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Old 04-16-2015, 04:08 PM   #1
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Smile 16.5' Bambi ? Need tow hitch/equalizer bar ?

As a soon to be owner, (pick it up April 21st), do I really need a tow hitch or equalizer bar? I will tow with 2015 Nissan Pathfinder, GTW 5000lb, with factory installed tow package. I sort of wonder if dealer is trying to run up the bill? Charge would be $360.00 for cheapest equalizer bar. Seems a bit much to me. He says I need one because it's a short single axel TT. I towed a TaB trailer 15.4' with smaller SUV, no problem, high MTN passes and all.
I would appreciate feedback from those of you towing Bambi 16.5'. I'm already having some mods done prior to pickup; stabilizer jack access extended to edge of TT sides, sewer tube access ext. to end of TT, roof fan/vent cover installed, electric tongue jack, electric brake control box install on TV! If I REALLY NEED IT, OK, but, if i don't, I'll save the money for my trips! Thanks in advance for the info! Evelyn.
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:31 PM   #2
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I would follow your dealers advice and go with a weight distributing hitch, particularly if it has internal sway control.
You will notice the difference particularly with side winds, when getting buffeted by a large high profile vehicle or when going downhill around a sharp turn.
Like most Airstreams your Bambi has a relatively high tongue weight. A W.D. hitch puts the weight on all four wheels and makes trailer and tow vehicle handle like a single unit.
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:58 PM   #3
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I would follow your dealers advice and go with a weight distributing hitch, particularly if it has internal sway control.
You will notice the difference particularly with side winds, when getting buffeted by a large high profile vehicle or when going downhill around a sharp turn.
Like most Airstreams your Bambi has a relatively high tongue weight. A W.D. hitch puts the weight on all four wheels and makes trailer and tow vehicle handle like a single unit.
YES. $360 on a 35-40k trailer ? Please get it before any of the other upgrades. Kill sway and improve handling before it happens. And the brake controller. It's not a T@B, the tongue weight is significant. WD More important than internal sway control IMO.

There are some pictures of Pathfinders with horrible balance, set up whatever on smaller trailers than you would think (19). Driving around with the front wheels in the air practically saying "what me worry" in the best Alfred a newman.
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Old 04-16-2015, 05:05 PM   #4
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"Can't hurt, only help" takes on new meaning when safety is involved.

Even in my Nissan Armada (5000lb+ pig), I'm happy with my setup when I get passed by a yahoo going 20+mph over my speed and swerving towards me. I feel it, and I like what the Sway Control and Load Distribution is doing for me.
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Old 04-16-2015, 05:35 PM   #5
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Read this and you will learn more about weight distribution and sway control than many:

Common Weight Distribution and Sway Control Questions | etrailer.com

cheryl
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:13 PM   #6
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Currently I use an Equalizer Brand hitch set up on a small 17.5' Bigfoot TT.....makes a world of difference when towing. Spend a bit more and get an American made Equalizer hitch. Real easy to hook up and remove. An electric jack is a wonderful addition as well.

Equal-i-zer® Hitch - The “American Original” with 4-Point Sway Control™ and Weight Distribution
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:52 PM   #7
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We purchased our 2015 sport 16 in January and have so far towed it 4,500 miles with a 2011 Nissan Frontier king cab v-6 with the factory tow package. I do have air bags on the rear that I used with a slide in truck camper we used to have. I keep the air bags at between 8-10 psi and the TT tows very well with no sway. We have been on all kinds of roads and in high winds. I do not use any type of after market hitch or antisway device and I am happy with the results.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:35 PM   #8
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Hitches 101. This will help.

Can-Am RV :: HH 37-2
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ckottum View Post
Hitches 101. This will help.

Can-Am RV :: HH 37-2

And that, folks, is how to do it.

Thanks for posting!
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:25 AM   #10
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Yes, you need a weight distributing sway control hitch.
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Old 04-17-2015, 03:02 PM   #11
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I tow a 16' Bambi with a 2009 Nissan Frontier crew cab. I use a Reese WD hitch and antisway bar. Tows very nice and stable. 50 more pounds feet of torque would be nice but I wouldn't want. To tow without the WD hitch.
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Old 04-17-2015, 05:39 PM   #12
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Thank you all so much! I appreciate your input and will be having necessary tow mods installed. I've basically spent much of today researching, and there is a lot to digest. Decision made...turn it over to the pros and open the checkbook! Ugh! I too, believe in "better prepared and not need it, than to need it and wish I had it"!

I am so excited to get my new rig on the road and experience the great northwest in safety, and relax and have some fun! My first trip will be from Parker, Colorado to Durango. Next: Grand Tetons, Glacier NP, and Pacific NW and coastal Hwy 101.

I hope to come across a few Streamers in my travels! Evelyn.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:22 PM   #13
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When your rig is dialed in, towing is a real joy. I am at my happiest when pulling my baked potato to a campground on Friday afternoon.


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