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Old 05-12-2015, 12:48 PM   #29
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Welcome to the Forums. We're gla to have you with us.

As to your question, the answer is generally no. Unless you have a behemoth of a tow vehicle, weight distribution is very advisable as trailers with the tongue weight of most Airstream travel trailers is such that it will take enough weight from the front wheels of the tow vehicle that the steering will be compromised. This creates a somewhat dangerous towing situation.

Sway control is also a good idea.

Brian
Thanks, I'm finding my way around. Starting to gather some research on 28W's to purchase in the near future.
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:57 PM   #30
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Whilst some are for sure, that is not always the case. I come from the UK and have owned many 'caravans' over there. Whilst modern alloy framed units are lighter that was driven by fuel prices and all caravans more than 20 years old had the same steel chassis.......not everything is 'biggerer, and betterer' in the US!
Being from the UK too, I'd like to add that I see all kinds of trailers - caravans and commercial - being towed by all kinds of vehicles, and I don't recall ever seeing any type of load balancing/sway control hitches in use. And the UK is very strict on safety.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:01 PM   #31
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Wow! This thread received a lot of feedback in short order.

I'm working on my setup now. I have my eye on a 28' international and a 1/2 ton truck to tow it (leaving brand names out for obvious reasons - I'm new to the forum, but can already pick out the 'hot' topic areas). But, I am very detailed oriented when it comes to planning something like this, so I like to make sure I have all of the facts before jumping into a TV that is too small or a TT that is too big.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:12 PM   #32
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Ball only

We tow our 32' 88 Excella on just the ball with our GMC Sierra 3500 HD 4WD diesel on the East Coast without issues thus far. Hubby believes we don't need a WD hitch. I'm going to push for one before we start full-timing just for the safety factor.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:29 PM   #33
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We tow our 32' 88 Excella on just the ball with our GMC Sierra 3500 HD 4WD diesel on the East Coast without issues thus far. Hubby believes we don't need a WD hitch. I'm going to push for one before we start full-timing just for the safety factor.
I do not think y'all need WD! Sway control might be nice....
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:01 PM   #34
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Being from the UK too, I'd like to add that I see all kinds of trailers - caravans and commercial - being towed by all kinds of vehicles, and I don't recall ever seeing any type of load balancing/sway control hitches in use. And the UK is very strict on safety.
Fully agree, the closest I have seen/used would be one of the Bulldog type anti-snake bars, that simply put some additional load/friction on the ball/receiver without extra weight.

200Q Stabiliser - Bulldog Security Productss
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:07 PM   #35
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I picked up my trailer last June. Had a 1400 mile drive home with a non functional old piece of crap WD system. White knuckle most of the way. Now the only time I tow on just the ball is for short (5-10 miles) trips to have work done.
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:32 PM   #36
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I have been towing my 77-23' Safari for many years on just the ball. No problem at all. My truck is a 2006, 1500 Chevy Silverado with a Reese hitch. When we had our old Jayco 23B I had to use the stabilizer bars and sway control. Then hold on for dear life if it got windy or I got passed by a semi.
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:36 PM   #37
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I see a lot of threads on here about weight distribution and sway control hitches, but does anyone tow with just the standard hitch and ball?
I have a 1969 Sovereign (31') and tow it with my 1989 Dodge D350. I use a Class IV hitch and ball only and have no problems. Even semi tractors and trailers do not cause any unwanted sway. I recognize that my truck is heavy and a dually and that a ball and standard hitch might not work for lighter tow vehicles.
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:51 PM   #38
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Fully agree, the closest I have seen/used would be one of the Bulldog type anti-snake bars, that simply put some additional load/friction on the ball/receiver without extra weight.

200Q Stabiliser - Bulldog Security Productss
This looks like a form of friction sway control.

So is 'snake' the euro term for 'sway'?
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:59 PM   #39
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I tow on the ball only, I think all situations are different how we drive were we drive ,what tow vehicle we have , wheelbase,what suspension, tires sidewall stiffness,load range of tires,what we carry in tow vehicle and we're the load is distributed, how we load our trailer ,and we're the load is distributed in the trailer, remember if you put more weight on the ball your removing the weight off the steering axle, in my case the maximum tounge weight I have is 350 lbs so for my tow vehicle it's not a problem . Since the majority of airstreams are 25 feet and more ,and tounge weight of 500lbs and more,most will use a weight distribution system .

Don
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Old 05-12-2015, 03:41 PM   #40
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If you have a 1/2 ton or 3/4 pickup you most likely need weight distribution and sway control. A 1 ton dual rear wheel pickup may not need it. The 1 ton suspension is the weight distribution, and the dual rear wheels is the sway control. Even still I see owners of 1 ton dual rear wheel trucks using weight distribution and sway control. I also see people towing a 32' travel trailer with a Chevy S-10 and no weight distribution and sway control and P-rated tires low on air. "I only gotta go 12 miles." they say...
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Old 05-12-2015, 04:39 PM   #41
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I have a 66 Caravel and I just use the ball hitch, no sway bars. It tows beautifully and stays straight as an arrow. Granted it is one the lighter airstreams and if you have a longer and heavier trailer you will probably need some sway bars to keep it from straying. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:44 PM   #42
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This looks like a form of friction sway control.

So is 'snake' the euro term for 'sway'?
It is, and the leaf spring can have adjustable tension applied.

In my experience both the terms sway and snake are used commonly, although it is much more common for any snake/sway to be bought on by wind (natural gusts or more often side drafts as other vehicles pass), rather than the effect of weight.
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