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Old 12-15-2014, 08:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by blkmagikca View Post
Somehow this thread has gone off the rails - I'm quite satisfied with the setup I currently have. I like the dual-cam hitch, and I have no issues with the handling of the AS & TV. I service twice annually at JC and they have set up the hitch, which was the original one that came with the AS & TV when I acquired them in 2011. My purpose in starting this thread was to alert others about less-than-knowledgeable dealers.

While I've met Andy Thompson and I acknowledge his technical knowledge and contribution to all things Airstream, I don't subscribe to his philosophy of using a lighter TV combined with the Hensley Arrow hitch. Given my many trips across the continent and the through long mountain passes, I personally prefer the 3/4-ton TV with a diesel engine, particularly since I carry a lot of gear in the back of the truck (tools, compressor, generator). In addition, I have had all the running gear changed on my AS (new axles - increased to 4,500 lb rating, new 16-inch LTX225/75R16 M+S load range E tires and new wheels).

As for tuning the hitch, I had that done at JC and I'm confident that they know what they are doing.

As for my 1999 Dodge 2500, I have had the front end checked over and, 2 years ago, had the steering column bushing changed. Last winter all the shocks were changed - all this and the TV has only 125,000 miles on it.

Well said, and right on target. I don't think some of these "PP" and "HAHA" users realize how much they offend people when their superior attitude comes to light.
Not everyone can afford the cost of these things, and some of us feel that the product we have works just as well for us. If the hitch is set up corrctly, and consistently, there's little chance that one will have a hitch failure.

For whatever it's worth.

Larr
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:58 PM   #16
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broken trunion

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Originally Posted by Larry C View Post
Depending on the TV you are exactly right. I use 800# pound bars on our 30' Excella. I used the same bars on the '96, 34' for the first 150 miles that I owed it, and that seemed to work well also. I increased the pressure on the 800# bars by one link...

That combination with the AirSafe makes for a very smoothride for both the TV and the trailer.

Larry
Larry, when you say that you increased the pressure on the bars by one link, you mean that you went up to the sixth link? We have The 800#bars for our 28' International and I would like to know how it is working for you. Some fellows said too much presure is not good. I tow with 1500ram and sometimes I feel that I should go one link up...
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Old 12-31-2014, 07:37 AM   #17
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Larry, when you say that you increased the pressure on the bars by one link, you mean that you went up to the sixth link? We have The 800#bars for our 28' International and I would like to know how it is working for you. Some fellows said too much presure is not good. I tow with 1500ram and sometimes I feel that I should go one link up...
First, to clarify how I judge the tension on the trunnion bars. I count the links between the "saddle" and the "snap up" bracket. By my count on the links "under tension" on the 34' AS, I have five links. This seems to work well with my situation.

One of the main things in regards to the trunnion bars, you want to see a definite "bend" on the bar when every thing is hooked up. In my case, there is about 1" to 1 1/4", using a straight edge to measure.

I hope this helps.

Larry C
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:31 AM   #18
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counting links

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Originally Posted by Larry C View Post
First, to clarify how I judge the tension on the trunnion bars. I count the links between the "saddle" and the "snap up" bracket. By my count on the links "under tension" on the 34' AS, I have five links. This seems to work well with my situation.

One of the main things in regards to the trunnion bars, you want to see a definite "bend" on the bar when every thing is hooked up. In my case, there is about 1" to 1 1/4", using a straight edge to measure.

I hope this helps.

Larry C
Hello,
I understand how you count your links and being on the Fifth link and so on, however you previously said that you went a link up, so you went from 4 to five? Correct?
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:22 PM   #19
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With all the Reese hitches that I have dealt with (4), before worrying about how many links to use, or how tight to tighten the bars, you must first set the hitch head angle.

With the later model hitch heads, one tooth of tilt on the head is about equal to one chain link at the end of the bar. The objective is to get the proper amount of weight distribution and have the bars approximately level with the ground by adjusting the tilt of the head. Yes, lots of trial and error to get it right.
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:24 PM   #20
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Just my 2 cents worth-I use a Reese on all my trailers, and it works fine-But-the reason for having at least 5 or 6 links, if your torsion bars have the chain attached to the end of them, and you have less than 5 or 6 links in the open the hitch or trailer will be damaged when you make a sharp turn. If in doubt, hook up your hitch, then in a big field or parking lot have someone jackknife your rig backing up while you watch your hitch and see what the limits are. Good luck, most of it is just common sense. Rolland


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Old 01-02-2015, 08:04 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Flyingsilver View Post
Hello,
I understand how you count your links and being on the Fifth link and so on, however you previously said that you went a link up, so you went from 4 to five? Correct?
Sorry, I guess I didn't make myself clear on that....if you decrease the number of links under tension, you are increasing the tension on the bars. Subsequently, if you increase the number of links under tension. you are decreasing the tension on the bars.

Please read the comments directly above this reply, as the "tilt" of the ball makes a difference also. The tilt of the ball (up or down) will make a big difference on the number of links under tension.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:16 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Rolland View Post
Just my 2 cents worth-I use a Reese on all my trailers, and it works fine-But-the reason for having at least 5 or 6 links, if your torsion bars have the chain attached to the end of them, and you have less than 5 or 6 links in the open the hitch or trailer will be damaged when you make a sharp turn. If in doubt, hook up your hitch, then in a big field or parking lot have someone jackknife your rig backing up while you watch your hitch and see what the limits are. Good luck, most of it is just common sense. Rolland


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Rolland, I think you are correct if you are using the Reese W/D hitch without the sway control, (Dual Cam, or Straight Line) the product without sway control have the chains connected to the trunnion bars.

With the sway control, (either the new, or old style), the trunnion bars are not connected directly to the chains, they rest on the "saddle", which the chains are connected to....because the chains are connected to the "saddle" the trunnion bars slide on the cam, and are not movement is not restricted by the length of the chain.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Larry
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:21 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Larry C View Post
Rolland, I think you are correct if you are using the Reese W/D hitch without the sway control, (Dual Cam, or Straight Line) the product without sway control have the chains connected to the trunnion bars.

With the sway control, (either the new, or old style), the trunnion bars are not connected directly to the chains, they rest on the "saddle", which the chains are connected to....because the chains are connected to the "saddle" the trunnion bars slide on the cam, and are not movement is not restricted by the length of the chain.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Larry
This is correct, however, if you have too few links under tension, the spring bars can and will contact the cam arms and bend or break the threaded portion of the arm. More head tilt should be utilized before reducing the links under tension.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:21 AM   #24
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Larry, you and Roland are both correct, but I suggest you do this...mock up a Reese with the chains only, and set it at 5 links, and then look at the angle of the bars reference the ground when the trailer is level. Now, if that is not enough weight distribution, what do you do? You tilt the ball back.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:22 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
With all the Reese hitches that I have dealt with (4), before worrying about how many links to use, or how tight to tighten the bars, you must first set the hitch head angle.

With the later model hitch heads, one tooth of tilt on the head is about equal to one chain link at the end of the bar. The objective is to get the proper amount of weight distribution and have the bars approximately level with the ground by adjusting the tilt of the head. Yes, lots of trial and error to get it right.
Steve,
You are exactly right regarding the ball angle...the first ime I set one of these up, I had one hell of a time understanding that....I forgot to mention it in my explanation...
It does take a bit of trial and error, and perhaps an hour or so of changing the settings, but once they are set, I've not had to change the tilt angle...
Thanks for mentioning this.

Larry
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:09 AM   #26
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Well said, and right on target. I don't think some of these "PP" and "HAHA" users realize how much they offend people when their superior attitude comes to light.

Not everyone can afford the cost of these things, and some of us feel that the product we have works just as well for us. If the hitch is set up corrctly, and consistently, there's little chance that one will have a hitch failure.



For whatever it's worth.



Larr

Do you have a 2wd Dodge diesel pulling a 30+ trailer. I do, and know how much force it can take to overcome the wheelbase and spring combo, not to mention other things touched on. That broken trunnion may not be entirely from age and/or miles.

The OP indicates JC set him up using the equal squat method. May not be necessary or best on this rig. Others have had to change settings from that source. 100% FALR is about tops for a truck. More than that is inviting a truck-induced trailer yaw situation. Jacking the rear with WD, so to speak, to avoid going over RAWR isn't recommended by anyone for this reason.

As well that frame rail movement is unequal with the stock receiver. Frame flex, especially with trying to distribute big TW forces. The OP lives near enough to CAN AM that it is not burdensome, but practically speaking located just down the road. Advice is free and reinforcement not at all expensive.

Hitch receiver reinforcement can possibly reduce the amount of force necessary to achieve a similar end. The Dodge hitch receiver isn't all that great, and not rated for the kinds of force an equal squat WD entails. It may be that less frame flex and less weight transfer due to reinforcement and/or a better hitch receiver means a better lash up in all respects.

As to a better hitch I'm sorry you don't understand the difference. The OP spent real money in upgrading tires and wheels. In the minds of some he should have stayed with ST. Instead he bit the bullet. He's not afraid to spend if he sees a necessity. With as many miles as he travels annually the better VPP hitches really shine. No other type is a good comparison. The cost difference isn't that great from tires and it is more important.

OP, did the Smart Weigh test get done? I meant to add that I'd recommend to stop by a Cat Scale to get the three number sets of hitched with WD tensioned; hitched with WD slack; and truck solo as followup comps.

Much easier to make comparisons from easily available Cat readings in the future as there will be differences between SW and Cat. The SW vs Cat with no changes in between will preserve what you did in their wheel by wheel weighing.

What was the deduced TW on your trailer?

I've had DOT weigh my tractor-trailer with their latest portable scales and I've then proceeded to a Cat Scale for this exact type of reference.

Weighed at all four corners my 2004 Dodge is at 7,940lbs and within 40lbs. I have found it worthwhile to add a rear antiroll bar (not present in OEM spec on 3rd Gen Cummins trucks) and to change the front to a larger size to compensate. There are differences between our two trucks different generations, but I can state the truck is better in all respects. If the OP is running heavy like I am while solo and if he's wondered at this change I can say it was worthwhile.

And I still recommend the steering brace and poly bushings. My 2nd Gen 2001 truck benefitted. These are really cheap.

As before, good luck.
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:09 AM   #27
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Leverage...

"Hitch receiver reinforcement can possibly reduce the amount of force necessary to achieve a similar end. The Dodge hitch receiver isn't all that great, and not rated for the kinds of force an equal squat WD entails. It may be that less frame flex and less weight transfer due to reinforcement and/or a better hitch receiver means a better lash up in all respects."

^
X2


Re-inforcement....or a receiver built with the proper purchase.

My experience...

The OEM receiver on our 2500 Burb, note the length of the frame mount flange's.
It took way too much WD flex to transfer the needed weight with 1000lb bars.


The Reese Tow Beast V replacement, notice the much longer mounts.

The added leverage on the Burb's frame enabled the needed transfer with considerably less flex with the same WD bars.

Bob
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:22 PM   #28
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I plan on getting the SW done at the Escapade in Tucson in March. There is always the possibility that I can also have it done in another couple of weeks on my way back to Casa Grande from Quartzsite - by going over to Escapee park in Congress. I will look into the points raised concerning the hitch receiver. I have not had any issues with sway, and that includes an evasive manoeuvre last year near Las Vegas at 60 mph.

I'll also look into the hitch receiver issue you raised. I'm not altogether comfortable with welding on reinforcement, and would prefer changing the OEM hitch receiver for a heavier manufactured receiver. Before making that move, though, I would want to be back in Ottawa to have "Diesel Dave's" opinion, as he's the guy who will be doing the work.
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