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Adjusting An Equalizer Hitch

#1 User is offline   thefulminator 

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 05:58 PM

Just purchased a new tow vehicle and the hitch tube is about 2-1/2" higher than the one on my old truck. The Equalizer dealer about a mile from my house closed shop so the nearest one is now about forty miles away. I'm not sure that I want to drive that far on an interstate hwy with the hitch not adjusted properly. I have read the Equalizer installation instructions and wonder how hard it really is to get right. Has anyone done this on their own and if so do you have any pointers?
2009 Silverado LT 1500 4X4 Crew Cab, 9500 lb towing capacity with Putnam XDR and Equalizer 10K, + 2013 Outback 250RS, Moonlight
Me ('65), DW ('68), DS1 ('99), DS2 ('03), Dwoof ('12)


We all bleed Orange and Black, GO BEAVS
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#2 User is offline   Dub 

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 07:24 PM

It's not hard to do, getting the ball into the hitch head was the hardest thing to do since it requires an odd size thin wall socket which equalizer happens to sell for about $87. A local dealer who sells the hitch tightened it for me...takes like 400lbs of torque. Next put the starting number of washers on the hitch and bolt the L bars to the tongue following the instructions.

After you get that done then the rest is easy.

I'm recalling from memory so I may miss a step or two....

Find a level parking lot. Unhitch camper, pull forward, level camper. Put masking tape at the top of a front and back wheel well, then measure the distance from there to the tire (on truck). Write it down.

Then measure from the ground to the top of the ball. Then from the ground to the top of the tongue where the ball goes. Assume that you'll drop about about 2"-3" when trailer is hitched. Take the measurement on the tongue (say 21") and add 2.5"...try to get the top of your ball on the shank to that height or as close to it. Test it. Put the camper on, then tighten the two large bolts holding the shank and hitch together with a large breaker bar. Put the friction bars on. Now measure your wheels to those pieces of masking tape again and check the level of the camper. Both front and rear wheels on the truck should drop the same distance, if not, you're not setup correctly. Also camper should be perfectly level. Try adding washers to the hitch head before moving the shank up or down. Takes a few tries but it easy. You'll also want to pack the truck and camper like you would if you were going on a trip.
2008 Toyota Tundra Limited Double Cab 4x4 5.7L 4.30 gears 10,300lbs Towing Capacity
2009 Outback Sydney Edition 310BHS 12K Equal-i-zer, MaxxAir, Electric Tongue Jack
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#3 User is offline   thefulminator 

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 07:42 PM

Since the ball has been installed for quite some time I shouldn't need the special socket should I? You don't have to remove the ball to add washers as far as I can tell. Also, I don't have any more washers than are currently installed.
2009 Silverado LT 1500 4X4 Crew Cab, 9500 lb towing capacity with Putnam XDR and Equalizer 10K, + 2013 Outback 250RS, Moonlight
Me ('65), DW ('68), DS1 ('99), DS2 ('03), Dwoof ('12)


We all bleed Orange and Black, GO BEAVS
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#4 User is offline   thefulminator 

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 12:58 AM

Since the ball has been installed for quite some time I shouldn't need the special socket should I? You don't have to remove the ball to add washers as far as I can tell. Also, I don't have any more washers than are currently installed.
2009 Silverado LT 1500 4X4 Crew Cab, 9500 lb towing capacity with Putnam XDR and Equalizer 10K, + 2013 Outback 250RS, Moonlight
Me ('65), DW ('68), DS1 ('99), DS2 ('03), Dwoof ('12)


We all bleed Orange and Black, GO BEAVS
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#5 User is offline   Dub 

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 01:31 AM

View Postthefulminator, on 03 November 2009 - 12:58 AM, said:

Since the ball has been installed for quite some time I shouldn't need the special socket should I? You don't have to remove the ball to add washers as far as I can tell. Also, I don't have any more washers than are currently installed.


No you don't need it unless the ball is underated for your trailer. I think I have a 12K on mine.

The washers go on a lil mushroom thing in the back of the head and it pushes against the shank, that's what gives it the downward angle and causes your front end to drop when you put on the friction bars. Start with the recomended amount of washers then add until your front and rear end drops the same amount and the trailer is fairly level.
2008 Toyota Tundra Limited Double Cab 4x4 5.7L 4.30 gears 10,300lbs Towing Capacity
2009 Outback Sydney Edition 310BHS 12K Equal-i-zer, MaxxAir, Electric Tongue Jack
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#6 User is offline   muttbike 

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:22 AM

Dub gave you some good info.

You can also download the pdf version of the manual from Equal-i-zers website. The setup pages have lines to enter your measurement data on. Do it in pencil (since you may update the TV or TT one day.)

If you can't it totally level, make sure it is nose down vice nose up on the trailer. Makes for a better towing experience.

JR
Me, DW, DS, DD King Charles Cav Shelby
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#7 User is offline   Scoutr2 

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 12:30 PM

I installed my Equal-i-zer hitch in about 4 hours, on the level street in front of my house. It is not too difficult.

You stated that the hitch reciever on your new truck is about 2-1/2 inches higher than on your previous TV, so I would start by lowering the hitch head on the shank about 2 holes (2 inches) lower than the current position. The rest should fall in place if the hitch was adjusted properly before. (And I say this because not too many RV dealers are as knowledgable about this stuff as most people think they are. When I ought my trailer, they installed a Robin hitch and a Reese sway control. I had it back for a couple of warranty repairs in the first year and both times, the tech noticed that my hitch wasn't adjusted properly. So there were at least 3 opinions at that dealership about the proper adjustments for my rig!)

Not knowing whether you were riding "tongue low," perfectly level (if you were lucky), or "tongue high" with your previous rig, the previous statement is kinda relative. And I also don't know if you went from a 1/2-ton (rear end sags more) to a 3/4-ton (sags less), or if you stayed with the same size TV. If moving the hitch head down doesn't make things reasonably correct, you may be better off just following the installation instructions from step 1 forward. "Tongue high" is not good, so if you have to choose between "tongue low" or "tongue high," go with a little bit "tongue low." (My trailer is about 3/4" lower at the tongue than the rear, over 30'.)

Also - I would recommend using new bolts when re-positioning the hitch head. The bolt could be stretched if it was overtorqued. Those are two very important bolts and I'd rather be safe than sorry, if it were me.

Re-installing your hitch yourself will also get you a lot more familiar with how the hitch works and what adjustments to make to improve performance.

Just my $.02.

Mike
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2007 29BHS pulled with a 2007 4WD Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 6.0L - 4:10 Axle Ratio - Prodigy - Equal-i-zer WD Hitch w/1200# bars

#8 User is offline   muttbike 

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 10:04 PM

View PostScoutr2, on 04 November 2009 - 10:30 AM, said:

Also - I would recommend using new bolts when re-positioning the hitch head. The bolt could be stretched if it was overtorqued. Those are two very important bolts and I'd rather be safe than sorry, if it were me.


Yep, I did this too. I took the old grade 5 bolts out and put in grade 8 bolts to hold the hitch head on. I don't worry about putting too much torque on these. One of my old grade 5 bolts actually had a slight bend in it when I bought the hitch used. Who knows what the other guy had done with the hitch.

I also completely took the hitch down, cleaned everything with simple green, did some touch up paint and it looks much better now. Any suspect hardware was replaced, to include those two pricey big bolts. A new kit from Equal-i-zer gave me new pins, clips and L-brackets. I saved the old stuff in the hitch only tool box for insurance.

I plan on doing a complete take down every year to clean and put fresh grease in. I was surprised about how much road grime get kicked up on the hitch working parts.

JR

Attached File(s)


Me, DW, DS, DD King Charles Cav Shelby
2010 230RS, 2012 Rockwood Windjammer 3001W
2008 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
1989 Honda CR500R, 2000 Kawasaki KLR650 muttbike (no pedigree)
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#9 User is offline   jasonrebecca 

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 12:03 PM

I was wondering how your setup went. This thread has me wanting to check if mine was actually set up right when I bought the Outback.
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#10 User is offline   thefulminator 

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 12:16 PM

Jason, I bought my Outback at the same place you bought yours. I'm assuming you got your Equalizer there too. I wasn't convinced that they set mine up properly and had someone else readjust it.
2009 Silverado LT 1500 4X4 Crew Cab, 9500 lb towing capacity with Putnam XDR and Equalizer 10K, + 2013 Outback 250RS, Moonlight
Me ('65), DW ('68), DS1 ('99), DS2 ('03), Dwoof ('12)


We all bleed Orange and Black, GO BEAVS
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#11 User is offline   jasonrebecca 

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 01:29 PM

Did you have to make any changes for your new TV? I might have to bust out the tools and adjust it this weekend. I changed the location of the L brackets last night as they were at 29.5" and Equal-i-zer recommends 32", I could only get it to 31.5".
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#12 User is offline   thefulminator 

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 03:22 PM

I am having a friend make up some new plates for installing my XDR onto the new TV. When I put it on the old TV, I ended up using grade 8 bolts in place of the grade 5 bolts that were supposed to come with the XDR. The receiver showed up without it's hardware kit so I had to make up my own. When I torqued up the grade 8 bolts, I ended up bending the plates I made. I guess I should have used the grade 5 torque of 75 ft*lbs and not the grade 8 torque, 125 ft*lbs. At the location where they bent, the plates span holes in the frame that were about 1" to 1/14" diameter. Since there is nothing in the hole, the high torque actually deformed the plates into the holes. The new plates are going to be 1/4" plate, not 3/16" plate like the stock ones. Once I get the XDR on, I'll look at setting the Equalizer up. I guess I really don't need to do that until next spring.

I did find out that Curt took over some of Putnam's receiver designs including the XDR. The XDR 25217 is now a Curt 15522.

Attached File(s)


2009 Silverado LT 1500 4X4 Crew Cab, 9500 lb towing capacity with Putnam XDR and Equalizer 10K, + 2013 Outback 250RS, Moonlight
Me ('65), DW ('68), DS1 ('99), DS2 ('03), Dwoof ('12)


We all bleed Orange and Black, GO BEAVS
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#13 User is offline   Dub 

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 05:43 PM

I got you one better: Install Video
2008 Toyota Tundra Limited Double Cab 4x4 5.7L 4.30 gears 10,300lbs Towing Capacity
2009 Outback Sydney Edition 310BHS 12K Equal-i-zer, MaxxAir, Electric Tongue Jack
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