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Old 04-05-2020, 03:25 PM   #1
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EZLift vs. Reese Dual Cam: Why Such A Difference?

So my TT came with an EZLift WD hitch. It worked great. I didn't have any problems and the TT towed just fine. But because I have issues leaving well enough alone, when I saw a Reese Dual Cam for sale locally (100 bucks) I couldn't resist. Figured it couldn't hurt to have some sway control insurance.

Both are round bar setups.

Got the Reese all set up and there's a big difference in the "feel" of the systems when engaging but not a big (apparent) difference in the TV behavior. Here's what I mean:

The EZLift, when engaging the arms, felt like there was a bit (appropriate?) amount of tension on the arms. The difference on the TV between unloaded and loaded was +.25" in front and -1" at the rear.

The Reese, when engaging the arms, feels like there's much less (too little?) amount of tension on the arms. The difference on the TV between unloaded and loaded though isn't that much different... +.25" in front and -1.5" in back.

Dropping an additional link on the Reese puts front at +0" and rear at -1", so it does help a bit, but puts a much greater amount of tension on the bars. At this setting the bar angle is such that I worry they would hit/bind on the cam arms during sharp turns.

Anyway, I'm torn. Am I just not used to the Reese? Is it fine (at the -1.5" setting) and I should just leave it alone? Or since I didn't have any issues with the EZLift should I go ahead and switch back to it and consider the Reese a failed experiment?

LOL. Thanks for the input folks!!
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:01 PM   #2
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On most hitches using spring bars you need to adjust both the "chains" (or in my case the strap's) AND the angle on the head by adding or subtracting washers from the spacer "rivet". Some may have an adjustment bolt that makes the head tilt.

Again for most hitches, adjusting the head and bars should result in the proper weight distribution on the TV with the loaded spring bars parallel to the trailer's hitch A-Frame members.

If you have to "drop links" in order to lift the rear of the truck and transfer weight to the front wheels (for more drop), and the spring bars aren't parallel to the trailer frame, add a washer or whatever is required on the hitch head to make the bars angle down more before hiking them up with chain, strap, screw adjustment, whatever.
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OR_Brewer View Post
So my TT came with an EZLift WD hitch. It worked great. I didn't have any problems and the TT towed just fine. But because I have issues leaving well enough alone, when I saw a Reese Dual Cam for sale locally (100 bucks) I couldn't resist. Figured it couldn't hurt to have some sway control insurance.

Both are round bar setups.

Got the Reese all set up and there's a big difference in the "feel" of the systems when engaging but not a big (apparent) difference in the TV behavior. Here's what I mean:

The EZLift, when engaging the arms, felt like there was a bit (appropriate?) amount of tension on the arms. The difference on the TV between unloaded and loaded was +.25" in front and -1" at the rear.

The Reese, when engaging the arms, feels like there's much less (too little?) amount of tension on the arms. The difference on the TV between unloaded and loaded though isn't that much different... +.25" in front and -1.5" in back.

Dropping an additional link on the Reese puts front at +0" and rear at -1", so it does help a bit, but puts a much greater amount of tension on the bars. At this setting the bar angle is such that I worry they would hit/bind on the cam arms during sharp turns.

Anyway, I'm torn. Am I just not used to the Reese? Is it fine (at the -1.5" setting) and I should just leave it alone? Or since I didn't have any issues with the EZLift should I go ahead and switch back to it and consider the Reese a failed experiment?

LOL. Thanks for the input folks!!

does the hitch have adjustments for the angle of the head?
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Old 04-05-2020, 06:40 PM   #4
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thanks gents. yes, i can adjust the head. there's a oddly shaped "washer" that you can turn to different positions to angle the head (ball?) forward or backwards. i was worried about angling it away from the truck (to make the bars angle down more). i thought you wanted your ball level or angled backwards (towards the TV) only. if it's acceptable/safe to angle the ball forwards (away from the TV) i'll give that a try.
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Old 04-05-2020, 07:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by OR_Brewer View Post
thanks gents. yes, i can adjust the head. there's a oddly shaped "washer" that you can turn to different positions to angle the head (ball?) forward or backwards. i was worried about angling it away from the truck (to make the bars angle down more). i thought you wanted your ball level or angled backwards (towards the TV) only. if it's acceptable/safe to angle the ball forwards (away from the TV) i'll give that a try.
As you increase the angle of the ball away from the truck (toward the trailer), you are angling the bars more toward the ground, so that you are putting more tension on them when you connect.

On my more or less generic system, which seems to be a dead copy of the
Curtis round bar system, each washer that I add to tilt the hitch away from my truck seems to more or less equate to a link on the chains.

When I picked up my trailer, the dealer adjusted the hitch with 3 dropped links. The bars were just a little above parallel to the ground when installed, and the whole rig scaled out pretty well balanced. Once we were loaded for camping, there was a little more squat than I liked the look of. If I dropped another link everything would level out again, but the ends of the bars were very close to the tongue and I was also worried about interference.

I added one washer, and now I can run with 2 dropped links unloaded and 3 loaded.

So short answer, no harm at all in using the adjustment range of your hitch to get the weight distributing characteristics that you need.
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Old 04-05-2020, 07:13 PM   #6
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so i went out an eyeballed the hitch again... the head/ball is already tilted slightly backward/away from the TV and the weird shaped hexagon adjustment washers are already in the position that provides for the most backward tilt... so i can't do anything more in that regard.

i currently have 5 links under load as well. which apparently is the minimum number of links you want under load to avoid issues. i saw a vid showing you could use a bolt between links to get a half-link adjustment but i'm worried about going to 4.5 links under load.

in short i don't think there's any more adjustment options for me at this point. i think i'm stuck with things where they're at and either need to accept it as-is, or go back to the EZLift setup.

thoughts?
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Old 04-05-2020, 08:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OR_Brewer View Post
so i went out an eyeballed the hitch again... the head/ball is already tilted slightly backward/away from the TV and the weird shaped hexagon adjustment washers are already in the position that provides for the most backward tilt... so i can't do anything more in that regard.

i currently have 5 links under load as well. which apparently is the minimum number of links you want under load to avoid issues. i saw a vid showing you could use a bolt between links to get a half-link adjustment but i'm worried about going to 4.5 links under load.

in short i don't think there's any more adjustment options for me at this point. i think i'm stuck with things where they're at and either need to accept it as-is, or go back to the EZLift setup.

thoughts?
How far down do the bars hang before they are connected? If perfectly horizontal (before connection) is 0 degrees, and straight down to the ground is 90 degrees, my setup probably has the bars pointing down at a 20-30 degree-ish angle.

I probably have enough adjustment range to get close to 45 degrees. That would put a *lot* of tension on my bars though.

If you are adjusted all the way back, and have that kind of angle and are still not getting the weight distribution you need, you might have to move to heavier bars.

As an example, on mine I am using 800# bars. To get more tension, I could either:
  • Tighten my chains by a link
  • Add a washer to tilt my hitch head farther back (toward trailer) and use the same chain position
  • Switch to 1000# bars

If I switch to the heavier bars though, I would probably want to go back through my setup from the start. The new bars would be more resistant to bending, so I might need to rethink both my head angle and chain position.

Edit: If OR_Brewer means Oregon, I'm a neighbor to the north - I live outside Vancouver, WA.
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Old 04-05-2020, 08:11 PM   #8
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thanks everyone for helping!!

i think i have a solution to try out...

i went ahead and popped the EZLift hitch into the receiver and took some measurements. it was set at pretty darned close to zero angle and the top of the ball was 22.5" off the ground.

when i put the Reese hitch back into the receiver, the ball was obviously at a positive angle (away from TV), and the top of the ball was at 24 5/8" (2 1/8" higher than the EZLift)!!!

so i went ahead and dropped the ball down as close as i could get to 22.5... which on the Reese is 23 3/8" (3/8" higher than the EZLift) and reset the ball angle to zero. i'll head out to the trailer tomorrow and hook up and see if that solves my issues.

yes Qwkynuf... i'm in OR. Medford. hello neighbor! happy quarantine! lol
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Old 04-05-2020, 08:21 PM   #9
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Before adjusting the ball height, what is your coupler height when the trailer is sitting level on flat ground?

You want to set up with the top of the ball as close as possible to the top of the coupler before you start to set up the weight distribution bars. Then you adjust the bars to get everything back as close to level as possible. With the Reese cam system having the bars parallel with the ground is best but not critical. Also, if you have the Reese system i think you are referring to, since the bars slide on the cams and the chains are attached to the cams, and the cams are affixed to the A frame of the trailer the number of links is not important as the chains do not swing with the bars (at least it was like that with my Reese Cam System).
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:09 PM   #10
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I may be wrong - and someone correct me if I am - but from everything I have read, the spring bars should be as close to parallel with the a-frame as possible when everything is hooked up and under tension. Both the height of the ball and the angle of the head will effect that, so you need to play with both until you get the right setup.
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:57 PM   #11
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Here are Reese’s instructions for setup of the hitch system without the Cam instructions. It gives the basics. Of particular note is that the trailer needs to be level and the hitch head installed with the top of the ball within 1 inch of the top of the coupler Before hitching up, preferably slightly higher. Then from there you start to adjust the chain lengths to get it right.

http://www.towingproducts.net/public...ons/N65509.pdf

Also the instructions for setting up the cam system. Using both of these together will get you set up pretty good, you may need to make some fine adjustments to get it where you really want to be.

http://www.towingproducts.net/applic...ons/N26002.pdf

It does take a bit of time and attention to detail to get them right, but once there they do work pretty good.

I found they were noisy but that is easily corrected by rubbing a candle on the contact points, it provides just enough lube to quiet them yet allows enough resistance so they work corrrectly.
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