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Old 04-03-2011, 02:33 PM   #1
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Over the winter we picked up a new to us TT and a new to us TV. Well, I

recently purchased a used 10,000 pound Equal-i-zer hitch off Craigslist

and finally got around to installing it this weekend. (I went ahead and

sold my other WD hitch which was a Husky WD round bar and friction sway

slide bar on Craigslist as I was never really fully satisfied with it's

performance but more importantly, my family's safety!). I have been

doing a lot of reading and researching (I am that kind of person) and
;t it all hooked up correctly (I believe).

I have a 2004 Dodge

Ram QC 1500 Hemi, factory tow package, 17 inch wheels, 3.92 rear end,

Tekonsha P3 brake controller. My camper is a 2007 Sunset Trail ST30BH. I

have ran all the numbers and taken it to the scales a few times. The TT

weighs in at 6520 pounds loaded. I was VERY surprised at the tongue

weight. It was 1160 pounds! I freaked out as soon as I saw that since I

have a Class 4 hitch, AND considering that I had already taken it out

once, but only a 45 minute drive to our local favorite site.

I

immediately moved as much stuff out of the front storage compartment,

and into the back storage compartment. Their wasn't much there, but I

knew every pound helped. I also took some stuff out and got the tongue

down to 1030 pounds, which I know is a little bit over the 1000 pound

rating, but then I remembered that once hooked up, the applied tongue

weight is less than that 'raw' weight when I have the weight

distributing hitch hooked up and actually distributing the weight. So I

believe that I am ok. I also plan to do more 'creative packing' and

doing a re-weigh very soon.

I should note that I weighed the

tongue at a CAT scale and had it positioned so it was JUST barely on the

beginning portion of one of the plates. So I don't know if the tongue weight

would of been different if I had dropped the tongue in the middle

of the plate or not, but I plan to find out. Just curious if anyone

here knows if their is any deviation on the CAT scales as far as

placement of weight goes, so feel free to chime in!

See pics below.

On my equal-i-zer hitch, after following the instructions to a T, I have it configured with the maximum number of washers (,

and moved the L brackets up so that the bolt is in the 7th hole from

the top. It is cinched up TIGHT! However, with that configuration, the

front of the truck only drops a fourth of an inch, and the rear drops

only one and a quarter inches (as measured in the same spots on each

wheel well. The TT itself is almost perfectly level (with only one half

of an inch rise in the front).

I drove it up on the highway for

about 10 minutes and pulled into the nearby Wal-Mart parking lot (where I

took the pictures) and noticed how much the weight bars were

flexing/deflecting. I measured at the front of the bar and at the back,

and their was up to one inch difference between the too! This being my

first equal-i-zer hitch, I am not familiar with what is within normal

operating parameters :-)

I do have a few questions though.
I plan to try to lessen the tongue weight, will I need to re-adjust the hitch?
Is that cinched up too tight?
Are those 'drops' acceptable?
Did

the weight from the tongue get distributed to both TV axles and back to

both TT axles, or did the tongue weight get transferred to JUST the TV

axles?
Are the bars supposed to bend?
If so, is that much bend TOO much (or not enough)?

I

have read that the bend is what allows the friction to work it's magic

and counter any swaying (basically, that is how it works)

BTW,

thanks for all everyone's postings. My DW and I love to read through the

forums as it helps us learn so much. I think we are information

addicts!

The receiver is not bent, just my stance when taking the picture appears it is bent up somewhat. Rest assured, it is straight :-)











Thank you.


Edited by: jzyg
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2004 QC 4x4 Dodge 1500 Hemi 3.92

07 Sunset Trail ST30BH

10,000 Equal-i-zer, P3



http://i.imgur.com/oI43q.jpg%20height=640



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Old 04-03-2011, 03:16 PM   #2
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http://www.equalizerhitch.com/productinfo/video.php





Try this link all the answers are there. You have the best hitch. Looks like you have a lot of bend in the bars. I used the same hitch on 3 trailers and and had a great tow, all you want is to be level with that much weight in the front you may want to reverse the yoke. Good luck.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:29 AM   #3
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Generally, you want about 15% of the total trailer weight on the hitch, in your case about 1000 lbs. I had a TT and my tongue weight was about 1100 lbs with 1000lb bars. They also flexed about an inch and I never had a problem. When you adjust the bars when hitching up, tighter bars will give less bounce going down the road. Looser bars will create more sway or amplify what little sway you already have. In ten years of towing that 30' TT, the hitch always worked great.

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Old 04-04-2011, 02:25 AM   #4
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Thanks. I will drop the L bracket down (6th hole) and drive it this weekend and report how it rides. I will try to remember to take some more pics too.





Edited by: jzyg
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10,000 Equal-i-zer, P3



http://i.imgur.com/oI43q.jpg%20height=640



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Old 04-04-2011, 05:01 AM   #5
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Looks like way to many washers. Your hitch should not have that much tilt on the ball and your bars are under to much load. L bracket looks fine but it looks a little far back? The bend in the load bars is from the tilt of the ball.Edited by: sking
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:12 AM   #6
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After doing more reading and researching, I thought that I HAD to have

the front lower coupled than when it was coupled. I now know that it is

ok to have it the same or even (ever so) slightly higher. I had taken

multiple measurements and with the L bracket in the 6th hole from the

top (one down from its' current position),the front stays the same and

the rear is about 1 3/4 inches down. I will change it and then see how

it handles. If I recall correctly, that provided a little less flex in

the bars. I will have to get out there this week and change/check it to

be sure.

The L brackets are 32" on center from back of center of coupler. Their are 8 washers on there, which is the max as per documentation from the vendor. I emailed Progress Mfg Inc. this weekend and Daniel (whom I have read many great things about) replied. He also called me to verify I received the email and if I had any more questions.

Here is his response:
I'll be calling you back about this, too, but I thought I would e-mail
so you have it in writing. It is not unusual to have the spring arms
angle up toward the trailer. When you're hitched properly, your spring
arms should either ride parallel with the trailer's tongue, or have a
slight rise as you move back, toward the trailer. If your spring arms
aren't at LEAST level with the tongue, you'll need to transfer more
weight.

From the sound of it, though, you've probably got things adjusted
properly. If the truck and trailer drive well, I think you're in a good
position at this point.

If the upper angle bothers you at all, you can take other measures to
get the weight transfer as you'd like it.

Our hitch is designed with two places to adjust the weight distribution.
The brackets on the trailer tongue are the fastest while you're out on
the road, or if you need a quick adjustment. If you wanted to make a
more "permanent" adjustment, you'd use the spacer-rivet and washers in
between the hitch head and the shank that it's bolted to. It's the
piece that gives the hitch-head its tilt. I've attached a picture to
show you what I'm talking about.

The spacer washers give the same amount of tension as raising the
L-brackets on hole higher. If you removed a washer, it'd be like
lowering the L-brackets. If you added one, it would be like raising the
L-brackets.

It's often easiest to do the washers at home, when you have time to take
it all apart and put it back together.

If you don't like the angle of the spring arms and want them more
parallel, you can change that by moving a "tension setting" from the
L-brackets to the spacer rivet and its washers.

You can disassemble the hitch head and add a spacer (part 22) onto the
spacer rivet (part 21), then lower the L-brackets one hole on each side,
and that would change where the pressure is made. It would give the
same pressure, just different location and the bars would ride a bit
more parallel with the frame.

http://www.equalizerhitch.com/pdf/eq...to14k_1110.pdf<div style="display: inline; cursor: pointer; padding-right: 16px; width: 16px; height: 16px;">

Let me know if you have questions.

For lubricating the Equal-i-zer hitch we recommend our high performance
lubricant. It's less smelly and easier to clean up than other options.
If you'd prefer to use grease that you have already, the only
stipulation we have is that the grease be rated for use with axles or
bearings. Anything lighter (WD-40, graphite, spray-on lubricants) just
won't hold up against the intense weights and pressures that are
experienced in the hitch head.

The only place that we recommend lubricating the Equal-i-zer hitch head
the area where the sockets move back and forth, on the top side of the
sockets, and the underside of the hitch-head. I recommend that you put
the spring arm all the way in the socket, swing the socket out so that
the biggest segment of the top surface is exposed. Do the same on the
other side of the hitch. After cleaning off the tops of the sockets,
you'll also want to clean the underside of the hitch head, where the
sockets should have begun wearing silver "half-moons". Once you've
cleaned the head, lubricate the top surface of the sockets and the
underside of the hitch head.

We recommend that you periodically check this area throughout a towing
season. We recommend especially that you clean the head up after being
in sandy or dusty areas, as the sand and dust tends to stick to any
lubrication. We also recommend that you start out the year by cleaning
the hitch head, removing any rust, painting any exposed steel with
something similar to Rustoleum (but not painting the silver half-moons
under the hitch head) and then lubricating as I've mentioned above.</pre>I will drop the bracket one hole and re-measure and test drive it this weekend and report my findings.


__________________
2004 QC 4x4 Dodge 1500 Hemi 3.92

07 Sunset Trail ST30BH

10,000 Equal-i-zer, P3



http://i.imgur.com/oI43q.jpg%20height=640



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Old 04-17-2011, 12:10 PM   #7
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Well, here is where I am. Back to report.
I corrected (flipped) the L brackets as Daniel at Progess Mfg (producers of the Equal-i-zer hitch) looked at my pictures and mentioned that they were upside down. I then proceeded to re-measuring and re-adjusting the hitch (adding/removing washers, raising and lowering L bracket heights, re-measuring and repeating the process as defined by their instructions with every combination, including adjusting hitch ball height. I finally got to a very good adjustment according to the instructions. I have 1/2 inch drop in front and 1 and 3/4 inch drop in back of my TV. The TT is nose down by 1/2 inch and it drives great. Except, I seem to have quite a bit of waggle, even, dare I say, sway (not bow waves) once I get up over 45 mph on the highway. I will say it was quite windy and the waggle was not the whole time, just more noticeable for sure, and definitely not comfortable.
I took the whole rig to the CAT scales to see what the weights are on the TV and TT. The results got me to thinking about my weight distribution, and my tongue weight is still high. I should say that we weighed with all people and cargo (fully loaded for the road) except I only had 1/2 tank of gas instead of a full tank. My weights are (all in pounds) and hitched up with WD in effect:
front axle of my TV is 3260
Rear axle of TV is 3400
TT weight is 5720
So I am definitely below the 3900 pound rating of each of my TV axels (which is great) and my TT has about 750 pounds removed from its overall weight ( as compared to its weight when measured all by itself).
My question is: Am I getting much more waggle because with WD in effect, my tongue weight of my TT is too light?
I mean, just bare tongue weight of the TT is around 1050 pounds (which is a little over my comfort zone), but since the WD distributed that across my TV axles (as per my weights) I THINK I need to add more weight to the front of my TT since its NET is light?
I strongly believe that my hitch adjustment is complete as that was the best weight distributing I could get according to the allowed adjustments and following the manufacturer instructions to a T.
BTW, my CAT scale reading was 12380 Gross weight for everything, which I am comfortable with since my GCVW for my TT is 14000. Even with adding 1/2 tank of gas (I have a 25 gallon tank so it would only be around 12-14 gallons which at 6.15 pounds per gallon is around 73-86 pounds)




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http://i.imgur.com/oI43q.jpg%20height=640



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Old 04-17-2011, 01:32 PM   #8
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Your first set up was better, you simply had to many washers in the hitch head. Now you have a heavy rear end that has raised the front of your truckcausing loosesteering. When the hitch is setup correct your front should not raise more than 1/2 inch.
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:34 PM   #9
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On my previous TT and Suburban, I had a bad sway starting at 40MPH. The hitch was set up correctly so the dealer added steel weights welded in place under the front frame. I didn't like carrying all that dead weight but it worked and I had absolutely zero sway up to 70MPH. He explained that the trailer frame was used on different floor plans and some had more weight up front than others.

Can you temporarily add a couple hundred pounds to the front and test the driving characteristics? This is assuming of course the hitch is properly set.

Another idea would be to loosen the hitch bars one notch which will slightly increase tongue weight. You may get more bounce however.


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Old 05-16-2011, 08:26 AM   #10
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Well, after towing to Manhattan Kansas and back this weekend for the KSU Graduation, I have some findings to report.


I lowered the brackets one hole and towed out there. NOT great.


I raised it back up to where I had it, and loaded plenty (read: an

appropriate amount) in the front of the TT and it TOWED LIKE A CHARM.

Heck, I even held the steering wheel with just one hand part of the

time. I have deduced that adjusting the hitch correctly, the weight

that WAS on the hitch was distributed and left the hitch 'light'. So by

adding some weight (golf clubs, laundry/linen) for the trip back, it

properly re-set the weight and no sway and no issues at all. I think I

FINALLY have a good set-up for my TV and TT combination. Thank you all.







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2004 QC 4x4 Dodge 1500 Hemi 3.92

07 Sunset Trail ST30BH

10,000 Equal-i-zer, P3



http://i.imgur.com/oI43q.jpg%20height=640



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