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Old 08-05-2011, 07:04 AM   #1
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Bemus Point , New York
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Need advice on best hitch

Just bought our first truck/trailer combo. New Ford F250 diesel will tow 2007 Airstream 25' Safari. No hitch yet, and am thoroughly confused. Local trailer dealer says $288 hitch will work fine, yet another says go with a Henley at $3,000+. Any advice will sure help!
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:15 AM   #2
kds
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Welcome and let me say we are also newbies. Just last month bought our first Airstream. It's a2008 27 FB and we are towing with a 2010 Toyota Tundra 5.7 with a tow haul mode. The previous owners of our AS purchased an Equalizer hitch but never had it installed. They pulled the AS with a Ford F250 and no hitch at all. When we bought the trailer from them we asked the same question as you, which hitch it best. What I did learn is how everyone has their own preference and opinion on the best hitch out there. Since our AS came with an Equalizer and we did not want to drop another $3000 or so for the Hensley we just drove to San Antonio and had the Equalizer installed. WE LOVE IT! It's easy to use, although a little heavy, but I cannot tell you the difference it has made in the ease of pulling this trailer. It makes some noise but we love it. We have not headed out across the country but from what I have read on the forum and from the towing we have done around here, I feel very comfortable with this hitch and when we can afford it we MIGHT move to the Hensley. We have many friends that have a Hensley and love it. So that's my two cents. The one thing I do know is that this forum is a great place for advice. It's one of the reasons we bought an AS and not a SOB. Good luck in your quest for the best hitch and safe travels.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:36 AM   #3
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:37 AM   #4
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Hey Jet, welcome

If you go to the top blue bar and hit the search tab. Then darken the search thread (or post) radio button, then IN THE GOOGLE SEARCH field type a hitch brand, you will get days of reading on hitch setups and preferences.

Warning! It's likely to start a lively discussion!
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:24 AM   #5
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We have a similar rig, an Excursion (on a 3/4th ton chasis) and a 25 foot Safari.
We purchased our Safari with an Equalizer and it has worked fine for us for 7 years and 50,000 miles.
It clunks and groans going around corners and the spring bar attachments occasionally walk on the A.S. frame. We ignore the noise and periodically adjust the spring bar attachments but other than these minor problems everything works great with no repairs or problems.
It has an integral sway control and we have no problems with wind or passing semi trailers.
You are towing a light trailer with a bigger tow vehicle so you will get good performance with an Equalizer or a Reese for that matter. If you had a big trailer and a marginal tow vehicle a Hensley might be in order. No doubt it is a better hitch but for your purposes you have to decide if the $$ is worth it.
You should have the hitch installed by someone who knows what they are doing. There are different weight spring bars and you need to match them to the stiffness of your tow vehicle suspension and the weight of your trailer.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:44 AM   #6
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JJ

Where did you get your Safari?

We're about 50mi away, just off rt.5.

I have an older Reese WD w/friction sway control, your welcome to give it a try if you like. It worked pretty good with our Classic 25.

Send a PM and I'll give you more details.

ps.... what kind of jet do you jockey?

Bob
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handn View Post
towing a light trailer with a bigger tow vehicle so you will get good performance with an Equalizer or a Reese for that matter. If you had a big trailer and a marginal tow vehicle a Hensley might be in order.
I came to the same conclusion after weeks of studying the issue both here and elsewhere.

We just internet-ordered the hitch Reese's tech people recommended to me after I described our application. I saved about $ 160 plus the state sales tax by ordering it on the internet. free shipping, cause ground was soon enough for us. The Equalizer was my other choice, but Reese has setups in the 800 lb. tongue weight, and this was a better match for our trailer at 770 lbs. than Equalizer's next level of 1,000 lb. equalizer has one at 600 lb. which might work better for the lighter trailer.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
I came to the same conclusion after weeks of studying the issue both here and elsewhere.

We just internet-ordered the hitch Reese's tech people recommended to me after I described our application. I saved about $ 160 plus the state sales tax by ordering it on the internet. free shipping, cause ground was soon enough for us. The Equalizer was my other choice, but Reese has setups in the 800 lb. tongue weight, and this was a better match for our trailer at 770 lbs. than Equalizer's next level of 1,000 lb. equalizer has one at 600 lb. which might work better for the lighter trailer.

Yep save some cash. Ours has an old set up not even sure of the brand. But it works great. Sway control and Equalizer. $$$$ isn't always better.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:37 AM   #9
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What works for us is a REESE Dual Cam Straightline with 550 lbs bars. The F250 and the F350 are roughly the same truck and the suppensions are very simular. We do have the longest wheelbase CREW CAB /8ft bed and we get a great ocean wave ride.
I found our hitch on Craigslist. It was very reasonable. It was missing the U bolts that hold the cams on the A frame ,but for 30 bucks I had them made at a local spring shop.
Remember to get a good ride for both you and your AIRSTREAM keep the weight of those bars down to 500 to 700 lbs. I run 6 links of chain under tention. ONE other thing DONT GUESS or try measuring fender heights its almost useless.
THERE is no replacement for a CAT SCALE or any public scale.THEN you know where the weight is and what to do about it NO GUESSING.
Weighing the TV first with Full FUEL and passangers is a must. Then the whole rig STEERING DRIVE and TRAILER .AIRSTREAM should be loaded to go.
GOOD LUCK TO YOU
ROGER
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:10 PM   #10
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I pull my 28ft international CCD with a 2010 F150 Supercrew 5.4 and have had great luck with a 4 point Equilizer brand hitch.No sway works great!Just make sure it is set up properly.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:43 PM   #11
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I have towed my 25' Safari with a F250 diesel and now my Tundra. I've used the most basic of hitches, an Eaz Lift with friction sway control. Friction sway control is generally not the most respected method discussed on towing forums.

The Eaz Lift was installed by dealer. I have replaced other add ons (such as brake controller) and I'd budget any price if I felt there were a problem. I cannot find a problem towing the 25' with the basic Eaz Lift. Very stable, no sway. I'm quite experienced towing and know what an unstable trailer feels like.

I am not recommending this particular hitch. I just want to present a data point which indicates a 25' Safari with an ample tow vehicle should not present much of a towing challenge.
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:57 PM   #12
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Our '06 Tundra/Safari 20 felt unstable with the Equal-I-Zer hitch. Found the problem was not the hitch, but the P-rated truck tires. Soft ride but too much side-to-side movement on the tires. Switched to XL tires on the truck, lost the soft ride but gained a very stable towing rig.

I doubt your F-250 has P-rated tires, but others who read this might.

doug k
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:03 PM   #13
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I'm using an EAZ Lift with our 23 safari and have found it to be very satisfactory after our 1000 mile vacation in june.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:53 PM   #14
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In one of the recent issues of "Airstream Life" there is a well written article on the physics of hitches and towing. In sum: the longer the trailer the less "whip", or "sway" one will experience. The shorter the trailer the more potential for sway.

The best analogy is that if you have a longer "switch" and make it oscillate the "movement" is less pronounced and slower than if one were to do the same with a "shorter" switch, which would result in faster and more pronounced oscillations, which translates to sway....which could become uncontrollable. ( there are pix in this forum showing the results of uncontrollable sway with a F250 and 30' AS which rolled--fortunately all survived)

Safety in towing is related to control of "real" and "potential" sway. (We were also told that a certain hitch was "adequate", but in whom do you place your trust?)

Research on this site led us to purchase a Pro Pride hitch. The 3P is an improvement on the HA hitch--read other threads--but is without question the safest hitch on the market. Factory support is incredible! We installed our own. The only down side is cost. But when I have my wife, daughter and grandson with us, I know I am towing with the utmost safety available, and that is "priceless" as they say.

Zigi
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