Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-19-2003, 06:09 PM   #1
JLD
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 45
Send a message via AIM to JLD
Smile New Reese System for old truck and Trailer

HI.

I have an '86 F-250 4 X 4 and a 31 ft 1976 Soverign.

The truck has no hitch.

What do you recommend in the Reese line for pulling the Soverign?

Thanks, Joan
__________________

__________________
JLD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2003, 06:42 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
New Reese System for old truck and Trailer

Greetings Joan!

The first thing that you will need is a class IV 2" Receiver type hitch. Reese offers several varieties, and you will want to make certain that the weight carrying capacity when used with weight distrbution (spring bars) is at least equal to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of your trailer {in fact, I would suggest going at least 120% of the GVWR for added insurance}.

Once you have the receiver, you will need to get a draw bar and hitch head suitable for your trailer. With most 4 X 4 pickups and sport utilities, especially 3/4 ton, you will need a draw bar with 10" or more of drop - - with my 3/4 ton 4 X 4 Suburban, I need nearly 12" of drop to get a ball heigh of 18.5" for my '64 Overlander - - you may not need quite as much drop as your trailer's recommended ball height seems to be 1" higher (according to the Airstream web site for a '76 Sovereign).


You will also want to get a hitch head with matching spring or torsion bars (weight distribution bars) of appropriate size for your trailer. I would suggest contacting an Airstream dealer to get the proper sizing for your coach - - a brand X dealer sold me spring bars that were too light for my Overlander and they had to be replaced after less than 15,000 miles of towing. It is also possible to get bars that are too heavy for the coach so it is wise to check with a dealer who is familiar with Airstreams. You will also need a 2 5/16" coupler ball with a weight carrying rating equal to or greater the the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of your trailer - - again, I would suggest looking for a rating of at least 120% or more of the GVWR of your trailer.

It seems that all AirstreamForumus members have their own personal favorite method of approaching sway control. My personal favorite, and the method that I use with my '64 Overlander, is the Reese Dual Cam Sway Control. It is extremely effective once it is setup properly. There also is absolutely no need to continually adjust the Dual Cam system as there is when you have friction type sway control - - the directions for my friction type sway control on my Minuet call for adjusting when conditions change - - wind, rain, traffic, etc. - - not a pleasant process.

One site that seems to have most of the Reese products is:

Reese Trailer Hitches and Accessories

Since you asked about hitches, I won't go into brake controllers, transmission oil coolers, motor oil coolers and other accessories that your tow vehicle might need for safe, dependable operation.

Good luck with your tow vehicle setup!

Kevin
__________________

__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2003, 07:02 PM   #3
JLD
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 45
Send a message via AIM to JLD
Hi Kevin. Thanks for the reply. I have already printed it out. I am new to towing anything over 2000 lbs and would appreciate any advice you may have on all those other things you listed and more. I am new to 4 wheel drive and diesel and BIG trucks and hitches and balancing trailers. YOU nme it and it's new to me, but an exciting adventure.

Joan
__________________
JLD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2003, 07:15 PM   #4
JLD
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 45
Send a message via AIM to JLD
Hi again Kevin. Here are a few thoughts I had after reading your post. It sounds like the Titan would be a good receiver for my Ford. It will handle the trailer weight plus tongue, etc. It will also offer the fudge factor I will need for gear in the trailer and onboard water for self contained sites. A friend also suggests I get the dual cam system for the hook between the trailer itself and the hitch. Sounds like you have one and I need to learn to set it up.

What are the spring or torsion bars you mention? the trailer originally came with two straight metal bars about two feet long, but the original owner took them back. He said I would be getting something else for my system, whatever it wold be, and he need them for his own truck to boat trailer. Were these bars exxential and should I ask for them back?

What is a draw bar? Is it the male bar that slides the receiver bars female square and has a ball that fits to the trailer's tongue?

My tongue is about 19 inches off the ground when level. I understand how the trailer when hitched to the truck kind of creates a V between the two with the end of the trailer and the front of the truck being high, but I don't understand how the dual cam, equalizing piece can chnge that. Can you explain?

Thanks. Joan
__________________
JLD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2003, 07:27 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 917
Joan,

You may also want to look at the Hensley Arrow hitch.

www.nosway.com

They will provide you with a free video. The testimonial's are a bit over the top, but it's good to see how it operates.

They cost about $2,300 to $2,600, not cheap, but they provide excellent weight distribution and no sway. Simple to hook-up too. I'm disabled and have limited hand strenght. The only part you have to handle is the hitch bar. You slide it into your receiver and then back into the receiver in the Hensley and with a cordless drill, you raise the weight distribution bars.

This may not be for you, but thought I'd at least share it.

John
__________________
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2003, 07:32 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,819
Images: 3
Quote:
When choosing a weight equalizing hitch please note that the equalizing arms come in different weights (usually from 350lbs to 1200lbs). Although all of these hitches usually cost the same amount, please remember bigger does not necessarily mean better. These weights are optimized for the specification of your trailer. For example using heavier rated arms on your lightweight travel trailer can cause your trailer to skip across the road as you pull it (shaking up all your stuff and causing increased sway). This will make your vehicle harder to control while towing and put a tremendous amount of strain on the trailer itself. Conversely, if you chose to use lighter weighted arms on your heavy trailer you will not get the full benefits of an equalizer hitch.
The "metal bars" were undoubtedly his equalizer bars.

A "draw bar" is the metal bar that plugs into the receiver. There should be a row of holes on the vertical arm for adjusting the height of the hitch head (and thereby the ball).

The hitch head is the cast metal piece on which the ball mounts. It will have provision to attach the equalizer bars.

The equalizer bars transfer some of the hitch weight to the front wheels of the tow truck and to the wheels of the trailer, thereby raising the hitch ball to near the unloaded height.. As noted above, pick bars with rating appropriate to the weight of your trailer.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2003, 09:07 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
New Reese System for old truck and Trailer

Greetings Joan!

As they say, "a picture can be worth 1,000 words", if you follow the link below, you will see a standard weight distributing Reese hitch (does not show the Dual Cam Sway Control):

Reese Weight Distributing Hitch Setup

The Ball Mount is the steel platform that the trailer's coupler is attached to in the picture - - it can be repositioned via two large bolts - - either higher or lower to accommodate different tow vehicles. The weight distributing bars are the steel bars that run (one on each side) between the hitch head and trailer and attach to the trailer's tongue with the chains - - the black steel devices that the chains hook into are called "snap-up" brackets. The draw bar is the piece of steel that is pointing upward with two holes visible (this is the opposite orientation from what will probably be necessary with your vehicle) your draw bar will probably point down like the one on my Suburban in the photo below:



The Reese Dual Cam Sway control can be seen in the photo at the site below:

Reese Dual Cam Sway Control

As you can see in the photo, the spring bars are the same with one minor difference - - the chains are no longer attached to the spring bars and in their place is a saddle that fits into the lever arm that mounts on the trailer's tongue. The weight distributing bars are then adjusted using the chains attached to the Dual Cam's "U" shaped bracket. The entire setup is a bolt-up operation. The most difficult part is getting the brackets properly positioned on the hitch.

The trick that an experienced user of the Dual Cam system taught me was to have everything adjusted according the directions supplied by Reese. Then tow the trailer to a flat, paved area with enough room to get the tow vehicle and trailer in an absolutely straight line - - once this is accomplished, release the tension on the weight distributing bars and loosen the Dual Cam brackets just to the point at which they are snug - - then reattach the weight distributing bars and pull the tow vehicle forward approximately 12 to 20 feet in a straight line while lightly applying the trailer brakes - - the system will pop into proper alignment and can then be securely tightened. The above has only been necessary once on my Overlander. Caution is necessary with this process, in my opinion, as there is some concern that a spring bar may pop out of its resting point or a bracket may drop if the bolt is loosened too much. The simplest solution would be to purchase the entire hitch - - draw bar, ball mount, weight distributing bars (my suspicion is that your coach will probably require 750 pound weight distributing bars), and Reese Dual Cam system with the understanding that the dealer will setup and install the system on your rig.

I am a Free Wheeler and have used this setup since I purchased my current '64 Overlander in 1995. I have ben absolutely satisfied with the system in every way. You will find that it is far easier to complete the hitching operation if your coach has an electric tongue jack - - I don't know why I waited so long to add an electric jack to the tongue of my Overlander - - no more hitching hassles since it has been added.

Good luck with your hitch decisions!

Kevin
__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2003, 12:42 AM   #8
JLD
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 45
Send a message via AIM to JLD
Thanks again to all, especially to you Kevin, for the time you took to answer my questions. I am convinced it will be well worth my time to go to a Reese dealer and have them do the entire setup and show me EXACTLY what to do. With any luck it will be near my trailer home. The electric jack sounds like a god-send. I have written to Reese tonight with a request for a local dealer. I hope it comes soon. Next thing is to take the trailer, I call her The Kalakala II after the famous Seattle Ferry, on a day trip to test everything out. I plan to haul it to the park. Level, setup, practice geting into a spot and so forth and then repeat the process. I'll probably be exhausted by the end of the day , but at least I will not be doing something totaly unfamiliar when I am on the road "officially".

Many thanks. I have printed out everyone's suggestions. I am even looking for future reference, no $$$$ for it now, at the high priced models.

Joan
__________________
"Wisely and slowly. They stumble
that do run fast."
Wm. Shakespeare
JLD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2003, 09:46 AM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 89
Overlander64
I am thinking of puttung a electric hitch jack on our AS, what make and size should I be looking for? I will have to pick up the AS and the suburban, I think this is how you size them.
__________________
Gene Wissink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2003, 03:34 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
New Reese System for old truck and Trailer

Greetings Gene!

The electric hitch jack that I currently have on my Overlander is very similar to the Hi-Power 18" lift electric jack shown in the photo at the link below:

Hi-Power Electric Hitch Jack

The jack in this illustration and description is a bit different than mine, but the one on my coach is nearly three years old. I have been very satisfied with the jack. My jack was installed by and purchased from Ace Fogdall RV in Cedar Falls, IA. The photo below is of the installation on my coach:



Kevin
__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2003, 08:14 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
59toaster's Avatar
 
1959 22' Caravanner
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,197
Images: 22
I just picked up a Dual cam Today. This post sold me on them a couple weeks back. The Hensley is just out of my budget by about $2k, I lucked out and a friend had a complete set up for sale so I go the whole deal including a 10 inch drop draw bar for $225. It came with a set of 1200lb bars. I have a set of 750bars from the old hitch I couldn't use due to no hight adjustment. Now I need to sort out mounting them since I have some interference from tank mounts and some hokey plate that I cant' see a reason for.
I noticed you have moved your tanks forward to aid in locating the bars. Any problems your runing into with that? Our 59 has a battery box on the front wall and it's restricting the size tanks I can go with. Moving foward would cure that but I'm concerned it would make getting into the truck difficult. I'm Trying to find a 88-91 2wd Suburban with barn doors and not having a great deal of Luck. I did go look at Ira Iburg's 88 today. Good truck and if I don't run across a Barn door version in the next couple of day's I'm going to make him an offer on it. Not thrilled with the color but the truck is so well taken care of I can live with it. Only thing I would have to do is up date the trailer plug and it's good to go. K/H Hydraulic controler already in it.
Anyway the point of that is Since your a Burb owner: Do you have barn doors or a tail gate and what sort of issues have you had?
I have a K5 Blazer and the gate is just more hassle to me then it's worth. Loading heavy stuff over it is a pain. We never drive with the window open. On only two occasions in the 5 years we have owned it was the gate an aid. We hauled a sofa home in it and some lumber. I now have a 5x 8ft cargo trailer so would proably never happen again.
I like the barn doors for just the shear simplicity of open toss in what you got and close it. No window to wait to go down. If you have barn doors does having the tanks up that close cause you access problems? Ira said he had plenty of room to open the gate with the trailer conected.
Lastly...WHere did you get those tanks? My Wife saw them and wants them LOL. I just want that spare tire cover your bidding on LOL.
__________________
1959 22' Caravanner
1988 R20 454 Suburban.
Atlanta, GA
59toaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2003, 09:11 PM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Greetings 59Toaster!

When I special ordered my current Suburban one of the MUST HAVE stipulations was the tailgate body. One of my least favorite tow vehicles had the barn doors - - it was a G20 Van, but I noticed the same problems on the two Suburbans that I test drove with barn doors. The following are the reasons that I prefer the tailgate:

1. The rear windshield wiper/washer is indespensible when traveling in inclement weather and is not available with the barn doors.

2. On my van, I hated the center posts always being in my rear view mirror - - especially when traveling in heavy urban traffic - - my vehicle with barn doors was the one that I spent nearly a month driving in either Los Angeles or San Francisco city traffic and those door posts were a constant nuisance.

3. My experience with the barn doors is that they become a rattle zone somewhere around 45,000 miles - - I drove two used Suburbans while I was making a decision whether to order a new one and both were barn door types and the rear doors rattled incessantly throughout my test drives over average state and county roads.

So far as access to the rear load floor, the tailgate opens fully with the Overlander or Minuet in tow - - there are almost three inches from the edge of the tailgate to the jack post on both trailers. The length of the drawbar may have some impact on this - - only one of the three drawbars that I have used caused some problems with the tailgate - - it was the original '78 Reese drawbar that was included with the Minuet - - but since it also didn't have great enough drop the problem quickly became a non-issue. One solution that I have to easing access to the rear cargo area is a small three-step aluminum step stool that folds and stows against the spare tire - - it makes retreiving anything from the rear much easier and it is just the right height to make releasing the awning latches a very simple task. The one thing to bear in mind is that the '93(?) to '99 Suburbans didn't have electric rear windows - - the window is hinged and pops up like the early 1950s station wagons - - one of the cautions with the window is that it is to remain closed while driving as it encourages exhaust gasses to be drawn into the cabin.

RE: Tanks

The tanks are Worthington Aluminum cylinders that I purchased from AirstreamDreams at the Sioux Falls, SD International Rally. I hadn't unpacked them yet when the trailer made its trip to the Ruth's for polishing and Plasticoating. While there they polished the new, never-filled tanks. Prior to polishing they were far less dramatic.

RE: Spare Cover

I really don't know what years utilized that particular spare tire cover. There is a very original 1964 Ambassador that I see quite often that has one of the covers on its tongue mounted spare tire.

RE: Dual Cam

I believe that you will find it to be quite useful. If the plate that you are referring to is on the bottom of the "A" frame hitch, it might just be the remnants of an earlier Dual Cam installation. One of my friends has a '60 Overlander that has a very eary Dual Cam system, and the bases for its lever arms are weleded to the bottom of the "A" frame.

Kevin
__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2003, 08:46 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
59toaster's Avatar
 
1959 22' Caravanner
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,197
Images: 22
Thanks Kevin:
The Plate is on the top. 1/8 inch thick at the most. It has some round container with a top that you can quite remove on it. No wires or any other connection. It fills tha area beteen the hitch top plate and the tanks. Its just screwed down with small screws so it's not structural. It's notched out and leads me to believe the camper did have a Dual cam at one time. I have some paperwork for the PO's PO and I have reese hitch information including Dual cam stuff and it's dated late 50's so I asume it was the original hitch system used.

As for the barn doors. Well I'm look at 88-91 so it's still the power window gate. With two K5's and knowing what rattels to expect from them I seriously doubt the barn doors would rattle any worse LOL. As the window regulator wears they get noisy. THe latches also wear so the whole gate rattles. I have actually come up with a way to renew the latches by filling in the wear spots with the welder.

I figured I would nto be able to get the gate open at all but I guess I can gage off one the blazers and make sure it will clear with my set up.

I use to drive moving vans so the veiw obstruction is no big deal to me. I'm a outside mirror guy. My old service van also had the doors and it never really bothered me in Atlanta traffic except when somebody bumped the mirrors in the parking lot and I didn't catch it before getting out in traffic.

Tire cover. That thing is neat! No worry about me biding against you on it. The finacial Department has already turned down my funding request...Becides she thought it was ugly. LOL
She just didn't think the nastalga part out weighed the cosmetics of the item LOL.
We actually do plan to get a cover for the tire. Proabaly use a Van spare cover and have a friend in the sign buisness Print 59 Toaster on it. Then something like 1959 Airstream Caravanner under it so people know what the old gal is when the setting sun is reflecting back at them as they try to pass LOL.
__________________

__________________
1959 22' Caravanner
1988 R20 454 Suburban.
Atlanta, GA
59toaster 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
Some towing Q & A for newbies femuse Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 3 08-24-2004 09:05 AM
A/S Trailer in Chevy Truck TV ad vajeep Our Community 16 10-08-2003 08:38 PM
Interesting Reese hitch experience... 85MH325 Hitches, Couplers & Balls 25 07-30-2003 06:00 AM
Getting Close! kamadeca Our Community 48 02-05-2003 09:56 AM
Diesel truck owners FrankR Off Topic Forum 3 11-23-2002 06:35 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:13 PM.


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.