Love my dual cam compared to a single friction sway control. I installed it myself and find it is easy to use. 1-2 times per year or if I've made a change I'll double check the cams are straight as I pull out of my drive. Using it is easy and it works great. I have no experience with the Equalizer but most people seem happy with them. Certainly some people have had issues setting up the dual cam but I've set up mine and helped my cousin as well and neither of us had any issues and we both are very happy with the stability of our tow vehicles pulling our trailers. He pulls a 28' trailer with an older Tahoe (97 I believe).
For a hitch, I wouldn't worry about buying a Curt even though I probably wouldn't get their w/d hitch equipment. I'd only avoid their w/d equipment just because I like the Reese stuff better. I've heard of and seen lots of Curt hitches on peoples vehicles and I've never heard a complaint but I've never owned one either. Reese, Drawtite and Hidden hitch are all the same company and designs now as far as I can tell. I'd get the highest rated one, why not?
I have a Prodigy brake controller and love it. Works great, no issues. It is almost universally recommended.
As for weight distribution and sway control. I will first tell you what I've experienced. I started with a Drawtite trunion w/d hitch that came with my trailer and it included a single friction sway control device. I was not happy with that set-up and due to compatibility with my current components was able to add the Reese Dual Cam sway control to my w/d set-up. It made a HUGE difference. You need to make sure they are set-up properly and the cams are centered but the time that takes is well worth it. I only have to make minor 5 minute tweaks 1-3 times per year depending on how the vehicle/trailer is loaded.
Trunion versus Round bar, not sure one is really better than the other. Trunion used to be better for larger trailers because they were available with higher rated bars, but now you can get pretty beefy bars with the round bar versions as well. I think the round bars give slightly better frame clearance for dual cam sway control.
Dual cam versus Equalizer brand. It seems that anyone who has either one is happy. Dual Cam seems to have higher reported problems with getting it set-up properly. There are some great instructions on this web-site to help you avoid those troubles however and if you take some pictures and ask for help as you are working on your set-up, you'll get the extra help you might need to avoid problems. Not really a big deal to me. You occasionally hear of issues with Equalizer as well, either somebody forgets to tighten something, or some various minor issue. They seem simpler easier to use based on the comments I've seen here, I've never owned one however. It is a rare person that has owned both and can actually give an honest apples to apples opinion in how they compare. Someone in this thread already said they had both and preferred the dual cam. As an engineer myself, the dual cam seems to offer better advantages in that it tries to keep the trailer locked in the straight ahead position compared to an Equalizer which is all friction based, even if it is a very good friction based device.
Tires are critical as well. You don't want oversized off road tires. Stock size is generally preferable. If you change sizes it should be to change to a tire which will have stiffer tread blocks, stiffer side walls, and higher load ratings over the stock tire. For truck tires, go with LT tires versus P tires. For car/suv tires, go with more performance oriented tires with higher speed ratings if you can.
etrailer sells your model of hitch here.
On that same page they recommend this wiring mount/adapter.
It looks like the wiring harness will unplug from your current trailer plug and plug into the back of this which you can mount wherever it will fit. They even have a video (which I did not watch) that shows how they installed it onto a Silverado of the same generation as your Suburban. It should mount the same since back then the Suburban and Silverado had the same hitches and rear bumpers.
Although you can't tell if the tires did any good right now, you might have noticed the difference if you had the front suspension fixed first. It was likely a worthwhile change to make regardless. Over-sized tires with an aggressive tread are not as stable.
I hope the new shop gets your truck in proper shape.
Hopefully the new place can find what's wrong with your truck, I agree with the others that there is something in the truck causing the wandering, probably the front end.
What size and model tire did you buy? Original factory size? I'm guessing the tires you took off were oversized compared to factory.
I use cruise all the time, but each vehicle is different. If your throttle and transmission is doing the same thing you'd do manually, why not let it do it automatically? I can spend less time looking at the speedometer and more time watching the other important things like my mirrors, temp gauges, etc. At highway speeds my vehicle pretty much either runs locked up in 3rd or with the TC unlocked in 3rd. On rare occasions it will drop to 2nd if I push the pedal to the floor but the cruise won't make that happen unless my speed drops quite a bit. Now if my vehicle wanted to kick down a gear more than I'd prefer, I'd probably be more selective about when I use cruise control. As someone else stated, I think under some circumstances I can probably get better fuel economy by trying to use lighter throttle up the hills and keeping the TC locked up.
Okay, now you're scaring the heck out of me. :) Guess I still have a lot to learn. I would have thought that if the truck by itself weighed 5000 lbs without a trailer and 5500 lbs with one, the TW would be 500 lbs. 5500-5000=500?
True, if you have the trailer sitting on a regular ole hitch ball. Not the case with weight distribution, since the trailer axles have to react the same moment which picks up the back of the truck and put weight on the front axle.
So, assuming it was a WD Hitch, would the TW be more or less than 500 lbs.?
It would be less. It would be around 400lbs if you weighed it with the WD hitched up. The extra 100lbs would be found on the trailer axles because the chains on the WD hitch are pulling down on the trailer A frame at the same time they are pulling up on the bars.
Thanks, I would agree which is why I'm finding it hard to understand the one poster saying my TW is 1000lbs.
I'm reading all the sticky's on WD Hitches, etc. It's a lot to digest. Actually, I find myself getting even more confused.:)
If you are connected without a WD hitch and you weigh your truck with the trailer and then later without the trailer and the truck weighs 500 lbs more with the trailer hooked up, it is simple your tongue weight is 500 lbs. If you took the same truck/trailer back to the scales with the WD hooked up, you'd see the truck axles change as well as the trailer axles change. The total weight would stay the same of both truck and trailer.
Front axle of truck would get heavier than without the WD hooked up.
The rear axle would get lighter than without the WD hooked up.
The trailer axle would get heavier than without the WD hooked up.
The WD bars bend the truck and trailer connection and try to reduce the sag by straightening it up with 2 levers. This reduces the weight on the rear axle by moving it to the trailer and front axles of the truck. Because some of the tongue weight ends up on the trailer axle, the total weight of the truck axles will be lower than without WD hooked up. So the 500 lbs on the truck might reduce to 400 lbs for instance once the WD is hooked up.
For your truck, the 800 extra lbs on your truck with the WD hooked up would be closer to 1000 lbs if you did not have the WD hooked up.
I think you will eventually get this figured out. You've already got the first weigh done with just your new truck. Later you'll get the weights with the trailer hooked on. If I were you I'd just pull off the scale to the truck lot, remove the WD bars, and then drive around to the scale again to get the weights with them off. Then when done getting that weight, you can go back to the lot and put them back on for the ride home. This will minimize driving around with your receiver over loaded. It won't matter just while you're at the scales and the lot there.
The hitch equipment can weight quite a bit and many consider that to be part of the tongue weight, which makes sense to me. When you use your scale for the tongue, put the hitch equipment on the trailer tongue to weight it as well. Do it with and without so you have all the information. Make sure you do it on a level spot as well.
Loaded them up and took our rig to the nearest Discount Tire and had them balanced, warrantied, and installed.
Aren't they already warranteed by Maxxis?
If you only put the air pressure in them that the D's were rated for you'll be safe. If you want to go higher in pressure up to what the E's are rated for, then you'd need to verify your rims can handle it. You shouldn't need more pressure than you used before.
It is easy to be burning a slight amount of oil normally that you wouldn't notice in 3000 miles of oil changes. It might become evident in 5 or 7,000 mile oil change intervals. I think it is a fairly common occurrence for a motor to burn more oil when working harder, especially if it did not see harder work earlier in its life while it was breaking in. Regardless, it is nothing to be concerned about, you're still not burning much oil. It doesn't even mean your oil was breaking down or shearing. Perfectly good new oil can burn in an engine that burns oil. Switching oils can on some occasions cause an engine to burn oil as well. It seems to happen more often when switching from regular oil to synthetic oil. It is often short lived and goes back to normal amounts of oil burning (which may be close to nothing). Synthetics have better additive packages, burn cleaner, etc. which can lead to differences in ring sealing but should ultimately improve ring sealing as it cleans.
Glad you had a great trip!
I think the most common application of the 80% rule is when people are not going to account for a worst case scenario or don't want to physically weigh their trailer, vehicle, tongue weight etc. but still want to be reasonably confident they won't be over any of their ratings. For you, you are assuming a worst case scenario where the tongue weight is 15%, trailer is at GVWR etc. and you are then adding 20% on top of that. The only harm in doing that is that you're severely limited your SUV choices, they will not be newer vehicles, and most of them are not very fuel efficient when not towing. A 3/4 Suburban/Yukon XL from 2000-2006 would just meet your requirements. Some of the later years of Excursions could likely handle them as well. Earlier years of Excursions the hitch was only rated for 1000 lbs of tongue weight I believe. I think that is about it. If you don't mind a pickup truck you have many more options, still generally going to require a 3/4 ton however.
I think if you're assuming a worst case scenario with the trailer weights and you know the actual weight you'll put in the vehicle in addition to the tongue weight you should be fairly safe just sticking to 100% of the vehicle ratings or if you want to play it safer go down to 90-95% but using 80% is driving you beyond what is necessary unless you plan to use this vehicle for towing only and don't plan to drive it much otherwise. If it is primarily a tow vehicle and noting else, then overkill isn't such a big deal beyond the upfront money to buy it. At least it isn't draining your wallet for gas every day.
On most suv's the limit ends up being the suv GVWR or tongue weight rating of the vehicle hitch, many of which are not replaceable hitches so you are stuck with what the manufacturer put on at the factory for a hitch. Good luck.
I believe any current production gas engine will need to maintain a fairly consistent air/fuel mixture to avoid running lean which will lead to emissions issues. They will all either have a throttle plate or have more significant control over the intake valves which can act as a throttle by keeping them mostly closed. BMW probably leads in this technology although I'm not sure how widespread it is in production.
There is talk of making gas engines that will operate more like a diesel under certain load conditions. They are being tested. Homogeneous-charge-compression-ignition (HCCI)is what GM calls it. It would probably still have a throttle since it is spark ignition much of the time.
As many said, your limitation is tongue weight. You need 13 to 15% of the FULLY LOADED TT weight on the tongue. Unloaded weight has little meaning. If you must use unloaded weight, assume you will be AT LEAST 1000# heavier when loaded. So if your Chevy has the 8500# tow limit (max in 2012 I think), then I'll bet the tongue weight limit on the Chevy (not the hitch, the vehicle) is 850# If so you max FULLY LOADED TT weight is 6500#!!!!!!!!!!!! Overloading is, IMHO, NOT safe.
According to the owners manual it is 1000lb tounge weight limit for either the 1/2 ton or the 3/4 ton with a W/D hitch.
However, the GVWR or rear axle rating will be the limiting factor due to tounge weight and stuff in the vehicle. They do need to consider the tounge weight as a % of the fully loaded trailer. 8000 lbs of trailer means a tounge weight of up to 1200 lbs if at 15%. All trailers are different so it is tought to estimate. If the % is high unloaded it will likely be high loaded. Also look to see where you will be adding weight in the trailer, where is the storage. They definitely need to keep the tounge weight down and a smaller trailer is the best way to do that. You don't want to play around trying to get the % down by making the tounge only 10% or less.