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Old 05-24-2012, 02:20 PM   #1
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Introduction and Q...

Hi,

I am a newbie on the forums and I am hoping to be a new Airstream owner, possibly as soon as this weekend. I have been looking at Airstreams in the 18'-22' range for several years and have finally decided to take the plunge. I have been camping in my 97' 8 1/2 foot Alaskan truck bed camper for 13 years now and while I really like the camper, packing up and putting it down every day so that I can use the truck to get around is getting old. I sometimes flat tow my jeep behind it but that is also a hassle unless I am going someplace like Moab where that is the whole point of the trip.

On to my question... I have a 99' F-250 8' bed w/extended cab, 5-spd manual transmission and the V10 engine. For towing a 18'-22' ~4000 lb. gross, ~500 lb. tongue weight camper will I need an anti-sway and/or weight distributing hitch? If the answer is yes then would something more like a friction system do the job on this lighter weight setup rather then the expensive and complicated Hensley or ProPride setups?

Any insight would be apprecciated!

-Scott
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

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

As to your question, I would highly recommend a quality weight distribution/sway control hitch system. I would take a look at the Reese and the Equalizer. Both are quality systems, and cost about a third of the price of a Hensley or ProPride.

Are you going to continue carrying the Alaskan while towing the Airstream? We carry an Outfitter truck camper while towing our 25' Airstream.

Brian
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:13 PM   #3
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1968 20' Globetrotter
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Thanks for the input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
Are you going to continue carrying the Alaskan while towing the Airstream? We carry an Outfitter truck camper while towing our 25' Airstream.

Brian
As for the Alaskan I don't really have any reason to haul both around. For now I plan on keeping the Alaskan for those times when I want to take the Jeep with me or for back woods hunting trips where a trailer wont go.

-Scott
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:59 PM   #4
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Jinkers, you know there are all kinds of opinions here. My advise is to try towing with the minamalist setup for your set up, then decide for yourself. I do not use the ultimate tow devices and have no problems. We just got back from a trip which we went from 4,600' to above 10,000' with winds from 30-50 mph. I'm usually passing the bigger rigs.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahab View Post
Jinkers, you know there are all kinds of opinions here. My advise is to try towing with the minamalist setup for your set up, then decide for yourself. I do not use the ultimate tow devices and have no problems. We just got back from a trip which we went from 4,600' to above 10,000' with winds from 30-50 mph. I'm usually passing the bigger rigs.
If all is as advertised I will be doing the "minimalist setup" tomorrow in 25-35 mph winds. Should be a good test to see how it feels in wind and whether or not I think I'm going to need to add something.

Slow and steady...

Thanks,

Scott
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:44 PM   #6
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Welcome to the Airforums Jinkers... make sure to post some pictures of your new rig!

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Old 05-26-2012, 05:59 AM   #7
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Good luck! I think that your tag line "slow and steady" says most of what a person needs to know about towing.

I tow with a 3/4 ton pickup, and the trailer is 6,300 lb GVW and about 650# tongue weight, depending upon how it's loaded. Do I NEED weight distribution and anti-sway? Can't answer that, 'cause I 've never towed that way ... all I can tell you is that it adds a measure of stability (not to be scoffed at) and confidence. And I can load more "stuff" in the bed of the pickup without having the rear end go down far enough that my headlights get annoying to oncoming drivers.

But in any event, "slow and steady" will usually get one to one's destination!
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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Well, all was as advertised and I am now the proud owner of a 95% original 1968 Globe Trotter in pristine condition

After 300 miles in steady 25-30 gusting to 45-50 mph winds (so says the weather man) I am happy to report that it tows like a dream. I kept the speeds to 60-65 tops and I hardly noticed the wind any more then I would driving just the truck. Being passed by 18 wheelers didn't cause any undue issues either.

I didn't really have time to take pictures today but will post some later. But it is amazing how clean and original this thing is. It even has the original Canvas cot over the couch, TV aerial, heater, fridge, electrical panel, even the original folding camp chairs - and they ALL work. Near as I can tell the larger propane bottles, new AC unit, new flooring and aluminum wheels are the only non original items.

I did learn some things today about Airstreams in general...
1) plan for long stops at the filling station because several people will want to talk about it.
2) The original electrical connector for towing is a bad thing. Took a few hours to rig something up so I could get on the road. If anyone has a tow vehicle side connector or knows where I can get one please let me know.
3) Something I should have known... an all metal body makes a wonderful Faraday cage effectively reducing all but the strongest cell and WiFi signals to un-useable. So here I sit at the picnic table in the wind LOL!

-Scott
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:23 PM   #9
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Sounds like you found a real gem -- Congratulations!

Can't wait to see photos...
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:14 PM   #10
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1968 20' Globetrotter
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Talking Photos: 1968 Globe Trotter

As promises, here are some photo's I took this morning at the KOA in Raton NM...
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:58 PM   #11
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Wow! That's beautiful! Congratulations and welcome!

Ken
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:54 PM   #12
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Wow, that is a beautiful Airstream. Congratulations and welcome to the forums.
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