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Old 04-13-2003, 07:44 PM   #1
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Wow! Something changed......!

We took off on our first camping trip of 2003, Friday afternoon, through Sunday.Destination, Equine Affaire, in Columbus, Ohio. We were camping at the Ohio State Fairgrounds Campground.
Right after I jumped on I90, I noticed something I had never experienced before with this Airstream. SWAY. Lots of sway. Now I know what you guys are talking about. The only thing I can thing of that is different is the trailer is setting higher. Maybe the aerodynamics are different now? I remembered that I did not fill the fresh water tank. We found a truckstop and filled the tank. That made a BIG, BIG difference. But the sway is still there, but only when being passed by a large truck.

Anyway, we stopped at CW on the way home, and I bought the necessary items to put the WD hitch back into operation, with a friction sway control bar. If that does not work to my satisfaction, I'll upgrade to the Dual Cam sway control. The wife asked, "Why don't you get one of those funny looking red hitches".

The stay at the Ohio State Fairgrounds was pretty decent. We had a full hookup site for $22 a night, with EXCELLENT water pressure. It was a real pleasure to be able to walk a short distance to the festivities, and not have to worry about fighting traffic back to a motel room. I figured there would only be about three other people camping, but the place was FULL!!! (250 sites) One other AS was there, a 34 Limited from Michigan. A tri-axle Avion was right behind us also.
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Old 04-13-2003, 08:25 PM   #2
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pick

any chance after changing your axles, they are not aligned properly?

OR, could one or more of your wheels have too much end play? they may have loosened up a bit after the new bearings broke in.

just a thought.

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Old 04-13-2003, 08:28 PM   #3
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oh ya

pick

you changed tires too? right?


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Old 04-13-2003, 09:32 PM   #4
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This may help some, Pick,

I did a little experimenting on my latest trip this weekend, towing with my Reese Dual cam vs. without down I-35, our local version of the highway to hell. Stiff crosswinds, 18 wheelers, kamikazee rice burners and Indy car SUV's. I definitely could tell the difference!! (Duh??, just had to see for sure) I even got swung a bit by a couple of northbound Minneasota snowbirds in a class-C mh, but of course to save face I was passing them at around 70. Put it all back on for the trip home and much, much, better!

Got home and found my setup instructions, (thanks to AS Forums), and fine tuned the setup, moved the swing-ups and aligned the cams, I might even go out and get a good friction sway (I got the little balls already in place) Can't wait to get it out for the next test run.

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Old 04-13-2003, 09:52 PM   #5
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John and Chas:
Yeah, I got new tires, trailer AND truck, checked and rechecked proper inflation pressure. Lug nuts tight. Bearings tight.

As far as axle alignment, it is really a no brainer. They are setting right where the old ones are. I can tell by the marks in the frame.

All last year, when towing, I did have a full fresh water tank. This was the first time I ever towed with it empty. With fresh tank full, sway only seems to happen, when passed by a tractor trailer.

Maybe this is normal. Lots of AS out there with Hensly's and Dual Cams. I WAS towing with just a ball hitch, no WD or sway control. That is changing pronto.
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Old 04-13-2003, 10:05 PM   #6
 
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Pick,

we had a similar rig to yours: Chevy G-30 and 29' 1974. We never had serious problems with passing trucks (sucked in slightly towards the truck).

We always made a point to travel with very little water in the tank..... but we have WD & Dual Cam. The water tank is not the real solution as you have figured out by now.
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Old 04-14-2003, 09:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pick
John and Chas:
Yeah, I got new tires, trailer AND truck, checked and rechecked proper inflation pressure. Lug nuts tight. Bearings tight.

As far as axle alignment, it is really a no brainer. They are setting right where the old ones are. I can tell by the marks in the frame.

All last year, when towing, I did have a full fresh water tank. This was the first time I ever towed with it empty. With fresh tank full, sway only seems to happen, when passed by a tractor trailer.

Maybe this is normal. Lots of AS out there with Hensly's and Dual Cams. I WAS towing with just a ball hitch, no WD or sway control. That is changing pronto.
The old alxes were not only sagging but they had less spring to them so less body roll potential with less of an influence.

Our 59 was towed ONCE in my presences with no sway control an it will NEVER happen again. It was a white knuckle terror ride and I wasn't even driving. Have a Dual cam for it and I also have the ball welded to the trailer for the friction sway that I also have. I may run both as well. My wife may well drive the combo from time to time and I want to make sure there are ZERO surprises for her and that it has impecable road maners. I'm a bad passenger as it is and I don't need the extra stress and she doesn't need my extra back seat driving lectures LOL.
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Old 04-14-2003, 01:22 PM   #8
 
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My wife may well drive the combo from time to time.... I'm a bad passenger as it is and I don't need the extra stress and she doesn't need my extra back seat driving lectures
I am with you on this one.... Always a problem when a spouse is driving.
I drive a lot less than Mike, usually when he starts to fall asleep. He is a wonderful passenger. Blissfully asleep, hanging by his sit-belt, blocking the mirror.
I do not need his "driving lecture". Like the time he fell asleep in Northern VA, woke up near Pittsburg. After I drove through (I think) the Cumberland & Alleghenies, with the van engine shutting off several times, 65-70mph, downhill. At night. That means for a few seconds: no lights, no steering, no brakes... Interesting. (it took us several months, several States, 3 new alternators and 3 different mechanics to discover we had a spray from a hose shorting the alternator)
That made for some interesting driving. I am so glad I did not have to put my spouse through such an ordeal.
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Old 04-14-2003, 02:25 PM   #9
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Solo driver

My wife swears that she will never tow the trailer. That's OK with me, since she is a marginal driver and just riding to a restaurant with her is about the limit of my nerves.

I'm 10 years older than she is and my worst fear about getting older is that sometime in the future I may be dependent on her to drive.

Lest you think I am sexist, both my daughters are better drivers than my sons-in-law and I will happily ride with them. Ditto, my step daughter.
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Old 04-14-2003, 02:56 PM   #10
 
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sometime in the future I may be dependent on her to drive.
Age should not be the only reason why both spouses should be able to drive the rig.

I followed some very interesting posts on an other forum. Horror stories with good outcome. Like the husband who butchered several fingers hitching up the tow vehicle, ended up with a handful of stiches, and the wife had to drive for the first time a big MH & toad.
Another case, the husband got very sick while on the road and the wife had to do the driving.
In our case, I know that Mike has been known to fall asleep a few miles after leaving home. I know to look for the signs and I take over. Luckily, I am unable to sleep while he is at the wheel, and that is a good thing.
Quote:
riding to a restaurant with her is about the limit of my nerves.
I do not want to sound preachy, but maybe you should try to boost your wife's confidence in her driving, because as you say, you may depend on her someday. Better start now, work at it slowly. Not wait when it is too late and you are in a bind. (on the other end, some drivers are just bad. Then you will have to "hire" one of your daughters )
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Old 04-14-2003, 03:34 PM   #11
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Driving skills

I realize it would be much better if she could take over in an emergency situation. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be a viable option in this case.

I won't get into details, but confidence is not what she lacks.
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Old 04-14-2003, 03:56 PM   #12
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Reminds me of a last minute drop-everything trip I made to Fla some years back to a buddies wedding. We had one of those big Jeep Grand Waggoneers and a 16' single axle Playmor. That trailer was downright squirrely, at one time with my old S-10, it wagged me so bad my front tires were skipping back and forth across the freeway, almost lost it that time!! Anyways, with our new Jeep it towed fine but had to add a friction sway control, no friction sway and you might as well forget about pulling it. I had one mounted up fine and all but in the middle of the night somewhere in Louisiana it just snapped off, while the wife was driving! She handled it for about a mile, turned it over to me and I ended up driving it for the next 100 miles until I found some good ole' boys in Ala. to weld it back together. I guess the moral of my story is to be sure that your significant other can handle your setup!

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Old 04-14-2003, 04:21 PM   #13
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Re: Driving skills

Quote:
Originally posted by Pahaska
I realize it would be much better if she could take over in an emergency situation. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be a viable option in this case.

I won't get into details, but confidence is not what she lacks.
When My wife and I were dating ....Ohh her driving drove me nuts! I gave her tips (some not so tactful at times) and she has completly changed her driving. She was use to tiny little cars and She started driving the WIDE K5 Blazer and it sort of woke her up and taught her to pay better attention. She can whip that K5 around great now.
Other then my own issues of being a bad passenger My wifes driving doesn't bother me a great deal no more then other people I ride with. Wish she would learn to feather the clutch a little better (love you honey! (she lurks)) but that's a me thing. It's not realy a big deal. I'll get her out in a Burb after a while and get her use to an extra 4ft of truck. Find some open road in FL and let her get use to an extra 22ft behind the Burb.
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Old 04-14-2003, 05:24 PM   #14
 
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confidence is not what she lacks.
Mike's 82 years old mother does not lack confidence. She gets stopped by the cops for speeding. Talks herself out of getting tickets everytime. We'd had to chain her down to keep her from going out when there is an ice storm or similar traveling advisory.
We recently went to her place with our truck, so we often rellied on her for transportation. She drove us around suberbia South Jersey in her Honda Civic. Once. I refused to get in the car if she was driving. She never had an accident, but I was scared to death. Total lack of attention and bad eyesight. Too much confidence.
She picked us up at the airport over 20 years ago, NY to Philly. + 65mph, heavy traffic. "Oh, look at the pretty flowers in the median strip... !!!" and stuff like that. The both of us were scared to death.
There are several types of bad drivers. Some of them will never change. Age, training or encouragements will have no impact.
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