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Old 11-28-2003, 08:24 PM   #15
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Re: Newbie Towing AS Needs Assistance

Quote:
Originally posted by Travel_RN
I'm new to owning an AS and new to towing anything this big. I've read most of the posts and even more confused than I was before.

BASICS: 2002 F150 5.4 V8, Limited Slip (8600# tow cap)
2003 International CCD

Based on my truck specs I know I can tow my AS. What confuses me is all these types of hitches, connectors, anti-sway things and the like.

What do I really need to get started?

Any help is appreciated.

Jeff
I just sold my 2003 International AS after towing it roughly 8000 miles with a Silverado 1500. The AS is slightly heavier unloaded than the CCD but with the same configuration and gross weight.

I used a DrawTite hitch with 550# bars and it was about pefect. You don't want 1000# bars, they are too stiff for the tongue weight. 550# bars worked fine, 750# bars would be OK.

I used a Reese friction bar and never needed anything more for sway control. The trailer is inherently well balanced. I towed through a storm with 75 mph gusts and had no problem although construction signs and branches were being blown across the highway. A couple of times, I forgot to put the sway bar on and never noticed the difference. It was more belt and suspenders than required.
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Old 11-29-2003, 09:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by bredlo
Brand new at this, really confused, and looking for answers...

I'll be picking up my '63 Globe Trotter in a couple weeks. Not sure of my tow vehicle, but it'll be either a late model Tahoe or Blazer.

I'm towing from Washington state to Illinois, and want to make it as cheap and quick as possible. We're getting new tires and greasing the axle, but my question is:

Do I HAVE to have a hitch equalizer, sway bars, hitch height accumulator, grease tube applicator, drag coefficient calculator... and all that other fancy stuff?

Or can I survive for now with just the stock GMC hitch receivers that came on the Chevys and a 2" ball from the local NAPA? I don't want to die in a fiery wreck just getting it home, but it's going to be a good 2 years until this aluminum heap is restored enough to use!

Any help is appreciated!
Brad
Get a hitch and sway control. Single axle trailers are much more prone to sway then tandem axle.

We had to tow our 59 home 30 miles. I will NEVER tow that trailer again without WDH and sway control. It was one of the scariest times I have ever had. It was not safe.
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Old 11-29-2003, 09:49 AM   #17
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Brad,

This forum and thread have tons of good advice for you. I too
was new to towing last year. I spent hours searching for info and still felt confused and unsure. The most important thing I did (IMHO) was to buy a Tahoe. I bought it especially for the trailer and of course it was a big investment. I would not want to tow even my '17 ft. Caravel with anything less. Since you have it use it!
I also have a Prodigy brake controller and a Reese friction sway control. This was not very expensive and works beautifully. I took a 3000 mile trip involving mountains-no problem. If you have the Tahoe you probably dont need the equalizing hitch for a Globetrotter especially if money is an object. Sway control is pretty important. If you get to experience sway you wont like it.
I would not tow with anything less than the setup I have but I feel like I dont need anything more.

Good Luck,
Heidi
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Old 11-29-2003, 10:27 AM   #18
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Temporary Tow Vehicle?

Brad,

If you are talking about a one time tow with a Blazer it probably would do the job. If you are talking about a permanent tow vehicle for your vintage Globetrotter then you might want to reconsider. A Blazer is smaller than a Trailblazer and a Trailblazer is smaller than a Tahoe. Trailblazers are somewhat designed to be tow vehicles but I now have my doubts and will probably trade in for an Avalanche next year. I never thought Blazers were designed to tow much more than a small boat despite what weight capacities they claim.

If you are talking about a temporary or borrowed tow vehicle you have an advantage. You will know a lot more about what you will need and want afterwards without regrets. If you are like me and stuck with what you got then you may end up feeling the way I do. I traded in my Silverado pickup two years ago and never anticipated owning an Airstream.
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Old 12-01-2003, 01:00 PM   #19
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Hello again to all-

Spent several hours in the last few days looking into this some more. I'm finally beginning to get clear on it (well, clearer, anyhow.) I'm going to take mom-in-law's 2004 Tahoe with factory hitch receiver.

So what I'm left to purchase is... everything inbetween.
I've kind of landed on either Reese or Draw-Tite hitches for my setup.

It seems I can't get on the road without spending over $400, but such is life.
Again, this is for a '63 Globetrotter (390 lbs. tongue)

- 750-800 lbs. rated, weight distribution bars - Draw-Tite: $250
- Anti-sway bars - Draw-Tite: $97
- adjustable height shank - Draw-Tite: $95
- and a 2" ball - dunno, 20 bucks or so.

That's $450, and it's about the same for the Reese Strait-Line, which combines the WD and anti-sway in one package.

So, unless someone can give me a safe, less expensive alternative (used?? I'd do it!) this is what I'll be getting in the next day or so.

Thanks all, see you online.
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Old 12-01-2003, 01:08 PM   #20
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I got this off www.hitchtrader.com

Used REESE weight distributing package--complete w/head, ball, snap ups, bars, etc. $49! Many other used hitch parts & packages--call for additional information. Moving locations this winter--sale prices on all used hitch equipment! www.acefogdallrv.com

800-747-0747

Many forum members as well as myself have done business with them and cannot praise them high enough. It may be a bit out of your way, but if you tell them what you need I am sure they could ship it to you. If you call tell Christy we all said HI.
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Old 12-01-2003, 01:57 PM   #21
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Brad,

I'm sending you a PM.

I'd also like to add that a good trailer brake controller is a MUST.

Eric
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Old 12-01-2003, 02:13 PM   #22
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Hey Eric-

I've responded with my ph. no. Thanks again for the offer, I'll take you up on it!!
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Old 12-01-2003, 02:34 PM   #23
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Brad,
Please dont forget that brake controller!! Also my Reese friction sway control was about $150.00 including the installation. It works great. It would probably be more than enough for your unit. My trailer is only 2 feet shorter and I was advised that I did not even really need that by Reese and Rick Davis who delivered my AS to me. (Rick is the president of the Vintage AS Club and transports AS professionally.) I didnt want to take a chance for
such a small amount of money. With a tow vehicle like a Tahoe you have more leeway.


Heidi
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Old 12-01-2003, 03:05 PM   #24
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Heidi, I know I've said it before, but I just love that photo of your coach in the middle of that sign. I hope that you submitted that for the pic of the month on the Airstream site!

See you tomorrow Brad.

Eric
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Old 12-05-2003, 05:11 PM   #25
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Hey everyone,

I'm all set. Between Silvertwinkie's generous gift of his old brake controller and a heavy-duty weight dist. system I think I'm all set. We leave in the morning, and I wanted to thank you all for helping to give me peace of mind in dragging this 19-foot beast home.

See you all in a week!
Brad
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Old 12-05-2003, 10:32 PM   #26
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Best of luck. Look forward to hearing all about the trip and the coach when you get back.

Safe travels!
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