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Old 02-08-2011, 12:41 AM   #1
Hillbilly Hagrid
 
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1973 29' Ambassador
Stanford , Kentucky
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Unhappy Brokenhearted and confused..is there a hitch system that will give me some distance

First let me say thanks and introduce myself....This forum taught me a lot about what I needed to look for in my search for my dream Airstream...My name is Bubba and Im an Air-cooled VW mech in Lexington Ky..

I searched for years for my dream Airstream..... I brought home a 29ft Ambassador tonight...I noticed when I was turning that the bumper of my truck looked very close to the trailer.... then when I tried to back it into my driveway I found that I can only turn a very short amount before the bumper dug into the side of my dream Airstream tearing a hole in it..I was sick....

I drive a 2001 F350 Diesel Dually with a Reading utility bed...the bed and bumper are exactly as wide as the Airstream.....so you see the problem..

My question is....is there a hitch system that will give me some distance between my truck and my Airtream? I couldn't use the funky hitch sway system that came with it because my truck was to high..so I used a cheap Reese drop hitch on it to get it home....

Its on the street with a dent/hole in it... I cant back it in anywhere like this...please help...
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyMoonshine View Post
First let me say thanks and introduce myself....This forum taught me a lot about what I needed to look for in my search for my dream Airstream...My name is Bubba and Im an Air-cooled VW mech in Lexington Ky..

I searched for years for my dream Airstream..... I brought home a 29ft Ambassador tonight...I noticed when I was turning that the bumper of my truck looked very close to the trailer.... then when I tried to back it into my driveway I found that I can only turn a very short amount before the bumper dug into the side of my dream Airstream tearing a hole in it..I was sick....

I drive a 2001 F350 Diesel Dually with a Reading utility bed...the bed and bumper are exactly as wide as the Airstream.....so you see the problem..

My question is....is there a hitch system that will give me some distance between my truck and my Airtream? I couldn't use the funky hitch sway system that came with it because my truck was to high..so I used a cheap Reese drop hitch on it to get it home....

Its on the street with a dent/hole in it... I cant back it in anywhere like this...please help...
There are two things you can do.

1. Use a ball mount that has a longer square bar.

2. Install a hitch box on the front of your truck.

Andy
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:07 AM   #3
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First the not so awful news. Your lower panels are pretty easy to replace. You could even take it to Jackson Center Ohio to the factory - once you solve the hitch issue.

Secondly, look at a Reese dual cam hitch with an adjustable trunnion... It'll add about 8 inches distance. A ProPride or a Hensley would add a few inches too. You could always have something custom made in the worst case - or you could even replace the tongue of the Airstream with a longer one. It's a fair sized welding job but not impossible.

You'll get past this,
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:03 AM   #4
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My F-250 has the same problem on the back bumper. I have a front hitch like Andy suggested. It is great. It makes it easy to get into tight spots too.

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Old 02-08-2011, 07:12 AM   #5
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There a a number of alternatives.

Starting with the most drastic well you could use the TorkLift Superhitch which is available in variable extensions up to 60" long. The longer ones are less stable so you don't want to overdo it but if you really need some extra length here you go:

Torklift web site

I use and recommend the Propride hitch which will move the pivot point a little to the rear, maybe by a foot or so. That might be enough.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:38 AM   #6
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

I sorry about your pain. Self-inflicted dings like this are really disheartening. Possibly, the easiest and least expensive solution is to get a hitch extension as is used by some truck campers. It is simply a one foot or two foot extension that goes into your tow vehicle's receiver and has another 2" receiver on the other end. Truck campers use these to tow a small boat or utility trailer behind their truck camper. These would not be sufficient to tow an Airstream on the highway, but may be suitable for temporary use for the purpose of backing the Airstream and providing sufficient distance from the tow vehicle.

For the road, a Hensley Arrow Hitch System, would add about a foot of additional distance from the tow vehicle.

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Old 02-08-2011, 08:11 AM   #7
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1973 29' Ambassador
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Thanks guys for the help.... I am going to take it over to my local Hitch and trailer shop today and see what they can do to get me in my driveway..then Ill look into some of these hitches you have recommended.... wow the prices on some of them are crazy expensive..will I need sway and load distribution etc? my truck is a bear...it doesn't even know the Airsteam is back there... Airstream came with an antique looking hitch and two long bars with short chains...I suspect its an old load system of some type......
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:57 AM   #8
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The antique looking hitch, if the square post to receiver ball piece, is a rare piece, seems like trailers often get transferred without them... and if you have the complete assembly should be used...
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:01 AM   #9
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Air Safe hitch

Hello and Welcome
Check out Air Safe Hitch .. we have this with a dual cam reese setup... love it.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:52 AM   #10
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Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about your mishap.

As an air-cooled VW tech, what do you work on? The early rear engine models?

Our son wants to be an Audi/VW technician and we have been wondering how to approach his training. He is an 18 year old 100% home schooled student. Our older son went the traditional college route but this son's career path has us a bit baffled.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:43 AM   #11
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Welcome - You can try one of these extra long receiver shanks. I use one of these and it moves my AS back far enough so I can drop the tailgate of my pickup without hitting the elect. jack. It's a bit pricey but works great for me. Equal-i-zer Shank - 4 Drop, 8 Rise x 18 Length - $149.99
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkasten View Post
Welcome - You can try one of these extra long receiver shanks. I use one of these and it moves my AS back far enough so I can drop the tailgate of my pickup without hitting the elect. jack. It's a bit pricey but works great for me. Equal-i-zer Shank - 4 Drop, 8 Rise x 18 Length - $149.99
do you tow your rig down the highway with this? or just use it to back up?

I went to my local RV Stealership and purchased a $50.00 18" extension to get it into my driveway....worked excellent....but I now have to approach what set-up to use to get the AS back far enough from my TV so I don't bind it into my bumper turning corners and backing up....it need to be a solid set-up as I plan to really take the AS for a long drive.....
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:06 PM   #13
Hillbilly Hagrid
 
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1973 29' Ambassador
Stanford , Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird's Nest View Post
Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about your mishap.

As an air-cooled VW tech, what do you work on? The early rear engine models?

Our son wants to be an Audi/VW technician and we have been wondering how to approach his training. He is an 18 year old 100% home schooled student. Our older son went the traditional college route but this son's career path has us a bit baffled.
I work on air-cooled rear engine Beetles and Buses mostly.... I own a Thing and a lot of other VW's as well......

I was taught by an old hippie VW guy long ago...lol


My friend is an Audi tech and loves it...some really complicated stuff
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:37 PM   #14
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I'm just not clear on why you are having a problem. I have an '06 Dodge single wheel 3500 megacab, diesel. It has a short bed factory setup. I have the factory hitch and also a superhitch that was added on. It sits below the factory receiver, same length. Perhaps my trailer has an extra long "A" frame or yours has a short one but I don't have any trouble with my turns. I've been into some fairly tight spots and get in and out with little manouvering so I just don't see the issue. Does your bed have an extra long overhang ????? So long as I am sitting straight I can drop my tailgate and clear the electric lift also. As suggested there are some alternatives that may help but beware of adding a longer draw bar as it will alter your towing dynamics. It may, however, be a relatively easy and inexpensive solution. I hope you can overcome this issue without too much trouble and enjoy many miles of towing and camping. We sure do enjoy ours.

As an aside I hope you will plan a trip to your own Kentucky Land Bet. the Lakes. It is nearby for you and a great family camping location. Enjoyed it ourselves summer before last.

Many happy miles, Be Safe
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