as an arrow the whole way no matter what. I do not think I could have artificially created a better test run environment than I had yesterday.
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  #22  
Old 10-29-2010, 02:23 AM
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I think having a good Hitch like CT Johnson Brand and the like would really be a good way to use for that matter. Would you like to try that in order to really get things done? Hope things are well by now.

Last edited by armandjones82; 11-01-2010 at 07:18 PM..
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  #23  
Old 10-29-2010, 11:48 AM
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Warning to iflyskyhigh... I realize your post is from some time ago, but I hope you've checked a few things.

Are you sure about the tongue weight? If your trailer GTWR is 10,875, then your tongue weight should be 10% to 12% or as much as 15% of the GTWR (depending on where you put your cargo). This translates to 1,088, 1305 or as much as 1,631lbs!

I expect you'll be around 1,100-1,200 and there are plenty of WDHs to support that weight. I hope you have since weighed your rig to confirm. If you are over the only way to solve your problem is carry less cargo or move it to the rear so the weight is carried by the tires and not the tongue. Whatever the case both the GTWR and GVWR should be maintained.

Carrying overweight in time will weaken or wear out components much quicker than not. There's also the horrible chance that a component will fail and that could be even worse to your gear or yourselves.

Remember the maximum ratings for the rig and vehicle consider more than the engine, transmission and springs, there are also shocks, brake assemblies, axles, differential, drive shaft, wheel bearings, tires and wheels, probably other stuff I haven't mentioned, too. All of these together must be considered. Just adding higher capacity wheels and tires will do no good because you don't know if this was the weak point.

In my case I had an overweight problem. But I was fortunate that I had a Ford F-250 and the only difference from a higher capability F-350 was a FORD overload spring, brackets and larger wheels and tires. Most other vehicles cannot be upgraded this way and get a "certifiable" increase in GVWR. I was able to add the upgrade the suspension and put on the larger wheels. The last step is to get to a certification station and have the truck recertified. But since I am not a commercial vehicle and only use this for private use, I don't have to incur the cost unless I want to. Trust me, it took 4 months of research and for all you naysayers out there THIS IS COMPLETELY LEGAL! I know more than most DMV clerks and many CHPers out there on how weight compliance works.

Aftermarket springs, air bags, helpers, etc. will NOT cut it - I guarantee that there will be fine print that says so. Do not believe their salespersonnel. I have proven every salesperson WRONG when I dug out THEIR documentation and SHOWED them. Their eyes widen as expected with that "Oh crap" look on their face, but they'll probably sell their stuff anyway saying it solves your overweight problem because they are about sales, and compliance is the user's responsibility.

Be safe everyone. I would agree that any trailer above 4,000lbs should use a WDH. Because it helps shift the towed load to the total of the truck this helps take the weight off just the rear end. The truck will tow more level (and you don't blind oncoming traffic at night) and you will have more control. You will still some kind of sway control (incorporated or separate gear) to prevent the blowbys from fast traffic or from driving in crosswinds.




Last edited by artmart; 10-29-2010 at 11:51 AM..
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  #24  
Old 11-18-2010, 05:07 PM
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I have had both the equalizer and the reese dual cam. I prefer the Reese but they both work fine. With the Reese, you can start with just the WD and add the dual cam later. That is what I have done with my current hitch (spreading the cost out a little) and camper and while I will likely add the dual cam this spring, it does not sway now. As others have said, if you keep the weight forward, it will tow properly. One lesson I seem to have trouble learning is to not sell the hitch with the camper.

Mike
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  #25  
Old 11-19-2010, 05:36 PM
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Mikey, yes as many have said, you should invest in a Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH). The money is money well spent. The WDH will make a big difference. Over and above the WDH, which contributes to sway control, there is a the anti sway mechanism or kit. This further contributes to the smooth ride along side 18 wheelers.
In my case with Gulf Breeze Ultra-Light the WDH doesn’t cut it alone, so I bought the anti sway kit (friction model). It helps greatly and is worth the money (($100 Canadian).
The best way to envision the WDH mechanism is that it serves as a solid connection between the tow vehicle and the towed (toad). It makes it one solid horizontal mass so that weight is not focused on the connection but through from the front wheels of the tow vehicle all the way back to the wheels of the TT.
A really important note: yes the chain links must be equal on both sides when hooking up the WDH. Always be extra cautious when releasing the chain hitch with the bar handle extension as it will kick and bite down hard with the release of the chain and if your legs are not in the right place will take a chunk of skin from your leg on its way downward. Stupid lesson I learned the hard way.
Thomas Nguyen likes this.
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  #26  
Old 12-17-2017, 08:28 AM
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I've used this setup for every TT we've had. No issues and no complaints. I went on the beefy side when ordering and got the 1200lb setup.
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  #27  
Old 12-18-2017, 08:15 AM
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I've used this setup for every TT we've had. No issues and no complaints. I went on the beefy side when ordering and got the hitch 1200lb setup.
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