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Old 03-31-2012, 06:40 PM   #1
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Stiff Suspension and Towing

Please explain to me how a truck with a stiff suspension is harder on an Airstream while towing than one with a soft suspension. I tow with a 2500 Dodge 4/4, and it looks to me like there is less stuffing moving around in the airstream than there was when we pulled it with my wimpy 150 Ford that does ride much better unhooked.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:49 PM   #2
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The story is based on how much road shock is transmitted through the hitch to the A frame. A too stiff suspension allows more impact pressure waves to transfer to the front portion of the TT's frame and, thus, metal fatigue follows. Smaller (lighter) Airstream are more prone to this issue when coupled to a HD tow vehicle. The bigger Airstream and S/O models not so much. Airstreams have a lighter weight frame (than other TT manufactures in a similar size) due to the monoque structure of the dual skin and rib design which is an integral part of the overall structure.

I, too, tow with a 2500 HD 4x4 and my trailer is a slide out with the much beefier frame.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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Just ride up front in the Airstream....if it's smooth your good to go.

Everyone has there own opinion on this....common sense has no place in this debate.

Bob
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
Please explain to me how a truck with a stiff suspension is harder on an Airstream while towing than one with a soft suspension. I tow with a 2500 Dodge 4/4, and it looks to me like there is less stuffing moving around in the airstream than there was when we pulled it with my wimpy 150 Ford that does ride much better unhooked.
The stiffer the tow vehicle suspension, the more road shock is transfered to the trailer.

The stiffer the hitch torsion bars, the more shock is transfered to the trailer.

Therefore, the stiffer the tow vehicle suspension, the "SOFTER" the hitch bars must be, or damage will result to the trailer.

Those are given facts.

Andy
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:26 AM   #5
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I tow a 25 foot AS (800# tongue) with a 2010 Chevy 2500HD. I use a Reese dual cam hitch with 600# bars and 5 chain links under tension. The CAT scales show that the weight distribution is right on. Things don't shift around in the trailer, rivets don't pop when hauling and the seat-of-your-pants feel in the truck is very good. Setup according to Andy's recommendation.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:15 PM   #6
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My 30 footer Classic with an F-350 2011 SRW and ProPride is a great combo - perhaps if I had a 23 footer there might be an issue but I would say not with 25 footer classic or above due to the beefier frames...
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:42 AM   #7
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this topic never gets old...

Airstream's are not made out of paper-mache. It's not possible to 'transmit' punishment enough to damage an A/S-- if your TV was that "stiff", you'd be in the hospital with bruised kidney's, first.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:01 PM   #8
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Based on 46 years experience repairing Airstreams, writing the crash book, being the only "field rep" for the old Caravanner Insurance Company, performing many field tests. stc, Stiff is a word that has different meanings, depending on who you ask.

The following, damage Airstreams, since they will make the trailer flex far more than it's designed to flex.

Bad rubber rods in the axle/axles.

Heavy duty tow vehicles.

4 X 4 tow vehicles.

Dually tow vehicles.

Excessive rated hitch torsion bars.

Unbalanced running gear.

Does it always happen? Sort of depends on the miles towed and on what kind of highways, goood or bad.

However, given enough miles, the above list is pretty much a guarantee of damage to the trailer.

Andy
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:39 AM   #9
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Eliminate all the possibilities beginning with the simplest:

- proper air pressure in tires, TT & TV

- proper hitch riggging (via scale numbers)

- proper wheel/tire balance (and finish off with Centramatic)

- proper axle alignment (both vehicles)

It's only a little funny to learn that some things as simple as correct tire pressure in the TV and well-adjusted hitch rigging (not by guesses or cornpone "experience") can make a difference that is noticeable. Or -- more importantly -- point out where attention needs to be paid.

.
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