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Old 10-14-2020, 08:32 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Chicago
Posts: 211
Lippert Straptek WDH tensioner

Earlier this summer I had a tricky camping spot. TV was slightly off line with trailer and due to the angle of the spot, it was hard to jack up the tongue to release tension on my BlueOx SwayPro. Releasing one of the 2000lb spring bars was very violent. The grip on my breaker bar tore a nice patch of skin off my hand and then smacked against my front cap leaving the first real damage to my 2019 Eagle 330RSTS. Additionally, I have never been a fan of putting so much pressure on my tongue jack to lift the hitched tongue. Otherwise, I love the SwayPro and they have adequate weight distribution for my 1900lbs tongue weight.

At the suggestion of a member here, I tried out the Lippert Straptek before my recent three week trip with many different camp ground stops.

First, I did run into some difficulty getting the actual product. I ordered once through Amazon which turned into a 35 day delay on an "in stock, prime" product. Worried I wouldn't get the Amazon version in time, I ordered directly from Lippert. The tensioners come in a right and left, but Lippert sent me two rights. Fortunately the Amazon one showed up 4 days before we left.

Installation was easy. Removed the BlueOx chain tensioners and disconnected the chains from the tension bars. You loosely connect the StrapTek tensioner to the frame and attach the J hook through the spring bar's u-bolt. Lightly tension and find the location on the frame where the strap in perpendicular to the frame then tighten up the tensioner to the frame.

Using the tensioners is super easy. It's essentially a heavy duty ratchet strap. Using the same breaker bar, you turn the shaft, but the ratcheting feature allows you to tension in whatever increment you want and to reposition the breaker bar if needed. I measured the distance between the frame and spring bar with the chains and just set the straps to the same distance. There is no need to use the tongue jack to raise the tongue while hitched. Drop the coupler on the ball and ratchet up the spring bars.

Disconnecting is what makes this system best. Again, no need to raise the tongue with the tongue jack. You use the breaker bar to release a few ratchet teeth of tension, then reposition and go again. Takes a few seconds longer than the single release chain tensioners, but there is no sudden/dangerous release of tension. The straps stay attached to the frame, so the tension bars no longer have the chains, which is an added benefit in my opinion. I have accidentally "chained" the side of my trailer too many times.

My recent trip really put them through the test. Both Chicago to Utah and Colorado to Chicago had nearly constant, stiff cross winds putting frequently lateral tension on the hitch. No issues, hitch was just as effective as it was with chains. Absolutely zero worries releasing the tension at all our stops.

Not exactly the cheapest solution, but if they last 3-5 seasons I would consider it worth the investment to replacement at that frequency.
2000 FR Flagstaff 625D - Sold
2013 White Hawk 30DSRE - Sold
2019 Eagle 330RSTS
2020 F350 Lariat 6.7L powerstroke, Rapid Red with Lariat Sport
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