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Old 06-13-2014, 08:56 PM   #1
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new to Airstream and large towing... help?

TOWING: 2008 23d

TRUCK: 2012 Ford F150 FX4 Ecoboost (400hp with mods)

QUESTION: I have a standard tow ball on my truck. My truck is set up for towing, has trailer brake control and tow setting for gear ratio and downshifting.

Do i need one of these special tow ball set ups (Sway bars...)?

I bought my Airstream in Texas and it is being shipped to me in San Diego and will be arriving in the next couple days.

THANKS!!!
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:11 PM   #2
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At 4700# dry and a GVWR of 6300#, youay want to investigate a WD (weight distributing) hitch with some form of sway control.

There are (too) many threads on this topic. Try searching for Equal-I-zer, Reese, Andersen, Eaz-lift, Blue Ox, Hensley and ProPride for starters.

This link: http://www.serenitysys.com/rv/techni...omparison.html used to be the gold standard for comparison and is still very helpful, but dated.

This link: http://www.etrailer.com/faq-trailertowtips.aspx is pretty helpful for basic info.

Perhaps an ad?
http://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguide...izer_hitch.php

More "ads" here but in total, some good info:
http://www.mrtruck.net/wdh.htm

Good luck!
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:12 PM   #3
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Thank you do much SteveSueMac!!!
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:18 PM   #4
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SteveSueMac

What is your best recommendation out of these options based on my set up?
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:16 PM   #5
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I'm totally not qualified to answer that question. Sorry.

I replied to your PM with a lengthy list of things to think about and reasons why you might want one vs another.

I think the key is - you don't need it until you need it - and you will because you can not control everything around you. As a kid, seat belts were not even on the radar screen. For the past 30 years, I've worn them every minute in motion. No accidents (thank God) but I know I need those belts. Same with weight distribution and sway control.

Keep reading and asking questions. You'll make the right call for you!!
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:34 PM   #6
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Interested in your mods,on a gasser towing some are good some not so much
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:35 PM   #7
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Most ice cream parlors have more than one flavor on sale. The same goes with the tow vehicle discussions, hitch discussions and which trailer discussions.

The 23' models have a lighter weight (6,000 pounds GVW) that the wide body models (25' and longer) and are easily towable by the more modest tow vehicles. The 720 pound tongue weight in the factory literature is way lighter than reality.

So one needs to decide on how much stuff you want in both the trailer as well as the towing vehicle and see if there is enough capacity to carry all of it in terms of weight.

Good luck in your research.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:37 PM   #8
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" You don't need it until you need it "

I think you will need a weight distribution hitch from the get go. For one, it will transfer weight back to the front steering tires. Second, WD hitches minimize " porpoising " when your rig goes over a bump, because it restricts the up and down movement between trailer and tow vehicle.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:09 PM   #9
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Get a WD hitch system and sway protection.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:44 AM   #10
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:18 AM   #11
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I sometimes tow a 17' Casita with my 3/4 ton Dodge truck, and I use a WD anti sway hitch when I do, because it's better.

Do I have to have it? Obviously not, but it's better.

With that said, I would not tow a 23' Airstream around the block with a 1/2 ton truck, any 1/2 ton truck, without a WD hitch. But, this is only my opinion based on doing this since the '70's.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:51 PM   #12
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Cmmorsey, open your driver door on your truck and look for the sticker that says "combined weight for occupants and cargo should never exceed---- kg or ---lbs. What is the weight figure?

Check your hitch on the back for a sticker or information on the bottom. If the same class hitch as mine from the factory, it will have a weight rating of 1050 lbs using a WD system for that class hitch. Note the maximums without a weight distribution hitch. Here is the sticker from mine. Weight distributing figures on top. According to MY Ford hitch sticker, a WD hitch for your 23' is NOT an option but a requirement since your tongue weight AND towing capacity are greater than 500 lbs AND 5000 lbs. My unit is the lightest wide bodied 25'. Empty it is 5049 lbs. with a gross at 7000 lbs and I agree with other posters, I would not tow without a WD hitch though the day I bought mine, we drove 130 miles without trailer brakes- no controller.

There are so many options on hitches. My used model came with a Curt WD hitch that worked fine for me until I got new truck tires- who would know. Then suddenly I was wallowing all over the road. I checked hitch height, etc. all within specs. It was odd. I ended up with a ProPride hitch and they are excellent but expensive compared to options. This though is an item that you get what you pay for. Many of us on this forum have Hensley and ProPride hitches. Whatever one you end up with, make sure that your weight bars go beyond your tongue weight maximum quite a bit so that you have to adjustment room. Six hundred pound bars with a 600 lb tongue weight- no. Six hundred with 1000 lb bars- yes. I learned this after the fact. Once you put LP in those tanks figure on about 100 lbs more tongue weight too. All tongue weight is subtracted from that door sticker figure.
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Old 06-14-2014, 05:54 PM   #13
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Old 06-14-2014, 06:15 PM   #14
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Everyone has been so helpful and I'm so greatfull! For about a $500-$1000 budget... What should I buy?
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