Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-03-2016, 11:35 PM   #15
3 Rivet Member
 
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Redmond , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 238
Blog Entries: 2
Possible reasons why Jim and I had different experiences with our Equalizer hitch:
1) The AS manual lists the 25FB "dry" tongue wt at 837 lbs. and that does NOT include the 85 lbs of Equalizer hitch weight. This exceeds the 720 lb. limit of the GC TW capacity. I actually preferred the 25' AS but decided the 23FB gave us a better margin of safety and we already owned the GC. The listed TW of the 23FB is 467 lbs, but with full fresh water, LPG, and the hitch we had an actual 600 lb. TW measured using a Sherline scale. All travel ready AS probably exceed the listed "dry" tongue weights in the owner's manual.
2) Correctly setting up, then adjusting and maintaining the adjustments of any hitch is critical to performance. This includes having 10-15% of the loaded trailer weight on the hitch. The spring bars of the Equalizer also need to be correctly sized. I've seen some threads on the forum suggesting lower weight bars to get a softer ride for the AS. But that would lessen the weight distribution to the front wheels, providing a pivot point around the rear wheels as a result of less load/traction on the front.

I have no comment about Jim's experience, other than we have very different Airstreams behind us. Maybe Jim can clarify his Equalizer set up? (I use 1,000 lb bars, 6 washers, 32" distance from cup to L brackets, and used holes 4&5 from the top to attach to the frame). I have varied these settings (in search of easier connecting experience) and notice only a slight difference in handling but a more noticeable CAT scale weight distribution between front-rear of the TV.

I'm still learning about the optimal hitch setup and welcome any information from Jim or others. I am very pleased with our 23FB -Equalizer - Jeep GC arrangement. But I doubt any hitch could compensate for the Jeep GC limits in tow capacity for 25FB.
__________________

__________________
D2
"Having differences makes a difference"
WestieHouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 06:52 AM   #16
Rivet Master
 
r carl's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Lin , Ne
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,057
Make sure your radiator core is 1 1/4" not the 1" that is common in those vans. Make sure the core fills the header on the engine side.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	rad 001.jpg
Views:	29
Size:	277.1 KB
ID:	260001   Click image for larger version

Name:	rad 002.jpg
Views:	25
Size:	140.6 KB
ID:	260002  

__________________

__________________
The higher your expectations the fewer your options.
r carl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 07:30 AM   #17
3 Rivet Member
 
AirstreamJim's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Baldwin Harbor , New York
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 131
There definitely is an issue with the weight of my trailer compared to the listed maximum hitch weight of the Grand Cherokee, but I'm not sure it's causing problems. The Jeep wasn't bought with the intention of pulling the Airstream (that purchase decision came later), but frankly, it does so amazingly well. Nevertheless, it's a short-timer in terms of the Airstream; when we retire next year and start hitting the road for longer trips, we're planning to buy a bigger TV.

As for the hitch installation, I was at a bit of a disadvantage. I purchased a ProPride hitch before I went out to pick up the trailer, and I was quite dismayed with the dealer's reaction to it: they wanted to move the battery box and propane tanks in order to install it. I knew that was crazy and I didn't have time (or $$) for all that work, so in order to get out of the place and head home, I told them to install the Equal-I-Zer, with which they claimed to be very familiar. I watched as they adjusted it and I also measured the fender heights to make sure it was doing what it should, but I was unable to drag it across the scales. Honestly, I couldn't tell you what they did to adjust the weight distribution, but it behaved well and that's what matters. It will be swapped out for the ProPride in a few weeks, and then the rig will go across the scales to see how the weights look.

I don't want anyone to think the Equal-I-Zer scared me: it didn't. I felt a minor push from the bow waves of the passing semis, but it wasn't scary and I never thought I was in trouble. The only white-knuckle driving came on I-80 in Western PA at night in the rain - and that would have been the case whether I had a trailer behind me or not.

Naturally, YMMV.

Jim
__________________
WBCCI 1433
Long Island, NY
Silver Meteor - 2007 Airstream Safari SE LS 25FB
2016 RAM 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4, Cummins TurboDiesel
AirstreamJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 07:34 AM   #18
Rivet Master
 
andreasduess's Avatar
 
1984 34' International
Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,496
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestieHouse View Post
But I doubt any hitch could compensate for the Jeep GC limits in tow capacity for 25FB.
There are several members of this board who happily tow 25' trailers with their GC - look up Jim Flower for all the info you could ever need. He's got tens of thousands of miles behind his GC towing a 25'.

The GC does not follow the J2807 standard for tow ratings, so take whatever is published with a huge grain of salt.

What I would do immediately is to get the hitch reinforced with a forward facing cross member, which apart from helping it cope with the stress of WD, will also help with weight transfer to the front wheels.
__________________
andreasduess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 08:10 AM   #19
Rivet Master
 
Vintage Kin Owner
N/A , N/A
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 995
Images: 1
Here we go again...

There are 2 forum members present in this thread using the same TV and the same hitch. One pulling a trailer fully within the ratings (and a happy tower) and one pulling a trailer beyond the ratings (and not as happy a tower).

Andy, since you have done a hitch reinforcement, what is the rating of the your hitch after reinforcement? Does it go from 720# to 1000# to accommodate a 25' Airstream?
__________________
rostam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 09:04 AM   #20
3 Rivet Member
 
AirstreamJim's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Baldwin Harbor , New York
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by rostam View Post
[O]ne pulling a trailer beyond the ratings (and not as happy a tower).
I wouldn't classify myself as an unhappy tower. The Grand Cherokee handled the trailer amazingly well, and I was very happy towing it the 2,200 miles from dealer to home. My only negative was the minimal push I felt from passing semis, which (from what I've read) is not at all uncommon with all except the Hensley-designed hitches. If I didn't already have the ProPride hitch I can't imagine I'd be scrambling to get one.

The Grand Cherokee is rated at 7,200 lbs trailer tow capacity, and 720 lbs tongue weight. I was without doubt over the max tongue weight, but I'm not convinced the 720 lbs is based on anything engineering-related, as just about any class IV hitch is generally good for 1,050 lbs. It's just too convenient that it's exactly 10% of the rated trailer tow capacity to make me believe they engineered that limit.

Even so, I believe I didn't exceed the max payload on the vehicle (with the caveat that I could be off my rocker and the CAT scales will prove me wrong). My concern for the future is the lack of any room whatsoever for any payload beyond me and one passenger. I don't want to have to think about what gets stored where when we head out, I just want to throw it all in the back of the truck and not worry about it.

In all of this we've ignored the fuel economy question as well, and there's where the diesel shines. I got 25+ mpg westbound with no trailer at 75-80 mph and into a strong headwind, and I got 17 mpg eastbound with the trailer in tow (keeping the speed to 60-65 mph). Normal highway driving at 60-65 mph without a trailer generally gets me close to 30 mpg, and all I hear is that it gets better as you put more miles on the vehicle. You would be hard pressed to get even close to that with the gas JGC.

In short, I would absolutely recommend the Diesel Grand Cherokee to the OP. It's well worth the extra coin, if you ask me.

Jim
__________________
WBCCI 1433
Long Island, NY
Silver Meteor - 2007 Airstream Safari SE LS 25FB
2016 RAM 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4, Cummins TurboDiesel
AirstreamJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 09:56 AM   #21
3 Rivet Member
 
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Redmond , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 238
Blog Entries: 2
I agree with Jim about GC Ecodiesel mileage - mine got better afyer about 6,000 miles and I routinely get 30 - 32 mpg on my I-5 trips between Seattle and Orange County driving 65-70 mph with a 2 passengers, small dog, and luggage (no Airstream). This past weekend we got 16.7 mpg with a fully loaded AS with total weight on CAT of 11,600 lbs. No significant wind either direction on this 300 mile+ round trip on flat and mild slopes Seattle - Olympic Peninsula.
__________________
D2
"Having differences makes a difference"
WestieHouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 09:58 AM   #22
3 Rivet Member
 
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Redmond , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 238
Blog Entries: 2
Hitching and unhitching the Equalizer from our GC seems to be much easier if I place the suspension into "tire change" mode to disable the air suspension during hitch and unhitch procedures.
__________________
D2
"Having differences makes a difference"
WestieHouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 10:18 AM   #23
3 Rivet Member
 
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Redmond , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 238
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by m rafferty View Post
The mountains of WV will separate the men from the boys of tow vehicles
Absolutely! We drove US 52 through WV in a diesel Jetta Sportswagen - a very maneuverable car. It wasn't the ups and downs of the terrain but the constant turning and very narrow highway with no shoulder that kept my attention. And the occasional critter crossing the road merits vigilance, too. Definitely would be a challenge in the dark or with a trailer!
__________________
WestieHouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 10:28 AM   #24
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
pflugerville , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 2
how well can you see the traffic behind you in the side view mirrors? do you all use any kind of extended side view mirrors?

thanks
__________________
4xfour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 11:20 AM   #25
2 Rivet Member
 
dlkershaw's Avatar
 
2016 22' Sport
Swedesboro , New Jersey
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 48
Thank you to all for your helpful responses:
Yes mirrors have been a challenge, currently I have add on mirrors, purchased from Camping World, the ratchet style. Work well but some vibration.
Yes ; I have the 8 speed transmission with paddle shifters
Yes ; I have a readout for trans temp. Thus far in our 600 miles the temp has risen only 2*, from 192* to 194*. In discussion with the dealer, before AS purchase, he assured me that my JGC ( he ran the VIN #) was equipped with a heavy duty trans cooler and a supplement was not needed.
__________________
dlkershaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 12:39 PM   #26
Rivet Master
 
dkottum's Avatar
 
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
dlkershaw, that looks like a real decent combination, well matched. Satisfaction usually comes down to the quality of the hitch setup, amount and balance of the gear carried, and what you're expectations are.

You can control the hitch setup and loading. My complaint about the Equal-I-Zer was stiffness of the w.d. bars as opposed to a hitch with more flexible round tapered bars. It puts a lot of strain on your trailer A-frame and tow vehicle receiver when the front of the tow vehicle is raised such as entering a gas station where there is a steep dip going in.

That conventional hitch uses friction at the contact points to resist any sideways movement put on the trailer as semis pass or gusting side winds. For us it was not enough resistance to be comfortable, we were pushed around too much. That's why we got the ProPride/Hensley, which eliminates those inputs to the tow vehicle steering.

Loading is important. Place the heavy stuff near the center of the Airstream, carry as little heavy weight in the back of your GC as possible when towing because of the weight the trailer tongue adds to that area. Travel light with a light duty tow vehicle and it will work better in every way.

Towing expectations vary, and a major reason some are satisfied with such different tow vehicles. The transmission is there to enable the engine to climb and descend hills with the power and compression braking available. Use it, go slower if needed for the steep grades, use your truck/tailer brakes to assist engine compression braking as needed.

Experience builds skill and confidence. Take the rig out and tow different conditions, get some time with it and you will know exactly what it can do. You can ask what others are doing all day long on a forum and gain no experience; note that some advice comes from people with virtually none of their own.
__________________
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

The Truth is More Important Than the Facts
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2016, 06:16 PM   #27
3 Rivet Member
 
AirstreamJim's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Baldwin Harbor , New York
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4xfour View Post
how well can you see the traffic behind you in the side view mirrors? do you all use any kind of extended side view mirrors?
And that's the other thing I'll be looking for in a dedicated tow vehicle: towing mirrors that won't fly off at 60 mph in Wyoming, barely 5 hours into the drive home. :-)

Jim
__________________

__________________
WBCCI 1433
Long Island, NY
Silver Meteor - 2007 Airstream Safari SE LS 25FB
2016 RAM 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4, Cummins TurboDiesel
AirstreamJim 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
NorCal : 2014 Jackson Rancheria Rally, October 10-12, 2014 Coastalview Forum Rallies & Meet Ups 240 01-03-2015 03:04 PM
1994 Diesel Landyacht 35 towing capabilities patsy49 Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 2 04-17-2013 05:29 PM
Off-road capabilities of AS? Ravialdo Boondocking 72 09-13-2011 01:28 PM
Found a good site for reviewing Tow vehicle capabilities 1stimer Tow Vehicles 3 09-28-2003 01:23 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:24 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.