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Old 12-18-2006, 09:16 AM   #1
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Thumbs up well we left for Nashville, and had to come back.

This mornning we headed out on our first trip ever with the Airstream, not only are we on a time crunch, but we have never towed a loaded airstream, and we have a LONG trip ahead of us (NH to TN). In the few times we toed it empty it never swayed, rode real smooth, so we loaded it up (not with too much weight we think) and headed for the 495. It was the most terrifing thing. We started to sway around and a few times it seemed abitrary. No mac trucks, no curve in the road, and we were doing 40-45. So 45 minutes into our trip we decided to come back home and rethink the old weight distribution hitch uncle john gave us a few months ago. We tried hooking it up before, but seemed too complex, and why would we of ever needed it if it towed so smoothely (empty) ok, so we got the last laugh. Well here we are, all packed up and (meantaly gone) but we need to get this thing installed and reviewing the links as to how to install one of these things it looks daunting because you need to know the weight of the trailer loaded (which we don't) it's a 72 Tradewind 25' so we know its 4200 dry if memory serves me correctly, and we are towing it with an 86 suburban 2 wd, 1500. I understand there is an equaztion for each hitch/trailer/tv combo. In the one photo, it looks like there used to be a sticker of the hitch's manufacturer? Maybe that helps because we have no idea what kind of hitch this is.



Any help is appreciated.

p.s. we have no budget, so we really need to work with what we already have. At least to get us to TN. We can purchase something new or additionall down the road. Thanks.

-Kelly





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Old 12-18-2006, 09:29 AM   #2
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Those are Eaz-Lift WD round bars, and look like they are 750 pound bars. You need a piece to go on the head of the hitch on the truck, you will have to take one of the bars with you to the RV store to make sure it fits.
You will also need something for sway control, as they do nothing for that. You will probably need one of the flat bar clamp on type sway bars.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:40 AM   #3
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Thumbs up OK - Does this look right? We have the engine warmming up to leave.

We think its all on tight and secure and correct. It would be great to get a second opinion as none of us in this house have any experience with a distribution hitch.. Thanks a million..



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Old 12-18-2006, 09:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Those are Eaz-Lift WD round bars, and look like they are 750 pound bars. You need a piece to go on the head of the hitch on the truck, you will have to take one of the bars with you to the RV store to make sure it fits.
You will also need something for sway control, as they do nothing for that. You will probably need one of the flat bar clamp on type sway bars.
So what we have won't actually do anything for us in the sway dept.? Cause it's the sway that made us come home and redesign our hitching situation. We are going to go with what we got, That's too bad if that's the case. How will we benefit with what we have now as opposed to having nothing on it before?
Thanks...

-Kelly
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:44 AM   #5
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Quote p.s. we have no budget, so we really need to work with what we already have. At least to get us to TN. We can purchase something new or additionall down the road. Thanks.

Harestream--I don't mean to sound sarcastic --but if you can't afford to hitch up correctly, how can you afford to repair your wrecked vehicles ???. My opinion mind you,--but if you don't have money to do it right you should stay home or go with out the trailer.---pieman
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:51 AM   #6
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From what I can tell most people on here go out on their first trip and learn the hard way what they need to do to feel more safe. Thankfully we do have a brake controller installed.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:51 AM   #7
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It looks like you have all the parts , just not set up correctly . I am heading out for Concord shortly , is there any way you can meet me and I can help you with the setup. Cell 236-6317.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:51 AM   #8
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-your safety chains should be crossed and running inside (between) the spring bar...

-have you properly inflated the trailer tires, and the suburban tires?

cheers
2air'

no one wants to read you've had an accident so this whole rushing out the door thing is a little scary

with someone only a hour away willing to help...i'd accept that offer.
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:06 AM   #9
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Hare---if your going without any sway control, at least set what you have up correctly!!!!!
{1} disconnect trailer and level ---on level ground measure to the top of the Ball socket in the hitch and make note of this measurement---
{2} with your tow vehicle level measure to the top of the ball. ---This should be the same or as much as an inch higher than the hitch measurement. Make changes as necessary by raising or lowering ball mount as needed.
{3}rehook as in last picture EXCEPT----the brackets on trailer frame must be moved forward so the chains from the bars to the bracket are as near vertical as possable with the trailer and tow vehicle straight ahead position From the picture this may interfear with propane tanks. If needed remove the tanks while traveling.
{4} the safty chains should be crossed over each other and run between the spring bars not over them and shortened , not twisted,---pieman
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:08 AM   #10
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hmmm....

Move the chain saddles (the things the chains attach too on the trailer A-frame) forward so that they're coming down straight (at a 90 degree angle from the frame). Right now they look too far back.

Hard to tell from the photo, but your trailer looks nose high... that in itself will cause sway. Your trailer should be level. You need to put the receiver one hole down.... but to do that, you need to flip that L shaped piece that comes out of the receiver upside down, unscrew the receiver head and put it on again, but one hole or so down from where it is. That will lower the nose of the trailer (if it is too high up.... again, hard to tell from that picture).

Friction sway is cheap, around $50.00. Less than one tank of gas, you decide. You put a smaller ball on the head of your receiver (should be a platform and a hole for it right next to the big ball that you have... but I don't see it on the picture that you supplied. Could be on the driver's side of the ball) and mount the sway control to the A frame of the trailer.

That hitch head should tilt back a bit to get some bend into those bars. To hook up, but the hitch of the trailer on the ball, lock it in place. Then use the trailer jack to raise the trailer and truck up a bit. This makes it easier to use the bar to swing the chains up and latch the tenscienor chains (the ones on the bars) in their saddles. I'm assuming you have the bar/pipe to swing these saddles up? It doesn't look like there is any tension in the bars right now.

As before, the safety chains go between the weight distribution bars, cross each other once, and then attach to the truck.

Hitch it up right to enjoy the trip.
Marc
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:29 AM   #11
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Bob,Thanks for all the info on the phone. Mark, Mike, Bunny friend, thank you to all of you... Yeah we are just eager to move on into the next phase of our lives, and we honestly thought we had done the research and weren't going at this blindly. I don't know what we would do without the forums. Thankfully we are nearby to Campers Inn, so we can bring it by there for the add insurance that it's straight. We've tried to leave every day since friday, and if it's not one thing it's another. Thanks again airstream family.
-kelly
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:00 AM   #12
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I had never heard that the chains are supposed to cross...so they go under the bars ( inside) and cross before hooking into the holes on the hitch?
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:09 AM   #13
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allright. you guys are scaring me!!!

haven't heard from you since we met a few months ago...I was wondering where things "were at".

I do specifically remember someone mentioning to me just how surprisingly smoothly the trailer towed from its purchase location (wasn't it on the 'cape?) to the house in NH...on just a plain ball mount. That implys to me very strongly that the interior mods you've made have dangerously unbalanced the trailer. It is extremely important that 10-15% of the gross weight of the trailer is on the tongue. I'm betting that what you need is a scale, and some re-packing, rather than a sway control. not that I'd argue against a sway control...but that is "emergency" equipment; its there to counteract a sudden and/or unforseen situation. It should not be required just to "get down the road". any trailer...but particularly an airstream...should be stable with only the weight distribution hitch. if its not, then something is very badly out of whack.
not only that, but I'd be afraid that a friction sway control wouldn't be enough in this situation. if the trailer is constantly trying to wag around back there, the sc is not going to stop it. it'll only "dampen" it. "it" shouldn't be there...except maybe a little bit when a truck passes, etc.
The only scale I know of is in Greenland, nh, which isn't exactly on your route. I'll google around and see if I can find something closer...
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
I had never heard that the chains are supposed to cross...so they go under the bars (inside) and cross before hooking into the holes on the hitch?
Yes, they are supposed to cross under the hitch/tongue. I've had it explained to me that the purpose for crossing them is to "catch" the tongue and cradle it somewhat if the trailer comes loose from the hitch in an emergency. The added distance between the TV & tongue will release the brake controller pin (if it's adjusted properly) and the trailer brakes will be engaged allowing you to come to a controlled stop without completely "dropping" the trailer. Not that I've have any first-hand experience with this (thank God!) but it seems to make some logical sense.

Shari
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