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Old 04-11-2006, 06:41 PM   #1
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Picking up our first Airstream - Hitch & Brake Controller Questions

We are picking up our first Airstream in few days from the dealer. It's a 2006 25' Safari FB SE LS. For tow vehicle, we have a new 2006 Lincoln Mark LT (equivalent to Ford F150). Dealer recommends a Pro-Eagle weight distributing hitch with 1000 lb. bars and anti-sway package ($550 installed) and a Prodigy brake controller ($250 installed). I've searched the threads and can't find anyone ever mentioning the Pro-Eagle hitch. Thoughts on the hitch, the brake controller, the price, etc.?

We've never had a truck, a trailer or any kind of experience driving either one so we are GREEN! (And nervous!) Helpful advice greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:05 PM   #2
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Well, the brake controller you can buy for $100 and install yourself for free. I did it on my 04 Expedition. The truck should come with the harness in a little bag. Only question is where to place it and that's usually on the underside of the dash to the right of the steering wheel.

Wow, never had a truck or towed. You should get some classes. That's $100k worth of rig your talking about and you need to have some practice I should think.

John
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:20 PM   #3
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If you can afford it (and it looks like you can) get a Hensley Hitch.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:03 PM   #4
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The Pro-Eagle is a generic brand hitch with a friction sway control. It will work but is not a top of the line hitch by any stretch of the imagination. it's a $250.00 hitch at best. The prodigy is a great controler but can be bought for a $100 on the net. You could do better on the hitch with a Reese or Equalizer for just a little more money. That said if the dealer cut you a close deal on the trailer maybe he's entitled to a little extra on the this part of the deal----pieman
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:22 PM   #5
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I was in a similar situation in that I had never towed anything before I brought home my 2006 22' CCD. I use a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 & ended up buying the Reese Weight Distribution hitch & Prodigy brake controller. I bought them at Camping World (at the suggestion of the dealer). Found the tow home to be quite exciting! That was on March 1st. Just last week, I went to C&G in Bellflower & had them install the Reese anti-sway set-up which makes a big difference.

What I like about the Reese set-up is that it's easy to hook up to the Jeep. I was paranoid that I would forget to do something but it's a simple task. Prodigy seems to have great customer service because I called Tekonsha regarding switching the controller to another tow vehicle I may use. They sent me the bracket & wiring right away with no charge.

Best of luck... where did you get your Airstream? I got mine in Irvine.
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:42 AM   #6
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Thanks

Unfortunately, the folks at Irvine just weren't as willing to deal on price. We are buying from a dealer in Northern California.

When you bought the Reese hitch, did you hook it up yourself? No specialized installation required?
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:08 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forums and congratulations on your new Airstream. The dealer should give you options on the hitch and a Hensley would be the best choice for you. I am not sure what engine you have in the Lincoln but you might be towing at the top limit of its capability. Get the best hitch you can.
The dealer should also have a video to loan you on safe driving, with driving tips. See if they will allow you to practice on their lot with an experienced driver aboard. If not scout out a vacant parking lot, we used the baseball stadium, Miller Park here in Milwaukee when we first got a trailer. This will give you a chance to get accustomed to towing and backing up with out traffic. I am sure you will catch on quickly it is not hard.
Good luck to you and have many safe and happy camping trips.
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palmsprings
We are picking up our first Airstream in few days from the dealer. It's a 2006 25' Safari FB SE LS. For tow vehicle, we have a new 2006 Lincoln Mark LT (equivalent to Ford F150). Dealer recommends a Pro-Eagle weight distributing hitch with 1000 lb. bars and anti-sway package ($550 installed) and a Prodigy brake controller ($250 installed). I've searched the threads and can't find anyone ever mentioning the Pro-Eagle hitch. Thoughts on the hitch, the brake controller, the price, etc.?

We've never had a truck, a trailer or any kind of experience driving either one so we are GREEN! (And nervous!) Helpful advice greatly appreciated.
Personally I think the hitch offered is not your best choice. At a minimum my recommendation would be either a Reese with the dual-cam sway control or an Equal-i-zer. In your case since you are new to towing, the Equal-i-zer might be a little easier for you. Obviously the Hensley is top of the line and if you are inclined to spend the $$$ it will serve you well. Any of these three hitches are very good choices. Talk to your dealer and see if he can give you pricing on these three hitch options. The Prodigy is a good brake controller. My only other recommondation there might be the Jordan controller which I use.

Note that price wise, dealer installed hitches and brake controllers will not be budget priced. On the other hand, the trailer is there and quite honestly they should do a good job getting everything set up right. Unless you really understand the concepts and principals regarding weight distribution hitches and the proper wiring techniques, I would not trust this to myself. A misadjusted weight distribution hitch is a hazzard. I remember my first trailer purchase and quite honestly I was no where competent to do this. 25 Years later it's a much different story.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:10 AM   #9
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We have an almost identical trailer and use both a 1,000 pound Equal-i-zer hitch and a Prodigy on a Dodge Durango. Towing our 2006 25FB LS is so easy I couldn't be happier. There is absolutely no sway or effect from passing trucks and buses. Only once have we felt the wind blowing about 25 mph from the side, but it was minimal. It's been worse with our cars.

The Dodge is built on a truck chassis so the combination thru the hitch makes for a rigid and easily controlled combination. If your Lincoln is comparable, you shouldn't have a bit of difficulty or have to go to the outrageously high-priced option.

If you are interested, search for my other comments on the combo. Best of luck. Great trailer!!!
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:16 AM   #10
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I just looked it up and the Mk LT should be able to handle that coach, just keep an eye on loading. Don't load the coach up too much, try to keep the total load under 7000lbs. Keep your speed no higher than 55 mph. Always remember you have a trailer behind you .

Also, make sure the LT has the tow package and that it came with a transmission cooler. You can tell by a third radiator up front, next to the AC radiator. If it doesn't, have the dealer install one.

And yes, the Reese Hitch can be installed by you all with wrenches. But be warned you need some really big wrenches, like 2". They sell them a Wal mart cheap enough. Just follow the directions that come with the hitch and you should be fine.

John
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Old 04-12-2006, 03:36 PM   #11
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Brake $ - Hitch $

When I had the Tekonsha brake controller mounted in my truck ( I DID have the factory plug in harness) the controller, plus install was $150. Seemed resonable at the time.

Today, I would get the unit for half that install price, and put it in myself.

You do what you gotta do....

When we got SilverToy. The dealer sold and installed a Equal-i-zer brand hitch. 10000lb/ 1000lb Hitch was $600. Install was $150. Could have done better in the purchase price, probably on the install as well. For me however, the PROPER INSTALL was what was KEY for me.

The install was done. They hooked up the trailer. Did the measuring, adjusting and all that back and forth.

THAT IS WHAT WAS KEY FOR ME - not the possible savings!

We were out the door in 1 1/2 hours.

I did a LOT of research on which hitch to get. The dealer was informed a week ahead of time. They ordered it and had it on hand when we rolled in. Full install was handled while the paperwork was being done inside.

All in all, as I said, I could have gotten things cheaper, could have handled the install and saved there, but I wanted it done RIGHT by people that do this all day.... Worth my $, IMO.

All the best of luck with your trailer, hitch and TV! Have FUN out there!

Axel
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:13 PM   #12
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I have a prodigy brake controller in my truck. Ifi t had not been there the delaertold me they would be replacing it.

They also installed a reese dual cam hitch.
heavy duty and works well.
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:14 PM   #13
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thanks for all the good advice folks.
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