I have used the newer Blue Ox Sway Pro on my last two Trailers. I have used Equalizer, Husky, and Reese in the past, and like the Blue OX Best so far.
1. Zero sway (all built-in control) Actually saved me several times when run off the road onto the shoulder and pulling the TT back onto the pavement at 60mph) Completely quiet even when backing up.
2. Quickest hookup (once adjusted for your TV) the Roller cam for the chain in brilliant design) No loose parts (no pins or bolts)
3. Always clean (powder coated and sealed grease fittings)
4. Can be used with 5k to 10k TT's by simply changing the bars
5 Very heavy duty
only downside..heavy and yes expensive (around $700) but cheap compared to a Hensley or Pro Pride.
I've used the Olympian products for over 15 years and love them. My latest is the Olympian/Camco 5500 Stainless Steel with dual mount systeme (stand for ground or RV mount). No flare up with a drip plate over the burners, very even heat, and very hot using the low pressure connection. I paid over $240, and now can be purchased on Amazon or CW for under $200.
I towed for one year with 08 Nissan V-6 automatic and 18ft Rockwood Mini-Lite. Added Timbren helper springs in rear, and Monroe Sensa-Trac HD shocks, and Blue Ox Sway Pro WDH. On the flat it was ok, but any hills, and +9000ft passes in Colorado, the Nissan just bogged down and screamed in 2nd gear (also added a HD Trans cooler). Stay below 20ft, and you should be ok. AWD also is not great for towing and power. Add 1000lbs to the dry weight, and try to stay below 80% of your TV capacity (Ultra Light wt TT).
Now towing Lance 1685 with HD Ram with 5.7 Hemi and 3.92 gears (also with Blue Ox Sway Pro) and seems to be the perfect combination with no issues.
Installed the 'Tire Minder/Tire Tracker' system and has worked great. Very light, replaceable batteries, locks, portable, very accurate, good price, and easy to set up. Monitors tire pressure and temps.
In 2010, Dodge went with coil springs on the rear for a comfy ride. With springs, Super Springs work best, but with coils, you are limited to other solutions. The air bags that go into the coils will work, but take time to adjust, and prone to leaks. If you add a in cab auto compressor, it gets very expensive. There are also some HD coil springs (Sumo coils), and also Sumo coil foam/rubber inserts (which I am currently adding to the front coils)
I went with the rear Timbren helper spring (HD bump stops) and very happy. No adjustments, 15 minute install,and lifetime warranty.
A good WDH will solve most of your sag. This topic should not go into the war of brands. Love thant 'Hemi'
I've used the Blue Ox Sway Pro for three years now. Best to clean these rotating brackets and chains with WD40, THEN wipe clean with dry cloth (this also removes any small rust spots)
give the chains and brackets a good coating of good Silicone Spray and they will rotate just like new (remove the wd40 best you can, because wd40 is a dirt and dust magnet) Be sure to grease the grease certs on the torsion bar head every trip, and thin coat of lithium grease on the hitch ball.
I tried the I-Ball but did not like the small monitor, and the mount for the monitor was always vibrating.
I have used the Swift Hitch II for over three years now and very pleased. The main difference between the I and the II is the II camera lasts for up to 10 hrs between charging. The video monitor also has a video out port which I connect to a 7" color lcd monitor while using the camera mounted to the back of my TT (magnetic mounted on the top back edge of my TT) Easily remove the camera, and attach to the back of your TV and use for hooking up the TT also. If you use a lot of bluetooth devices, you will get some interference, but not too bad. The camera system can also be used at night as a security sytem while in the trailer.
I just sold my 08 Dodge Durango 5.7 hemi with 3:55 rear axle, 5pd, that was matched to my Lance 1685. I added Timbren helper springs and Monroe Sens-A-Matic rear shocks, and Diablo tuner that boost the hp to 350 and torgue to 390lbs. Blue Ox sway pro WDH.
It pulled the trailer fine and stable on the flat and slight hills, but in Colorado we do most of our camping in the Mountains at 8-10k . The Durango struggled in 2nd gear(20mph) going up the steep hills and tended to overheat. The Hemi is a great engine, but the downside of the Durango is the low tongue weight (500lb max) AWD, and gearing 3:55.
My new Ram 1500 with Hemi now has the 3:92 rear axle, HD tow package (rated at 10,200lb). 1000lb tongue rating with WDH, and now tows the 1685TT like a dream. Up steep hills at 55 or 60mph and engine runs at normal temps.
I would listen to your dad. The tongue weights of most TT will exceed your Durango's max capacity very quickly after batteries, propane, water, and gear.
The Camplite mentioned is a nice all aluminum TT and very durable, but very small holding tanks. Woodglue is right. The Lance has been very durable and true "4 Season" (on par with Arctic Fox and Wolf Creek by Northwoods, but not as heavy) True 4 Season means heated and enclosed holding tanks and valves and dual pane windows with insulated shades.
The mfg company can give you the exact dimensions for support spacing. I did mount a ladder that was supported from resting on the bumper and mounted on the top edge. There will usually be some structural members on the very edges of the TT (top and sides). The problem with mounting is that you may not be able to hit some structure on the inside edge. The width of the ladder may not match any supports to the inside mounting hardware. The ladder that was mostly supported by the bumper rest worked fine with no mounting failure. I did use well nuts for any supports that did not hit any structure. Since most of the force is downward (bumper supports that force) and away (the top mount should support that force). btw, most toy haulers have the ladders mounted on the front side area for easier access for the rear ramp door.
I just talked with the ranger at the entrance station to Lake Plesant and she said the current water level is a little over 50%. She said by January they expect the level up to 60% and there should be some water access closer to #116. At 134,by March you should be fine and levels should be close to 80%.
Thanks for all the information. Hopefully Site #116 is still easy access to the water. I googled 116 and seems like the lower loop of tortoise campground has good access to Sunset Cover (same as upper loop #134-140). Our friends in Surprise also suggested eating at Dillons restaurant. We'll spend some time exploring the nearby attractions.
We are heading down to Lake Pleasant AZ next month for about 15 days. Never been there and made some reservations at Tortoise Campground with no hookups, but semi improved site close to the water. We will visit friends in Surprise AZ, Phoenix, and Santa Fe on the way home.
Just wondering if anyone has suggestions for best places to visit, camp at Lake Pleasant AZ?
We will probably take our Hobie kayaks, and some fishing gear (I think it is mostly warm water fishing for bass, etc).
Any suggestions would be helpful and much appreciated.
With any of the TT you mention, you will be pushing the limits of your Durango. I just sold my 08 Dodge Durango Adventurer with tow package, Hemi (with Predator chip), sensa-trac shocks, Timbren helper springs, Class IV hitch, 5 speed AWD, 3:55 gears because it struggled towing my 16ft Lance (5000lb gvw). It did fine on the flats, but struggled on steep grades.
Tongue weight, cargo will max your Durango very quickly. Another weak point will be your transmission if your Durango is a 4 speed and AWD. Strong point is that the 2nd gen Durangos have a fair amount of load capacity (close to 1300lbs). Add the max tongue weight (with batteries, propane, water, gear, etc) to figure the tongue weight load on your SUV. (if your Durango has the factory Class IV, you have the trans cooler and HD engine cooler and HD alternator).
Once you use the power jack to raise the TV, the torsion bars are a breeze to install. Get a 3500 or 4000 to raise the TV about 3-5".
Two TT ago, I had the Husky Brute 3500, and it completely failed after only 4X (completely colapsed with small TT and light SUV). Went with the Barker VIP 3500 and worked perfectly. My new Lance has the Atwood HD 3500 and am very happy with it (used all summer with now problems). The Bulldog also is getting good reviews for durability.