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Old 06-17-2007, 09:39 PM   #43
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I just took a closer look at Tom's (Minnie's Mate) photo in post #36. It looks like someone just bent the pipe hanger to get the LP line to drop enough to clear the bolt.

Tom: Please take a look at your installation and let us know if that is what was done.

Randy
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:32 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgodfrey
Tom,

In photo one, is that just a piece of that dense gray foam used for packing materials?

Randy
Sorry to take so long to get back to you, but I've been away from my computer for a few days.

I'm not sure what kind of foam that is. It doesn't seem particularly dense. I may very well be the type you describe. I will have to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't deteriorate and allow the gas line to rub against the screw threads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgodfrey
I just took a closer look at Tom's (Minnie's Mate) photo in post #36. It looks like someone just bent the pipe hanger to get the LP line to drop enough to clear the bolt.

Tom: Please take a look at your installation and let us know if that is what was done.

Randy
Mine doesn't have the same brackets riveted on the gas line on either side of the Equal-i-zer bracket that I recall. I don't know if the dealer removed them to lower the gas line or if Silvergate's dealer installed them to keep the gas line from sagging at that location. I have a feeling that the brackets either were removed or didn't exist there on mine to begin with and the dealer just pulled on the gas line and there was enough play that he was able to put the screw above it and then insert the foam pad between to prevent the two from rubbing against one another.

I will take another look and try to remember to take a photo from the side to show more detail. I will also look specifically for missing or bent gas line hanger brackets.

P.S. Sorry if I was arrogant about my dealer being the only one that knew how to install one correctly...I'm sure he's not. I was just proud that he did.
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:58 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
P.S. Sorry if I was arrogant about my dealer being the only one that knew how to install one correctly...I'm sure he's not. I was just proud that he did.
No problem. I just want to find out what is the correct solution.

It does look like two hangers were added to keep the pipe from sagging on SilverGate's installation. Mine is kept in an indoor facility, and I went over on Saturday later than expected and had to leave before I was planning so they could close up. That's why I only got a quick, dim light view of my installation. I'm pretty sure it had three hangers too. I wish I would have looked at it before they installed the hitch so I could see what was there from the factory.

Please post what you find when you get a look at your installation again.

Randy
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:29 AM   #46
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Formatted Letter to Airstream Factory & Dealer

Randy, I also just want to find out the correct solution.

BTW, jcanavera just added a yes/no option for the Community Poll on whether your Equal-i-zer was installed incorrectly. Please vote so we can get a good sample for this survey at:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f232/equal-i-zer-installed-incorrectly-33350.html (Thanks, Jack).

I sent a summary of our concerns and issues raised here to the Airstream Factory and to my Airstream Dealer. Below is a format of a message/letter that you can also send to Airstream and your Airstream Dealer. (Just plug in your specific info in the appropriate --------- areas):

"A number of us on the Airstream Knowledge Sharing Forums are becoming concerned that our Airstream Authorized Dealers might be installing the popular Equal-i-zer brand weight-distribution hitch incorrectly and improperly according to Equal-i-zer (Progress MFG, Inc.), Customer Support Representative, Josh Jones. See his post #17 on page 2 of the "Equal-i-zer Question"message threaed:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464/equalizer-question-32805-2.html
(Cut and paste Josh’s quote onto Word to see every word).

At this time a majority of people are reporting that their curbside Equal-i-zer Sway Bracket was installed with the bottom bolt going through the bottom holes and below the propane pipe which is held by a metal hanger and rivet close to the A-frame. See photos and posts #24 & 42 on this Equal-i-zer Question thread above. Also see our latest Community Poll results on this issue at: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f232/equal-i-zer-installed-incorrectly-33350.html.

Attached is a photo looking straight up at the propane pipe held tightly against the A-frame with rivets, right where the Sway bracket needs to be. The bottom bolt should have gone in the next set of holes up, the holes closest to the A-frame…
But the propane gas line is there… and this line should have been lowered enough for the ˝" bolt to pass through directly under the A-frame beam according to Josh Jones.

Josh’s instructions are also seen as part of the Equalizer Installation Instructions on page 2:
Instruction #7.c: " Insert the 2nd ˝" bolt through the hole in the outside link plate that is nearest the bottom of the trailer frame."

Equal-I-zer’s Limited Warranty (page 4 of their Installation Instructions) says, in part, "Progress MFG, Inc. shall not be required to replace or repair any products damaged as a result of improper installation…."

There appears to be a nation-wide problem of Airstream Authorized Dealers installing the Equal-i-zer brand weight-distribution hitch in a manner that Equal-i-zer says is improper. Perhaps Airstream needs to issue a directive as to the correct way to install this hitch and not void the Airstream and Equal-i-zer warranties.

My Equal-i-zer Hitch was installed on my ----- Airstream by my Airstream Dealer, -----------, on -------(date).

Please advise me and my Airstream Dealer, (name), in (location), on how to proceed to correct this while protecting my Airstream and Equal-i-zer warranties.

Thank you,
----------------"
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:37 AM   #47
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Bill (SilverGate),

Whom did you send this to at Airstream? What address?

I'm thinking that our dealers are following some procedure issued by a presently unknown organization, because your installation and mine are identical. We both have an LP gas line hanger, fore and aft of the Equal-i-zer bracket bolt. I think our dealers added those to prevent chafing of the pipe. If you look at Tom's (Minnie's Mate) installation in post #36, he doesn't have those hangars, only the hanger close to the hose-to-pipe fitting (top of your photo) at the front of the A-frame, and it looks like it was bent to provide clearance between the pipe and the bolt.

I would think the gas line should be maintained close to the frame for protection and security, so I don’t think bending the hanger to get clearance is a good solution, because now the line is away from the frame. I was thinking of drilling out the hanger rivets and adding some spacers to provide the clearance, but that too would leave the pipe away from the frame. I'm waiting to see what Lew (lewster) posts on the poll thread, because he said he solved it by putting a u-bend in the pipe. That might be the best solution as the gas line is away from the frame only in that area.

Maybe I'm being way too cautious here, and over engineering the solution, but that's my background. As Bill (BillTex) said, we are spending more time writing about this than the solution will eventually take. But, what else are you going to do while waiting for next weekend to go back to the trailer?

BTW: It looks to me like your inside plate is bowing a little from the bolt being too low. I would expect your outside plate is too. Next weekend, I'm going to try and back off those bolts a little, without loosening the clamp to reduce the bowing that is clearly present on mine.

Randy
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:30 AM   #48
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Contacting Airstream info (As found on their web page:
http://www.airstream.com/company/contact.html ):

Airstream Inc.:
419 West Pike Street
P.O. Box 629
Jackson Center, Oh 45334-0629
Phone: 937-596-6111
Fax: 937-596-7939

Before placing your call, please have the following information handy:
- Telephone number
- Specify trailer or motorhome
- Model year
- Last six digits of the Airstream serial number
- Brief description of problem or information needed

Speak To A Technical Assistance Representative:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm, EST: 937-596-6111
Toll Free Automated Technical Support Line: 1-877-596-6505
Your call will be returned within 24 hrs.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Randy, I will send you the specific name and email address as a private mail message.)

Bill
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:34 AM   #49
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I suspect the dealers are frustrated with Airstream. AS should know that they have created a problem with all the Equalizer Hitches in use. It's where the gas line is placed in the first place that is the problem. What should really happen now is a warning bulletin to the dealerships. But, that means that some party will need to acknowledge responsibility. Either the dealers, or, AS. When you admit responsibility you also accept liability. That's where corporate attorneys start to sweat.
It's also why we have states Atty Generals. To force business to take potentially expensive action when there is a SAFETY issue.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:35 AM   #50
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If you/we don't want or can't move the propane line, could we weld the bracket to the frame to prevent movement?
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:10 AM   #51
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The Summary of our Equal-i-zer questions, concerns and issues (post #46 above) was sent to the Airstream Factory, my dealer, and Equal-i-zer last Sunday night.

The only response, so far, has been from Josh Jones, Equal-i-zer’s Customer Support Representative, which I received today and post here in the spirit of sharing knowledge... and finding a solution.

The bottom-line question raised by Josh here and a concern for those of us within the 2-year Airstream Warranty period is:

Would moving the propane line in the area of the Sway Control Bracket bolt void any Airstream Warranty?

Here is Josh Jones’s continued in-depth response to the "Equal-i-zer Question":

"Thank you for your efforts at addressing this issue and for sharing this knowledge with your associates. The picture you provided (and those posted on the forum) are very helpful.
I would like to begin by first stating that the possible side-effects of having an improperly-installed Sway Control Bracket (bolting around the propane line) are usually not immediate, but can slowly develop over time. The biggest concern is that the bottom Bracket Bolt can be over-tightened, creating this "pinching & bowing" effect. A result of this effect is that the Sway Control Bracket can move, shift, or "walk" on the frame.


A person's natural response to this movement may be "If the brackets are moving, then the Bracket Bolts are loose. I better tighten them up". But this actually makes the problem worse, as it causes more "pinching & bowing", and more movement. The more the Sway Control Bracket moves, the more the Square-head Set Screw may be able to loosen or back out of the threads. Just as one person had posted, the L-Bracket ended up dropping out and getting lost. This however is highly unusual and rare. If the bottom Bracket Bolt is set in the specified location (the hole directly under the bottom of the A-frame), these long-term side-effects will be greatly minimized.
Now not everyone with the "improper installation" around the propane line is experiencing this movement in the brackets or looseness in the bolts. This may be due to the fact that there are various ranges of trailer and tongue weights, which will have corresponding variations in Equal-i-zer Hitch adjustments. The heavier a person's trailer and/or tongue weight are, the more tension they need on their Spring Arms to transfer weight and to create friction for sway control. While the bulk of the friction for sway control does come from the rotating Arm Sockets, there is also linear friction from the Spring Arms sliding forward and backward on the L-Brackets.
The more tension and friction a person needs on their Equal-i-zer Hitch, the more the Spring Arms will push and pull on the L-Brackets, as these Spring Arms slide forward and backward during turns. If there is anything present in the set-up that prevents the Sway Control Brackets from holding as well (pinching & bowing), then the greater amount of tensional and frictional forces pressing down and pushing/pulling on the L-Brackets may allow for more movement in the Sway Control Brackets.

So a person with lighter weights, who makes shorter trips, who does less turning, or who doesn't tow very often may be less likely to have the symptoms, even if the bolt is improperly installed around the propane line, and some "pinching & bowing" is present. The Spring Arms simply don't push & pull as hard on the L-Brackets. But those who have heavier weights, who tow more frequently, who take longer trips, who do more turning, etc. will be more likely to have the symptoms or side-effects from the "pinching & bowing", since the Spring Arms will push & pull harder on the L-Brackets.
Now we do not recommend that anyone disregard any manufacturer's specifications, conditions, limitations, etc. that would void a warranty. However, this does put some people in a dilemma IF modifying the propane line would void the Airstream Warranty. However, if a person's Equal-i-zer Hitch has problems due to an improper installation, the Warranty on the Equal-i-zer Hitch may not necessarily provide for free replacement of lost or damaged parts. However, the Limited Lifetime Warranty will still be intact, but the person would need to fix the "incorrect installation" to avoid the same problems from recurring.

Have you or anyone else contacted Airstream to see if there is any problem in lowering the propane line just in the area of the Bracket Bolt? Would this void any warranty?


Please let me know if you have any addition questions or information."

Thanks,
Josh Jones
Progress Mfg Inc.
Customer Support
1-800-478-5578
jjones@progressmfg.com

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you, Josh, for providing more detailed information regarding this issue.

We await Airstream’s response to this issue and also to the question (which I will forward to Airstream):

Would lowering the propane line in the area of the Sway Control bracket bolt be problematic and/or void any Airstream warranty?
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:45 AM   #52
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Not by the book, but works for me...

I've posted this before but thought it might be worth the re-post given the confusion and now more confusing response from the manufacturer.

I wrestled with loose L-brackets, not only rocking back and forth on the bracket but outright loosening of the square-headed bolt.
I simply reversed the bottom bolt to now go through the L-bracket as well as hold the bracket to the tongue. With the simple addition of a 1/2" coarse threaded jamb nut (they're thinner by about a third than a regular nut).

This has removed 100% any looseness of the L-bracket and now renders the square-headed bolt to the role of clamping the top portion of the bracket, not in any way likely to allow the loss of or looseness of the L-bracket.

I know some will have a problem with this setup as it is not as the manufacturer indicates for their prescribed installation...why, I wonder??

It makes me wonder even more after reading the response from Josh "While the bulk of the friction for sway control does come from the rotating Arm Sockets, there is also linear friction from the Spring Arms sliding forward and backward on the L-Brackets." There is no way, given the amount of "slop" in the L-bracket, at any torque of the bolt, there is measureable sway control/linear friction with the factory described installation...period (OK, unless the angle between TV and trailer is in the neighborhood of 30+ degrees...that's some serious sway!).
[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/bouma01/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg[/IMG]
I've attached a picture of my road-side, curb side is identical and I have put a u-bend in the gas line to keep the clamping force reasonable.

I have also taken a old airplane tire inner tube and cut a gasket that fits between the bracket and tongue. My original thought was to prevent potential rust buildup behind the bracket but now looks as if it allows just enough twisting of the entire bracket to allow the spring bars to conform in a parallel fashion. In roughly 8k miles of towing, I see no distinct wear pattern on the spring bars or L-brackets ( I do keep those surfaces lubed).

Marc

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Old 06-20-2007, 12:27 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B25guy
I've attached a picture of my road-side, curb side is identical and I have put a u-bend in the gas line to keep the clamping force reasonable.
Thanks Marc. I would really like to see a picture of the curbside showing the u-bend in the gas line.

Randy
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:45 PM   #54
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curb side with gas pipe bent

I knew somebody would ask...
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:42 PM   #55
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don't have an equal-i-zer hitch or reece or drawtite...

but even the haha has attachment issues on the a-frame.

i've seen MANY moved gas lines for hitch brackets.

mine was moved by the dealer during haha installation.

i think the key is to fill the holes with somethin'....

if any retention brackets are removed.

it would be hilarious IF a/s suggested moving the gas lines would affect the warranty...

since a/s doesn't put all the gas lines in exactly the same location ne way!

cheers
2air'

can't wait to read a/s response on this....
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:50 AM   #56
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Marc.
How did you put the U bend in the gas pipe?
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