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Old 06-19-2016, 11:50 AM   #29
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So glad you're ok. I've seen a couple of wrecked AS and they don't roll well.
I almost lost a small camper a few years Go, due to sway.
I purchased a $40 sway bar kit and added it to my Reese hitch. I've had NO problems since..
Also, I carry bikes and kayaks on my tv roof, using a Thule roof rack. No problems there either.
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:23 PM   #30
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out of control sway

As others have said, and to clarify, dropping more links lightens the tongue weight which makes your sway worse. Get someone to explain the wd set-up to you or have it done by a professional. Too little tonge weight is the worst case scenario.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:53 PM   #31
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If the immediate problem is to get home safely and the only thing changed is not having the gens loaded in the front of the AS, then you have identified the problem as not enough tongue weight. If your water tank(s) are forward of the axle, fill them and empty any over or behind the axle. If you normally have your forward water tanks full you will additionally need to add the weight of the missing gens under the dinette, even if you have to buy 60 lbs of bricks or sack of cement. Stay under 50 MPH to get home. As others have posted, before your next trip do a complete set up with your hitch with sway bar replaced and visit the scales to be sure you are within TT and TV limits and have at least 10% of loaded TT on the tongue. Safe travels.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:54 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
Yesterday, June 17, 2016 I nearly had a catastrophic accident. I started driving with my 2014 Cloud 19 from home to BigBear, all has been good for the past 1.5 hours. Then all of the sudden, I started to sway. I ease off on the gas, but I can still feel a sway. I noticed before leaving home, that when I added my bikes in the back, my tongue was slightly higher than normal.

So after this first sway, I lowed it to one hang instead of two hang. Oh my gosh, at 50mph, it was BAD! Swaying half way through both sides of the lane. Very very scary to say the least.

So we pulled over once more. This time, I put three of the four bikes inside. And left it at two hang. All was good all the way to BigBear safe and sound.

I have never experienced this before because I have always brought my two Yahama 2000 gens and put them under the front dining table which countered the weight I guess. However, on this trip to BigBear since it was a full hookup, I didn't bring the two gens.

My question is, will it be better if I do a three hang? Or my weight in the back is just too much?


I would love an answer by June 19 since I am leaving June 20th.

Much appreciated.
ALL -
Lotsa good general info from respondents on here for general hitch set-up, but the OP is up in the SoCal mountains & needs to return DOWWNHILL on a pretty steep grade with switchbacks to get home (note where I bolded above).

So he/they need on-the-road advice/help.

cazual6 -

First issue is whether or not your TV is adequate, because someone said you have a Traverse with either the 2000 lb tow rating without their factory tow option, or 5000 with the option.

So, does yours have the FACTORY tow option - or just the added receiver & electrical? If not, then that TV is definitely inadequate to tow your AS 19'er.

However, even with the factory tow option, you could easily be bumping up to or over the 5000 lb. limit with the AS "wet" & loaded (I don't know the gross max wt. rating for that AS 19' - so someone else can chime in on here with that). Even with a max, a family can easily overload a trailer with more than the gross rating, but I'm not aware of any scales up on the mountain to check your total weight - so ask around fi there might be - otherwise play it safe.

If you're over in either case, then I recommend that you go rent a tow equipped 1/2 or 3/4 ton pick-up from the Enterprise Commercial Rentals down the hill in San Berdu or closest location (NOT the regular car rental places which do NOT allow towing).

You can't use a U-Haul 1/2 tom, cuz they only have 4-pin electrical connectors - so you won't have brakes on the trailer (they do this because all of their rental trailers use surge brakes). But you could ask if they have any equipped trucks with a brake controller & 7-pin - otherwise it won't work to tow your trailer.

If you think your AS is over the 5000# (or 2000#) tow rating, then you should play it safe coming down the mountain, & rent a truck. Of course, if you have a local buddy with a tow vehicle properly set-up & capable of safely towing your AS & they can come help you out, then do that & pay for their gas & a meal.

I don't want to see you on the mountainside on the channel 7 news tomorrow!

2nd - You've said that your anti-sway is toast - so you have NONE, nothing, nada to counteract sway - period. You also posted the pic of the bent hitch bar - so you have nothing with which to connect a new sway unit either.

So today or tomorrow - BEFORE hitching to anything - you need to go buy a new anti-sway for your Equalizer & the hitch bar, then recycle the old ones for scrap metal. You should never have towed with that in the first place!

3rd - For now to get down the mountain safely with your family & AS - take the bikes & hitch off the back, & break them down - i.e.: wheels off & anything else to make them fit inside the TV &/or AS cabin, so you're not making the situation worse. If you end up renting a truck (or a buddy's), then put them in the bed with proper tied downs.

4th - Forget about the number of links per se - on any TV - yours or the rented/borrowed truck - use a tape measure to measure the top of wheel well opening front & rear on the TV before hitching, then hitch up the fully loaded trailer - with the NEW anti-sway & hitch bar, & then adjust your springs to the number of links position where the TV is at the same measurement to the top of wheel wells as before hitching when unloaded.

Your task with the WD hitch is to distribute the weight evenly to both F & R axles of your TV - not to diddle around with numbers of links to try to kill the sway, since it does nothing about the sway.

The reason for WD is that 100% of your TV's steering & most of your braking - & all of your drive wheels IIRC on a Traverse are at the front, so if the weight of the trailer pulls the rear down & the front off - you'll have little or no traction on your front wheels/tires for that purpose. So you adjust the links on the spring bars to pull the front end back down to a normal driving position, & thereby distributing the weight forward from the rear axle.

5th - As you know - it's dang hot 100+ degrees today & tomorrow, so you may want to try to leave in the early morning before it gets too hot, as you could over heat the TV, even with just using a low gear for engine braking down hill, but also on the flat on the freeway home down below.

You should also keep to 50-55 mph for this trip "limping" home, until you get the hitch, weight & sway issues all worked out at home.

Then you can read back through all the replies above & on here about how to weigh & properly set-up your AS & TV combo - BEFORE the next trip please! You'll need to double check on the tow rating for your Traverse, & see if it's adequate, or if you'll need a more capable TV (there are many choices out there in a comparable mid-size SUV, if you need to upgrade, & still have a decent family hauler for daily driver duty).

That said, we tow a vintage kin Avion T20 which is 21'-6" long (not including the WD hitch), about 3000-3500 lbs wet & loaded, with a 542 hitch wt. per my weighing it on my Sherline hitch scale - so somewhat comparable you your 19' AS - but ours is lighter than yours (older trailers including vintage Airstreams were built lighter with light-weight materials, compared to today's models).

I've towed with rented 2012-13 Nissan Pathfinder V6s with a tad higher tow ratings than your Traverse at 5000-7000 lbs., as well as with the rented 1/2 & 3/4 ton crew cab pick-ups (total overkill TV-wise for us), as we search for our own mid-sized SUV TV - probably a used Cayenne S V8 (all rated for 7700-7716 lbs & 660-770# HW fyi) - or maybe a used Toyota 4Runner or Land Cruiser V8 or Lexus twins of same.

So I'm not saying that you're necessarily out of bounds with your mid-sized SUV TV, but it definitely needs to be rechecked, & a Traverse needs to have the factory tow option.

Since I knew we would be using a "smaller than a 1/2-3/4 ton truck/suv" TV - & because I wanted the ease of use of not having to take off the hitch head/springs & a screw-jack to tension the springs (rather than in my 60's hoisting chains like yours), not to mention superior sway elimination - we got a Hensley Cub ("Arrow Jr.") which is in the $1300-1800 price range, & good for smaller trailers like ours & yours under 6000# gross & 600# max. HW - & about $1000+ less than the Hensley Arrow or ProPride larger versions (for up to 10,000# trailers & 1000# HW). Hensley also has a lifetime warranty.

It may also be a more capable hitch to hang bikes off your AS's rear bumper, but IIRC the bikes can weigh more than 25# each + the carrier + the welded on receiver - so you'll need to recalc if that much wt. hanging off the back is okay, & check your AS docs to see if they recco against it for structural reasons with the AS frame/shell itself. If you look at the Hensley Cub, then talk to Terry Powell & ask him about the Bike Rack question.

Yes, you can tow yours with a properly sized & repaired Equalizer, Blue Ox, & other comparable WD/AS hitches - assuming you replace the dang damaged hitch bar & anti-sway unit!!!!

Good Luck & please report back on here to everybody when you get home safely, then get to work on resolving the issues.

Safe Travels!
Tom
///////
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:35 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
Backing up, turn to tight

One thing to keep in mind if you go with another anti-sway hitch: with an Equal-I-zer hitch, we don't have to remove anything before backing up. This is fortunate for us, as I doubt we'd remember to do that.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:41 PM   #34
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To add to what Rocinante suggested, also consider the BlueOx Sway Pro if you are shopping for a new hitch. It is easy to set up, hitch/unhitch, quiet and no restriction when backing.
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Old 06-20-2016, 02:06 AM   #35
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Ive got the Anderson Wd hitch and there is no need to unhook to backup.
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:29 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
The problem is the 4-bicycle rack, the bikes mounted well behind the bumper on that receiver the stupid dealer welded to your frame. Too much rear weight, too far behind the trailer, with no upper support. Your Airstream Owners manual warns against such weight in this position.

This could be compounded by heavy items stored in rear compartments.

It's about good loading procedure, lighter items at the ends of the Airstream, heavy items near the axle. Offsetting heavy rear loads with heavy front loads makes an unstable trailer, don't do it.

Your hitch setup is probably okay, at least not the source of the problem.
x2. And take the trailer back to that dealer and tell them to cut that receiver off because it about totaled your trailer and you.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:21 AM   #37
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Here's an example of well setup w.d. on a Traverse. Use a truck scale to ensure your axle weights are good.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 2011_AIRSTREAM_TRAVERSE.pdf (455.5 KB, 115 views)
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:48 AM   #38
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Here's an example of well setup w.d. on a Traverse. Use a truck scale to ensure your axle weights are good.
Thanks for the PDF. Am I correct in inferring that the tongue weight is 462?

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:22 PM   #39
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Thanks for the PDF. Am I correct in inferring that the tongue weight is 462?

Thanks,

Peter
Peter, not sure what the tongue weight is. Does in really matter. I believe what matters is the amount of weight the Airstream adds to the tow vehicle after weight distribution is set up. In this case 462.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:48 PM   #40
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Yes, you are right. It would also be helpful IMO to know, however, what the actual tongue weight is before WD hook-up, just to make sure that the trailer is loaded within AS specs.

In the case of the OP here, knowing the tongue weight before and after loading would seem to be a very important data point to have.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:10 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Yes, you are right. It would also be helpful IMO to know, however, what the actual tongue weight is before WD hook-up, just to make sure that the trailer is loaded within AS specs.

In the case of the OP here, knowing the tongue weight before and after loading would seem to be a very important data point to have.

Thanks,

Peter
Peter, you are right as well. Our FC 25 Owners Manual specifies the tongue weight must never exceed 1000 lbs, not sure about the OP's Airstream.

I suspect the four bicycles may be carried inside the Airstream safely, or left at home. Here we have a family of four and their gear, four bicycles, two generators, possibly some tool boxes in rear compartments, a Chevy Traverse and single axle 19' Airstream. Every towing combination has its limitations.
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Old 06-20-2016, 02:44 PM   #42
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Tongue Weight is just that. The weight of the trailer tongue as the trailer sets on the ground unhooked from any TV. Tongue does not change during hitching.

A WD hitch can cause that tongue weight to be carried at other than the jack post, the TV axles and the trailer axles, but it can not change it
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