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Topic: Trunnion vs. Round Bar?

Posted By: Mickeyfan0805 on 12/05/10 04:53pm

Could someone please explain to me the difference between Round Bars and Trunnion Bars in the Reese Dual Cam systems? Why would one be better than the other??

Thanks!


Posted By: BarneyS on 12/05/10 05:18pm

1. They both work exactly the same and there is no difference in performance.

2. They come in different weight classes. The Trunnion style has higher weight classifications than the round style. I would pick the one that has the weight classification I need and not worry about the style.

3. If you have a top mounted ball coupler on your trailer, the round style is often easier to set up properly with the Dual Cam system. There are often clearance problems when using the trunnion bars with a top mounter coupler. These problems can usually be worked out though.

4. If you have a bottom mounted coupler, the trunnion style will probably give you a tiny bit more ground clearance.

Hope this helps a bit. [emoticon]
Barney


2004 Sunnybrook Titan 30FKS TT
Hensley "Arrow" 1400# hitch (Sold)
Not towing now.
Former tow vehicles were 2016 Ram 2500 CTD, 2002 Ford F250, 7.3 PSD



Posted By: Troy35 on 12/19/10 04:37pm

Just a quick question....I have a weight distribution hitch with round bars. I would like to get the reese dual cam setup, but it looks like it only works with the flat bars with the slight bend/curve in the end that the cam rides in. Are you saying that there is a system that would work with my existing round bars? If so would anyone here know which part number to order from Reese? If it wouldn't work, can someone recommend a place just to order the correct bars for the dual cam set-up, or perhaps a place that sells the set up and bars as a kit without the hitch itself.

Thanks!!


Posted By: fla-gypsy on 12/06/10 07:33am

BarneyS wrote:

1. They both work exactly the same and there is no difference in performance.

2. They come in different weight classes. The Trunnion style has higher weight classifications than the round style. I would pick the one that has the weight classification I need and not worry about the style.

3. If you have a top mounted ball coupler on your trailer, the round style is often easier to set up properly with the Dual Cam system. There are often clearance problems when using the trunnion bars with a top mounter coupler. These problems can usually be worked out though.

4. If you have a bottom mounted coupler, the trunnion style will probably give you a tiny bit more ground clearance.

Hope this helps a bit. [emoticon]
Barney


BarneyS is one of our resident DC experts, when he speaks, we listen.


This member is not responsible for opinions that are inaccurate due to faulty information provided by the original poster. Use them at your own discretion.

09 SuperDuty Crew Cab 6.8L/4.10(The Black Pearl)
06 Keystone Hornet 29 RLS/(The Cracker Cabana)


Posted By: Mickeyfan0805 on 12/06/10 08:53am

BarneyS wrote:


Hope this helps a bit. [emoticon]
Barney


Helps a lot! Thank you.


Posted By: ktmrfs on 12/06/10 09:40am

I'll add that if your trailer has low ground clearance, the trunnion may give more ground clearance. Not an issue towing newer TT with a pickup, but I've got an enclosed low to the ground cargo trailer with torsion type suspension. Round bars have scraped on occasion. Trunnions probably wouldn't have.


2011 Keystone Outback 295RE
2004 14' bikehauler with full living quarters
2015.5 Denali 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison
2004.5 Silverado 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison passed on to our Son!



Posted By: BarneyS on 12/19/10 05:13pm

Troy35 wrote:

Just a quick question....I have a weight distribution hitch with round bars. I would like to get the reese dual cam setup, but it looks like it only works with the flat bars with the slight bend/curve in the end that the cam rides in. Are you saying that there is a system that would work with my existing round bars? If so would anyone here know which part number to order from Reese? If it wouldn't work, can someone recommend a place just to order the correct bars for the dual cam set-up, or perhaps a place that sells the set up and bars as a kit without the hitch itself.

Thanks!!

Yes, there is a kit that will allow you to convert your existing round style bars to use the Dual Cam system.
You can purchase the whole kit here. This kit has been around for quite some time and many dealers are out of stock. It that is the case, you can Google Dual Cam 26001 and probably come up with someplace that still has one, or you may be able to purchase the replacement parts to make up your own here. You can also purchase new bars with the "crook" in the ends from this place if you want to go that route. If you get new bars, then you can use the Dual Cam HP sway control kit instead of the older style 26001 kit.

The kit you want is called Dual Cam kit #26001. It includes everything you need. I did this conversion on my hitch quite a few years ago. You can read about my installation here.
If you do not have a Reese or Draw-Tite hitch, you may have to a bit of grinding or filing to make the kit fit. Many here have done it, including myself, and it is not hard.

Here is a picture of the kit and what it looked like installed on my hitch. (I no longer have that hitch)
Barney

Kit #26001
[image]

My hitch
[image]

* This post was edited 12/20/10 07:47am by BarneyS *


Posted By: Troy35 on 12/20/10 11:25am

Thank you Barney!


Posted By: alageezer on 12/20/10 03:41pm

I bought the 26001 kit from E-trailer.com couple years ago, still using it.


2011 Bounder Classic


Posted By: JBarca on 12/20/10 09:22pm

Hi Mickey

I'll add a few more things to your post here. You have good advise so far.

The Reese trunnion bar hitch is very upgradeable. It comes in 600, 800, 1,200, 1,500 and 1,700# WD bars. The hitch head, the DC the snap up brackets are all rated for all sizes. The WD shank however changes to a 2 1/2" when you get to the 1,500 and 1,700# WD bars. So upgrading in the future to larger WD bars for a larger TT is very doable and easy.

I'm assuming you are buying a new or fairly new Reese hitch. I myself when using the DC prefer to use the trunnion bar setup due to Reese's hitch head tilt system. Round bar or trunnion bar DC once adjusted correct give the same anti sway control. However, read on.

See here on the serrated teeth setup of the trunnion bar. It has fine rear tilt all the way to 15 degrees rearward and on the new all cast head, it goes to around 13 degrees. This feature is important and a pleasure to setup. It overcomes many common hitch setup issues.

For sure try to get this feature. It is Reese pn 58167 HP hitch head. Reese has over the years had several different head tilt systems on the trunnion bar WD hitch.
[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

I caution using the newer style round bar WD head with a DC. The one that looks like this.
[image]

Here it is on a standard friction anti sway bar hitch.
[image]

Now why do I caution using this hex washer style round bar head on the DC. It is purely from a hitch head tilt perspective. While I am a Reese fan, I myself would not buy a round bar head to use with the DC.

That hex washer setup has 5 adjusting positions. Ball straight up, 2 tilt positions towards the truck and 2 rear tilt positions toward the camper. It has about a total of 7 to 8 degrees rear tilt. It is very common to have slop/play in the WD shank and the truck receiver pin box of up to 4 degrees. Well that 4 degrees of play just ate up 4 degree of the total 7 to 8 degree rear tilt. So you are left with 3 to 4 degrees to do all your WD adjusting on the truck.

When using the round bar system it is a goal to have the WD bars parallel to the frame of the TT once all adjusted. I have found helping several camping buddies setup their round bar hitch that they have all run out of head tilt and cannot get ideal WD on the truck trying to keep the WD bars as close to parallel as they can. Once your out of head tilt the only thing left to do start to shim the play out of the shank, up more chain links and go against the parallel to the frame rule or get oversize WD bars. Not an ideal hitch setting process.

I'm not saying every round bar setup will not work with the DC. It partly depends on if you have a tight fitting shank, truck bed weight aft of the rear axle and what the loaded tongue weight is in relation to the WD bar size. When you have an 800# tongue using 1,000 # WD bars will work better then having a 750# tongue on 800# WD bars. Or a 900# tongue with 1,200# WD bars is not that bad. When you get closer to the tongue weight to match the WD bar the bigger the problem becomes.

If Reese would put the serrated washer setup and more head tilt on their round bar setup it would work better in more applications. It may be they do not want the WD bar to bend that much in the bend area that fits in the hitch head. That is one question I have never asked Reese. Why stick with the hex washer???

Now that said, the Trunnion bar setup and DC does have certain needs for clearance. If you are buying the 2010 new DC it has more forgiveness then the prior HP DC. If you can show us your A frame setup we can help guide you on how to buy the right options to make the trunnion bar setup work the best it can. And same with the round bar.

Pending the A frame build and frame to ground clearance the DC does not solve every camper hitch problem out there. There is no perfect one size fits all.

Hope this helps and good luck

John

PS The round bar hitch does work well as a WD hitch, just it gets complex to have it come out right when the Dc is entered in the equation with the hex washer head tilt.
Moderator edit to re-size picture to forum limit of 640x480px maximum.

* This post was last edited 12/21/10 11:49am by an administrator/moderator *


John & Cindy

2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver

2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)



Posted By: LIKE2BUILD on 12/20/10 10:25pm

BarneyS wrote:


3. If you have a top mounted ball coupler on your trailer, the round style is often easier to set up properly with the Dual Cam system. There are often clearance problems when using the trunnion bars with a top mounter coupler. These problems can usually be worked out though.

4. If you have a bottom mounted coupler, the trunnion style will probably give you a tiny bit more ground clearance.

These two points pretty much sum up the difference. Trunions come in higher capacities and work best when the coupler is on the bottom. Round bars work great with top mounted couplers.

Aside from these there is no measurable difference.

KJ


'14 Ram 2500|Crew Cab Long Bed|4X4|Cummins
Curt Q20 with Ram 5th Wheel Prep
2000 Crownline 205BR
1997 Ranger Comanche 461VS
'01 Polaris Virage TX PWC
'94 Polaris SLT750 PWC
3 Wonderful Sons (21, 15, & 13)
1 forgiving wife!!!



Posted By: ktmrfs on 12/21/10 07:05pm

JBarca is right on regarding his comments on the round bar hitch angle setup. I have the DC round bar and you really can't get as much tilt as possible on some other round bar hitch setups. so once the bar is tensioned for the load, in my case, the bar is to close to the cams with the number of links I would like to use (3from the top). Once the bar slides off the cam in a turn, it just barely contacts the cam arm, not a good situation. solution (I think), is that I'm going to put on a ball with a 1" rise so the bars are normally farther down and the cam arm is at a steeper angle. (JBarc will this work?). And then go through another afternoon setting it up. Local dealer says quite a few folks do this on the round bar DC setup. Unfortunetly I can't go to bigger springs, I'm at 1200lbs now with 1200 lb tongue weight. In retrospect, probably should have gone with the trunion system 1500lb bars and the 2 1/2" shank since I have the Reese Titan receiver.

But, IMHO either Dual Cam setup once adjusted correctly is a clear winner. Drove down the Columbia gorge this summer pulling my 30' trailer and didn't realize how bad the gusts were till we stopped, Gusting between about 20 and 45mph as a sidewind, and truck and trailer tracked straight and true, hardly knew there was a sidewind.


Posted By: JBarca on 12/21/10 08:56pm

ktmrfs wrote:

JBarca is right on regarding his comments on the round bar hitch angle setup. I have the DC round bar and you really can't get as much tilt as possible on some other round bar hitch setups. so once the bar is tensioned for the load, in my case, the bar is to close to the cams with the number of links I would like to use (3from the top). Once the bar slides off the cam in a turn, it just barely contacts the cam arm, not a good situation. solution (I think), is that I'm going to put on a ball with a 1" rise so the bars are normally farther down and the cam arm is at a steeper angle. (JBarc will this work?). And then go through another afternoon setting it up. Local dealer says quite a few folks do this on the round bar DC setup. Unfortunetly I can't go to bigger springs, I'm at 1200lbs now with 1200 lb tongue weight. In retrospect, probably should have gone with the trunion system 1500lb bars and the 2 1/2" shank since I have the Reese Titan receiver.



Hi KT

H'mm OK listening to your setup I see 2 options to help.

Yes I agree a hi rise tow ball will help put more tension on the WD bars given all things considered. It will change the angle of the WD bar to the hitch head as it lowers down. Never thought of that but I can see it helping. I'm assuming with your slide camper the ball height is up like 23 to 24" so the WD bars hanging down 1 more inch should not be a problem hitting ground when the truck drops in a dip.

Since you are right on the limit of the WD bars, which rides very well I might add, every little bit you can get in WD bar preload helps in this situation.

[image]

Tractor Supply I know has them. They are 3/4" rise then add 1/4 flat washer to get 1". They are 24,000# tow rated. They are gooseneck tow balls. Like $25. Just make sure where ever you get one it is stamped at least the full GVWR of your TT. Many are not.

The next thing is if you are on the Reese Titan receiver, like I am, are you using the 2 1/2 to 2" adapter? If so that is eating up head tilt in the slop of the 2 part assembly. You may loose 2 degrees in just the extra sliding clearance. While not cheap, you can buy a 2 1/2" Tow beast shank that tapers down to 2" and will fit in the round bar head. You can sort of see it here on mine. That will take about 1/2 the play out.

[image]

[image]

What you are describing how your setup came out is just like I ended up with on a few of my buddies hitches. After I had it happen on 3 different occasions, 3 different TV and TT's, I said, h'mm this is a problem that the trunnion bar does not have.

Actually the older heads like Barney was showing that uses the washers and a pin behind the hitch head to shank can have more tilt then this hex washer setup. It is really not the fact of round bars, it is the hex washer tilt and the way they have the adjusting slot in the hitch head. If you are just using that setup for a WD hitch and no DC, then it is not so much and issue. They give you a straight up setting and 2 towards the TV. Man, what do you ever do with the 2 towards the TV when using a DC??

Hope this helps

John

Barney, sorry about the too big pics in the last post. Did not realize that as I'm always on the look out. This new larger monitor I have does not scroll like the old one did so I missed it. [emoticon]


Posted By: ktmrfs on 12/22/10 11:57am

JBarca

thanks for the feedback. I did get a ball with a true 1" rise rated at 25K, basically a gooseneck ball. I agree on the slop with the 2 to 2 1/2" sleeve. Going to the 2 1/2" shank may be a good idea. Wish the setup did have the washers/pin head setup like my other trailer has. seems like it gives way more tilt if needed.


Posted By: JBarca on 12/22/10 05:56pm

ktmrfs wrote:

JBarca

thanks for the feedback. I did get a ball with a true 1" rise rated at 25K, basically a gooseneck ball. I agree on the slop with the 2 to 2 1/2" sleeve. Going to the 2 1/2" shank may be a good idea. Wish the setup did have the washers/pin head setup like my other trailer has. seems like it gives way more tilt if needed.


KT

Good for you. Well it will help the cause, just do not know how much but it will help

Good luck

John


Posted By: enginemasterguru on 12/25/10 01:01pm

excellent thread!


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