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Old 06-16-2016, 12:21 PM   #1
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White knuckle newbie questions

I'm sure these questions have been answered before in several posts, but I want to make sure I get this right for my specs.

I have a '74 Argosy 22' that I will be pulling with a 2016 JGC 75th edition. The dealership is adding the hitch tomorrow and I spoke with them to verify if there were any manufacturer recommendations for/against anti-sway devices (like BMW x-drive). From what I understand, anti-sway is okay with my vehicle.

I mentioned purchasing an ASD to someone and they mentioned that I may not need it do to the weight of the Argosy (title 3K, GWVR 5K). Safety is my #1 priority. I will be living FT in the AS, with two upcoming travels (TX-CO) roundtrip and finally (TX-OR). Other than that, I don't have immediate plans for frequent long hauls. Total weight will include myself, three mutts, and my belongings.

So my questions are:
1) After the hitch install tomorrow other than a ball mount, will I need a special receiver plug from the trailer to connect to the TV?

2) For my trailer size, travel, and weight, would you recommend a higher-end ASD like PP/Hensley or would a intermediate brand suffice?

3) Do I still need ASD?

Thanks!
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Old 06-16-2016, 01:05 PM   #2
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Never heard / seen anything official from BMW about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrvlnRN View Post
(...)any manufacturer recommendations for/against anti-sway devices (like BMW x-drive). (...)
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Old 06-16-2016, 01:16 PM   #3
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If it were mine I would go with an intermediate brand hitch, such as a Blue Ox, to add anti-sway and weight distribution. The Hensley / ProPride have convinced me that their technology is superior to a ball hitch, but I believe a less expensive hitch would do the job well given the small size and light weight of your trailer. I have a Blue Ox on my rig - '90 25' Excella + Mercedes ML500 - and it is serving me well. In three years I have towed approximately 20,000 miles around the western half of the U.S. in just about every possible condition with no drama.

Just a personal opinion, your mileage may vary.

Have fun!

John
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:04 PM   #4
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Your 2016 JGC may already have ESC (Electronic Sway Control), as most Chrysler product do in that category, and you may find addt'l devices unnecessary. We're pulling our 22' Sport (4K GVWR) without and it has been doing just fine, even on windy passes and 18 wheelers, etc. using our RAM 1500 w/ESC.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:48 PM   #5
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Id look into something like the Anderson wd hitch for that. Also they should install a 7way connector on the back of your tv with the hitch. So nothing special should be needed.
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Old 06-17-2016, 04:03 PM   #6
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I pull a 2016 26U FC on the ball and am very happy with it. Have over 6,000 miles with it and no problem. You will not like the extra work of the anti sway weight dist. hitch. I had one for 3 years and now almost 3 years with out.
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:18 PM   #7
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I towed an R-Pod with a 4wD Toyota FJ Cruiser for thousands of miles and several years without a problem with just a ball and a chain suspension weight distribution hitch. Then one day the trailer and I got into a situation that put us out of the envelope. Next I knew the trailer was closer to our intended destination than was the tow vehicle and had rolled twice, becoming a pile of twisted junk.

My recommendation is that you get an Equalizer hitch. They do require an initial adjustment using wrenches and washers to get the tow vehicle and trailer level, but beyond that ,it is about as fast as a regular ball hitch to hook up. I too am persuaded that the Hensley and Pro-Pride are superior for less stable tow-trailer combinations, but I have been in situations even more challenging with my current Equalizer hitch than the one that took me off the road back then and never had the tiniest sway.

Travel trailering without some form of anti-sway is playing probabilities. If there is even a small percentage of the time when you might get into what the Swedish studies called "trailer-snaking" then I strongly recommend some form of an anti-sway hitch. By the way, those Swedish studies concluded that quite literally ALL non-fifth wheel travel trailers should be attached with a high-quality anti-sway hitch because they were ALL unstable under certain critical highway conditions.
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:47 AM   #8
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There are a lot of opinions on hitches some good some bad , some expensive some less expensive. So here's my opinion for what it's worth. I have pulled probably every length airstream between st Louis and. Arkansas. I had a friend that bought and sold used ones for years that I helped. I have an 03 3\4 duramax chev. I have found any size can sway given the right conditions. He pulled for 40 yrs before he died. His rule of thumb that he told new owners was if the tow was more than half the tow cap of the vehicle you needed sway control. But he would not tow at all without some form of sway control unless it was just across town. His and my favorite is ez tow anti sway bars that hook to tongue and hitch. So basic idea is " no such thing as too safe". Just remember the smaller the tow vehicle the less Controll over the tow. Basic physics!!!!!!! Be safe and enjoy you trailer .
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:55 PM   #9
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For a hundred bucks you can get two proven, traditional-type anti-sway bars that will handle trailers that are over 30 feet long. That's the biggest bang-for-the-buck going.
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:59 PM   #10
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If towing an Airstream is a white-knuckle experience, the one thing I would suggest is, "you're doing it wrong."

When we bought our 27FB trailer, our dealer sold us an Equal-i-zer hitch, which is a combination of weight-distribution and anti-sway. It works great for us now that we understand how to prevent the zombie screeching noises it used to make when we first started using it (sway bracket jackets for the bars + proper lubrication of the two pivot points in the hitch head has mollified the zombies).

Not telling you what kind of anti-sway (or sway prevention) hitch to get...just strongly recommending that you have one because we think it would help keep you safe on the road.
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:49 AM   #11
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TUSON manufactures an electronic antisway which mounts on the trailer. It acts faster than tow vehicle types in brake applications.

A WD hitch is a good idea (always) and with your lightweight TT, I'd have the TUSON device installed. Bound to a dealer in D-FW.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joel View Post
There are a lot of opinions ... Just remember the smaller the tow vehicle the less Controll over the tow. Basic physics!!!!!!! .
I have towed light weight TTs with no equalization hitches for thousands of miles without any problems (knock wood.) My previous trailers had either no brakes or surge brakes.

I have always wondered, after reading the many discussions on towing/hitches, why an eighteen-wheel rig (which is a fifth-wheel setup), can manage as the TV, but has a relatively short wheelbase (about 20 feet) vs. the trailer (70-80 feet) and is out weighed by the trailer by about 3 or 4 times (18,000# for the tractor and 60,000# for the trailer.)

My Jeep JKU (with Electronic Sway Control) has about a 10 foot wheel base and is rated for #3500# and 350# tongue weight and is about 4,400# GVW. The AS Sport 16' is less than 3500# with a tongue weight of about 350#, with electric brakes.

So, I don't understand why there should be any problems with a straight ball hitch with this set-up.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:40 AM   #13
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The reason a semi or fifth wheel trailer have much less sway problems is because the trailer pivot is located over the truck's rear axle. The reason a bumper-pull trailer has much more sway problems is because the trailer pivot is located well behind the truck's rear axle.

The creates a lever from the hitch ball to the truck's rear axle; lateral movement of the trailer is leveraged to the truck's steering axle making the combination unstable and difficult to control.

Several steps can be taken to reduce the effect of this lever acting on the steering axle. Start with reducing the reasons the trailer is swaying in the first place. Then progress toward the tow vehicle. Then the hitch and setup. These are the three factors making a safe, stable towing combination, and they have equal importance.

Lots of theories floating around and not all good.

We have found the best information based on experience and testing in the writings of Andrew Thomson, second generation Airstream dealer and towing expert at Can-Am RV in London, Ontario.

http://www.canamrv.ca/towing-expertise/
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:57 AM   #14
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You may or may not need anti-sway. But you are going to be putting somewhere between 500 and 750 # of tongue weight on the hitch. This will likely squat the rear axle and raise the front, unloading weight that is needed to maintain steering control. Unless you can verify that the front axle has close to the same weight on it after attaching the trailer I would get some form of WD hitch. I have used Equalizer brand hitches with two trailers (6300# and 9100#) the 6300 on an F150 and then a Ram 2500, the 9100 with just the Ram. I have 10,000 towing miles with not a hint of instability. I don't think you will be sorry if you buy a WD hitch. You might be sorry if you don't.

IMHO, YMMV, etc.

Al
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