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Old 08-19-2009, 03:29 PM   #1
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proper hitch, bars hook-up procedure

question for you AS folks,

when we got our 22' AS from the prior owner he showed us how to do the hitch hook-up to our truck. it seemed real simple:

raise front of trailler using hitch jack, back up truck, lower hitch receiver onto ball, secure chains,
bars, brakes, etc. and drive away.

now - reading the AS manual it looks like he left out an important step.

after securing the AS receiver to the hitch ball, the manual says that you should raise the joined vehicles using the hitch jack and then secure the bars and chains before lowering it again.

is this correct? is it necessary?

it seems like it will be putting extra stress on the bars.

i just want to make sure i'm doing this the right, safe way.

thanks in advance

az-streamer
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:39 PM   #2
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The purpose of the WD Hitch is to move weight to the trailer axles and the front axle of the truck. You should go through the system set up for your truck as no 2 trucks are the same.


Set up the system again with these considerations.

Make sure you are on a level pavement for both TV and trailer combination.

Drive onto the pavement while towing the trailer straight for at least 75 ft.

Use the trailer brakes to stop the combination, this insure things are straight.

Disconnect the trailer.

Measure the height of both truck fenders right up through the center line of the wheels. It helps to put a piece of masking tape on the fender and marking the measurement point on the tape. Record the measurements.

Hitch up and measure the fender heights again. Both measurements should drop. Generally I look for a 60 40 ratio with the rear fender dropping more than the front fender. This will depend on spring ratios of the truck put the important consideration is you want to see a drop in the front fender height.

If adjustments are required either take up a chain link and remeasure or tilt the hitch head back and remeasure.

If things do not fall into place, and you would have to be very lucky for that to happen, make adjustments. This is not a 5 min. job so don't start this in the sun.

When done you want the trailer tongue slightly higher than the rear and weight on the front axle of the truck. This difference in the trailer height should not be more than a Ĺ in. if that on shorter trailers. The reason I mention the height of the trailer tongue as being higher is with the Airstream axles not being self equalizing you want to insure you are not reducing the tongue weight by having shifted weight to the rear of the trailer.

If after you have completed the set up and you find you have trailer sway you should consider getting a duel cam sway control system. If you do install a duel cam system the set up is much the same except that when finished you have to be sure the trailing arms are seated on the saddles while the combination is straight. This may require reentry onto the pavement and checking things again because misaligned cams will change the WD effects of the system.

If you are setting up and have the Dual Cam or Straight Line system I would suggest you loosen the U bolts that hold the Dual Cam to the tongue or loosen both nuts on the yokes of the Straight Line system. Have these nuts and U blots loose before you pull on the level work area. Leave them loose through out the set up and periodically tap the saddles or the yokes with a 2 lbs. hammer to make sure they are sitting directly over the cams.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:16 PM   #3
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HowieE,

thanks for the quick and full reply. looks like i got some measuring to do.

does the

"after securing the AS receiver to the hitch ball, the manual says that you should raise the joined vehicles using the hitch jack and then secure the bars and chains before lowering it again."

part make any sense to you?

see the following pic of the hitch set-up and a pic of my rig on a level surface. it looks like the front of the AS is slightly down as is the rear of my truck.
Click image for larger version

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side note: we have already drive some long miles with it and really have not had any sway issues at all.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:33 PM   #4
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The main reason to raise the jack is to make sure the ball coupler is properly locked, and it takes a lot less effort to chain up the bars if the hitch is raised.

The biggest risk is driving off when you forgot to lower the jack back down after you chain 'em up.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:54 PM   #5
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To start I would raise the hitch one bolt height on the head and start the set up from there. By towing tongue low you are taking weight off the tongue and you want at least 10% of the trailer weight on the tongue before setting the WD hitch. An Airstream want to be parallel to the ground while towing because of the type of axles used.

Yes you will have to raise the combination to set the chains. Shot for a set up that leave 4 links on the chain hanging free when hitched and reasonable measurements on the truck fender heights. It may be necessary to change the head angle by removing the top bolt and moving that multi sided plate to put more distance between the bolt and the edge of the hitch casting.

This is not a 5 min. job
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:01 PM   #6
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Proper Hitch

I didn't see any sway control in any of the pictures.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:26 PM   #7
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The full reason for raising up both vehicles after locking the ball on is to utilize the WD bars. If you simply hang the WD bar chains without putting a load on them, then they are not actually doing what they are intended to do. You need to put a load on them for them to actually work.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:45 PM   #8
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thanks to all for the quick replies.

like i said - best to be safe from the start

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