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Old 11-01-2003, 07:25 AM   #1
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Storing Towing Gear When Camping

The sway bars, torsion bars, hitch balls, tow mirrors, etc, are dirty, greasy, heavy and take up a lot of space in the back of the Suburban when we're stopped to camp.

I'd be curious to hear where other Airstream Owners store all that gear when they'recamping.
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Old 11-01-2003, 07:58 AM   #2
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I lay the weight distribution bars across the a-frame, leave the mirrors and hitch ball on unless not towing for an extended time, and put the rest in a small Rubbermaid plastic bin.

I do clean the hitch ball with WD-40 and paper towels each time, and apply new grease before hitching up. This avoids greasy pants, and keeps the grease from turning into lapping compound with grit and grinding away at the coupling.
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Old 11-01-2003, 08:24 AM   #3
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I also leave the hitch ball attached and the bars hang in place (release tension position) and I store the mirrors in the rear compartment above the bumper.

What is more of a problem is my mudflaps; I have Enkay (removable) mudflaps that attach to the hitch bar. I feel I must take them apart as they do not lock on in any way--have set-screws that take an alan (sp?) wrench is all to take them off/steal
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Old 11-01-2003, 09:10 AM   #4
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Shiney hitch ball...

Quote:
Originally posted by dmac
I do clean the hitch ball with WD-40 and paper towels each time, and apply new grease before hitching up. This avoids greasy pants, and keeps the grease from turning into lapping compound with grit and grinding away at the coupling.
Geez...

and here all these years I thought i was polishing my hitchball !!!!

Roger
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Old 11-01-2003, 09:18 AM   #5
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I haven't encountered it yet but been wondering...

I figured a pickup truck with a bed cover of some kind would do it, but I sometimes have carpoolers for work and an extended pickup cab would be not good enough to haul up to four 6 ft plus guys. I don't want a crew cab because I doubt I could park it easily in the downtown garage I use. So, I have been thinking Chevy Avalanche for next year's purchase. I've got time to think about it.
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Old 11-01-2003, 10:29 AM   #6
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Depending on the type of hitch:

Torsion bars go on the clamp up nipples. The T shpaed end of the torsion bars (reese is what I had) have a hole that will slide on the clamp up nipple. Be sure to have the retaining pin in.

The hitch, if you remove it can be stored in the coupler. Just lift it in position and lock the coupler. The padlock in the hole on the coupler will hold it up.

Mirrors, no clue I had slip on extensions and just left them on the truck
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Old 11-01-2003, 10:43 AM   #7
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From what I observed at the only rally we've ever attended, most just released the tension on the spring bars, pulled the cross pin from the receiver, and drove away leaving the hitch head, bars, sway control, and all, on the tongue.
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Old 11-01-2003, 01:10 PM   #8
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I bought a Bar Buddy from C&G Products Company to store my torsion bars on the tongue via a lock on the existing chains.

See pictures of them at C&G's site: http://www.rvbarbuddy.com/

Be sure to tell them you have an Airstream. Many Airstreams have the propane line run along the bottom of the curb side tongue frame. They have a special Bar Buddy for the Airstream that you must drill and screw into your frame to mount . Also if you have the extra stainless steel protectors on your frame, include it's thickness in the width measurement of the frame.

I would also call them directly if you are interested in ordering. They do not have a protected site for payment.

I am very happy with the setup and I don't have to worry about getting the bars or me dirty.
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Old 11-01-2003, 09:19 PM   #9
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Fairly new the R/V world and everything ends up a little different each time I set up camp (it's only been around 3 times). But this question has forced me to think what I should eventually incorporate into routine. My 2 cents...

First, my priorities...

1) Security
2) Cleanliness
3) Efficiency

So, here it goes...

1) I can't afford to lose the towing equipment (my fault or someone else's) or I can't go home with my A/S, so I need to store it in a secure space. So it has to either go in the TV or in the A/S. I suppose another alternative is to leave the hitch in place in the TV and use a hitch pin lock, but the hitch kinda gets in the way when reaching into the back for something. It's also hard enough to find parking for the Suburban sometimes and the extra 2 feet won't help either. The idea about leaving it coupled to the tongue is intriguing, but for us, worry-warts, doesn't that just leave it ready for someone to drive off with it. [I probably need to do some investigating about re-wiring the electric jack to the battery disconnect.] So for now, it's going somewhere...

2) Because of cleanliness, it should be stored in some type of box, maybe in foam with cut-outs. Or maybe a thick cloth bag of some sort as it will likely take up less space. Winston (our Golden Retriever puppy) is relegated to the cargo area when travelling (e.g. day trips), the box/bag will likely go in the A/S as he is prone to chewing. It also must go in an outside compartment as I don't want it inside; even in a box/bag, it's likely prone to get dirty (e.g. sitting on the ground, etc). BTW, I bought a $2 hitch ball cover from CW so the grease doesn't get everywhere.

3) Our most active compartment during camp set-up is the main rear storage bin. The electric cord/water hose/chairs/stabilizer jack lever/etc. come out which opens up space for the box/bag to go in. I think that might be efficient.

Well, time to put the hypothesis to the test... we'll see. For now, they're lying on the garge floor waiting for me to do something.

Abe
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Old 11-01-2003, 10:16 PM   #10
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Doc,

Try these ideas on for size.

1: Leave the hitch in the coupler locked.

2: Get strap steel and make a single set of hanger brackets , knida like the over the door clothes bars from lowes, mod as necessary to slip on a A frame You can stow the torsion bars there.

Get one of the locking hitch pins, lock it thru the hich bar, but attach a chain to it. This chain should be wrapped around the A frame and then locked to the chains on the torsion bars as well as back to itself. There are some locks made for hitch pins that have a really long shank that would go thru 4 chain links. An older style bike lock would work.

Or the same deal on the coupler, locked and chained to the side, but install a storage tube under the trailer to put the torsion bars in while parked.

This will not keep the most determined thief from stealing your unit, but it will stop the quick snatcher. BTW if there is nothing in the coupler it makes it easier to grab

This keeps it all outside, but secure. Grease is kept on the trailer and not by the pup.

While the unit is in storage I would get a large rubber door mat and keep the hardware in the trailer on the mat.
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Old 11-01-2003, 10:52 PM   #11
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Newkid,

Hey, that's a great idea securing the hitch to the coupler by using a locking hitch pin. Didn't think about that. Saves a bunch of space too; that hitch is monstrous. It seems though it would take some experimenting on the right jack height to easily remove the hitch from the TV, but definitely possible. I wonder how hard it would be to re-attach to the TV receiver; about 1/8" wiggle room. Hmmm...

Thanks
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Old 11-02-2003, 08:26 AM   #12
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Hi -

I keep my Reese weight distribution and anti sway bars in the back of my truck (which has a cap on it). I made 2 "U" shaped steel brackets to hold them that are attached to the truck's side bed rail, and I keep them from bouncing around by securing them with a couple bungee cords.

I also have Enkay mudflaps, but I usually keep them attatched to the tow bar. I have a 4x4 Ford F250, and take it in some pretty rugged, off the road places, and ordinarily the Enkay's aren't a problem.

(I really like those Enkay mudflaps.) They seem to really keep rocks, etc. from flying into the lower half of the trailer -- which is a real problem with a 4x4 vehicle.

John
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Old 11-02-2003, 09:16 AM   #13
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What I do - and a question

I keep the wd bars of my Reese Daul Cam and all the pins and chains, in the bumper storage of the A/S. The hitch head and sway control goes in the back storage compartment of the A/S.

Question. I am intrigued by keeping the hitch head attached to the hitch, but am worried that it would put too much strain on the hitch (a-frame). After all the hitch (a-frame) is supposed to rest on the hitch head, not have the hitch head dangle from the a-frame. Any comments or thoughts?

Thanks

Malcolm
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Old 11-02-2003, 10:00 AM   #14
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I would think that the downward stress of the hitch hanging in the coupler is nowhere near the stresses that are placed on the A frame when attached to the tow vehicle with the WD bars.
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