First thing I want to relay to everyone.
This company has the best customer support I have ever encountered! They care about you having a safe and positive experience with their products.
If you have read my previous post, I did not have much fun (dangerous actually) using my previous Valley WDH. I did not have any type of sway control hardware on that hitch and towing in the wind was scary.
I picked up the hitch and tried to find someone local to install the hitch, I did not find anyone with any real experience installing this brand hitch. (Reese Country)
I decided then I would install the hitch myself as I figured I had as much experience as the real installers I could find and I know I would be more carefull than they would.
First thing after reading the instructions and talking to Progress support, I had a ball with a shank a tad to long. I ended up driving all around town and finally found one at Napa. (Tip, buy a equalizer brand ball when you buy the hitch, less headache)
Next was to install the ball. More fun, the ball requires a special thin walled 1 7/8 socket to torgue the ball to the hitch head. None of the dealers admitted to having one and most of them contracted out to hitch installers who use pipe wrenches, cheater bars, and screw drivers to jam the nut. I am an old airplane mechanic and believe when they say torgue stuff, they mean torgue it, not smoke it until the lock washer compresses.
So now I am looking for a socket, remember not all thin wall sockets are the same. None I could find would work.
The company says they send their $75 dollar socket to intalling dealers free. I got their local displaying dealer on the phone and they never heard of such a thing. Of course this is the dealer who contracts out the hitch installs. I put them in contact with the company so they could get a socket. Of course not in time for me.
I decided I would order the socket myself as I am now down to one week before my vacation. I have a Sat to install the hitch and I leave to go to Ft Wilderness on Sunday. I go through the online order system but it does not allow allow 3 day shipping. No way I would get the socket before my trip. I will say my frustration level is high at this moment. I really want to use the Equalizer hitch but things just seem to be getting in the way.
I called Progress Mfg again and ended up talking to their Director of Sales and Marketing. I relayed to him my experiences with their local "selling dealers", my frustration level trying to use their product, and inability to even purchase a socket from their site in time for my vacation.
He did admit there were pockets around the country they have not been real popular as Reese has a strong foothold and it is hard for some people to change. I told him I really wanted to use his product but may be forced to go to a Reese DC because it was more popular in my area.
It is now the Monday before I leave on my vacation the following Sunday. I still do not have any type of sway control I can use for my trip.
This man was sympathetic with my experiences and did the following for me.
He had the correct ball installed on another hitch head and sent it to me via 3 day UPS. He asked me to send my hitch head back once I got the one he sent. (UPS prepaid return shipping label was in the box) I asked him to throw in a tube of grease and spare kit pins in the box and he did so for no charge.
He said the install was easy enough that he even installed his own. I asked him about installing the sway brackets on a c channel trailer frame. He suggested I install some wood spacers on the inside of the frame to give more contact area for the brackets. (2 x 4 spacers work great)
The hitch head was waiting for me when I got home Thursday evening. Now this is what I call customer service!
I had plans Friday evening so I am stuck installing the hitch Sat.
Hitch install went fine. I ended up borrowing a saw to cut the spacers but I had all the other tools. Spouse took the 4runner out for a while to get food so it took me longer than anticipated to do the install. Tech support did say the bars would be tough to move on a new hitch. This was an understatement. I ended up sitting on the ground and using my legs to swing the bars close to the brackets. It is close to dark so first real tow experience with the new hitch will be the next day on the trip. I had all the wrenches in truck to check bolts while on the trip.
Verdict using a non optimal tow vehicle. (2004 4runner)
I am sitting on a picnic table at Ft Wilderness at this very moment.
Well worth the experience!
Interstate highway, semis passing, wind blowing.
TV and TT were now a safer combination. Trucks passing were hardly noticeable. Did feel a little front end wiggle with a direct xwind at times. This was on the same 3 mile bridge as before. Wind was probably 15 mph or so.
This trailer is heavier than my last one so I probably won't be driving up mountains but Fl travel is fine. I probably will look at buying another TV in a year or two.
Progress Mfg(Equalizer) support is superb, their product actually works, and their product can be found for alot less than MSRP.