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Old 08-09-2012, 01:07 AM   #1
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equalizer bars

We purchased a new Wildwood X-lite travel trailer in the spring. The dealer set up the equalizer assembly. I noticed that the chains are not straight up & down when when they are tensioned. There are 2-6 volt batteries in the battery box, which doesn't allow the chain hook brackets to be vertical to the chains. The issue I have is the R.H. bracket has slid a couple different times into the battery box. The unit handles fine with the chains being angled. I asked the dealer about it & was told it's not out of the ordinary to have the chains angled due to positioning of things like propane tanks & battery boxes not allowing the brackets to be verticle to the chains. Im sure you can only tighten the bolt so much, I tightened them both, & removed the bars before backing in to or leaving a tight RV site, but given the angle of the chains, I can see why it slid, especially in tighter R.H. turns. Are there any suggestions out there? I've thought of welding the brackets to the frame, but not sure about that either. Sorry if this is long winded. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:35 AM   #2
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While you wait for answers regarding the bars being at an angle I will comment about welding the handles to the frame. When I added a second battery there were little choice but to remove the big bolt and weld the saddles to the frame. My service department informed me and warned that it would avoid the frame warranty in that area. I'm not an expert but you might wish to check into this just in case.

By chance do you have a photo of the bars setup that you can post? Sometimes it's easier seeing what it looks like.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:59 PM   #3
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I will take a picture next time everything's connected. The angle of the chains isn't horrible. I have 5 links between the bars & hooks, which I've read is adequate.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #4
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Hi Blake. Can you also verify what weight distribution hitch you have? Equal-i-zer is a brand and equalizer is a generic name people have given to all WDHs. Yours is definitely not an Equal-i-zer if you use chains. Maybe Reese?
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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Even though I may think I am an expert sometimes, I am especially not on WDHs. But I have noticed on ours that when you turn the truck hard right or left (such as when backing up, the bars move a LOT fore and aft and as such, the chain angle moves back and forth a LOT. It could be since your chain is already at a less than desireable angle, that when you turn your TV enough relative to the trailer, the bracket gets pulled too hard. Doesn't sound safe. I am not so sure welding the bracket on is the solution.

I had a similar issue when we had ours installed and the hitch shop said "that's just the way they are." I hate being treated like that. I got our trailer dealer to move the tanks a bit to make it work right.

Not sure why welding would void the warranty like that as long as it's done by a certified welder and painted afterwards. RV dealers don't seem to have a problem with welding jacks to frames.

Another thought - how many links do you have in use in the chains? I wonder if it would help to add more by changing the number of washers in the hitch? More links would allow for more movement fore and aft and perhaps not affect the bracket as much.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:56 PM   #6
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@Triguy. The brand of hitch/bars I have is RV pro.
I called another dealer in town to get a second opinion. They also told me sometimes it's not possible to get the chains completely verticle depending on accessories, (tanks, batteries). Bolting the brackets to the reach is another option they told me.
I have 5 chain links between the bars & hooks, which rides & hsnfles very nicely.
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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@myredracer: *handles very nicely.. (autocorrect).
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:19 AM   #8
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Here's a couple pictures of my chain angles.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:32 AM   #9
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Way too far from vertical. Think about what happens on the inside bar during a sharp turn. The spring bar will swing back, probably getting the end of the spring bar up near the frame.

Will the snap-up brackets fit near the inside corner of the battery boxes ?? That may get you closer to vertical.

Another suggestion. Not sure how your particular product instructions read, but many round bar setups have the spring bar parallel to the trailer frame. Yours looks like it tilts up towards the end of the spring bars. Getting the snap-up brackets in a more vertical position will help that some, but you may need to tilt the head assembly back 1 more notch (or washer depending on the setup), and then using 6 links of chain under tension between the snap-up bracket and spring bar. That would also give a little more chain to "swing", especially if you can't get the chain vertical.

If you can't get the present snap-up brackets much closer to vertical, these may work: http://tweetys.com/weight-distributi...in-hanger.aspx
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:01 PM   #10
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Thanks for posting the photo. That's tells the whole story.

mtnguy is right - way too far off vertical. In short order, something will break or get damaged. I would try and solve this immediately. You certainly don't want that happening out on a trip.

I can't believe an RV or hitch shop would set you up like this and send you on your merry way. If they won't fix, I'd be wanting my money back and I'd go elsewhere.

You seem to have an usually short front triangle. Barely enough space for just the battery boxes and tank cover. Even if you could weld on the bracket, it would be hard to use the chain lift handle/pipe.

Maybe it's just the photo but are the battery boxes a lot wider than normal? Can you go to a different one that will allow it move rearward a bit?

Thinking outside the box, perhaps one way to get around this is to go with the next size down bars. If you have 1000# for eg., go to 800#. Then re-drill the two small holes for the U-bracket that attaches the chain to the bar an inch or two towards the TV. If you could find the correct formula on the 'net, you could calculate the required new bar diameter, factoring in the shorter length. But I'm guessing one bar size down would do it. Makes me wonder if there are different bar lengths available somewhere?

Or you could look at some of the other WDH designs out there. I believe Reese has one that *might* work, but a lot more $$.
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