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Old 01-13-2016, 07:43 PM   #1
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2014 31' Classic
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Pro Pride Hitch Question

We have a question as a (relative) newbie. We are pulling our 14 Classic 31 with a 15 Sierra 1500 with a 6.2L with Max trailering and a Pro Pride hitch.

The 500 mile trip home with the unit from the dealer in September felt tight with no swaying or movement when we met big rigs, but a bit of porpoising on pavement level changes.

We have spoken with Sean a couple times and he has helped a lot. The hitch had been set up for a 3/4 ton vehicle and the AS rode front low before we adjusted the truck side of the hitch up 2 holes. The AS now sits level when hitched.

On a recent 1200 mile trip, we had porpoising throughout, and experimented with the tortion bars from 8 to 8 1/2 inches. (The previous owner set them at 8 1/2.) The bars are 1400 pounds.

Any ideas on how to get the hitch balanced to our vehicle? It actually towed better with the front of the AS 4" lower than the rear, which is where the dealer set it up for us. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:06 PM   #2
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Hi. I can't imagine why your dealer would set up your rig so the front of the trailer was 4" nose down! If they did that - there's no telling how they installed and configured your hitch.

I have a ProPride for my 27' Flying Cloud towed by a Chevy 2500. I've had some porpoising caused by the unbalanced position of the head of the ProPride (see pic below). Even without a ruler there you can see how it was positioned crookedly. Simple adjustment with a few bolts and much better.

You may also want to experiment with height of the Weight Distribution (WD) jacks. Where are you measuring 8 to 8.5"? Mine ride best at about 6" measured from the top of the a-frame to the bottom of the risen WD jack sleeve.



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Old 01-13-2016, 08:35 PM   #3
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Might be good to know your total AS weight and tongue weight too. Light tongue weight will contribute to porpoising as well. I towed my 30 classic last summer with a Sierra 1500 maxtow 6.2 and had no porpoising. With a hensley, so similar setup.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:35 PM   #4
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I wouldn't concern myself with the inches set on the w.d. screw jacks until after the trailer is level, the truck has good weight distribution, and the hitch is set up well. Then only as an easy way to repeat what you have determined to be the correct hitch/combination setup.

The weight distribution bars should angle downward toward the back, even after weight distribution is fully set. This ensures they are giving enough weight distribution, and they maintain it during their range of movement as you go over bumps in the road. This can be done by adding as many washers as you can under the big rivet in the stinger to push the drop bar down. You'll have to unbolt the drop bar to get them in. You may also have to move the drop bar up or down to get the best adjustment for weight distribution of the truck while keeping the trailer dead level.

This downward tilt also helps return the trailer to center behind the truck after turns, gives a little more stability in turns, and reduces the chance a the "Hensley Bump" in heavy braking.

I like to see the w.d. return our 1/2 ton Ram front wheel well height to it's height before the trailer is hooked up, or within an inch of it. The rear wheel well height does not concern me as much as long as it's not higher than before hookup. If the truck rear end is sitting oddly low after weight distribution, then you may have too much weight toward the back of the truck's bed, or too much weight in the front of the Airstream.

Or the truck's suspension is too weak, but that's not likely if neither truck bed or trailer front are overloaded. If they are overloaded, you will have to reduce the loads or, as some have done, get a heavier duty truck. My preference is too reduce the load if needed.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:38 PM   #5
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Might be good to know your total AS weight and tongue weight too. Light tongue weight will contribute to porpoising as well. I towed my 30 classic last summer with a Sierra 1500 maxtow 6.2 and had no porpoising. With a hensley, so similar setup.
Thanks Rich, that may be another possibility, not so likely with Airstreams because they tend to be heavy in front. Loading can change that.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:38 PM   #6
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Don't think the suspension is the issue I load 500 pounds in the bed with 1050 pounds receiver weight and everything is great.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Hi. I can't imagine why your dealer would set up your rig so the front of the trailer was 4" nose down! If they did that - there's no telling how they installed and configured your hitch.

I have a ProPride for my 27' Flying Cloud towed by a Chevy 2500. I've had some porpoising caused by the unbalanced position of the head of the ProPride (see pic below). Even without a ruler there you can see how it was positioned crookedly. Simple adjustment with a few bolts and much better.

You may also want to experiment with height of the Weight Distribution (WD) jacks. Where are you measuring 8 to 8.5"? Mine ride best at about 6" measured from the top of the a-frame to the bottom of the risen WD jack sleeve.



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Sean suggested 7" from the back of the hitch bars to the ground.
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:48 PM   #8
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

"It actually towed better with the front of the AS 4" lower than the rear, which is where the dealer set it up for us.

4" low = tongue weight.

It toed better with TW....

Go to the CAT scales and get that puppy set up rite.

Level AS, level TV with WD set and the proper weight transferred.

Bob
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Old 01-14-2016, 03:35 PM   #9
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My rig with a Hensley is dead level and I get porpoising on some Interstates with concrete road beds where the joints are squeezed up. I have extra leaves in the rear springs, and more weight in the truck helps but I will also be replacing rear shocks with adjustable action units now that the originals are worn. You might want to try that.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:38 PM   #10
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My rig with a Hensley is dead level and I get porpoising on some Interstates with concrete road beds where the joints are squeezed up. I have extra leaves in the rear springs, and more weight in the truck helps but I will also be replacing rear shocks with adjustable action units now that the originals are worn. You might want to try that.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigi1957 View Post
We have a question as a (relative) newbie. We are pulling our 14 Classic 31 with a 15 Sierra 1500 with a 6.2L with Max trailering and a Pro Pride hitch.

The 500 mile trip home with the unit from the dealer in September felt tight with no swaying or movement when we met big rigs, but a bit of porpoising on pavement level changes.

We have spoken with Sean a couple times and he has helped a lot. The hitch had been set up for a 3/4 ton vehicle and the AS rode front low before we adjusted the truck side of the hitch up 2 holes. The AS now sits level when hitched.

On a recent 1200 mile trip, we had porpoising throughout, and experimented with the tortion bars from 8 to 8 1/2 inches. (The previous owner set them at 8 1/2.) The bars are 1400 pounds.

Any ideas on how to get the hitch balanced to our vehicle? It actually towed better with the front of the AS 4" lower than the rear, which is where the dealer set it up for us. Thanks for any suggestions.
Recognize I have a whopping one week of experience towing a Classic ('16) using a ProPride hitch system, so take this as just data; thought it might help. Completely different TV, an F250 diesel. Would ask if you have all three 5/8"x4.5 in bolts in the stinger assembly? Also, when the stinger is in your hitch receiver, is it level? Look at the last page of the PP manual and run through the calculation to determine any drop you will need to take into account in assembling the stinger assembly. The solution to that equation will be the drop or rise needed to match the trailer (at level) with the truck (at rest without load. Also, check every single bolt in the entire assembly and be certain they are tight and tightened to the proper torque setting. We were at a rally last week and greatly benefitted from several others (three engineers!) who had PPs. Ran through the calculations, made several changes and completely changed the manner in which the trailer rode. Reduced rear end drop dramatically and eradicated porpoising. I went from worried to confident. It is a great towing system, but it is complex.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:11 PM   #12
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Consider the SCALES!! Worth it. Do it right.

Next, check the gear you have in your AS... If you don't have it "balanced" like too much "aft" of the axles, it will tend to porpoise.

Our 34' AS, "1400#" bars.. If loaded wrong, bouncy bouncy. I only crank from 5-5.5" on adjusting bars.. It runs 1/2" nose ...with all gear properly stowed and full water. Our TV is 2012 2500 Duramax 4x4 crew cab. Plenty length to minimize bounce of the AS in most situations... Even on most Louisiana roads.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:26 PM   #13
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Ditto to the scales. Lookup the scale weighing process from Ron Gratz. Like this thread.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...es-105930.html

Basic process to really dial things in is multiple passes on the scale. Truck/Trailer weighed at the settings you currently have, Truck/Trailer with the jacks at the bottom, Truck only. All hopefully with stuff you normally take camping, full truck fuel and water tank full or how you normally tow when camping. To get even more information do additional weights, they only cost $2, with your WD jacks from your starting point -2, -1 and +1 inches.

Throw it into the spreadsheet that is in the link that put together with Ron's information and you can better determine what is going on with the actual movement of weight to the front axle. GMC says restore 50% of the difference between the height of pavement to the bottom of the front fender well between truck only and truck with trailer attached but NO WD applied. I look at that as well as the weights (usually works out to restore 50% of weight) and then you should be dialed in.

CAT Calc Sierra 2500 Classic 5-2-15.xlsx
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:13 AM   #14
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Oh how fast do you pull? I pull about 60.. Too fast you can develop an oscillation if roads undulate. I have had that in our 34'

Also our truck original shocks were incapable of decelerating. Had to slow under 45 to get it to stop.

Just ideas since we do not know your situation, operating speeds.. Etc.
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