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Old 09-07-2011, 04:29 PM   #1
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1992 29' Excella
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Question Help for a soon to be Airstreamer

I am in the process of acquiring a '92 Excella 29' that is currently parked over 300 miles away. I am planning on making two trips down in order to get it back home. The first trip will be to access what needs to be done such as tires, brakes,lights, etc. before I attempt to tow it. I will have two weeks in between to do have some of the immediate work done if necessary. I appreciate the check list that is provided on this forum which has helped me greatly to think about what tools I need to take for starters. My two questions at this point are:

1: which weight distribution hitch should I choose? I have been looking at the Reese Straight line hitch and the equalizer hitch. Some folks say you do not need a sway control with an Airstream as they are such great trailers. Anyone with a similar size and weight Airstream willing to share what they use and their experience with it? (I don't want to spend $500-$700 to learn I needed a better hitch, or a lesser hitch)

2:What brake controller seems to work best? I have been researching the accelerometer V/S the pendulum V/S the timing activated. All seem to have strengths and weaknesses and all say theirs is the best for everything. What do you use and how did you decide/ do you like it?
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:13 PM   #2
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what are you going to tow with? lots of opinions on hitches. Many airstreamers would use one of the pro pride-hensly-etc. hitches with that length trailer. certainly nothing wrong with that approach.

I have a Reese dual cam and have towed my 25' airsteam about 50,000 miles with no problems. But... I also towed a 32 footer with it for about 2500 miles. If I was going to tow the 32 trailer a lot and go on trips with it I would buy one of the sway eliminating hitches for the job. I was able to set it the Reese up for the longer trailer so it felt solid, but I was also able to set it up so that it felt more inclined to sway than the short trailer. So you are faced with deciding how much hitch you feel you need from a position with no experience. I have talked to 2 people who had control related accidents pulling a Airstream and they switched to the hensly type hitch. There is absolutly nothing wrong with buying a more expensive hitch if you can afford it. If you are in WBCCI talk to some of the local unit members who pull that size trailer. Airstreams can sway. I use one of the more inexpensive Tokensa controllers. Do not know which method it uses. Works fine. I think most of the controllers do a pretty good job.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:45 PM   #3
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Bill
I drive an 93 Dodge ram 1500 wit full tow package. I routinely pull a 20 foot utility trailer but it only has surge brakes and no WD hitch. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:41 PM   #4
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The Reese Dual Cam will work fine.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:03 PM   #5
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Almost any weight distributing hitch will work. DUal cam or Equalizer or other Spring Bar versions will help stabilize trailer. If it doesn't do a great job with sway, you can add friction sway bar as optional extra.. That said, the Hensley Arrow is considered the ultimate, and many here on Forums would have nothing less. Be aware that tongue loading, trailer balance and tire type/pressure and truck tire pressures can also make a significant difference in handling.. All are part of the equation.

Some feel that anything less than a new 3/4 ton diesel truck is also inadequate.. That is why they're referred to as "opinions" here... Your truck will grunt going uphill, and some windy days when passing trucks on freeway you will wish for bigger one.. Just recognize limits and drive it carefully....
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:40 AM   #6
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Chillpoints,
Welcome! Nice to see an Asheville member. (Our son lives there.) Our AS is a lot like yours. Here's our experience in a nutshell. We bought her this Spring, pulled her home from South Carolina to Virginia with our GMC 1500 4WD extended cab. She came with the Hensley Arrow hitch assembly. Pulled fine, but the truck grunted over the Appalachians. We pulled her to Wisconsin and back. Truck grunted more.

Knew we had to go to Oregon. Bought used Chevy diesel. Best decision we ever made. The Dmax doesn't even know there is an AS behind it, rarely even shifts down a gear.

Love the Hensley (HAHA) and the service I've gotten from the factory, but don't know life without it. Many AS veterans use either the HAHA or the Pro-Pride. For a rig like ours I'd get one or the other. Let me know how I can help, and we look forward to meeting you in Asheville or somewhere else in our beautiful Blue Ridge.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:15 PM   #7
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Famous Last Words

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Originally Posted by Chillpoints View Post
Some folks say you do not need a sway control with an Airstream as they are such great trailers.
Thems fightin words in these parts pard.

I definitely recommend a weight distributing hitch with some kind of sway control for a trailer your size. The odds would be with you if you towed her home with just a draw bar, but those could be famous last words.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:02 PM   #8
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We have a 94 Excella. We ended up spinning our whole rig crossing Kansas. We lived to tell about it. The issue was the torsion Axels were bad. We didn't have it very long--we had the big box camping store check it out before we bought it--big mistake. Enough said-- so we bought the Reese torsion package. 1200# with trunnion bars. We now pull it with an F350 (we have a farm). Be sure and check those axles thoroughly.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:38 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts. If there are others I am interested. in hearing opinions. We were not looking for one this big but got a deal that we could not refuse. With a 12 year old that is into violin and the youth orchestra, we will not be able to make many big trips for a while. Once we get her up the steep mountains (slowly) we will enjoy taking a few short trips here in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. We will absolutely get some kind of WD hitch and try to keep in mind all the other aspects like tire pressure, loading etc. It is great to have folks who are willing to help out the newbie. My wife says all I can do is read about AS now. can't wait until Oct. 7th.

Still looking for suggestions on brake controllers
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