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Old 10-25-2008, 07:42 AM   #729
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Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
Well, I got my Hensley installed today on the 2005 30' classic we bought a couple of months back, so we should be all set to head to Arizona in teh new year.

My hitch came with 1000# bars. I think the hitch wt on my trailer is in the ballpark of 800-850#.

I have read a lot about Airtsreams liking a soft ride, and I am wondering how I can best prolong its structural life.

Would I be wise to use my 1000# bars but crank them up very little, or might I be better advised to invest in 750# bars?

I am presently towing with a Sierra 1/2ton 4x4 ext cab with 4.11 gears, but hope to move to a diesel 2500HD before our next winter trip.

I was wandering too, if there are any parts that I should buy to carry as spares with the Hensley. I did buy the "emergency package" but was thinking of maybe a couple of spare U-bolts, shear bolts and that sort of thing.

So far I've only used the Hensley for about 15 miles, towing the trailer back to the storage yard, but all seemed well and it had a really nice solid feel to it when towing com pared to the conventional hitch that I used to bring the trailer home from Ohio where I bought it.

Only problem today was that I left the steps down on the trailer when I finished the hitch installation and went for a test drive and ripped up ten feet of sod on our front lawn! Steps seem fine though! Hehehe!

Cheers ............ Brian, Burlington Ont,
Brian,
Your bars should be fine, when you get everything set a trip to the scales is in order. It's really the only way of knowing if the load is spread evenly. I've learned that one of the most important things is keeping that trailer level to spread that load over each axle.

STEPS....ahh yes most have done it at least once, bet 'ya won't do it again though.

Stream Safe

Bob
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:48 AM   #730
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Geezer, I also think your bars should be fine. I would carry a few shear bolt at the very least in addition to your spare parts kit (thought they came with it?). I would also suggest getting a set of spring bar brackets and jack tubes. These do wear and can break. I replaced mine with new ones and kept the old ones for my spare. I also have a couple U bolts w/hardware in the bag.
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:22 AM   #731
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Brian,
Your bars should be fine, when you get everything set a trip to the scales is in order. It's really the only way of knowing if the load is spread evenly. I've learned that one of the most important things is keeping that trailer level to spread that load over each axle.

STEPS....ahh yes most have done it at least once, bet 'ya won't do it again though.

Stream Safe

Bob

Thanks Bob,


Enough folks have answered the same as you that I have decided I will use the 1000# bars rather than consider lighter ones.

I know I really should do everything properly and weigh the trailer, but I am surprised to note that when I drop the trailer onto my present 1/2T truck, although of course it causes the truck to squat some, it does not appear to put the rear axle down much further than the front - the whole setup looks reasonably level even without the tension bars pulled up.

So I'm thinking that initially I will tension the bars quite lightly - probably just until I can see some deflection starting in the bars - and see how that goes.

From what I read in the Hensley book, the anti-sway characteristic of the hitch is totally independent of the truck/trailer level or tension bar adjustment. Unless I misunderstand!

Cheers ......... Brian.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:14 AM   #732
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Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post

................ I will tension the bars quite lightly - probably just until I can see some deflection starting in the bars - and see how that goes.
Hi Brian. Please report back how the TV handles like this.

Why not setup weight distribution properly? That's what the hitch is designed for. From your post 727, it sounds like you are worried about a rough ride on your Airstream, and you raise a good question. Does weight distribution affect the ride of the trailer?

Personally, I'm not sure weight distribution has any affect on how smoothly the trailer rides. I tend to think the Airstream may get jerked around more if the jacks are "lightly" tightened. In this case the rear springs would be more rigid from being compressed more. But, I am no expert, and perhaps some of the "hitch gurus" can shed some light on this.

Anyway, good luck with your experiment, and let us know how it goes
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Old 10-26-2008, 01:37 PM   #733
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my ad installed my hensley with the 1400 lb bars ,since he said my 2005 x has pretty soft suspension.i had added rear timbrens and a set of bilsteins to help how the truck squatted once the weight of the trailer was on the truck.i find that i have played with the weight distribution to the point that if i leave it to loose i seem to get more bounce in the truck.it seems the best ride is when i make sure the trailer is completly level-(i check this by putting a level on the trailer step).at that point i have drawn the barrels up to the third notch on the adjustment barrel which has the 1400 lb bars flexing.the ad suspected the adjustment was going to be between 2.5 to 2.75 between the 2nd and 3rd notch on the barrel.my ad had some experience towing trailers to different shows with an x so he knew about the suspension on these vehicles.if you keep the bars to loose i think they may loosen up further when you are towing.i always check mine when i am out on the road about every 250 miles or so,and make what ever adjustment is needed.give billy(cert airstream tech) over at colonial a call because he seems to me to be very knowlegeable about truck suspensions and hitch setups.hope this helps.
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Old 10-26-2008, 03:24 PM   #734
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Measurements...

[quote=Wingeezer;631427]Thanks Bob,


Enough folks have answered the same as you that I have decided I will use the 1000# bars rather than consider lighter ones.

I know I really should do everything properly and weigh the trailer, but I am surprised to note that when I drop the trailer onto my present 1/2T truck, although of course it causes the truck to squat some, it does not appear to put the rear axle down much further than the front - the whole setup looks reasonably level even without the tension bars pulled up.

So I'm thinking that initially I will tension the bars quite lightly - probably just until I can see some deflection starting in the bars - and see how that goes.

Brian,

My first set-up with the Hensley was done with measurements. Took the Burb to a FLAT parking lot. Took measurements thru the center of each wheel to the bottom edge of the wheel-well opening. Hooked up the trailer and with NO tension on the weight bars, measured again. I had approx. two inches squat in the rear and + 1 3/4" lift in the front. Adjusted the weight bars til I transferred about an inch and a half to the front axle. The jacks were about an inch from the bottom line. When I did get to the scales my set-up was almost dead-on. The next thing I had to do was exchange my 4" drop stinger for an 8" drop. Once the trailer was level I was able to run the jack bars on the bottom line. We also have 1000lb bars with our 25ft Classic.
Note that we have an 06 2500 4wd Burb, with Auto-ride. The 3/4 does not have auto-leveling, just variable damping shocks.

Hope this info helps.



Your are correct the anti-sway is completely independent from your jack bar adjustments.

Bob....
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:46 AM   #735
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It might help some of you to know that for the first 5-7 years of existence of the orange hitch they were ALL sold with 1000# spring bars.

If you've seen the pictures of the Lincoln Town Car towing the 34' Airstream it had 1000# spring bars on it.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:10 PM   #736
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I just traded our 1/2 ton Sierra 4x4 on a new 2500HD diesel 4x4.

I had just installed a Hensley on the AS, and have a hitch bar with a 2" drop. The trailer was almost level with that bar, but just a tad nose up - hardly noticeable.

Now, the new truck has its hitch receiver about 2 1/4" higher than my last truck, so I need to swap for a new hitch bar.

I suppose a 4" drop seems the logical choice, but if anything, that will put the trailer just a little more nose up - by an extra 1/4".

If I went to a 6" drop, I guess I'd go from slightly nose up to noticeably nose down.

I suppose the solution would be a ProPride hitch bar to fine tune things, but I've spent enough $$ lately - trailer - hensley - truck!

I'm just curious if anyone else here has the same trailer/TV setup as me, and if so, what bar drop you have found best?

Many thanks ............
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:49 PM   #737
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My experience has been with an F-250 Ford so it would not be applicable to you as I have no idea how far your hitch is off the ground on your new truck. For reference I use a 6" drop shank on my rig. Why don't you call Jarod at Hensley and see what he recommends. If you purchased your Hensley new, they will trade shanks with you. If not, he will still advise you as to which shank to order.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:58 PM   #738
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Brian,

You measure yours and I'll measure mine....

Hitch height, hitch height.

I had to go from a 4" on the 95 Burb to a 6 on the 06. Measure yours to the bottom of the receiver opening and we can compare. Should give you something to start from.

Bob
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:33 PM   #739
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And now for something completely different...

The stinger got stuck in the receiver.

I searched this thread but didn't find this one. Happened to us today. We just returned from a 200 + mile tow and I had to remove the TV side first then wrestle it out. We have some theories (like too much grease/dirt in receiver, temp variations, parking with wheels up on a curb, etc...). Any ideas? I plan to clean up and try a test hitch next week. One other thing, when we hitched up I did use the OCL wrench to fully seat the stinger, but I don't recall doing anything really excessive...

Thanks,
KL
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:19 PM   #740
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Did you fully release the spring bars before tried to unhitch?

Brian
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:33 PM   #741
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KL, you may want to pull the pin on your emergency trailer brakes when you want to disconnect the tow vehicle from the hensley. This will engage the trailer brakes and you should be able to drive forward to pull the stinger out of the hensley. Be sure the 7 way is not connect between the tow vehicle and the trailer. I use this procedure if the stinger is uncooperative. I have disc brakes and the trailer wheels lock solid and the trailer doesn't move.

Ken
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:51 PM   #742
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Great tip about the trailer brake, thanx

Brian
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