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Old 07-29-2016, 07:00 PM   #1
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Intl. Signature 19, GMC Sierra 4x4 crew cab - Ball Hitch Only?

Just took delivery of a 2013 Intl. Signature in mint condition. Seller delivered from Miami, FL to Chapel Hill, NC driving a few year old Ford Expedition.

I noted he just had a straight ball hitch, no weight distribution, sway control, etc. on his set up.

Questioned him about this and he said that is all he had used since purchase of the trailer new in July 2014! Asked how he came up and he said I-95 to I-40. Asked about truck sway, proposing, etc. He claims no issue because he drives 63 to 65MPH.

Question/Guidance: Is he just lucky OR is this adequate for a 19' International?

I'll be towing with a 2015 GMC Sierra SLT 4x4 Crew Cab with the 5.2 gas and tow package.

I'd like to avoid the hassle of the various configurations of hitches IF the straight ball hitch is adequate for a 19.

Opinions from those that have actual experience would be appreciated.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:33 PM   #2
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His Expedition has the considerable advantage of full independent suspension, which places the rear suspension attachment to the body at a much wider stance than a pickup. More stable. The Expedition's body/frame probably has less frame flex, which helps stability. He also watches his speed, maybe even lower than 63 to 65 in windy conditions. He may be loading the back of his SUV lightly, keeping enough weight on the steering axle under normal conditions. And he's lucky several sway inducing conditions have not happened at the same time.

Don't risk it, weight distribution hitches ensure you always have good steering control and a balanced load. The sway control device helps keep sway oscillations from gaining momentum.
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Old 07-30-2016, 02:27 AM   #3
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Wd wont be needed for that light of a trailer. But under certain conditions sway control might be, especially being a single axle trailer.
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Old 07-30-2016, 02:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpletKay06 View Post
Wd wont be needed for that light of a trailer. But under certain conditions sway control might be, especially being a single axle trailer.
Worked on getting my stuff stowed in the trailer today. Want it set up so I just go out the door, hit Whole Foods for groceries and leave.

Ran a test:
Unhooked from trailer, GMC measured as follows:

Drivers front, pavement to top of wheel well: 36 5/8"
Passangers front: 36 1/2"

Drivers rear: 39"
Passenger rear: 39"

Hooked up trailer and raised the support, all weight on the truck with just a ball hitch:

Drivers front: 36 7/8"
Passenger Front: 36 3/4"

Drivers rear: 37 1/4"
Passenger rear: 37 1/4"


Trailer tongue dropped exactly 2" from perfectly level before hooking up to truck.

To keep Trailer level in transit I''d nee to get a received with 2" of less drop.

Anyone have any impressions from these numbers?
Seems the front end of the truck rise is not substantial BUT it is probably enough to screw up the alignment and affect tire wear negatively.
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Old 07-30-2016, 02:55 PM   #5
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I would live with that if it feels stable on the highway. Just put any cargo in the bed of the truck at the front and don't add weight to back of trailer. A trip to a scale would be informative but I'd bet the numbers would look good.
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Old 07-31-2016, 11:49 AM   #6
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These are always decisions that you have to make for yourself. The best intentioned advice means little when you have issues. Strictly personal, I would never spend $40-100 thousand or more, on a trailer and assume I'll never have a WD or sway issue. Especially over a $500 to a $1000 hitch! I tow a 19c with a Ram 1500 eco diesel, I spend $600 on a Blue Ox WD hitch and it tows like a dream and that's well worth the peace of mind.
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Old 07-31-2016, 11:55 AM   #7
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JTWind,

After pondering the question this weekend, I've decided to go "over kill". On my 3 other Airstream trailers I've always used a Hensley or a ProPride. hitch, even on the Anniversary 16 that I had. NEVER experienced one moment of "white knuckles".

Yes, overkill, unless you encounter the one moment you wish you had it!

Will go ProPride and just not enjoy as much ice cream this year, yeah, next year too.

Decision made,
Jack
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Old 07-31-2016, 12:26 PM   #8
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Sway control devices welded to ball mount, at least.
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Old 07-31-2016, 02:23 PM   #9
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I have pulled on the ball with a TV like yours and have not had any trouble. My new 26U pulls very well.
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Old 07-31-2016, 02:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tao View Post
Asked about truck sway, proposing, etc. He claims no issue because he drives 63 to 65MPH.

Question/Guidance: Is he just lucky OR is this adequate for a 19' International?
.
The man’s been very lucky... Driving 60-65 MPH may help in the modulation of the sway but it does not prevent sway from occurring... Weight distribution may not be so much of an issue but I would surely get an anti-sway hitch for safety sake. The reason they’re called accidents is because nobody plans on ‘em...

Shoot, I drive with tin foil on my head but it still doesn’t keep all the voices out...:
.
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Old 07-31-2016, 02:31 PM   #11
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This is my own personal experience: take it or leave it. I have a 2009 Sig. Intl 19 foot AS and a 19 foot 2006 F150. Perfect balance. I have towed with only the ball hitch. Never had a sway problem due to cross winds or semi-wake. Towed from Arizona to Yukon and Alaska. Sometimes I bring an ATV in back of truck which maxes out the GVW. But I have air suspension boost on rear truck axle. As for WD, if I had two axles on trailer I might consider it. If I remember my physics right, WD will distribute weight equally to front axle of tow vehicle and to trailer axle, I don't need any more weight on my single trailer axle. I'm running on OEM GYM tires (second set) and have only had a single nail puncture. Other than being a little slow on mountain passes you would never know that trailer is back there.
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Old 07-31-2016, 05:59 PM   #12
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"Shoot, I drive with tin foil on my head but it still doesn’t keep all the voices out...:"

I had the same problem BUT I found using Reynolds brand of foil, then doing a "double layer" shield helped!
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:13 PM   #13
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Note that a w.d. hitch not only distributes the trailer hitch weight among the truck and trailer axles, it also distributes the weight of gear in the bed of the truck located behind the truck's rear axle.

This makes a more balanced truck than the truck with the same load in the the bed, but without the trailer. Another good reason to use a w.d. hitch when traveling with your Airstream.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:52 AM   #14
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I lean towards WD & sway control for all Airstream towing combinations

It is a small dollar investment when compared to the total, and a safety improvement for Family and fellow travelers that is well beyond monetary rationalization.


“Its better to have what you don't need when you need it, than not to have it when you don’t.”
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