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Old 01-05-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
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2012 22' FB Sport
Fort Collins , Colorado
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Brake Controller and Hitch recommendations

Hi, I just purchased a new 2011 22' FB Sport, and I hope to tow it with my 1999 Mitsubishi Montero (full size). I am looking for recommendations for two things:

1. A brake controller for my vehicle.

2. Weight distribution hitch with some kind of sway control.

I do not want to skip on these items, and I am looking for what people think is the best solution.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks....
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWillard View Post
Hi, I just purchased a new 2011 22' FB Sport, and I hope to tow it with my 1999 Mitsubishi Montero (full size). I am looking for recommendations for two things:

1. A brake controller for my vehicle.

2. Weight distribution hitch with some kind of sway control.

I do not want to skip on these items, and I am looking for what people think is the best solution.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks....
First of all, what is the tow rating on that vehicle? It's likely to be something around 4000-5000 lbs, I think.

According to Airstream, Inc :: 2010's the GVW of your trailer is 4500 lbs; tongue weight is 400 lbs.

Given your location, I'd think you're going to be struggling on hills...

Pick a name brand brake controller; same w/ the hitch. Tekonsha Prodigy controllers are well regarded. Hitches are more a matter of taste; you'll need a good weight distributing, sway reducing one for this combo.
Reese makes some nice units; the Hensley & PPP units both have passionate devotees.

You'll want to make sure the transmission cooler on your SUV is up to snuff.

- Bart
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:06 AM   #3
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Thanks Bart, the tow rating is 5000 lbs. I will have the transmission cooler checked out. I expect Montero to be a sluggish pull and plan on going slow and easy.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:35 AM   #4
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Bart is right on. If you have the bucks, NOBODY seems to have bad things to say about Hensley nor ProPride. I have not used one, but understand the principles and can't argue with overwhelmingly positive reviews. If you're like me and just can't pull the trigger on the cost factor, I would recommend Reese dual cam with 600# bars.

LOTS of reading on all of them, just search on hitches and you're off.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:42 AM   #5
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I purchased a Sport 22FB last May to pull with my 2009 1/2 ton Suburban. I'm using a Equalizer 600# Hitch and a Prodigy P3 controller and couldn't be happier with the way the rig handles, including in our Colorado mountains.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

In addition to the items already mentioned, you need to take a close look at the tires on your Montero. They are very likely P rated passenger car tires. These are not really suited for towing a heavy trail. You may need to change out the tires on your tow vehicle.

As to trailer brake controllers, we have both a Tekonsha Prodigy and a Tekonsha P-3. Both are excellent controllers, but I would recommend spending the few extra dollars for the P-3.

We have towed our dear Lucy almost 90,000 miles in the last six years using a Hensley Arrow hitch system. Yes, they are pricey, but so is an Airstream. We have never had a single anxious moment while towing with the Hensley. Comfortable towing is worth a lot. If I were replacing the Hensley today, I would seriously consider the ProPride Hitch system.

If you are not comfortable and confident while towing, you can easily turn your new Airstream into a very expensive piece of yard art.

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Old 01-06-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

Agree with all that's been said.

Your on the right track.... the time spent doing your research here is time well spent.

You haven't scrimped on your AS do not cut corners on your choices now.

Using the search function above is the best way to gather the information you will need to make your decisions.

Good Luck

Sweet Streams

Bob
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:32 PM   #8
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Hi to all, Thanks for your responses. I am learning a lot.

I did check out my tires. They are the BIG O 30x9.50R15LT at 45 psi. The BIG O guy said they would more than sufficient.

The Tekonsha Prodigy looks great and I intend to get it.

Price is not an issue for me, but performance and quality is. I did take a peak at the Reese, Hansley, and the ProPride, and I do have a concern about how low to the ground they ride. From my experience with my llama trailer I have become very sensitive to clearance.

I would love it if I could some how jack up my AS 22'FB Sport 5 more inches and go with something like the Reese SC Weight Distribution System w Sway Control - Trunnion - 10,000 lbs GTW, 600 lbs TW. Any comments about this would be appreciated.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWillard
Hi to all, Thanks for your responses. I am learning a lot.

I did check out my tires. They are the BIG O 30x9.50R15LT at 45 psi. The BIG O guy said they would more than sufficient.

The Tekonsha Prodigy looks great and I intend to get it.

Price is not an issue for me, but performance and quality is. I did take a peak at the Reese, Hansley, and the ProPride, and I do have a concern about how low to the ground they ride. From my experience with my llama trailer I have become very sensitive to clearance.

I would love it if I could some how jack up my AS 22'FB Sport 5 more inches and go with something like the Reese SC Weight Distribution System w Sway Control - Trunnion - 10,000 lbs GTW, 600 lbs TW. Any comments about this would be appreciated.
I don't understand why you would need to jack up the AS 5"? Could you clarify a bit?
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:30 PM   #10
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I don't understand why you would need to jack up the AS 5"? Could you clarify a bit?
I am a landscape photographer, and I spend much of my time in the back country with my two llamas (they carry 200 pounds of gear for me and I pack 50 pounds) photographing with big large format cameras. The remaining times I shoot from the car and sleep in my bivy bag along the road side.

Now I have an AS so that my wife can come when I am shooting from the road. My job as a landscape photographer takes me to places that are offbeat on rough roads and many times far away from any camp grounds. I will be rigging the AS for off grid living including a foldable portable solar system, a marine boat water filtration system, a large road GPS loaded with special BLM maps so that I know where private and public land is, a special satellite weather reporting system, and many other things.

Because I will be on rough roads that can have deep pot holes and some rocks sticking up I would love it if I could have a rig that has higher clearance to avoid grounding out. I did look at other campers that had higher clearance than the AS, but they all seemed so poorly built.
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:40 PM   #11
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Ah, I see. I believe you will need to replace the axle assembly and perhaps some other mods. I saw somewhere (I think on this forum) an air suspension trailing arm axle. I would check into that. Potentially, you could have a lowered, normal air ride and inflate it for LOW SPEED back road use. I have no idea if there is 5" of travel in that setup, but I think you're headed in that direction. You may need to take an additional hitch head and shank along.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:08 AM   #12
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This is going to get interesting ! I look forward to seeing some photos of how you do your set up. I would also love to hear some comments from the experienced forum members of how they would suggest he use this combo when he goes from pavement to rough roads. Would it be a good idea for him to disconnet the WD hitch when he gets to the backroads ? Or should he leave it in place as he traverses the slow speed uneven surfaces ?
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:10 AM   #13
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Ah, I see. I believe you will need to replace the axle assembly and perhaps some other mods. I saw somewhere (I think on this forum) an air suspension trailing arm axle. I would check into that. Potentially, you could have a lowered, normal air ride and inflate it for LOW SPEED back road use. I have no idea if there is 5" of travel in that setup, but I think you're headed in that direction. You may need to take an additional hitch head and shank along.
Thanks, I found the thread, and I am looking into it. It appears that this approach would definitely give me a lot more clearance. Another approach would be to increase the size of the wheel provided the wheel well can accommodate a larger tire.

I have not seen my AS yet because I bought over the internet/phone from an outfit near Austin TX. I live in Fort Collins CO. I will be going down at the end of this month to pick it up. Perhaps I can make some small modifications to the wheel well to handle a larger tire. Just a few inches can make a huge difference. I do not want to do 4WD driving off road stuff, but I will be on rough roads so clearance is something that I must consider when choosing hitches.

If anyone has thoughts about just using a larger wheel please let me know.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:26 AM   #14
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I just realized the if I can increase the clearance of my AS, I might also have to elevate the weight distribution system by flipping the shank which is the part that sides into the tow vehicle 2x2 hitch. All shanks I have seen diagramed have the long part of the vertical stem facing downward. Would this be a problem?
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