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Old 01-17-2011, 07:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Moonstruck View Post
Hi from the UK!
I have a 1972 23ft Safari with a gross weight of 3600lbs
The tongue weight is 450lbs
I have a guy who wants to tow it with a 530 BMW Touring
The "Beamer" has a max hitch capacity of 220lbs
I want to know what difference an equalizer hitch would make?
What percentage advantage would be gained with the hitch?
Marc


So, it seems as though your potential buyer can tow this trailer with his present vehicle as long as he can obtain a suitable wd hitch rated at max 500# hitch load and 5000# GVW for his BMW.

The trailer GVW is however getting close to the top of the tow rating for his vehicle, and many folks would prefer to see a little larger margin of rated capacity vs actual GVW. 75-80% is an often quoted rule of thumb.

I suppose the relevance of that would depend on how often he intends to tow and over what sort of terrain & operating conditions.

A good anti-sway bar would also likely be a worthwhile investment depending on the type of hitch selected.


Brian.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:28 PM   #16
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Wait a minute here. Do we have another problem? Doesn't Europe require surge brakes? I thought I read that somewhere. You can't use a weight distributing hitch with surge brakes, can you?
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:56 PM   #17
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Wait a minute here. Do we have another problem? Doesn't Europe require surge brakes? I thought I read that somewhere. You can't use a weight distributing hitch with surge brakes, can you?


Surely the electric brakes with which the AS should be equipped would only be an improvement over surge brakes wouldn't they?

Do you mean that European regs would specifically require surge brakes rather than just specifying that "brakes are required" over a certain trailer weight?

I had surge brakes on our first travel trailer (very light weight, no equalizing hitch).

They did work ok, but on the setup I had, it was a pain in that every time you wanted to back up you had to get out and throw a lever on the hitch to stop the brakes from activating, otherwise the trailer wheels would lock up when you tried to reverse!



Brian


(PS I'm not 100% sure, but I think I have read of some designs of hitch/brakes that will permit use of a surge brake hitch with an equalizing type hitch.)
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
Surely the electric brakes with which the AS should be equipped would only be an improvement over surge brakes wouldn't they?

Do you mean that European regs would specifically require surge brakes rather than just specifying that "brakes are required" over a certain trailer weight?

I had surge brakes on our first travel trailer (very light weight, no equalizing hitch).

They did work ok, but on the setup I had, it was a pain in that every time you wanted to back up you had to get out and throw a lever on the hitch to stop the brakes from activating, otherwise the trailer wheels would lock up when you tried to reverse!



Brian


(PS I'm not 100% sure, but I think I have read of some designs of hitch/brakes that will permit use of a surge brake hitch with an equalizing type hitch.)
Yeah, I'm not sure. I agree that electric or electric over hydraulic is superior to surge, but I thought I read that and I thought the AS's built for Europe had surge brakes.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:16 PM   #19
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A lot of info here. Can't find anything specifically on brakes, but loo at #3 below.


FAQ < Airstreamer | Airstream Europe : FAQ, frequently asked questions, how, where, and what


3. Buy new for Europe – Can't I import from the USA?
Some people do, but the majority of units offered 2nd hand in Europe are those built after 1969, with wider (8ft or 8ft 6") bodies and relatively heavy gross weights and nose weights. This makes them illegal in some countries and a poor/ potentially unsafe match for most EU tow cars.
US origin units are not compliant with UK/ EU requirements, they may need repairs (which can be difficult to cost) and will need the gas, electricity, axles and brakes changed before they can be used safely. They are sold without manufacturer's warranty; appliances are not EU origin making service & spare parts hard to obtain, and insurers may decline to provide cover etc. Maintenance, especially of vintage vehicles can be expensive and very time consuming.
Even fully converting a US model, the one thing almost impossible to do is change the axle position. US axles are set further back than EU models and therefore the nose weights are way in excess of what EU tow cars are manufactured to be able to manage safely.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:22 PM   #20
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Boy! If some of us have issues with friction sway control, we'd really not be comfortable with this!

http://www.winterhoff.de/Bilder/WS3000-02_GB.pdf

This Winterhoff gizmo is required in Europe.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:01 PM   #21
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Another thing to consider is the suspension setup of that car. A couple of our Land Rovers and Range Rovers had self leveling air suspension (which some wagons do too) and it specifically said in the manual to not to use weight distribution hitches as it would work against the air leveling and potentially damage it. Not that Rover needed any help with air suspension problems to begin with. In retrospect, it might have actually helped to use WD anyway (kidding of course)

I think the unibody construction might be scary here too with that much weight on the ball. And is that weight of 450lbs loaded with full propane tanks? If not, what's it gonna weigh when they are full, plus when there's stuff loaded inside the trailer, say under the lounge or whatever. Just something to consider, I know our tongue gets heavy real quick with stuff up front.

I love Beamers, but I'd never tow anything other than something super light with one of their cars. Actually, I'd never tow anything with them but I know plenty of people do, this just seems quite a bit too much.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:08 PM   #22
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Weight distribution hitches.

I pulled my weight tickets when I was attempting to understand what the Hensley Hitch was doing. I went through the scales the first time with the load transfer bars adjusted to the position that I was towing in. I pulled off the scales into the parking area and released all tension on the load transfer bars and then went through the scales a second time. Here are the results I got. It looks to me like I'm moving 400# to the front axel of the truck and 80# to the trailer axels. When I measured the tongue weight it was 860# which was 11.6% of the empty trailer weight when I brought it home from the dealer. I can only assume that the difference in weight is at the hitch receiver since the total gross weight is the same in each situation. Jerry.
Bars tensioned_________________ Bars tension released
front axel 4000#________________ front axel 3680#
rear axel 3920# ________________rear axel 4320#
trailer axels 7780#______________ trailer axels 7700#
__________________________________________________ ___

Total Gross 15700# ______________Total Gross 15700#
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:16 PM   #23
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good numbers jerry,

and again this demonstrates the 1/3 1/3 1/3 equalizing stuff is nonsense,

as related to modern rig combinations.

but do you have the truck axle weights UNhitched?

the 4000lb front axle load WITH w/d doesn't mean much without the UNhitched values.

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Old 01-18-2011, 07:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandits View Post
I pulled my weight tickets when I was attempting to understand what the Hensley Hitch was doing. I went through the scales the first time with the load transfer bars adjusted to the position that I was towing in. I pulled off the scales into the parking area and released all tension on the load transfer bars and then went through the scales a second time. Here are the results I got. It looks to me like I'm moving 400# to the front axel of the truck and 80# to the trailer axels. When I measured the tongue weight it was 860# which was 11.6% of the empty trailer weight when I brought it home from the dealer. I can only assume that the difference in weight is at the hitch receiver since the total gross weight is the same in each situation. Jerry.
Bars tensioned_________________ Bars tension released
front axel 4000#________________ front axel 3680#
rear axel 3920# ________________rear axel 4320#
trailer axels 7780#______________ trailer axels 7700#
__________________________________________________ ___

Total Gross 15700# ______________Total Gross 15700#
You should move about another 200 pounds to the front axle of the tow vehicle. The watch the towing improvement.

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Old 01-18-2011, 07:54 PM   #25
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One other force

There is one other thing that I have never seen mentioned as a side effect of a weight distribution hitch.

As the bars are tightened (raised), the hitch cup on the trailer and the hitch ball on the truck are being pressed together with increasingly greater force.

I am guessing that it is of the order of a few 10's of pounds or less, and am too lazy to diagram and calculate it, but if carried to extremes, it could over stress the welds attaching the hitch cup to the A frame.

Ken
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:01 PM   #26
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and again this demonstrates the 1/3 1/3 1/3 equalizing stuff is nonsense,


With a pickup truck. Not with a car. In general.


I think the unibody construction might be scary here too with that much weight on the ball.

I doubt the car is less well-built than a 1960's Chrysler product. All of which were uni-body and had no problems with WDH.

As to surge brake units, both EQUAL-I-ZER and REESE offer WDH compatible with surge brake trailers (mainly sold to big trailerable boat owners).

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Old 01-18-2011, 08:06 PM   #27
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There is one other thing that I have never seen mentioned...
hi ken

yeah it's covered in several threads...

there are even calculations of how much MORE compressive force (torque) happens at the cup/ball/bar ends...

relative to the tongue weight or bar rating.

long ago someone posted that the w/d bars reduce cup/ball forces,

and thereby RAISE the cup off the ball, if the coupler not secured.

naturally we jumped all over this silly notion,

and there were even demonstrations 2 prove otherwise.

see the posts starting at ~#31 in this thread...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...rol-17986.html

nick and others have exposed this issue in other threads too....

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Old 01-18-2011, 08:34 PM   #28
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