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Editor Note: This article is intended for those that have some experience towing a travel trailer with a weight distributing equalizing hitch. If you are new to the RV lifestyle and need a tutorial as to what one is and why you might need one, I encourage you to click here to familiarize yourself.

If you have been to the Seattle or Puyallup RV Shows, you have seen the R6 equalizing hitch at the Ask the Technician Exhibit. The Eaz Lift Recurve R6 weight distribution hitch by Camco features the “L” style bar that Eaz Lift has been known for.

As I grew up in the RV industry, I have been hitching up travel trailers (customers and my own) for over forty years. Back then you basically had two choices, “L” style bars from Eaz-Lift or trunnion style bars from Reese. Observing the pros and cons of each during my early years I settled on a trunnion bar when I obtained my first travel trailer for personal use as it provided better ground clearance, fewer exposed areas that required grease and less chance of the bar dropping out of the head.

In addition, I have never been a big fan of sway controls as too many times they are put on as a band aid to cover up an underlying sway problem, like improper hitch weight, alignment problems etc.  Plus, you have to remember to disconnect a conventional friction sway control before back up to avoid potential damage.

I too had seen the R6 at the shows and while intrigued by the inverted “L” bar, I never stopped to investigate as I was set on the trunnion style bar.

When I was first asked to review / road test the R6, I was somewhat hesitant due to my preference for trunnion style bars. However, after studying up and understanding the design, I thought I would give it a try.

Here is what the R6 advertises it will do - It combines weight distribution with adaptive sway control that controls your sway during normal driving, but when you turn, the sway control will automatically disengage, making maneuvering smoother and easier. The sway control portion can be left safely engaged while backing into a tight space, but easily disengaged with the turn of a bolt when needed to assist hooking up.

Following are my experiences after using the hitch on several extended trips:

First of all, if you have been using an equalizing hitch with chains on the end of the bars that connect to the snap up brackets on the trailer frame, forget everything you normally do in the hook up process as it is likely to end in frustration. There is a learning curve to hooking and unhooking the R6 when the tow vehicle is off camber and / or in a tight bend with  the trailer, but once you have that figured out, attaching the bars to the trailer is a piece of cake.

It delivers sway control as advertised! Using my old equalizing hitch (same truck and travel trailer) I could watch the rear end of my travel trailer dancing back and forth a couple inches in my mirrors as we traveled down the freeway. Now when I look in my mirrors the trailer is steady and in-line with my truck. I am no longer surprised and sucked into the draft of a passing semi-truck nor am I fighting side winds as much. At the end of a long day of towing, I am less fatigued. As I do a lot of boondocking and off road travel, one big advantage of the R6 for me is that inverted bars do not hang down below the trailer frame like other equalizing bars or sway systems that attach to the end of the bar. This results in better ground clearance and eliminates potential damage to the hitch system.

Other positive features:

  • Since the inverted bars drop into the top of the hitch head, there is no chance for them to drop out in transit like traditional “L” bars.



    Inverted Bar

  • There is no need to grease the bars as they move virtually as one with the trailer when turning, most of the rotation occurs in the hitch head.

  • The thumbscrew makes it easier to set the proper angle of hitch head. No adding and subtracting washers like other systems.



    Hitch Head

  • The pins that keep the bars in place cannot vibrate out of place on a rough road and are tethered to prevent loss when unhooked.

  • In most circumstances, you won’t need to use the snap up bar when tensioning the spring bars.

Tips and tricks that I learned:

  • As mentioned above there is a learning curve to hooking up / unhooking when the tow vehicle is off camber to the travel trailer. While the bar on the low side of the tow vehicle will need to be lifted onto the bracket that retains it, the bar on the high side is likely to be above the retaining bracket contacting and putting pressure on the underside of the LP tank rack possibly causing damage to the rack. To avoid this, use the tongue jack to lift the trailer high enough to place the low side bar on the bracket (may need a little assistance from via the snap up bar) first, then lower the tongue jack until the bar on the high side can be safely swung into place and onto the bracket. Just reverse the procedure when unhooking.  This won’t be a problem for most, but for someone like me that regularly parks in unlevel places (especially at my home), it could have been a deal breaker if I didn’t change my hitching and unhitching methods I have used for decades on my old equalizing hitch.

  • If you unhitch with the trailer when not in-line with the tow vehicle it will be much easier to get the bars engaged with the brackets on the trailer if you disengage the sway control when hooking back up. Once again, this won’t be a problem for most if you stay mostly in RV parks or campgrounds where the spaces are long and straight.

  • Since you don’t have the flexibility of chains like traditional equalizing bars, be certain the brackets that hold the ends of the spring bars are set the correct distance to accommodate receiving the bars. Initially, one of my brackets was off by a 1/8 inch or so which made hitching up difficult. This was easily resolved by towing my trailer straight ahead and then adjusting the bracket to align with the bolt on the end of the bar.

If you are looking for your first equalizing hitch or looking to upgrade what you already own, I highly recommend the Eaz Lift Recurve R6 weight distribution hitch by Camco. Ask for a hands-on demonstration at the upcoming Seattle RV Show or Puyallup RV Show.

You can view a short video on the R6 and its sister product the R3 by clicking here.

Comments   

0 #2 MHRV - Admin 2017-09-30 17:40
Quoting Jerry Robison:
The link for the video on the R6 and R3 is not valid. YouTube: "This video is not available."

Thank you! We have corrected the link.
Quote
0 #1 Jerry Robison 2017-09-30 16:42
The link for the video on the R6 and R3 is not valid. YouTube: "This video is not available."
Quote

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