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Old 10-24-2009, 08:35 AM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Montverde , Florida
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 11
Last Minute safety questions....First trip.

What we have...

78' Sovereign, 31ft.
Chevy 1500HD, 6.0 liter
Reese Trunnion WD Hitch
Prodigy Brake Controller

1. Drove around through hilly area for 30 minutes to get a handle on how it was going to handle at the speeds we will be driving to our destination (45 minutes away). Transmission ran hotter than w/o towing trailer. Was reaching 160* which is about 30* higher than normal. Is this OK or do I need to replace the tiny Factory transmission cooler? At what temp do I need to stop and let it cool?

2. Did a final test on brakes and to a novice, seems to brake evenly between truck and trailer. Now, I stopped as quickly as I thought it would be safe to test, however, I need opinions on emergency stopping. Say I am going 45 and I see a kid about to run into the road. While stepping on the brake, do I want to use the manual lever to make sure the trailer brakes work harder than the truck in order to prevent a jack knife situation?

3. Sway control...Do I need to use it in around town driving and or county roads with 50mph that max that we will be driving?

Lights...good
Bearings...good
Brakes....good
Tires....good

Anything I am forgetting about?


Thanks again!
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:48 AM   #2
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 6,726
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Quote:
Originally Posted by la4photo View Post
What we have...

78' Sovereign, 31ft.
Chevy 1500HD, 6.0 liter
Reese Trunnion WD Hitch
Prodigy Brake Controller

1. Drove around through hilly area for 30 minutes to get a handle on how it was going to handle at the speeds we will be driving to our destination (45 minutes away). Transmission ran hotter than w/o towing trailer. Was reaching 160* which is about 30* higher than normal. Is this OK or do I need to replace the tiny Factory transmission cooler? At what temp do I need to stop and let it cool?

2. Did a final test on brakes and to a novice, seems to brake evenly between truck and trailer. Now, I stopped as quickly as I thought it would be safe to test, however, I need opinions on emergency stopping. Say I am going 45 and I see a kid about to run into the road. While stepping on the brake, do I want to use the manual lever to make sure the trailer brakes work harder than the truck in order to prevent a jack knife situation?

3. Sway control...Do I need to use it in around town driving and or county roads with 50mph that max that we will be driving?

Lights...good
Bearings...good
Brakes....good
Tires....good

Anything I am forgetting about?


Thanks again!
For short hauls you can get away with the miniscule tranny cooler, but plan to upgrade soon.

Not sure how you have your Prodigy set up, but IIRC you need to be using a bit of boost to have the trailer lead the truck a bit in braking. I run my pretty close to neutral, but then again my truck out weighs my trailer by close to 1,000 pounds.

I would use the sway control, the only time I don't is for very short distances at low speeds. If I am going on the road, the hitch is fully hooked up.

Aaron
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:55 AM   #3
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
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I question those temperatures if they are from a factory gauge. The transmission without a trailer will generally run at a temperature equal to the air coming off the engine. I think your numbers are low to actual temperature.

Yes is you are going to tow in hills in a warmer area you should consider an after market trans cooler. Even better if your transmission will support it, and older ones do, consider a manual converter locking system. That way the transmission does not build heat while towing and your fuel mileage will be improved.

Short hills at low speed will build more temperature that longer ones at higher speed.

Most brake controllers have adjustment instructions. Mine says to drive at 25 mph and using the manual control adjust the brakes so they no longer skid the trailer tires when full applied with the manual control. This in theroy gives you full braking power without locking the trailer and having it come around and kiss you.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:41 AM   #4
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Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by la4photo View Post
What we have...

78' Sovereign, 31ft.
Chevy 1500HD, 6.0 liter
Reese Trunnion WD Hitch
Prodigy Brake Controller

1. Drove around through hilly area for 30 minutes to get a handle on how it was going to handle at the speeds we will be driving to our destination (45 minutes away). Transmission ran hotter than w/o towing trailer. Was reaching 160* which is about 30* higher than normal. Is this OK or do I need to replace the tiny Factory transmission cooler? At what temp do I need to stop and let it cool?

2. Did a final test on brakes and to a novice, seems to brake evenly between truck and trailer. Now, I stopped as quickly as I thought it would be safe to test, however, I need opinions on emergency stopping. Say I am going 45 and I see a kid about to run into the road. While stepping on the brake, do I want to use the manual lever to make sure the trailer brakes work harder than the truck in order to prevent a jack knife situation?

3. Sway control...Do I need to use it in around town driving and or county roads with 50mph that max that we will be driving?

Lights...good
Bearings...good
Brakes....good
Tires....good

Anything I am forgetting about?


Thanks again!
1. Install a Hayden transmission oil cooler. Over heating has a negative effect on the transmission parts and the fluid. Pull the transmission dip stick. Smell the oil. If you have a burnt smell, then the transmission oil should already be changed.

2. Making an emergency stop, is just that. I would suggest that your thoughts should be "stopping" at all costs, even if you lock up the brakes.

3. Would you consider, for safety reasons, that it would be ok to run around town, with only 2 wheel brakes on your tow vehicle?

If not, then please don't consider it to be safe, running around town without the sway control. You NEVER EVER will know when some fool will cut you off, or slam on their brakes, in front of you, where you may have to switch lanes faster that you can blink an eye. Even your Colonial Drive, is not a safe place to tow, without a sway control in use.


When it comes to safety, being half prepared, is not worth the potential risks, property damage, or a fatal accident.

Andy
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:07 PM   #5
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2008 28' Safari SE
winter garden , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 210
winter garden? thats where I live, I am over on lake apopka. Have not seen any other airstreams around here, where do you keep it?
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:25 PM   #6
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1978 31' Sovereign
Montverde , Florida
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 11
I am on lake Apopka in Montverde. Grew up in Winter Garden on Tilden & Park Avenue. Would love to catch up with you sometime.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:35 PM   #7
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2010 31' Classic
Longmont , Colorado
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Braking

I can tell you what I do with my Prodigy. For highway, freeway, and downhill driving, I use it in the Boost 2 positing. For slow speed driving I use Boost 1. For stop and go city driving, I usually have the boost off. The only reason, I don't use the boost all the time, is the jerky braking gets annoying.
I'm not saying this is the best way, but it is what works for me.
Regards,
Ken
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:07 PM   #8
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 842
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Definitely use the anti-sway. My trailer is also a 31' and it tows fine without it (had a mount fail once 40 miles from a replacement so I know first hand)...BUT if I need to do something radical, I want the anti-sway operational. Hate it when he trailer passes me!

I would also invest in a tranny cooler. Pretty cheap in comparison to an overhaul.

Have fun!

mike
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