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Old 03-06-2016, 03:27 PM   #1
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Questions about Equalizer E4

Hi everyone, we are preparing to order a Jay Flight 28BHBE and need to ask a couple of hitch related questions before completing the purchase.

We will be towing our new TT with our 2013 Chevy Express 3500 (std. length). We are well within our tongue weight, gvwr and other limits. However, due to the length of the TT vs. our relatively short (135") wheelbase, I want to make sure we get the best hitch available at mitigating sway. I would love to have a premium hitch like Hensley, etc, but it's just not in the budget right now.

Therefore, I looking for the next best thing. I'm still considering all my options but have narrowed the focus to an Equalizer E4 for the time being. I know the Reese DC is also a great unit, but I understand they can be very finicky to set up properly. We've also considered the Husky Centerline HD, but I have concerns about the pistons wearing and losing effectiveness during a trip. Finally, I've looked at the Blue Ox Sway Pro, but for the life of me I can't understand how it prevents sway any better than any other system with chain up bars.

That brings me back to the Equalizer. I have a couple of questions about it. First, if the bars really don't give that much, then what happens when you drive across uneven pavement (like pulling into parking lots)? It seems that the system would almost try to lift the rear axle as it transitions across the low area.

Second, since the bars aren't really designed to give as well as other units, does this cause damage to the TT or TV? I would think it would create metal fatigue in the hitch, frame, etc., and just be rough on the system as a whole. How bad is it?

Finally, if I do decide to go with the Equalizer, which system would I need? Given the payload capacity of our TV (~3,500#'s), would I be better off with the 12,000/1,200# system? Or the 14,000/1,400# system?

Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2016, 03:30 PM   #2
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I would base it on possible loaded tongue weight with battery lp etc and err on the high side if it was me
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Old 03-06-2016, 04:45 PM   #3
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The choice is yours, they will both work, on the 1400 lbs. you just might have to use a link less.

I have 1200 lbs. round bars WDH for a 6500 lbs. GVWR. You can tilt the head any way you like to make it work. As long as the bars are parallel with the A-frame.
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:14 PM   #4
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GLB,

Congrats on the new rig!!!

Concerning the hitch selection, yes, the Reese DC can be a little more intensive vs others in setting up. Or if you change the tw a fair amount (empty vs full fresh tanks if in front of the axle), the DC may need some adjustment.

In researching for our current rig, I considered the DC (which I went with again, had the original u bolt model on our last two trailers), the Reese SC, which is VERY SIMILAR to the Equal-I-Zer 4 way system, the Equal-I-Zer 4 way system, and the top Husky Centerline (TS I think) model.

I eliminated the Husky due to reading reviews that stated you generally need to be in almost a straight line to hook up and unhook the bars. Everything I read concerning the performance of the system was very good. Some issues in earlier models with the pistons, but it seemed the later version(s) were/ are working very well. Also, if I recall correctly, the highest rated bars available are 1200lbs. I knew we needed at least 1400/1500lb bars, no less. That also helped in the decision.

When comparing the 4 way and the Reese SC system, IF it was between only these two I probably would have gone with the SC system. The bars actually ride on replaceable "brake pads" on the L brackets, and the hitch head angle adjustment has more fine tuning for the wd bars than the Equal-I-Zer system. Though both will perform very well.

I chose the Reese DC after talking to Reese, and previously using with the old system u-bolt system I had. Our tw is pretty much the same every trip, so I wasn't to worried about the need to change the cam adjustment often.

I agree with your post concerning the Blue Ox. They state it is a combination of the flex of the bars, and the "captured" chain that is limited in the front to rear travel. It would be nice to see some independant testing and a write up of this system. It is intriguing, but due to the unknown I usually suggest looking at both Reese models, and the Equal-I-Zer. Mostly because I have experience with both the DC. (I have owned 2 versions), and the 4 way system which a good buddy owned before buying a 5ver.

Regarding the wd bar rating, do you currently have a tt now? And how much is the tw vs the "brochure" dry tw of so? Obviously different layouts will alter how trailers are loaded. But it could give you an idea of which bar rating to choose. In reading some threads on the 28 BHBE, some owners have reported a range of tw's, ranging from about 900lbs (I think was about the low end) - ~1200lbs. These are the "gross" tw's, the weight you would have if you placed a scale directly under the trailer coupler. Not what the tw adds to the tv once the wd bars are "latched up". Some may post what their tw is once the wd bars are latched up, a "net" tw so to speak. Just make sure your wd bars are rated for the "full" tw amount.

Without knowing how or what you may pack in the pass through vs the rest of the trailer, it is hard to recommend which bars to go with. If it was for us, I would probably go with the 1400lb (Equal-I-Zer)/1500lb (Reese) bars due to what we store in the pass through. Our 32 BHDS "brochure" 910lb tw is about 1400lbs loaded, ready to go. Also understand the propane tanks and battery weight are not included in the "brochure' dry tw! That's alone will add ~160lbs for 2-30lb tanks (full) and a battery.

Good luck!!!
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:21 PM   #5
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I have an Equalizer and really like it. I've never used any of the others so I can't offer any comparison. I just like how easy the Equalizer is to hook up and remove and that I've never had any problems with it.
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micron View Post
I have an Equalizer and really like it. I've never used any of the others so I can't offer any comparison. I just like how easy the Equalizer is to hook up and remove and that I've never had any problems with it.
X2

I did tow a rental with an older unit with chain links prior to purchase, I didn't notice an appreciable amount of difference with the bars being stiffer on dips/bumps etc. I think the bars just slide back and fourth if they exceed their flex, same as with a turn.

They do make some noise in the campground, just a warning. You can get some plastic pads from equalizer or use a little lubricant to make that a little better.
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micron View Post
I have an Equalizer and really like it. I've never used any of the others so I can't offer any comparison. I just like how easy the Equalizer is to hook up and remove and that I've never had any problems with it.
^^^^
What he said...

Another Equal-I-Zer brand (4 way) fan here.

I bought mine in late 2006 when I started delivering trailers for Jayco. I easily have over 135,000 miles of towing TT with it and I am still using it to haul my TT. The only thing I've done, other than occasional routine maintenance, was last year I replaced my original frame brackets with their new design frame brackets.
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Old 03-07-2016, 07:28 AM   #8
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I'll probably stick with the Equalizer. I know me...even if the unit were towing correctly, I would be constantly tinkering with the adjustments on the DC trying to get it just right. :-)

need-a-vacation, estimating the tongue weight is what I'm finding to be difficult. We have a popup currently, so there's no basis for comparison. The problem with the 28 BHBE is the huge CCC. With a modest cargo and 10% for TW you could be as low as #800. Or at max cargo and 15% you could be at #1,387 tw. Then again 1,500#'s cargo at 13% is 1,105# tw. It's really hard to guess without having the trailer and since we are purchasing out of state, you need to make our decision before loading/weighing the unit.

Right now, I'm leaning toward the 1,200# bars.
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Old 03-07-2016, 07:51 AM   #9
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The Equalizer is an awesome hitch. I have the 10K for my set up and it works well.

Consider that the bars are identical between the 12K and 14K hitches. The only difference is the hitch head metal thickness; the 12K is 3/8in and the 14K is 1/2in I believe. This will obviously make the hitch heavier but also more robust due to the increased forces of a higher tongue weight.

If I were you, I would get the 14K. My hitch also came with bracket jackets which are frictional material that sits on the L bracket and the bars slide on top. It's some sort of plastic material. It quiets the hitch right down and prevents wear on the metal surfaces as the jackets are replaceable.
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:32 AM   #10
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GLB,

You will want at least 12% tw, otherwise you can and probably will have swag even with the Reese or Equal-I-Zer system.

As for what you will pack in the pass through, what do you anticipate? Grill, bag chairs, awning mat(s), Ez-Up canopy tent, leveling blocks, chocks, water hoses, extension cords, Camp Chef style stove, etc??? These are things we have in our pass through, may have missed a couple items, but our Ez-Up for example, is a heavy duty 10x10 model, weighing about 50lbs itself without the sidewalls.

Double check on the Equal-I-Zer system to see if needed that you can replace just the 1200lb bars with the 1400lb bars. I think those two models will interchange with each other, but the others do not.... Or look at the Reese SC system. All of Reese's hitch heads are the same for the trunion style bar, and when changing trailers, you can just buy new bars. The SC is just like the Eqaul-I-Zer 4 way system.

Add 160lbs to the "brochure" dry tw as a start. How close to 1200lbs are you? I don't recall what the 28 dry tw is.
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