ProPride 3P Hitch Review

Background

We purchased our Palomino SolAire 317BHSK and a Ford F-150 last year. When talking with the camper dealership they told me with complete confidence that the Equal-i-zer 4 point hitch would be the perfect solution for my combo of truck and camper. I found out very quickly in the six trips that we were able to take before putting the camper in storage for the winter that the Equal-i-zer hitch was not adequate for pulling a 35′ travel trailer in cross winds.

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Justification

After sharing my experiences on a couple of the forums that I frequent of being shoved around¬†and fish tailing on the road by random wind gusts, I was quickly directed to the ProPride 3P product. First, I was a bit hesitant to spend the money on this hitch but I could not find a single review that was negative or suggested that this product would not do what it says. There were many ProPride reviews suggesting that existing users would not pull without one. Second, the resale market on these hitches was very encouraging. I found a ‘deal’ on Craigslist for one that was for sale and it was gone before I was able to reach the seller. Third, when I spoke with Sean from ProPride. Sean was very patient and answered all of my questions and was not pushy at all. Finally, the safety is very important for my family and others that we are sharing the road with.

We had a trip planned for Yellowstone in July and I knew that I could not pull for that long of a trip with our existing hitch. I called Sean and placed my order and I had the hitch in about a week. It was shipped in multiple boxes and to my wife’s frustration, it was shipped while I was out of town and she had the pleasure of moving the heavy boxes into the garage ūüôā

Installation

I prepared for the installation by reviewing the installation manual a few times. Once I started the install, it went very well. The longest task that I had to tackle was getting the tank tray to set on the frame. I had to cut around the U bolts to get this to work.

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The total time from beginning to end was only about 3 hours with the help of a friend. I would say that we were taking our time and double checking things many times. Since installing the hitch I have called Sean a couple of times with some questions. He is always kind and quick to respond.

Towing Experience

We made many trips this summer including the Yellowstone trip which was about 2,300 miles of towing for just that trip. I now tow with complete confidence, there is no more white knuckle driving that I was experiencing with the previous hitch which made for a much more relaxing time.

I will share that when I first pulled with the hitch I made my test pull on a pretty windy day and was getting pushed by the wind. To be clear and help manage expectations, this hitch will not put you on rails on the road. It will however prevent any affects to your steering on the road. The result is that the camper and truck are pushed in parallel when wind strikes the side of your truck and camper. The point is that the ProPride hitch does not allow the tail to wag the dog which results in a much safer ride.

As an added bonus, the hitching and unhitching process is much more smooth than dealing with greasy weight distribution bars that you have to wrench up. Also, the ProPride hitch reverses without issues where previously I had to drop the weight distribution bars on the Equal-i-zer hitch.

Conclusion
I could not be happier with the decision to purchase the ProPride hitch. The installation and support from Sean was great and the towing experience is so much better! My friend that helped me install my hitch also purchased bought one and has been equally as happy with his purchase.

Feel free to ask questions, I am happy to answer them.

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Air Lift 5000 Ultimate & Load Controller Review

Problem

Our F-150 has squatted in the rear end since we started pulling our travel trailer. Even when using either the Equalizer 4 Point or ProPride 3P weight distribution hitches I wanted the front end to sit a little lower. I never felt that the front end was overly light but I knew that the truck could sit more evenly.

Prior to install with trailer picture

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Solution

To solve this issue I decided to first purchase the Air Lift 5000 Ultimate (88200) and try it out. Air Lift has a guarantee with their products so I really had nothing to lose. I decided on the 5000 Ultimate version over the other two available models for my truck. The smaller model I thought was not strong enough for what I wanted and the regular 5000 model did not have a jounce bumper which I feel is needed on the F-150 because the install calls for removing the factory bumper.

Air Bag Installation

I started the installation of the airbags by jacking up the truck and removing the tires. After having a problem removing one of the tires and having some missing parts (grr) I decided to try without removing the tires from under the truck. I put the air valves to fill the bags though the lower license plate holes which has a clean look. I was able to perform a 24 hour pressure test without any issues. The install was easily done from underneath the truck and took me about three hours.

Passenger and driver side installs

Valves in license plate

Decision on the compressor

The install of the air bags had two separate air valves which can create an uneven fill between the two sides. Also, I may not always be in a place with a air compressor available. I could have gotten by with carrying a remote tank with us when pulling but the on board compressor is very convenient.

I selected the Air Lift Load Controller Single Heavy Duty Compressor (25854). I felt that this model had a reasonable cost and had the heavy duty compressor which could be exposed to the elements versus the standard duty compressor which I understood should be installed inside the cab.

Compressor Installation

After reviewing options for locating the gauge, connecting power, and routing the wires and air tubes I started the installation which took about 4 hours. I took my time and double and triple checked many points of the installation. I located the compressor under the truck bed in the center. The pressure gauge and compressor controller is located on the left side of the driver side dash.

Gauge location

Compressor location

Post install picture with trailer

For comparison – Prior to install picture with trailer

Conclusion

The air bags¬†@ 0 PSI with no trailer weight versus 60 PSI with the trailer weight results in no height change¬†in the rear and only a 1/4″ raise on the front with trailer weight. Prior to having the air bags installed, I was down multiple inches in the rear and 1″ high on the front.

I am very happy with the products that Air Lift offers. I was a bit frustrated with the missing parts but Air Lift quickly sent them out after a phone call. The truck is much more level and I no longer feel that I am leaning back in a recliner when pulling. I have some more pulling to do to be sure but my first experience with wind while pulling with the bags has felt like I am not pushed as much with wind or tractor trailers passing. I would recommend these products to anyone.