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Old 09-02-2008, 07:28 PM   #15
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Bredlo,
I looked into the different hitch systems and decided a different approach. My trailer like yours has what I consider a very light tongue weight but really compresses the springs on my Wagoneer. I watched ebay for about a month this past spring and picked up a Hensley for about $650 if I remember correctly. I tore it apart, sand blasted it, repacked the bearings etc......I ended up installing one new bearing, new seals and spring bar bushings. Now I feel like I have a hitch that I can grow with (move to other trailers) or resell anytime I want and likely get my money back out of it. The spring bars are infinitely adjustable and sway control is constant. I just got back from my maiden voyage of approximately 200 miles round trip. I know this isn't much time with the new hitch but once I got the brake controller adjusted to get rid of the "Hensley bump" it was very smooth. Hensley's aren't just for the big trailers - they would probably be better utilized on the small trailers where sway is more evident.

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Old 09-02-2008, 07:46 PM   #16
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I would agree with Crispyboy. If you can find a decent used Hensley, you will find much happiness and a very adjustable equalizer system.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:02 AM   #17
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I'd love a Hensley - that's a great little club to be in.

There's a few around floating around the Craigslists here in the midwest right now, ranging from $850 to $1000. Tempting... you guys will be the first to know if I bite.
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:18 AM   #18
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Just occurred to me that I have a Reese Dual-Cam sitting around that I replaced with a Hensley. I'm coming through JC later in the month - any interest?

Pat
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:22 AM   #19
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Back when I bought my trailer I looked into a dual-cam and at the time I was told the tongue weight was not enough for a dual-cam, that it wouldn't activate the cams or something like that. So I have always thought that hitch was not appropriate on very small trailers. Has that changed, or was I just told wrong to start with?
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:02 PM   #20
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Back when I bought my trailer I looked into a dual-cam and at the time I was told the tongue weight was not enough for a dual-cam, that it wouldn't activate the cams or something like that. So I have always thought that hitch was not appropriate on very small trailers. Has that changed, or was I just told wrong to start with?
Steph.

Any Airsteam ever built, should be towed with a weight distributing hitch, unless someone has a giant tow truck like a Peterbilt.

The success of using a Reese, is to match the hitch weight rating to the trailer, "AND" the tow vehicle.

In your case, you could successfully use the lowest rating Reese has to offer.

The key to it, is to make the bars bend, When they bend, that brings in the sway control, when you use the dual cam.

The more the bend, the better the sway control.

When owners over hitch, they defeat the Reese sway control, so to speak, when they use 1000 pound or 1200 pound bars on a 3/4 ton vehicle, that has overloads springs to boot.

That performance is greatly enhanced when the torsion bar ratings are "decreased", which is contrary to some opinions, but is factual, based on feedback from those that made the change.

Try it, you and your Airstream will like it.

Usually, statements made as to what you don't need for a proper safe hitch setup, comes from someone that, (A) has never towed a trailer, or (B) has towed a trailer, but never experienced a sway, or (C) a slaesman that has already depleted your bank account.

It's absolutely amazing, how many RV sales people, don't know the first thing about safe hitching, since they have never towed. Their goal is to make you happy, "CAUSE THEY SAVED YOU A FEW DOLLARS".

Who suffers??

The buying public, of course.

How very sad.

Andy
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:15 PM   #21
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...Any Airsteam ever built, should be towed with a weight distributing hitch...
i think she understands how flexed bars work to engage the cams.

the issue is GETTING the bars to flex adequately,

IF the tongue wt is lower than the LOWEST rated bars

are there 200 lb or 300 lb bars?

using w/d effectively IF the tongue mass is LESS than 400 lbs is the issue.

stef...

one option is figure out a way to INCREASE the tongue mass to the lowest rating of bar sets...

add a generator, larger lp tanks, more batteries, and so on, although tongue strength becomes an issue.

how about just put more STUFF up front inside?

i do like the idea of using a haha on little trailer, although it is a substantial mass and price.

the really nice thing is that ALL the bar ratings are interchangeable AND no bar flex/tension is required for sway control.

cheers
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:17 PM   #22
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It's absolutely amazing, how many RV sales people, don't know the first thing about safe hitching, since they have never towed. Their goal is to make you happy, "CAUSE THEY SAVED YOU A FEW DOLLARS".
I can honestly say there has NEVER been an instance where an RV sales person saved me "A FEW DOLLARS"!
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:37 PM   #23
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the issue is GETTING the bars to flex adequately,

IF the tongue wt is lower than the LOWEST rated bars

are there 200 lb or 300 lb bars?

using w/d effectively IF the tongue mass is LESS than 400 lbs is the issue.
Exactly, because the smallest bars are 550s, and the tongue weight is about half that. I think it was a reese salesman who told me it wouldn't work for my trailer and to keep looking. I did tow with an EZLift hitch with bars that were way too heavy the first couple years we had the trailer, that's when we had the rivets popping out!



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i do like the idea of using a haha on little trailer, although it is a substantial mass and price.
I like the idea of a haha too, if I felt like I needed it. With my huge van and tiny trailer, we're really happy with the ride right now, and we've never experienced any handling problems at all. It would be great extra safety measure though, especially for in the case of a blow out or something like that where you suddenly need more control than normal. Or when we are ready to get a tow vehicle smaller than the van. If a used one came along and I had the money, I'd probably go for it.
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclemore View Post
Just occurred to me that I have a Reese Dual-Cam sitting around that I replaced with a Hensley. I'm coming through JC later in the month - any interest?

Pat
Pat - thanks so much for the offer! I appreciate it, but am happy to report that I picked up a nearly brand new Equal-i-Zer hitch tonight via Craigslist. Had to drive all the way to Peoria from Chicago to pick it up, mind you - but hey: $200 was too good to pass up!
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:55 AM   #25
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When you get that "new" equalizer home measure or weight the bars by comparison to your current Reese bars. I own both style hitches and find the bars for my Equalizer to be much heavier for the same rating than the Reese. I think Equalizer hitches are quite a bit stiffer (less compliant) than the Reese bar of the same rating. If I am right and they are stiffer in your case they will only make your problem worse. Your initial problem was the rivets were popping on your older trailer. I think you more than likely have too stiff a suspension of the trailer than a problem with the hitch or TV. The stiffness of the suspension on the trailer has three times more effect on the ride than the torque at the ball. You may be way too high on your trailer tire pressure, or more likely your axles have become more stiff due to the rubber in them hardening due to age. You can test this by lifting the trailer and making sure the axles rotate to the 23 degree negative position they had originally. The other common failure is the rubber has taken a set and the lever arm on the axles are parallel to the ground or up when the trailer is just sitting on them. This leaves no motion available to take up the shock of a rough road. The only solution to either of these two problems is new axles.
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:14 AM   #26
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Thanks Dwightdi - excellent suggestions all around, and I'll follow up on them. Before I bought the trailer in May, I made the seller (<i>a well-respected restorer who was selling this on consignment</i>) swear up and down the axle was not in need of replacement. Again when I picked it up, they promised it was in good working condition.

So I'll check into it further - but am still putting faith in the seller's good reputation and extensive experience that I wasn't being... uh, fibbed to.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:11 PM   #27
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i think she understands how flexed bars work to engage the cams.

the issue is GETTING the bars to flex adequately,

IF the tongue wt is lower than the LOWEST rated bars

are there 200 lb or 300 lb bars?

using w/d effectively IF the tongue mass is LESS than 400 lbs is the issue.

stef...

one option is figure out a way to INCREASE the tongue mass to the lowest rating of bar sets...

add a generator, larger lp tanks, more batteries, and so on, although tongue strength becomes an issue.

how about just put more STUFF up front inside?

i do like the idea of using a haha on little trailer, although it is a substantial mass and price.

the really nice thing is that ALL the bar ratings are interchangeable AND no bar flex/tension is required for sway control.

cheers
2air'
I remember more than a few old-timers (guys in their 70's during the 1960's [World War One vets]; owned Model T's and everything since) had a love for short, cut, sections of railroad track, from a foot long to longer that they'd use at the front of the trailer interior to add some tongue weight. Used wooden chocks to set them in place (toe nailed in floor). Moved them in and out as needed.

I'm not necessarily recommending this as a modification, but your "type of problem" is not new (insufficient tongue weight).

To my mind, the ideal trailer, loaded as I would like it, nevertheless is perfectly balanced front to rear AND side to side.

Worth looking into this question of weight, and balance, IMO.
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