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Old 09-10-2013, 08:11 PM   #1
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2018 30' International
Bristol , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5
Made the plunge!!!

We pulled the trigger and bought an airstream! This website was so helpful in helping us make the right purchase decision for our family. We ended up with a 2008 Classic and pulled it straight from the lot to a campground. We had a great weekend and our 2 y/o daughter had a blast. We really feel like we got a great trailer for a great price but we do have one question/concern. The trailer came with a Hensley hitch, which the dealer set up as I watched. I have done quite a bit of research on the Hensley hitch and I feel like it was set-up properly for my TV (2011 f-250 super duty). However, the trailer did not tow as I expected, it felt like the trailer was "rocking" as I towed it down the highway. My question is could it be attributed to the tires on the airstream? The previous owner was planning on taking the unit to Alaska so he installed Goodyear Wrangler P265/75r15 112t tires. The tires have a "taller" sidewall and aggressive tread. Could these tires affect the towing experience dramatically? We are planning on doing basic weekend camping excursions near our home most of the time and I do not see the benefits of these tires for our purposes but I do not want to trade them out (they are brand new with two spares, so 6 total tires) if it would not make a noticeable difference in towing ride. Thanks for the help!

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Old 09-10-2013, 08:23 PM   #2
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
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Congrats!! Here's to years and years of fun camping experiences!!

Can you describe the "rocking" motion in more detail? There's "porpoising" which is a front to back motion - especially noticeable on concrete segmented roads. That could be due to not having enough tension on the weight distribution jacks of the Hensley.

I'm afraid I can't help much on your tire question but I'm sure others will chime in.

Enjoy and please post lots of pictures - apparently that's a requirement here :-)

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Old 09-10-2013, 08:29 PM   #3
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1984 34' International
Toronto , Ontario
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A rig with a Hensley should be rock solid - we use one and there's no movement of any kind. If there's a rocking motion along the trailer then something isn't as it should be. I'd take the trailer back to the dealer and let them sort it out.

Didn't they offer an orientation drive? Ours spent an entire morning with us on an empty parking lot, practicing backing up etc and demonstrating the brakes, then went on a long drive with us until we felt comfortable to take the wheel.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:43 PM   #4
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
mapleton , Utah
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A p265/75r 16 tire is a passenger car/light SUV tire. Not at all suitable for a fairly heavy Airstream. Too tall, too wide, and not nearly enough load capacity. This raises the low center of gravity which is one of airstreams claims to fame. I suspect that the tall flimsy sidewalls are allowing your trailer far too much movement going down the road. Also, how is the level front to back when hitched. the farther from level you are can contribute to balance and sway issues.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:19 AM   #5
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Welcome to the wonderful world of Airstreams! I encourage you to link up with one of the groups in your area. If it works for your schedule, you may want to check out Falluminum 25-27 OCT in Hiawassee, GA.
Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:36 AM   #6
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Your first step ought to be to find the vehicle tire placard. It may be mounted on a door or in a cabinet - and may be on the front of the trailer.

The vehicle tire placard will tell you the original tire size and the proper inflation pressure for that size.

Your second step would be to weight the trailer - fully loaded with as much stuff as you can image you will ever haul - and that includes full water tanks!! You're looking for an absolutely worst case scenario.

Weighing each tire individually is best. I was going to point you to a procedure to get the individual tire weights, but the link I have is broken. I'm hoping someone else who has a good link will post it. Alternatively I'm sure somewhere on the internet is a procedure.

And those tires. I'll bet the original tires were ST225/75R15 Load Range D - and if so, that means the current tires are more heavily loaded (percentwise). You need to look at this very carefully and very, very soon. A tire failure can do a lot of damage.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:53 AM   #7
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2018 30' International
Bristol , Virginia
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I really appreciate the quick responses from everyone. I questioned the tires when I first looked at the unit and was assured by the dealer that they were an "upgrade" over what was originally on the unit. I should have done better research beforehand but I think we got caught up in the excitement of finding such a nice trailer. To answer the question about how level when hitched, the trailer is almost perfectly level with a slight nose down orientation. When I say slight it is not noticeable without a level and even then the bubble does not fall very far outside center indicators. The "rocking" feeling does feel like a front to back movement (like with proposing) but it is subtle. I keep coming back to the tires because it almost feels like a softness or squishing for the tires would lead to this problem, that seems to be the consensus from the answers above as well.

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