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Old 04-24-2013, 11:37 AM   #1
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TrueTrac and equalizer hitch.

I tow a 2005 24' featherlite 7924 surv toyhauler (6800 dry) with a E350 equipped with a cummins turbo and nv4500 manual 5sp trans. The dana 60 is a full floater and I would like posi traction to keep me rolling through mud, wet grass, maybe a bit of hill climbing. We all know how easy a van gets stuck. I considered a ARB selectable airlocker, but wonder if thats overkill and potentially danguerous for my family who might forget to turn it off.

Thoughts on which posi rear?

Second question pertains to the massive tongue weight of the SURV. 1250 lbs! I mean.. whats up with that featherlite?
It didn't sway around at all with a underpowered 91 CK 2500 towing it last summer. But the ride was bad. I don't have anything to compare it to but I wasn't very comfortable when I noticed my front wheel lock up when braking down a wet hill with a red traffic light at bottom.

How's this E350 going to react to my 24' toyhauler weighing maybe 8k? I cant hitch it up because of the rain lately. Which Equal-i-zer should I consider to tame the squat I know will be a problem with 1250 lbs extra weight?

Thanks!
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:27 PM   #2
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First - WOW! You have an E350 with a Cummins? Who did the swap?
I have read about 7.3L to Cummins 5.9L swaps...That is very cool!
Towing a TT with a van is very smart. Not too many do it and I don't know why.

Second, I would look at the cost vs. benefits of the ARB vs. the options...reliable, selectable, strength, etc. The ARB has to be "turned-on" and that will illuminate the dash switch...probably pretty easy to show any family what to look for and they might want/need to use it. I had the factory/Dana limited slip in my Ford truck and it was good and simple (no driver attention needed) and is cheaper to install, but does not have the same locked traction as the ARB. Sorry, I have no experience with other aftermarket lockers for the Dana 60.

Lastly, I had an Equal-i-zer on my last Travel Trailer and LOVED IT! It ended the squat on my old Ford and when I upgraded my truck to a Dodge 3500 DRW, it was still good at preventing sway from uneven roads, winds, and passing trucks. Get the one that the mfgt. recommends for the trailer weight.

I am currently finishing-up the redo of an E250 4X4 Quadravan...now that's traction for ya'. I have a Motorhome, so the Q-Van will be used for towing my boat and exploring...haven't tried to tow it with the RV, yet.

Best of luck
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:39 PM   #3
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I'd go with the True Trac, I have 3 ARBs (F&R in the TJ and rear only in the XJ) and have used a True Trac in the front of both, still have it in the XJ.

The TT is invisible most of the time and if things get slippery a bit of brake pedal increases the bias enough to get you out of most any situation.

ARB additional cost will be higher cost for the unit, pump, lines switches.

The downside is the install cost is almost the same, gears will have to be setup again, new bearings and seals, most mechanics will want to use a new gear set also for ease of setup. The only added install cost when installing an ARB is running the line through the pumpkin and installing the pump/lines. I did the install of the air lines, pump and all external hardware to save a few bucks and it should be easy for you to do the same.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
First - WOW! You have an E350 with a Cummins? Who did the swap?
I have read about 7.3L to Cummins 5.9L swaps...That is very cool!
Towing a TT with a van is very smart. Not too many do it and I don't know why.

Second, I would look at the cost vs. benefits of the ARB vs. the options...reliable, selectable, strength, etc. The ARB has to be "turned-on" and that will illuminate the dash switch...probably pretty easy to show any family what to look for and they might want/need to use it. I had the factory/Dana limited slip in my Ford truck and it was good and simple (no driver attention needed) and is cheaper to install, but does not have the same locked traction as the ARB. Sorry, I have no experience with other aftermarket lockers for the Dana 60.

Lastly, I had an Equal-i-zer on my last Travel Trailer and LOVED IT! It ended the squat on my old Ford and when I upgraded my truck to a Dodge 3500 DRW, it was still good at preventing sway from uneven roads, winds, and passing trucks. Get the one that the mfgt. recommends for the trailer weight.

I am currently finishing-up the redo of an E250 4X4 Quadravan...now that's traction for ya'. I have a Motorhome, so the Q-Van will be used for towing my boat and exploring...haven't tried to tow it with the RV, yet.

Best of luck
Thanks.. Not sure who exactly who did the swap, but the owner (who hired someone to do it) really maintained it well. Lots of newer things, turbo injectors etc etc. Sure its a 1995.. But it doesn't run like one even though we estimate over half a million miles on the block. 250k on body. Steering is loose though. Id might just convert mine to 4x4 like yours but the rear axle is my first project.

After some asking around, people have suggested a Dana 70 or D80 replacement. Some D70 HD units came with 35 spline and limited slip. And furthermore, some D70's installed in cutaway's with rear fuel tank were 5.5" wider correcting the narrow stance of the D60 in the E350.

Sounds cheaper than boring for bigger axles, and would be more reliable towing.

I think 99+ rear tank cutaways might be rare though. Especially with the HD 35 spline.

I don't have enough experience to know if a true-trac would be enough. I do know if my rear end fails to have posi going up and down the hills I plan on driving in Colorado, it might prove catastrophic.

Equal-i-zeris hitch is on my must buy list.. anyone have one for sale? Tongue weight is 1250 lbs.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:49 PM   #5
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Have you weighed the tongue? If it is that much, redistribution of stuff to get it lower. Did you weight it with or without toys in the hauler part? Mine is heavier on the tongue without toys in the back.

Also, for traction off road, don't forget to undo the WD hitch. Hooked up, it lightens the rear axle weight, and adds to both the front and trailer wheels. Plus, you can break the WD hitch on uneven ground, ask me how I know? :-( The WD hitch isn't needed so much at slow off road speeds anyway, unless the van squats excessively, then I'd lessen the adjustment instead of removing it altogether.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:18 AM   #6
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Have you weighed the tongue? If it is that much, redistribution of stuff to get it lower. Did you weight it with or without toys in the hauler part? Mine is heavier on the tongue without toys in the back.
No I have not weighed it and am going from what featherlite says. They moved the axles forward, and then added a third to reduce the tongue weight on the newer TH's.

6800 dry with 1250 on the tongue they say. I think they did that for idiots who might try to load or unload unhooked.

I had my tool box and motorcycle in back but it still rode like crap and thank god the trailer brakes worked well because my front wheels were almost off the ground when I pulled it with a 3/4 ton chevy.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:21 PM   #7
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Most toy haulers are designed so there is the proper weight distribution between hitch and trailer axles only when the trailer is loaded with toys. When empty, you'll have a higher percentage of hitch weight.

Your Featherlite has 18.4% tongue weight when empty. I'll bet it's closer to 12.5% when loaded.

GVWR is 12,000 pounds, so loaded to 11,000 pounds with 12.5% tongue weight would be 1,375 tongue weight. Loaded for bear would be 1,500 tongue weight.

So when buying you WD hitch, insist on spring bars rated for a minimum of 1,500 pounds tongue weight. Equal-I-Zer doesn't make a WD hitch that strong. The heaviest they have is 1,400 tongue weight, which is not enough for your trailer when wet and loaded with toys.

Here's the one I would buy for your rig: Reese Strait-Line with dual cam sway control rated up to 1,500 pounds tongue weight. Here's a bargain if you order immediately before the one remaining sells to someone else:
Reese 66130 Strait-Line Trunnion Bar Hitch - 1500 lbs : Amazon.com

Otherwise they cost a bit more:

Strait-Line Weight Distribution w Sway Control - Trunnion Bar - 1,500 lbs TW RP66130

If you want a little wiggle room, then Reese makes that hitch rated for 1,700 pounds tongue weight. There's nothing wrong with having a WD hitch rated for more than your actual tongue weight. You just don't tighten the chains as tight as they can be tightened.

Using the 2009 E-350 commercial van with diesel engine to compare, they had 9,500 GVWR and 3,080 payload capacity. So your van shouldn't be overloaded with 1,500 pounds hitch weight if you don't haul more than 1,500 pounds of people and stuff in the van.

Caveat: If your van has a Ford receiver hitch, then it's probably rated for 1,250 max hitch weight with a WD hitch. Not good enough for your toy hauler when wet and loaded with toys. Replace your receiver with one rated for at least 1,500 pounds tongue weight (TW) WD. Here's one for a 2005 E-Van:
Trailer Hitch for 2005 Ford Van - Draw-Tite 41945
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:47 PM   #8
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That is a great price.. Thanks. But I'm worried about ground clearance and the featherlite is a Vnose which Iv seen equalizers one. But not sure how far back on the A frame the brackets are mounted with the Reese.

The Trunnion Bar w/Sway Control has more ground clearance. Again, not sure on the bracket location though.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:30 PM   #9
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I do have the needed area on the A frame available for any brackets. So..

At first I was concerned with ground clearance because I love to boon-dock. But then realized I probably shouldn't be because I need to remove the WDH when I go off road? Washed out dirt roads, but who knows whats around the next bend when your in remote areas.

Which WDH removes and installs the quickest Smokey?
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Which WDH removes and installs the quickest Smokey?
If you mean connecting the trailer before towing and disconnecting the trailer after towing, all of them are quick. Connect the coupler to the ball, connect the safety chains, install and lift the spring bars, secure the lift bracket, raise the tongue jack, and you're done. A few seconds longer than connecting a weight-carrying hitch.

It's installing the hitch components on the trailer tongue, and adjusting the angle of the ball mount, that requires time. But that's a one-time job, as long as you use the same trailer and tow vehicle..

The Strait-Line Dual Cam requires you to drill some holes in the frame of the tongue for the dual cam sway control brackets, and the time required depends on the quality of your drill bits and the power of your drill motor, and the strength of the gorilla behind the drill motor. It took me less than an hour each to install two different ones, then another half-hour each to get it adjusted. With good sharp drill bits and a good half-inch drill motor, you can probably do it in half the time it required for an old man to getter done with worn bits and a 3/8th drill motor.

Quote:
... But I'm worried about ground clearance ...
Then be sure you get a trunnion bar hitch and not a round-bar. The round spring bars stick down towards the ground more than the trunnion bars.

If you disconnect the spring bars to go off-road, the rear end of the truck will sag and give you less ground clearance for the hitch head (ball mount).
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