Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-22-2016, 10:26 AM   #1
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Currently Looking...
carlsbad , California
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 4
First Timer - towing questions for cross country pick-up

Hi, we are purchasing our first airstream, a 1971 31' Sovereign next week and I'll be picking it up in Kansas City and driving it back to San Diego. Sorry if some of my terminology is off! I'm excited to be apart of this great community but have some questions on what I'll need to get ready for the tow.

I am also purchasing a truck in Kansas City.Many of my questions steam from the First Tow article (posted at the end of the post)

1. The dry weight of the trailer is listed at 4840lbs - would an F150 with an 8000 towing capacity be sufficient (after searching the forums it looks like it)?

2. I am making sure I get one with a towing package and the trailier already has a 7-pin connector so hook up should be easy. All the trailer external lights have been replaced and are working. Is there anything else that I need to get it hooked up other than the break assist and lights that I would need?

3. Is a straighline weight dist./sway hitch absolutely necessary or can I get by with just hooking up to the 2 5/16 ball hitch? We would definitely get the weight dist/sway control in the future.

4. Anything else I'm missing?

Thank you very very much for your help!

First Time tow article: Preparing for the First Tow Home
__________________

__________________
toesonoz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 11:16 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,163
Blog Entries: 1
For that trailer/truck combo I think the WD hitch and sway control is necessary. The Reese Straight line hitch is the one I use and it is a good hitch. I have towed a 32 ft with mine and it seemed a little sensitive to the setup. Once I got it dialed it it is a sweet towing trailer. But when I did not have enough WD set on it I had some sway. You have a long trip and can hit severe side winds on that trip. Be sure the tires are good and watch them carefully. I personally would feel the tires and hubs a couple of times a day for the first few days to be sure they are doing okay. It is much easier to grease bearings and change tires at the start than it is to fix an axle or a damaged trailer on the way. When I bought our 32 I found a local dealer that would install tires and check and grease the bearings on site. But ours had not moved for 18 years and had the original tires so I had no options there.
__________________

__________________
Bill M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 11:40 AM   #3
Wise Elder
 
Jammer's Avatar
 
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by toesonoz View Post
Hi, we are purchasing our first airstream, a 1971 31' Sovereign next week and I'll be picking it up in Kansas City and driving it back to San Diego. Sorry if some of my terminology is off! I'm excited to be apart of this great community but have some questions on what I'll need to get ready for the tow.

I am also purchasing a truck in Kansas City.Many of my questions steam from the First Tow article (posted at the end of the post)

1. The dry weight of the trailer is listed at 4840lbs - would an F150 with an 8000 towing capacity be sufficient (after searching the forums it looks like it)?
Yes.

Quote:
2. I am making sure I get one with a towing package and the trailier already has a 7-pin connector so hook up should be easy. All the trailer external lights have been replaced and are working. Is there anything else that I need to get it hooked up other than the break assist and lights that I would need?
You'll need a brake controller unless the truck already has one in it or is a newer truck that came with a factory brake controller.

There are older 7-pin connectors that are not the same as the 7-blade RV connector in widespread use today. Be sure you know which one the trailer has, or be prepared to change it out if necessary.

Quote:
3. Is a straighline weight dist./sway hitch absolutely necessary or can I get by with just hooking up to the 2 5/16 ball hitch? We would definitely get the weight dist/sway control in the future.
A friend of a friend just used the ball for a short one-time move across town, lost control, and crashed. I don't know the details of his setup, but I do know that I once purchased a WD hitch for a trailer I knew I would never pull more than 100 miles. I sold it when I was done and recouped some of the cost.

Other people in other situations have found a WD hitch unnecessary. You decide.
__________________
To learn to see below the surface, you must adjust your altitude
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 11:52 AM   #4
65will
 
65will's Avatar
 
1969 25' Tradewind
Greenwich , New York
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 37
yes to weight control and sway

I would say yes to both, I tow a 25 trade wind with a 13 f150 with a 5.o and tow package. your trailer has a 490lb tong weight with nothing in it. My f150 has a 500lb max tong weight without weight control, and the length of your trailer will catch wind, and move some. So for across country tow, set it up right and make sure everything is good. The f150 will tow fine once it is set up. When I'm towing I have to remind myself the airstream is behind me, they tow great.
__________________
65will is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 01:04 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Nowhere , Somewhere
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,417
Blog Entries: 2
Get the WD hitch set up with sway control, a brake controller Installed and then enjoy the trip home with few problems and good memories.
__________________
avionstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 01:41 PM   #6
Full Time Adventurer
 
BoldAdventure's Avatar
 
2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,743
Quote:
Originally Posted by toesonoz View Post
1. The dry weight of the trailer is listed at 4840lbs - would an F150 with an 8000 towing capacity be sufficient (after searching the forums it looks like it)?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by toesonoz View Post
2. I am making sure I get one with a towing package and the trailier already has a 7-pin connector so hook up should be easy. All the trailer external lights have been replaced and are working. Is there anything else that I need to get it hooked up other than the break assist and lights that I would need?
Sounds like you're covered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toesonoz View Post
3. Is a straighline weight dist./sway hitch absolutely necessary or can I get by with just hooking up to the 2 5/16 ball hitch? We would definitely get the weight dist/sway control in the future.
I would not recommend it with a half ton. If you were purchasing a 3/4 ton sure. Reasons, the tongue weight and class of the hitch.

I have the same hitch/sway/wd setup and it's great. Fairly easy to setup. And better IMO than the lesser Equal-i-zer. Just check to see what class the hitch is. Our truck came with an aftermarket Class V but I've heard of others with Class III in the half ton market. And without the WD you could be in trouble. Honestly \_(ツ)_/ not sure, I think those older Airstreams were lighter in the tongue department. But by how much, I don't know.
__________________
Family of 4 living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.
OUR BLOG | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM
BoldAdventure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 02:33 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 957
It seems like having the truck, hitch and trailer well set up for your first trip is a good way to get thru the steep learning curve as smoothly as possible.

My brother (. Classic 30' / Ford f250 diesel )went at first without the WD hitch. And was so happy when he got one installed, cause the rig was so much more comfortable to drive.

If you plan on getting one anyway, why not for the first trip.
Surely you can have one installed there in K C.

The first aistream trip is such a good bonding experience, set yourself up to enjoy it.

Cheers Richard
__________________
tevake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2016, 11:25 AM   #8
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Currently Looking...
carlsbad , California
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 4
Thanks! The trailer has new tires and axels on it which is one of the reasons we liked it!
__________________
toesonoz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2016, 11:46 AM   #9
Rivet Slave
 
Rocinante's Avatar

 
2014 27' FB International
Western WA , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,440
Blog Entries: 49
First Timer - towing questions for cross country pick-up

Since you're looking at buying a TV for this trailer, it would be worthwhile to consider the tongue weight and the truck's load capacity. Any truck with an 8,000 pound towing capacity could tow a trailer with a GVW of 8,000 or less. However, can it handle the tongue weight and any gear you want to carry in the truck?

We tow our 27FB, which has a GVW of 7600 pounds, with our RAM 1500, which is fully equipped for towing. It's a good experience overall. We've gone back and forth across the country and up/over/down all kinds of mountains with no lack of power or ability to control speeds on the descent.

However, our AS dealer under-stated the actual tongue weight and our truck dealer overstated the load capacity of our truck. As a result, we travel light. Our truck bed is nearly empty, no heavy stuff like generators, motorcycles, etc. Our trailer is as light as we can make it (e.g. every time we camp, if there's something we didn't use on that trip we consider leaving it home next time).

If we had been properly informed about tongue weight and load capacity, we probably would have picked up a 3/4 ton truck instead, just so we wouldn't have to be quite so miserly on what we carry with us.

Lastly, you do not want to tow without a weight distribution / sway prevention hitch of some kind. On a 1/2 ton truck, it's just flat unsafe without one - at a minimum, you'll exceed the recommended weight on the rear axle. Without air bags, you'd also have a terrible rear sag issue on the truck. On a 3/4 ton truck the WD becomes less critical, but the anti-sway continues to be important.

Congratulations, and have fun! We're 2 years into our Airstream and still love every moment we camp with it.

<edit> Our trailer is a 2014 model, so as a newer trailer it may be heavier than yours. Once you determine the GVW and tongue weight of your trailer, a TV choice becomes easier. . </edit>
__________________
Rocinante is our 2014 International Signature 27FB
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")


Rocinante is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2016, 12:27 PM   #10
rvb
4 Rivet Member
 
rvb's Avatar
 
1977 Argosy 28
Euless , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 288
equalizer hitch

There are several things to consider:
1. The listed 8,000# is probably with an appropriate hitch and may be lower without one. You could be over your legal tow weight.
2. You should plan on towing at 15-20% below the rated capacity of the truck. They may say it will pull 8,000# but that may be on flat ground, and it won't be happy in the mountains.
3. If you are in an accident and towing without an equalizer hitch and without some form of sway control it could be used against you in court to assign blame. Mine tows fine with the bars and no sway control but I always use it for this reason!

I would get an equalizer hitch and have it set up correctly before towing home,
__________________
rvb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2016, 12:48 PM   #11
1 Rivet Member
 
1989 25' Excella
Greenbrier , Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 18
I would think in calif. the WD would be required by law and most definitely by safety/practically.. we are pulling a 26' Excella, they are on the heavy side, and our 2500 ram makes it fine w/o the wd hitch. BUT, I would not pull that far w/o one now even w/ the large truck..our previous half ton chevy would not have been able. have pulled same w/ a 2003 Envoy and W/D.. Bit of a struggle up hill but the w/d made it very stable..
Have pulled many things w/ many trucks,, you need to use the w/d hitch.. and be able to relax a bit,,.. enjoy
__________________
stkwhittler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2016, 12:59 PM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
dames7's Avatar

 
2015 25' Flying Cloud
GILBERT , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 376
Blog Entries: 2
A must is a Torque wrench, you need to check wheel's at 100 miles and then two or 3 more time before you get home.

I have seen trailer that have lost one or more nuts because they did not do a walk around when they stop.

You can pick up a nice one at Home Depot.
__________________
dames7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2016, 01:20 PM   #13
Tom T
 
Tom_T's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Orange , California
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 553
OK, here are some words of wisdom from someone in your position in 2012 - most from others more expert who advised me beforehand. However, our Avion T20 is 2/3's your AS length & less than 1/2 the weight (3-3,500# wet/loaded), & I only towed 1/2 your trip in 800+/- miles from ABQ to OC, & it was in July - so no icy/snowy roads for me.

You'll have a monster of a 31' & probably more like 6-8000# wet/loaded "Silver Twinkie" in winter weather, so you may want to wait for summer (you don't say when you'll do this in your OP). You've also got a lot of moving pieces in the equation - pretty much all of them!

Before the TV which everyone has focused on, let's address the trailer, & I'm surprised nobody has brought this one up yet, but before you go anywhere with it .... get the AS slow & careful to a very local KS trailer shop (maybe the seller will take it there for you before you get there?), & have them do the following:

1. Get the wheel bearings checked & replace seals/bearings if needed & repacked; &

2. Check the brakes & repair if/as necessary, & adjust them, 7 check the electrical system from the plug for proper operation from the TV & 7-blade connector, & change to a modern 7-blade connector if it's still got the old style (which won't fit your new truck's 7-blade as noted in another post above); &

3. Have them double check all the lighting just replaced for proper operation, & do an overall full safety check on the AS for a long XC trip, as well as checking the safety chains (replace if necessary), & a new emergency break-away brake switch (unless it's recent/new already); &

4. Get an accurate weight for the trailer as wet/loaded for your trip + find out the total gross rated weight for it - so you know what TV & hitch to get with a proper safety margin; &

5. Have them mount & set-up ~ or check your mounting/set-up on the WD & anti-sway hitch of your choice (do some research on them before you decide) - & make sure they show you all of the WD set-up & adjustment, hitching & electrical hook-up procedures, & what/how to do the on the road checks.

On to the TV questions, you need to check with CA DMV on that (or AAA if you're with them) on the ins & outs of buying a vehicle out-of-state - especially new, because they make it difficult & assume it's a sales tax evasion ploy, & you could be stung by double state sales taxes on it.

Also, you'll need temp plates for both the AS & TV on the trip days - so also check with KS DMV beforehand, & then you'll need to re-register both TV/AS once in CA (almost immediately). I don't know all the process to do so properly, but I know horror stories of those who didn't get it done right!

For me, I got a NM 2 day temp paper plate for the trip & a bunch of their documentation, did the trip in the allotted time (NM's max temp BTW), & registered our Avion on the way home at Anaheim Hills AAA on the way to Orange (truck was rented, so not an issue for DMV).

Look at which Truck you'll need only after you have an actual GVWR on the 31' AS (IIRC AS has their old specs at their website) - dry wt. is meaningless for towing, since options, LP, water/gray/black tanks & all sorts of other stuff, plus whatever you put into the trailer, mods over the years, etc., etc. - will add to that dry weight.

If the seller could fill the tanks & take it to a CAT scale for you for the actual wet/loaded wt., that would be helpful.

Then you'll need a truck (or any other TV) rated for both the actual wet/loaded & max. trailer wt. & hitch wt., so that may be Ford's top level tow package on the F150, or perhaps an F250 ~ or maybe the best deal is on one or another if either could work. I know the base F150 is or was only rated to 5000# & 500# hitch wt. as of a few years ago, & then there were 1-3+/- levels of tow options with increasing ratings & cost.

Having rented the Ford F150s & F250 for TVs since getting our Avion, I can say they have a good built-in anti-sway system on the truck, but you'll also want that anti-sway hitch on the trailer too, with such a long trailer due to sail-effect from the side area. If you plan to get a WD/Anti-sway hitch anyway - then get it now for what may be it's longest trip in your ownership.

Also get the brake controller in the option package or aftermarket & installed & checked by the selling dealer (then it's their liability for any errors & rolled into the financing).

I'd also opt for the dual 4-pin/7-blade type receptacle on the truck for more flexibility, & a back-up camera to aid in hitching up - especially solo.

You'll also need to factor in your own needs, budget, how much you'll be towing it, where you'll keep it, etc. to decide what is best for you.

Hopefully we'll see y'all at one of the CA vintage trailer rallies & events in the near future. Get Vintage Camper Trailers magazine from their website for the dates on those mostly weekend events, & put in for them as early as possible cuz they fill up fast, but you can also put in for wait lists & often get in at the last week or so due to cancellations.

PS - make sure to have in the rig - a tool kit, jack sized for the trailer wt., wheels chocks, wheel lug wrench to fit the AS lugs, emergency triangles, flashlights, safety vest, emergency magnetic towing lights with enough 4-pin wire to react 35+/- feet to the hook-up, & spare parts & tires (TV & AS), etc.

.... & FYI, I got the Hensley Cub WD/Anti-sway hitch for our Avion (their Arrow or a ProPride would probably be needed for your 31' if it grosses over 6000# TW & 600# HW) - which are the top of the line & eliminate sway, with many other choices beyond those PPP hitches.

Good Luck from an OC vintage kin owner, & former SD resident (Uni High class of `70)!
Tom
///////
__________________
Tom T (janabanana48's other half )
Orange CA
1960 Avion T20, #2 made, Hensley Cub, TV tbd- looking for 08-14 Cayenne S
1988 VW Vanagon Westfalia CamperGL (Orig Owner)
Tom_T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2016, 01:52 PM   #14
4 Rivet Member
 
2000 30' Excella
2014 30' Classic
Princeton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 302
I have operated for over 2 years and over 15,000 miles with no weight distribution hitch or sway control and have a 30' trailer. Just take your time. The 150 is plenty big.

Good luck.
__________________

__________________
larryglarson is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gearing up for a cross country trip Golden Girl Member Introductions 11 06-22-2015 04:48 AM
MY vehicle is seeking YOUR Airstream for cross country tow and cost share. Rivka Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 8 12-05-2007 09:57 AM
Cross Country Trip with my '78 Argosy 24' aversenti All Argosy Trailers 13 03-17-2007 11:27 PM
Cross Country Trip MacInDaBox On The Road... 2 09-15-2003 05:24 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.