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Old 06-26-2012, 10:28 PM   #15
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I've reread your post a few times and now I think that I better understand what you're describing. Assuming that you have a friction-type sway control device, yes, you will need to loosen it to maneuvers involving sharp turns. I wouldn't think that you'd have to remove it completely, but maybe so. I used to have a Reese friction sway control a few years ago and I would just loosen it to make sharp turns, not remove it.

1. When you back your trailer in and unhook it, are you saying that the tongue jack will not raise the trailer high enough to clear the ball on the hitch for your tow vehicle?
2. Would you take a picture of your hitch with sway control installed and post that picture please? That way, we can better see what is going on.



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Old 06-26-2012, 10:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Rdiddly View Post
We just took our 27FB International out for our first trip this year. Just got home. When we approach our house, we have to remove the stabilizer bars before we get home because some of the turns are so sharp that they bend the saddle to which the stabilizer bars attach. Usually, this is not a problem. I raise the trailer, remove the bars, lower the trailer, and off I go. The last couple of times I've done this, it's been harder to do because when I lower the trailer, the rear end of the tow vehicle (an Infiniti QX56) drops too low in the back to be able to get the pedestal out from under the tongue. (I'm not using all the right words, but I'm hoping someone will understand me.) This time I had to leave the trailer sitting on the arm that the stabilizer bar sits on so that I could get the pedestal out, then move the car very slowly forward to get the arm to pull back toward the trailer and out from under the tongue. That worked for removing the stabilizer bars before approaching the house, but when I got to the house, the front end of the trailer was sitting so low that I couldn't get the pedestal back under it in order to raise it. The back end of the car used to make some noises and lift itself, leaving room for the pedestal, but it no longer does. The weight of the trailer just pulls the rear end of the car down to an unnatural degree. Does anyone know what this mechanism is called that the car has that's supposed to lift the rear to compensate for the weight of the trailer, leaving the car level? I think it's broken. I need to call the dealer to make an appointment to have it repaired and I'd like to know how to talk about it.

Originally Posted by Rdiddly View Post
Just called AirBagIt. The guy on the phone said that the systems that are installed on the QX56 (and all of the other manufacturer's vehicles) are designed to fail so that they can get you back in to the dealer to replace them. I would have thought such a thing would be covered by a warrantee, but I'm probably just being optimistic. I figure if you pay that much money for a brand new car, that's rated at 8500 lbs. towing, you ought to be able to tow a trailer that's GVWH of 7600 lbs. along with what the trailer dealer tells me is a 1200 lb. hitch. without any trouble given that we never travel with water in the tanks. I thought I had done all of my homework before buying the QX56 for the tow vehicle. Dang. AirBagIt said he could build a custom system for me with air that I can control from inside the vehicle for $600. Then I'd have to have the thing installed. Something to consider though as I wait for word from the dealer on how much it's going to cost to fix the thing.
Hi, if your hitch has chains on the spring bars and you don't leave enough open links on these chains, they don't have enough room to move forward and back, while turning, without damaging or ripping off the saddles. If I remember correctly Infiniti uses coil springs and air bags on the rear. My Lincoln only has air bags and I replaced mine at ten years because the rubber was starting to fail. The air bags never had a problem. I replaced them before failure. Too much liabilty for factories to install junk stuff. There might be a ride height sensor that has failed or needs adjustment.


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Old 06-28-2012, 11:06 AM   #17
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Solution is that there is no problem

I don't know how to account for it, honestly, but I took the Infiniti in to the dealer and they "tested" the system and found nothing wrong with it, so they checked the tires and found under inflation. Pumped up the tires to 35psi from 30 and 32. I took it home and connected it with no problems to the trailer.

I took the car and the trailer back to the Airstream dealer yesterday. They couldn't believe that air pressure in the tires could have caused the problem, but we were also not able to duplicate it. It's as though it never happened.

I did find out that what I'm calling stabilizer bars are more correctly referred to as Weight Distribution bars.

At the Airstream dealer I removed the weight distribution bars under the watchful eyes of one of their technicians and it wasn't that I was doing anything incorrect, and the foot (as I now know what I was calling a pedestal is more correctly called) fit under the post with at least 2 inches to spare after removing them. I could hear the rear-leveling system working. The only difference is the air pressure and the fact that when I executed this procedure upon return from our week away we had 1 160# adult, 1 4 year old, and 2 21 month olds in the car.

BTW, when I always leave 3 chain links hanging free on the attachment to the saddle, as per the instructions I was given when the device was installed.

I took a picture of the car connected to the hitch without the weight distribution bars attached, prior to leaving for the dealer from my driveway.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:51 PM   #18
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I'm glad the problem has evaporated! If it resurfaces, please let us know. There are lots of folks here who are willing to help you analize and solve it (to the extent that it can be from afar).

All my best,

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Old 06-28-2012, 06:21 PM   #19
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Just one caveat ---- you said that the Airstream dealer gave you the tongue weight of your trailer - apparently off of the spec sheet. The only real way to know the tongue weight is to weigh it with a tongue scale such as the Sureline. You could easily be carrying 200 lbs more than what you were told.

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Old 06-28-2012, 08:13 PM   #20
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Do you have any kind of anti-sway device installed on your trailer?
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:48 PM   #21
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From the picture supplied, I see that you're using a Reese Dual-Cam Weight Distributing and sway control set up. I'm slightly surprised that you should need to remove the WD bars when backing up, even with the tightest of turns. I don't know enough about the Dual-Cam to know if that's a common thing for users but it has to have been designed with tough backing up challenges in mind.

Once you've removed those WD bars, the entire tongue weight of the trailer is resting solely on the hitch and you've lost the advantage of some of the weight being transferred to the front axle. The rear end of the car would normally sag under the weight but your Infiniti has self levelling suspension so is working hard to counter the sagging effect. But itt seems that for some reason which can't be readily identified, the self-levelling system didn't want to work and you ended up with the QX's coil spings struggling under the load.

If it were me in this situation I'd consult the other Reese Dual-Cam users on the Forum and see if taking the WD bars off for tight backing up turns is something routinely done. I'd hope that it isn't the case and that you're advised to keep those WD bars in place until the backing up turns are complete; that way the QX isn't abnormally loaded and the coil springs and air bags aren't given too much of a beating.

I have a simpler WD system on my TV and trailer which has separate friction anti-sway bars fitted. I do loosen, or even remove, these friction bars when backing up because they can limit a turn, but I have to leave the WD bars in place or my TVs rear end would be dragging on the ground!
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:25 AM   #22

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Noticed one thing in your photo.....I would route your 7-way cord up and over the tongue, check often that it is locked in the plug.

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Old 06-29-2012, 09:28 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post

On Sep 7, 2011, at 12:34 PM, INFO @ SuspensionConnection wrote:

The Firestone air bags will increase your weight carrying capacity by
5000 pounds. I definitely recommend this system for your Burb:
Firestone #2253 - Chevy Suburban Firestone Ride-Rite Air Bags 2000-2009


-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Cross [mailtoxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2011 10:59 AM
Subject: Airbag Chev Suburban

I am wondering how much more payload I will gain by adding rear bags to
my 06 3/4 Burb. Not sure of what the "level load capacity" of the Burb
is now.

That is scary. I have air bags in my old 75 dodge 3/4 ton. They are manual and I fill them up when I haul 4000 lbs of rock or dirt around. Not because I can take more weight but to keep the front wheels on the ground

I also put them in my Sequoia because rides better with about 8-10 psi in them..

May you have at least one sunny day, and a soft chair to sit in..

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Old 06-29-2012, 09:56 AM   #24
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I don't know why whenever I click on Quick Reply to this post, my post always winds up at the bottom. Makes it hard to have any continuity. Thanks for the tip on the 7-way cord (never knew it was called that, I'll try to remember). I talked with the Airstream guys again when I took the trailer in and they reiterated that it's essential to remove the weight distribution bars when making tight turns or backing up. I have never removed them when backing up, but I have certainly suffered the consequences of tight turns in that the saddles have been bent beyond repair. It's clear that there are several factors that influence their performance, i.e., how many chain links are hanging free, where the saddles are situated on the tongue, etc. I have noticed that the trailer sits much lower when they're not installed. The Airstream dealer did recommend that I carry a 2x4 block of wood with me to use in place of the foot should the problem ever recur. I thought that sounded like a good idea. Meantime, the rear-leveling does seem to be working again. I'll let y'all know should it ever happen again. Thanks to everyone for your helpful responses!
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:17 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Rdiddly View Post
we have to remove the stabilizer bars before we get home because some of the turns are so sharp that they bend the saddle to which the stabilizer bars attach. Usually, this is not a problem. I raise the trailer, remove the bars, lower the trailer, and off I go.
Now that I see your pictures I think it is worth revisiting why you are having to put this extreme load on the rear suspension just to back in.

What you have looks like a Reese DualCam set up. The WD bars shift some of the tongue weight to the front of the SUV, and the hook&cam assembly provides you the anti-sway action.

I have the same set up and have never had to remove them for backing up or any other maneuver. They creak and groan sometimes but I have backed sharply into places before, occasionally steep enough to drag the draw bar on the ground.

So....what do you mean by "they bend the saddle to which the stabilizer bars attach"? Can you attach a picture of the part bending, or at least the part that does bend when backing into your drive.?

Also what capacity WD bars are you using (800lb, 1200lb etc)? There should be a label on them.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:46 PM   #26
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Not to be a jerk - ever think of a ProPride or Hensley?

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