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towing- Weight Distributing hitch + Dual Cam Sway control- Review

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Pookster, Sep 14, 2003.

  1. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    Well, after spending some 20+ hours white nuckle driving my k5 towing my 16 ft trailer and my race car... (terrible, barely able to keep it on the road, the softness of the rear shackle flip + stiffer front spring, + bump steer) made towing a real heart attack. I could literally smell my own fear from the white nuckle situations, and reaching for the manual trailer brake to activate it at least a dozen times just to stop the say.


    I finally broke down and bought a full Reese Straight Line kit, with the proper drop hitch arm (solid steel!) Its very well made, and only took me 2-3 hrs to install. Hookup is pretty simple as well.

    Let me tell you this- WOW, what a difference. I had been really considering getting a dedicated tow vehicle because the towing experience was so hairy. With this setup, I had virutally no sway (except when I was silly enough to reach behind my back to grab a sodal, and it shouldnt be considered sway, as it was me who ended up turning the wheel slightly), but as soon as I corrected, it was gone. Never had to touch the brake controller once.

    My buddies behind me in their cars said they saw no sway, no wobble, no nothing, unlike before I had the sway/weight distributing setup.

    The weight distributing portion worked excelllent. All the usual bumping, bouncing, even the left to right tilting (from the soft springs) were gone.

    The truck/trailer combo became so stable, I was able to cruise at 80mph with ease. (not for very long, while I felt it was safe, my wallet didnt for fuel economy purposes).

    I started looking at everyone towing to the race track. Almost nobody had a weight distributing/ anti sway setup.

    I started reading the RV forums, figuring it would be the best folks to know how to tow properly, safely, and for long distances. They were quite knowledgable, and I quickly realized that what they said was true- 90% of all people towing arent towing safely.

    So for anyone who's wondering how they can make their k5 more capable as a tow rig, this is my recommendation. It was worth every penny in my opinion.

    K5 Specs:
    87 k5, 700r4, 4" Lift (echobit flip rears), 35x12.5x15 BFG MT

    Trailer specs: 18" Trailer (16" main section 2" dove tail), tadem axle dual brakes, 1800 LBS. (PJ Trailer)

    Controller: Tekonsha Prodigy

    Weight Distributing/Sway Control: 550 LB toungue, 10,000 gross, Reese Straight Line with Dual Cam sway control.

    I got my dual cam/sway setup from South Eastern in Fla. The guy (Mark I think it was) was more than helpful, and he spent almost 30 minutes on the phone, explaining to me every little detail about how to properly setup everything, and how to do it right. He was even trying to save me a lot of money by recommending a different system that did the same thing. (I chose this one cause I was on a time contraint). I usually try and support the local businsses, but the local trailer shops would spend less than 30 seconds on the phone with me and wouldnt give me a straight price. THey wanted to "Talk in person". Hence, they lost my business.
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I used to tow our 21 foot camper trailer with my K5 on 4" of lift and 35's. 5200 or more lbs and I used the 500 lb weight distribution bars.

    It's a very stable set-up and not once have I felt like i was in a bad situation. When we towed 1500 miles down to Huntington beach CA I averaged 70 mph cruise...no problems at all.

    Rene
     
  3. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    its amazingly frightining to me without it. I think those shackle flip ones make the rear very very soft, and can be safely helped by having one of these.

    I also wanted to say thanks to Grim. You dont know how many times I came close to loosing it, and I just kept remembering your post.
     
  4. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Excellent info! I think your right that the majority of people towing take very little of the hitch geometry into account and how it effects the control. I flat towed two VW bugs last year, the first one flet great and I was very comfortable but when we dropped it off and picked up the next one, it was very squirly. The only difference was its 1" lower mounting point at the bugs front end.
     
  5. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I've always been a big proponent of safe towing, and at times have gotten a lot of flak from others because of my opinion(even here at CK5 a few times).

    Hopefully others will learn from your experience and make sure that they're properly equipped next time they hook up to a trailer.

    Props to you, brother!!!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. MEPR

    MEPR 1/2 ton status

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    i have tried flat towing before (never again) and have been thinking about towing (my buggy thingy and i would have to tow it whith my luv...) this info is greatfor that. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     

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