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Old 03-18-2017, 11:23 AM   #1
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No kidding. How level is level?

Hi fellow Streamers.
We know nothing about towing an Airstream.

I've read post after post and know the tongue should be lower than the rear of the frame if a 'perfect' balance cannot be achieved.

Well, the bottom of my frame at the hitch is 1/8th of an inch higher than the bottom of my frame at the rear bumper when measured in a local hardware store parking lot (pretty flat).

It's an FC, 25, FB. Published tongue weight is 837 pounds. I use a 1000 pound rated four-point WD system.

Am I good or should I rearrange the hitch mount assembly to lower the tongue? It's my guess the tongue could drop better than an inch in the front if I reposition the assembly. Which is the lesser evil of the two?

Our maiden voyage begins in two days.

Thanks,
Popeye
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Old 03-18-2017, 11:28 AM   #2
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I would use it as is and see how it pulls.

Pavement isn't the greatest place to measure. Concrete is generally flatter.
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Old 03-18-2017, 11:30 AM   #3
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Hi Upnorththree,
Take her out for a ride. If you like the way she handles. Your go to go.
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Old 03-18-2017, 11:39 AM   #4
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1/8th of an inch in 25 feet isn't significant, especially if the parking lot is a substance like asphalt which may not be perfectly flat. It's essentially dead level. Run across CAT scales somewhere convenient as the definitive answer, but if the trailer is level and the drop on the truck fenders is consistent with the setup instructions for your hitch. Usually that means the front and rear fenders drop by a similar amount, and you want to see at least as much weight on the steering axle that you see without the trailer hitched up.
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Old 03-18-2017, 11:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
1/8th of an inch in 25 feet isn't significant, . . .
. . .
Ditto.

Next question . . . ?

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Old 03-18-2017, 11:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upnorththree View Post
Hi fellow Streamers.
We know nothing about towing an Airstream.

I've read post after post and know the tongue should be lower than the rear of the frame if a 'perfect' balance cannot be achieved.

Well, the bottom of my frame at the hitch is 1/8th of an inch higher than the bottom of my frame at the rear bumper when measured in a local hardware store parking lot (pretty flat).

It's an FC, 25, FB. Published tongue weight is 837 pounds. I use a 1000 pound rated four-point WD system.

Am I good or should I rearrange the hitch mount assembly to lower the tongue? It's my guess the tongue could drop better than an inch in the front if I reposition the assembly. Which is the lesser evil of the two?

Our maiden voyage begins in two days.

Thanks,
Popeye

Unless you're parked on a polished granite plate, chances are that the ground varies by at least that much, assuming you are measuring up from the ground.

In terms of weight, you could easily do a calculation of how much weight shift there is in 26 feet at that angle, but the answer without bothering to calculate would be "almost nothing."

Lastly, depending on how many people in your TV, whether you've gone shopping that day, your tires are low or high or hot or cold, or whether you visited an all you can eat place for lunch, chances are your TV is going to settle above or below whatever baseline you are measuring too.

The net net: I would not worry.
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:33 PM   #7
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Sounds perfect, Popeye. Load her up and see how she handles on the road. You should be good to go. [Ever see the movie Captain Ron? "If anything's going to happen, it'll happen out there".]

Where 'ya headed? Long trip? Close to home?

Hopefully, you've had SOME training or at least been pulling it around town to get the feel. If you've never towed anything you might want to look into some towing classes in your area.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upnorththree View Post
Hi fellow Streamers.
We know nothing about towing an Airstream.

I've read post after post and know the tongue should be lower than the rear of the frame if a 'perfect' balance cannot be achieved.

Well, the bottom of my frame at the hitch is 1/8th of an inch higher than the bottom of my frame at the rear bumper when measured in a local hardware store parking lot (pretty flat).

It's an FC, 25, FB. Published tongue weight is 837 pounds. I use a 1000 pound rated four-point WD system.

Am I good or should I rearrange the hitch mount assembly to lower the tongue? It's my guess the tongue could drop better than an inch in the front if I reposition the assembly. Which is the lesser evil of the two?

Our maiden voyage begins in two days.

Thanks,
Popeye
For your information; "Olive Oil" was actually spelled "Olive Oyl."
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:53 PM   #9
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Be thankful you are not being ridiculed for 1/8". I am very surprised by the positive response you have gotten.

1/8" is not significant enough to cause problems IMHO.

What is important is the weight distribution inside the rig. If given a choice, heavier items towards the TV or be more forward biased heavy.

Enjoy the ride.
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
-- snip -- If given a choice, heavier items towards the TV or be more forward biased heavy. -- snip --.
Do your best to keep the heavier items as close to the axles and as low in the coach as possible. The intent of loading with that approach is to minimize the polar moment of inertia for the coach to make it as stable as possible. That means you should not balance heavy items loaded in the rear with other heavy items loaded forward. However in the end result, tongue weight should be 10%-15% of coach weight at load out.

Travel safe. Pat
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:59 PM   #11
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I've owned 4 AS and 2 Avions and used three different hitches as well as towing on the ball and I was never able to get the set up that close. They all Towed great.. You're good.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:53 AM   #12
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I was told to level my AS to the freezer floor of the 'fridge. So I did.
Now when I level the trailer, it sits a little nose high, (on a dedicated level pad), but the fridge is level. and I guess that's what counts.

-Look after your equipment, it will look after you.-
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MelGoddard View Post
I was told to level my AS to the freezer floor of the 'fridge. So I did.
Now when I level the trailer, it sits a little nose high, (on a dedicated level pad), but the fridge is level. and I guess that's what counts.
. . .
Not sure where you got the suggestion to level using the freezer floor, but the owner's manual says simply:

"The vehicle needs to be leveled only so it is comfortable to live in (no noticeable sloping of floor or walls)."

Thus, if you can walk around inside the trailer, and it does not feel out-of-level to you as a pedestrian, it is level enough for the fridge and freezer. The perceived need to level an Airstream precisely for the fridge is an anachronism left over from decades ago IMO.

How nose-high is your trailer [over its length] when the freezer floor is level?
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
1/8th of an inch in 25 feet isn't significant...
Ditto...won't make a bit of difference.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:45 PM   #15
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When I tried to find "level" with my MH I discovered the floor, countertops and the table were all slightly different.
I picked the countertop as a good place to set the level and always was happy. If I can't feel it, it's not far enough out to care.

But I kind of like this gadget for telling you "level".
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:03 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Not sure where you got the suggestion to level using the freezer floor, but the owner's manual says simply:

"The vehicle needs to be leveled only so it is comfortable to live in (no noticeable sloping of floor or walls)."

Thus, if you can walk around inside the trailer, and it does not feel out-of-level to you as a pedestrian, it is level enough for the fridge and freezer. The perceived need to level an Airstream precisely for the fridge is an anachronism left over from decades ago IMO.

How nose-high is your trailer [over its length] when the freezer floor is level?
I measured 3" nose up, at the frame, on a 30' F. C.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:04 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MelGoddard View Post
I measured 3" nose up, at the frame.
Then I would guess that your freezer floor is not parallel to the frame of the trailer, and should not be used to get level IMO. If you level the trailer frame, is the fridge plumb along the hinge edge? Something seems out of whack. Sure your level is accurate? After getting level, when you swap the level end-for-end, do you get the same bubble reading?

Bottom line is as posted earlier. If the trailer feels level as you walk, the fridge will be OK.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelGoddard View Post
I was told to level my AS to the freezer floor of the 'fridge. So I did.
Now when I level the trailer, it sits a little nose high, (on a dedicated level pad), but the fridge is level. and I guess that's what counts.

-Look after your equipment, it will look after you.-
Original poster is asking about leveling when hitched and ready to tow, not when unhitched and parked
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:09 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
Original poster is asking about leveling when hitched and ready to tow, not when unhitched and parked
True.
I have two little bubble levels on the A-frame, one on each side of the screw-jack.
But when the rig is all hooked up and ready to go, the bubbles are in the level.
The hitch is an Ezy-Lift, set up by Andy Thompson of CanAm, when I removed a Reese hitch, due to poor performance.
It works.
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
When I tried to find "level" with my MH I discovered the floor, countertops and the table were all slightly different.
I picked the countertop as a good place to set the level and always was happy. If I can't feel it, it's not far enough out to care.

But I kind of like this gadget for telling you "level".
Yes, a very clever "gadget"....but for an Amazon price of $140 I'll let our friends with cash to burn be the buyers. The electric tongue jack I installed on my trailer has a single bubble level, sometimes called a pond bubble, built into the top of it. I find it works reasonably well. If I want to run a double check I lay my toolbox topedo level on the dinette top (don't want my dinner plate sliding off the table, ya know). Any small difference after that is too small to worry about.
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