Equalizer hitch? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-05-2011, 04:47 PM   #1
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Equalizer hitch?

I am considering buying a fiberglass trailer (max 18') and want to know what is recomended for a hitch. Do I (should I) get an equalizer for it? I looked through the Forum for some info and couldn't find anything specific or even a general guide so I am asking.
Is it a state/province law? Trailer Manuf guide? Or is there a general rule based on either length or weight of the trailer?
Same question about aux electric brakes for the trailer.
If both are recomended or needed, then I'll get them installed before buying.
Thanks for any info anyone can provide.
Richard
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:14 PM   #2
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A lot depends on what your tow vehicle is and what it's owner's manual states. My Honda Odyssey requires a Weight Distribution Hitch when towing any trailer that exceeds 1800 pounds and electric trailer brakes for trailers exceeding 2000 pounds. The latter requirement is also in various State and Province Laws, albiet differing weight limits apply to different jurisdictions.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:30 PM   #3
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Many if not all states and provinces have laws the require brakes on trailers over ex so many pounds. Most tows also require brakes on a trailer over ex so many pounds - check its manual as the ex so many pounds may be less than what the law states.

The size of the tow vehicle and its caps are normally the driving force behind the use of an equalizer hitch. Some people use them as they find they provide a better tow even though they are well within the tows caps. I know a number of people who use them in order to reduce the tongue weight and bring it down to what their tow vechile can handle and avoid sway as a result.

The first thing you need to do is check the owners manual of your tow as some *do not support* the use of an equalizer hitch while others require its use.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:06 PM   #4
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Thanks Frederick. Great information.
I plan to pull with my Ranger (4x4) and it has a maximum towing cap around 5,000 lbs. The manual says nothing that I can find so far regarding hitches or brakes. It does have a trailer tow package with a 2" receiver.
Does an equalizer need to be purchased or mounted for a given trailer or are they quite universal?
Is an equalizer something that requires specific installation knowledge or is it a matter of "bolting it in"?
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:12 PM   #5
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Thanks Carol. Is there a site on line for BC that gives some legal requirements or are you referring to the towing vehicle requirements? Does the vehicle being towed (trailer) have specs on what is needed to tow it?
Do most fiberglass trailers have (come with) electric brakes? I don't see this mentioned in ads so is it a "given" that they come with them?
Thanks again.
Richard
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:06 PM   #6
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I was referring to both the BC laws re brakes on trailers and the towing vehicle requirements.

Here is a link to the basic brake rule in BC.

Keep reading your owners manual or check on line with Ford re at what weight they require brakes on the trailer.

Most of the 16' and larger Fiberglass trailers come with brakes as standard. It seems that some of the newer 13' do as well but many of the olders ones did not.

Trailer manufactures do not normally tell you what you need to tow their trailers with other than telling you what size ball and the weight of the trailer. Its up to you to know what your tow vehicles safe towing cap is.

What size trailer are you looking for? with a 5000lb cap why do you think you are going to need an equalizer.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:08 PM   #7
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Ok after reading the information posted, I re read the Ranger manual and checked the door sticker and found out my truck is not wired for electric brakes but they can be installed :-)
The maximum trailer wieght that can be pulled without an equalizer is 2,000 lbs. Anything heavier requires an equalizer.
So, I guess before buying a trailer I need to do some installs.
Thanks everyone for helping me find what I need.
Richard
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:29 PM   #8
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Hint if you decide to install a brake controller - look across the line. In my experence they can be way way cheaper. Suspect the equilizer may well be as well.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:35 PM   #9
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Good tip :-) Althought the way the $ is going I better go soon!
Are the brake controllers and eq hitches pretty universal or are they made for specific vehicles. I have seen them on Buy & Sell in the past (before I was interested in tralers) and could likely get one there at a reduced price but I'd have to have them installed somewhere.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:31 PM   #10
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Brake controllers are universal. If you search here you will find that the Tekonsha Prodige P2 is a *very* popular brake controller - IMHO you cant go wrong with it.

Check around in Nanamio with the folks that sell boat trailers and rv's for recommondations on who can install the wiring for you. The wiring for the controller is universal and then all you need to do is mount and plug in the controller.

Cant answer re the equilizer hitch. Again a search of this forum may help you with ideas as to brand.

I realize your not on the mainland but Burnaby Hitch might be a good place to start in so far as calling and asking prices for what you need - who knows they may have more competive prices these days. They by the way can also do wiring and anything else you need.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:50 PM   #11
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If you are looking for an Equal-i-zer brand hitch, just get the one with the lightest bars (6000 lb rated, last I checked). Very good hitch, I have one from when I towed a 23' Rockwood but don't use it with my 16'. Got mine from RV Wholesalers website.

Another good weight-distributing/sway-control hitch is the Reese Dual Cam. And there's a newer one called Blue Ox Sway Pro... don't know much about it but it looks ok.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greybeard View Post
It does have a trailer tow package with a 2" receiver.
Does an equalizer need to be purchased or mounted for a given trailer or are they quite universal?
Is an equalizer something that requires specific installation knowledge or is it a matter of "bolting it in"?
Equal-i-zerŽ Hitch - with 4-Point Sway Control™ and Weight Distribution is a specific brand of Weight Distribution Hitch. There are others that do not include built-in sway control, such as the ReeseŽ model that came with my trailer. I have a separate Friction Anti-Sway bar.

They need to be purchased in a size/capacity to match the Tongue Weight of the trailer they are to be mounted on. Too small and it won't distribute enough weight; too hefty and you risk bending the trailer's tongue or damaging the tow vehicle's receiver and frame. Many of the newer designs are bolt-on, while my older one has components that are welded onto the trailer's tongue.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:31 PM   #13
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Have towed without an equalizer hitch, but not after i tried WITH one. The truck and trailer track like one unit.
cheers
Ian
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:03 AM   #14
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Thank you ALL!
Now, I certainly know more about hitches, brakes and my own vehicle than I did just a couple of hours ago.
Looks like I have some homework and learning to do digesting all the great info here.
Looks like I can get and install an electric brake system on my truck and wait to get the anti sway bar/hitch once I know what I'm buying for a trailer.
Thanks again.
Richard
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