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Old 07-05-2007, 01:46 PM   #1
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Trailer: Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
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I am considering a Reese Strait Line trunion WDH w/ dual cam sway control and 550 pound spring bars as I downsize from a 1-ton van to a Jeep Cherokee to tow my 3500 pound Casita 17SD (about 425# hitch weight).

Some folks have said that the daul cam needs LOTS more hitch weight to really work, plus they are always going out of adjustment causing bad trailer tracking.

Anyone have any input on these hitches?

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 07-05-2007, 02:32 PM   #2
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Bob, I've been using them for over twenty years. They're the best sway WDH solution available IMHO. They're reasonably priced, well built, they work well, and they're low maintenance. I don't know what the "out of adjustment" would be. They're self-centering. I think the 550lb bars would be just perfect for your 17.

Roger
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:22 PM   #3
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Bob, I've been using them for over twenty years. They're the best sway WDH solution available IMHO. They're reasonably priced, well built, they work well, and they're low maintenance. I don't know what the "out of adjustment" would be. They're self-centering. I think the 550lb bars would be just perfect for your 17.

Roger
Thanks, Roger. I use a Hensley Arrow (which fails the "reasonably priced" test) for my large trailers,

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but for Casita Hensley is WAY too heavy (both for Casita AND my Cherokee TV), and have their 2 5/16" ball welded to the hitch assembly anyway.

So you are using the dual cam on a small trailer like we are talking about then, or w/ your Big Foot 25? By extrapolation (if your 25'), I take it you feel the dual cam device would be fine w/ a lighter trailer as well?

As far as "out of adjustment" the fellow claimed that he had to screw with them every trip. Seems to me, once you adjust the length of the threaded rods ONCE, you are DONE.

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:11 AM   #4
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Yep, Bob...

The Hensley is a marvelous invention, but it's heavy, complex, and costly. I'm really into simple, (relatively) inexpensive, and lightweight. I used a Dual Cam on my Burro 17' with 600 lb bars (pictured here being set up).


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I also use it with my 25' Bigfoot with 800 lb bars and the new straight-line dual cam setup. Once they're set up, I've never had to adjust one. I don't know what the deal would be with the guy who is reporting that he has to adjust his all the time.

Roger
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:56 AM   #5
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Yep, Bob...

The Hensley is a marvelous invention, but it's heavy, complex, and costly. I'm really into simple, (relatively) inexpensive, and lightweight. I used a Dual Cam on my Burro 17' with 600 lb bars (pictured here being set up).

I also use it with my 25' Bigfoot with 800 lb bars and the new straight-line dual cam setup. Once they're set up, I've never had to adjust one. I don't know what the deal would be with the guy who is reporting that he has to adjust his all the time.

Roger
You are RIGHT in spades! I removed the PullRite in favor of the Hensley (for my larger trailers) so I could use a standard 2" receiver for Casita. Unlike the PullRite (also expensive and heavy, but dead simple), Hensley is TOO complicated, and TOO heavy (at least with the PullRite, once it was installed on the TV you didn't have to lift anything heavy).

That's GREAT news that you like the dual cam w/ the Burro because that correlates perfectly w/ my Casita!

No question, I am going with the dual cam and 550 pound bars. Yes, the friction bar is probably adequate, but after alonst 40 years of flying airplanes for a living, I tend to deal in the "what-ifs" more than most, and like the security of that "extra margin of safety" offered by a better low-sway or no-sway hitch.

Heck, if it works well enough, I'll try it w/ the 1000 pound bars off the Hensley on my big trailer behind the van, and if it works well enough, I might save my back and sell the Hensley (which I, myself, bought used).

Frankly I am amazed at how many folks spend big bucks for do-dads and a bit more luxury, but won't ante up for devices which make their lives safer and more stress-free. I put a well-designed hitch in that category.

Thanks,

Bob

BTW, I like the simplicity of the Burro frame compared to the dropped "C" Channel frame of the Casita. MUCH easier to attach hitches and stuff! Attaching the Reese to Casita will be an engineering and welding exercise.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:06 PM   #6
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Roger appears to have the [b]Dual-Cam (e.g. Reese part 26000), while Bob refers to "threaded rods", which are part of the [b]Dual-Cam HP design (e.g. Reese part 26002). While the Dual-Cam HP is adjusted with those threads, the Dual-Cam requires adjustment of the position of the U-bolted bracket along the frame... presumably not something that is expected to be changed frequently.

One reason for readjustment might be load changes: if the angle between the tug and trailer changes, the bars will no longer be properly positioned on the cams. How frequent or important this is would presumably depend on they way the trailer and tug are used.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dual-Cam HP (26002) Installation Instructions+-->
Quote:
NOTE: From time to time it may be necessary to use a different chain link to properly level tow vehicle and trailer due to weight changes in tow vehicle or trailer, or trunnion wear. Any time a different link is used, the cam arm must be readjusted. Level tow vehicle per Reese Installation Instructions for Weight Distribution. Recheck alignment periodically. 1” Lock washers may need to be replaced after multiple uses.
<!--QuoteBegin-Dual-Cam (26000) Installation Instructions

[b]NOTE: From time to time it may be necessary to use a different chain link to properly level car and trailer due to weight changes in car or trailer, or trunnion wear. Level car per Reese Installation Instructions for Weight Distribution. Recheck alignment periodically.
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:44 PM   #7
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Like Brian, I would suspect that the adjustments are actually regarding tongue weight and weight transfer rather than the dualcam part.

Don't overlook the EqualIZer hitch, as there seem to also be many satisfied users of that one.

BTW, I have never owned/used either the EqualIZer or DualCam systems so cannot comment on my experiences, just a Plain Jane WDH on my old Jayco back when I was almost totally ignorant of WDH stuf.
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:36 PM   #8
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Like Brian, I would suspect that the adjustments are actually regarding tongue weight and weight transfer rather than the dualcam part.
Well, I really meant that the adjustments are required due to changes in tongue weight and weight transfer setup... but the Dual-Cam part may itself (as confirmed to the instructions) need to be adjusted as a result.
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:52 PM   #9
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Ah, all the experts in one spot again... Hi!

More newbie questions from the AZ gals!

We now have our tow vehicle, so are half way there: a 2007 Nissan Frontier Nismo 4 x 4 with 6100 lbs. max tow capacity. He drives like a dream.

What hitch set-up we will need if we go with a used 17-21' Bigfoot TT (just realized that the older model 21 footers are the same width as the 17, so we could fit them in the carport, as long as we can tow them, which we can if we keep the total cargo under 1,000 lbs.) Once we have the tow hitch receiver installed, what exactly do we need to buy to be able to safely (sway-free) tow up to 5,500 lbs. GVWR?

The tow hitch receiver is available for $198 from Nissan, but I am confused about whether or not we really need to buy one of the supplemental parts that Nissan offers--they sell a Nissan "Weight Distributing Ball Mount for Class IV towing" (see website http://www.courtesyparts.com/Merchant2/mer...Category_Code=) which has its own sway bars. But if we buy an Equalizer or the Reese Hitch that you folks are discussing, doesn't that come with its own sway bars... is there some redundancy here?

Also, being a 4 x 4, our truck sits a little higher than the street models would... how does one match the trailer and truck height when hitching?

Thank you!

Val
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Old 07-06-2007, 05:29 PM   #10
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--they sell a Nissan "Weight Distributing Ball Mount for Class IV towing" (see website http://www.courtesyparts.com/Merchant2/mer...Category_Code=) which has its own sway bars.
The link has one extra character on the end (should not be a closing bracket) - try this instead:
Weight Distributing Ball Mount for Class IV towing
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Old 07-06-2007, 05:33 PM   #11
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The link has one extra character on the end (should not be a closing bracket) - try this instead:
Weight Distributing Ball Mount for Class IV towing
Ooooh, cool Brian...how'd you do that?! Yep, that's the Nissan Ball Mount that I am wondering if we really need. Seems to have parts that would be redundant if we get a Reese or Equalizer wdh/sway control system, but I am too new to know for sure. Anybody have a clue about this?
Val
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Old 07-06-2007, 05:34 PM   #12
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The tow hitch receiver is available for $198 from Nissan, but I am confused about whether or not we really need to buy one of the supplemental parts that Nissan offers--they sell a Nissan "Weight Distributing Ball Mount for Class IV towing" which has its own sway bars. But if we buy an Equalizer or the Reese Hitch that you folks are discussing, doesn't that come with its own sway bars... is there some redundancy here?
Complete redundancy. That "ball mount" is not just a ball mount - it's an entire WD system, just like the Equalizer or Reese. I'd bet it actually is a Reese, Valley, or some other aftermarket brand, distributed through Nissan dealers.

I can't think of any reason to buy specifically the one sold by Nissan dealers. Although it may be a perfectly good choice, there's nothing special about it. If you want to use the Dual-Cam system, for instance, you wouldn't want this one.

The receiver, on the other hand, may be a better fit than otherwise available; certainly, if it really is a Genuine Nissan part, it will at least be suitable.
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:40 PM   #13
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What hitch set-up we will need if we go with a used 17-21' Bigfoot TT (just realized that the older model 21 footers are the same width as the 17, so we could fit them in the carport, as long as we can tow them, which we can if we keep the total cargo under 1,000 lbs.) Once we have the tow hitch receiver installed, what exactly do we need to buy to be able to safely (sway-free) tow up to 5,500 lbs. GVWR?

which has its own sway bars. But if we buy an Equalizer or the Reese Hitch that you folks are discussing, doesn't that come with its own sway bars... is there some redundancy here?

Thank you!

Val
Val, there is apparently confusion once again about a weight distributing hitch and sway control. They are two separate functions, and a weight distributing hitch doesn't automatically provide sway control by itself. The bars that you see in the Nissan offering are weight distribution bars, not sway control devices. Reese markets the "dual cam" weight distribution system that DOES incorporate sway control using it's weight distribution bars, and Equal-i-zer also provides a sway control weight distribution hitch.

The hitch you have pictured is only a weight distribution hitch. Sway control does not appear to be included in that setup.

Perhaps some photos will help to clarify terms...

Here is the standard Reese weight distributing hitch without sway control (the Nissan hitch will appear similar to this when installed):


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This is a standard friction sway control device that would be used for sway control in conjunction with the standard weight distributing hitch:


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This is the standard Reese Dual-cam weight distributing hitch/ with sway control. It is the setup I showed on my Burro earlier in the thread. Note the saddle devices that the weight distributing bars ride over rather than just attaching to the snap-up brackets as shown on the standard hitch. Those are the dual-cam sway control gizmos.


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This is the new version of the Reese Dual Cam weight distributing hitch with sway control, and the one I use with my Bigfoot 25RQ. It has the Dual-Cam hardware found in the Reese Strait-line hitch kit. This hitch is the same as the standard weight distributing hitch, and does the same function as the standard Dual-Cam, but the new Dual-Cam hardware is of a different design, and mounts to the frame of the trailer differently than the standard older Dual-Cam configuration:


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I hope this may clear up some of the confusion for you.

Roger
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Old 07-07-2007, 07:01 PM   #14
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Hello,
A couple of years ago I bought my Reese dual cam WDH set up from FGRV member Darwin M., hi Darwin, and it works great. I had to get some smaller bars (600#) as the 1000 pounders (e-bay) were too heavy. My 17' Burro does not require too much pull on those bars to get the right effect and I do not really need the weight distributing feature. For me, the dual cam was the best option for sway even though I have never had any problem with sway. The friction sway bars should not be used in wet weather and I thought that is the time you would want sway control the most. The trailer tracks perfectly and just locks up straight and is no problem when tight turning is required.
Good luck,
Rick
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Old 07-07-2007, 09:42 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, 01:34 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, 07:52 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, 07:33 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, 10:13 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 $$ part), but it created a tangle of steel junk locked to the front of the trailer...
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Old 07-09-2007, 11:25 AM   #20
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On my old Jayco 16', which had a WDH, I used to lock the hitch head and drawbars to the trailer's safety chains. Not only did this keep the stuf from growing legs (esp the hitch head, the most $$ 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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