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Old 10-29-2008, 10:21 AM   #15
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I had a rep from their company come by my shop and demonstrate the unit. Actually they just showed up unannounced so I was skeptical and started a thread here to hear the buzz from users and potential users. All concerns about sway and weight distribution are accounted for and the system should do very well for Airstreams.
I also remember the question about using it with the Hensley and I don't think that is possible
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:57 AM   #16
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I was, and still am concerned about the air bag blowing out. If that were to happen, the hitch setup would be fairly useless. Anyone know how long the air bags are suppose to last? Would it be possible or a good idea to have a spare air bag on hand? Ever since reading the thread about front end separation, I've been concerned and have been seriously looking at something like this....
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:06 AM   #17
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If you've seen those bags...my god they must be a 1/4 inch thick. Actually the last of my concern but I understand your point. I have the same bags on my suspension with a Lance truck camper supporting 4000 Lbs bouncing down the road. Actually I guess that would be 2000 per side. No issues though.
If one blew or was defective, I think any tire dealer that installs airbags could probably replace the bag. Might want to check with Air Ride on that though.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:16 AM   #18
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Thanks Randy.

One other question I had for folks that have these or are in the know. I see a class 5 that seems to be what I would be looking at, but then I saw the class 6 with a shock on it to limit what I think is the bounce. Any thoughts on the shock version vs the non-shock version?
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:37 AM   #19
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I have one (Class V) w/ sway bars. Works great. Wife had stomach surgery and was extremely sensitive to the bounce from the standard hitch. Got this and there was a difference. Also, puts less ware and tear on the trailer as advertised.

Saw Terry Gains and the CA Streamers Rally last week and he also has one and is very pleased.

Just saying......
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:50 PM   #20
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I really like the idea behind this hitch.
But I think that there is room for improvement on this idea.
I have ordered a Firestone airbag, and am working on some drawings now.

Remco
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:30 PM   #21
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If you look at the video on their web site, you'll see that for WD hitch use, they hang the 'L' shank of the WD hitch when the std model would mount the ball...

In other words, the airbag device is mounted into the TV's 2" hitch tube, then the WD's shank is hung off the back, and somewhat below where it would normally mount...then the actual WD hitch is mounted to the shank in a normal manner....check the video carefully...they don't give you much detail with a WD hitch, as it tends to increase the length between the TV and the trailer's coupler...don't know about ground clearance differences, they don't mention that area.

I agree that airbag sounds like a good idea to take care any 'for/aft' 'slamming' one might have...but I prefer a more 'rigid' connection so if something begins to come 'loose' back there I might notice it quicker...the air bag may tend to mask something coming loose, IMHO...

Proper sized WD hitch bars, proper tire inflation, and axles with plenty of 'life' left in them should take care of most 'loose rivet' and trailer 'rough ride' problems.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:59 PM   #22
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Rugger, I think a one-ton dually would easily handle a 28-foot Airstream without the need for weight transfer. I often tow a 28-foot 6K trailer with my F250 Powerstroke without weight-transfer bars, but I do use a couple of friction sway bars to dampen the 18-wheelers blow-bys. I have been very well pleased with the results.

The use of a weight-transfer hitch adds about 3-inches to the length of the AirSafe hitch setup. The extra length comes from an attachment bar which the weight-transfer hitch bolts to. I have one, and it does not have any measurable effect on handling, sway, etc.

I have a Class V AirSafe hitch. I believe it is rated to handle up to 14,000 pounds with a 1400-pound hitch weight. I looked at the heavier Class VI AirSafe with the shocks, but decided that it was way overkill for me. I assume the shocks are needed to handling trailers over the Class V ratings, which are very heavy at more than 14,000 pounds. I can understand the need for shock absorbers at that weight level. But I assumed that for lesser weights that a Class V can handle, a too-heavy hitch with shocks might lessen the positive effects of the Firestone airbags by hampering the designed cushioning effect of the bags unnecessarily.

Regarding the life of the bags, I have read they have an expected life of at least 10 years, and probably much more. They are off-the-shelf Firestone air bags, the same heavy-duty type as used on 18-wheeler suspensions for many years. The bags are also widely used in such applications as add-on air-lift suspension aids for heavily ladened pickups, especially those with heavy fifth-wheelers and truck campers on their backs. When the bags are in need of replacement, they can be easily installed on the AirSafe hitch.

Perhaps a better design can be developed, but the AirSafe hitch is a great product. I've had mine for about three years now and have towed around 20,000 miles with it. It really has smoothed-out the ride for both me and my trailers.
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Airstreamer67 View Post
Rugger, I think a one-ton dually would easily handle a 28-foot Airstream without the need for weight transfer. I often tow a 28-foot 6K trailer with my F250 Powerstroke without weight-transfer bars, but I do use a couple of friction sway bars to dampen the 18-wheelers blow-bys. I have been very well pleased with the results.

The use of a weight-transfer hitch adds about 3-inches to the length of the AirSafe hitch setup. The extra length comes from an attachment bar which the weight-transfer hitch bolts to. I have one, and it does not have any measurable effect on handling, sway, etc.

I have a Class V AirSafe hitch. I believe it is rated to handle up to 14,000 pounds with a 1400-pound hitch weight. I looked at the heavier Class VI AirSafe with the shocks, but decided that it was way overkill for me. I assume the shocks are needed to handling trailers over the Class V ratings, which are very heavy at more than 14,000 pounds. I can understand the need for shock absorbers at that weight level. But I assumed that for lesser weights that a Class V can handle, a too-heavy hitch with shocks might lessen the positive effects of the Firestone airbags by hampering the designed cushioning effect of the bags unnecessarily.

Regarding the life of the bags, I have read they have an expected life of at least 10 years, and probably much more. They are off-the-shelf Firestone air bags, the same heavy-duty type as used on 18-wheeler suspensions for many years. The bags are also widely used in such applications as add-on air-lift suspension aids for heavily ladened pickups, especially those with heavy fifth-wheelers and truck campers on their backs. When the bags are in need of replacement, they can be easily installed on the AirSafe hitch.

Perhaps a better design can be developed, but the AirSafe hitch is a great product. I've had mine for about three years now and have towed around 20,000 miles with it. It really has smoothed-out the ride for both me and my trailers.
Your truck is not magical.

It can be shoved into a ditch, as you already posted saying you need "2" sway controls.

To attempt to tow that trailer, with your non-magical truck, is spelling disaster with a capital "D".

Use a proper rated load equalizing hitch.

Your family and friends, and other innocent highway travelers, will love you for it.

You say you "think" it can be done!!!

My 42 years with Airstream and investigating "AND" proving what caused loss of control accidents when towing an Airstream, over 1000 times, says it "CANNOT BE DONE".

But, if you have no regard for the safety of yourself and others, then that's another poor judgement matter.

Andy
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:45 PM   #24
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Guys,

I tow with a Ford Dually Crew.. miles of truck. My trailer is heavy and im sure in the wrong conditions.. the trailer could over take the truck.. i also think that the other 97% of the time my truck is overkill. You are both right but Andy is leaning towards safety. I work for Volvo.. I have investigated many accidents and usually the client always walks away from these accidents due to the cage that surrounds them. When i drive by a vehicle thats towing something.. i, like you guys always look at the set up and would alert the driver if i saw a problem. If i saw his truck without sway control im sure i wouldnt flag him down.. if i passed and saw all kinds of trick hitch set ups.. i might not give him the thumbs up either? Andy, im sure he has good judgement and has a regard for safety, its just kinda up to the owner how he wants to ultimatly set up his rig. Just one mans opinion.
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:43 PM   #25
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Andy, I use "two" sway-bars because the manufacturer's instructions say to do so, since my trailer is over 25-feet-long. For a trailer under that length, the manufacturer says one sway-bar is sufficient.

That is why I use two.

I don't know if I actually "need" two or not, since I have never had any sway.

Is that OK with you?

I still am of the opinion that a one-ton diesel dually would be well-balanced with a 28-foot Airstream without a weight-transfer hitch. I don't know of any weight parameters that would be violated with such a rig. That size truck is engineered to carry that much weight on the hitch and/or in the bed. Also, ask the professionals who deliver new rigs to dealers whether the combo is safe or not.
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:48 PM   #26
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Hitch and bed loading are different

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstreamer67 View Post
... That size truck is engineered to carry that much weight on the hitch and/or in the bed. ...
It's a no-brainer about the bed's load-carrying capability as it sits directly over the rear axle. The hitch is some distance away from the axle, and, as such, must be considered differently when heavy loads are attached.

I usually tow my light-weight vintage Airstream with my vintage, 3/4-ton Suburban. I can tell a difference in steering when the weight distribution bars are set at four links under tension instead of the proper three links under tension.

I could very easily be wrong, but I am fairly sure that your hitch has stamped ratings on it that recommend "load distribution" for certain loads.

Tom
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:09 PM   #27
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Andy, I use "two" sway-bars because the manufacturer's instructions say to do so, since my trailer is over 25-feet-long. For a trailer under that length, the manufacturer says one sway-bar is sufficient.

That is why I use two.

I don't know if I actually "need" two or not, since I have never had any sway.

Is that OK with you?

I still am of the opinion that a one-ton diesel dually would be well-balanced with a 28-foot Airstream without a weight-transfer hitch. I don't know of any weight parameters that would be violated with such a rig. That size truck is engineered to carry that much weight on the hitch and/or in the bed. Also, ask the professionals who deliver new rigs to dealers whether the combo is safe or not.
The laws of physics disagrees with you.

Common safet towing practices disagree with you.

Caravanner Insurance data from over 1000 loss of control accidents, while towing an Airstream trailer, disagrres with you.

Riding in the back of your trailer while being towed at 60 mph, I beleive, would change your mind.

Again, the simple use of a sway control device, of any type, owns up to a sway condition.

Andy
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:44 PM   #28
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---Use a proper rated load equalizing hitch.---
Assuming that the function of a load equalizing hitch is to remove load from the rear axle of the tow vehicle and add load to the front axle --
how much load should be removed from the rear and how much load should be added to the front of an F350 dually after it has been hooked to a new Intl 28?

What would be the proper load rating for an equalizing hitch to achieve such a redistribution of load?

Ron
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