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Old 12-10-2006, 05:38 PM   #85
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Hi Phil,
Lucky you!! I guess the next jump up is to a HAHA where you apparently don't have all these issues. Maybe next year........
Cheers, Jeff
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Old 12-10-2006, 05:56 PM   #86
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Still haven't seen an opinion on the Hensley; our 2006 34 Classic with Hensley has 1200# bars that are quite bent when loaded. The Hensley also moves quite a bit from side to side while flying down the highway; I guess if I don't bounce it apart then I will surely pull it apart!
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:08 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alvinator
Still haven't seen an opinion on the Hensley; our 2006 34 Classic with Hensley has 1200# bars that are quite bent when loaded. The Hensley also moves quite a bit from side to side while flying down the highway; I guess if I don't bounce it apart then I will surely pull it apart!
Oops! Our Hensley has 1400# bars, a whole lot more shakin' goin on!
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Old 12-11-2006, 09:36 AM   #88
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I talked to a Tec from Reese. I had a 40 min. conversation discussing the bar weights and tongue weights and there recommendations. It was vary clarifying for me. 1st I was amazed at how my tongue weight changes with the level adjustments of the trailer. as the tongue goes up the weight goes up exponentially. So as we weigh our trailers and the ball heights change so the tongue weight changes. Also he explained that all of the weight of the bed that is behind the axle has to be counted as tongue weight! So as I load my bed with a motorcycle and load the trailer things are changing as to the spring bar weights. The bottom line is if you don't check your tongue weights and count what is loaded behind the axle the bar weight rating is just a guess from trip to trip. I think for me I will be buying a 1200# set and eventually I my end up with all three weights. They come in 600#, 800# & 1200#. I discussed what Andy's concerns are about being over sprung and causing damage to the trailer. Also about the difference in bar ratings for different tow vehicles. He agrees with the concept. In the end there is no simple answer and all the conditions and load weights need to be taken into consideration.
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Old 12-11-2006, 10:49 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Gobie
I talked to a Tec from Reese. I had a 40 min. conversation discussing the bar weights and tongue weights and there recommendations. It was vary clarifying for me. 1st I was amazed at how my tongue weight changes with the level adjustments of the trailer. as the tongue goes up the weight goes up exponentially. So as we weigh our trailers and the ball heights change so the tongue weight changes. Also he explained that all of the weight of the bed that is behind the axle has to be counted as tongue weight! So as I load my bed with a motorcycle and load the trailer things are changing as to the spring bar weights. The bottom line is if you don't check your tongue weights and count what is loaded behind the axle the bar weight rating is just a guess from trip to trip. I think for me I will be buying a 1200# set and eventually I my end up with all three weights. They come in 600#, 800# & 1200#. I discussed what Andy's concerns are about being over sprung and causing damage to the trailer. Also about the difference in bar ratings for different tow vehicles. He agrees with the concept. In the end there is no simple answer and all the conditions and load weights need to be taken into consideration.
Also a change of bar rating is necessary when you change the tow vehicle, trunk/bed weights.

Andy
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:05 PM   #90
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Thumbs up Equal-i-zer Performance

Just a quick post on this thread to let everyone know my Equal-i-zer performed extremely well. The dealer installed the 10,000#/1,000# model (in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations) for my 23' Safari SE that has a 6,000# GVW and 600# tongue weight. After hitching up, I jumped up on the hitch to see how much bounce there was. I was able to generate about an inch of up and down movement.

The two pulls I did last weekend (Tampa to Kissimmee and Kissimmee to Viera) took about 2 hours and 1.5 hours respectively. Both days were in gusty winds (25 - 35 mph) and I was pulling at 60 - 65 mph, on 4-lane US Highways and Interstates. The Airstream tracked beautifully behind my TV. I could feel the wind buffeting us, but we didn't move from our track. The blast from passing 18-wheelers didn't cause any motion. I am very pleased.

My only comment is that the hitch is noisy. You hear a lot of creaks and groans as you turn down streets or make other slow speed maneuvers. The dealer said this would diminish as the hitch wore in.

PS: I'll post more details on my purchasing experience, shakedown trip, and photos on the Safari forum later this week.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:22 PM   #91
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Creaks and groans ...

Randy - I suspect I know what happened to you and I suspect its the same thing that happened to me. I bought my AS and Equalizer at Bates AS near Tampa, I suspect you did too. The shop manager told me NOT to grease the Equalizer so we took 3 or 4 trips with the AS creaking and groaning like a worn out old battleship. It was so loud folks would look weird at us as we pulled into the campgrounds.

Please see the Equalizer website or owner's manual. It expressly says that you SHOULD grease the hitch and that you MAY grease the bars themselves. Do that and you'll be towing in peace and quiet. I use a marine grade hitch lube that works great.

Brad
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Old 12-11-2006, 04:21 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbradhstream
Randy - I suspect I know what happened to you and I suspect its the same thing that happened to me. I bought my AS and Equalizer at Bates AS near Tampa, I suspect you did too. The shop manager told me NOT to grease the Equalizer so we took 3 or 4 trips with the AS creaking and groaning like a worn out old battleship. It was so loud folks would look weird at us as we pulled into the campgrounds.

Please see the Equalizer website or owner's manual. It expressly says that you SHOULD grease the hitch and that you MAY grease the bars themselves. Do that and you'll be towing in peace and quiet. I use a marine grade hitch lube that works great.

Brad
Brad,

Correct on both counts. Thanks for the tip. I'll check the manual, and make a trip to the marine store this weekend.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:15 PM   #93
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Well my Equal-i-zer didn't get much quieter with time. My Reese dual cam also creaked and moaned at low speed, but for all intents I didn't worry about it. Yeah everyone looks up at you but at least they will stay clear of you since they can hear you coming!

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Old 10-03-2011, 01:28 PM   #94
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Reading this thread has been an education, and I won't weigh in as to who I think is right. All I can say is that I have been a strict follower of both the Airstream manual and the Equalizer manual. Boo hoo on me for not doing more research before towing off the lot however.

I have a 2005 28' CCD with unloaded tongue weight of 880#. I have towed with the following:

1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee (too small - with 600# bars - both too small dealer said it was OK. With 800# bars was able to visibly distribute weight to front and back of vehicle. Physics makes sense here.)

2005 Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi (rated vehicle tongue weight 900#; towed with 1000# and 1200# bars as my tongue weight was creeping up when loaded). Minor stability issues, possible flexure as it seemed I needed to add more spacers to distribute weight).

2007 GMC Yukon 3/4 ton (tongue rating excess of 1000#...no stability issues). Never seem to be able to distribute weight but vehicle has little give - can't add more spacers).

Comes down to the observation that my tank cover always seemed to cant backwards. Now the reason is clear that my A-frame must be bent. I will do a front/back/middle measurement to confirm. Have two questions/thoughts:

1) If I have followed manufacturers instructions, then would it seem that the Airstream A-frame is undersized for the loads experienced? Is there a max tongue rating for the Airstream? 10-15% of 7300# is around 1100#.

2) I have weighed the entire rig before and was within GVWR as I had concerns when the hitch would no longer distribute the load. But is it possible have the rear end flexed in the opposite direction from heavy storage under the queen bed 250# max due to telescope storage under bed?

I wonder if AS has undersized the frame members. Then things begin to make sense.

As a final question, what is the rough estimate to have the frame repaired? Is it worth it?

Chris
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:18 PM   #95
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Hi, having the tank cover lean backwards doesn't mean that the frame is bent. Mine was like that before I made some adjustments so the tank cover sits on the frame. On mine, the front was sitting on the tongue jack flange. I now push the front of my tank cover back so it drops to the frame just behind the tongue jack. It now sits level with the rest of my trailer.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:37 PM   #96
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A-frame

The A-frame is a separate section of the frame, and is welded to the frame, within the underbelly.

For many years, the A-frame is made with tube steel, which is straight.

The A-frame can be bent upwards, when excessive rated hitch bars are used, or using bars that have very little flexing ability.

All that needs to happen is to pull into a gas station a few times, where the entrance is elevated.

The bending of the A-frame will more than likely happen when using Equalizer hitch bars, with an excessive rating.

Andy
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:37 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
The A-frame is a separate section of the frame, and is welded to the frame, within the underbelly.

For many years, the A-frame is made with tube steel, which is straight.

The A-frame can be bent upwards, when excessive rated hitch bars are used, or using bars that have very little flexing ability.

All that needs to happen is to pull into a gas station a few times, where the entrance is elevated.

The bending of the A-frame will more than likely happen when using Equalizer hitch bars, with an excessive rating.

Andy
Andy - am I missing something because today after replacing my batteries and leveling the trailer to investigate what seems to be rear end sag, I inspected the place where the A-frame was apparently attached to the frame. I don't see a weld but the frame seems bolted into place; I agree it makes more sense for it to be welded. The attached photo is from right under the a-frame. I was able to place my finger into the gap. Doesn't seem as robust as a weld.

I was looking at old pictures from the day I took delivery in Oct 2005 (hitched to a woefully inadequate Jeep Grand Cherokee) and sure enough I can't seem to pick up the degree of bend that is there now. I later towed with a nearly adequate Dodge Durango, still softly sprung until late 2007. Used equalizer with 1000 pound bars, my tongue weight verified today with a Sherline scale was 1050 with empty propane tanks. I'm sure from time to time there was even more weight on the tongue. How much weight do you have to have on the tongue before the A-frame deforms?

Anyway- what is to be done? What involved in repair, and what can I do to mitigate the front end damage effects you have talked about (drive 55, avoid road dips, be aware of curbs, driveways and speed etc). Not sure ditching the equalizer or Yukon 3/4 ton SUV is an option though.

Is there a detriment to having bent A-frame? Like poor WD performance? Should I get this fixed? My trailer now has other issues with apparent rear sag that I'll talk about on a different thread? Anyway, time for bed to consider my rear end sag post...thanks for your insights.

Chris
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:40 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyggeln View Post
... Used equalizer with 1000 pound bars...

Is there a detriment to having bent A-frame? ...

Chris
Chris,

I think Andy's shop really needs to see the bent A-frame to advise if a problem exists.

That being said, my Overlander's A-frame is bent, and I believe the bend is a consequence of using 1000-pound Reese bars with a 3/4-ton Suburban.

After careful examination of everything & finding no cracks, I did nothing other than making sure the Airstream rode level going down the road with 500-lb bars. That was many years/miles ago, and I still feel no need to unbend and/or weld stiffeners around the A-frame.

FWIW, I did not understand what I was looking at in your picture.

Tom
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