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Old 10-04-2017, 06:56 PM   #1
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Tow-tally awesome Reese 800 lb TW weight distribution hitch for a T-1950!

I have been feverishly searching for a weight distribution hitch (wdh) with an 800 lb. tongue weight to properly mate the T-1950 to the '94 Silverado (C1500). Everything on my local craigslist was either too strong, too week, too much, too many missing parts...you get the picture. I towed the camper the 4 blocks down to the inspection station at 5 am this morning and after it passed at 8 am (yay! ), I rushed to the MVA to get the title, tags and registration dealt with. By 9:30 am, I was done and looking for the next big thing.

Last week, an acquaintance told me how he had visited an RV dealership that he frequented and the service guy GAVE him a wdh that someone had traded in for a larger unit when they upgraded their camper to a longer one. He ultimately had no use for it so he gave it back.

That got me to thinking so with time on my hands, I drove south to a local RV dealer asked the service guy if they ever took trades on wdh's.

"We've got a pile of them in a room next door." he said. "Mostly Reese Strait-lines and such.

"How much?"

"$150."

"I'll take it! 800 lb trunnions, please".

Minutes later, a complete 800 lb. wdh was in the trunk of the car and I hotfooted it back home, backed out and took off for the son-in-law's house. The trip was HORRIBLE, The camper was pushing and unstable all the way to his house. He downloaded the instructions and after some trial and error, we had it installed and adjusted (tuned?) and ready to go within a couple of hours. The back of the truck was once again back to its proper height.

My plan was for a quick trip around the block to shake it down and then head home to get the car and head to an appointment on the other side of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. I had already tried to call the man and push back the meeting time but no one had answered. S-I-L suggested that we extend the shakedown cruise for a few extra miles and although I didn't really have the time, I agreed. No sooner than we cleared the stop sign, when I got a call from appointment guy who was at the address, waiting for me. I asked S-I-L how he felt about a REAL shakedown trip across the bridge and he was game. The 1950 behaved beautifully! The pushing and bounciness was gone! S-I-L commented that he couldn't tell that it was even back there. And the truck was level, once again. Given that it's a '94 V6 with 180K on the odo, I was overall pleased with its performance although it was a bit of a slug on the uphill parts.

There was never any sway, even while crossing the lightly windswept bridge so I am re-evaluating the need for sway control. Meanwhile, the guy at the dealership told me that he'd let me know if any dual-cam setups cane in.

I am here to tell you that the proper sized wdh makes ALL the difference.

Here's some pics...
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Old 10-04-2017, 07:06 PM   #2
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:49 PM   #3
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Hi Dig,

You scored!!! Good for you. The hitch shank alone can be $150....Glad the inspection and plates worked out too.

And yes, having the WD hitch setup correctly is key to having a pleasant towing experience. If you need any help on adjusting, let us know. Glad to help.

I see what looks like under the LP tank cover on the passenger side, a set of 6 holes that at one time had a friction anti sway bar on it. You can add a friction sway bar on that same hitch head and it seems they even have the holes in the frame drilled for you. On that size camper, and your size truck, the friction sway control when setup right will do an OK job.

On the DC, the dual cam is hands down Reese's best anti sway hitch. However it does have some limitations. Limitations in both needed loaded tongue weight (yours is heavy enough so good there) and proper clearance to not bind in a turn and break the hitch.

Your T-1950 I "think" has a 17" ball height. Meaning if you level out the camper on a hard surface road, from the ground up to inside the ball coupling is 17". Please confirm this and I can help show you what you will be up against trying to get a DC to work on that camper frame. And thinking about this, you may be on 14" tires too it might be less then 17" which makes the problem worse. My 2004 T-1950 is 17" but it has 15" tires. If so, this may create a mounting problem with attempting to mount a DC on the frame. You should have a minimum of 6" ground clearance from the cams to the ground or else you can be scraping with the cams if it is much lower. The DC hangs down from the frame.

And if you adjust the chains high to not drag the cams, then you are creating a binding situation in compound angle turns and can break off a cam arm.

I will dig through my pile of hitch stuff as I did help a fellow Sunline member set up his DC that he had on his camper. It was not a T-1950, but he was right on the bottom of the clearance and it showed that too low a ball height can create a problem for the DC.

As to the question of do you need anti sway, that is not a black and white question to have an answer too. If the WD hitch is setup right, the tongue weight of the trailer is balanced out right, the truck has the tires and suspension enough to hold the camper, it should tow stable and if it does not, then we need to address that.

Here is a point of view on anti sway control to think through. Sway control should not to be added to cover up or fix a set up or other equipment problem, it is there to help you the day real bad things get thrown at you while towing. Like you accidentally dropped off the pavement 3" with the camper while doing 50mph and it set off the camper into a sway event. Or you had to make a massive S turn as some jerk just pulled out in front of you, etc. The anti sway is there for the bad days on the road, not the good days. If your asking for my 2 cents, consider adding one that will work with your setup.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:45 AM   #4
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Sharp eye on the predrilled holes, John! Your point is taken on the need for anti sway in emergency situations and thus, I will continue to address that need. With a four foot level held against the frame rail beneath the camper door as a guide to level, the top of the coupler was 19" off the street. Was the street level? It was probably uneven but pretty close. I didn't think to lay the level on the road surface (doh!).

I am not wedded to the dual cam system. It's just the system that I gleaned from here that was the best set-up to go with. I'd be perfectly happy with a friction unit attached in the currently available holes, as would my wallet.

The tires are ST205/75R 14.

The front chains are an issue at the moment because they drag the ground when attached to my old school, lower clearance TV. I zip tied them to shorten them for now but haven't really looked into a solid answer for that. The high probability of replacement of the Chevy with a newer, beefier model means that I don't want to do anything permanent, yet. I had considered shortening them with a U-bolt but I feel like the zip tie is a fair solution for now as it will be the weak point and break first before anything else should an emergency arise. I dunno.

Thanks for all of your help and recommendations in making this possible. My only regret was that I mentioned the Equi-l-izer wdh that I had taken a pass on earlier while yakking with the two knowledgeable guys helping me. They agreed that it was too stiff for my camper but said that a smaller unit would have worked and that Equi-l-izer was the brand that they were currently installing for most new customers. At that moment, I SHOULD have asked if there was a used one of those available but alas, I didn't. I figure the likelihood would have been small anyhow and the Reese system, once installed is easy enough to use.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:47 AM   #5
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Okay so what's the difference between these two? Seems like a hefty bump in the price for the Reese.

Pro Series 83660 Sway Control Bar by Pro Series
$38.02
The picture on Amazon does not show all of the hardware but the Questions and Reviews sections indicate that it comes with all of the hardware (plate, ball, screws, etc).



vs

Reese Towpower 26660 Standard friction Sway Control
$253.21

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Old 10-05-2017, 08:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Your T-1950 I "think" has a 17" ball height. Meaning if you level out the camper on a hard surface road, from the ground up to inside the ball coupling is 17".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post
With a four foot level held against the frame rail beneath the camper door as a guide to level, the top of the coupler was 19" off the street.
One factor here is the 1950 appears to have an axle flip, so that tongue height should be higher than the stock number. 19" sounds pretty close, since the increase is about that of the axle tube diameter. For hitch setup options, this is a good thing.

Also, your WD bars are the newer style with the curved ends at the end, so you can use them if you buy the cams. No other parts needed beyond the two cam assemblies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post
I zip tied them to shorten them for now but haven't really looked into a solid answer for that. The high probability of replacement of the Chevy with a newer, beefier model means that I don't want to do anything permanent, yet. I had considered shortening them with a U-bolt but I feel like the zip tie is a fair solution for now as it will be the weak point and break first before anything else should an emergency arise. I dunno.
I've had the ones on my '07 zip tied for years too. They were very long to accommodate the use of long hitch systems, a Hensley or large shank Reese. When I initially started with a short shank Reese, the chains were too low for my comfort, so I just zip tied them. I agree that it'll be the first to go if the trailer were to drop. I guess the biggest concern is you want the chains to work as a sling to hold the trailer if it dropped, so you can retain control, and if the trailer jack were to hit the ground before the chains do, it won't work for that purpose. However, when you have a long hitch system, chances are you'd need longer chains to connect and the trailer still may touch the ground. So I'm not sure what's best in that case.

They do make actual chain shorteners for this exact purpose, basically it's a metal piece with two pins and you put them through two chain links. I'm not sure where you'd find one now, maybe Harbor Freight or an industrial tool type place. Both this and the zip tie can be removed easily if you want the longer chain again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post
Okay so what's the difference between these two? Seems like a hefty bump in the price for the Reese.

Pro Series 83660 Sway Control Bar by Pro Series
$38.02
The picture on Amazon does not show all of the hardware but the Questions and Reviews sections indicate that it comes with all of the hardware (plate, ball, screws, etc).



vs

Reese Towpower 26660 Standard friction Sway Control
$253.21

That's a great question. I recently sold a used, spare one I had on eBay for about $30, so $50 for a new one is a good price. You could check with that same dealer to see if they have used sway controls too, or look for a used one online too. The only worry with a used one is to make sure the slide bar hasn't been bent, which is caused by turning too tight with it on or backing up and turning too tight with it on. They can be straightened if they aren't bent too bad.
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post
Sharp eye on the predrilled holes, John! Your point is taken on the need for anti sway in emergency situations and thus, I will continue to address that need. With a four foot level held against the frame rail beneath the camper door as a guide to level, the top of the coupler was 19" off the street. Was the street level? It was probably uneven but pretty close. I didn't think to lay the level on the road surface (doh!).
H'mm something is different here and Sunline Fan may have hit the nail on the head. 19" is not correct for a stock ball height on a 2003 T-1950 with 14" tires no less. BUT, if yours has had an axle flip and you have 19" or even 18", then the DC will work. Yes, the DC will work well on 18" or 19" ball height.

I looked up a 2007, T-1950 which is on 15" tires and it calls out 17.5" as the ball height. I would expect a 2003 on the 14" tires to be in the 16.5 to 17" range. They use to list the ball height on the white floor plan sheets. The 2003, if you have that white floor plan sheet in your owners manual it will show it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post
I am not wedded to the dual cam system. It's just the system that I gleaned from here that was the best set-up to go with. I'd be perfectly happy with a friction unit attached in the currently available holes, as would my wallet.

The tires are ST205/75R 14.
If your looking to the best Reese has to offer, then yes the DC is it. And if your ball height is 18" or above then the DC will work well. On determining level, do not use the A Frame of the camper to determine this. They are welded on and sometimes go down hill or up hill. To determine level camper you need to get a "general" reading. The siding is OK to use, and the main frame behind the header can be sometimes too. The main frame can bend down and up as it goes over the axles. The longer the camper, the more the bend. Inside the camper on the floor over the axles is another option.

If you want to go DC, before mounting it lets talk and we can give you a heads on the the special needs that are not in the Reese instructions. Their instructions are better then the use to be, but still do not cover every combo rig out there.

Also, if your ball height is 19" that can help explain why you may be able to use the standard Reese shank and level out the camper with your Chevy PU. Normally that shank will not drop low enough to level out the camper. That is if you are on a 16.5 or 17.5" ball height. But a 18.5 or 19" it may very well be able to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post
The front chains are an issue at the moment because they drag the ground when attached to my old school, lower clearance TV. I zip tied them to shorten them for now but haven't really looked into a solid answer for that. The high probability of replacement of the Chevy with a newer, beefier model means that I don't want to do anything permanent, yet. I had considered shortening them with a U-bolt but I feel like the zip tie is a fair solution for now as it will be the weak point and break first before anything else should an emergency arise. I dunno.
How I have overcome the dragging chain deal is to cut off the tow hooks that came with the camper and use new tow hooks with a clevis. You can see here


Also for chain and breakaway setup, see this thread for more.
Saftey Chains and break away switch setup (with pics)

Thanks

John
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post
Okay so what's the difference between these two? Seems like a hefty bump in the price for the Reese.

Pro Series 83660 Sway Control Bar by Pro Series
$38.02
The picture on Amazon does not show all of the hardware but the Questions and Reviews sections indicate that it comes with all of the hardware (plate, ball, screws, etc).



vs

Reese Towpower 26660 Standard friction Sway Control
$253.21

Hi Dig,

The 26660 is the older Reese part number. If you can still find one of them, the cost "use" to be a little more then the newer Pro series. The 26660 use to be made in the USA. The Reese Pro series was introduced a number of years back as a lower cost hitch line. I can tell you the new Pro Series 83660 Sway Control Bar is made in China.

So what is the difference other then the country of origin? I bought one of the the Pro series as it is getting harder and harder to find the 26660 any more. There is no way the 26660 are worth $200 plus dollars. I see those prices but forget it, do not buy at that price even if you can get the 26660. Even Reese would not sell them for that price, buy a DC instead. The 26660 may now be discontinued as a stand along item or only offered in a complete hitch kit. I cannot find the 26660 part number on the Reese site any more.

The pro series is not as a refined build as the older 26660. You can tell comparing them side by side. Someone in the industry use to make the 26660 and they seemed to maybe have made the Husky, Curt, and a bunch of others out there too. This design has been copied or private labeled for the last 15 to 20 years or more.

The pro series is not a bad friction bar, if the friction pad is the same material they will help the sway just as good as the 26660. The pro series has cheaper lynch pins. You can see it, these things are the quality straight out of off shore. But they will work.
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:13 PM   #9
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Gents,

Thanks for all of the input and information.

Regarding the sway control, Justin at Leo's RV center is holding a new Reese friction bar at a $45 price point for me. I am going to spring for it now so that I am ready to make the run to Delaware in two weeks rather than chance it on finding the Dual Cams in time. If the DC becomes available at a later date, then I'll likely make the switch.

Your tow chain solution looks pretty good and if there is time, I will try to copy it. More on that later so watch this space.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but if the leaf springs are on top of the axle then I should assume that an axle flip has been performed?
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:27 PM   #10
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Yes, you got it now. Your camper has had the axle flip (actually an under/over conversion, they do not move the axle at all, only the springs from bottom to top.)

The spring pack use to be on the bottom of your axle tube and used the original axle seat you see welded on there now doing nothing.

If they did the conversion correctly, there should be an axle seat added to the top of the axle tube where the springs are attached. It might be there, just cannot see it in your pics at the angle the pic was taken.

This confirms and explains your higher ball height from the stock configuration.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Regarding the sway control, Justin at Leo's RV center is holding a new Reese friction bar at a $45 price point for me. I am going to spring for it now so that I am ready to make the run to Delaware in two weeks rather than chance it on finding the Dual Cams in time. If the DC becomes available at a later date, then I'll likely make the switch.
Sweet! Normally I would suggest making a decision either way for drilling purposes, but since you already have the holes in your tongue for the friction sway plate, there's no harm in giving it a shot!
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:44 AM   #12
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Gents,

Thanks for all of the input and information.

Regarding the sway control, Justin at Leo's RV center is holding a new Reese friction bar at a $45 price point for me. I am going to spring for it now so that I am ready to make the run to Delaware in two weeks rather than chance it on finding the Dual Cams in time. If the DC becomes available at a later date, then I'll likely make the switch.
Dig, see this thread for some help on mounting and adjusting the friction sway bar. It is a simple device but if they drilled the holes wrong on the frame, it's not good. And the instructions on the label of the bar for adjusting the tension have some serious flaws in the wording. It is amazing how many years they keep printing the same instructions and this is across many brands. Again many may come out of the same factory with a different brand label on them.

Good luck and hope this helps

Hayes Electronic Sway Master
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:36 PM   #13
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there is a set of old (which I prefer) dual cams on eBay for $49.99 + shipping
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:40 AM   #14
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I didn't see that picture on the only used unit that was listed. The only one that I could find came with two right arms and no lefts. Do you have a link?
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