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Old 05-14-2015, 11:52 AM   #57
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Anyone tow with just the ball?

But still, "better safe than sorry" has its own limitations too.

You can see from my tag line that I tow with a Hensley, so I am not against good hitches, but fact is, when I was towing on the ball I drove differently than I do with the Hensley, thus closing the perceived safety gap.

Variables matter, and sometimes, even having good modern equipment does not really make a difference....

http://youtu.be/povjJaV_aBc


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Old 05-14-2015, 01:30 PM   #58
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what I did notice was the way the Bambi would sway and bounce around with out the WDH at highway speeds with a 25mph crosswind. Not only does a WDH transfer weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle but it also transfers weight back to the trailer. I never felt that the EcoD was light in the front end and the truck seemed stable, but the trailer did feel like it was moving all around behind me.
I have noticed this same difference. The thing for us was, this was actually what we wanted. When towing with the WDH on our Caravel with the full size van, the trailer was locked in rock steady behind us, and we were losing rivets every summer from the stiff ride. When we switched to just towing on the ball with the sway control, the trailer gently followed along behind us, and definitely moved around more freely, but it was always in a straight line, and we never lost rivets again. We never felt any indication of sway coming from the trailer, and towed in strong winds, with semi's passing us, rainstorms, no issues.

I am hoping the rivet-popping issue will not come up again now that we use WDH again with the Flex, because I do feel it is necessary with the softer suspension, but hopefully that softer suspension will also not beat the rivets out of it.
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Old 05-14-2015, 05:17 PM   #59
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The old and worn out line that goes," I haven't had any trouble yet" is getting a lot of use on this thread.
So is evidence of the overwhelming worry that some people have.
Some people wake up and wonder what they'll worry about today.
Others wake up, yawn at the risks inherent to being alive, have a cup of coffee and then set about getting something done.
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Old 05-14-2015, 06:34 PM   #60
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You are correct, to a point. But an equilizing hitch doesn't do a lot to control wind load.

Seriously?
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:25 PM   #61
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Towing with ball only

I do. Picked up a AS 23' in south Texas. Traveled just over 2000 miles back to northern Michigan. Mostly non-expressway. Windy roads, up and down. Always try not to drive over 70 MPH, usually 55-65. Absolutely no problems. I tow with a Chevy 2500HD with Duramax diesel. The truck was made for towing. I'm certain the Ford and Ram diesel trucks perform equally. Totally spoiled and can not imagine going back to a lesser truck even when not towing. It's a joy to drive. The PO let the equalizer hitch go with the trailer. I looked at it and tossed into the back of the truck instead of using it. The truck weighs just under 7800 lbs. The trailer I believe grosses at 6000 lbs.

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Old 05-14-2015, 10:19 PM   #62
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From personal experience, safety is first and foremost. If you don't care to use a good anti sway device (Hensley or Pro-pride preferred) for your own protection, do it for the rest of us on the road.
We all want to get where we are going safely and with as little stress as possible.
Over confidence can be a killer, hasn't happened and won't happen to you. Right...
Safe Travels
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:38 AM   #63
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As the OP, I just want to say thanks for the insight and feedback. I'm continuing to follow the thread.
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:33 AM   #64
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I haven't towed much lately with just a ball, but a couple of years ago I helped a friend bring a 30' Airstream back from Houston to San Antonio without a WD hitch, and used just a ball. His truck was a 1/2 ton, and mine a 3/4 ton Diesel.

We made it back in one piece, nothing seriously bad happened, but it was a white knuckle ride all the way, and I had prepared with 80psi in the rear tires of the truck. Trailer tires were set at max, 65psi. The trailer wanted to steer the truck all over the road, and when trucks passed us, it was a wild ride for sure. Something I never want to again.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:14 AM   #65
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Anyone tow with just the ball?

Whether towing on the ball is practical depends greatly on the trailer itself and how it is loaded.

The thing that can make towing an Airstream "challenging" is the amount of trailer behind the rear axles.

This excess length multiplies sway oscillations due to inertia X leverage.


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Old 05-15-2015, 11:22 AM   #66
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Whether towing on the ball is practical depends greatly on the trailer itself and how it is loaded.

The thing that can make towing an Airstream "challenging" is the amount of trailer behind the rear axles.

This excess length multiplies sway oscillations due to inertia X leverage.


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I agree with that statement, J. When we traded from a 31' to our current 34', I first thought the 34 was more stable, but then we got it on an Interstate Hwy and experienced the big trucks passing us, and decided while with no external forces applied, the 34 is more stable, but when the bow wave from a truck hits it, it is effected more than the 31 was.

I have noticed when the wind is from my Left, and a truck passes, the bow wave effects us quite a bit. When the wind is from my Right, and a truck passes us, not so much. Also I've learned if I get to the extreme Right part of my lane when a truck passes, the effects of the bow wave are diminished.

While these truck passing events are not really sway, they are what I call "disturbances" that do effect the truck and trailer's handling much like a gust of wind would.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:32 AM   #67
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Anyone tow with just the ball?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
I agree with that statement, J. When we traded from a 31' to our current 34', I first thought the 34 was more stable, but then we got it on an Interstate Hwy and experienced the big trucks passing us, and decided while with no external forces applied, the 34 is more stable, but when the bow wave from a truck hits it, it is effected more than the 31 was.

I have noticed when the wind is from my Left, and a truck passes, the bow wave effects us quite a bit. When the wind is from my Right, and a truck passes us, not so much. Also I've learned if I get to the extreme Right part of my lane when a truck passes, the effects of the bow wave are diminished.

While these truck passing events are not really sway, they are what I call "disturbances" that do effect the truck and trailer's handling.

And in all of this I agree with also Steve.

It brings to mind the last sway experience I had with my trailer. Like you I had learned to avoid the bow wave by keeping my distance from big trucks. This time I was eastbound on I-20 south of Dallas, and got pushed to the middle lane by merging traffic. It ended up that I was between two trucks, one to my left, and one to my right going a little faster than I intended on a downhill grade in a mild crosswind....

This all conspired to set me up for sway. I kept it all in my lane, but I had to brake pretty hard in traffic.

(There is a danger in getting comfortable with the limits of a combination, confidence can get a person in trouble... )

My on the ball experience was that disturbance can lead to sway....

Shortly thereafter I found my premium hitch for a good price now I never think about sway much.

In the end, my conclusion regarding my combination is this, if I never drove over 60 mph, "on the ball" would be safe enough, but there is no way I am going to keep it under 60 on the open interstate.

A man has got to know his limitations...


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Old 05-15-2015, 12:06 PM   #68
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Wdwd

What did Wally do way back in the day? Granted, they weren't going very fast, especially through Africa and South America. But I'm curious if they used weight distribution and antisway?


I pulled my 34' Avion triple axle home about 600 miles on just the ball. It did OK. I took it across the Great Smokies and then up 77 to 81 and high speed home. I didn't sway any that I could tell, and being the first time I'd pulled a trailer this big, I was very alert. But after that, I got the 14K Equal-I-Zer and set up for it and it does feel much more solid now.

I'd like to get a Pro-pride, but the Eq does such a decent job I can't justify the extra money. If I had no hitch now, I'd go Pro-Pride.

I do run a 2500 CTD Dodge long bed 4-door, and it is pretty hefty. But even so, the big Avion did squat the back down 4 inches or so. So I don't feel bad using WD on it.

I'd like to do some tests on this with RC models maybe. But it seems to me that if you have a trailer that is loaded way front heavy (like a semi truck trailer) that the problem basically goes away...if you have enough vehicle to carry the weight.

I keep going back to the old Slimp Dolley. It worked well in 1950 and it could work again today (with bigger better tires for our faster speeds).

See ya on the road,
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Old 05-15-2015, 02:29 PM   #69
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Any disturbance in the towing force can put you into a Star Wars situation. Look out for the Death Star of towing. Jim
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:48 PM   #70
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Any disturbance in the towing force can put you into a Star Wars situation. Look out for the Death Star of towing. Jim

"LIKE"


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