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Old 10-31-2011, 05:20 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by tyggeln View Post
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
A bent A-frame should be thoroughly checked out, one, to find the cause and (2) to make sure there are no cracks.

Next would be to determine what caused the bending, and then correct that problem.

Typically, excessive rated torsion bars cause the problem.

Make sure whoever you have to check the A-frame out, is very familiar with Airstreams method of construction.

Andy
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:09 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by TomW
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
Tom - that views from underneath the trailer tongue, where the A-frame seems to end, and almost butts up against the foremost trailer cross member. After doing more thread searching instead of working building satellites I figured that there must be an outboard plate not visible that is welded to both a-frame and main frame.

After reading a particularly raucous thread "Is My Tongue Bent", one assertion is that trailers of my length, weight and birthdate always have a bent tongue due to loading. Presuming this to be the case, the deflection would be elastic so I propose the following test:

0) Unhitch and level the trailer, more or less.

1) Place sturdy wood blocks underneath just aft of the a-frame (both sides). Lower the tongue jack until the frame just contacts the blocks. The blocks should support the frame at the same height on both sides of the trailer. Measure the height of the frame on both sides and then the coupler for reference.

2) Lower the tongue jack until the weight is assumed by the blocks. Record the height of the frame at the blocks and the coupler again.

3) Subtract the frame height from the coupler height each found in steps (1) and (2).

4) The difference from step (1) represents the amount of A-frame flex due to gravity + A-frame bend/damage. It will likely be non-zero, especially if the amount of flex is visible.

5) The difference found in step (2) represents the unloaded position of the frame (including flexure from self weight) and indicates the amount of "bent tongue". If it is near zero or less then the A-frame is NOT bent (or cracked).

(6) Take the difference between steps (4) and (5). This represents the amount of flex due to tongue weight alone. Presumably if this flexure is measurable, then once calibrated it provides an alternate method of measuring tongue weight without going to the scales.

I invite members to review my logic, and perhaps perform the test for themselves and report back results. I should have results this weekend.

Chris
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:52 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Chris
...then the A-frame is NOT bent (or cracked)...I invite members to review my logic, and perhaps perform the test for themselves and report back results...
The A-frame can be cracked without being bent.

Modulus of elasticity is one thing. Cracks are another.

Thanks for the invite. I will express regrets now.

Tom
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:49 PM   #102
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True point, I guess I extended the assertion a bit far. I'll leave it as NOT bent.

Chris
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:44 AM   #103
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We use the weight distribution hitch (ball mount) without the bars and a single sway bar. 2001 Suburban towing a 73 Ambassador 29 (25' in reality). Electric brakes on trailer.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:58 AM   #104
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We use the weight distribution hitch (ball mount) without the bars and a single sway bar. 2001 Suburban towing a 73 Ambassador 29 (25' in reality). Electric brakes on trailer.
Not a good setup.

Andy
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:07 AM   #105
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We use the weight distribution hitch (ball mount) without the bars and a single sway bar.

???
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:31 AM   #106
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Actually it works great, Its no different than just using a standard 2" slide ball mount, except that it gives you the option of using an anti-sway bar.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:19 PM   #107
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25 ft. Safari, 800 lbs bars...I've got a single sway bar but have never noticed a need for it.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:26 PM   #108
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After 16,000 miles of trouble free towing with a 6,000 lb Equalizer, I replaced my 25ft trailer with a 30 footer. Specs are similar - old at 4,300 lbs / 470 lbs hitch weight vs new at 4,700 lbs / 400 lbs hitch weight. Yet I experience a lot of bouncing at 55 mph; it goes away at 65 mph. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:15 PM   #109
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After 16,000 miles of trouble free towing with a 6,000 lb Equalizer, I replaced my 25ft trailer with a 30 footer. Specs are similar - old at 4,300 lbs / 470 lbs hitch weight vs new at 4,700 lbs / 400 lbs hitch weight. Yet I experience a lot of bouncing at 55 mph; it goes away at 65 mph. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
How old is the 30 footer?

Andy
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:44 PM   #110
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It is a 2012 - I have to come clean here - it is not the right time for me to own an Airstream - it is an SOB.
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:02 PM   #111
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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
We just traded up from our 08 20ft Safari to a 25 International and the dealer gave me a tube of equal-I-zer grease that is recommended by Equal-I-zer to use on the ball and the bars. When I asked what the difference was to regular grease he laughed and said that mainly is washes out of clothing much easier. I don't hear any noises now. I am using 1000 lb bars with an HD 1/2 GMC.
No sway at all and toes much better than the single axel.
George
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:59 PM   #112
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I have a 27FB. I'm using the 1,200 bars. It does a fabulous job redistributing weight. Yet to have porpoising problems. I've not greased the bars and you can hear me coming. Its a trade off, messy to me or noisy for others.
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