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Old 12-07-2009, 05:11 PM   #11
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If the tongue weight is actually 500 lbs initially, then you are looking at ~700 lbs. with the batteries and propane tanks. You will probably need a WDH system with 800 lb. bars if 700 lbs. is your true weight. You should probably weigh the tongue ready to camp to be sure. You don't want to go too heavy, but you want enough to handle the weight. My "stated" 759 lb. tongue weight grew to ~800 lbs. ready to camp. I started with 800 lb. bars, but it didn't give me the weight distributing that I needed, and I now have 1200 lb. bars......the next step up with my system. Too heavy of bars is not good either........they will give you a stiff ride, and could stress your hitch system.

A Reese Staight Line Dual Cam or Equalizer (or equalvalent) should do a fine job. I use the Reese, and my trailer tows sweet. The sway control is intregrated into both of those systems. If you want top of the line, a Hensley Arrow is the pinacle, but probably overkill for a 2500 series van.

What model Wildwood did you buy?? With a 5006 lb. dry weight, a 500 lb. tongue weight is near the bottom of what it should be.....that is a little less than 10%, and ideally it would be better if the tongue weight is in the 12 to 15% weight range. Give the model number and stats, and maybe we can tweak the recommendations here. I betcha after you get that puppy loaded up, you will be over 800 lb. tongue weight, requiring a 1000 or 1200 lb. set of WDH bars.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:42 PM   #12
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2010 Wildwood Model T23FBS is what we have. I have seen different dry weights for this model the low being 49xx and the high being 5008. I was told 5008 when I bought it but it says 49 something on the trailer itself. So I am unsure on that. If I were home, I could be more specific.
We actually travel fairly light but we do travel with water so there's 400lbs right there. We are light on the gear though and most of that will be in the van

Cheri
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:19 PM   #13
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I'd suggest a equal-i-zer WDH although I would recommend the 10,000# hitch with 1000# bars. With the trailer loaded up, the tongue weight could easily be in the 700 - 800# range. This is the set-up we have towing our Rockwood 2605 with a GVWR of 6650#, and it tows great!

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Old 12-08-2009, 09:28 AM   #14
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The Forest River website lists that model as 4600 lbs. dry weight with a 440 lb. tongue weight, and a gross weight of 7400 lbs. When you add option like AC, awning and such, you are looking at around 5000 lbs. dry weight. The extra battery and propane tanks on the tongue are a good thing in this case.

Even though you have a front pass through, beside bed wardrobes, and storage under the bed, I suspect that most of your stored weight wil be behind the wheels in the fridge, overhead cabinets, and large wardrobe in the bathroom. The fresh water tank should be near or close to the axles for good weight distributing. What I am getting at, is that you need to keep the tongue weight about 12% or a little better of the total trailer weight. If you travel with 6500 lbs. of weight (including the 400 lbs. of water), then your tongue weight should be in the vicinity of 780 lbs. or more. A lot of varibles to speculate on, but Dave is probably on the mark that 1000 lb. bars would be the safe bet on this trailer.

Here is the rate range for bars from the etrailer website:

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Even though 1000 lb. bars are not listed, you can probably see that the weight ratings are good from ~50% to 100% of the bar, so that 1000 lb. bars would be good from 500 to 1000 lbs., with your possible 750 to 800 lbs. being well within that range.
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:05 PM   #15
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more good info, Thanks!

Cheri
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:44 PM   #16
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oes this look like the right type? The Reese does not come in the 1000# except with the round bar, which, I am told is not as good as a trunion. This is what I found in the Equalizer 1000#

http://www.adventurerv.net/equalizer...bs-p-1377.html
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:16 PM   #17
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That is probably what you need, but I will let Equalizer owners answer for sure.

You are corrrect that the trunnion bar in Reese does not come in a 1000 lb. rating. That is why that I had to go with the 1200 lb. system. But, if you have a 6" frame on the tongue and the coupler mounted on top of the tongue, there are rub problems with the trunnion style Reese setup. I found this too late after having the Reese installed on my trailer. The round bar would have worked better with more clearance. If I had known at the time, that is what I would have gone with. With a 5" frame or less, or if the coupler is mounted on the bottom of a 6" frame, then there is no rub problem. I remedied the problem somewhat by going with a 1" raised ball suggested by Reese, but that is a whole 'nother story.

The Reese and Equalizer systems should both work great, but with a little diffence in the driving. The Reese will tend to keep the truck and trailer in a straight line during a turn, so you might have to correct a little more during the turn. The Equalizer will tend to keep the truck and trailer at the current position during a turn, making it a little harder to recover from a turn. In other words, the Reese hitch tries to keep you in a straight line, and the Equalizer tries to keep the TV and TT at the current angle.....if that makes sense. I don't think you can go wrong with either system.
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:43 PM   #18
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but wouldn't the 1200 be too much for us? Maybe not. If I am reading the chart correctly, the 1200# is still within range, Am I right?
I am seeing talk that we need a trunnion style for better performance with the sway control.

Cheri
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3bcs1jrt View Post
but wouldn't the 1200 be too much for us? Maybe not. If I am reading the chart correctly, the 1200# is still within range, Am I right?
I am seeing talk that we need a trunnion style for better performance with the sway control.

Cheri
I don't understand why the trunnion (square) bars would be any better than the round bars.....maybe others can chime in on that. I would think they work the same. The round bars still have the indent that fits on the cams just like the trunnion bars. The way I see it, the only advantage with the square bar system is that you would be able to upgrade to a heavier bar if you ever go up in trailer size.......that system maxs out at 1700 lb. tongue weight vs. the 1000 lb. with the round bars. If I ever change trailer size, it will be smaller, not bigger.

I wish Reese made a 1000 lb. trunnion bar.....if so that is what I would have gone with for my 800 lb. tongue weight. The 800 lb. bars that I started off with didn't quite provide the lift that I needed, and the 1200 lb. bars feel stiff, although my setup drives great. If you think your tongue will be in the 700 to 800 lb. range, the Reese Dual Cam 1000 lb. round bar or the 1000 lb. Equalizer should serve you well.

Another note: From what I understand the Reese takes a little more time to dial in correctly, but after that is done it is a great system. You need the indents of the bars to exactly fit the dual cams while the TV and TT are in a straight line. After reading the directions, it is not difficult, just a little fine tuning is needed. I hear the Equalizer is simpler to set up.

Hopefully I am not leading you astray, and others can chime in if that is so.

This is a pretty good video showing the install and setup.......setting the dual cam is the last 30 seconds or so of the video, and doesn't exactly follow the Reese directions:
http://www.etrailer.com/tv-weight_di..._ford_van.aspx

This is a good tutorial on the Reese Dual Cam setup, and also explains the rub problem that can exist between the trunnion bar and the cam yoke:
http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...d/17730894.cfm
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:23 PM   #20
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You are a great help. Don't I remember you from the TM site? I was afraid I'd never get that kind of help somewhere else but I'm happy to be wrong on that count.

Thanks again

Cheri
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