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Old 07-13-2006, 10:33 PM   #29
Rivet Master
1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Hello silvercamper,
I am not surprised by your hitch decision ,as that NEW style sling dolly
takes the load off the tow vehical and the trailer pulls along behind like a tow bar on a vehical ,you turn,the front dolly wheels turn also .The return of this
idea sounds like a good solution to towing stability and ease .
As for the temp gun ,it will be hard to find what temp the tires should be at
from most sources as people really don't know ,never thought of measuring them for temperature, I have recorded on my single axle trdwnd in 80 heat,
they were 120 degrees after long highway travel ,hot pavement .I use
that as a baseline ,with cooler weather ,they run cooler and so on .I would
go out for a drive and do some preliminary checks ,also check the hubs ,
are they warm (normal) what temp ? Same with the tires ,before use temp'
then ride awhile and recheck ,if the are hot too the touch and the temp is 180 degrees (hot) or cooler ? Get a baseline of what you have to start with .
I watched (made in america ) tuesday on television ,they did a tour of the
goodyear plant in Akron Ohio ,very good show ,I am going to call them there
myself to see if they can give me some direct info on running temps and stuff. That would be cool if they could help .Most tire shops may not know
but some might so call around .


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Old 07-13-2006, 10:58 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Silvercamper
When one of these laser guns is employed, what measure should we be seeking to stay within?
Temperatures of tires, and the use of an infra-red temperature gauge is described at

Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
"The price of freedom is eternal maintenance."
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Old 07-13-2006, 11:40 PM   #31
Rivet Master
1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
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Posts: 1,352
Thanks nick I will check the temp ratings .I use a raytek gun in my
repair business alot ,very informative and valuable tool to have.

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Old 07-14-2006, 12:34 AM   #32
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ok folks.......
i'm gonna play the doubting thomas here.....
because i am doubting this product, this thread, this poster and so on....

first it should be called a 'receiver helper' not a hitch helper...
yes it looks to be holding up the rear of a truck in their product pictures...
so what.
if your truck is used to haul tons of crap and is dragging at the tail, yet this gadget might hold up the rear...but their own product info says this is for 'temporary support only' 'if your truck is overloaded long term, get a bigger truck' is also their advice....

moving fertilizer around town? fine.
hauling anything at hiway speeds? not me, no way no how......

now for use towing an isn't a hitch, it doesn't have sway control, it doesn't have load bars, it will not redistribute load.....

folks who do not understand how w/d works might think this is a substitue but it isn't.....and it's not even close.

so he still needs a w/d hitch with sway control.....where is the info on this...all i read is about selling a haha.....

now the max load is that tongue weight or rear end of truck weight? they are not the are ya gonna measure the load on this device? roll it over a scale i suppose, but in real usage, driving around the load will very by several 100lbs.....i guaranteeeeeeee.

if it was intended for regular hiway speed towing, truck support and so on it would need the same suspension design as a truck, car or trailer hub...with a regular shock and a regular spring and control arms of some sort and so on....

what happens when cornering, braking, going through dips or over bumps?

do ya really want a 5 wheeled truck? or a trailer with a nose wheel? even with a proper hitch/wd and so on trailers till and move and articulate at the ya want to eliminate that?

yes the tire is rated for highway speeds but what about the device....i don't think so....again moving around in town it might be helpful....for temporary their own web site suggests.....

just how much extra vibration would this device ADD to the tongue and into the trailer and hiway speeds and distances?

i understand the historical use of these devices when pulling trailers with 50s and 60s cars....but there are many reasons why hitch technology and modern towing have moved AWAY from this 'helpers'.....

we are not driving on bias ply tires anymore or using leaded gas or draggin a foot to stop are we?

the user in this thread mentions 'sway' being better but how? isn't he really talking about the push/pull of a semi bow wave? that isn't sway and i see no way how this would help with either regardless....

but it does hold up the back end of a saggin if your truck is saggin from being full o' bull.....try one.

if supporting the front of an airstream was this easy and effective while towing wouldn't airstream or any other trailer manufactures, have considered including this type of support in the last 40 years? which trailer brands include a highway quality wheel/hub/suspension at the front?

i'll comment of the laser temps of tires in another post......
that is a valid issue that we all need help understanding.....

but this hitch helper content is phishy 2 me.....perhaps the poster has a few pictures of his airstream in action with this wheel?

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:55 AM   #33
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tire temps and so on.....

i 2 carry and use a laser temp gadget....mine is a sears craftsman electronics tool (for ac/dc volt/ohm/amp stuff) that included the laser thermometer...

i've used it regularly over the last year and still don't have a clue about the data i collect...

first what is it measuring? surface temps......only.
i use my hand as a reference...and usually get 91-92 degrees....but just a few millimeter below the surface in the tissue and blood my true temp is 95-98 degrees....

for metal this isn't an issue because metal is a good conductor of heat so surface and sub surface are gonna be real close...

so for hub temps or disc rotor temps i can understand using it to find the hot brake or the hot bearing....and i use it to watch these things too.

on the tire side...... rubber is a poor conductor of heat....

so how does surface temp actually correlate to side wall or tread base temps? i don't have a clue......

now for some data points.....
whenever i stop along the interstate i check temps.......
at 70-85 degree air temps my trailer tires are typically 80 degrees on the low side and 91 degrees as a high....and usually they are all within a 2-3 degree range.
my truck tires are usually 10-15 degrees warmer at 95-110. recently the rear truck tires have been 5 degrees warmer than fronts....and my axles loads are currently 3-400 higher on the rear....

it makes sense to me that the truck tires are warmer...they are turning, pulling and supporting greater loads and doing more types of heat producing work, while the trailer tires do less work so they should generate less heat....

i always measure shade side as the temps to watch......why?
sun side fluctuates wildly......often the sun side is 100 when the shade is 80 or sunside 120 when the shade side is 95....

and i've measured sun side 30 minutes AFTER stoping and it is some times 130+ while the shade side is 80 or less.....

even before driving sun side tire surface temps measure 130+ if in direct sun and air temps are 85 or above.....

my point here is we have all learned tires fail from heat....
but at what temp is this an issue?
and how do we relate surface temps to the meat of a tire?

perhaps what we really need is temp sensors inside the tire along with pressure monitors....and this is the data we could follow...tire air pressures and temps. or perhaps tires with radio frequency temp emittors imbedded in the cords....and this is the info to follow...

just come thoughts on hot tires

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 07-15-2006, 12:48 AM   #34
2005 28 ft. SAFARI
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Brooklyn , New York
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Hello 2airishuman

We have read your many posts with no lack of amazement at your extensive knowledge and vast practical experience and please continue to enlighten us all. If we knew no better however, we'd find your remarks against the subject of our thread, which at times escalates into what some may interpret as an all out personal attack, rather unsettling. We were welcomed on this forum one year ago and share with you a love for one product......AIRSTREAMS. In light of the foregoing, we have to believe that we failed to provide you with adequate information.

Although we are the ones who introduced the Hitch Buddy to this forum, it would be unethical to take credit for the Hitch Helper. Such recognition must be attributed to our brother and fellow Streamer GLENCOOMBE-Thank you again Glen. We merely removed it from another post in order to give it a life of its own.

The Hensley is one of the best hitches made and at no time did we suggest otherwise. But we took delivery of our Safari and the Hensley during the same hour of the same day and there were a lot of instructions which never reached us. So it must have been us ....but in any event we were already accustomed to the Reese and just never got along with the HA even though it towed like a dream, the differences in hitching up on uneven surfaces and backing up are well documented in this forum. In addition, our AS is in storage and out of our sight for months at a time. The HH breaks down into three parts and stores within the locked trailer The HA looked very conspicuous and inviting. Someone with the desire could easily have removed our $3000 investment and we'd never be aware of the loss for months.

By the way 2air we have the Dually version of the HH and those two tires are rated at 1800 pounds not 900. The Tahoe's rear end quickly approaches the pavement whenever the AS is being attached and we half expected this to happen with the HH. There was nothing to worry about, these two wheels can bear the tongue weight of our AS without a murmer. The Tahoe is our daily New York City vehicle which is used everyday to transport our son to school and us to work During any given year we will have a total of 16 occassions to tow our AS. The term a temporary assist really does apply to us since towing for us is a tiny fraction of our total driving experience. You also wondered about the absence of weight ditribution and a sway control device but you might have missed the fact that we still own our REESE and that has the bars etc that can be used but someone had to try this device without these features just to see if this HH worked as advertised and I did it.

The Hitch Helper is by no means perfect and that fact was also mentioned in my report. The hopping/bouncing that accurs whenever uneven roads or bridges are encountered at highway speeds is unacceptable but we are looking into adding an air hitch for our next outing in August. We have also discussed this problem with Bob-the owner/designer of HH and this is the kind of attention that we customers really appreciate. He is already looking into adding an air hitch to the HH.

There are still many unanswered questions. For example, why did the towing community leave these wheeled helper systems behind? Now that we have tested the Hitch Helper and found that it works, Can the HITCH BUDDY be far behind?.

Sharon & Winston
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Old 07-15-2006, 01:21 AM   #35
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hi silvercamper......
that shirt in your new picture suggests you're a cyclist also.....neat.

yes learning to align and connect the haha takes time and thought....
i do this regularly alone and learn something every time....

so this is now my understanding......
you still have the reece dual cam,
and may use it for w/d and anti sway,
but gave the hh a try without the reece
just to see how well it performed....

i shall remain for now, the doubting thomas on this topic,
and suggest you continue to use the reece or haha,
along with any other secondary support devices...

best of luck with your airstreaming and towing

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:12 PM   #36
Hell-Ya Hitch Helper
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Miller , South Dakota
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Hello Winston and Sharon,
Thanks for your positive remarks in your answer to "2air". We have approximately 200 units in use at this time, and no one had reported negative remarks to us until now. Please keep us informed with any information that we may use to improve our product for your use
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Old 07-16-2006, 11:15 PM   #37
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it is often said that any publicity is good publicity....
so i am reluctant to bump this thread....but here goes......

Originally Posted by Hell-ya Bob
Hello Winston and Sharon,
no one had reported negative remarks to us until now.
oh and hello from me 2, winston and sharon.......
i doubt you intended this,
because your post reads so sincerely, but....

the 'friendly folks' you and glencoombe mentioned that are associated with this product, decided the best approach to my comments and questions was to leave red/negative feedback in my box......

instead of just taking the opportunity to counter my comments or highlight their product, it's features and so on.......

so as a warning to anyone else that might want to post on this subject...
be careful what you type.......

it might lead to hell-ya red love!

so if an owner reports someone making 'negative remarks' do they get a discount....
isn't this sort of a odd customer referral program?

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 07-16-2006, 11:22 PM   #38
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I am going to chime in on this one. I also am skeptical. I do not doubt that this device has some weight distribution properties. But sway is another matter.

Making a suggestion that sway was not a problem with this device is worrisome to me. This device only extends and supports the receiver. I see nothing here to dampen or correct sway. I suspect that if you tow with this and you do not have some type of sway control, you are running the risk of getting into a sway condition. In fact, you may be putting yourself in a position to promoting sway in your trailer as you are changing the whole towing dynamics by extending the receiver outward further from the vehicle (and therefore the axles).

The manufacturer states that it eliminates "weaving" but what does that mean - sway? I f that is the case I would love to hear exactly how it does that. The fact that the trailer was towed with an incident may be more of a testiment to how nicely AS tows, period. I have towed before with only a ball hitch and no sway control and did fine. But that doesn't mean that I would do it on a regular basis.

Silvercamper, please think twice before getting rid of that Hensley. You may very well need it again someday.

Oh, And as for feedback - I have had red before - I am unconcerned...
Buttercup's Web Site. WBCCI #17330, 11281 & 7830. VAC Past President, TAC NV-2 & NV-3
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Old 07-16-2006, 11:35 PM   #39
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1960 24' Tradewind
santa barbara , California
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hello 2air ,I just cannot comment on the post to Silvercamper except to say that they like it and should go for using it and the manafacturer can take their findings and go ahead and build on that to make improvements.The temp gun is a great tool for temp measurements .The concern would be if your
tire surface temp was 190 degrees ,you know somthings wrong ,no need to know if the belts are hotter ,I use it for radiator temp readings ,stat temp
opening and core temps etc.Proven to be invaluable in my repair business.
from your temp findings I would say you have your baseline tests done and you know what measurements you have taken and what your tires are basically ,running temp wise ,my tires at the time I checked them were C
range and not D range that I needed at the time ,so they ran hotter ,
as they were at the max load for the tire .I would say they are probably
running at a safe temperature ,alot lower than those c range tires I had .
My trdwnd is a single axle so two tires to carry all the load .I also see that you posted alot higher temps as well ,but hotter days ,hot pavement etc.
all have an effect ,the tire temp idea is just so you can note what the heating of your tires are and whats happening with them ,knowing heat
is the tires enemy.

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Old 07-17-2006, 06:06 AM   #40
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scepticism is healthy of course, and let us keep to that and not sling mud, etc. As for karma, or feedback, it is up to whomever to push that button for whatever reason they feel it necessary to do so. If you have strong opinions here you may get a zapped....but so what? Go ahead---make your comments and keep it friendly.Pleeez
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Old 07-17-2006, 01:24 PM   #41
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OK, having watch The Long Long Trailer this weekend I'm now an expert on this subject

First off it is a weight distributing device. It adds a weight bearing point and therefore reduces the load on the rear of the TV. It's really hard to say what effect it has other than decreasing tongue weight on the TV or what the load distribution would look like. I'm going to guess that the load on the HH is about that of the rated tongue wait for the trailer.

As for sway control it adds another contact point with the road between the TV and trailer. This is going to resist the side to side movement of the trailer. That's basicly what the friction sway controllers do is it not?

I'm certainly not going to sell my Reese and buy one. Totally impractical for the "offroad" conditions that I tow in. As to why the technology was abandon I think it's because adaquate tow vehicles became widely available. I the 50's only farmers and cowboys drove pickup trucks (OK, a few fringe hot rodders ). They were crude work vehicles. I think the hassles with the HH concept that have been mentioned combined with the better options for tow vehicles and the advent of the WD hitch systems just made it obsolete.

I see the product serving only a niche market. Temporary use until an adaquate TV can be aquired might be one but I think the big interest might be from people that want to use a vintage TV for show & shine runs.

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Old 07-17-2006, 08:15 PM   #42
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1960 24' Tradewind
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hello bhayden , you also noticed in the movie how incredibly long that
trailer was ,I don't know a Wd setup that could handle that tongue
weight ,would be extremely heavy ,that dolly would be a necessity .
The old airfloat trailers also used a dolly wheel and the large coaches were
also huge .a few rare 30 ft single axle airstreams 1958 to 1960 I think
also would have quite abit of tongue weight .I think there is a photo
in the airstream photos section of one ,looks extra long with a single axle.


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