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Old 08-08-2010, 10:16 AM   #1
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Hitch dilemma

I have read thru many different threads regarding using lighter bars when towing with a HD tow vehicle. Could somebody please help me regarding this issue? Currently I am towing an 07 30' Classic (no slideout) with an 05 GMC 3/4t Crewcab diesel P/U 4wd. I am using a Blue OX WD hitch with 1000 lb. tension bars. My tongue wt is at 1000 lbs. Should I go to lighter bars? (The next lightest bars Blue Ox makes are 750lbs) or should I use a different link on my 1000lb bars to put less pressure on them? Also if I go to the 750 lb bars will there be a considerable bow in the bars when I hook them up in order to level the trailer? Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:02 AM   #2
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The lighter bars will give you a smoother ride and less jarring on the trailer. As for the deflection in the bars yes the lighter bars will have a greater bend when transferring the same amount of wight to the front axle of the TV.

In all case you should not be concerned with the number of links that will vary from set up to set up. My grandmother said her hearing aid did not work because her friend had her's set on 3 and my grandmother could not hear when her's was set on 3. What you are concerned with is the transfer of weight and depending on the head angle of your hitch that will vary.

The attachment may help

If you are going to tow both trailers the setup will most likely be noticeably different between the trailers. It might pay to get a second head and set one up for each trailer as the head angle will be different.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Reese set up.doc (22.5 KB, 67 views)
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:31 AM   #3
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Will dropping a link or two on the bars soften the ride?
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:32 AM   #4
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Start by using certified scales: truck, (solo: empty & loaded), etc.

See thread

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...-in-17984.html

Your questions are "answered" in a number of threads; and you will find agreement/disagreement in re this idea about WD bars. When you have

- - posted information derived from scale readings, (truck empty & loaded; trailer, solo with tongue weight; rig, loaded for camping with passengers)

taken & posted pictures of your rig as hitched (with any pertaining measurements),


then you will receive what is needed to dial it in for your specific combination.

Grab a helper, makes it easier. Start with tire pressures, and your vehicle manufacturer recommendations for tires & towing. It's only a pain the first time.

Then to play around with hitch bar ratings can "make sense".


Good luck
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:41 PM   #5
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Cutting back on the weight distributed by putting less load on the links( by increasing the number of loaded links) will not soften the ride. It only will put less weight on the front wheels of the tow vehicle. It will also reduce the amount of weight disparity between the front wheels of an Airstream trailer and the rear wheels but that is a minor concern.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock View Post
Will dropping a link or two on the bars soften the ride?
Probably yes, depending on th eexact tow vehicle, but it will also cause the effectiveness of the load equalizing bars to become nil.

Andy
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:54 PM   #7
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Probably yes, depending on th eexact tow vehicle, but it will also cause the effectiveness of the load equalizing bars to become nil.

Andy

Do I understand that the links in the chain are a part of the adjustments? If they are a part of the adjustment, then it seems like changing a link up or down would change the weight transfer. Am I right? When I bought my Reese hitch, the 800# rated hitch had a weight range from 400# to 800#. To me, that indicated an adjustment range. Or am I wrong. Is my hitch either 800# or zero, with no adjustment?
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:25 PM   #8
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The ONLY consideration for the number of links you set your hitch to is that of weight distribution. The head angle will determine the link count. Most of the newer heads have angle adjustment ability. Some of the older solid heads did not have this capacity and made setting up a system very difficult at best.

Other factors that will influence things are, TV springs, ball shank height, trunnion wear, and ball to receiver height. There is no way one can come up with a standard number of links because there are too many factories. If you follow a reasonable set up procedure, I have attached what I do above, that will determine the link count for your system.

It is not uncommon to have to readjust a set up depending on the mileage you clock up and weather or not you oil the trunnions regularly. I check mine once a year.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:26 PM   #9
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After reviewing the substantial number of threads on this topic I ultimately decided to stay with heavier bars. While opinions differ, after reviewing the evidence I could find and considering the physics involved, I concluded that properly sized bars based on hitch manufacturers' recommendations do not contribute to damage to the frame or sheet metal at the front of the trailer.

In general, hitch manufacturers recommend selecting a bar that matches the tongue weight. When the tongue weight is between two bar sizes, most hitch manufacturers recommend using the next larger size.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:02 PM   #10
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I can't say for sure one way or another. I fought the lighter bars for over 100,000 miles. It could have been the heavy bars or the bad axles but something caused the front to separate from from the door all the way around to the same place on the other side.

If you look closely at the picture you will see the piece on new material I put in behind the skin, held in with pop rivets, and below the mew material you will see the jagged edge of the skin. Every rivet had torn through the skins on the inside and outside.

I now use lighter bars
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
After reviewing the substantial number of threads on this topic I ultimately decided to stay with heavier bars. While opinions differ, after reviewing the evidence I could find and considering the physics involved, I concluded that properly sized bars based on hitch manufacturers' recommendations do not contribute to damage to the frame or sheet metal at the front of the trailer.

In general, hitch manufacturers recommend selecting a bar that matches the tongue weight. When the tongue weight is between two bar sizes, most hitch manufacturers recommend using the next larger size.
We have hundreds of repair orders, that would disagree with your evaluation.

An Airstream "MUST" have a soft ride, "or" the owner will pay the penalty financially paying for repairs that could have easily been avoided.

No hitch manufacturer has "EVER" evaluated the method of construction of an Airstream as to why "it's" different.

Hitch manufacturers statements, are designed to sell hitches, nothing more.

They all claim "theirs is the best". Don't bet on it when it comes to using them, "as they recommend" when towing an Airstream.

44 1/2 years of my experience says excessive rated hitches and/or tow vehicles, will and do cause a variety of damages to an Airstream trailer.

Same goes for a bad torsion axle, that some say there is no such thing as a bad torsion axle.

Andy
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:37 PM   #12
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Angry 750# bars

I switched to 750 lb bars to reduce the stress on the front of the trailer. After about 800 miles I went back to the 1000 lb bars and a sway contol device. The 1000 lb bars and setup were much better. Think SAFETY first and wear and tear second. I think you have to expect that you are generating a good deal of torque and stress on the front of the trailer. If you travel extensively you are going to have seams that open or rivets that pop. I don't care what hitch you use this is a quality issue with these trailers.
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