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Old 08-28-2013, 05:12 PM   #43
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wd

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Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
I think that is the problem - there is no one who can say who is right, all we have to go on is personal experience. There is no overseeing body to determine what makes a tow vehicle safe, or what criteria a manufacturer uses when rating their vehicle's towing capacity. There is no overseeing body who can confirm that any hitch does what it claims for any particular tow vehicle/RV combination.

All we have to go on is suggested practices - get a vehicle with a long wheelbase, Stay under 80% of the tow rating, use a WD hitch, use sway control, and if anything happens, adjust it and try again. Kind of scary advice when you're talking about loss of control accidents!

You can't even compare Europe to the US because their trailers are setup to have very low tongue weights, and we are told to put more weight on the tongue for better handling. How does that work?
If you will back your tongue weights off a little and get your percentage under 10 % it will tow better and less likely to get a sway problem because your weight is distributed more evenly in the camper. You are told to load more tongue weight say 10-15% then you are told you have to have WD hitch and sway control. You have so much tongue weight that it has loaded the rear of your TV and now you have to put weight back on the frt wheels of your TV. Less tongue weight makes sense that you won't have these problems that you just created because you have been told to load more tongue weight. Less tongue weight equals less weight on the rear of your tv, more weight on the frt of your TV and the trailer carrying more of it own weight. Thus no need for WD hitch to correct the problem that YOU made to start with.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:42 PM   #44
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If I ride in the back of my AS at 60 MPH who's going to drive
Nissan say they are going to have a driver-less car by 2020(Scary)
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:50 PM   #45
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In a perfect world that is the way is should be and should work.

But......it is unfortunate that there is so much bad information about towing and performance that is given out by the vehicle manufacturers.
But, we often say on here that if you exceed the manufacturers towing capacity, you are setting yourself up to cause an accident, and you will be liable for having made that decision to not follow their recommendations. If the manufacturer tells you not to use WD, and you do anyway, aren't you doing the same thing? How are we supposed to know when to ignore the manufacturer, and when to trust them?

Sometimes it seems to me like no one is qualified to tow a trailer without an advanced engineering degree, yet I know people do it safely all the time.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:40 PM   #46
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How are we supposed to know when to ignore the manufacturer, and when to trust them?
That is a very good question and I don't think there is a quick and simple answer.
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:51 PM   #47
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I world think that any 3rd party alterations to a vehicle opens up a new can of worms that would void any manufacturer's support/warranty/ liability
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:11 AM   #48
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I think that if you follow your TV recommendations viz weight of the load and hitch (tongue) weight conservatively you'll be ok. I'm new to this type of trailer, but have towed many boxes, boats and utilities over the years, so I have some experience but I'm no "expert". As stated before, I'm towing well under my TV max tow weight, and I keep the tongue weight well under the max also. What I'm most concerned about is fishtailing. Keeping the tongue weight at 10%-15% of the trailer weight works well for me. So far I have not had an issue with fishtailing with my trailer, but 2 years ago, returning from Montana with a friend in his Ridgeline towing a 22' Prowler, we had a quick bit of action. We were in the right lane of a 2 lane highway with jersey barriers on our right and a big rig was passing us on our left, and it was windy. As the semi started to pass us our trailer started to whip - fishtail, whatever. My buddy quickly manually activated the brakes on the trailer while simultaneously accelerating. Bingo, no problem. Perhaps a sway bar set up would have eliminated the fishtailing, perhaps it would have caused more issues.
My point is that I personally don't think that a WD hitch is necessary if you stay within the TV manufacturer's recommendations. And, I don't think a sway bar is necessary if you load your trailer appropriately. I would argue that if you need a WD hitch to tow your trailer, you are towing less safely than if you had a smaller, lighter trailer that is within your TV rating. Perhaps the real safety concern is “two foot itis” – we always need bigger.
So that’s my opinion, and it’s worth every penny I’ve charged for it. I’m sure many will disagree, and will have their own valid points.
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:37 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DryFly View Post
I think that if you follow your TV recommendations viz weight of the load and hitch (tongue) weight conservatively you'll be ok. I'm new to this type of trailer, but have towed many boxes, boats and utilities over the years, so I have some experience but I'm no "expert". As stated before, I'm towing well under my TV max tow weight, and I keep the tongue weight well under the max also. What I'm most concerned about is fishtailing. Keeping the tongue weight at 10%-15% of the trailer weight works well for me. So far I have not had an issue with fishtailing with my trailer, but 2 years ago, returning from Montana with a friend in his Ridgeline towing a 22' Prowler, we had a quick bit of action. We were in the right lane of a 2 lane highway with jersey barriers on our right and a big rig was passing us on our left, and it was windy. As the semi started to pass us our trailer started to whip - fishtail, whatever. My buddy quickly manually activated the brakes on the trailer while simultaneously accelerating. Bingo, no problem. Perhaps a sway bar set up would have eliminated the fishtailing, perhaps it would have caused more issues.
My point is that I personally don't think that a WD hitch is necessary if you stay within the TV manufacturer's recommendations. And, I don't think a sway bar is necessary if you load your trailer appropriately. I would argue that if you need a WD hitch to tow your trailer, you are towing less safely than if you had a smaller, lighter trailer that is within your TV rating. Perhaps the real safety concern is “two foot itis” – we always need bigger.
So that’s my opinion, and it’s worth every penny I’ve charged for it. I’m sure many will disagree, and will have their own valid points.
Don't let the Canadians hear you typing like this. They will turn you into their glorious leader at Can-Am
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:02 AM   #50
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If you go to the British Airstream site, (Home - Airstream & Company) you will see that their units are usually 7.5' wide and have a new model (#685) with a 8' width, 27' long and a GVW of 5,896. Their longest unit requires the heaviest of the vehicles in Europe and has a tongue weight ranging from 242 pounds to 330 pounds. So these trailers have about a 5% tongue weight and the user has the obligation to NOT load the unit improperly or with too much "stuff".

When we look at the US versions of Airstreams, the model 23s come in at 6,000 pounds GVW, the model 25s come in at 7,300 pounds GVW, the models 27 & 28 come isn at 7,600 pounds GVW and the 30/31 models are at 8,800 pounds GVW. The Classic 27FB GVW is at 9,000 and the two 31' models are at 10,000 pounds GVW.

These higher weights require a much more mass hitch and attachment point on the TV. Thus a uni-body vehicle with only sheet metal for an attachment point will NOT have the strength of a steel framed vehicle. The steel frame can handle the higher stresses of bouncing down the road. How many times can you flex a beer can before is splits?

Just something to consider with the wider & heavier Airstreams.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:48 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by panheaddale View Post
Don't let the Canadians hear you typing like this. They will turn you into their glorious leader at Can-Am
I think most Canadians are more than happy to hear people's opinions; it's what the Forum is for. They might not agree with those opinions but I doubt they feel the need to make sarcastic comments about them.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:39 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
If you go to the British Airstream site, (Home - Airstream & Company) you will see that their units are usually 7.5' wide and have a new model (#685) with a 8' width, 27' long and a GVW of 5,896. Their longest unit requires the heaviest of the vehicles in Europe and has a tongue weight ranging from 242 pounds to 330 pounds. So these trailers have about a 5% tongue weight and the user has the obligation to NOT load the unit improperly or with too much "stuff".

When we look at the US versions of Airstreams, the model 23s come in at 6,000 pounds GVW, the model 25s come in at 7,300 pounds GVW, the models 27 & 28 come isn at 7,600 pounds GVW and the 30/31 models are at 8,800 pounds GVW. The Classic 27FB GVW is at 9,000 and the two 31' models are at 10,000 pounds GVW.

These higher weights require a much more mass hitch and attachment point on the TV. Thus a uni-body vehicle with only sheet metal for an attachment point will NOT have the strength of a steel framed vehicle. The steel frame can handle the higher stresses of bouncing down the road. How many times can you flex a beer can before is splits?

Just something to consider with the wider & heavier Airstreams.

I was wondering if anyone had any stories to relate about unibody weaknesses in and around the hitch securing points.

I absolutely understand what Switz is saying but I've not encountered anyone saying that they've had an issue; not yet, anyway.

I don't have a factory fitted hitch on my TV but my after-market "Hidden Hitch" uses the factory provided mounting points. I can't offer any genuine comments because my hitch has been beefed up and has a third, central mounting point in addition to the two on either end.

Just interested is all...
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:16 PM   #53
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These higher weights require a much more mass hitch and attachment point on the TV. Thus a uni-body vehicle with only sheet metal for an attachment point will NOT have the strength of a steel framed vehicle. The steel frame can handle the higher stresses of bouncing down the road.

Just something to consider with the wider & heavier Airstreams.
Unibodys have been used for towing Airstreams since the 60's! My Dad's 64 Dodge and full sized 66 Chrysler were great TV's and they were unibodies!

If you look at some of the pro set ups (like Can Am's) you will see that there are some other very secure hitch mounting points, other than sheet metal or frame rails.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:10 PM   #54
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I think this is a unibody Falcon convertible. That would be a fun ride
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:53 PM   #55
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The owner of the Falcon must be looking for raccoons in the trees with the rear end squatting like that.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:26 PM   #56
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The owner of the Falcon must be looking for raccoons in the trees with the rear end squatting like that.
Doesn't look like he's using a weight distributing hitch!

The trailer behind the Falcon looks like our 1960 Pacer, empty weight 1760 pounds. For what it's worth, the fellow that sold us the Pacer towed it with a Mercedes 190D! But I don't know what kind of hitch he used.
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