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Old 04-10-2013, 08:35 AM   #15
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Bue Ox

My Blue ox WDH was drop shipped to me Monday. This will be the last step before I head to the California Coast and pick up my 1990 25 foot Excella. I will be pulling with an 08 Tundra and slightly nervous about my first towing experience. Slow and go before getting home and really see what I bought.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:24 PM   #16
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I have had 2 25' Airstreams, and 2 different hitches...never had a problem backing up...kind of defeats the purpose if you have to take it off...using Blueox and love it, now over 5,000 miles and more to come! Also had Reese on earlier model, and had no issues either. Reese was a nice hitch, but with the bars on, a bit awkward to move around; I find the BlueOx easier all the way around for one guy to manuver.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:39 PM   #17
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Blue Ox SwayPro initial impressions

I got a new AS last month, and a SwayPro to go with it. Here are my thoughts so far.

My tow vehicle is a 2010 GMC Yukon Denali (short wheelbase, rear autoleveling air shocks). The trailer is a 2013 Flying Cloud 25FB.

I talked with the Blue Ox factory about which bars to order (my AS dealer had no knowledge of the SwayPro), and got the answer to use the 1000 pound bars. I had my AS dealer order and install the hitch for me. They had to obtain a longer drop shank--they Blue Ox standard 6-hole shank did not come close to dropping far enough. The dealer's installer got the ball height right, and set the chains on the fifth link from the end (six and a half links showing below the bracket). It seemed easy to tighten the chains.

Our first drive was four miles of city streets to a CAT scale. The scale showed the tow vehicle front axle was quite a bit lighter than the unhitched weight, so I went two links tighter and re-weighed. This got the front axle to the exact unhitched weight, so we went with that. It tracked well on the way home. We did have some bothersome porpoising on a stretch of concrete highway.

The next day, my wife noticed the paperwork listed the hitch as the 1500 pound model. So I had the dealer obtain the 1000 pound bars and swapped them. Then we went to the CAT scales again (different location), with the trailer still empty. Once again, putting the seventh link in the slot (four and a half links showing below the bracket) seemed good on the scale--within 20 pounds of the unhitched front axle weight. It seems odd to not need another chain link with the lighter bar, but who am I to argue with the scales?

We went on our trial overnight run with the 1000 pound bars. It was only 15 miles each way. Again, it tracked fine. There were still places where we got some porpoising. But overall it was OK.

One problem I noticed was that the right side bracket was hard to turn, even without tension on it. When tightening the chain, I can rotate the bracket within an inch of the locked position, and release, and it will just sit there. I have to push it to get it to unwind. I also spoke to the factory on this. They said to try it for a couple more trips to see if it loosens up, and call back if I still have a problem.

One minor complaint I have is the plastic covering on the wrench handle. It's grippy to the hand, and provides some padding, but it easily slips on the wrench. This can be an annoyance. I'm planning to buy a one inch socket and use my breaker bar instead.

Second impressions and scale tickets to follow....

P.S.: The SwayPro bars do not have the weight numbers written on them, so it is not obvious how to know which bars you really have. The trick is to look for a row of indentations on the trunion end of the bar. Four indentations means 1500 pound bars, three indentations means 1000 pound bars.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:08 PM   #18
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Part two

My initial impressions were based on towing the trailer empty and lightly loaded. Last weekend we took a three-night trip to a place about 50 miles away. Most of the distance was on a busy Interstate. This time the trailer was fitted out for camping and had a full water heater, and partially full fresh water tank.

When we got on the freeway, a storm was approaching, with very strong crosswinds--whole trees were in motion (Beaufort scale 7, 31-38 mph winds). The rig was significantly less stable. Being passed by vehicles like Suburbans required extra attention and corrections. As we got away from the storm, the wind died down and it worked better, but still felt a bit twitchy.

When we got home from this trip, we went to the scales again. The extra weight was making the front axle lighter.

We plan on going out again in a week. We'll weigh again as we leave town, and may go another link tighter.

For reference, here are my scale numbers:

1) As we picked it up from the dealer, nothing put in the trailer, not much in the tow vehicle, nearly-full gas tank, 1500 pound bars:

............TV Solo....TV+TT, 5th link....TV+TT, 7th link
TV Front....3060.......2780...............3060
TV Rear.....3000.......4100...............3720
TT Axles...............4800...............4920

2) With the 1000 pound bars, trailer still empty, TV about the same except less gas:
............TV Solo....TV+TT, 6th link....TV+TT, 7th link
TV Front....3060.......2940...............3080
TV Rear.....2920.......3760...............3580
TT Axles...............4880...............4920


3) With both vehicles packed for camping, some water in trailer, 1000 pound bars. After seeing the numbers, we did an extra weighing, with about 60 pounds of gear moved from the front of the trailer to the rear.

............TV Solo....No link............TV+TT, 7th link....Gear moved, 7th link
TV Front....3080.......2600...............3000....... .......3060
TV Rear.....3040.......4420...............3880....... .......3760
TT Axles...............5160...............5300....... .......5340




Some other data on the SwayPro:

The hitch head with the shank attached weighs 55 pounds. I was pleased it was not heavier. I can get it on and off the tow vehicle pretty easily.

The 1000 pound bars weigh ten pounds each (including chains).

When hooked up, sometimes the Yukon tailgate clears the trailer jack, and sometimes it does not.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:59 AM   #19
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Blue Ox Sway Pro System

I got the Blue Ox System installed 4 years ago. Been on approximately 12 trips, from 200-800 miles each way. I have a 22 ft Airstream Argosy being pulled by a Ford 150 5.4 liter long bed.I have towed the trailer empty and fully packed.No problems found. Had a blowout on the Airstream while being passed by a semi tractor trailer, the trailer stayed straight on. No porpoising or swaying noted. I was very happy with the Blue Ox. By the way, I use 5 loops on the chain to attach the sway bars. The only negative I can say is that it rusts quickly.
Patti
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:43 PM   #20
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still not dialed in

I mentioned above that one of my rotating brackets was hard to rotate. It did not improve since the time the Blue Ox support person asked me to try it a while longer. I called back, and they said to put on some Dawn dishwashing liquid, and flush it with hot water. That improved it a bit, but it was still not good, so they are sending me a replacement.

We have since taken a 500 mile round trip, mostly on an Interstate, at 60 mph. The rig does not feel as stable as I would like. It seems twitchy when making small steering adjustments (I have not tried any "large" steering adjustments), and does react to side winds and passing vehicles.

I am unable to go to the next link on the chain. Even with the jack raised to the max, and sitting on a small block, I can't get close to being able to latch the bracket one link tighter. And that is using a longer wrench than the provided one.

For reference, my new scale numbers show the front axle of my TV at 3080 pounds without the trailer, and 3040 pounds with the trailer, and 4 1/2 links showing below the bracket. Tongue weight (with bars disconnected) is 900 pounds.

I sent photos of my rig to Blue Ox. They said I did not have enough flex on my 1000 pound bars. so they suggested raising the hitch head on the drop shank by one hole. This will put my trailer nose-up (it is within 1/4 inch of level now) but they think it will allow me to get more deflection on the bars and better stability. I'm skeptical but I guess I'll have to give that a try.

The Blue Ox support person specifically said to stick with my same bars and same model of head.

I'm also thinking of seeing what happens with more air pressure in the TV: The tires state 44 psi max, while I'm running them at the recommended 32 psi.

Other suggestions welcome.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
I'm also thinking of seeing what happens with more air pressure in the TV: The tires state 44 psi max, while I'm running them at the recommended 32 psi.
You really need to raise the air pressure. That air pressure of 32 is way to low for towing. You get to much tire flexing with that pressure which causes the vehicle to wander. I use 42 psi, which seems to work good.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:50 PM   #22
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As for raising the front of the trailer, that is a REALLY BAD IDEA with a trailer that has torsion axles, such as most Airstreams. It's not that bad on a trailer with leaf springs though, this is probably what they are basing their advice on.

Leaf spring trailers have to be way off from level before there is a noticeable change in the amount of weight on each axle. With torsion axles any amount off level for the trailer affects the weight each axle carries.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RLS View Post
You really need to raise the air pressure. That air pressure of 32 is way to low for towing. You get to much tire flexing with that pressure which causes the vehicle to wander. I use 42 psi, which seems to work good.
I agree add more air.
My TV also calls for 32 psi and I use 38 psi cold, my TV computer complains when the air pressure gets above 44 psi (TPMS) so I keep the cold pressure just low enough that the hot pressure stays below 44 psi.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:41 PM   #23
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any follow up here folks....I am picking up new 30' 2014 bunkhouse AS in oct/nov and dealer is installing blue ox at "no cost" as part of my deal...mostly I read good things about the hitch...if I get jittery about the hitch, I may just go for the propride...but would like to give this one a shot first....

What surprised me was that so many SOB tuggers on other sites have had reportedly good results with this hitch pulling some quite large box trailers...

Contemplating still....
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:31 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
any follow up here folks....I am picking up new 30' 2014 bunkhouse AS in oct/nov and dealer is installing blue ox at "no cost" as part of my deal...mostly I read good things about the hitch...if I get jittery about the hitch, I may just go for the propride...but would like to give this one a shot first....

What surprised me was that so many SOB tuggers on other sites have had reportedly good results with this hitch pulling some quite large box trailers...

Contemplating still....
I would go with it. If I had to choose one today, it would be the Blue Ox. The dual cam I have is good, but this one sounds better to me. And then if needed, go with the expensive one. I am not able to even think about that one due to the weight. You really need to consider the total tongue weight loaded. I know with mine, it is a major factor. JMHO
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:54 AM   #25
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Very satisfied

...with the Blue Ox SwayPro. Have an older version from the current one. Tow vehicle is a "heavy" half ton longed pickup with coil springs and the trailer is an older 24' TradeWind. Always have a full water tank ( up front) with at least one of the propane tanks full. I also load as much heavy items in the front of the truck bed or over/in front of the trailer axles.

The SwayPro has made towing much less hair-raising and very stable through the twists and turns of New England secondaries. I have had no problem leveling the Airstream with 550 pound bars but am considering buying a second set of heavier bars for flexibility.

I have found it necessary to retighten the SwayPro's sway control adjustments periodically.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:17 AM   #26
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great feedback...I got mine for "free" within my deal for new AS and will be giving it a whirl...

I am guessing I will need the "three notch" bars that are 1000 lbs ones given my tongue weight per AS specs is 880 lbs...that plus the hitch....1000 should be about right...

I like the simplicity of the system, seems actually pretty easy to hookup per watching the videos...

I hope it does very well, because later I would like to consider it + airsafe combo as a possibility (this assumes it does very well with sway).

I will be using a RAM 3500 so the tongue weight will be no problem for any of the hitches I am considering.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:56 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louaxtjr View Post
.....
I have found it necessary to retighten the SwayPro's sway control adjustments periodically.
Lou,
I too had to occasionally retighten the sway control adjustment bolts. I had always run them torqued to the max factory value of 80 lb-ft, so I pulled them out, cleaned the threads ( and the female threads up in the head ) and put a couple drops of blue loctitie ( 242 ) on them. They have never loosened since then.
Same with the two smaller bolts that hold the plates that capture the trunnions. Those are to be torqued to 47 lb-ft.

For what it's worth, now of this will apply to the new style swaypro that Pharmgeek will be getting.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:35 AM   #28
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SSquared- I have a 25' 08' FB and used to own an 06' 25' FB. With the 06' had a reese pulling with a 08' new Tahoe. Terrible towing the AS; no power and it never felt stable, even after having dealer set up 3 times. Dealer talked me into an 2012' Tahoe with newer AS (08'); said with 30 more HP and 6 speed trans would tow like they were made for each other; THEY WERE NOT! Now have 2013' Ford Echoboost short bed, and night and day difference. You don't even know the AS is hooked up! Wheel base, suspension, and power of the truck are so much different, you would have to drive yours against the pickup to understand and see for yourself! I tow to MT from TX and now have 30K miles on the truck. No problems and wife also drives from time to time with no concerns. Oh yea, I have the 750 lb bars on Blue Ox....link is between 7-8. No issues so far after a year, and much easier than the reese.
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