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Old 10-31-2006, 09:31 AM   #15
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dmac, you summarized my understanding exactly.

My initial towing had a lot of rambling in the lane unless I towed at higher speeds. Turned out to be too little and uneven tire pressure in the tow vehicle tires. But I bought a torque wrench after the first towing and torqued everything is site. The lugs on the Airstream...very important, ask Rich Luer (they were fine), the hitch head bolts per Equal-i-zer, etc. These all helped, but the biggest help was putting the near max air pressure in the tow vehicle tires. I think the max was 80 or 85 psi and I had 75 psi in the front and 70 psi in the rear. I have had the tires rotated just before my last towing experience and I gave instructions on air pressure, but I don't think they were followed. I'll have to check them again before towing again.
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Old 10-31-2006, 09:53 AM   #16
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I never trust anyone else to set my tire pressure. I use a digital pressure gauge and a small $90 (on sale) compressor that I bought from Sears (see http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...seBVCookie=Yes)

If anyone knows of a really good (durable) 12 volt air compressor, I would like one for the road.
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Old 10-31-2006, 10:03 AM   #17
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Chuck,

Great points! Makes a lot of sense that the rear will deflect the weight more.

3Ms75Argosy,

Looking at the overall setup was the first thing I did. I don't have a perfect photo to show it, but this one gives you a sense that it is sitting nicely. The photo up above does look a bit misleading.



I will definately check with scales in the spring.
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Old 10-31-2006, 10:15 AM   #18
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I have a digital pressure guage too. I got mine at Sears not long after I got the Airstream. My analog guage didn't go above 55 LBS. I think my Ford dealer probably lowered the tire pressure to soften the ride when I purchased the truck. I am used to the hard ride now so it doesn't bother me to have the extra tire pressure. I have a small 12 volt compressor that I bought, again, at Sears years ago. I don't remember its max pressure, but I know it is well over 60 LBS. I also have a pancake type compressor for use with an air nailer, but I don't think I have the filler for tires. It's range is over 120 LBS so I could use it to air up the tires if I needed to. I'll have to go through my attachments I bought in a separate kit to see if I have the right attachment.
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campadk

I think it is 2air that is the most obsessed in this department if I remember correctly ...!
obsessed he says!

not me, i reply with a grin and haunting laugh!

ok...

spring rates are usually different front2rear...
so using the 'lower it all around the same' approach...

is only an approximation...

have you looked at my 'cat scales' adventure/thread?

now THATS an obsession!

anyway even when my weight loads were a perfect 50/50
and had the blessings of inlandandy,

my truck rear was still a tad low...

i think this is fine so long as the headlights are NOT blinding folks...

to get the truck prefectly level would require w/d bars tight enough to restore the normal 'nose heavy' loading of these trucks and suvs...

you don't need to go that far.

just visit a scale.

adjustments without weighing are only so useful...

the weigh in is where the obsessed get satisfaction!

goal is 50/50 on the tv
and at the very least restoring the front axle weight that is UNLOADED without a w/d setup....
and this weight change can only be found on a scale...

btw congrats on the new trailer it looks marvelous!

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:28 PM   #20
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Joe, I'll know a real obsession when I hear someone talking about having four of those highway patrol type tire scales hooked to a computer with servo motors adjusting ball tilt and spring bar tension ....

perhaps hooked into the engine computer for adaptive adjustments while on the road?

One of the features I liked about the Blue Ox version of the Equal-i-zer (at the I'Rally) was that it used a setscrew rather than washers for the ball angle.
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:52 PM   #21
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Equal-i-zer Hitch adjustment

Hi, I will try to make this simple. With the trailer sitting level and the tow vehicle sitting normal [both on level ground] you first have to have the hitch ball at the same height as the trailer ball socket. Next, with an angle gauge, check the angle of the tow vehicle hitch receiver. Where ever that angle is you want to adjust the ball mount 6 to 10 degrees down. I set mine at 10 degrees down. I had to add one washer to the original set up. Next you want your "L" brackets in a possition that will make the spring bars level with the trailer frame. I needed / wanted more pressure on the front of my tow vehicle; So I moved the "L" brackets up one notch. Perfect!
Basically, I went with what the factory says is ideal, 6 degrees down with level spring bars. But they say you might need more and that the spring bars don't have to be level, but should be close or something else is set up wrong. So I have my ball mount 10 degrees down and my spring bars up only one notch.
Doing this adjustment, you should always do the ball angle first and if you need a little more, like I did, then do the "L" brackets last.

Bob
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Old 11-03-2006, 07:41 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, I will try to make this simple. With the trailer sitting level and the tow vehicle sitting normal [both on level ground] you first have to have the hitch ball at the same height as the trailer ball socket. Next, with an angle gauge, check the angle of the tow vehicle hitch receiver. Where ever that angle is you want to adjust the ball mount 6 to 10 degrees down. I set mine at 10 degrees down. I had to add one washer to the original set up. Next you want your "L" brackets in a possition that will make the spring bars level with the trailer frame. I needed / wanted more pressure on the front of my tow vehicle; So I moved the "L" brackets up one notch. Perfect!
Basically, I went with what the factory says is ideal, 6 degrees down with level spring bars. But they say you might need more and that the spring bars don't have to be level, but should be close or something else is set up wrong. So I have my ball mount 10 degrees down and my spring bars up only one notch.
Doing this adjustment, you should always do the ball angle first and if you need a little more, like I did, then do the "L" brackets last.

Bob
As I understand it with my limited knowledge of the Equal-i-zer setup, this is a good explanation and the proper order to make adjustments to the permanent setup.
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:00 AM   #23
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I'm not familiar with Equalizer hitches, but I'll throw in my 2 cents worth.
You might consider having a shop redrill the 5/8" hole in the shank (and cut a bit off the end if necessary) to get the ball closer to the bumper. You might get 1.5 or 2" less overhang this way. You may notice a difference.

Also, once you've got the angle of the head they way you want it (and I don't need to add to that discussion except that you will need a couple of 1-1/8" wrenches), experiment with the torsion bar tension. I have discovered that as little as a half link of adjustment (achieved by overlapping two links with a 1/2" bolt) can make a significant difference in the way the combination rides and handles.

One more thing - you've got the factory GM receiver. If you end up towing more than the Bambi, you might consider replacing it with something more rigid.
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:40 AM   #24
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The Equal-i-zer brand does not use chains to support the "spring bars" as other brands do. The bars are 2" square solid metal bars that are held in the hitch head by metal bins and the rear ends are supported by steel L-brackets that are adjusted by moving the brackets up or down and securing with bolts that run through pre-drilled threaded holes in the L-brackets. The bars are held on the L-brackets with metal retainers that mount to the L-brackets and are held in place by cotter pins. This allows the spring bars to slide on the L-brackets. This, unfortunately, doesn't allow for the fine tuning that you describe. However, because the holes in the L-brackets and holes in the mounting brackets behind them are offset, there is some degree of fine tuning that equates to moving the brackets half way between the holes in the brackets.

From Equal-i-zer's website, the first photo below shows the complete system. The second shows the L-bracket assembly that attaches to the A-frame and subsitutes for the the take up chains of other weight distribution systems. The system is very elegant in it's simplisity and ease of use.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:28 AM   #25
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One thing I noticed was that the weight dist bars look pretty darn big for a Bambi and a truck........

Plus a Bambi isn't gonna get a whole lot of change given it's low hitch weight of around two healthy size adults....maybe on a soft suspension car as I found, but not much with a stiffer suspension truck. My exp though is based with a Reese hitch system.
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Old 11-03-2006, 01:07 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
goal is 50/50 on the tv
and at the very least restoring the front axle weight that is UNLOADED without a w/d setup....
and this weight change can only be found on a scale...
2air'
How so? The vehicle suspension is a reflection of how much weight it is supporting, no? So if the height is the same after adjusting the WD bars as prior to hooking up the trailer then isn't that the point at which the weight on the front suspension has been restored? At that point the rear would have to be lower than without the hitch and granted what percentage of the tongue weight is front/rear bias is anybodies guess.

My goal is to optimize the towing characteristics of the combination TV and TT. I'm not convinced that's always going to be 50/50. As you point out spring rates differ and some TVs, like pick-ups are designed to be carrying a load. It would seem logical that those vehicles would benifit from a rear weight bias more so than a vehicle designed for carrying passengers which is usually loaded neutral or with a front seating bias.

-Bernie
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Old 11-03-2006, 01:49 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
One thing I noticed was that the weight dist bars look pretty darn big for a Bambi and a truck........

Plus a Bambi isn't gonna get a whole lot of change given it's low hitch weight of around two healthy size adults....maybe on a soft suspension car as I found, but not much with a stiffer suspension truck. My exp though is based with a Reese hitch system.
You are right. They can be pretty thick. Mine are 2" square steel bars. There are different cross sections for different tongue weights and the different bars are NOT interchangeable in the hitch head. In other words, a 1,000# set of bars won't fit in a 1,200# hitch head. You do have to match the bars to the hitch rating. My hitch is a 12,000# hitch with 1,200# rated bars. I couldn't use 1,000# bars. I would have to get a new hitch and bars to tow a Bambi.

Additionally, the Equal-i-zer bars aren't meant to have that "slight upward bend" like the Reese and other brands have.
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:36 PM   #28
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hi bernie


i'm not a hitch, towing or suspension expert, but i did sleep in an airstream last night!

my notation about 50/50 wasn't a general guide it was specific to my rig and to campadk's yukon. specifically for the yukon i'd want to restore the front axle load for steering control...

of course lots of variables come into play and i agree there are many suspension varieties, and just as many distribution plans....

the usual guide is the tongue mass is 1/3 on each tv axle and 1/3 on the trailer....that doesn't happen with all units. the little trailers like campadk and the really long ones like mine may not allow that split...

my superduty was 56/34 ft/rr as i recall. my goal after loading the bed full of crap and adding the tongue mass of a 34 was equal loads on each truck axle...

with that done the truck is 1/2-3/4 inch lower in the rear relative to the starting position and unladen.

if i restored the original 56/34 distribution i'd be at or just over the front axle capacity and tires too...so that wasn't my goal. some folks with same set up do try to reload the front axle, but i'm carrying a big load IN the truck bed too...

so my point to campadk, was just take it to the scales and record axle weights at a variety of settings. then when fiddling with setups he can at least know what each does to the actual loads...

not all t.v.s will be prefectly level or just like unladen even with the ideal w/d adjustment....

everyone's mileage will vary and my thoughts are void where prohibited...

cheers
2air'
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