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Old 08-31-2009, 07:56 PM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
Del Rio , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 45
A frame balls

First let me mention I am a newbie to this site and to Airstreams. I have admired them for along time, but have never gotten involved into the details of them. I figured the best way to learn is to purchase one. So this past weekend I purchased a 26' 1964 Overlander. It seems to be in fairly good condition, but as expected there are a few things which need to be addressed. More questions about those issue to come. However my question for this forum is about the two small "balls" welded onto each side on the "A" frame tongue. I am assuming these are for the attachment of some sort of sway control. Since this is my first travel trailer I really don't know much about these. What kind of hitch should I purchase, and where. And what kind of sway bars are designed to utilize these tongue "balls" and do i get the sway bars?
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:05 PM   #2
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1984 31' Excella
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A frame balls

Obviously its a boy trailer.
Seriously, if they are approximately 1 inch in diameter they are for the friction telescoping type anti sway devices such as the one pictured here.

Friction Sway Control 3400 : Trailer hitch bike rack and trailer hitches - etrailer.com

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:12 PM   #3
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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A-frame balls

Greetings 64-Ovrlndr!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Overlander ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 64-Ovrlndr View Post
First let me mention I am a newbie to this site and to Airstreams. I have admired them for along time, but have never gotten involved into the details of them. I figured the best way to learn is to purchase one. So this past weekend I purchased a 26' 1964 Overlander. It seems to be in fairly good condition, but as expected there are a few things which need to be addressed. More questions about those issue to come. However my question for this forum is about the two small "balls" welded onto each side on the "A" frame tongue. I am assuming these are for the attachment of some sort of sway control. Since this is my first travel trailer I really don't know much about these. What kind of hitch should I purchase, and where. And what kind of sway bars are designed to utilize these tongue "balls" and do i get the sway bars?
As has already been mentioned those small balls are the fixtures for a friction sway controle device. My recommendation, since you are starting with a "clean slate", would be to consider either the Reese Strait-Line hitch (link) or Equal-I-zer hitch (link) both of which include built-in sway control. In either case, a hitch rated for 600 pounds of hitch weight should be good for your Overlander unless you are towing with a Vintage car with soft suspension -- I use 800 pound weight distribution bars when towing my Overlander with the '75 Cadillac Eldorado.

Good luck with your Overlander

Kevin
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:52 PM   #4
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1968 26' Overlander
Del Rio , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Airstream brand hitches

Thanks,
Does Airstream make a hitch specifically for this trailer with the friction telescoping type anti sway devices already installed on the "A" frame? in other words are there vintage hitches available? I find no information about hitches available from Airstream on their web site.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:11 PM   #5
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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A frame balls

Greetings 64-Ovrlndr!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 64-Ovrlndr View Post
Thanks,
Does Airstream make a hitch specifically for this trailer with the friction telescoping type anti sway devices already installed on the "A" frame? in other words are there vintage hitches available? I find no information about hitches available from Airstream on their web site.
Hitches have always been sold by the dealers. The friction sway control mounts that you have probably date to when the coach was new -- and my guess is that they were likely EaZlift. Modern hitch design has made great strides beyond the temperamental friction sway controls -- they need to be adjusted every time the weather changes from dry to moist and back to dry -- and in very hot weather when towing on asphalt it is also often necessary to adjust them. With either the Reese Strait-Line or EqualIzer the sway control is automatic once the initial adjustments are completed on the hitch. I utilize the Reese Strait-Line on my '64 Overlander and am thoroughly pleased with its operation -- have had friction sway control on two other trailers including my Argosy (for a very short time) and wouldn't go back unless my trailer had a loaded tongue weight under 400 pounds.

Vintage hitches are virtually undistinguishable from current models -- the biggest difference being vintage hitches usually had welded ball mounts rather than the adjustable units we have today. Today, It is difficult if not impossible to find a welder who is willing to assemble a welded hitch head -- it almost as difficult to find a welder to custome build a receiver hitch for a vintage tow vehicle -- in each case it is fear of product liability. From a safety standpoint, I would certainly encourage you to purchase new hitch components -- repair parts (parts subject to friction/movement) for vintage hitches aren't readily available.

Good luck with your Overlander!

Kevin

P.S.: In the day of our Overlanders, the most likely hitch would have been the Reese Strait-Line or the Reese Round-Bar weight distributing hitch.
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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