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Old 06-20-2003, 09:28 PM   #1
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Help with hitch height

Can someone give me info on how high my hitch is for my NEW but not aqauired yet, 1970 Ambassador? I am buying a truck to pull it but do not know how high the hitch should be. Is there a website to explain this to me? Any help is appreciated!
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Old 06-20-2003, 10:23 PM   #2
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My '71 Safari ball height is 19".

Hope that helps
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Old 06-21-2003, 12:16 AM   #3
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albert

try looking here weights pdf

you will need acrobat to view it, it looks like your trailer is in the mid 4k range with a 19" ball height when built.

you can count on about an inch of sag in your tow vehicle when you hook it up.

so 20 inches may be a good place to start, however, there can be some varibles involved. being able to adjust it a couple of inches either way is a good thing.

john

ps, check your private messages.
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Old 06-21-2003, 12:17 AM   #4
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Help with hitch height

Greetings Albert!

Welcome to the Forum and the world of Vintage Airstreaming. You might find the following two links helpful in setting up the hitch for your recently acquired Airstream:

Airstream Trailers Weights and Measures

Reese Hitch Trunion Style Weight Distribution Setup Instructions

The first link is to the Airstream corporate site and contains weights (most are dry weights that do not include any optional equipment, fluids, or LPG). The second link is to the Reese Products, Inc. web site, and is a four page pdf document describing the setup process for the hitch head and weight distribution system.

Between these two sites, most questions regarding setting up your hitch head should be clarified. There are also other pdf documents at the Reese site to assist in installing either a Reese Dual Cam Sway Control System or Friction Sway Control as well.

Good luck with your new to your trailer and tow vehicle!

Kevin
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Old 06-21-2003, 07:57 AM   #5
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fyi

albert,

here is a little eye candy for you....

john
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Old 06-21-2003, 02:47 PM   #6
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John, is that you?

Is this the John who is friends with Tristan?
Boy could I use some help these days. I dont know if these weights are with the truck attached or not. Should I get an adjustable hitch? How do I measure the height if I havent even picked up the truck or triler?

HELP!
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Old 06-21-2003, 03:25 PM   #7
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Help with hitch height

Greetings Albert!

With a trailer the size and weight of an Ambassador, you will definitely want an adjustable weight distributing hitch head. I would also suggest considering the Reese Dual Cam system as well - - it is an excellent system (IMHO) that I have used on my Overlander for the past eight years. There are several reasons that you want to get the hitch height correct:

1.) Towing stability is directly related to proper hitch setup including height as well as proper loading of possessions in the coach.

2.) A level attitude for the trailer means that its weight will be evenly distributed over its axles avoiding the potential of overloading one by having the trailer tongue too high or too low.

3.) A level attitude for the trailer also helps to reduce the lieklihood of dragging the rear on minor dips - - In a worse case scenario on a Vintage Coach, it is not uncommon to damage a dump valve when the rear drags - - I know this from expensive experience.

RE: Weights and Measures

When the dry weight is given, this is for the trailer. It does not include any optional equipment, fluids such as water or propane, or an personal posessions that might be packed in the coach. It is quite plausible to add quite considerably to the dry weight just by adding in options found on the coach as well as water in the water heater and fresh water tank, and two full propane tanks. My '64 Overlander has a dry weight of approximately 4,470 pounds and approaches 6,000 pounds when it is fully loaded for an extended trip.

When the weight is given as Goss Vehicle Weight Rating, this is the maximum weight of the trailer, installed options, fluids carried on board, and any personal possessions loaded in the trailer can weigh before exceeding the manufacturing tolerances.

Kevin
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Old 06-21-2003, 03:29 PM   #8
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Hitch height

Not to worry!

Just figure 19" to 20" the top of the ball with the trailer unhitched and you can't go far wrong. I don't know of any hitch/drawbar combination suitable for towing an Airstream that isn't adjustable over a fairly wide range in about 1 1/4" intervals. That is plenty close enough.

Next time you see a tag-along trailer in a parking lot or gas station, look at his hitch and you will see the line of adjustment holes in the drawbar.

Weights are for the trailer alone.
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Old 06-21-2003, 03:32 PM   #9
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Very helpful

thanks so much. this is great advise. i wan to take it easy and do the right thing from the get go. your advise is much appreciated.
Im not sure if I will go with the reese dual cam yet but after my long trip home Im sure I will be better equipped to make that decision.

What do you know about electric brake controls? The previous owner has and LOVES his Draw tite LED. Any advise?
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Old 06-21-2003, 03:56 PM   #10
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heres what I KNOW...

The top of the reciever on my truck( that I havent seen yet) is 19 3/4", and I have learned that the trailer should sit @ 19" when it is hooked up, right?
So does that mean that I will need a drop reciever of about 4" since the ball is about 3" tall/
Not a math major here!

Thanks
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Old 06-21-2003, 04:48 PM   #11
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Re: John, is that you?

Quote:
Originally posted by albert
Is this the John who is friends with Tristan?
Boy could I use some help these days. I dont know if these weights are with the truck attached or not. Should I get an adjustable hitch? How do I measure the height if I havent even picked up the truck or triler?

HELP!
albert,

why yes, how are you doing?

when are you planning to come pick up your rig? have tristan give me a ring and i'll be glad to run up to the farm and give you a hand getting your trailer set up for your trip home.

your math sounds about right, 4" of drop should get you into the ball park.

there is a very good dealer here in madison, called madison spring inc. they will have everything you will need to get on the road. reciever, ball, trunnion, bars... they are very well stocked. and open on saturdays.

what kind of truck are you getting?

john

ps, here is another angle of your new rig....
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Old 06-21-2003, 08:30 PM   #12
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Thanks for the offer John

Wow, thanks for offering to help. being a newbie, I think I could use the help we will be coming back through to pick up the trailer from a wedding trip to Indiana. We will pick it up on Sunday July 13th. I cant confirm the time yet. I would love to have yor help hooking it up and learning the ropes.
i bought a ford F250, 4x4 diesel to pull it. the dealer in Winona that I am buying it from said the reciever is at 19.75 inches. And all the research I have found from the web says that my trailer should sit at 19". So the way i am figuring it is that I should get a 4" drop for the hitch, but what I dont know is the drop that will happen when it is hooked up. Im sure it will be close though.

Thank so much for those photos, i just realized that those are of MY trailer, I thought they were of yours!
Lets stay in touch, I appreciate your help.
Albert
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Old 06-22-2003, 10:33 AM   #13
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I have a 1972 Albert,


What mine is spec. out at is 19.5" I have it set closer to 18". The trailer is level. As has been pointed out this is key.

Between axles not sitting up as they did from the factory 30+ years ago and the tires are different from the bias to radial it sits lower. It tows great. I have 1200 lbs distribution bars. and have them on the third link. truck after set up is down maybe 1/2". I have a friction sway control arm.
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