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Old 09-01-2008, 11:41 PM   #1
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Rivet Popping - W/D Bars the Cause?

Dear Blabby,

Rivets are a poppin' inside my front end cap. I'm aware of the 3 possible contributing factors, but haven't checked my tire pressure yet (that damn little gauge is hiding around here somewhere!) and I believe my axle to be in fine shape.

That leaves weight distribution bars that are overrated for the tongue weight, if memory serves.

I have a basic Reese, with WD bars marked 800 lbs.

I believe my tongue weight is somewhere around 400 lb..

Is this discrepancy likely causing my problem? If so - shall I buy a pair of 400 lb. bars? Or 200 pounders, since two of them add up to 400.

Signed,
Poppin' Fresh
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:46 AM   #2
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Dough boy... I kinda like it.

Yep, the Jeep, Trailblazer and even the Tahoe's suspension all needed the weight bars to keep everything evened out. The bars seem to also act as complimentary anti-sway.

I've thought about steeping up to a Equal-i-zer just for added peace of mind, but after one wonderfully uneventful trip with the current setup I'm not in a rush to drop another $500 on something I don't need.

So you vote that the bars don't add up to the rating, meaning I'd need a pair that each say 400. Gotcha.

Can't tell you how I ended up buying 800 pounders. Sold as a package and I wasn't paying attention?
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:52 AM   #3
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Hey Brad. I would say clearly that you are overhitched with 800lb bars and the tow vehicles you've outlined. Is that the root cause of the rivets bailing? I can't say for sure, but tend to doubt it given the significant low hitch weight. I think the Jeep might have a bit more firm suspension than the Tahoe and I think the firmer suspensions might actually be a better culprit. At this point, all you will do is throw money at it....air hitch, bars, suspension softening things, etc.

**edit** I just took a look at the specific Jeep yer towing with...that one for sure has a pretty stiff suspension. If that is what you tow with regularly, I am bettin' dollars to doughnuts that is most likely on strong possibility for the rivets to be going south.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bredlo View Post
Dear Blabby,

Rivets are a poppin' inside my front end cap. I'm aware of the 3 possible contributing factors, but haven't checked my tire pressure yet (that damn little gauge is hiding around here somewhere!) and I believe my axle to be in fine shape.

That leaves weight distribution bars that are overrated for the tongue weight, if memory serves.

I have a basic Reese, with WD bars marked 800 lbs.

I believe my tongue weight is somewhere around 400 lb..

Is this discrepancy likely causing my problem? If so - shall I buy a pair of 400 lb. bars? Or 200 pounders, since two of them add up to 400.

Signed,
Poppin' Fresh
All Airstreams, regardless of year, love a soft ride.

A rough ride will cause some problems, as you have experienced one of them.

1. Lower the Reese bars to the lightest they make.

2. Balancing the running gear, is another good way to keep the trailer healthy. Unless you have replaced the axle, the hub and drums on your Airstream are out of balance as is many peoples budget.

Andy
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:52 AM   #5
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Fair enough. Thanks guys - I'll keep the Jeep's suspension in mind, and probably look into lower rated bars, just to eliminate that possibility.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:32 AM   #6
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Well, looked more into these round bars. The kit I bought was from Curt Hitches, and they only offer 600 lb. bars as an alternative.

Still more than I need, so I'm wondering if I should start thinking about a whole new hitch system. I need the weight distribution to keep everything level, and I would like the added benefit of some sway control as insurance from heavy crosswinds.

So... suggestions for hitch systems on these older light trailers? I'll use SEARCH in the meantime.
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:01 PM   #7
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I ditched the WD bars completely, but I have a full size van with an adjustable airbag suspension in the rear. The weight of the trailer on the ball does not effect the van. I still use a friction sway control. The trailer gently bounces along behind us, no more popped rivets, and no handling problems so far. We've been doing this for about the last three years.
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Old 09-02-2008, 02:04 PM   #8
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Bredlo,
I would have a hard time thinking that your Jeep's suspension would be the culprit. These Wagoneers were pretty squishy since they were a luxury car in their day. I own a 1990 model Grand Wagoneer and it is old school squishy, another reason why they had good traction/articulation off road.
I would look into the weight bar rating and check the trailer suspension first.
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Old 09-02-2008, 03:05 PM   #9
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Dough boy... I kinda like it....
yeah it seemed to fit the 'poppin fresh' theme...

a high school coach once called me dough boy, scarred for life, i though u was channeling me...

anyway SAVE those rivets that fall out.

they can be placed inside the tires or hubcaps,

for dynamic balancing of the running gear...

but i don't think tension on the spring bars improves sway control...

UNLESS using a cam/bar or 4 point hitch.

bobbing YES, but sway, i dunno...

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:46 PM   #10
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Crispy is right, despite what I'd have initially thought as well, 'Twinkie. Soft suspension.

The back of the Wag compresses down enough that as much as I'd love to forego the bars altogether and use just friction sway control, I just can't because these bars significantly level out the rig.

Are Equal-i-zers just plain overkill for my situation? Seems like they run around $500 or so, and I was quoted $450 for a Reese light-duty W/D system this morning. So price-wise, it seems I might want to go for one of these well-recommended setups if I get down to some lighter weight bars for this Curt system.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:58 PM   #11
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Crispy is right, despite what I'd have initially thought as well, 'Twinkie. Soft suspension.

The back of the Wag compresses down enough that as much as I'd love to forego the bars altogether and use just friction sway control, I just can't because these bars significantly level out the rig.

Are Equal-i-zers just plain overkill for my situation? Seems like they run around $500 or so, and I was quoted $450 for a Reese light-duty W/D system this morning. So price-wise, it seems I might want to go for one of these well-recommended setups if I get down to some lighter weight bars for this Curt system.
When you own a Reese hitch, you can change the rating of the bars, when necessary, should you change trailers or tow vehicles.

With other brands, if you want to change the rating of the bars, you must also change the ball mount. Not true with Reese.

Andy
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:03 PM   #12
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I used to have a Curt hitch, and I believe all the different weight of bars fit the same head.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
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When you own a Reese hitch, you can change the rating of the bars, when necessary, should you change trailers or tow vehicles.

With other brands, if you want to change the rating of the bars, you must also change the ball mount. Not true with Reese.

Andy
Good point. I'll keep that in mind, though I'm more focused on getting the best system for this particular vehicle combo, rather than sacrificing function for future versatility.
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:01 PM   #14
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Brad
Just a thought .But if I were you I would DITCH THAT HITCH,and start over.
I feel for that small trailer you are WAY WAY OVER HITCHED.
I would go to a Duel Cam Reese or DrawTite same thing. I think I would check the price at U HAUL .I use a duel cam setup with what I believe to be 500 bars(they are so old they are not marked) and run the chains in the very first link. I get no sway from trucks on two lanes roads or crosswinds. My outfit is level and rides like we were on a cloud. Oh did I mention its a 1ton. I know you don't want to hear this but I'd take a long look at that axle.
Best of luck on your quest.
Roger
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