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Old 07-26-2014, 06:58 PM   #15
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... snip...
I was using my safari as an example my tow vehicle out weighs the camper by about 2500 lb. There is no way in hell it will effect the front tire contact or suspension and create lift, But Im sure you experts will argue this point
ALL I AM SAYING , NOT TRY TO READ EVERY WORD, WD DOES NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH ANTI-SWAY.
No need to yell :-)

There is a definitive way to test your theory. Take your rig to the cat scales. Take the full rig and get a reading. Drive off, disconnect the trailer and go back to the scales with just your truck. The true expert will be those tickets. If your truck's front axle weighs the same with and without the trailer attached, you can do without weight distribution.

Good luck, happy and safe camping.
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:16 AM   #16
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Wds

I am humbled in the presents of so many experts I am truly sorry that I voiced an opinion. I yeild to all you ,I hope when I grow up I can be just like you.
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:29 AM   #17
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I am humbled in the presents of so many experts I am truly sorry that I voiced an opinion. I yeild to all you ,I hope when I grow up I can be just like you.
This reply appears dismissive and defensive to me - if that wasn't your intention, forgive what follows.

I'm not an expert - very few here are. There is, however a great deal of learned wisdom in this forum from which you can benefit if you're interested. That's your call. You have no reason to be sorry for voicing your opinion - but "growing up" would suggest you're at least open to hearing from others.

Your opinion on WD appears misinformed. That can make things unsafe for you, for anyone you travel with and for anyone who happens to be sharing a road with you should you need to make an emergency maneuver and find you don't have the grip on your steer axle you need.

Nothing to be defensive or dismissive about. It's just physics. Try my suggestion at the scales. I could be completely wrong about how your lighter trailer impacts your tow vehicle - I'm wide open to learning about that. No need to speculate. The scales will tell you the objective truth no matter what you, I or anyone else feels/believes about the situation. Then you can report back and we'll all become more educated - not experts per se, but a smarter community for sharing our knowledge together.

Share your opinions all you like - that's welcome. Be open to other input - that's "discussion". Test and share - that's "applied wisdom". We all get better from that.

Again - good luck, happy and safe camping.
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:10 PM   #18
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Ok I apoligize if I sounded a little Short. I have a question for somebody that knows more then I do. My tow vehicle is a 2011 chevy 1500 silverado 1500 5.3lr engine with a tow package weight is 5329 lbs my trailer is a 1969 Safari weight 3800lbs Tongue weight 420lbs. I have had the complete truck and trailer hooked up and parked on a very level lot There is no dip from either the tow vehicle or trailer. I use a anti-friction sway bar. Question is do I really NEED a WDS. I should have asked this question instead of spouting out what I thought was gospil. can anyone respond I dont really have scales in my area.
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:33 PM   #19
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My opinion, no you do not. But the antisway is important. Boy are we gonna get yelled at! Jim
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:36 PM   #20
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No prob, russellsue.

One thing you could do is measure the height of the front wheel well on your truck before hitching up and them measure again after. It's still a little hard to answer without the scales and I'll explain why below.

While you're hitched, you see everything as level - you just need to compare those heights before and after for a quick "gut check". Just drop a tape measure vertically from the center of the front wheel well straight through the center of the tire down to the ground. Let's say you get something like 38" when the trailer isn't hooked up. If you get 40" on that same measure with the trailer hooked up, you definitely need WD.

The reason that's tough is that it's really only approximate. For example, on my Chevy 2500, there is no perceptible difference in height (maybe 1/2" if you're lucky) but a full 500# gets lifted off my front end when I hitch (according to the scales) and I need 50% of that loaded back on the front end for my trailer according to my truck manual. I wouldn't see that with just the tape measure.

You might get a good enough indication with that for starters and then you can usually find some scales somewhere close to where you're camping.

The other tricky part is I'm not sure what weights you're using for the trailer - is it published numbers by Airstream? Usually the published tongue weight is relatively low compared to real life and is very flexible based on how things are loaded, whether you're traveling with water in your tanks, what's in front of the trailer's axle, etc. You may only be putting 420# on your truck's rear end or you may be closer to 5-600#. I don't know enough about your truck to know whether that kind of weight would lift much off your steering axle or not but I'd be surprised if it didn't have some impact upwards of 250# or more. That's a wild guess on my part :-)

You can go to catscale.com for their locator - maybe one is closer than you think. In the meantime, try the fender measurements, include before and after pics if you can and post them here. You'll get good food for thought!
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:39 PM   #21
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My opinion, no you do not. But the antisway is important. Boy are we gonna get yelled at! Jim
:-)

Yelling not required :-)

You could be right. I wish we had some figures to work with but maybe the yardstick process is good enough for jazz. Let's see.

And an unscientific opinion - 98.47% of the time, it's better to have and not need than to need and not have.

:-)
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:41 PM   #22
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According to your owner manual, you can load up to 600 pounds of tongue weight on your truck. Any more than that and you need WD. Where are you getting your numbers? If they are published AS dry weight numbers, you may be at or above 600 pounds when loaded for camping. You should really get some scale numbers to be sure. I think you're right on the ragged edge of needing WD. Your owner manual also recommends sway control with all trailers.
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:41 PM   #23
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jim your probably right, and I will try the tape measure, I was told that the tongue was approx 10% of the trailer weight the charts give it at 420 which takes into account propane and water and things in the trailer. Is this wrong, I have been wrong about alot of things pertaining to WDS. I have the snap ups and stirrups I just need the shank and ball mount and bars. I guess I'll have to get these items. I do agree better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:50 PM   #24
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russellsue,

Post #18 would have been a better start and a much easier way to get help.

There are people on Airforums that have worn out Airstreams, gutted them, rebuilt them, towed all over and I'm amazed by the depth of experience and experiences here.

I've found that there are several hot button topics here, anything related to hitches and ST tires is a near automatic range of ideas and opinions.

But ideas, suggestions and experienced answers are a post away.

Good luck with your rig.
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:55 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by russellsue View Post
jim your probably right, and I will try the tape measure, I was told that the tongue was approx 10% of the trailer weight the charts give it at 420 which takes into account propane and water and things in the trailer. Is this wrong, I have been wrong about alot of things pertaining to WDS. I have the snap ups and stirrups I just need the shank and ball mount and bars. I guess I'll have to get these items. I do agree better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it
The charts are AS charts? They do account for propane but no gear and I don't think water. But the water part may have changed over the years. Is it a chart online where we can look at it?
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:41 PM   #26
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I would suggest the Sherline scale as shown in this link:

Sherline LM 2000 - Trailer Tongue Weight Scale 2000lb - - Amazon.com

to weigh the tongue of the trailer empty and then in various load conditions (with and without fresh water, fresh water tank nearly empty with clean water [less messy for testing] in the gray and black tanks like on a camping trip and then with the necessary "stuff" you think is necessary in the trailer and then add what the spouse considers necessary in the trailer, which in my case was a lot more stuff...).

Then get down and read the actual numbers on the hitch data plate. Sometimes they are not what the salesman said they are. There can be two ratings - with and without WD (weight distribution) equipment.

Truck scales can be found at any quarry for gravel products, some lumber yards, feed stores that are also grain elevators, and most big truck stops.

The factory literature weights are not correct in the real world. Our 2013 25FB International Serenity has a 833 pound tongue weight in the sales literature. When I arrived at the dealership to pick the new trailer up, the tongue weight was 1,150 pounds with the Hensley hitch head installed. Camping ready, the tongue weight increased to 1,175 pounds.

I had the initial tow vehicle factory hitch (2007 Merecedes ML320 CDI diesel) reworked by CanAm to handle the weight. The tow home from Los Angles to Phoenix on I-10 through the mountains was uneventful with the Hensley hitch. There was no induced sway from the bow wave of the semi trucks passing me at 75 to 80+ while I was driving 55.

The scale tickets showed all axle ratings and vehicle GVW ratings were not exceeded on the trip home. After loading the trailer for camping, the front axle was overloaded and the GVW was exceeded. Exit Mercedes and entrance of a 2012 Dodge 2500HD diesel 4x4 pickup.

The Dodge factory hitch was rated 1,200 pounds and thread posts on the Dodge forums mentioned failure of the welds on either end of the hitch support tube. I removed the factory hitch and replaced it with a Curt receiver rated at 2,550 pounds tongue weight and 17,0009 pound trailer.

Our 2014 31' Classic model 30 has been modified with a solar system and four 92 pound batteries in a custom battery box. The tongue weight loaded for camping with a ProPride hitch head attached is now 1,345 pounds. The literature tongue weight is 773 pounds.

The scale tickets show that neither truck axle rating is exceeded with a rig weight of 18,860 pounds with the trailer attached. The front axle is 340 pounds lighter loaded for camping than with the trailer detached, however the 4,700 pounds on that axle maintains steerage as the truck and trailer each weigh over 9,000 pounds.

As one gathers weight information on both the tow vehicle and the trailer, the scales will tell the owner if the tow vehicle is appropriate for the job - under sized - just right - or over kill. Sort of like Goldilocks and the three bowls of porridge.
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:27 PM   #27
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Feel.. I love these posts and read them carefully. Need to learn. But for those of us with little experience... and those of us who want to trust our equipment and enjoy the ride... but if it feels safe isn't it?

I have the Andersen hitch. I have 20,000 miles experience towing. F150 Ecoboost and 30 foot Airstream. I have never been to the scales. I have been in big crosswinds, I have been on bad roads, trucks have blown passed me, crossed the divide many times. My rig feels stable, in control, not a problem. Safe.

Thanks for the technical information, I respect it, I read it. But I like to trust what seems to work, and enjoy the ride, and try to be happy, don't worry....
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:20 PM   #28
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Wow! Pretty interesting stuff, I always learn from some of you guys....for whatever it's worth, we've been involved with RV's for the past 45 years. Primarily 5th wheels, and travel trailers.

This current AS is our third Airstream, and is the best towing trailer I've ever pulled. Over the years we've pulled Airstreams somewhere north of 50,000 miles. On an earlier truck, (a Chevy Suburban) I had a PullRite hitch. Due to the design, it was the easiest hitch to back and make sharp turns with than any hitch I've had since. No problem with WD, pr sway control as as it was built into the hitch.

Since the PullRite is no long made, I've went to the Reese Dual Cam, (with 800# trunnion bars) and the AirSafe hitch.

A month or so ago, I finally broke down and bought a Sherline tongue weight scale. I find my tongue weight is 890#, as loaded for a 2 month trip beginning tomorrow.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, there are many combinations, and many opinions, find one that works for you, and go with it. There is always somebody who thinks they know more than you, maybe they do, maybe they don't, time will be the judge of that. I hope if they are wrong, they are on a different road than I am when their ideas don't work out so well.

WD with sway control is pretty cheap when you consider the consequences.

Larry
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