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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, lets talk hitches.

I was told by several that I should invest in a good weight distribution system for more effective handling and towing.

If I were to get one, what would be the best to get? I have heard good things about the equalizer hitch and I have heard mention about the Hensley hitch. What is better, pros and cons of any hitch you use or know about?

Will a weight distributions system make that much different when towing a travel trailer?
 

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The system will MOST definatly help in towing especially with sway on the highway.

As for which one is better I will leave that up to the more knowledgable people here but I would recommend one for sure!
 

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Here is some info on this also. I dont have one for my current camper, but is tops on the list to buy this year. I get a good bit of swaying when towing, especially beside 18 wheelers. I have been researching the different brands, and here are my thoughts.

The equalizer costs around $500, last time I checked. They are not the cheapest, but they are not the most expensive. This hitch is nice because it works as a Weight Distributing Hitch and Anti-sway bar all in one and one of the few I know of that don't require holes drilled into the trailer hitch.

I havent used this one before, but its what I plan to buy. Maybe some others here could share their experiences with this brand, or others they have used.
 

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Mikey, There are a couple questions that you need to address.

First, are you currently having problems with sway while driving on the highway? If that is the problem then adding sway control like this might solve your problem. Of course if your tongue weight is 10 to 15% of the trailer weight you might not even need a sway bar.

Second - is the issue that the tongue weight of the trailer is depressing the rear of your tow vehicle so it is not level? If that is happening then a WDH is one answer. Of course you have to first determine if your trailer AND hitch is capable of having a WDH attached to it. Check with your trailer dealer and look at the TV receiver. If you can use a WDH you will see two set of weight numbers on the receiver. I use a Blue Ox Sway Pro WDH which has built in sway control. It is very heavy duty but it also more expensive than some of the other units on the market.

Ruide
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info guys.

I do tend to feel it swaying a bit, but only when passing an 18 wheeler or something big like that. It doesnt do this all the time.

It is definitely not level, when I hook the camper up, it squats it down pretty good. The dealer I said I should get one, but I didnt want to spend that kind of money then, but I do need one.
 

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Mikey, I agree that you do need a WDH with sway control. If you have not done this already you need to weigh the trailer (fully loaded) and find out your tongue weight. You will need that in order to determine what WDH bars you need to order. Of course you should also check and make sure you are still under the WDH weight limit for your hitch.

Ruide
 

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I agree, a WDH makes it a lot better when towing. But don't make my stupid mistake. Whenever I check in, I remove the WDH because I don't want it on when I'm backing into a site (same with sway control - the jack knife effect of backing in will bend them). Anyway, one time I raised the jack, and removed the bars. So far, so good. I missed the crucial step before I drove off - RAISE THE JACK!

Fortunately, I was able to use the spare tire jack to raise it up and remove the bent jack. And the campground had just done some tree cut downs, so I was able to roll a big log under the trailer at the site and put it down (almost perfectly level).

Now I have a new jack, and always double check before driving off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Man, thats terrible happiestcamper. Welcome to the site too by the way!

Sounds like you had a bad break, although many things in your favor working for ya, could have been much more of a challenge.

I didnt realize you would need to remove them to prevent jack knifing. How much trouble is that, to remove and put back on? I thought it was quite a process installing these things, or is that just the initial install?
 

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The initial setup is the most work. You want to get your vehicle and trailer on a level surface. Unhitch, then get your trailer level. Adjust the hitch on the truck so that it is level to where the tongue hitch is, use a yardstick to measure the distance of your rear wheel well to the ground. Raise the trailer, and couple. Once you have the coupling secured, raise the trailer as much as needed to attach the chains (yes, it will raise the rear of the truck at the same time). Once you have the chains on, raise the jack. Measure the wheel well height again - it should be as close as possible as when there was no trailer. If still too low, raise both again and move the chains up another link.

Once you know which chain link to use, it's rather quick to put on (and quicker to take off).

The advantage is you have now the tongue weight to all four tires instead of the just the rear.
 

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Thanks for the info guy.. The dealer I said I should get one, but I didnt want to spend that kind of money then, but I do need one.
The dealer we saw Mikey explaied we would probably need a WDH but he didn't mention the Hensley Hitch, and thank goodness at the price of them :shocked: ..after doing some research on WDH's...

Stephen
 

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We recently picked up a new Wildwood Xlite rig at RV-Wholesalers. LOVE it and the Equal-i-zer WD hitch. Only one thing is bugging me: seems like with the rig hitched the truck (07 Sierra, ext cab, short bed, 5.3 Iron block V8) seems to 'pull' to the right. W/O the rig, no 'pull'. The hitch makes some really LOUD popping and scraping sounds, especially from the left bar. Could the friction on the left bar be set too tight?
 

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Sounds to me like you have the hitch too tight, try losining the chains one notch :thumbup1:
 

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I found that if you are having difficulties backing with the sway bars attachec that the small ball it attaches too on the trailer hitch is not in the proper place.
the measurement on my sway bars were 24" ball to ball
 

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the tension chains should be the same on both sides/ do you have sway bars / they will often "pop" if the balls they are attached to are not properly spaced
 

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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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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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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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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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