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Which Sway Control???

Discussion in 'Towing' started by Gingrbredman, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. Jun 22, 2010 at 6:01 AM
    #1
    Gingrbredman

    Gingrbredman [OP] Love the Tick!

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    It feels like I have spent the last two months reading all I can on towing, campers, hitches, sway control, gas mileage, etc. I want to see if the people who actually pull campers with their Tacoma's have feelings one way or another on which is really the better type of sway control for our trucks, pulling a camper.

    My truck: 2009 Double Cab 4x4 with tow package.

    My new camper (picking up Thursday). 2011 Jayco 213. Empty weight is 4,400 lbs, max weight is 5,500. Length is 24' total.

    The dealer is going to install the WDH, sway control, and Prodigy brake control. I have it set up right now to have them install the Reese dual cam sway control. This dealer tells me the dual cam is over kill for this trailer, and I would be better off with a Equalizer 4 point sway control system. The dealer I'm talking to has been camping for years, pulls his own camper, is pretty up front with me, and no bullshit dealer tactics. He doesn't seem like the guy to lie to me about this, but I want to be sure by asking real Tacoma owners about their experiences. I have heard from a lot of happy customers who have the Equalizer, and a lot of happy customers who have the dual cam. I have spent so much time reading the towing section here, as well as many RV forums, and everyone has different opinions.

    The difference between the two systems in price isn't a factor for me, I just want the best system to pull my new camper.

    All you towing experts here, can you share one way or another your experiences with either system? Both packages are in stock at my dealer, so I am going to get one installed this week.

    Here are some pics of the new camper.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jun 23, 2010 at 8:37 AM
    #2
    cdmason23435

    cdmason23435 Member

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    Hi,

    I know I'm new here and this is my first post but I have almost 100K on the clock of my '06 and about 60% of that is towing a 23' travel trailer.

    All of my experience has been with the Equal-I-Zer and it is hands down the best type of friction sway hitch system for trucks our size and the size of trailer you are towing.

    The most important issues you want to address regardless of which hitch system you go with is get it working properly on your truck. If you aren't putting weight on the front wheels as well as the back when you are hitched up it's not set up right.

    Dunno how the rear spring packs are on the newer Tacos but on the '06 they were terrible! I bought a set of SuperSprings for mine at about the same time the truck went over 36K so I was uneligible for the TSB for the spring pack upgrade but honestly I think I am probably better served with the SuperSprings.

    What is the "wet weight" of this trailer? I understand that the "max" is 5500 but remember the 4,400 lbs is without propane, water, your stuff etc. You are going to find out that you add weight quickly too as you accumulate more items you "need" for camping. Haven't been on a CAT scale for a couple of years so I'm sure we aren't that close anymore.

    I worked tirelessly for several months to get everything right; adding washers to the hitch, manipulating the height of the ball on the receiver etc. I finally got it to where my truck with my wife, son and myself, a full load of fuel and a weeks worth of groceries in the trailer, clothes and other personal items we are within 50 lbs weight on the front and rear axles.

    I too use a Prodigy brake controller and I think it's the cat's meow. I find though that I have to adjust the thumb wheel at times depending if we are in town or at highway speed. I run mine on the boost 2 setting all of the time.

    You are going to need a set of mirrors too. I have had all kinds of them but my 2 favorites are the McKesh or the newer CIPA mirrors. All I have used this year are the CIPA's and we have been to Florida, all through Virginia, and several local trips and haven't had a slip or any other issue. I did however use Gorilla Glue on the pads they send with the mirrors.

    As far as fluids, I use Mobil1 in everything' diffs, gearbox engine. I especially use it in the differentials because I know that rear end gear gets a workout and want to do all that I think I can do to make it last. This is just my personal preference, you go with what you think is best and right for you.

    I do not tow in OD. I know the manual says you can but not something a big as a travel trailer. The transmission hunts too much. I can tow pretty much all day at 60-65 in 4th gear turning about 2,500 RPM, the tranny isn't hunting and I get about 11-12 MPG. There again, you do what you think's best.

    No matter how much you think the dealer has been your "friend" and been upfront with you all he wants to do is sell you an RV. I know because I have been there and done that. It's no secret the economy is tough and folks are buying things like boats, rvs etc. so they will do just about anything to get you to buy it.

    I'm sorry this post has been soooo long and all you asked about was the hitch but like I said at the beginning I have lots of miles doing just exactly what you are getting ready to do.

    I am attaching a couple of pix of our rig for you to see.

    Enjoy it and GO CAMPING!!!

    South of the Border 2010.jpg
    Loaded.jpg
     
  3. Jun 23, 2010 at 9:10 AM
    #3
    Gingrbredman

    Gingrbredman [OP] Love the Tick!

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    Chris, that has to be one of the most comprehensive replies I have seen to a question in a long time. A lot of good information here, and in the end, you did answer the question I had, and that was what do Tacoma owners use, and what are their experiences with the different types of sway control systems.




    I don't know the wet weight yet, and like you, time will tell. I mention the dry weight, and the max weight, knowing that if I pull the trailer at either one of these weights, I should be good as long as I have the proper set up. The trailer, as equipped with all the accessories, and full propane is 4,400 lbs. Add anywhere from 500 to 1,000 lbs fully loaded, and I will be at 5,500 lbs or so. A weight I think I will be comfortable towing, and I have seen many Tacoma owners pull trailers at this "wet" weight.

    A lot of Tacoma owners recommend the Prodigy, as well as many people on RV.net. I also understand there will be some adjustments, but in the end, the best choice.

    Again, many Tacoma owners have recommended the CIPA's. I allready have a set at home, ready to be put on.




    Thanks for the other good info. As much as I have researched, and planned for this purchase, it is always good to hear the experiences from those who have already done it.
     
  4. Jun 23, 2010 at 12:49 PM
    #4
    Gingrbredman

    Gingrbredman [OP] Love the Tick!

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    Just to clarify, at this point, the dealer isnt trying to sell me anything. I allready purchased the RV. I just need to pick out a system for the truck, and go get it. The dealer is recommending the friction sway control, over the dual cam system. He quoted me two different prices for the systems. The dual cam system is more expensive, and he is recomending the friction. I might have thought twice if he kept recommending the more expensive system, but he isn't.
     
  5. Jun 24, 2010 at 6:14 AM
    #5
    cdmason23435

    cdmason23435 Member

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    No worries. Just enjoy the trailer.....

    RV.net is a great source for information and ideas just don't let yourself get caught up by the opinions of the "big truck" folks that our itty bitty almost half ton "girl" pickups can't do anything as far as towing something and stopping it safely. What we are doing is not different than those folks with 3/4 or 1 ton diesels towing 37 foot fivers.

    I think if you take your time and get it all right regardless of which hitch you go with you'll be OK.
     
  6. Jun 25, 2010 at 5:56 AM
    #6
    Gingrbredman

    Gingrbredman [OP] Love the Tick!

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    We love the trailer, and can't wait for the maiden voyage real soon.

    I find a lot of valuable information over on RV.net, but agree with you on the "big truck folks". Some people over there have referred to them as the "weight police". Any mention of pulling a trailer, without a 3/4 ton, and they are all over it.

    Anyone can do a search over there on "Tacoma" and all you will see is people telling those guys they should upgrade to a "real" truck, or tell them "you will have your hands full", or something to the effect that the Tacoma can't pull a trailer. You are right, pulling my 23' trailer with my Tacoma isn't any different than the big diesel truck pulling that 40' park trailer. Good info on RV's over there, and good info on towing over here.

    I'm gonna post some pics over there and sit back and enjoy the trailer and camping with the family, cause thats what its all about anyway.
     
  7. Jun 25, 2010 at 7:55 AM
    #7
    KaoskrewPB

    KaoskrewPB -Empty-

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    Hey man I just got sold my 24' trailer and I no longer need the friction control hitch.
    The only thing I have is the hitch and the sway control on the hitch.
    I don't have the brackets that you need to hook up to the trailer, but you can get a set for like 80 bucks new I think.
    If you are interested let me know.
    It's a pretty heavy price of equipment, so it may be expensive in shipping
     
  8. Jun 25, 2010 at 8:04 AM
    #8
    KaoskrewPB

    KaoskrewPB -Empty-

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  9. Jun 25, 2010 at 12:15 PM
    #9
    Allens_Piece

    Allens_Piece Well-Known Member

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    I just bought an 18 foot keystone Springdale. I think is a bit heavy for the size, but is super nice. The trailer itself pulls straight as an arrow, but boy does it suck on the gas! I am towing in alaska though, and with a lift and larger tires. My only concern is putting my manual tranny and engine through what seems to be torture. I just don't like driving in fourth gear at over 2500 rpms. Anyway, with that said, I'm sure you will be fine towing your new trailer. Make sure you pack an extra gas can though.
     
  10. Jun 26, 2010 at 6:32 AM
    #10
    cdmason23435

    cdmason23435 Member

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  11. Jun 26, 2010 at 7:16 AM
    #11
    KaoskrewPB

    KaoskrewPB -Empty-

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    I wasn't trying to bitch about the cost or anything man, maybe you misunderstood my post. I simply said I didn't remember paying that much when I bought that hitch.
    I think they gave me a deal on it because I bought it with the trailer and the trailer brakes.

    All I am trying to do is help the OP save a bit of money because I no longer need this sway control.
     
  12. Jun 26, 2010 at 12:46 PM
    #12
    Gingrbredman

    Gingrbredman [OP] Love the Tick!

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    I actually ended up getting the Reese dual cam system. I think both systems would work with the Tacoma and the camper I'm pulling, but in the end, I choose the Reese. Talk about a lot of work to get that set up right. The install probably took 4 hours from start to finish. And this was by professionals. They measured, adjusted, test drove, and then adjusted some more. The 140 mile trip home was a pretty windy, and just a couple of times I could feel the wind. So far, I'm pretty happy with this setup.
     
  13. Jun 26, 2010 at 1:32 PM
    #13
    KaoskrewPB

    KaoskrewPB -Empty-

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    Sweet man and congrats on the new trailer,
    I'm sure you'll have fun with it!
     
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