Reese Double Cam Sway Control - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-07-2007, 10:42 PM   #15
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Ooooh, cool Brian...how'd you do that?!
People often paste make links with some unintentional extra characters ( a ")" ) in this case, so when a link doesn't work I just look in the browser's address box for something unlikely to be appropriate... and that looked unlikely to me.
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Old 07-08-2007, 02:34 AM   #16
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Val, there is apparently confusion once again about a weight distributing hitch and sway control.
Roger
Hi Roger, Brian, Rick et al.,

I have heard from several sources that we should get the Nissan OEM tow receiver hitch because it comes with relays that we otherwise would have to buy separately, but the Nissan Parts guy said that the make of the Class IV ball mount did not need to be Nissan. I would prefer to buy an integrated weight distribution and sway control system. I looked at the Reese website and feel even more confused.

The photos and your explanations were very helpful, thank you, but of course, I now have even more questions:

1. Is the new version of the Reese Dual Cam weight distributing hitch with the sway control that Roger mentioned using for his BF 25RQ actually a weight distribution ball mount paired with the dual cam sway control (each sold separately) or is it a Strait-Line™ Round Bar WD Kits W/ Shanks (which seems to indicate that it's a kit containing both wd and sway control parts)?
2. The website says that the above dual cam systems install on the trailer...but what do we do if we don't have the trailer yet and are trying to get our tow truck ready to be able to go buy and bring home a used one?
3. In order to be Johnny (or Jill)-on-the-spot , it seems that we will need the wdh/sway control set up already installed and ready to go in order to buy and bring our trailer home. How would I determine which of these parts to get for our prospective set up (If we get a used 17-22' BF TT, is there some way to know what size trailer frame we might end up with... that seems to be an important factor)?
4. We have a Bigfoot dealer in town, but do not have the budget to buy a BF new, so it seems inappropriate to ask them to set us up with the wdh/sway control--are there other places we could go to get help determining what we will need and installing it properly?
5. The Reese website states that the dual cam system installs on the trailer, so how do you prevent the trailer from being stolen?
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:52 AM   #17
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Val, the Strait-Line is a bundled kit including the round bars and the newer dual-cam setup with the single arms. I have a standard square trunnion bar setup paired with the new dual-cam setup on the trailer, and a "high performance" Reese draw bar and ball mount. All of the parts are available separately, and all are mix-n-match. Some of my parts are 10 years old, some are brand new.

It doesn't matter what brand of RVs your hitch dealer sells, it's a matter of what brand of hitches! Call your local dealer and get a quote on the parts, and then call the nearest dealer to where you're buying your trailer and do the same. They have service departments that are paid by the hour, and they'll be happy to install your hitch, wiring, and brake controller for you even if you don't buy a trailer from them. They'll probably also have a parts department with replacements for just about anything else you need. Often, they also know of who has used Bigfoot trailers that are thinking about selling them, so they can be an excellent resource for the used buyer as well. Get to know them!

The draw bar, ball mount, trunnion bars and snap-up brackets can all be easily assembled on site. If you get the right size U-bolts for your trailer frame, the standard strap-style dual cam setup can be assembled on-site as well (provided the tank mounts don't need to be moved). There is no drilling necessary for any of those parts, just some 1/2" drive sockets and a Reese hitch wrench is handy too. If you want to use the newer style single arm cam setup, it will require drilling some holes in the frame of the trailer which you may or may not want to undertake.

My suggestion at this point would be to go to your local RV dealer and have him show you this stuff in person. Tell them what your plan is, and let them make some recommendations about what you'll need. They'll have a better idea of what to sell you, and this whole thing will make a lot more sense to you once you've actually seen it. If you buy your parts from them, they'll be helpful in setting up the new trailer and making sure you're towing properly once you get it home as well.

Oh, and if your dealer sells another brand like Equal-i-zer, they're just as effective. I'm not pushing Reese over any other brand.
I talk about Reese 'cause that's all I've ever used, but I know that the other brands of sway control hitches are also quality hitches and provide the same features, I just don't have any first-hand experience with them to talk about them.
Roger
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:33 PM   #18
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5. The Reese website states that the dual cam system installs on the trailer, so how do you prevent the trailer from being stolen?
The only parts which stay on the trailer - in essentially any WD or sway control system - are the brackets on each side of the tongue (the Dual-Cam brackets are especially complex). The spring bars are removed when the trailer is unhitched (and I guess you need to find somewhere to put them), and the head should be removed from the truck's receiver like any other ball mount. There's just not anything worth taking left on the trailer, and the parts which are there don't make it any easier (or harder) for someone else to hook up and take your trailer... thieves won't use any WD system even all the parts are there, they'll just have an adequate truck to drag your lightweight trailer without it.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:13 PM   #19
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On my old Jayco 16', which had a WDH, I used to lock the hitch head and drawbars to the trailer's safety chains. Not only did this keep the stuf from growing legs (esp the hitch head, the most $$ part), but it created a tangle of steel junk locked to the front of the trailer...
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:25 PM   #20
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On my old Jayco 16', which had a WDH, I used to lock the hitch head and drawbars to the trailer's safety chains. Not only did this keep the stuf from growing legs (esp the hitch head, the most $$ part), but it created a tangle of steel junk locked to the front of the trailer...

Thanks, guys,

I have printed out your saavy explanations and suggestions to better absorb them and will call a few dealers as recommended. Just touched base with one in Canada who was very helpful and may have some leads to the used sizes and models we'd be most interested in buying, so Roger that, Roger! (bad pun, but couldn't help it).

Val
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:26 PM   #21
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Since we are buying a 19' TT that has a GVWR of 3,500 lbs. and dual axles, someone at the OR Rally suggested that a wdh is overkill since our current hitch receiver and ball mount is rated to 5,000 by itself and the dual axles will act to distribute some of the trailer weight. He suggested to just go with a sway bar and save $$. What do you tow experts think about that? I don't want the truck's suspension to get unecessarily taxed, so am perfectly fine getting an Equal-i-zer, but of course, I am on a budget for this and the final cost of the trailer is a couple grand more than I had planned on paying, so I am trying to avoid overspending on all the accessories.

Cheapest cost I have seen for the Equalizer was $499 shipped to me from RV Wholesalers online. Haven't priced out the sway control only units, but imagine they must be significantly cheaper?

Your opinions gratefully recieved,
Val
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:47 PM   #22
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Since we are buying a 19' TT that has a GVWR of 3,500 lbs. and dual axles, someone at the OR Rally suggested that a wdh is overkill since our current hitch receiver and ball mount is rated to 5,000 by itself and the dual axles will act to distribute some of the trailer weight...
"the dual axles will act to distribute some of the trailer weight" - this is nonsensical, so perhaps that's not the idea which they intended to convey. The axles carry everything except the tongue weight, whether there is one axle, or two, or three. The hitch system's weight ratings have nothing to do with how many trailer axles are sharing the load; the hitch carries the tongue weight, and transmits the push-pull force to move the trailer (which depends on total trailer weight).

Since the axles don't share load perfectly, you'll find that if you lift the coupler too high, the tongue load will go up as the rearward trailer axle takes more than it's share, and the effective axle location moves back; set the hitch to carry the coupler too low, and the the tongue load will go down as the forward trailer axle takes more than it's share, and the effective axle location moves forward. This means you can keep the tongue weight low by pretending you have a single-axle trailer (just the forward axle, rear axle hanging in the air), or you can get the hitch height right and have the same load on the hitch as a single-axle version of the trailer would. No, the tandems don't mean anything to the load distribution of a properly set up trailer and tug.

The WD system, if required at all, is not required due to the trailer total weight; it exists to prevent overloading of the tug's rear axle and/or hitch&frame due to tongue weight. Forget the number of axles for this purpose.

[b]Sway control is another matter. If tandems are so great, tending to track straight because the two set of tires resist turning, then why would a friction sway control be required, other than to make RV parts dealers richer? Try to pull a tandem's tongue sideways with a trailer dolly, watch the tires squirm and slide, and you're seeing a huge friction sway control system.
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Old 07-23-2007, 03:37 PM   #23
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"the dual axles will act to distribute some of the trailer weight" - this is nonsensical, so perhaps that's not the idea which they intended to convey.
Well, as you know from my past posts, I tend to repeat back to the source of the information exactly what I heard them say to make sure I heard them correctly, so it was indeed the wdh part that was being suggested as unecessary. However, from your post, I take it that it is in fact the reverse which is true. A dual axle is less likely to sway because the four wheels inherently maintain a straighter track, however the weight of the trailer tongue may still fluctuate considerably, therefore making a wdh a very good idea to have. You see, this is why I run all hearsay by the qualified experts on this forum!

Okay, so does a wdh all by itself need to be removed when backing up? If so, I would still want to buy the Equalizer to avoid having to remove everything every time I want to back up...
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:24 PM   #24
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The WDH doesn't need to be disconnected before backing.

However, a friction-bar anti-sway control DOES need disconnecting before backing (if you back one way, the potential is there to pull the bar out of the sleeve and components might be plowing the ground; if you back the other way the potential is there to jam the control between the frame and the TV hitch, bending something...).
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:30 PM   #25
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The WDH doesn't need to be disconnected before backing.

However, a friction-bar anti-sway control DOES need disconnecting before backing (if you back one way, the potential is there to pull the bar out of the sleeve and components might be plowing the ground; if you back the other way the potential is there to jam the control between the frame and the TV hitch, bending something...).
Ah, thanks for clarifying that, Pete. And because I am Ms. 1001 questions... how come the Reese Dual Cam and Equalizer brands do not need to be removed when backing up? Why do they not jam?

Now the fellow at Quality Bumper tells me that I need to know the size of the trailer ball hook up--whether it is 2' or 2 5/16" so that I get the right size--what? They just installed one when they put the tow receiver hitch on and I thought that would be it... I don't have the trailer yet, so I have no idea what size it is on a 1988 Bigfoot 19. Anyone have an idea? Why this additional part?
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:57 PM   #26
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The ball goes in a mount of some sort (a plain bar called a ball mount or drawbar without a WD system; a head with sockets if it is a WD system), and the mount doesn't care what the diameter of the ball is. The coupler (the socket part on the trailer) does care - if the ball is too large the socket won't go on at all, and if the ball is too small the socket won't close around it closely enough and they won't reliably stay coupled.

The ball and socket basically are the hitch - everything else is just supporting structure and add-ons.

U-Haul tends to use a one-size-fits-all design which allegedly works with 1-7/8", 2", and 2-1/8" balls. Most trailers not intended for rental have a coupler socket fitted to a specific size. Since a ball costs next to nothing, it is trivial to put in the right ball for any given trailer, and I can see how a hitch shop would just throw in the most likely size and expect the owner to change it for the right size if necessary when the actual trailer gets hooked up.

A 2000 to 5000 pound (max loaded) trailer could have a 1-7/8", 2" or 2-5/16" ball (or rarely other sizes); if the GVWR is between 2000 and 3500 lb it's likely 2", and over 3500 lb it's likely a 2-5/16". The size is stamped right into the steel of the coupler, along with the coupler's weight capacity. Mine, for instance, is 2", but 2-5/16" is much more common on trailers with high enough tongue weight to commonly need a WD system.

If in doubt, buy two balls and return (unused) the one not needed. The ball has a threaded stud, which needs to match the size of the hole in the hitch hardware.
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Old 07-23-2007, 07:09 PM   #27
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.. how come the Reese Dual Cam and Equalizer brands do not need to be removed when backing up? Why do they not jam?
The [b]friction-type sway control devices are crude generic bits, installed on various trailer frames by owners in ways not predictable to the designer. Maybe it jams, maybe it pulls out, maybe not... each situation is different, and my guess is that few owners actually check the fit.

The bits of the [b]Equal-i-zer WD system are actually in a similar situation, in a way. If you put the trailer frame brackets (they call them "sway brackets") too far back, the spring bar on the outside of a sharp turn will pop out. You'll know this right away, and will know to sue the person who installed it...
The Equal-i-zer instructions just say to put the brackets a specific distance from the ball; there is presumably enough length in the spring bars that with the known distance between the ball and spring bar socket, even a 90 degree turn won't pop them out.

The friction-type sway control devices could be used with a hitch-side mounting point which is too far away from the ball (the bracket is sold as a separate part), so the device maker doesn't know what might happen.

The installation of the Reese [b]Dual-Cam WD system includes setting the trailer frame mounts to match the curved bits in the spring bars. Like the Equal-i-zer, they know how far apart the sockets are in the hitch head, so with the right starting point they know the bars won't pull too far and come out.
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:38 PM   #28
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If in doubt, buy two balls and return (unused) the one not needed. The ball has a threaded stud, which needs to match the size of the hole in the hitch hardware.
Okay, I will just buy both--great suggestion, as usual Brian, thank you.

And now I feel illuminated about wdh and sway bars and the greater merits of Equalizer and Reese Dual Cam. The wdhs alone are only a little cheaper than the Equalizer, so I can't see what it would hurt to just buy the Equalizer, even if the dual axles are less prone to sway control issues.

As long as sometimes taking the trailer over rutted backroads won't mess up the Equalizer, we should be good to go.


Val
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