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Old 08-10-2014, 08:16 AM   #15
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I was on an outing with the Oregon chapter of WBCCI and five of the 15 there, including me, had Blue Ox hitches. Seemed like a veteran savvy group and everyone was satisfied with their hitch. I have mine because it came with the trailer. So far I've towed about 5,000 miles with it in all kinds of conditions and terrains and everything has performed well. It really got rock solid when I moved from link six to link seven. Haven't had it on the scales yet. TV is a ML500.

Poppy
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:51 PM   #16
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OK - this thread has been a round a while, but I'm hoping a few Blue Ox experts look in from time to time. I would appreciate the benefit of your experience.

Pulling a 2015 FC23FB with a BMW X5. Dealer set it up with 10 links. Generally we have a good tow, but from time to time we get twitchy and bumps give us some bounce. We have the 750 lb bars. We specified the 750s to limit the impact force on the TV and the AS. On the last trip, the chains went to 9 links and plan to try 8 when we take Glimmer on the road again.

So, is it correct to assume that more preload (fewer chain links) will result in less twitching? The X has air suspension, so it's a bit tough to get the adjustment correct by measuring corner heights. Consequently we are doing the adjustments with a trial and error approach. Trailer does sit level. Will boost up the TV tire pressure some. That may help a bit. Any other ideas are appreciated. Will repost when we get some axel weights around the end of next month.

Clear roads to you all. Pat
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by PKI View Post
OK - this thread has been a round a while, but I'm hoping a few Blue Ox experts look in from time to time. I would appreciate the benefit of your experience.

Pulling a 2015 FC23FB with a BMW X5. Dealer set it up with 10 links. Generally we have a good tow, but from time to time we get twitchy and bumps give us some bounce. We have the 750 lb bars. We specified the 750s to limit the impact force on the TV and the AS. On the last trip, the chains went to 9 links and plan to try 8 when we take Glimmer on the road again.

So, is it correct to assume that more preload (fewer chain links) will result in less twitching? The X has air suspension, so it's a bit tough to get the adjustment correct by measuring corner heights. Consequently we are doing the adjustments with a trial and error approach. Trailer does sit level. Will boost up the TV tire pressure some. That may help a bit. Any other ideas are appreciated. Will repost when we get some axel weights around the end of next month.

Clear roads to you all. Pat
Do you have a feeling about whether the difference in your twitchiness/bumpiness depends on road surface, speeds, or nothing you can put your finger on? If the freshwater tank is ahead of the axles it might have some effect on tongue weight, but I'm guessing that's less of an issue than on a trailer like mine (which has the freshwater tank all the way forward.) Oh, and I'm towing with an older-style WD setup, *NOT* a Blue Ox, but the ride improvement when I have more than half a tank of freshwater is noticeable.
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:46 PM   #18
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I started with 8 links as recommended by Blue Ox. I now adjust to 7 and seem to get a better ride. It is a purely subjective feel and observation. Also I get less drama when unhitching. I have also starting using a socket with extension and a long handled ratchet instead of the supplied Blue Ox tool. It gives better leverage and moves my head from over the brackets. Keep a close eye on the bracket mounting bolt as it will possibly come lose causing the bracket to separate from the frame when unhitching. From personal experience I can tell you that when it smacks you up side the head you become very aware of this issue.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:18 PM   #19
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Part of the problem is not knowing exactly what the cause is. Yesterday we had some rolling pavement that looked smooth. It was a first layer of asphault on a repave. We drove it later with the TV and it was clear we were getting roadway movement with the trailer. The old pavement was much smoother and we had a more stable ride.

We do get pushed a bit by buses and delivery vans. You can feel the tail move and then the TV gets a push. As long as you see it coming it's manageable. The Semis are not really an issue, which is a surprise. Seems to be related to ground clearance.

The bounce is obvious when hitting sequential dips/bumps. Just got to slow down for that.

The twitch becomes a concerning wiggle when the surface is poor and even more so in the middle of a curve.

Like the breaker bar suggestion. No bang on the head, but blood has been spilled. It's a simple system, but takes some thought to correctly activate the mechanism. Being clear of everything is a very good approach.

Have not observed the clamps getting loose, but it was one of the concerns initially. The bolt on brackets are worth considering if the clamps become problematic.

Has anyone modified the stinger to add a new cross pin hole so the ball is closer to the TV? Also considering cutting off some of the head mounting holes to improve ground clearance. We had to reverse the stinger to get the head lower and the lowest surface is about 6in off the ground. It looks like there is a two hole model that might work without modification, but I think we need 3 holes.

Small steps, one at a time.

Believe we may need to try a bit of weight forward to see what might result.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:06 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by PKI View Post
OK - this thread has been a round a while, but I'm hoping a few Blue Ox experts look in from time to time. I would appreciate the benefit of your experience.

Pulling a 2015 FC23FB with a BMW X5. Dealer set it up with 10 links. Generally we have a good tow, but from time to time we get twitchy and bumps give us some bounce. We have the 750 lb bars. We specified the 750s to limit the impact force on the TV and the AS. On the last trip, the chains went to 9 links and plan to try 8 when we take Glimmer on the road again.

So, is it correct to assume that more preload (fewer chain links) will result in less twitching? The X has air suspension, so it's a bit tough to get the adjustment correct by measuring corner heights. Consequently we are doing the adjustments with a trial and error approach. Trailer does sit level. Will boost up the TV tire pressure some. That may help a bit. Any other ideas are appreciated. Will repost when we get some axel weights around the end of next month.

Clear roads to you all. Pat
I have the Blue Ox Sway Pro with 1,000# bars on a 2008 Range Rover HSE towing a 2014 International Serenity 25FB. My Airstream dealer set it up at six links when we picked it up and it handled very well. We added a 40# mattress topper and the next trip over the same route the TV steering seemed a bit light and felt like a little more bounce. Like you I have air suspension so can't measure for change, just trial and error or go to the scales frequently. On the return trip I set the bars at seven links and the ride returned to the original stable ride. On this trip we added a grill that coincidentally weights 40# and loaded it for transport under the rear dinette table, returned to six links and have the same stable ride. I now know where the sweet spot is and will be able to track weights added or subtracted to the front and rear of the trailer. Had 18 wheelers and 40' motor homes traveling on opposite side of two lane 101 coast highway plus high wind today, no problem with sway.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:27 PM   #21
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It is a new system to me so all I can compare it to is our old system, a Reese style round bar WD system. We towed a 25 ft Komfort for years with the old system and towing the AS with the blue OX feels like I've been upgraded from steerage to first class on the QE II.

Mike
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:40 PM   #22
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PKI, just re read your post:

"So, is it correct to assume that more preload (fewer chain links) will result in less twitching? The X has air suspension, so it's a bit tough to get the adjustment correct by measuring corner heights. Consequently we are doing the adjustments with a trial and error approach. Trailer does sit level. Will boost up the TV tire pressure some. That may help a bit. Any other ideas are appreciated. Will repost when we get some axel weights around the end of next month."

Not sure what you are referring to. When you say eight links are you referring to hooking into the ninth link from the end of the chain with the eith link resting on the jaw that takes the tension from the bars? If your dealer started with ten links then he had more weight distribution to the TV front axle and AS axles. Less links will have more weight on the hitch/TV rear axle.
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:24 AM   #23
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I have my AS at the local Camping World for service related to the brakes and controller. While there yesterday I looked at the Blue OX Sway Pro. It comes highly recommended by the service manager. He said he has been selling a lot of units lately (he said perhaps because he heard that Reese has declared bankruptcy, which he could not confirm as it was rumored, for what that is worth).

When I bought my AS (a 2009 25' Int) it came with a Reese WD hitch but no sway control at all. I think having some sway control is important so I purchased the Blue Ox with 1000# bars. I have a tow system that I think should work well for me!

Now if only I can get the brakes working I'm one step closer to getting out on the road!
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:55 AM   #24
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FYI

http://assets.rigidhitch.com/Blue_Ox...,1500,2000.pdf

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Old 07-02-2015, 09:34 AM   #25
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What are the loaded hitch weight of your 25s? My 2008 Classic 25fb is 1100-1200lbs. Blue Ox recommended the 1500s bars vs 1000lb bars or my application.

My Tundra's receiver is 16 3/4" off the ground measured to the lower opening. Which shank would I need? Is the 7 hole the best choice?
Kelvin
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:36 AM   #26
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Nine links seems like a lot - or maybe not enough depending on which end you're counting from. I have a rig very similar to yours: 25' Excella, ML500, Blue Ox with 750lb bars. Counting from the loose end of the chain I have mine at link six. In two years and over 12,000 miles in a variety of conditions I have never felt any sway. Perhaps the biggest test was on an Interstate where I was going 60mph and the big rigs were blowing by at 75-80. Nary a twitch.

One thing... Andy at Can-Am, who I consider a true expert on towing issues (some of the truck advocates here don't seem to be too fond of him) advised that if I have air ride I should turn it off. Moot point since I don't have.

Experiment with the links and you will dial it in.

Cheers,
John
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:39 AM   #27
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Oh, and be sure to raise the trailer and TV to relieve the tension before disconnecting the spring bars.

John
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:15 AM   #28
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What are the loaded hitch weight of your 25s? My 2008 Classic 25fb is 1100-1200lbs. Blue Ox recommended the 1500s bars vs 1000lb bars or my application.

My Tundra's receiver is 16 3/4" off the ground measured to the lower opening. Which shank would I need? Is the 7 hole the best choice?
Kelvin
TW 815#, using 1,000# bars. I can't turn off my air suspension (no springs) nor would I want to.
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