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Old 12-11-2013, 12:50 PM   #85
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Regarding Hensley, thanks for the various clarifications about the measured TWs. Question: Exactly how long is the extension from original ball to point of connection? How far has the connection been move forward? The picture on the web looks like 16" or so?
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:58 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by mstephens View Post
I disagree. Let me try an example.

Case 1.

Tongue weight of trailer is measured to be 800 pounds. Payload max is 1200 pounds.
The Airstream website says that a 25' Flying Cloud hitch weight is 835 lbs (including full propane). Add in hitch weight and some stuff in side the trailer and your safe minimum hitch weight budget is probably closer to 1,000 lbs, though I assume this has been noted before.

According to Andy's article in Airsteam Life your Chrysler 300 should have a payload closer to 1,300 lbs if you achieve perfect weight distribution, and even then he says some overloading is okay. So you overload the rear axle by 200 lbs sometime, probably no big deal.

Your choice of this tow vehicle and trailer you own is a case of tradeoffs. I wouldn't trade off risk of a catastrophic accident (by monkeying with hitch weight) over a possible risk of premature rear axle wear.
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:52 PM   #87
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The Airstream website says that a 25' Flying Cloud hitch weight is 835 lbs (including full propane). Add in hitch weight and some stuff in side the trailer and your safe minimum hitch weight budget is probably closer to 1,000 lbs, though I assume this has been noted before.

According to Andy's article in Airsteam Life your Chrysler 300 should have a payload closer to 1,300 lbs if you achieve perfect weight distribution, and even then he says some overloading is okay. So you overload the rear axle by 200 lbs sometime, probably no big deal.

Your choice of this tow vehicle and trailer you own is a case of tradeoffs. I wouldn't trade off risk of a catastrophic accident (by monkeying with hitch weight) over a possible risk of premature rear axle wear.
My example was merely for clear illustration of a principle. It wasn't meant to relate to specific cars or trailers.

I don't intend to trade off any safety of any kind. I intend that when I switch from the Suburban to the Chrysler, I will end up with:
-More overall safety in every regard
-More towing performance: maneuvering, braking
-More economy in every regard
-More comfort (air conditioned cup holders!)
-More convenience (No ladder needed for checking oil, washing windshield)

For that list of pluses, I will trade off carrying capacity. The Suburban can carry prodigious amounts of stuff in the back. Not that we have ever needed that much, but surely we will be limiting our ability to take a picnic table, sheets of plywood, bicycles and so on. We're glampers. We load our clothing and food in the trailer, put the dog in the car and go.

I'd like to dispel the notion that I am compromising my safety or endangering the public by making this switch. If I thought that was true, I wouldn't do it. I already have a Suburban with 20,000 towing miles on it. I have no intention of downgrading my tow experience. This is a significant upgrade in tow safety, performance, comfort and economy. Now, as it happens, many people can't see that because they are following the existing orthodoxy. I get that. Fully understandable. It's the right choice for you. But it is not the only choice.

It would be very cool if I could manage some real testing with the new rig. Some braking tests, handling test and what not. I'd even be willing to hand the rig over to an experienced performance driver at a track or something if it wasn't too out of the way.

I also understand I could be wrong. That maybe this is NOT a better tow rig. If it is not, I will be out several thousand bucks in upgrades to the car, and I will move on to the next thing. And yes, I am trusting the reports of first hand experience by others.
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:39 PM   #88
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I actually think what you're doing is great. Looking outside the box to find a better overall fit. I'm towing a 27FB with a Expedition and was reassured to discover (according to Andy's article in Airstream Life) is one of the recommend tow vehicles. On the CAT scale, with aggressive wright distribution, everything's in spec. Someday I need to replace it and I'm really intrigued by the new diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee. It would be a better daily driver, have more towing power, and better off road capability. Unfortunately its rated payload and hitch capacity falls below realistic loads. So then maybe doing what you're attempting will be needed. Keep us appraised on progress.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:37 PM   #89
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Unfortunately its rated payload and hitch capacity falls below realistic loads. So then maybe doing what you're attempting will be needed. Keep us appraised on progress.
As for the Jeep ratings, yes, I understand they are lower than people wanted. The general idea then is to raise them through some sort of engineering effort. I mean, that's what the maker would do if they wanted to raise them, right? There is no doubt that the vehicle has more capability than what is being offered at this moment.

Let's remember how much of this is "receiver related and hitch related." Makers need to be conservative because they have no control over hitches and trailers and only indirect control over receivers. I just had a discussion this morning with a 35 year veteran of hitch welding. He described that back in the day, ALL serious receivers and body hitches were fabricated to the exact vehicle. Other than some bumper junk, a serious hitch was a fabricated hitch. All of this involved trained welders. They don't work for peanuts. Then, the bolt-on receiver appeared, and now any dude with a wrench can be in the "trailer hitch bin'ess." See? It's about changing the market dynamic for cost cutting.

Today, makers only want to offer cars with bot-on receivers for after market sale. So, you can pop into any U-Haul shop, ask for the receiver that fits your vehicle and in in hour you roll out. The guy putting it on doesn't know beans from bacon about cars, hitches, welding, or anything. He knows how to snug up three bolts on each side and press the cash register buttons.

The vehicle per se, is not the problem here, it is the receiver attachment that is the problem. Not all cars being offered have nice convenient attachment opportunity, so the maker just says "no towing" or they offer a wimpy receiver and a low tow rating. Once you move off the bolt-on, ready made solution, you can ENGINEER your way to more performance through a custom made and adapted hitch receiver. It's basic Hot Rodding 101 stuff.

Two weeks ago, I did not know this. I was in the orthodoxy saying the rosary with everyone else. BIG, BEEFY, HEAVY, GRUNT! GRUNT! Ok, so I had my eyes opened a bit and suddenly I see this entirely new perspective based on Andy's December ASLife piece. I start talking with people from the old days and they have this wealth of non-dogmatic knowledge about how to make this stuff work. I discover it's the old hot rodders! Guys who had welding shops and build dirt track racers, dragsters and so on, and they have real hands on experience at taking something and improving it for a purpose. And of course, there is Andy with his very specific Airstream towing expertise over 30 years. Well, you put these pieces together and a different picture emerges than simply the Chevy Silverado commercial with Like a Rock playing in the background.

For me, I left "car stuff" behind when I was 25 and never paid much more attention to it as I grew into a geezer now at 65. But I am getting back to remembering all the stuff we use to do. Everything is possible!

I will continue to post my progress with this 300 TV project. I am anxious to hook and tow. Hoping I can be on the road by January. I just got back an hour ago from another shop who is enthusiastic about doing the whole job for me - suspension, receiver, coolers - the whole bag! I am tickled pink. Taking them some pictures this afternoon of the under carriage as Andy does it.
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:05 PM   #90
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Andy notes in his recent VAP interview that SAE stuck it's oar in on receiver hitches and called for a 1k load rating . . but WDH can exert 4k. A well-fabricated hitch keeps those frame rails or subframe components from flexing. That includes 1T pickups.

Yes, you'll much enjoy using a car over a truck. You already have the right TT type (lightweight, aero with IS). Get some discs installed. (See thread by GCSC2). And consider ABS

TW is a detail.

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Old 12-11-2013, 09:41 PM   #91
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Andy notes in his recent VAP interview that SAE stuck it's oar in on receiver hitches and called for a 1k load rating . . but WDH can exert 4k. A well-fabricated hitch keeps those frame rails or subframe components from flexing. That includes 1T pickups.

Yes, you'll much enjoy using a car over a truck. You already have the right TT type (lightweight, aero with IS). Get some discs installed. (See thread by GCSC2). And consider ABS

TW is a detail.

.
Indeed, disc brakes would be a fantastic addition. I have to keep that in mind. Is Airstream still using the Kodiak system? Based on an old article the upgrade cost was $2500. Anyone had this done at their dealer?
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:31 PM   #92
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My opinion and not an arguement.

Hi, first off I hope it works for you. I know your Chrysler 300 has the power and transmission. It will also have good handling. I'm concerned with the rest of the picture. You basically have a car drive train and it is limited by strength and size. This is extreme on purpose to make a point about disc brake size. If you have 20" brakes, Bicycle wheels/tires and a vehicle weight of 3,000 lbs, at 60 MPH it will more than likely take a mile or more to stop. So it is the whole picture of brakes, tires traction, and weight combined that makes it work. If this vehicle was a proper tow vehicle for your trailer, it wouldn't need to be modified, it wouldn't need a magic hitch, you wouldn't have to remove and/or relocate items like batteries and propane tanks.

As for the report that three trailers have rolled, this means little of nothing to me. There has been hundreds of motor vehicles crashed in the last few days also. Does this mean that all of these vehicles were defective in some way? Or is it more apt to be driver error? [which was most likely the cause of the rolled trailers]
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:18 AM   #93
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This is extreme on purpose to make a point about disc brake size. If you have 20" brakes, Bicycle wheels/tires and a vehicle weight of 3,000 lbs, at 60 MPH it will more than likely take a mile or more to stop. So it is the whole picture of brakes, tires traction, and weight combined that makes it work. If this vehicle was a proper tow vehicle for your trailer, it wouldn't need to be modified, it wouldn't need a magic hitch, you wouldn't have to remove and/or relocate items like batteries and propane tanks.
Not sure I understood you there. What specifically do you think is deficient (insufficient) about the braking system of the Chrysler 300?
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:35 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by mstephens View Post
Regarding Hensley, thanks for the various clarifications about the measured TWs. Question: Exactly how long is the extension from original ball to point of connection? How far has the connection been move forward? The picture on the web looks like 16" or so?
On our ProPride, the distance from center of ball coupler to point of connection to the truck receiver is 21 inches.

The distance from tongue jack to truck receiver is 29".

The point being if I want to know how much tongue weight rests on my truck receiver (before weight distribution is applied) I would have to weigh it where the hitch connects to the truck receiver. Weighing at any point aft of the receiver would indicate a heavier tongue weight. The farther aft, the higher (and less accurate) the indicated tongue weight.
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:01 AM   #95
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The point being if I want to know how much tongue weight rests on my truck receiver (before weight distribution is applied) I would have to weigh it where the hitch connects to the truck receiver. Weighing at any point aft of the receiver would indicate a heavier tongue weight. The farther aft, the higher (and less accurate) the indicated tongue weight.
Doug, You are right that the farther forward on the tongue, the less weight because the lever is longer. (like longer handles on a wheelbarrow)

But what you are ignoring with the ProPride is the lever itself (the ProPride) weighs an additional 220 pounds +,-. This is not weight that magically disappears, but is always there, weight distribution, or not.

And I'm not sure if you count the weight of the hitch as tongue weight or just weight on the back of the vehicle (I've read it argued both ways), but the fact remains, the 220 pounds is always there.

In mstephens situation with this tow vehicle, I think the net result of adding a ProPride would hurt his weight "budget".
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:35 AM   #96
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Doug, You are right that the farther forward on the tongue, the less weight because the lever is longer. (like longer handles on a wheelbarrow)

But what you are ignoring with the ProPride is the lever itself (the ProPride) weighs an additional 220 pounds +,-. This is not weight that magically disappears, but is always there, weight distribution, or not.

And I'm not sure if you count the weight of the hitch as tongue weight or just weight on the back of the vehicle (I've read it argued both ways), but the fact remains, the 220 pounds is always there.

In mstephens situation with this tow vehicle, I think the net result of adding a ProPride would hurt his weight "budget".
Correct, if you add a 200# WDH, so you could transfer 400# to TV front axle and trailer rear axle, your net gain is 400-200=200#.

The length of a Hensley/ProPride, by itself, is not enough to compensate for the 200# added weight. WDH must add much more to the effective tongue weight to be able to do that.
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:57 AM   #97
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Interesting article in the WSJ on the Toyota Tundra, but specifically the discussion on tow ratings: Toyota Tundra Leads Crowded Field
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:40 AM   #98
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Remember tongue weight becomes payload weight when hitched.

When I get my CAT ticket it could care less what the TW is or how much the haha weighs.
It only knows that 660lbs has been returned to the TV steering axle and 160lbs back to the AS axles.
Without exceeding any TV load specifications.

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