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Old 06-28-2014, 05:17 PM   #1
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
Salida , Colorado
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Removing tow ball and equilizer sway bar

Hi: Our first trip out. We are finding it a bit annoying to remove the ball and sway bar when we park, lifting it up into the pickup bed and then needing to reinstall when we are ready to leave.

First, it is so heavy, it takes both my husband and I.
And it is difficult to lift into the pickup bed to store. And to slide it
out to the ground and lift it in place when we need to move.

So, I need some suggestions on how to eliminate that pain. How do you handle this, where do you store your ball and sway bar? Is there any sort of lift or support to maneuver the thing without breaking our backs? Is there some sort of slide to drop it on and move it under the trailer, then
lock it up?

Thanks for any suggestion and help!

We love our new "stream."
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:22 PM   #2
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Maybe you mean the load bars. The sway bar is a linear brake thing that prevents sway. It is usually pretty light. The load bars can be a little heavy. I usually stow mine on the A frame behind the propane tanks. I am not sure what you mean by ball. Do you mean the main ball that holds the trailer or the little ball that holds the sway bar? You should not have to remove the main ball from the receiver hitch. The smaller balls for the sway bar should stay on the trailer and on the hitch.

Perry
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:25 PM   #3
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Why remove it?
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:34 PM   #4
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We usually set ours under the tongue, but there might be security issues with that in some parks (after all, if somebody stole them, you'd be in a pinch to get home).

I have heard some states require you to remove the hitch head (where the ball is) when not towing - there was a discussion about it recently. But if you don't have to remove it, you can leave it on the tow vehicle.
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:41 PM   #5
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I've heard that too, how would one know?
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:31 PM   #6
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Although I have heard it is illegal to keep the ball and spring bar mount hitch head on the tow vehicle, in 40 years of trailering I have never, ever, heard of anyone being cited for this "violation". I usually remove mine, but it is a very light Andersen system. Even so, I leave it on often when I am just running around camping.

If you have a head with extra holes in the L shaped mount which slides into the tow vehicle receiver, you can put an 18" piece of (5/8 I think) all thread into one of the extra holes and secure it with two nuts. That gives you a lifting point to hold onto when you do wish to take it out of the hitch receiver.
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:20 PM   #7
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I leave mine on including the mud flaps that are attached to the square bar. Mine is heavy cast iron. I figure it should deter tail gating. I see those hitch mounted carrier things sticking way out past the bumper all the time.

Perry
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:22 PM   #8
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Because we can't drive around in our pickup with that hanging on!
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vakathy View Post
Because we can't drive around in our pickup with that hanging on!
Why not ? I leave mine in there unless I'm going to be stationary for a couple weeks or so at a given camp.

Is there some reason why you think "you can't" drive around with the hitch head in the receiver, or is it that just "don't want to" ? Trying here to get a more clear understanding of your comment.
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:40 PM   #10
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I don't plan to take mine off. Seems like a waste of precious time and energy that could be used for drinking beer!
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:51 PM   #11
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What kind of hitch do you have? What brand? Jim
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:12 PM   #12
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I welded a receiver tube under my trailer tongue at the side. I just slip the receiver into it and lock it in with a receiver lock when I remove it from truck, but: I never remove it when I travel - waste of time and effort.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:22 PM   #13
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If it is the Equal-i-zer brand hitch...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vakathy View Post
Hi: Our first trip out. We are finding it a bit annoying to remove the ball and sway bar when we park, lifting it up into the pickup bed and then needing to reinstall when we are ready to leave.

First, it is so heavy, it takes both my husband and I.
And it is difficult to lift into the pickup bed to store. And to slide it
out to the ground and lift it in place when we need to move.
Welcome to the AirForums, vakathy and congratulations on your new 23' Flying Cloud and your first trip out!

If you have the Equal-i-zer brand, Sway Control Hitch, the ball is part of the "Hitch Head" and the "sway bars" are called "spring arms".

Something tells me that you and your husband are removing the hitch head with the spring arms attached (I have seen a new Airstream owner do this when they arrived next to us in the desert.)

The hitch head is indeed heavy and we have never removed it while on camping trips.

Of course, the spring arms are removed from the hitch head and the trailer when unhitching. We place our greasy spring arms in custom-made ABS tubes as seen below and described in post #364 of "SilverGate's Safari is Home at Last!" thread. These tubes are then placed in the back of the pickup truck.

At home, I remove the hitch head and place it in a Roughneck storage tote (that contains other hitching tools) and two of us lift it into the back of the pickup truck that is kept locked.

Hope this helps and glad you love your Airstream!
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:51 PM   #14
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Hi! Thanks, yes, this is what we have. We just measured the head hitch and it would stick out 16". But you've inspired us with some ideas. Do you lock it on your pickup so it doesn't get stolen while driving around? Thanks, Kathy
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