Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-02-2016, 03:13 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
spreadmywing's Avatar
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 51
My newbie head exploding with hitch choice

OK, I consider myself a diligent learner so I have been buried myself in reading and watching YouTube his past weekend to understand my options. Still I am in a fog because I have very little experience in cars (other than driving) and towing.

My TV is 2008 BMW X5 4.8. My AS is 2013 flying cloud 25 twin.

Andy and Evan from CAN AM have been very generous in advising me. I would have gone over there to get all the help if it hadn't been so far. I did send more emails to them but I don't want to burden their generosity too much. My X5 is in Dallas, my AS is in Gulfport dealer. And I am in Hawaii, to make things complicated.

So Andy/Evan suggested ez lift 1000 or 1200lbs for my x5 and fc25.

My dealer suggested blue ox 1000#.

I watched YouTube videos on both. It seems to my untrained eyes they do the same job (?). But blue ox seems to be easier to handle for a female newbie AS owner?

I cannot tell the difference and therefore cannot make decision.

I do plan to visit Andy next spring to reinforce my x5 but before that I want to be safe for my coming 4000 mile trip.

Another big thing is that I haven't found anyone to install the hitch receiver and brake controller in Dallas yet. The dealers are not very helpful. I got a quote of $3200 then reduced to $1000 for installation (without part). Money aside, I heard Bmw dealer is not expert on hitch installation (or they are just fine?)

With the excitement of new AS adventure, I do need to take care of these things first.

Please help! And I thank all the people who already offered lots of help to this point! Thank you!

Joy
__________________

__________________
spreadmywing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 03:31 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,771
Images: 12
If you have decided on a hitch contact the manufacture for an installation site. $1000 for the labor is insane.
__________________

__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 04:12 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 28' Ambassador
2014 27' FB Classic
Port Townsend , Washington
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 40
Images: 1
Agreed that $1000 install is crazy. I have an Equal-i-zer. My second one and it is easy to setup and I find it works very well. Had one on my '79 28' Airstream and now one on my 2014 27FB Classic. Simple and it works well.
__________________
rdepas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 04:28 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
87MH's Avatar
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
Images: 292
Marginal....At Best

Don't do it - you just do not have enough car to pull the FC.

I have just lost about a half hour typing to you the areas and weights in which you will encounter problems with this hook-up, but the Forums has poofed my reply away with a flow of electrons, PM me if you want me to elaborate.

The 837 lb. tongue weight (probably closer to 920 to 950 lbs. will put your Bimmer over it's rating.

The FC 25 has an unloaded weight of 5443#, leaving practically nothing left of the 6000 lb max tow weight.

Work the numbers yourself, most importantly, get the actual weights for the car AND the trailer (weigh the tongue separately) and consider how close (or over) you will be to maxing out the rating.
__________________
Dennis

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
87MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 04:30 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
87MH's Avatar
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
Images: 292
Don't do it - you just do not have enough car to pull the FC.

I have just lost about a half hour typing to you the areas and weights in which you will encounter problems with this hook-up, but the Forums has poofed my reply away with a flow of electrons, PM me if you want me to elaborate.

The 837 lb. tongue weight (probably closer to 920 to 950 lbs. will put your Bimmer over it's rating.

The FC 25 has an unloaded weight of 5443#, leaving practically nothing left of the 6000 lb max tow weight.

Work the numbers yourself, most importantly, get the actual weights for the car AND the trailer (weigh the tongue separately) and consider how close (or over) you will be to maxing out the rating.
__________________
Dennis

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
87MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 06:43 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
spreadmywing's Avatar
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdepas View Post
Agreed that $1000 install is crazy. I have an Equal-i-zer. My second one and it is easy to setup and I find it works very well. Had one on my '79 28' Airstream and now one on my 2014 27FB Classic. Simple and it works well.

Is the equal-I-zer the same as ez lift hitch? Are they the same thing or different brand?
__________________
spreadmywing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 06:46 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
spreadmywing's Avatar
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 51
Thank you 87NH. I had the same concerns. So in my search, I had been focusing on anything that was 23 feet and less (under 6000 lbs)

But further research and other real users' experience got me convinced that my x5 could handle the 25 footer.

I will see and try myself. If it doesn't work, I can always change the current setup: either change TV or AS.
__________________
spreadmywing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 06:46 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
spreadmywing's Avatar
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
If you have decided on a hitch contact the manufacture for an installation site. $1000 for the labor is insane.

That is a good idea! Thank you!
__________________
spreadmywing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 06:49 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 839
They are two different brands.

Get the towing specs for your car, including axle weight ratings. Then load the car as it would be for towing (spouse, kids, dogs, tools, etc.) Get the actual weights for both front and rear axles. Subtract the actual weights from the gross axle weight ratings and you know how much weight you can actually add to your vehicle. That weighing will also tell you the total weight of your vehicle. Subtract that from the gross combined weight rating for your vehicle and you know the TOTAL weight you can tow.

I know that there are differing opinions about towing. Some of us are very conservative, and want to keep all of the numbers within the tow vehicle's weight ratings. Others say that those numbers are too low, and you can safely tow heavier trailers than what the manufacturer permits. You'll have to decide where you fit. Whether your vehicle is under warranty may affect your decision.
__________________
David Lininger, kb0zke
TAC SD-6
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
kb0zke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 08:26 PM   #10
PKI
Rivet Master
 
PKI's Avatar
 
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,855
Spread my Wings - You have stumbled into the BMW whirl pool. You have to swim hard to get free. The easier route is to trade for a truck, but ...if that is not your pleasure -

Step one - go to the info Bono and JCL provided in the other thread on what and how to get your hitch (receiver and brake/lighting connection socket for the BMW).

Step two - ignore the "you don't have enough TV" comments. But, until you reinforce the hitch, you are at risk unless you take considerable care. You may overload the X5 with your tongue weight. Specification for the X5 varies from 600lbs to 770lbs. It depends on how and where you get your spec. The 25 will land you around the 770lbs if empty, but heavier if loaded for travel. You can likely tow it. The X5 is a tough beast and folks do, but take extreme care. I would not. See below.

Step three - the hitches a) the tow vehicle hitch - see step one. b) the weight distribution hitch is the connection between the receiver and the trailer and the spring arms that transfer weight from the ball to the rear axle of the trailer and the front axle of the tow vehicle.

Step four - which weight distribution hitch?

The Eazy-Lift Elite hitch is the least expensive ($200-300) and will do the job. It is a shank that the hitch head is bolted to and that fits into the tow vehicle hitch receiver. The head has two round levers, called spring bars, that are connected to hook brackets on the tongue of the trailer. The chains lift the bars and force the body and the chassis of the tow vehicle to use the rear axle of the tow vehicle as a pivot and push down on the front axle. There is a percentage of the transfer that gets shifted to the rear axle of the trailer as well. A separate device, called a brake pad riction arm is attached between the weight distribution hitch head and the trailer. It resists sway. The negative is that it needs to be adjusted to provide less friction in road conditions where there is less traction and when backing if the turn is tight. It will weigh about 95lbs including the sway arm. The advantage is cost.

The Equalizer hitch is a more expensive hitch ($500-600) that has a somewhat similar hitch head, but rigid arms extend from the head and rest on brackets attached to the tongue of the trailer. The hitch head is tilted with washer shims to optimize the friction of the head pivot and the arms rubbing on the brackets to control sway and transfer weight like the Eazy-lift. It may be easier to hook up because there is no chain involved. It will weigh 80lbs. The advantage is the easy install, once properly setup.

The Blue Ox Sway Pro is a more expensive hitch ($500-600) that is similar to the above, but the hitch head is preset by the design and is not adjustable. The spring bars are preloaded with force by chains placed in a slot and rotated into a locked position. Note - most users use the tongue jack to raise the hitch/tow vehicle/trailer tongue so there is minimal force on the bars when hooking up the chains. If care is not taken the stored energy can be hazardous. It will weigh 80lbs. The advantage is that the hitch provides a soft connection and transfers a minimum of shock to the tow vehicle and trailer.

The Reese hitch is similar to the Eazy-lift configuration. It is also somewhat expensive ($500-600) and includes a set of cams that provide sway control by pushing on the ends of the spring arms as the trailer tries to shift left or right. The hitch is about 80lbs. I know of no advantage, but folks find it works well. It seems to be possible to incorrectly set it up and that is my concern with it. My personal opinion only - others really like it. It's in the setup.

There is also a hitch called the Anderson. It is problematic with a stock trailer and likely not a good choice for your situation. It is a design that can function, but an understanding of issues takes a bit of time to understand. Howie is an expert and has worked out the challenges. The horse trailer crowd seems to like it. It works reasonably on small trailers that do not need to transfer much weight.

There are many clone hitches that are similar in function to the above and usually less expensive, lower quality, and of questionable reliability.

There are two force projection hitches on the market. The Hensley arrow and the Propride hitches are considerably more expensive ($1500-2500). They shift the pivot point of the ball to a point near the rear axle of the tow vehicle with a lever configuration that is unlike the other designs. Users report all sway eliminated. The hitch is about 170lbs.

I recommend you use the Blue Ox. It is soft on the trailer, easy to set up, does not require any adjustment to backup and in general is a good solution for a newbee. The one issue is that you must take care when connecting and when releasing the chains. One of our posters had a very bad accident with his. They store considerable energy. The tongue jack is your solution to reducing this hazard and a 1" socket and breaker bar works better than the OEM wrench. This is a personal opinion. You should make your own decision based on your investigation.

Given proper set up, they all work. The correct decision for you will come with your extensive investigation. Lots of threads here. Lots of opinions.

If it was my rig, I would contact CanAm for an appointment and purchase the BMW hitch and cables locally. I would then take the components to CanAm for them to install and reinforce the hitch. Upon my return to Texas I would, pickup my Airstream, make a couple of shake down trips close to the dealer, and then take off on my excellent adventures and smile collecting trips.

Good luck and travel safe. Pat
__________________
PKI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 08:29 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Caffeinated's Avatar
 
2015 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 664
I have the blue ox. It is very nice system and works well for my Chevy Silverado 1500 and 27 ft FC. Much nicer than our old hitch on our old white box trailer. Honestly, I don't think you can go wrong with any modern WD hitch system. But the blue ox works very well.

Mike

PS on edit: my father in law also got a new SOB trailer that weighs around 7k lbs. he got the Anderson hitch. He now wishes he had purchased the blue ox, after watching me hook up one morning.
__________________
Caffeinated is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 08:48 PM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
Tyvekcat's Avatar
 
2014 28' International
Blacksburg , Virginia
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 229
Gulfport

Well, at least you are buying your AS from a reputable dealer. Foley is very good & they have a guy there in the service dept that knows Equalizer hitches. They set us up with a 28' International. Haven't had a bit of trouble with it, ( knock on wood).
But we keep it inside when not using it. Second trailer but same Equal-i-zer hitch. Its very good.

I'm in the group that likes to bring enough ( fill in the blank ) of whatever you are going to do to get the job done.

I hope it works out for you with whatever you choose to pull your AS. It tows very well. Safe travels !
__________________
Ra, Chelle & Natasha
For my next trick, I will use my new Airstream & Dodge Ram 2500 CTD to make this pile of money disappear.
Tyvekcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 09:05 PM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
spreadmywing's Avatar
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 51
Tyvekcat;

Good to know you had a good experience with them. So far I have only positive experience with them through the purchase process without seeing the trailer or being there.

I just hope they will set up properly with my x5 that has air suspension (I read it could be problematic?)
__________________
spreadmywing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2016, 09:48 PM   #14
PKI
Rivet Master
 
PKI's Avatar
 
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,855
SMW - Air suspension is a gift. It levels the rig. It does not transfer weight forward to the front wheels, but your WDH will do that. The issue is that folks often establish weight return to the front wheels by measuring the distance from tire to fender arch hitched and unhitched. If the measurement from the tire to the wheel arch is the same unhitched and hitched with the weight distribution applied, it is assumed the weight is 100% returned to the front axles.

With an air suspension the measurements don't work the same, because the leveling returns part of the wheel to wheel arc measurement. You need to go to a CAT scales (the certified scales used by commercial tractor trailer rigs) to measure front axle weight, rear axle weight, and trailer axle weights in unhitched, hitched, and weight distribution applied configurations. Your weights will prove correct weight distribution and give you verification of your tow vehicle axle loading so you do not over load them. Weights are a better method, so a very good idea.

There is one other issue. The normal hitch shank of a weight distribution hitch will extend the ball behind the bumper more than is necessary. A 7-9" distance from pin hole to head mounting holes is normal. CanAm will shorten the distance by drilling a new pin hole in the shank. Ask for the shortest distance available and a solid shank that can be drilled. Less gusset is better to allow a closer fit. Some weight can also be removed with additional holes if that is your desire. A six or seven hole drop on the shank will likely be required to level the trailer.

Good luck. Travel safe. Pat
__________________

__________________
PKI is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
exploding battery terrencecolp Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 9 03-21-2014 08:58 AM
Exploding Awning Springs Ganglin Awnings 17 10-06-2012 06:55 PM
Exploding Battery Cracker Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 40 08-22-2012 03:06 PM
Exploding Floor Friday Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 24 01-27-2012 03:25 PM
Exploding window FrenchBern Windows & Screens 19 05-11-2008 11:25 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.