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Old 07-23-2010, 10:55 AM   #15
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First off elzavb, welcome to the forums, you will always get a lot of advice on here, you need to sort through it to see what works for you.

Like another noted, it sounds to me that elzavb doesn't have an Equal-i-zer Hitch - The “American Original” with 4-Point Sway Control and Weight Distributionbut rather a small "e" non brand name "equalizer hitch as it doesn't sound like it has torsion bars. I hope the OP posts what brand/model he does have so we can help him sort it out.

That said, I am with Frank, I think this trailer is too much for the truck elzavb has. Can you do it, likely, does that make it right/safe......???? After towing with a 1/2 truck for a number of years, 4 years ago I switched to a 3/4 ton truck (it happens to be a diesel, but that is not the important part). I like the margin of safety it gives me and my family (well ok, I like the diesel too http://www.airforums.com/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif.).

The fact is that while many of our vehicles have the towing capacity for our trailers, most don't have the GVWR for the trailer hitch weight, people, canoes/kayaks, generators, wood, bicycles etc. etc. I found after calculating that my cargo weight, I was right on the border of making us overweight with my 1/2. With the 3/4 ton, weight is never a worry (within reason), throw it in the back, throw it on the roof/cap, hook up the trailer and go (assuming proper maintenance, tire pressures etc.). That comfort margin is worth the few extra bucks. As a matter of fact I purchased a 3 year old truck that was in great shape and likely cost less than a lot of new gassers that folks buy.

In any event, the elzavb really needs to give us more info on the hitch setup they have. They should know that most folks on here pull with a Reese Dual Cam setup or an Equalizer brand setup (what I have). Other folks go up the ladder and spend the bucks on a Hensley, Pullrite, ProPride etc. I have thought about one of those, but I have been very pleased with the Equalizer, up and down mountains, rain, snow, ice (yes that's right) wind, slamming on the brakes due to morons (no I don't follow too close), it has always tracked straight and true. Of course there is some common sense involved in that too, but then that is kind of what we are talking about here......

Good advice too on tire pressures and how to brake when the trailer starts to sway. Best advice is to slow down, it's always tempting to drive to fast. Even with my setup I keep it right around 65-68 and I have a stouter truck and a smaller trailer than the OP. Can I tow faster, yep, is that smart? NOPE Again the safety of my family is paramount.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:46 AM   #16
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So far you've gotten some good advice. I agree that you may have a borderline truck for the trailer—barely enough for the size and weight of the Excella. But I know nothing about Chevy's and their suspensions.

Some GM trucks earlier in the decade had problems with cracks in the hitch receiver assembly. Do some research on this and get under the truck and look for problems.

So, congratulations on getting an Airstream and having the courage to get out there and do it. Part of the learning is having experiences like you've had. Reading as much as you can in the Forums will help you be prepared for problems and knowing how to prevent them.

I expect you bought this from a private party who may not have maintained it perfectly. I think when people sell a trailer, they may have lost interest or not be able to travel anymore because of age and can't or won't take care of them well. It's just like buying a used car.

I don't know your level of mechanical skills, so I don't know what you can do yourself. An RV needs a high level of maintenance and owning one can be an expensive proposition. Over the years this evens out because camping is cheaper than motels; making your own food costs less than restaurants. Getting your new (to you) toy can be discouraging when you realize all you have to learn. You will learn it, it will take time.

It occurs to me that looking at the running gear on the trailer would be worthwhile. Have the wheel bearings been taken care of? Have they been repacked lately? Are they worn? Are the trailer brakes in good condition and adjusted properly? Do they work? Are the shock absorbers in good condition? Are the axles ok? As has been said, you may need to take the trailer to a good shop to check these things. It can be difficult to find a good shop and asking around is a good idea.

Your statements about the hitch are unclear. What you appear to have been told by an RV shop seems to contradict the assertion you have an Equal-i-zer weight distributing hitch. Who set up this hitch? You have been given the link to Equal-i-zer's website—look at the product and see if what you have matches what you see. If the hitch is not set up right, that could cause problems. The Equal-i-zer people will help you with questions about their hitch and how to set it up. WD hitches are frequently set up wrong and many of us have decided to figure it out and do it right. It takes some time to master, but then you know you've got it right.

Keep at it and eventually you'll be giving people advice on the Forum.

Gene
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:59 AM   #17
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First, welcome to the forums, lots of info here.
Your truck is not the problem. 1500HD is the same as a 2500 chevy, both have a 8600# gvw.(2500HD has 9200# or 9600# can't remember which).
You have a 6 ltr. 300 hp engine with a 4l80 trans and 4.10 gears.
I feel the problem is your hitch set up. Get the trailer level by using the weight distribution bars and use some type of sway control. As stated before tire pressure is very important. Trailer tires should be at max. and the tv tires should be at or near max.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:47 PM   #18
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Welcome to the forums. It sounds like you have good advise so far so I will add only a little. First, just because the hitch you got from the previous owner was set up for his/her rig doesn't by any means make it correctly set up for your truck...unless you got the truck with the trailer or the previous owner had the exact same truck you have. Second, if the trailer shop says you need additional bars, you don't have and Equal-i-zer brand hitch because the bars can't be missed and they provide both sway control and weight distribution (equalization). Photos and actual CAT scale weights would be helpful in making suggestions beyond what you have already received.

Good luck and let us know more details...and enjoy your future camping trips. It's a great way to see the country and to just get away from it all.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:57 PM   #19
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Gosh - if a 1500HD is the same as a 2500, then what fools are all the folks who bought 2500s.

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Old 07-24-2010, 09:22 PM   #20
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From reading the first post it seems to me he did not have bars on his hitch stating he needed them for both side of the hitch receiver.So he was just hooked up without W/D bars.Am I reading this right?
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:10 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elzavb View Post
Hi All,
I am new to the trailer pulling of an Airstream. I have just bought a 1989, 32 ft, Excella and am pulling it with a 02, Chevy,1500 HD with an 6 liter gas engine. I knotice at speeds of about 65 mph the trailer rearend would fishtail and I would have to put on the breaks to stop it. I have an equilizer hitch and was told to was set up right. I went to the locial RV store and they told me to add stableizers bars to both sides of the receiver. Will this hepl? The trailer was not over loaded and most of the weight was in front of the axels. I was also told that a bad wheel bairning could be the problem. Can someone give me some advice on stableizers bars. and what might be my problem?
Visit Out of Doors Mart - one of the better Airstream dealers - and located in North Carolina. They will help you diagnose the problems which can be numerous.

Paula
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:53 PM   #22
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Hepjon, good point, I didn't notice that he had the HD version of the 2500. PMclemore, the reason us fools purchased the 2500, is for the beefier engines like the Dmax and the Allison transmission. The OPs truck should be able to handle the weight. Hopefully they will get squared away. Would be nice if they would follow up with more info based on our questions.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:08 PM   #23
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My understanding, not that I have ever got a good explanation, is that the 1500 HD is the "best of both worlds" scenario in that you get the suspension and brakes of the 3/4 ton, but you get the economy of the 1/2 ton engine, transmission, and rear end. There is a 2500 & 2500 HD and a 3500 & 3500 HD available, IIRC. But, like I said I have never received a good explanation. Also, I think the 2500 is more of a "work horse" and the 1500 HD is more of a daily driver and is lighter in duty.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:34 AM   #24
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Whether it’s a ‘half’ or ‘three-quarter-ton’ isn’t the real issue.
You should not be using a ‘friction sway-bar’ with a 30’ trailer.
You need a ‘dual-cam’, at the very least. Preferably, a 3P or Hensley.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:08 PM   #25
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Yes you need stabilizer bars if you mean antisway bars. zz
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:00 AM   #26
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I mean, using a "friction anti-sway" bar to tow a 30' trailer is like taunting an alligator.

Just like towing around town, you can poke that alligator with a stick- thinking you’re pretty clever cause nothings ever happened, and he’s not going to make much of a move to get you, cause you’re out of reach, with your long branch… but at some point, you’re gonna get lazy, or cocky, and step in just a wee-bit too close, and before you know it, that ‘gator is gonna leap and catch your fleshy calf between his razor sharp teeth, and he’ s not going to let go. He’ll slowly drag you down into his swamp, with you thrashing about, all the while inching your nostrils closer to the surface of the water; whilst you scream and claw at the slippery, muddy goo at the waters edge. Until, exhausted from your futile efforts to free your leg, and weary from blood loss, he’ll pull you beneath the water, and wedge you under his favorite tenderizing rock- where you’ll stay while he, at his leisure, feasts on your bloated corpse…
And THAT, my friend, is why you DON’T USE a friction anti-sway bar.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:22 AM   #27
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Yikes!

Ewwwww...! I'm getting rid of my "friction anti-sway" bars right away!
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:31 AM   #28
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Ewwwww...! I'm getting rid of my "friction anti-sway" bars right away!
Torsion type sway control, has a brain.

Friction type sway controls, are brainless.

Andy
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