Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-08-2007, 01:31 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1973 24' Argosy 24
Grand Rapids , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 45
Bronco Bashers - I need help

I am the proud new owner of a 1973 Argosy 24ft Twin Bed trailer. After I made my purchase, I decided to look on the forum for infomation on the best type of weight distribution and ani-sway hitches. In my research, I stumbled across the "Rave" reviews given by many people on here in regards to using a Bronco as a tow vehicle. So, I read, the good, the bad, and the ugly, but after all of that, my 86,000 mile rust free 1996 Bronco Eddie Bauer is still in the driveway, next to my 1995 79,000 mile rust free Ford F-150. (Straight 6, five speed manual, max tow 2,200 pounds, family owned, soon to be up for sale).

So, here is what I have

1996 Ford Bronco
5.8L V8 3.55 Axle
86,000 Miles
GRVW 6,300 pounds
GCVW 12,000 pounds
Max Tr Weight 7,000 pounds

Current Tires BFG Radial AT 31x10.50 R15 LT 1090 M&S Max load 2250
Door Sticker Tires: 235x75 15 XL

1973 Argosy 24ft Twin Beds, Rear bath, Front Dinette, Dual Axle
Dry Weight: 3,800 approx.(Number given to me by the owner when he had it put on truck scales)

I have not picked the unit up yet, so I do not have all of the information on the front plate.

So, what is my question. First, let me state that my Bronco is not the best tow vehicle, I read all of the posts, but it is what I am going to be towing with in the forseeable future. In order to maximize my vehicle and make it the best "it' can be, I need to focus on two major things to start with, Tires and the Hitch System. (Not spending $3,000 for a hitch either).

I am looking at using a Reese weight distribution system with anti sway cams. From the posts I have read on here, for the money, its as good as any system out there. Tires, what about tires? I already know from driving my bronco the BGF's are no help for towing, they look good, but lets face it, they seem to help make it a little sloppy in the normal on road handling area. Ford recomends 235x75 R15 XL. I have looked at the tire posts and other than seeing that I should go with D or E rated tires, I could not seem to find alot in this area.

I would apprecate any suggestions or comments on the hitch system and any recomendations on what type and size of tires would help my Bronco be the best "it' can be. Also any suggestions on things like shocks or stabalizers for the Bronco. I do not have the cash right now to go hog wild, but it could use some new shoes, and I am not planning to tow with what is on there now.

Thanks,

"Let's hope it all holds together"
__________________

__________________
WestMichCamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 01:38 PM   #2
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
P235/75R15 XL is good enough for what you are going to be doing. Inflation on XL tires is 41. An external transmission cooler if you don't have one would be a good investment, and your Reese setup should have around 750 pound bars on it. I tow a Sovereign around with a Ford truck with a 5.8, so that should be no problem. Ball height should be at 19-19.5 inches, so you will need to figure out what head your hitch will need to get that height.
__________________

__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 01:57 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
1973 24' Argosy 24
Grand Rapids , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 45
Thanks - One more question

It has a transmission cooler on it, and I have made a request on the Blue Oval Forum to get the build sheet on it since I am the second owner.

Does anyone have any thoughts on buying a hitch system on line vs at a dealer? The previous owner used a Reese system, hardware is on the frame, but never used anti-sway, said he didn't need them. Also, any Michigan members have a local recomendation for hitch dealers that are similar in cost to on-line?

Thanks,

"Let's hope it holds together"
__________________
WestMichCamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 02:24 PM   #4
Site Team
 
azflycaster's Avatar
 
1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,125
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
If you buy online you need to look at the cost of shipping. These things are very heavy. The Reese dual cam is a very popular setup and a very good performer for the expense. The Henley Arrow is considered the best money can buy, the problem is the amount of money needed to buy. My trailer came with the basic Reese trunion style weight distribution (750 lb bars) hitch and no sway control. It's a good setup and sway was never a problem. I added a fricton sway bar to the setup and it has helped correct alot of the movement that occurs when a semi passes me. Amother good price / performance hitch is the equallizer. It combines weight distribution as well as anti sway.

Many good choises to slect from. If I was buying a new hitch today, I would look at the Reese dual cam first. If money was no object, a hensley would be my first choise.
__________________

Richard

Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 02:41 PM   #5
Desert Fox
 
1985 31' Sovereign
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 250
Wink Hi,

Did you look at Blue Ox? Thery are about half the price of Rees.
Regards from Russell in hot Tucson Az.
www.blueox.com
__________________
RUSSELL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 02:47 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
 
1972 25' Tradewind
Madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 396
Hitch $

I second the Flycaster on his thoughts. I have an equalizer and I have used the Reese Dual Cam. Doing it over I there's a good chance I woud go for the Reese. Not that I am compaining about the Equalizer.

Buy it local, the shipping is a killer on any hitch. If you go to a friction bar most dealers should be able to either install one or point you at someone thatdoes that work for them.

I have seen Bronco's pull campers many times. The only rub I have heard is on wheel base length. Just don't drive it in hurricanes or on motocross courses. My engine is not that large (GMC 5.3 votec) and it pulls my AS just fine, even in the hill country of SW Wisconsin & NW Illinois. I do have a bit more wheel base though. So I don't think horse power will be a problem. Just some bounce and it won't be as bad as some make it out to be.

Once I moved my trade wind about 3 miles with a Chevy S10 Blazer. I wouldn't want to do it again, but the Bronco has a lot more wheel base not to mention wieght and pulling power than the Blazer did.
__________________
Smokin Camel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 02:55 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
1973 24' Argosy 24
Grand Rapids , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 45
More on Tires

Not to be cheap, ok, maybe I am, but the F150 setting in my drive next to the Bronco has on it Mich Select LT P235/75 R15 tires rated at 2028 pounds, and only about 15,000 miles on them. Could I swap them with the Bronco and still be ok, or should I buy new ones?

Just a thought.
__________________
WestMichCamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 03:05 PM   #8
Moderator
 
moosetags's Avatar

 
2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,762
Images: 5
Check out Ebay for the Reese hitch systems. There are usually some good used ones there for a really good price.
__________________
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
moosetags is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 03:32 PM   #9
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
Psssss.....The sound of a bubble bursting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WestMichCamp
Not to be cheap, ok, maybe I am, but the F150 setting in my drive next to the Bronco has on it Mich Select LT P235/75 R15 tires rated at 2028 pounds, and only about 15,000 miles on them. Could I swap them with the Bronco and still be ok, or should I buy new ones?

Just a thought.
Michelins are renowned for having sidewalls that flex more than most other brands. While this helps the ride, it hurts the towing ability, because the sidewalls flexing will contribute to sway. Also, about the "never needed it before" of the previous owner, the previous owner probably wasn't towing with a short wheelbase truck like you are.
Don't cheap out on us, get good tires, and the dual cam. You can always sell the 31's in your local newspaper classifieds, and get some of your money back.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 04:32 PM   #10
Moderator
 
Stefrobrts's Avatar

 
1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,906
Images: 50
Blog Entries: 1
I spent a lot of time trying to decide if I should tow with my bronco when I got my trailer, in fact if you read the threads here, you probably read mine. I did sell the bronco, mostly because of the lift kit (I think it had a 3-4 inch lift). We tow with an econoline van with a 351 now. Lots of power, lots of wheelbase. However, I still use sway control, and I think you definitely should with the short wheelbase bronco.

I miss my bronco, and there's been times I wanted to try and take the trailer some place where 4 wheel drive would be nice to have. Wish it hadn't had that lift kit, I might have kept it.
__________________
Stephanie




Stefrobrts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 05:08 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
2005 16' International CCD
Ogden , Utah
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 221
My first experience towing was a 22' Airstream and the 1994 version of your Bronco. I always stressed over the short wheelbase thing, but I was careful to have the right equipment in good condition and adjusted correctly, and I never had a problem. Here's a couple of things to consider:

- Whatever hitch you get (is sounds like you're on the right track - widght distributing, sway control, etc) it must be adjusted. I finally bought a 3/4 drive socket set so I could do my own adjustmets - the local trailer shops just can't take the care with this task, as you can yourself. I thought it made a difference to go after that last inch to get things level, but the trailer shops had a 'close enough is good enough' attitude. Worth the investment, it pays for itself over time.
- I thought things towed better with LT rated tires, than with P rated tires. From what I've read the 'Light Truck' tires had stiffer sidewalls, which helps the overall control for towing. It was like going from worn P rated to new LT rated, so maybe that was part of the difference, but the LT tires felt better at highway speeds.
- Keeping tire pressures right also makes a big difference - worth checking every day with a guage when you are on the road, and a walk around at every rest stop.
- Buy the best brake controller you can, and keep it adjusted - trailer brakes should be in top shapre, too.
- Get good mirrors - if your Bronco has the power mirrors you can get the slip over kind, else look at good general purpose ones (like McKesh, etc).
- I found the biggest safety factor, perhaps more important with the short wheel base, was my driving. Close attention to road and traffic conditions, and defensive driving, I believe can offset (at least somewhat) the short wheel base.

Later on I got a truck with a long wheel base, which seems better in every way, but I would take on towing with your set-up until time for a new tow vehicle.

Good luck!
Bob
__________________
RDM16CCD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 05:32 PM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
1973 24' Argosy 24
Grand Rapids , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 45
Good To Hear

Bob:

I am glad to hear from someone that has had experience with towing aTT with a Bronco. One thing that is loud and clear, "take your time and leave plenty of room"

I am going to put new LT 235/75 R15 tires on it and probably get rid of the M&S that are on it now. They are too loud and not that stable in my opionion. I am not worried about snow, since in the winter it will go in the garage like my 1995 truck has.

Again thanks for the information.
__________________
WestMichCamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2007, 01:44 PM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
2005 19' Safari
Inyokern , California
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 8
Yo WestMichCamp

The 3.55 gears in your Bronco are very high for trailering. You will need to leave your tranny OD off at all times while towing. Engine revs will be high, and gas mileage will suffer. I have a 94 Eddie Bauer Bronco 5.8L with 3.73 gears, but it's still not up to towing our AS high into the Sierra Nevadas where we like to camp.

Keep the ATF in your E4OD fresh with frequent changes, say every year or every 15-20K miles. When you have it changed, pay the extra money to have it backflushed, then also have them replace the pan filter and refill. This wastes some fluid--the 6 qt. or so that the pan holds. But it's worth it. Good luck!
__________________

__________________
larreat9905 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Towing with a Bronco??? Silver Threads Tow Vehicles 28 06-12-2014 06:34 AM
Ford Cruise Control Recall Stefrobrts Tow Vehicles 65 08-30-2007 09:11 PM
Questions Resulting from First Big Trip... dmac Our Community 11 07-18-2003 10:51 AM
New Owner-tow vehicle discussions JodynJeep Our Community 28 10-15-2002 11:43 PM
Towing COArgosy78 1969 Overlander 5 09-05-2002 11:18 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.