Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-31-2007, 11:58 AM   #43
2 Rivet Member
 
Yooper's Avatar
 
2006 16' Safari
Ramsay , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 28
"Chirp, Chirp-Cheap?"

Chicken not so little calling me "cheap?"

That did it!

You have all worn me down, some with logic, some with flames, but the lady with her war stories, subtly implying yours truly was cheap, threw on the final straw!

Using Andy's warnings on over-hitching, and factoring in "wild-card's" warning on actual hitch weight ready to "rock 'n roll" (390 plus 100 or so), I found that Reese made a 550 supercharged dual cam sway control WD hitch and ordered it today. (notice cam-lock, Howie--I was listening)

Here it is:

USA-TRAILER-HITCHES.COM - Wholesale Trailer Hitches

I have raised the white flag! Let there be peace, once again, on this forum.

Dick

Ps: do I earn another rivet, yet?
__________________

__________________
Yooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2007, 12:53 PM   #44
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper
Chicken not so little calling me "cheap?"

That did it!

You have all worn me down, some with logic, some with flames, but the lady with her war stories, subtly implying yours truly was cheap, threw on the final straw!

Using Andy's warnings on over-hitching, and factoring in "wild-card's" warning on actual hitch weight ready to "rock 'n roll" (390 plus 100 or so), I found that Reese made a 550 supercharged dual cam sway control WD hitch and ordered it today. (notice cam-lock, Howie--I was listening)

Here it is:

USA-TRAILER-HITCHES.COM - Wholesale Trailer Hitches

I have raised the white flag! Let there be peace, once again, on this forum.

Dick

Ps: do I earn another rivet, yet?
Not so easy.

You stated, you asked, and you were given almost non-conflicting information.

For the benefit of others, please report back to this forum, the performance results, with as many details as you can, as to how your rig handled on the highway. Also please include all the trailer, tow vehicle and hitch information.

Also please rate it from a one (terrible) to a ten (outstanding).

I am sure that many others, will be standing by, waiting for your report.

Proof, is always the heart of the pudding.

As Paula Ford said, "life", yours and others, are ..........priceless.

And finally, this is not "AN APRIL FOOL" joke.

Andy
__________________

__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2007, 01:00 PM   #45
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,813
Images: 12
One last question.
The fellow you are buying the trailer from is his name Ted H?
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2007, 06:28 PM   #46
2 Rivet Member
 
Yooper's Avatar
 
2006 16' Safari
Ramsay , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 28
Caught a BIG fish!

If you troll long enough you usually catch a fish! As you all know, I have been wanting a real life before and after WDH meets the Ridgeline story. A friend from Wisconsin sent this to me:

"See pre and post-Weight Distribution Hitch real-world Ridgeline towing experience:

http://en.autos.sympatico.msn.ca/gui...umentid=635461

"(From above link):

"From Jacksonville in northern Florida, we headed west on highway 10 before hanging a left on 75 and heading south to the Brooksville exit and our destination, Croom Off-Road Park. It was on highway 10 that the decision to install the weight distribution hitch was duly reached. As I was passing an 18-wheeler, the combined effects of coming out of the truck's draft and getting hit by a side wind sent the trailer in a wobble that quickly got the Ridgeline dancing also. To be honest, it was a little scary, and I really hated myself for letting the trailer's usually lazy and subdued swaying lull me into a false sense of security. So I broke out the wrenches and tape measure, and installed the Equal-i-zer weight-distribution hitch a model that also provides sway control. And as I had suspected all along, it made a BIG difference in how the Ridgeline towed.
…..
"The large pit area was a veritable sea of trucks, trailers and RVs of all types, and quite frankly, this being America, our Ridgeline/Starcraft combo was at the light-duty and low budget end of the scale. But hey, we had driven over 3,000 km to get there, and the Ridgeline had proved trouble-free, very comfortable and, with the weight distribution hitch installed, a truly efficient hauler.
…..
"Our renegade journey back home, in direct non-compliance with the Honda manual's recommendation of not using a weight distribution hitch, allowed the Ridgeline to make amends. With the weight transfer, ride levelling and anti-sway effects of the torsion bar system, the Ridgeline's towing performance was transformed, and the truck regained much of the composure it had shown while towing the empty trailer at the beginning of this test. You could still feel there was a lot of weight back there, but it felt under control at all times. The difference was obvious under windy conditions and while descending hills, where the tail no longer felt like it was about to wag the dog. We encountered heavy rain on the way back, sometimes with strong side winds, and even when splashing through relatively deep standing water, I always felt in complete control.
…..
"The truck itself felt better planted, and the trailer felt more solidly attached, which is basically what a weight distribution hitch is supposed to do. I never got that spooky ''What's this thing going to do next?'' feeling I experienced a few times on the way down. In fact, I completely forgot about the possible ill effects of the front-wheel drive or P tires, and just enjoyed the stable, comfortable ride. Yet despite the Ridgeline's calm assurance, I always kept in mind that the truck was towing at its limit, and kept speed and following distances in check. If nothing else, the sudden swaying episodes encountered on the way down served as a good reminder that a loss of control can come very quickly while towing."

Now, I never doubted for a minute what you folks pushed me into doing! (Lie). Sure is nice to have anecdotal evidence from a real person with a real Ridgeline and a real WDH, before and after! (Although the character above was hauling a 5000 pound utility trailer built like a box, and not a svelte Airstream Bambi.)

Howie: not my seller. My seller lives north of Boston and keeps MY Bambi in a heated carriage house at his summer home just north of the border into New Hampshire.

Andy: Yes, I will post my experiences with specs, and I hope I can earn another rivet. You sound like you need a beer.

TTYL,

Dick
__________________
Yooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2007, 03:42 AM   #47
2 Rivet Member
 
Yooper's Avatar
 
2006 16' Safari
Ramsay , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 28
Honda Ridgeline without WDH: Chapter One

The link I provided above (chapter two) has an earlier chapter which isn't readily accessible from that link.

For those who are interested in the review of the Ridgeline as a tow vehicle, here is chapter one of the story, written by a self described "real truck" guy, as the reviewer starts his haul from Montreal to SW Florida with a 5,000 lb toy trailer and full family complement WITHOUT a weight distributing hitch:

Guides and Advice from Sympatico / MSN Autos - Honda Ridgeline Saga Part One - Heading South

Notice the author's working hypothesis that the recommendation AGAINST a WDH is from company lawyers, not their engineers. Also notice the "small print" that allows use of a "sway control system" IF your trailer has a tendency to sway.

As I plan to have my Ridgeline for a bunch of years, it will be interesting to see if I rip out its bottom. Frankly, I distrust engineers, who are caught up in marketing to "real truck" guys, more than I do lawyers who have to know how big of a target Honda would be.

Dick
__________________
Yooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2007, 08:54 AM   #48
Rivet Master
 
2006 30' Classic
Farmington , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 822
Images: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Heywood
I'm replacing my worn out Eaz Lift with a Reese Strait-Line. Problem is I can't seem to match my current ball height (19 1/4" unloaded). Depending on the shank I'm either an inch lower or about 3/4" higher.

I was thinking that slightly lower might be better but I'm not sure I want to go that low.

Ideas, comments?

Thanks,
Steve --Did you get this question answered to your satisfaction? This thread kind of took off in another direction---pieman
__________________
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2007, 09:55 AM   #49
2 Rivet Member
 
Yooper's Avatar
 
2006 16' Safari
Ramsay , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 28
Move WDH & Ridgeline?

Pieman, good point. Could an administrator move the Ridgeline/WDH part of this thread to another appropriate area, such as under tow vehicles?

Sorry about that!

Dick
__________________
Yooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2007, 11:26 AM   #50
2 Rivet Member
 
1975 24' Argosy 24
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 88
NOTE of IMPORTANCE
If the height distribution of the trailer is incorrect , it could cause the front wheels of the towing vehicle to not have sufficient traction and thus you would have steering problems if it is too light, It would also make sway more previlant. That would effect you when that big eighteen wheels flies by.

Be careful and note the bumper height on the front of the towing vehicle before and after you hook up.

A nose down attitude of a trailer means a nose up attitube on the front of the towing vehicle and a poor steering problem.

Rae
__________________
raebaker06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2007, 10:00 AM   #51
1 Rivet Short
 
1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,547
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper
Frankly, I distrust engineers, who are caught up in marketing to "real truck" guys, more than I do lawyers who have to know how big of a target Honda would be.

Dick
Ouch! That will cost you a rivet…
Just remember; you will be maxed with this combo, please travel slow and safe. Your family’s life, and others, is not worth the risk of any stunt driving. Being at the max will mean having to pack light and pack consistently every time (front/rear, side/side) or you will experience very different handling characteristics each time you tow. You don’t have much margin for error…
As others have noted, you must subtract passengers, fuel, snacks, DVD players, etc from usable tow capacity. I have yet to hear anyone complain they have too much TV. Many have come back after using marginal TV’s and stated they were lucky to survive, or are too stressed from white knuckle driving, etc
After your first scary towing experience, or when circumstances allow, you may want to explore moving up to at least a ½ ton tow vehicle, particularly, if as you have stated, you plan to do this for several years.
Be safe, and learn how to use the manual over-ride lever on that brake controller.

Sincerely, Ralph N
Resident Engineer
__________________
*Life is Good-Camping all around the Continent*
*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
BillTex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2007, 01:05 PM   #52
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
.

Andy: Yes, I will post my experiences with specs, and I hope I can earn another rivet. You sound like you need a beer.

TTYL,

Dick

No way, no way.

Mai Tai's, oh yeah, but only in Hawaii. They still use the "funny umbrellas."

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 06:35 AM   #53
2 Rivet Member
 
Yooper's Avatar
 
2006 16' Safari
Ramsay , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 28
Maiden voyage completed!

Picked up the Bambi in New Hampshire last week and successfully navigated the narrow winding roads from Lake Winapisakee (sp!) to the New York tollway and then over the bridge into Canada and back into Michigan at Port Huron. Visited family in Detroit and then headed up over the Mackinac Bridge and the final 300 mile home stretch to the western end of Michigan's upper peninsula.

1350 miles.

I had the full gambit of challenges, from steep hilly terrain to high speed flat lands, including stretches with 35 MPH crosswinds and semi after semi.

Once I figured out how to install the Reese weight distributing hitch and adjust my Tenosha electronic brake controller, everything was easy. As it was hotter than Hades when I was working on the installation in New Hampshire, my patience was a little short, and I decided not to install the anti-sway system, but I suspect the moment arms involved and the chains dropping from the trailer's a-frame to the load leveling bars add an anti-sway element, as I never felt uncomfortable on the road in cross winds or with trucks storming by.

My gas mileage varied from 11.8 mpg on the hilly low speed sections where I repeatedly cycled up and down through 3 of my transmission's gears, to 17.6 mpg on I-75 heading north to the bridge, where I was doing some cycling through 2 of my transmission's gears. My speeds varied from 45+ MPH through the White Mountains to 65+ MPH on I-75.

The Honda has a button on the end of its gear shift selector that can be pushed in which automatically shifts the transmission into a lower gear. I found this really helpful in the hilly sections of New Hampshire and Vermont. Great way to rest the brakes and let the engine do the braking.

Unequivocably, the combination of the Honda Ridgeline and the 16' Bambi is a winner!

Love this little Airstream, but someone needs to write a GOOD manual for it! I have spent the last 24 hours getting to know the systems and the manual was virtually no help. Always like trying to find a needle in the haystack. Too much information covering too many models with poor illustrations and diagrams. The biggest challenge was getting hot water. When I finally figured out the valves hidden in the closet I was able to fill the hot water tank. Once again, the manual's illustrations were of no help! (Except to let me know there were valves.)

Thanks for everyone's help!!

Dick
__________________
Yooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 07:10 AM   #54
1 Rivet Short
 
1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,547
Images: 3
Yooper, congrats on getting Bambi home safely. Glad you took the advice on the WD hitch, you should also take the time to figure out the anti-sway (or in your case, sway control. I am not a big fan of friction type devices, but you have it so use it) The first time you need it, you will be glad you hooked it up. While this trip went fine, you will find that how you load can have a significant effect on handling, especially with a smaller TV.
Not sure what you received for a manual but AS manuals are typically very comprehensive. I have a huge 3 ring binder with everything right down to wiring schematics for every appliance! Do a search, you may find one for your model.
Does that Honda have a tranny temp gauge? I would be very concerned about all that gear hunting, sounds excessive. Keep a close eye on the tranny temp, if you don’t have a gauge, get one asap. I would also change out that tranny fluid VERY SOON if you were not able to monitor it during your trip. Cooked tranny fluid is the best way to trash a tranny and it will happen quickly. If that “button” is a tow/haul mode, you should put it on and leave it on every time you are hooked up. That’s why it’s there!
Where were you in NH? Quite a few members up that way!
Welcome aboard and good luck with the Bambi.

Bill
__________________
*Life is Good-Camping all around the Continent*
*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
BillTex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2007, 10:15 AM   #55
2 Rivet Member
 
Yooper's Avatar
 
2006 16' Safari
Ramsay , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 28
Chink in Airstream's armor, et al...

Thanks, Bill. We picked up the Bambi on the north end of a very hard to spell lake. Lake Winnipesaukee. We then cut overland pretty much due west through Vermont.

The Ridgeline has a transmission oil cooler and a temperature sensing gauge for the fluid. With the 5-speed transmission designed for towing, I sensed nothing out of sorts on this trip, and, of course, the warning light stayed off. With nearly 250 HP and torque in the same range, it may be small compared to what most of you use for a tow vehicle, but it never felt small or underpowered on this trip. I suspect an analogy could be made to the difference between a bike being geared properly or not. If you have been a biker you will know how much sweat you can break in hilly terrain if you are not geared properly. If geared properly, yes, you will shift alot, but you keep comfortable. The Ridgeline never felt like it broke a sweat!

My weekend project is to install the Reese anti-sway system, as I do like the extra peace of mind that it will likely provide.

Over thirty years ago I was a NIASE certified mechanic in engine rebuilding and electrical systems, so can appreciate well written shop manuals and can certainly follow a schematic. I do have the Airstream manual you reference and it is chock full of information, and housed in a nice blue fabric case, but I did not find it particularly helpful. If I ever have to troubleshoot an electrical system problem the schematics are there, IF you can figure out which applies to your model. For example, my manual makes NO REFERENCE to a Bambi 16, the closest example in any section is the 19 foot Safari.

What I wish Airstream would do is have a quick systems setup guide which gives an overview of getting your unit on the road and then references to more detailed sections if those details are needed. I had a bear of a time figuring out how to fill my hot water tank. I finally found a valve schematic that was at least close to mine and eyeballed the solution. Similarly, I had a bear of a time lighting my furnace. Never could find the switch outside the unit, so pulled the cover and found a reset switch inside the unit. No big deal, but the instructions I was following had me looking for two separate switches, following a specific sequence, and one wasn't there. Similarly, the hot water heater switch isn't marked as to function on the kitchen wall and I had to figure out what it did by trial and error. Simple things that could be handled with a MODEL SPECIFIC quick reference guide, or more labelling on the systems. (I'm mechanically inclined and read and write for a living, so God help owners who aren't!)

But that chink in Airstream's armor aside, I LOVE this camper. My wife wants a PA installed, so I can hear when she calls me in for dinner.

Dick
__________________
Yooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2007, 07:07 AM   #56
Cyclist
 
henw's Avatar
 
2007 28' International CCD
Windermere , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 457
Ok. I'm trying to get this all straight. When measuring coupler height, is it the outside, or inside height? When leveling the trailer for measurement, is a level placed on the inside floor adequate? Is, there a better way to be sure I am level and thus have the correct coupler height?
With a tilt to the ball, do you mearsure the back edge, middle, or front edge?
Tom
__________________

__________________
henw is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hitch height Chuck Hitches, Couplers & Balls 20 04-09-2016 11:21 PM
Airstream height Earl 1981 - 1983 Excella 1 09-01-2003 10:35 PM
tow ball size iguana Hitches, Couplers & Balls 2 10-03-2002 12:39 PM
Tire sizing question casarodante Tires 5 07-02-2002 11:19 PM
Old CB ball mount davidz71 Phone, CB & Ham Radio 2 05-28-2002 07:54 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.