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Old 11-16-2007, 11:23 AM   #29
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It is very seldom that I would ever say anything which might contradict Andy, but longer A-frames are common, just not in America. Even modern Airsteams have them as the attached picture shows. I have discussed why elsewhere ( http://www.airforums.com/forums/f417...ner-37445.html ). The longer tongues (A-frames) are a significant factor in reducing sway for systems with little tongue weight and minimal frictional sway control.
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Old 11-16-2007, 01:06 PM   #30
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CanoeStream beat me to it. With just a ball hitch, you are really short in the hitch department. I think we can all say, "Ours is longer than yours."

I have an F-250 like Michelle's and the bed on it is deeper than my F-150's was so I think the tailgate is longer on it, too. I can lower my tailgate while hitched and can even make a reasonable turn with it down. I often carry a golf cart in the bed of my truck while I tow and the golf cart is about three inches too long to close the tailgate completely, but I can raise it to about 45 degrees without any problems so I use a ratchet strap and pull the tailgate up tight against the golf cart and can make as tight a turn as I need to to back into some pretty tight campsites and maneuver in fuel stations, etc. If I put a lift kit on the golf cart I could close the tail gate or if I had an 8' bed I could close the tail gate...se la vie.
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Old 11-16-2007, 01:31 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetstream
OK, clearly I need to do some additional research. I am one of those guys that errs on the safe side, so a Reese setup may be in the near future.

Ball mount extension is OUT. Max Tongue wieight on the OEM receiver is 1000# (per label on unit), which cut by 1/3 for the extension means 660#, which cuts it TOO close.

One question for you more experienced guys:

What effect does a WD/Sway Control hitch setup have on the

a) receiver and TV, frame and components
b) trailer A-frame

Seems to me that a WD/Sway setup stiffens the connection between TV and trailer, thereby adding stresses to both, particularly torque. Some other posts that I skimmed talked about the A-frames being trashed (eventually) by these setups. I also would imagine that stresses are transferred thru the TV, resulting in some loss of comfort, albeit, more control.

Also, looks like to me that if I go with WD/Sway, I'll replace the whole OEM receiver with a Reese Class V.

PS> This sheds a whole new light on pulling my 10K equipment trailer...

The entire RV industry did the research as you suggest. That's why the A-frames are the way they are.

Further, the design of the A-frame also gives room to include a "proper" load equalizing hitch, which is required for "any" size Airstream.

There is "NO" magic to big tow vehicles. If you think you can't lose control of your rig because of the tow vehicle you have, then someone has indeed not told you the way it is. Duallys are not magic either. Now if you want to tow your 19 foot Airstream with an over the road "Peterbilt" then and only then would it be a different story.

When the proper towing equipment is used, problems as you describe rarely happen.

Airstream cannot and will not ever build a travel trailer that would intentionally allow a person to violate the simple rules of safety, and the laws of physics.

In spite of what you were told, you should get a load equalizing hitch with a sway control. You will solve the safety issues, and with a longer hitch bar, solve the "tail gate" issue, "AND" it will allow you to make tighter turns without jackknifing the trailer.

Stating that the rig handles ok, is a false sense of security. To get the "REAL" answer, ride in the back of your trailer at 60 mph.

When most people final resort to that "test," once the trailer stops, they will come flying out of the trailer, white faced and screaming for a "big" booze bottle.

Be safe, not sorry, especially for your family and/or friends.

Andy
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:20 PM   #32
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Many of us are firm believers in having the ball as close to the back bumper as possible.

The short distance will reduce surging and inspire optimal handling.

3 1/2" is what we all should be aiming for. I feel 6" to 8" is max. The farther out you go the more flex is introduced in the 2" draw bar and receiver assembly, especially if it is the weak GM design etc.

Be safe.... keep it short!.... no pun intended.

http://www.airforums.com/attachments..._mount_img.jpg
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:27 PM   #33
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Furthermore... When Wally designed the beloved Airstream there was no issue with tail gates.

I could find no reference to tail gates in my 1973 service manual or sales brochure.

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Old 11-18-2007, 05:32 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
...Airstream cannot and will not ever build a travel trailer that would intentionally allow a person to violate... the laws of physics...
Andy
Whew, that's a relief. I'm sure Issac Newton is relieved also
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Old 11-19-2007, 09:54 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler
Furthermore... When Wally designed the beloved Airstream there was no issue with tail gates.

I could find no reference to tail gates in my 1973 service manual or sales brochure.

I don't recall any references to tail gates in my '06 owner's manual either. I guess Wally still has no issues with tail gates.
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:04 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Installing a 18" hitch bar on the ball mount, will allow the tail gates to completely open.

If A-frames were any longer than they are now, tons of problems would quickly surface.

Andy
Are you suggesting an 18" ball mount extension? Or, perhaps a custom longer ball mount (I haven't seen any that long)?
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:20 AM   #37
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If you use a Hensley hitch it moves the ball mount about one foot away from the bumper and you get no sway. I can easily open the rear doors on my full size Ford van when hooked up.
Al
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:36 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetstream
Are you suggesting an 18" ball mount extension? Or, perhaps a custom longer ball mount (I haven't seen any that long)?

Many times a 12 to 14 inch hitch bar solves the tail gate problem.

Andy
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Old 11-22-2007, 08:06 AM   #39
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My hitch measures 18.5 inches from my bumper. There have been no problems regarding handling or anything else. My tailgate clears the trailer easily.

In regards to the extra pressure a longer bar puts on a hitch, it seems to me that the weight transfer system takes that vertical load off proportionally. That is, even though the trailer has more leverage on the tow vehicle with a longer hitch, it seems that the extra leverage is also applied proportionally more by the weight transfer system, thus cancelling out the leverage effect. No?

Now, the horizontal leverage is probably increased by the longer hitch, but, it seems the sway control system should take care of that as well. At least, it does in my experience so far. No?
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Old 11-22-2007, 08:46 AM   #40
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IMHO.. here is the bottom line.....

IMHO.. here is the bottom line on a ball close to the back bumper vs one that is out in center field.

Take a vehicle with a ball 3 to 4 inches from the back bumper. Hook it up optimally with a WDH etc. and go for a drive. Do some emergency maneuvers. Drive it on a windy day and through some cross winds. Let some 18 wheelers fly by you.

Now do the same test with the ball 10 to 16" back from the bumper. Same combination. Same hookup.

The combination with the short ball to bumper distance will out perform, out handle, and feel better than the one with the longer distance. It will also induce less stress on the mechanical hardware within.
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Old 11-25-2007, 10:56 AM   #41
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Old 11-25-2007, 11:15 AM   #42
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