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 > DUAL CAM VERSUS FRICTION

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Rick Van

Temecula, Ca USA

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Posted: 01/17/03 04:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello Again from a Newbie,
When I purchased my trailer The dealership installed a EAZ-LIFT system on my trailer.
Should I go out and buy a Dual Cam system, I haven't had a problem yet pulling the trailer, but want to be safe as possible.
If the answer to the above question is yes, will it be compatable with my EAZ-LIFT hitch? How much should I expect to pay and where should I look for best prices? How hard will it be to install?
Thanks a bunch in advance
Rick


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lynngol

Lakeville, MN

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Posted: 01/17/03 09:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The EAZ-LIFT system differs from a Reese WD system in the way the bars attach to the hitch. The end of the bars atached to the chains appear about the same. If the EAZ-LIFT bars will accept the Reese Dual-Cam Conversion kit, I don't see why it wouldn't work. The cost of the Reese Dual-Cam is about $160. You might call Reese and ask what they think. Here's a link.

http://www.reeseprod.com/


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BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 01/17/03 10:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Rick Van,
You may have already read the posts I made to Ol'yeller above but in case you have not, I would definitely go with the Dual Cam sway control versus the regular friction type.
Here is a post I make some time ago on the conversion from friction to Dual Cam.
Friction to Dual Cam installation
Good luck!


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PullToy

USA

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Posted: 01/17/03 11:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rick Van posted:

"...but want to be safe as possible."

If you meant what you stated, then neither choice is correct. The safest hitches out there are the Hensley and Pullrite. Hands down. If what you meant to say was,"I want the safest system under $500, then yes, the Dual Cam is better. A friction control inhibits movement in either direction. So, it resists straigtening out as well as turning. The DC is a dynamic system that is always trying to return the rig to a straight orientation. The only place the friction has an advantage is if you find yourself in one of those extremely rare situations where you wish to disable any sway control. With a friction you just release or remove them. You can't do that with the DC.

P.S. I too have an Alumalite... hope you like yours as much as we like ours.



Desert Dweller

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Posted: 01/17/03 11:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pulltoy, why would one want to disable the sway control? I'm new to towing with a weight distrubtion system and I'm just curious.

Va_Budman

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Posted: 01/17/03 01:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DD,
I think he may be referring to the potential for the DC arms to come completely clear of the stirrup during a jack-nife like turn. I don't know if that is even possible, unless the install is done horribly wrong. Mine have never come close.


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PullToy

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Posted: 01/17/03 02:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Desert Dweller: No... what I was referring to was disabling the sway control during "low traction" situations such as deep gravel, heavy rain, ice... whatever. Most friction sway control manufacturers mention something in their instruction manuals along the lines of disabling the control during such travel.

The reason for this is a phenomenom called "understeer." You've probably experienced it in winter driving at some time or other. You are on a slick road, turn the front wheels and the car keeps going the direction it was going before. Understeer.

All sway controls, no matter what method they use to control the sway, increase the amount of force required to change the tow vehicle/TT combination's directional alignment. IOW, they add resistance to turning at the pivot point and make the front wheels of the tow vehicle work harder to change the direction of the rig. The friction type controls are worse in that respect because they add the extra resistance in EITHER direction, straightening out or turning. The DC adds additional resistance only when moving away from a "in line" alignment. But it adds "resistance" as well.

If the road surface does not provide sufficient "grip" for the front tires of the rig to provide the amount of force needed normally to change the direction of the tow vehicle PLUS enough "extra" grip to overcome the additional resistance added by the sway control, the tow vehicle will just keep going whichever way it was pointed and the front wheels will slide. Friction control owners backing up or maneuvering on wet grass sometimes notice this.

Sooooo... in plain English, if the roads are dicey, the sway control should be disabled so that extra bit of effort on the front tires goes away. Normally, disabling the sway control under such conditions is not a problem because if it's that dicey, you otta be going slowly anyway.

Some people "pooh pooh" understeer as a purely theoretical problem. Not so. It happened to me on a deeply gravelled FS road. My own fault, of course. I had forgotten to loosen the friction type control I had at the time. I didn't hit anything, but it was sure a pucker time. Yes, its very rare. But it does happen. Once was enough for me.

However, with the Dual Cam being part and parcel of the W/D system, it it can't be "disabled." I had a DC after I chucked the friction control in the trash. I liked it a lot. But, I recognized the drawback I just mentioned. The EQual-I-Zer brand has somewhat the same problem. It is not easy to disable all the friction resistance that brand adds to the hitch. It adds so much friction resistance that it dampens the wiggles really well, but on the other hand, IMHO, that is also its greatest liability. It has one of the highest potentials to induce understeer simply because it does have so much resistance. I called the Equal-I-Zer factory and was told it could not be disabled. Other posters have said it can. Either way, it is not as simple as the turning of the handle on a friction "bar" type sway control. I don't believe Equal-I-Zer advises changing anything for bad conditions. (Maybe because you can't on that brand? I dunno.)

Which brings me to the soapbox part... :-) Because sway controls are advisedly disconnected under conditions that I might most want to have them working, I looked at the PullRite hitches. Understeer is certainly not the only reason I bought the PR, but I like knowing I have full time sway prevention that doesn't have to be disabled just when I need it. The PR cannot cause understeer. It is not a sway control and has none. It adds no resistance to the pivot. Off the soapbox.... :-)

Whatever type of sway control you have, it is good to understand what understeer is and why it is important to follow the sway control manufacturer's recommendations. If you are aware of understeer, you may be able to anticipate it. Even if you don't anticipate it, if that rare event happens, you'll at least have the knowledge of WHY what just happened.... happened. Happy camping.

*This Message was edited on 17-Jan-03 02:26 PM by pulltoy*


*This Message was edited on 18-Jan-03 06:49 PM by pulltoy*


Kusani

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Posted: 01/17/03 03:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rick Van, Hiya.

I respect Pulltoy and his exerpience. However, I do feel he is somewhat of an 'alarmest' about loosing control when using a dualcam or equalizer wd/sway system. There is no doubt he had an 'scary' exerpience, however, his is the only situation like that I have heard of.

When you properly adjust the dualcam so the hitch weight is almost equally distributed over all four wheels of your tow vehicle as opposed to having extreme weight on the rear wheels, imo, there is very, very, little chance your front end is going to lose any steerability; with the exception of if you get in deep sand, gravel, or snow and ice, unless you have 4WD, any tow vehicle, regardless of hitch, is going to have difficulties. And, as Pulltoy advises, if it is that deep of snow or ice, park it.

Yep, like Pulltoy says, the $3,000 Pullrite and Hensley systems are excellent, but imo, not needed until one gets into extremely long/heavy rvs. Furthermore, what is scarey, is some recommend them to overcome the deficiency of a low powered, or extremely short wheelbase tow vehicle.

Again, for your particular rig, I still believe either the Equalizer or Reese Dualcam will give you excellent service.

Take care and happy rv'in.

PullToy

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Posted: 01/17/03 07:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kus: I believe the last time this wheel was spun, two other posters chimed in that they too had experienced understeer. So, there are at least three "alarmists" out there. :-) I did say understeer was very rare. If someone never tows off nice clean, dry pavement, they will never encounter it. I also respect your experiences, but think you tend to "dis" the "advanced" hitches without having tried one and perhaps without having seen a TT destroyed in a catastrophic sway event. It may be alarmist, but losing even one fellow RVr is too many for me. I towed with the DC so long I wore it out. If advocating the safest hitches on the market is "alarmist," then I'm guilty as charged. If pointing out the features and drawbacks of things is "alarmist,", then I'm guilty again.

Anyhoo, There are some of RVrs (me) that tow large rigs into off-road places (where some would argue we have no place being). My family sometimes finds itself towing at times and places we would rather not. (one particular February emergency tow for my father in a hideous winter storm comes to mind) I haven't always had the luxury I have now of towing only when the weather is favorable. In addition, (perhaps as a left over from my racing days) I expect my equipment to perform well under those "fringe" circumstances. (The concept of towing 40 up a mountain freeway grade is too foreign. ;-) R,R,R.) Because of where my RVing is often done (mountain boonies) and the toys we expect to make it there with us, I tend to encounter more of those "very rare" sorts of things than superslab cruisers probably see. There is room in RVing for everybody, those that need only the bare essentials and those that are performance enthusiasts who want that little "extra." I don't think it's "alarmist" to point out the features of the products. I think it is just information for those that want to know. Passing on what has happened to each of us is how everybody learns. Hopefully, we can avoid the mistakes of others. Everybody gets to make their own decisions. Even the person who has a 20' lite and never ventures off the superslab may wonder why the rig behaved "funny" turning sharply in a gravel parking lot. With any sort of luck, they might remember these discussions and say... "Hey!" Information is a good thing. I hope that whatever someone tows with, they have a wonderful time.

Kusani

Tennessee

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Posted: 01/17/03 07:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pulltoy,

Yep, re sharing info and letting people decide for themselves. No disagreement at all on that point. And, like I have said before, if I were to go with a heavier/longer TT I would get a Hensley. Take care.



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