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Old 08-17-2012, 10:36 AM   #1
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2009 23' International
Jamul , California
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Posts: 32
Newbie Hitch Questions

Greetings all.

I'm in a research mode right now and not yet an AS owner.
I have been reading through old/new threads about hitches, weight distribution, sway bars, etc. It is a bit mind boggling! I understand the concept.

What I'm having difficult with is whether or not I'd be physically capable of attaching the weight distribution bars if needed. Sounds like some of these things weigh almost as much as me!

Seems like these shouldn't be attached if one is turning tightly - which I would be doing when negotiating my driveway (long hill).

It also appears as if these can be very difficult to attach if one is on uneven ground.

Any and all replies appreciated - and/or redirection if there's info available elsewhere.

I'm considering either a 23' or 25' AS, so seems as though I'd be on the cusp of needing a weight distribution system for my 2008 Yukon XL (600 lb tongue weight).


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Old 08-17-2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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Welcome to the "process." You are in the right place to become very well read on this important question. Suggest you click on "Forums" and once it opens, just click on "Running Gear" -- all will be revealed therein. (I was where you are last year, and I can't tell you how helpful reading all these posts was before I purchased stuff.) It may sound a bit confusing at first, but you have lots of options. And don't be put off by the "weight" -- nothing is heavy that an average human can't cope with! Good luck.

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Old 08-17-2012, 10:49 AM   #3
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Then it sounds like the Andersen Hitch is perfect for you. No heavy bars to lift and the whole things moves as one unit so you can turn as sharp as you want. You can sift through this thread here and read all about it. also they have a web site.

May you have at least one sunny day, and a soft chair to sit in..

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Old 08-17-2012, 11:25 AM   #4
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Hitches can be confusing and with many different types involved, everyone has their favorite, and will usually defend their choice as the very best one. In reality, there are probably no truly bad hitches on the current market, but they are different in operation, hook up, and weight.

Yes, the spring bars, as well as the hitch head itself can be very heavy. My rather conventional Reese square bar and Draw Tight round bar heads weigh in the range of 40 pounds, and the bars are another 10 pounds each. As I get older, I find them harder to manage. Completely possible, but harder.

Like Jason, I have recently switched to an Andersen hitch system. The head weighs 22 pounds and there are no spring bars, just lightweight chains and a plate which remains with the trailer. I would at least look at it as a possibility while you are doing your research.

But, remember, there are a lot of good choices out there and no one can tell you which is the very best for your particular situation. They may advise, and have opinions, but only by reading and research will you match your specific needs with the products available.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:50 PM   #5
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Newbie Hitch Questions

Greetings Susanne!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreams!

Originally Posted by mcgintyrch View Post
What I'm having difficult with is whether or not I'd be physically capable of attaching the weight distribution bars if needed. Sounds like some of these things weigh almost as much as me!
There are a number of ways of easing the hitching process. I dislike dealing with the hitch head so mine stays in the receiver during the entire season. Snapping up the weight distribution bars is easy, particularly if your coach has an electric tongue jack. Once the coupler is locked on the hitch head, you can utilize the electric jack to raise the tongue and rear of the tow vehicle until it is possible to snap up the weight distributions with very little or no effort. You can do the same thing with the manual jack, but it translates into lots of cranking. I have utilized Reese Strait Line hitches with Dual Cam sway control for more than two decades, and utilizing the tongue jack to raise the tongue and rear of tow vehicle makes snapping up the weight distribution bars an easy task.

The weight distribution bars are designed to allow the tow vehicle to make turns without disconnecting. For tight turns, however, a friction sway control (sliding bar attached to side of trailer tongue and hitch head) should be removed priot to backing the coach are making very tight turns. The Dual Cam Sway Control does not require adjustments once the initial adjustment is completed correctly, and it remains attached until you are ready to unhitch.

The level of the trailer (front-to-rear/side-to-side) doesn't pose huge issues with my Reese hitch. Once the coupler is locked to the hitch head, raising the hitch with the tongue jack relieves the pressure so that the weight distribution bars are easy to latch.

Good luck with your investigation!

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)
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:30 PM   #6
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
Lake St Louis , Missouri
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I'm a new AS owner and picked the Reese Strait Line Dual Cam hitch. I've only towed a couple times but the Reese seems fine. Not problems hitching and unhitching if you follow the process outlined above using the electric powered hitch to lessen the chain loads.

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Old 08-17-2012, 02:12 PM   #7
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2009 23' International
Jamul , California
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 32
Thank you all for your advice and info. I really appreciate hearing about your experiences. I want to make the hitching/unhitching as easy as possible so I am comfortable doing it and, inasmuch, anxious to use my trailer often. Sounds like an electric jack would be a worthwhile investment, as well. I will read the forums you've suggested!

Appreciate it!


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