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Old 03-30-2009, 02:27 PM   #1
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Hitch ball height ?????

I have been lurking here and reading this board for some time. I seem to remember reading information regarding hitch ball height. The number that rings in 19.5" and I can't remember if this is to the top of the ball or the base. Of course I may be off with my numbers too. Anyhow, if there is anyone out there in AS land that would mind sharing this information I would appreciate it. I was just about to adjust the height on my hitch and thought it would be nice to get it right the first time.

Thanks, this board is great. Its a wonderful forum where so many can get together and swap experiences ( and bicker a bit too) all for a common good. Lets keep it up.
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:03 PM   #2
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Airstream offical listing of weights and Hitch Ball Height

Check out this PDF should answer your question.

http://www.airstream.com/docs/weights-1.pdf

Damon
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:17 PM   #3
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You can not use the published ball height with an Airstream. The axles in an Airstream do not have a equalizing system that spring axles do. The Airstream has to be setting level and off the TV. While the trailer is level you can measure the inside of the socket. Add 1/2 in to that measurement and use that as your rough ball height. The age of your axles is going to effect this.

Now drive the rig to a level and straight parking lot. Come to a straight stop using the trailer brakes. Jack the trailer clear of the TV. With the TV sitting Measure the height of the front and rear fender on center with the wheels. A piece of masking tape on the fender will help. Mark and record a measurement on the fender. Now hitch up with the WD bars and remeasure the fenders. Both fenders should come down. Say if you had marked 39 ins. on each fender you should now see something like 38 1/2 on the front fender and 38 1/4 on the rear. These are measurement just to illustrate my point that you want to see a both fender come down. Generally I like about a 40 60 ration front to rear drop.

If ou are real luckie you may hit it on the first try. More than likely you will have to change the hitch head angle back to get some weight on the front axle. Note as you change the head angle you amy have to move the U bolts that secvure the bars to the frame to insure the bars are sitting correctly on the saddles. To do it right this can take several hours.
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:33 PM   #4
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19" for a 69 Overlander

Our 69 Overlander owner's manual said 19 inches....that is what we used and it worked perfectly....paula
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:42 PM   #5
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Ball height can "ONLY" be determined by loading the trailer and measuring from inside of the coupler when the trailer is level.

Airstreams published dimensions are only true, when the trailer rolls off the assembly line, with a "ZERO" payload.

When the trailer ages, typically the axles settle, sometimes as much as 4 inches, which also means the axles are bad.

Next question, is the weight of payload? That effects the ball height as well.

Size of tire changes the ball height.

Therefore there is "NO" true answer, other than measure your trailer, not someone who has the same one or similair, but yours.

Every dimension other than yours, is "WRONG."

HowieE provided a good way to do it.

Andy
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:27 AM   #6
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Thank you all for sharing your wisdom. I think I have an idea now how to go about it. I have a HD tow vehicle ( Dodge 3500). I'm trying to get it set up at a starting point. Then I can work on fine tuning it but I have to at least begin somewhere. I'll then find out how the tire size, axel wear etc. and how that all will determine my target height.

When trying to establish a base level will it be good enough to eyeball the trailer while sitting on level ground or would it be better to use a bubble level on the towbar to do that.

Once again, thank you all for sharing.
Roger
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
When trying to establish a base level will it be good enough to eyeball the trailer while sitting on level ground or would it be better to use a bubble level on the towbar to do that.

Once again, thank you all for sharing.
Roger
Roger.
Bubble it on the A-frame. As has been mentioned, a LEVEL trailer when loaded and ready to go is your goal.
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:52 AM   #8
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Do not use a bubble level unless you are on a known concrete pad.

You are not interested if the trailer body is level you are interested if the trailer is parallel to the ground you are working on. Measure the frame height front and rear, this insures equal weight on the axles. This also assumes your axles are good. This can be tested once you are hitched up and the trailer is riding level by going to a Cat Scale and placing the axles on 2 different plates. If the weight come back with significant differences your axles are not equal.

Now if you are working with a single axle Airstream it then becomes just a matter of aesthetics if the trailer ride level to the ground.
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:54 AM   #9
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Thank you all again. I guess this is a learning curve. I will have to establish a base line then from time to time adjust to current loads and equipment conditions. But I do, now, have a starting point.
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