What is a Reese Strait-Line Hitch and How Does it Work?
The Reese Strait-Line Hitch is comprised of dual cam sway control and high-performance weight distributions. The hitch takes the tongue weight of the trailer and distributes it more evenly between the truck and the trailer.
In addition, two trunnion (stabilizer) arms come from the hitch at forty-five-degree angles and sit below the tongue. These trunnion bars work in junction with the cams that respond as the truck makes a turn and act as an active sway control. The stabilizer bars fight against the effects of trailer sway so that the more a trailer moves contrary, the more the cams and the trunnion bars work to correct it and keep the tongue centered.
The active sway control system is one of the best things on the Resse hitch. It keeps the trailer centered behind the truck, especially during extreme maneuvers. (Under a standard ball hitch, the trailer wants to move in a direction counter to the direction of the truck. The Reese system helps counter this effect).
The specially designed ball can be moved up or down depending on the height of the trailer. The ball is secured to the bracket by a bolt, lock washer, and nut system. The height of the ball should be about an inch above the height of the coupler on the trailer.
Do the Reese Strait-Line Hitches Work?
The hitches have consistent 5-star reviews and are rated 4.4 out of 5 on Amazon Prime’s website. Most reviewers commented on the ride smoothness and dual cams' effectiveness in keeping the trailer centered. There were some concerns about keeping the weight of the tongue consistent with the hitch so that no adverse effects. One reviewer carried too many safety chains on his hookup and eliminated one, making the ride better.
Many experts believe the dual cam sway or a 4-point sway system is the best type of anti-sway hitch. Etrailer.com has rated the Reese Strait-Line as offering the best sway control of any of the options out there.
- Considered one of the best weight distribution hitches on the market
- Dual Cam technology is impressive
- Once set up, maintenance is easy.
- Adjustable ball heights
- Not made in the US but in Mexico.
- A bit n the Expensive side
- Complaints about Instructions not being clear
For more information about Reese Hitches, please refer to the manufacturer’s website.
For Pricing information, see the towuniverse.com website for TODAY’S PRICE.
What is the Cost of a Reese Strait-Line hitch?
The cost of Reese Strait-Line hitch is more expensive than a standard tow hitch. You should pay between $700 and $1200 for the equipment, depending on if you have installed a receiver hitch on your truck. If not, you might be paying more.
In addition, if you have a receiver hitch installed, hooking up your trailer is a relatively straightforward process. If you don’t, you will need the hitch to be installed on the frame of your truck, which might require taking your truck to a local shop to complete the installation. This expense will add money to the cost of the hitch. Generally, it costs between $300 - $850 for a Class 3 or 4 hitch, and a Gooseneck trailer installation may be as much as $1200.
Do I Need Special Equipment to Install a Reese Strait-Line Hitch
You do not need special equipment to install the ball mount onto the hitch. You will need a good torque wrench to tighten the components to the torque rating that the manufacturer recommends; You should plan on half an hour to a couple of hours for the installation process.
Where are Reese Strait-Line Hitches Made?
While Reese Hitches are designed inside the US, they are not made here. Reese is a subsidiary of Horizon Global, which makes the Draw-Tite brand. The manufacturing plant for these hitches is located in Mexico.
The company was founded in 1952 but is currently a member of Horizon, which operates nine other brands in the towing business. Many of the Reese brand products are rebranded under the Draw-Tite brand.
Does a Truck with Airbag Suspension Need A Weight Distribution Hitch?
Many current model trucks are being made with airbag suspension systems. While an airbag system can help provide a smoother ride, it does nothing to distribute the weight from the rear axles. Anytime a load is 50% or more of the tow vehicle's weight, a weight distribution hitch is generally considered safer for a more effective tow.
When Should I Consider a Weight Distribution Hitch?
The general rule of thumb is that a weight distribution hitch should be considered whenever the load and trailer weight exceeds 50% or more of the tow-vehicles weight. (So, if you are driving an F150 weight 5000 lbs, use a distribution hitch with a trailer load above 2500 lbs).
How Do I Know Which Hitch to Buy?
There are several factors to consider when purchasing a weight distribution hitch like a Reese Strait-Line.
Consider What You Will Be Towing
There are almost as many different types of trailers as there are people in the universe. If you are just going to tow a small lawn tractor, that is an entirely different matter than towing a 15,000 lb fifth-wheel. While a weight distribution hitch might be necessary for heavy loads, it is unnecessary if you tow something light.
You must ensure that your towing vehicle can handle the weight, so you don’t rip the rear bumper off your truck or, even worse, damage the frame. Trying to tow too much weight can also strain the engine and transmission. So, do yourself a favor and do the math so that the consultants at your local RV store or from Reese Products can help.
A weight distribution hitch like the one Reese makes is a good idea if you are planning on towing a load that is 50% or more of the tow vehicle’s weight.
If you tow a reasonably large trailer, remember the 60/40 rule, where 60% of the weight is positioned over or in front of the axle. (be sure that this does not overload the appropriate tongue weight).
If you tow a gooseneck or fifth wheel, remember the 80/20 rule, which states that you should not load more than 80% of your max trailer’s weight capacity.
Most weight distribution hitches are more expensive to purchase. While most owners agree that the added expense is worth the money, only you, as the owner, can determine if you want to pay the additional amount.
Does Reese Offer Gooseneck Hitches?
The answer is yes, but they work differently than the Reese Strait-Line Hitch system. The gooseneck hitches have an airbag built into the coupler unit that replaces the existing kingpin. The airbag can be adjusted with additional air if needed to handle heavier loads.
Can I Purchase Reese Strait-Line Hitches Anywhere Other Than their Website?
Yes, there are lots of authorized dealers who can coordinate your purchase for the Reese hitch. Big box stores like Amazon, Wal-Mart, Tractor Supply, and others have the hitch in stock, or they can secure it for you for minimal markup. Simply call the store and speak with someone who can check the computer for inventory.
Be sure to read the online reviews or inquire in person about the return policies should something happen.
Does Reese offer a Warranty?
Yes, Reese hitches come with a limited one-year warranty on parts and labor.
About THE AUTHOR
My name is Matt and I've been around cars all my life! I have owned and worked on many different classic vehicles, so I started this site to share my experiences. If you're new to classic cars, then this website is for you.Read More About Matt Lane