StrapTek Weight Distribution Tensioner - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-01-2018, 06:13 PM   #1
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StrapTek Weight Distribution Tensioner

Has anyone with a traditional Pro Series type weight distribution hitch used these Lippert StrapTek WDH tensioners? It seems like a good idea in theory. The fact that you don't have to raise and lower your jack to put on and take off your bars would be a plus. Better sway control would also be a plus.I have never seen them work in person and there is not a ton of reviews on them. Most of the limited number of reviews seem to be positive with the exception of an occasional quality control gripe.



https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JJZ3T7S...TJWMK0LG&psc=0
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:27 PM   #2
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Looks like you crank the ratchet instead of cranking the jack. Not sure how that helps me.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:37 PM   #3
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Manufacturer/Distributor's page: Straptek® Ratchet and Winch System

The description (both directly from Lippert and on the Amazon page) includes this:
Quote:
Straptek's low-profile design reduces the pendulum length by about half, providing increased sway control.
One of the several side-effects of the usual two-bars-on-chains WD design is that when you turn, the chains are pulled off of vertical, pulling up on the spring bars. That spring-loads the tug-to-trailer coupling towards straight; that does not inherently reduce sway, but it increases the natural frequency of sway oscillation, which probably helps. This hardware hangs over the side of the frame, so that the free length of strap (replacing chain) is shorter, so this effect is accentuated.

This is completely unrelated to the friction-based methods of sway control.
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Old 02-02-2018, 08:38 AM   #4
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I haven’t used or heard of this item, Matt, but the standard Pro Series is pretty easy too. Before I added the power jack, it took only 12 cranks on the manual jack to be able to palm each chain into the set position. With the power jack, I raise the tongue to the count of ten. I’m with Bags. I don’t find it necessary with or without the power jack.
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:24 AM   #5
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The basis of a WD hitch system is to properly distribute / tune the tongue mass of the trailer to the TV. When properly set the chain length setting tunes the tension bars to their proper position. With a ratchet system if someone lacks of understanding the tension principles and how to check the level of the TV you risk over tension of the system and improper weight distribution. I've seen pictures where someone who didn't understand WD hitches decide to tighten them too high and then system components fail. As mentioned before I don't see a real advantage using the ratchet -vs- the trailer jack. I would be careful verifying the benefit claims of the manufacturer on this system.
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Oldman View Post
The basis of a WD hitch system is to properly distribute / tune the tongue mass of the trailer to the TV. When properly set the chain length setting tunes the tension bars to their proper position. With a ratchet system if someone lacks of understanding the tension principles and how to check the level of the TV you risk over tension of the system and improper weight distribution.
I agree completely. I don't have a problem at all setting my Pro Series WD hitch.
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 1Oldman View Post
When properly set the chain length setting tunes the tension bars to their proper position. With a ratchet system if someone lacks of understanding the tension principles and how to check the level of the TV you risk over tension of the system and improper weight distribution.
That's the same as the chains of a typical two-bar WD with snap-up brackets. If someone unfamiliar with the setup of that specific trailer and tow vehicle hooks the chain onto the bracket at the wrong link, they will have the wrong preload on the spring bar.

The same thing applies to the nuts of the Andersen No-Sway: if they are tightened to the wrong position, the load distribution will not be as intended when set up.

There are other WD systems with a winch arrangement for the linkage from trailer frame to spring bar; for instance, the Blue Ox SwayPro uses "rotating latches" (which could probably be used with other brands of two-spring-bars-and-chains WD systems as well), and the Hensley Arrow uses telescoping spring bar jacks (as does the ProPride copy). From Australia, there's the Trojan Load Leveller HD, which has telescoping jacks, a sliding bar design (like Equal-i-zer, Fastway E2, etc), and multi-leaf spring bars... it looks better thought-out than any of the stuff I've seen from North America.

It would certainly make sense to mark the strap or note the final length in some way, to ensure repeatable application with this system. It's a manageable issue.
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:40 PM   #8
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Now I'm sitting here trying to remember is it hook on third link with two links hanging, or is it hook on four with three hanging? Did I write it down in my log?
Luckily, I have a picture. Always pays to take pictures.
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File Type: jpg With WDH2.jpg (118.1 KB, 29 views)
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Old 02-02-2018, 02:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Now I'm sitting here trying to remember is it hook on third link with two links hanging, or is it hook on four with three hanging? Did I write it down in my log?
Luckily, I have a picture. Always pays to take pictures.
Dennis at Escape put a zip-tie around the link to put over the hook on our trailer so it is easy as pie to put it on the correct link.
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