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Old 04-29-2004, 06:16 PM   #1
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34' with friction sway control?

When we were in Atlanta (actually Marietta) last week a 34' beauty pulled in and I noticed that it only had a friction sway control (had levelling bars) and was being pulled by an F-350 dually, of course.

Do these trailers (34' w/triple axles) really pull that well. I pointed the "situation" out to Brenda because I am on a campaign for a 34'
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Old 04-29-2004, 07:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kistler
When we were in Atlanta (actually Marietta) last week a 34' beauty pulled in and I noticed that it only had a friction sway control (had levelling bars) and was being pulled by an F-350 dually, of course.

Do these trailers (34' w/triple axles) really pull that well. I pointed the "situation" out to Brenda because I am on a campaign for a 34'
Why a "dually of course"? Even with a slidem a SRW 3500 or a 2500HD is plenty of truck.

I have a friend who has pulled a 34' for at least 10 years including all over western Canada and to Newfoundland. He uses a single fricton bar on the interstates and nothing elsewhere. He say that with all the side force of 6 tires, he has no stability problems and it pulls better than his previous 25'.

I'm a belt and suspenders person and I lke the security of the Reese HD dual cam.

We have 2 brand new 31' Airstreams in our unit and both owners are having a terrible time towing them. They are terribly unstable. One is using a Reese HD dual cam plus a friction bar an is still not real happy with the handling. My guess is way too little tongue weight on that model. since they have less tongue weight than my 25.
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Old 04-29-2004, 07:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Pahaska
We have 2 brand new 31' Airstreams in our unit and both owners are having a terrible time towing them. They are terribly unstable. One is using a Reese HD dual cam plus a friction bar an is still not real happy with the handling. My guess is way too little tongue weight on that model. since they have less tongue weight than my 25.
Too little tow vehicle? Poorly set up hitch? A couple of inches too high or low at the hitch transfers load onto just one axle. Wrong angle on ball head? This seems to be critical on the Dual Cam. Wrong spring bars?

And, of course, as you suggest, could be too little tongue weight.

Mark
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:43 PM   #4
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Proper hitch for any Airstream

You need to go buy yourself a hitch called Equalizer,set it up just as the manual says to. Than throw your chain type hitch away and take off on a trip and enjoy the ride,
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Old 04-29-2004, 11:01 PM   #5
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Tire pressure!

My 34' was all over the road, and I thought the world was coming to an end, until I figured out that the problem was the pressure in the tires on the tow vehicle. Even with a properly set up hitch, proper weight distribution etc. etc., if your tires squirm, you'll have sway.

Roger
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Old 05-02-2004, 10:33 AM   #6
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I pull my 34 FK 1998 trailer with a "Equalizer" brand hitch and its hooked to a 2001 GMC c3 pick-up ,have pulled it all over the US and usually pass all other units of the same size, all wheel drive and 325 hp. Many of you think you need a big truck to pull your trailers thats mainle because your dealers talked you into it. but the Airstreams don't really weigh that much. If you all that have any units bigger than the 31 ft. throw your chain type hitch away and get an "Equalizer" brand hitch and you will send me a thank-you as I did the person that suggested the same to me.,
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Old 05-02-2004, 11:04 AM   #7
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I pull my 34 with a Hensley and have for over a year. I don't even know it is back unless I look back. I have been to California and back to Houston, Texas, to Indiana and back and have encountered heavy winds in some cases but that hensley holds the 34 right behind my dually.
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Old 05-02-2004, 12:56 PM   #8
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After I replaced my axles and tires, I had a sway problem. I realized though, that I had an empty fresh water tank. After filling the fresh tank FULL, most, if not all sway disappeared. I believe someone said the A/S is designed to be pulled with a full fresh water tank. Keeps the center of gravity low.
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Old 05-02-2004, 02:39 PM   #9
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Lots of great advice in this thread!

Pick,

That's the first time I've heard someone say that A/S suggests traveling with water tank full to keep the C.G. low --- and it certainly makes good sence!! Is this more effective with 30' and up? (vs. a 25')

Most people say they go nearly dry to keep weight down esp with gas $$$$.

And the statement about keeping it level is right on - too high in front puts weight on the rear axle (and vice versa) which will certainly affect braking as well.

I was setting up on a new Burb 2500 which is significantly higher and made my tail low. On braking the front axle locked. I had to buy a longer drop bar.

It's good to increase tire pressure on tow vehicle and A/S to help control load and sway if you are used to running 35 psi or so. Note: LT tires carry lots more psi than passenger tires.

Steve
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Old 05-02-2004, 03:00 PM   #10
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you didn't need to spend that much and get such a complicated hitch.......................
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Old 05-02-2004, 03:07 PM   #11
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Steve, Did you tow it with the front too high & what did it tow like? My hitch on my Suburban is about 1 maybe 2 inches high, making the rear of the TT drag on some drive ways etc. I haven't had any sway with the Reese dual cam hitch, but I think I'd better get it level.
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Old 05-02-2004, 03:15 PM   #12
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Saw two triple axles and...

We were at Myrtle Beach, SC this past week, a couple of tri axle units were there, one was being towed by a GMC Suburban, with an Reese WDH and a single friction sway control. The other was a tri axle with slide out being towed by a Yukon XT ? Looked like a 3/4t. But he only had the Reese with no sway control. Said he had tried the Hensley but did not like it, but was going to look at the Reese Dual Cam when he got home. Both owners said the tri axle towed as well or better than their old double axle did. BTW both of these owners are long time AS owners 35+ years and typically tow from New England to FLA on a regular basis. The owner with the slideout unit has had his up to Alaska and across Canada a couple of times. FWIW I use the Equalizer on my 31' and am happy with it. But regardless of which system you use proper setup and loading of both the trailer and the tow vehicle are necessary and in some cases critical.

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Old 05-02-2004, 04:25 PM   #13
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I agree with most of what's been said here.

I know folks that use two friction sway bars on the 34' units. Me, I'm from the same school as John (Pahaska). I talked to a number of hitch dealers when getting our Bambi. They all said that friction is good for anything under 20'. As you get larger, the dual cam (or more expensive hitch systems) start to pay off.

I had the friction with the Bambi. No real problems. I have the dual cam now that we have the Safari (25') and the coach feels much more comfortable than the Bambi did.

On our first trip with the Safari last weekend, on the way home we had between 20-30mph crosswinds. The dual cam did a hell of a job! Additionally, when trucks passed us by, there was little to no sway as there was when we had the Bambi with friction, so the dual cam does it's job, does it well and only cost me $159 (I already had everything else, even teh correct weight bars).

Out of a possible 10, I'd give it a 9.5 (only cause something has to really knock my socks off to get a 10).

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