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Old 03-04-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
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Some Strait-line questions...

We are looking at upgrading our current basic Curt round bar WDH to a Strait-line and am trying to find a few answers.

1. Is the round bar style perhaps more durable than the trunnion type? The round bar looks to have more surface area at the end where the pressure and movement occurs. I can't find any closeup pictures of the trunnion arrangement though.

2. Is Strait-line promoted under the Reese name and Draw-Tite also? Is there a difference or is it a marketing ploy?

3. Can we use our old Curt shank or does it have to be Reese?

4. Are the trunnion bars much shorter and lighter than the round bars? It seems like the trunnion bars would be easier to move, hook up and store. Not sure if the extra cost justifies that though.

5. Do the cam lock things tend to wear out over time? Still trying to wrap my head around how these work exactly.

6. How does the trunnion bar fit into the hitch and what secures it in place? Is there a pin of some sort?
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:28 AM   #2
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1. Not really.....trunnion has been around longer, round bar newer style.

2. Reese and Draw Tite are the same company...owned by Cequent towing.

3. As long as the holes line up for the head to mount to the shank. If you meant use a Curt head with Reese bars, usually not.

4. No. The trunnion head bars weigh almost the same as the round bars. With the head on the end, it adds weight.

5. Possibly....in about 20 years.

6. The head has two "knubs". One sits in a pocket on the bottom of the head, the other goes inthe top pocket. There is an access slot on the top head, about 90 degrees tot he side. You put the bottom in first, then slide into the top from the side. Rotate the bar back to hook up to snap up brackets. Tension then holds them up.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:13 AM   #3
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There have been some rub issues reported between the trunnion style spring bars and the cam turnbuckle and/or yoke bolt during tight turns under certain conditions......I know, because I had that problem. The rub problem can exist if the coupler is mounted on top of the trailer frame, and less that 7 links of chain are used.

IMHO, if the trailer coupler is mounted on top of the tongue frame, and if the tongue weight is under 1000 lbs., a round bar system works best. If the trailer coupler is mounted to the bottom of the tongue frame, then I think the trunnion style spring bars work best. That also gives you the option of increasing the spring bar setup up to 1700 lbs. if needed to fit on "future" heavier trailers. The round bar setup only goes to 1200 lb. maximum tongue weight.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:46 AM   #4
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I own the Reece Straight Line with Dual Cam 12K system, my responses are in red.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
We are looking at upgrading our current basic Curt round bar WDH to a Strait-line and am trying to find a few answers.

1. Is the round bar style perhaps more durable than the trunnion type? The round bar looks to have more surface area at the end where the pressure and movement occurs. I can't find any closeup pictures of the trunnion arrangement though.

no. The shape, thickness of the bars where they meet the cam is the same on both. I looked at both trunnion and round bar together. I went from round bar to trunnion style.

2. Is Strait-line promoted under the Reese name and Draw-Tite also? Is there a difference or is it a marketing ploy?

same company, though it appears online all the dual cam systems are sold under the Reece name.

3. Can we use our old Curt shank or does it have to be Reese?

Probably, but not sure. The problem is the design of the shank and head. If you shank was designed to work with a head that uses pins and washer to angle the head, you may run into problems. I tried to use a Reece head from the their pro series, but the head from the straight line system needed the bolts in a different place.

4. Are the trunnion bars much shorter and lighter than the round bars? It seems like the trunnion bars would be easier to move, hook up and store. Not sure if the extra cost justifies that though.

my 1200 lb trunnion bars are actually lighter than the 1000 lb round bars from my pro series wdh. however this is because they are shorter. I think if you go with the stright line round bars the weight is going to be within 5%

5. Do the cam lock things tend to wear out over time? Still trying to wrap my head around how these work exactly.

like any wear part, sure they will. however, reece actually recommends some minimal lubrication (petroleum jelly) and many people on here have towed with this set-up for years without wearing it out.

6. How does the trunnion bar fit into the hitch and what secures it in place? Is there a pin of some sort?

no pin, it rotates into place and then swings into position. once in position it can only rotate, not come out. once there is weight on it, it will not go anywehere it is not supposed to. set-up is actually VERY easy once you have it set-up correctly. It takes me far less time to install than my old round bar pro series hitch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
There have been some rub issues reported between the trunnion style spring bars and the cam turnbuckle and/or yoke bolt during tight turns under certain conditions......I know, because I had that problem. The rub problem can exist if the coupler is mounted on top of the trailer frame, and less that 7 links of chain are used.

IMHO, if the trailer coupler is mounted on top of the tongue frame, and if the tongue weight is under 1000 lbs., a round bar system works best. If the trailer coupler is mounted to the bottom of the tongue frame, then I think the trunnion style spring bars work best. That also gives you the option of increasing the spring bar setup up to 1700 lbs. if needed to fit on "future" heavier trailers. The round bar setup only goes to 1200 lb. maximum tongue weight.
I also read that the round bar vs. trunnion bar should be determined on where your coupler sits. one other thing I read was that the round bar had more flex in the design as you have a large turn in the steel that will flex like a spring. some people like that (say it gives a smoother ride) With this much tongue weight, I felt like flex was not in my best interest. The difference in ride in the round bar vs the trunnion on mine is very noticeable. there is less porpoising of the turck and trailer.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:04 AM   #5
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Thanks for all this information. Very helpful!

Not sure why it's like this, but I have found the Draw-Tite version of the same thing for less compared to the same Reese version. I just bought the Draw-Tite #40486 trunnion package (800 lbs) for $450 (including shank) which was the best price I found after hours of research. It ranged up to more than $1,000 for the same dang thing. This is when google really is your best friend...

When googling "Reese + Strait-Line" there was no end of technical and pricing info. but when doing the same under Draw-Tite, there was hardly anything in comparison. And you have to be careful because on the package deals, sometimes they don't include the shank even though their photos would suggest they do. Searching for info. on the Draw-Tite site was difficult also.

The Draw-Tite trunnion version was about $50 less than their round bar one after all the searching I did while in the Reese version, the trunnion type was about $60 higher than their round bar one.

We've just upgraded to a 3/4 ton Ford and I will be installing Bilstein shocks in it. I don't expect there to be anywhere as much bounce/sway movement in it compared to our old F150. Not sure if round vs trunnion bars would make much of a difference in this case in terms of bar flex?

I like the idea that the Strait-Line WDHs don't really solely on friction like many of the other setups do. Can't wait to get it installed and try out.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:29 AM   #6
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Another thing is that, I believe, trunnion bar has better ground clearance than round bars; if that makes any difference to you. Might be a factor if you get into some out-of-the-way places.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acadianbob View Post
Another thing is that, I believe, trunnion bar has better ground clearance than round bars; if that makes any difference to you. Might be a factor if you get into some out-of-the-way places.
this was the biggest factor when I got mine...ground clearance was an issue that round bar would NOT work...and I still scrape on some dips
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:32 PM   #8
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Wow these things have gotten expensive............. I bought my round bar draw-tite a few (lot) years ago for under $200.

My only real comment is I do not recommend mixing part brand names may seem the same but If there ever was a problem............ Lawyers love this stuff.........................
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:56 PM   #9
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I have seen people use a rise ball on a trunion system to make things work.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:59 PM   #10
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Our new Strait-Line arrived yesterday. Ooooh, what a well-crafted piece of hardware. The shank is a one-piece cast steel item, unlike our old welded one. It all looks so nice I'm not sure I want to use it, lol. Plus it sounds like we have one of the last ones to be made in the good 'ol US of A.

We ordered the WDH under the Draw-Tite name because it was cheaper but a Reese labelled one arrived. Feels like we got a free upgrade....

I had not appreciated how large the cam lock device is from the drawings and photos on the internet is so I've included a photo next to the shank so you can tell. Now that I have this in hand, I can see just how it works. The notch at the end of the bar rides on the "cam" so that when the bar rides up on it, it puts more tension on the bar to creat force to straighten the trailer out relative to the TV. It's not really friction based control, but there is some small friction between the bar and cam (which should be kept lubed).

VERY happy with the design and looks of this product. We got it for $450 incl. shipping on ebay.com but in Canada the same thing would cost more than double that (using Amazon as a guide). Can't wait to try it out.
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