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Old 01-29-2014, 08:48 AM   #15
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My experience is only with 1200 lb bars. Great weight transfer, no obvious excess stiffness. Tow with a SUV a 27FB. I've observed most those with popped rivets etc are towing with 3/4 ton or heavier rigs. Those rigs have very stiff suspensions.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by PeterH-Airstreamer View Post
to listen to the many years of experience of others and combine that with your own and manufacturers recommendations, sounds like a wise approach to me.
When I pulled the bottom trim in the front on my 34', I found many sheered rivets. The rivets that connect the shell to the frame channel.
I was using an old Reese system with 1000# bar that were 3" shorter than the newer trunnion bars, which made them even stiffer.
I am pulling a with 1 ton extended chevy van and it felt like I was going down the road like 1 stiff board. Doors were flying open and stuff was moved around in the trailer.
After changing to the longer 800# bars, the ride is considerably softer with no loss in control or increase in sway.
PeterH
The front end of your trailer has obviously separated. This is very common with the 34'ers, but I have seen it on 32's & 30's. We have repaired many. The whole problem stems from the fact that Airstream decided to stop installing the front hold down plate in all of their production after 1981 or there a bouts. You can tell if you have the plate by the "tell tale" double row of bucked rivets across the front panel, about 6" above the front cross member. If there isn't any rivets, the plate is not there. Its very doubtful that your has it, unless a PO installed it at some point. It happens on the long trailers because they have so much rear overhang which puts a lot of stress on the few original rivets at the base of this panel at the front. Really bad cases even have a 3" diagonal crack coming from the upper RH corner of the main door along the skin. You can easily check how bad it is by placing a jack under the "A" frame several feet back of the front of the body, then raise the tongue jack so its off the ground & the tongue is just suspended in air. Then have someone stand on the tongue & jump up & down while you're crouched down looking at the connection between the body & where the "A" frame goes beneath the trailer. As the helper jumps up & down, both the frame & the body should go up & down exactly the same amount & at the same time. If they don't you've got serious structural problems that need to be fixed ASAP. This method also works to determine rear end separation. Oddly enough many of these separation issues we've repaired, were previously "repaired" at the Factory, however all they do is add a few more rivets & do not address the problem of the lack of a plate. I can provide photos if you're interested. This is one of the topics I cover in the seminars I do at Rallies. We have also covered it on The Vintage Airstream Podcast | Vintage Trailer Restoration
Thanks,
Colin
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:25 AM   #17
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We have a 31' and tow with a 2003 Ford Expedition, the dealer installed 1200lbs bars, and like everything I assumed they knew what they where doing. They also setup the brake controller and said everything was perfect... Funny they didn't even drive it around the block, how would they know??

But after 2 years and reading the threads on the forums, and listening to Andy. I bought 800lbs bars. It made a world of difference, smoother ride, there is now some bounce between the TV and trailer. The interstate joints, that where once a nightmare are much softer.

While I haven't done any scale testing, the softer ride on my backside has been well worth it, and I don't feel like we are beating the Airstream to death. Drawers no longer open, and clothes stay on the hangers, while we are on the road.

I know the Reese docs say that 1200lbs is what you want, but they also have to cover every possible trailer, so they go bigger to be safe.

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Old 01-29-2014, 03:26 PM   #18
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I wonder if the spring bar rating has any affect on porpoising? I was setup by a dealer with 800-1200 bars for approx 550 lbs of tongue weight on a Toyota Sequoia. I don't carry water, but I have seen others post tw for a fully loaded 23fb around 750 (still under my current spring bar rating). I suppose I would rank the stiffness of the sequoia in the middle. I've been trying to research how to reduce the porpoising and I find a lot of suggestions for heavier spring bars or stiffer suspension on the vehicle (air bags or blistein shocks). After additional research, including this threads, it seems that heavier spring bars (which I already have) is bad for the airstream. So does this mean that if I get more flexible spring bars it will make the purposing worse?

I guess I just need a new airstream and new tow vehicle.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:23 PM   #19
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I wonder if the spring bar rating has any affect on porpoising? I was setup by a dealer with 800-1200 bars for approx 550 lbs of tongue weight on a Toyota Sequoia. I don't carry water, but I have seen others post tw for a fully loaded 23fb around 750 (still under my current spring bar rating). I suppose I would rank the stiffness of the sequoia in the middle. I've been trying to research how to reduce the porpoising and I find a lot of suggestions for heavier spring bars or stiffer suspension on the vehicle (air bags or blistein shocks). After additional research, including this threads, it seems that heavier spring bars (which I already have) is bad for the airstream. So does this mean that if I get more flexible spring bars it will make the purposing worse?

I guess I just need a new airstream and new tow vehicle.
Is it 800 or 1200 pound w.d bars, and what brand hitch?

You probably have more than 550 lb tongue weight when loaded, and you probably don't have the hitch adjusted for enough weight distribution.

We had a very stiff (square) 1000# Equal-I-Zer hitch on our half-ton truck and was concerned about trailer A-frame damage with enough weight distribution. Lots of porpoising. So after a misadventure with an Andersen hitch, we bought a ProPride with (tapered) 1400# bars giving us good weight distribution and a smooth ride.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:33 PM   #20
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It's a Husky and the bars are rated for a range....801 to 1200 lbs. The other option is 501 to 800 lbs. The tw spec for the 23fb is 470 I believe, and I've weighed my trailer with a Sherlin (sp?) scale at 550. I'm sure the tw fluctuates some, but it's fairly light. I've been working on my setup, but I'm sure it's not perfect. Based on wheel well measurements it looks pretty good. I have scale weights of my setup but I need to get my tv weighed without the airstream to compare (couldn't unhitched at the time to get tv weight)
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:33 AM   #21
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You want some of the porpoising. If you don't have it, then you have a very rigid setup that may damage your trailer. Instead of heavier spring and bars etc., consider putting heavy duty shocks on the back to damp out the motion. It never hurts to slow down. The load bars should get the tow vehicle level and help keep weight on the front wheels. You don't want the connection to be totally rigid.

Perry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landrum View Post
I wonder if the spring bar rating has any affect on porpoising? I was setup by a dealer with 800-1200 bars for approx 550 lbs of tongue weight on a Toyota Sequoia. I don't carry water, but I have seen others post tw for a fully loaded 23fb around 750 (still under my current spring bar rating). I suppose I would rank the stiffness of the sequoia in the middle. I've been trying to research how to reduce the porpoising and I find a lot of suggestions for heavier spring bars or stiffer suspension on the vehicle (air bags or blistein shocks). After additional research, including this threads, it seems that heavier spring bars (which I already have) is bad for the airstream. So does this mean that if I get more flexible spring bars it will make the purposing worse?

I guess I just need a new airstream and new tow vehicle.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:11 AM   #22
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I try to avoid interstates in a large part due to the porpoising. What I'm calling porpoising is a fairly quick/rapid bounce in the middle row of the sequoia. The wife and myself can feel a little in the front row, but the kids really bounce. What I don't know is whether that rapid bouncing is transferring to the front of the airstream. I would think that shaking, if it is transferred to the AS, would be bad for the airstream?
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:34 AM   #23
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Checking in, while on topic, is ProPride with 1400# bars a good fit for my 2013 VW Touareg towing 2014 27' FC that I have on order?
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:31 PM   #24
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Still a bit confused...

Still a bit confused, but think I will stay with the 1200 lb bars, as "suggested" by the Reese chart provided by Wayward. I did find that chart as everyone was posting replies. I can always switch back to my 600 lb bars on a quick weekend trip to see the difference.
Thanks for all the input!
Now time to accessorize and stock my Flying Cloud, my first Airstream and hopefully last trailer!


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Originally Posted by Wayward View Post
I am not buying that late model steel framed Airstreams are are somehow fragile to WD setups. The frame thickness and section on my Airstream is larger than on my 10,000lb cargo trailer.

So...seeing I've got pretty much the same weight trailer as Doc Foster I looked up the Reese info on my DualCam HD setup. Below is their recommendation chart.

The 25' FB has a dry tongue weight of 720 lbs. If I add 60lbs for propane, 50 lbs for other fluids and then 100 lbs of cargo in the bed, I am at 930 lbs according to the number Reese wants.

That, according to the Reese chart puts me smack in the middle of the 1200lb bar range and far outside the 800lb bar range.

It looks to me like my Airstream dealer knew what he was doing and selected the correct bars at 1200lbs, as did Foster's.


Attachment 204517

Attachment 204516
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:26 AM   #25
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Still a bit confused, but think I will stay with the 1200 lb bars....
My state of mind as well



Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Foster View Post
I can always switch back to my 600 lb bars on a quick weekend trip to see the difference.
If you do try the 600lb bars, please post your experience on this thread. After reading this thread, if I had some 600 or 800 lb bars I'd certainly run them for a wile to see how the rig behaves. But I've not noticed any of the problems to warrant buying some.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:12 AM   #26
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My state of mind as well
If you do try the 600lb bars, please post your experience on this thread. After reading this thread, if I had some 600 or 800 lb bars I'd certainly run them for a wile to see how the rig behaves. But I've not noticed any of the problems to warrant buying some.

I will post my experience, but won't be until spring. Too cold and too much snow right now, can't wait for spring!
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:45 AM   #27
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Has anybody have the experience of switching to the heavier bars and stating how much better the ride was?? I've only seen the opposite being stated on this forum.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:52 AM   #28
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Wayward, what setup do you use when you pull with your F250? I have yet to purchase anything. My mechanic, who I trust, and who pulls (not an AS, however) lots of stuff with his F350, says I don't need anything with my F250 V10. I did pull my AS over 300 miles when I bought it--dipped the rear end maybe four inches, but pulled beautifully at 65 mph. I'm thinking if/when I do get a WD hitch it will be as light as possible.

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