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Old 02-04-2011, 11:12 AM   #1
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Newb WDH and Sway control questions

Hi ive recently ordered a travel trailer and the deal threw in a free cheap curt WDH for us.

let me preface this i plan on using the WDH & sway control only to make the towing safer, and am NOT looking to exheed my vehicles 9,000 lb towing & 900 lb tongue weight limit.

When looking at the Equilizer WDT & sway control system and reading about it it sounds like its a bit of a hassle and not compatible with a variety of trailers depending on where the battery/propane enclosure is.

but otherwise every good and i watched the dvd on it.

then i looked at the Reese Straight line system with the dual cams and ity sounds like its a bit more flexible than the equilizer as to what trailers it works on. and is cheaper. my question is it just cheaper because the manufacturer charges less or is it of inferior quality like the curt hitches?

also if looking at the same 12,000lb round bar straight line system and the trunion bar straight line system from rease what is is the advantage of one over the other in that weight limit and what is the shame option available to both models? and what is the advantage of that option over the regular straight line systems?

Thank you again for all your help for this WDH & sway control newb
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:15 PM   #2
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You will get lots of different opinions here. I have the Reese Straight Line system with trunion bars. I like it very much and it works great. I think trunion bars give you a little better hitch ground clearance than round bars. I like the Reese system because I feel it is a bit more "active" in terms of PREVENTING sway from starting in the first place and then also assists to CORRECT sway if it has started. It works on a principle of "centering" rather than just providing friction in both directions.

Check the etrailer.com site for good info. Also, make sure you get bars that are suited to your actual tongue weight. Bigger is not better. Just make sure you have enough. This will allow the system to work best. So, don't put 1,200 bars on a 600 tongue weight for example.

Quality of Reese is very high.
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:21 PM   #3
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Trunnion bars or round bars will depend on the trailer tongue, width mainly. Mine is 4.5 inches, so I had to use round bars. They work the same, Also the trunnion bars can be gotten for a heavier tongue weight, if I remember right. Mostly depends on tongue of the trailer, which you can't control.
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:24 PM   #4
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thanks i agree. im not gonna get a giant one just for the sake of it but i cant find one that actally 9,000lbs towing or 900lb's tongue that my manufacturer lists its truck limits despite that it has a class 4 hitch. but the the two options i have is the 800lb straightline setup or the 1200 lb (wich the class 4 hitch is rated for) so i can either get one that less than both my truck and my hitches maximum or i can get the one thats over my trucks maximum but meets the class 4 hitch rating.

so would the 1200lb straight line sytem cause any problems.. and why does the trunion bar give you more clearance than the round bar?

can you tell im a newb
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:25 PM   #5
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also with the reese straight line system there is a shank and a no shank options so what does the shank do and whats the advantage/disadvantage for it?
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:53 PM   #6
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Covfam, you size the spring bar weight rating to the trailer tongue, not the hitch capability. I think the listed weight of your trailer tongue was 500 some pounds, and I suggested 800 lb. bars and windrider suggested 1000 lb. bars in another thread you started. 600 lb. bars would probably be too light after you add weight to your trialer. 1200 lb. bars will probably be overkill for your trailer, and give you a really stiff ride.

I have the Reese Straight Line Dual Cam trunnion bar setup, and there are noted to be rub problems during sharp turns with some trailers that have the coupler on top of the tongue similar to mine. He is an article on that:

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Towing: Reese Dual Cam rub

I had that rub problem with my trailer, and now have to use a 1" raised ball to help with the problem. The 1" raised ball prevents my trunnion bars from hitting the yoke bolt, but they will still rub the yoke......I am careful not to get my truck and trailer into a really sharp turn situation.

This problem does not occur if the coupler is mounted to the bottom of the tongue.

Make no mistake, the Reese systems works great and I would choose it again, but I would go with the round bar setup instead. With the round bars coming out of the bottom of my ballmount, there is more clearance with the yoke than with the trunnion style bars. The downside of the round bars, are they are closer to the ground at the hitch, and they are limited to under 1000 lb. spring bar rate.....which should not be a problem for your situation.

Also, the Equalizer brand also is good. For the short, lightweight trailer that you have, the Curt WDH with the friction sway control bar should also work good. Both the round and trunnion style systems both have 800 and 1000 lb. spring bars.

BTW covfam, it is great that you are doing all of this homework.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:06 PM   #7
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thanks mtnguy i must have misunderstood what you mean by the 600lb and 1000lb bars. and did not understant how exactly how that worked with the trailer tongue weight im such a newb.

ok now here im a lil confused my trailer is listed at 574lb dry hitch weight. do i use THAT or the estimated weight with gear/water and toy thats hauled?

i understand how the whole towing hitch and trailer weight stuff goes, but now with the weight distributing hitches and sway control have thrown me threw a loop so bare with me and my newb questions
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:32 PM   #8
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Theoretically, if you have 800 pound of tongue weight, you would use 800 pound bars. The hitch on the tow vehicle has nothing to do with it. You are trying to match the bars to the tongue weight. I misread the other post, and thought the trailer had 900 pound tongue weight. That is why I suggested 1200 pound bars. If your hitch weight is 800 or so, (calculated maximum), then 1000 pound bars should be fine. Being over is always better than being under. Also if you ever need to tow with fresh water tank full, that will greatly affect your tongue weight, as your tanks are in front of the axle I think. 30 gallons of water could equal 250 pounds of tongue weight, extra. Keep doing your home work, still not warm enough to camp yet. Congrats on the trailer.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:44 PM   #9
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My 559 lb. listed tongue weight has grown to 680-720 lbs, depending on what is in the trailer, and how it is loaded. I try to keep the tongue weight lite, and it is still in the range of 13.5% of the total trailer weight.....a good thing to keep sway down. I started with 800 lb. spring bars, but I had to tilt the ball mount so far back plus the spring bars were rubbing the yoke bolt on my dual cam, that I ordered 1200 spring bars (there are no 1000 lb. Reesetrunnion bars). That did not help the yoke bolt rub, and I really didn't like the stiffness in the setup.....I could tell it from the drivers seat. That is when I found the article that I posted on RV.net. John Barca (really knowledgeable guy on RV. net concerning the Reese) and I emailed back and forth a bunch of times, and I also talked to a guy at Reese several times. That is when I decided to got with the 1" raised ball to alleviate the rub problem, at least with the yoke bolt. Once I used the raised ball and tilted the ball mount platform back all of the way, I could get enough lift with my 800 lb. spring bars.....and have been using those since while the 1200 lb. bars sit collecting dust in my garage.

Again, I had the worse case scenario.......the coupler sitting on the top of a 6" tongue frame. If the coupler is on the bottom, or the tongue frame is 5" or less, then this problem doesn't exist. With the round spring bars coming out of the bottom of the ball platform, there is no problem either.....I would recommend going with that if you decide on the Reese.

Here is what my setup looks like:

Click image for larger version

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I think the Reese is harder to get setup that the Equalizer brand. I made a couple of trips to a vacant parking lot to make sure the cams are exactly centered while the truck and trailer are in a straight line. But once it is set up, it tows sweet.

The Reese Straight Line will tend to always bring your tow vehicle and trailer back in a straight line (probably hence the name. ). The Equalizer brand will tend to keep you in what ever position you are currently in. Each has it pros and cons.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:56 PM   #10
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thanks mtnguy and windrider you have been most helpfull after your sugestions i did some reading up and it looks like the 800lb bars will be all i need for that trailer.

as recomended earlier in the post it was suggested that i could stay with the curt wdh hitch and use the curt sway control system for my size trailer. when i look at the curt sway control its listed as a friction control and looks alot different than either the reese or the equalizer.

Custom Trailer Hitch Products, Custom Receiver Hitch, Heavy Duty Towing, Curt Manufacturing

how exactly does that fit on? and whats the advantage/disadvantage of this style of friction control over the cam system or the equalizer system?

next question we wil be getting a small 3,00lb horse trailer for the farm will i need another anti sway system for that? and this horse trailer we weill be using it has surge brakes will i need a seprate hitch & sway control for that?, how about the trailer for my 2,800 lb tractor + the trailer will i need yet another wdh & sway control for that?

thanks for al the help your advice has really help me when looking for towing info there is so much out there that conflicts with each other that your help has really narrowed down my searches
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