---The only difference is that Equal-i-zer uses metal on metal friction while a sway bar uses metal on brake pad material.---That's true -- as far as the mechanism goes.
However, the Equal-i-zer has potential for creating several times as much sway-resisting torque as a friction "sway bar" can.
It appears your trailer has an empty weight around 5000# and a GVWR of 7000#.
A realistic loaded weight would be around 6000-6500# with a corresponding tongue weight of about 800-850#.
WD bars rated at 800# should be sufficient.
BTW: Does your Armada have the auto-leveling suspension?
---I deceided on an Equalizer wd hitch in the end. Customer service at Equalizer was very helpful and recommended their 1,000/10,000lb model.---Did you decide to get the Puma 25RS?
If so, the 1000# bars are a good choice since a tongue weight of 1000# or more is possible with the 25RS.
IMO, it's good that you did not choose Equal-i-zer's highest-rated hitch.
---My little gauge indicates my rig is at a 10-degree attitude while climbing my driveway. That's about a 11% grade. Pretty steep for me to walk.A 10-degree slope is close to an 18% grade.
Hope that doesn't make it seem even steeper for you to walk. :)
The percent gradient for slopes from 1 to 10 degrees are given below:
Slope in degrees in column 1
Gradient in percentage in column 2
1 ____ 1.75%
2 ____ 3.49%
3 ____ 5.24%
4 ____ 6.99%
5 ____ 8.75%
6 ____ 10.51%
7 ____ 12.28%
8 ____ 14.05%
9 ____ 15.84%
10 ____ 17.63%
For small slopes, to convert degrees to gradient,
multiply slope, in degrees, by 100 times pi (3.1416) divided by 180
or, approximately 1.75% per degree.
The actual ratio increases as slope increases. At a slope of 45 degrees, which is a gradient of 100%, the ratio is 2.22% per degree.
---The tilt of the head assembly is all the way down if I put it in further the ball will rise. I am only down an 1/8 of an inch in the front and even in the rear.If you are an 1/8" down in front and even in the rear, you have transferred a little too much load to the front axle.
It's better to have the front a little above the unhitched height versus being a little below.
And, there is no need to return the rear end to "level".
In fact, since the rear axle should be carrying about 75-80% of the tongue weight, the rear should be below the unhitched height when WD is applied.
I agree with 93Cobra2771 -- you should remove one spacer washer.
Removing one washer will not have a significant effect on ball height, but will reduce the amount of load transfer.
In our pursuit of fine tuning our snowbird lifestyle we're getting down to a tow vehicle. DW has her heart set on a SUV that can tow 3,500 lbs max.What SUV are you considering? Can it actually tow a 3500# trailer, or does the weight of TV occupants and cargo have to be subtracted from the 3500#.
Casita makes a 13' Patriot which has an approximate dry weight of 1880#.
The axle capacity is 3500# which probably means the trailer's GVWR is 3500#.
You can ignore the GVWR unless you actually plan to load the trailer to that value.
Given the approximate dry weight of 1880# and your intended use (no boondocking), you probably can keep the loaded weight to less than 2700#.
Sounds as though you need to lift the TV/TT higher before hooking up the chains.
Are you using the tongue jack to lift the TV/TT?
If so, have you tried putting a block under the tongue jack so you can lift the TV/TT higher?
Is there any reason not to buy a hitch with the highest weight rating, even if it ends up being 300-400 pounds higher than the actual tongue and total TT weight?
Thanks!Two reasons come to mind immediately:
1) WD bars which are too stiff can result in a ride which is too rough.
2) WD bars which are too stiff potentially can cause damage to a TT's A-frame.
It's relatively simple to calculate how much load must be applied to a WD bar in order to transfer a desired amount of load to the TV's front axle.
The problem is that no WDH manufacturer actually tells us what is the maximum load that should be applied to a bar.
Some people tend to assume that a 600# tongue weight requires WD bars rated for 600#. Others recommend going using bars the next size up.
Unfortunately, for the Equalizer, the next size up from 600# is 1000#.
So, how do we determine how much load a WD bar is actually designed for?
It's probably safe to assume most WD bars in use today received their "ratings" back in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
The typical "tow vehicle" of that period was the family sedan with a typical wheelbase around 120" and a typical rear overhang around 60".
The ball overhang might have been about 70".
Back in those days of "equal squat", the WDH might have been called upon to transfer enough load so the front axle was carrying about 25% of the TW, the rear axle 35%, and the TT axles 40#.
Assuming a 20' TT with a ball to axles distance of 180", each WD bar would have been loaded to about 720#.
So, if we can assume a 1960's WD bar rated for a 600# TW actually is intended to carry a load of about 720#, we can fast-forward to 2013.
Today, a WDH normally is expected to restore to the front axle a load which is equal to the amount removed.
For a 600# TW, the WDH now might be required to transfer 250-300# to the front axle.
This would require a load of about 130-150# to be transferred to the TT's axles.
Assuming today's typical TT has a ball to axles distance of 240", each WD bar would have to be loaded to about 560#.
If this scenario is realistic, it appears that a 600# TW, with today's WDH usage, would generate a bar load which is about 80% of the load generated with the 1960's usage.
Or, another way to look at it is that a 750# TW and today's WDH usage would generate a bar load equal to that produced by a 600# TW with 1960's WDH usage.
Obviously, the foregoing involves many assumptions.
My point in presenting this analysis is to give background for my OPINION that there is no need to jump to a 1000# bar "rating" if you know that you will have a 650# tongue weight. Bars with 600# rating should be sufficient.
I would rather be 10% over a WD bar rating than use a bar which is rated for more than 50% above what I need.
I have an Eaz-Lift WD hitch system. I am trying to obtain the correct adjustment on the hitch but have been having a tough time. With two links hanging free on the WD bars, the rear of the tow vehicle is 1" lower and the front 1/2" higher than without any trailer hooked up. It seems that with more links hanging free the more level the rear becomes---If you are towing with the 2004 Suburban mentioned in a previous thread,
Chevrolet specifies that the WDH should be adjusted to return the front end as close as possible to its unhitched height.
You probably need to go to three links hanging free.
You don't need to have the WD bars parallel to the A-frame, especially if you have the Ultra model with trunnion sockets for the WD bars.
A better criterion is to have at least five chain links under tension.
---(I had 1 link hanging free at first but the rear sagged even more, but I can't pull anymore links as that is as tight as it gets and I have the hitch lifted up quite a bit to accomplish this. How do I get more links free on the bars? I have heard that if I add washers to the title head angle that might help but I'm not certain if I need to add washers or remove some. Please help.Adding one washer might also provide the necessary chain tension, but you still need to get the TV/TT high enough to snap up the bars.
It might be simpler to place a bock of wood under the tongue jack in order to raise the TV/TT another inch or two so you can snap up the bars with three links hanging free.
---Just a quick look at your weights shows 500 lbs removed from the front wheels. That sounds like a lot and could certainly exagerate the issue.---I think you looked a little too quickly --
the load removed from the front axle was 4200-3940 = 260#
Perhaps you used the Front-GAWR value of 4400# (from the door sticker) instead of the unhitched load of 4200#?
Rig Weights -
Gross Weight = 14480
Front Axle = 3940
Rear Axle = 4120
Trailer Axle = 6420
Unhooked and Loaded Truck Weight -
Gross Weight = 7200
Front Axle = 4200
Drive Axle = 3000
From this I believe that shows our loaded trailer weighed 7280. Beyond that, I'm not sure what it all means. Is it normal that our front end weight would drop 260 pounds with the trailer hooked up? I understand the weight on the bumper lessens the weight on the front end, but are our weights in line with what is normal?Your measured axle loads indicate the WDH was very poorly adjusted.
The TT's indicated tongue weight is about 890# with only 30# being transferred to the TT's axles via the WDH.
To return the steer axle to its unhitched load of 4200# would have required the WDH to transfer about 160# to the TT's axles.
So, as others have pointed out, there are two things you need to do:
1) Find someone who can overhaul the F-350's front suspension, if necessary, and do a proper alignment, and
2) Either learn how to adjust the WDH yourself, or find an RV shop with technicians who are capable of making a proper adjustment.
Those reqirements are for the 1500 series. Not many 1500's are rated for over 9, 900 pounds if any.
Owners should read their own manual.How many does it take?
According to the online 2013 Chevrolet Silverado Owner Manual,
there are four configurations of the 6.2L V8 NHT with Max Trailering Package which have "Maximum Trailer Weights" in excess of 9,900#
There are many more Silverado 1500's rated for over 7,000#.
And, I believe the OP has a 1/2 ton truck.
---GM makes a WD hitch optional for their pickups in many cases now.------However, one needs to read carefully what and "how" the truck manufacturer writes these recommendations.---gmw, There is much truth in what you say.
It would make much more sense to me if Chevrolet specified Front Alxe Load Restoration (FALR) on the basis of tongue weight rather than trailer weight.
For example --
With trailer weight = 7000# and TW not more than 1100#, 0% FALR (no WD) is okay.
With trailer weight = 7001#, TW could be 700#, and 50% FALR is required.
So, an 1100# TW could be okay with 0% FALR, but 700# TW might require 50%.
With trailer weight = 9900#, TW could be 1485#, and 50% FALR is okay.
With trailer weight = 9901#, TW could be 1485#, and 100% FALR is required.
So, a 1485# TW might be okay with 50% FALR, or it might require 100%.
Is anyone else confused?? :h
1. Since the truck seems to ride evenly and handle well without weight distribution and the trailer is light, would there still be any reason to install weight distribution?
What does your Dodge Ram Owners Manual say about the need for a weight distribution hitch?
I'm guessing that, as a minimum, it says something like:
Never exceed the maximum tongue weight stamped on
your bumper or trailer hitch.
So, if you want a proper answer to your question,
load the TT as it would be loaded for camping and measure the tongue weight.
I agree with all that Ben has said and will just expand on the following:
The amount of forces +/- is factored by the number of chain links, or more accurately how much the chain will allow the bar end to move or not move. The bar's preload will either increase or reduce...but am having problems with that, so see last sentence
I'll let you guys hypothesize the pound forces, both push and pull on
the tongue in reference to the center lineThe following chart shows how bar-tip force varies as a function of TV/TT articulation.
The chart assumes each trunnion axis is offset 4" from the ball center and the A-frame included angle is 50 degrees.
Each trunnion axis is tilted at 15 degrees in a vertical plane which is parallel to the TV's longitudinal centerline.
Each bar is loaded to 1000# at zero articulation (TV and TT aligned straight ahead).
http://i1073.photobucket.com/albums/w386/RonGratz/BarTipLoad15Degrees_zps450cc99e.png height=300 width=300
Next we need to consider how much the right bar tip moves "forward" relative to its chain suspension point and how much the left tip mores "rearward" when the TT swings left.
Assuming a 4" offset for each bar trunnion, 25-degree angle between A-frame and TT centerline, and 30" from ball center to chain suspension point --
if the TT swings 5 degrees left, the right bar tip will move forward a theoretical 0.337" and the left will move rearward 0.327".
If we assume the distance between bar tip and chain suspension point is 4" (about what it looks like in the Blue Ox videos),
each chain will be at an angle of about 5 degrees from its original assumed vertical orientation.
The load on the right bar has increased to 1025# and it will be pulling forward with a force of 86# on the right chain latch.
The load on the left bar has decreased to 968# and it will be pulling rearward with a force of 79# on the left chain latch.
So, the forces due to the inclined lift chains will tend to return the TT to zero articulation.
HOWEVER, if the WD bar trunnions were at zero tilt and assuming the same distance from bar tip to chain suspension point, the restoring force would be almost identical to (actually slightly greater than) the restoring force resulting from the tilted trunnions.
And, the difference in favor of the non-tilted trunnions will increase as the articulation increases.
So, if there is truth in the assertion that tilted trunnions will provide a measure of sway control which cannot be provided by zero-tilt trunnions, I think we have not yet found the reason.
If I follow your video, when the TT is not in a straight line the added tension on one side will help pull it back into line. Wouldn’t all designs do that? Second, how far out of line does the TT need to get on a typical 1000# hitch setup which seems the most common. Would the TT need to get several degrees or feet off center for physics to kick in on the bars to pull things straight? I thought I read that you got rid of the torque bolts to prevent “dog tracking” but other friction systems don’t seem to have that issue unless they are way too tight or on something like a snowy road.Thank you for your interest in the Swaypro, we built caster into the trunions of the hitch head. This is what gives you the sway prevention and the friction sway control is not needed, it does not need to go off center for it to work, it is always working. This is similar to caster in a car, when going down the road the caster built into your front end keeps you straight going down the road and returns you to center when turning a corner. Blue Ox Swaypro is unique in the built in caster. I hope this answers your questions below. Please let me know if you have further questions.I consider this to be a very disappointing response to your specific questions.
You asked, "Wouldn't all designs do that?" The response was, "we built caster into the trunions of the hitch head."
The only thing different about their hitch is the trunnion angle is not adjustable.
Other hitches can be set at similar tilt angles.
Does that mean they also have built-in caster and don't need any other sway-control mechanism?
The only parallel I can see with automobile front-suspension caster is that the automotive kingpin pivots on a axis which is "tilted" rearward at the top,
and the WD bar trunnion pivots on an axis which also is tilted rearward at the top.
But, the similarity ends there.
To have a "caster" effect, a wheel needs to be attached to the lower end of a kingpin so that the wheel's contact point with the pavement is behind the point at which the kingpin's axis intersects the pavement.
And, whatever effect the Blue Ox tilted trunnion has, it is not unique.
Front axle: 4,620
Rear axle: 3,300
Total truck: 7,920
Truck and trailer no WD
Front axle: 4,356
Rear axle: 4,180
Total truck: 8,580
Truck and trailer with WD
Front axle: 4,450
Rear axle: 4,070
Total truck: 8,470
Your axle loads are not consistent with the reported tongue weight.
The axle load data indicate a tongue weight of about 600# versus the 820# from direct measurement.
I'm guessing the 820# value is closer to correct.
A tongue weight of 820#, with no WD applied, should have caused a load of about 330# to be removed from the steer axle and a load of about 1150# to be added to the drive axle.
I think a re-weigh is in order.