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Old 03-03-2010, 10:27 AM   #211
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i dont' see a LOT of discussion HERE (this thread) on RE-torqueing fasteners yet...

its an issue on some other hitch brands and in other applications (lugs) but not so much here.

i too considered thread 'goo' and still might use it on the pp some day...

but so far the nuts/bolts/threads have ALL stayed PUT, where i PUT them...

my approach has been to MARK the threads/nuts once fastened with a dab of paint or silver/metallic sharpie...

this allows for a quick visual check without a wrench in hand.

and so far no slipping in 7,000 miles of use.

the value of red/blue/green loc compounds where ONE TIME fastening is the objective is clear...

but the effectiveness of anaerobic fastener compounds is directly related to how CLEAN the threads are maintained...

or how frequently they are RE adjusted (OR removed) which is an issue with hitches...

i'm a big advocate of using thread compounds on bike spokes but the issues are somewhat different in that application too...

i also notice that the major player in thread loc-ing sealants now offers a product with PTFE in the mix?
____________

anyway i don't see a lot of need HERE yet once the set up is dialed properly.

and EVEN with thread compounds the warning to 'check yer pp nuts' would still apply.

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:43 AM   #212
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

2air', now for the proof of the pudding. How is the Propride performing?

Now that you have 8,000+ miles under your belt, tell how you like the Propride vs. the Haha.

- Does the PP perform equally as well in sway elimination?

- Is the hook up procedure any easier than the Haha?

- Is the weight distribution function equivalent?

- Are you seeing any signs of fastener wear on the height-adjustable hitch bar?

- Has there been any finish deterioration of any of the finishes, as is so common on the Haha?

Brian
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:53 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
...Now that you have 8,000+ miles under your belt, tell how you like the Propride vs. the Haha.

- Does the PP perform equally as well in sway elimination?

- Is the hook up procedure any easier than the Haha?

- Is the weight distribution function equivalent?

- Are you seeing any signs of fastener wear on the height-adjustable hitch bar?

- Has there been any finish deterioration of any of the finishes, as is so common on the Haha?

Brian
hi brian...

i'll be digging into EACH of these issues soon and continuing the photo comparison between parts (hitch head, jacks, yoke/struts)...

but direct answers are...

YES on similar relaxed steering for the driver, trailer control and LACK of sway.

YES, YES, YES on hook up (the new hitch head BOX is better)

YES on w/d function...

NO signs of fastener wear on the stinger...

a couple of TINY nicks in the finish (my clumsiness) but overall the powder coating is...

SO MUCH better looking, durable and easier to maintain at nearly 6 months of exposure and use.

so yes i'm VERY happy with the PP switch over and the costs to do so.

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:10 PM   #214
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- Is the weight distribution function equivalent?

And I'll make a request per an old post where 2Air indicated an analysis of multiple scale readings on the HAHA would be forthcoming . . perhaps those could be integrated here as the current TV is a known quantity (only an extra leaf into the rear's, correct?) and I have the impression that a 700 LB/FT new truck is on the horizon . . . .

Thanks for consideration
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:44 PM   #215
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Yes!!! Thank you all for such great information.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:47 PM   #216
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I took delivery of my trailer yesterday. Since my local Airstream dealer is not a dealer for ProPride, and their service technicians have never seen or heard of ProPride, I did not want them to install my hitch. Better that I install the hitch myself than pay someone else by the hour to read the manual and figure it out while I wait in the showroom.

I had assembled the stinger and installed the stinger, head, WD bars, and the front two yoke arms on the truck earlier in the week, pulling the WD bars out to the side and using a ratchet strap to hold them up. The process of installing the hitch in the dealer's parking lot took about an hour and a half.

There are several important things I learned.

* As others have found it is necessary to bend the propane line slightly to provide clearance for the yoke bracket.
* It is also necessary to make some accommodation for the interference between the propane tank cover and the WD jack brackets. I think I'll end up trimming part of the rod stock on the WD brackets so that the propane tank cover will fit as intended.
* On my trailer the curb-side WD jack had to be mounted a little further forward to clear an obstruction (a propane line bracket if memory serves) causing it to rub slightly against the propane tank cover. I put a rag in between to prevent damage on the trip home and will probably shim the front of the jack bracket a little for a more permanent repair.
* My hitch had excessive paint on the nuts welded onto the WD jack brackets. I had to chase the threads with a tap to make them usable. I caught it when trial fitting everything before going to the dealer, so it wasn't a big deal.
* The grooves on one of the WD bars for my hitch were cut too deep causing the metal retainer disc to fail to engage with the bushing. This could lead to loss of a WD bar when driving over a high point. Sean said this is a recent problem and sent me a larger retainer disc at no charge.
* Some sort of provision for extending the electric cable and safety chains is required even on new Airstreams where the factory chains are purportedly longer than they were in older production.

Also some shortcuts and facts to consider for an easier installation:

* I did not try to measure for placement of the WD jacks and yoke brackets. It is easier and quicker to line everything up by eye.
* In deference to my deep distrust of split-ring lockwashers I used loctite. I believe that especially on the U bolts this makes for a far more secure installation because the nut does not then rely on fastener tension to remain secure.

The performance of this hitch on the road far exceeded my expectations. The trailer pulled straight and true, and was not affected at all by the bow wave of passing semis even at 70 mph (I did have a problem with porpoising but that's because of worn-out rear shocks in the truck and has nothing to do with the hitch). Turning and backing performance was smooth and predictable.

Rigging wise I followed these steps:

1. Start with WD bars slack and tongue jack holding trailer up at the neutral point where there is no force up or down on the hitch.
2. Lower tongue jack an inch or two.
3. Tension WD bars until the tongue jack no longer carries any weight.

As imprecise as this sounds it gave me no measurable change in the front fender height. I checked axle weights at the closest CAT scales and added a little WD tension since the front axle was lighter than I wanted.
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Old 05-05-2010, 01:10 PM   #217
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Our ProPride Hitch Installation

We took delivery of our new 2010 Flying Cloud 27FB on 4/29. Like Jammer, the dealer did not offer ProPride as an option; they were willing to install it for $500-600. My husband, John, read the instructions, checked all the parts and decided to install it himself at the dealer's. We packed up the ProPride Hitch and the Enkay Rock Tamers and headed to the dealer's. Here are John's comments on installation which we have emailed to Sean. We both feel that Sean was incredibly responsive...at every step of the way. A note on ordering. This is not an off the shelf item. I placed the order on 4/12, took receipt on 4/28. Here are John's comments: -MaryD

Sean,
You will be pleased to know, I presume, that I did successfully complete the installation of the ProPride hitch on our new Airstream trailer. I very much appreciate your availability by phone, and your reassurance at moments of stress was invaluable to my success. As I indicated in one of our conversations, however, I believe that your instructions could use some improvements which, if incorporated, might free up your time to improve your handicap, or whatever it is that you might rather be doing. Some of these observations are going to find their way onto the Air Forums for the benefit of those who might acquire a ProPride before the instructions are revised. So, starting at the beginning, here goes:

Page 4, Pre-Installation. You should give a complete list of tools required at this point. I went through the instructions prior to heading off to pick up the trailer and install the hitch, and purchased those items that I identified as not being in my collection. But this is something of a hit-or-miss process, and a list up front would be very desirable. Also please note that not all sockets are the same; a number of procedures require a deep socket, and this distinction should be specified. Also, you supply the 15/16" socket called for in assembling the Hitch Bar, and this would be an opportunity to take some credit.

A list of things to be ready for would be desirable. Notably, in my case and I assume many others, being alerted to the need to shift the gas line running under the A-frame to accommodate the retaining U-bolts for the Weight Distribution Jacks would have eased my anxiety over this matter. In my case the gas line is held with pop riveted clamps and the rivets need to be drilled out to free the line, so add a competent drill to the tool list. The drill will also be required for the gas bottle tray.

Page 5, Adjustable Hitch Bar. This went reasonably well. I found step 4 confusing, read it a number of times, and still ended up having to flip the Hitch End. Iím not sure how to make this any clearer. Maybe a chart of the various conditions would help; Iím often better at graphic or charted information than textual information, while others are the opposite. Both approaches might help. Another possibility would be two line drawings illustrating the above and below conditions with the dimension "X" shown and an => "X" do this and < "X" do that sort of approach. The problem (to me) is that the words in the text become so repetitive, and "Hitch Bar Hitch End" & Hitch Bar Receiver End" so similar that oneís eyes glaze over. Simply stated, it needs cleaning up. The clarifying notes regarding the tilt adjustment pin and using the hole v. the slot in the side plate are useful.

Page 9, Weight Distribution Jacks. First problem we discussed on the phone: is the angled rod necessary? There was no way the jacks were going to clear the gas tank cover with the forward end intact. The Pre-Installation instructions suggest removing the tanks before starting, but I would not have caught this conflict had I done that. An instruction to check the clearance of the tanks &/or their cover would be beneficial at this point; then note that the piece can be cut off. And add a hacksaw to the tool list. Or simply eliminate the part. Depending on the depth of the A-frame members, the U-bolts may be too long for a standard socket; a deep socket should be specified. My solution was to cut ĺ inch off each threaded section to 1) accommodate my socket and 2) keep from goring myself on the protruding ends later. Another job for the hacksaw. Now consider this: your instructions presume that the installer is removing an existing hitch and installing the ProPride. That being the case, the installer is probably doing this job close to his/her complete tool assortment &/or shop facilities. We started with a new trailer and installed the ProPride as the original hitch. I brought the tools I thought Iíd need and a general assortment as well, but Iím doing the installation in the dealerís lot. I do not have a heavy equipment service truck. So try hacksawing off the end of a u-bolt without a vise. I improvised, and it worked OK: I turned the hitch bar assembly 90į in the receiver and stuck the leg of the u-bolt through the lynch-pin hole to steady it, holding the other let down against the hitch bar. I could have attached the jack using an open-end wrench, but there is insufficient clearance to hacksaw off the bolt end in place.

Page 10, Weight Distribution Jacks, continued. "Step 5: Insert the Ĺ X 3-1/2" Adjustment Bolt in the threaded hole on the inside of the bracket." Yeah, right! On my trailer there is a battery box inset between the arms of the A-frame; no way a 3-1/2" bolt is going to insert in anything. I fail to see how a 3-1/2" bolt could be required in any case, even if the A-frame were open C-channel, but a bolt that long is certainly not going to fit if there is a battery box in that space. So off to buy replacement bolts; 2-1/2" is plenty, and they have to be pre-threaded into the Jack almost to the limit before locating the Jack on the A-frame in order to allow the Jack to come forward enough to be within spec. Also, there are Ĺ" nuts included with no other apparent purpose, so I used them as jam nuts, but there is no mention of that application in the instructions. A further word of caution: a 2" bolt would have been sufficiently long for my application, even allowing space for the jam nut, if I had been able to get one threaded all the way to the head. I settled for a Grade 8 bolt threaded to within about Ĺ" of the head, and managed to get the clearance I needed. Of course, one could cut off the 3-1/2" bolt to the necessary length-another job for the hacksaw-but then there is the "how do I hang on to this while I cut it?" problem. If Iíd been at home, it would have been simple, but I was 125 miles away, in the dealerís lot without a service truck; am I beginning to sound repetitive?

A quick quality control issue here: I was test driving the adjustment bolts and one was rather stiff. I assumed it was the paint, and tried to crank it on in to no avail. I realized I was stripping the bolt threads. The problem was a blob of weld dribbled into the nut. Fortunately the dealerís shop was kind, and cleaned the thread with a Ĺ" tap, but I could have been in real trouble.

Another Jack issue is likely unique to a select few trailers, but mine is one of them (2010 Airstream Flying Cloud 27í FB, double bed). This model has a centered front storage compartment with a downward opening door. When open, this door lies flat on the battery box and extends almost to the leveling jack. With the Weight Distribution Jacks installed, the door does not open fully, limiting the size of what can be put into the compartment. Furthermore, when open, the door rests against the Weight Distribution Jacks. If the door is open when one is lowering the jacks, the door may become caught under the lower edge of the outer (upper) tube of the jack, and be pulled down with it. This puts a mush mark in the edge of the door, as I found out the hard way. (AAAgh! My brand new trailer!) Not your fault, but a conflict that may be common enough to warrant your calling attention to it, both in the Jack installation instructions and the unhitching instructions.

Page 11, Frame Bracket. We discussed this on the phone: while the photo on page 12 makes it clear, the instructions on page 11 do not make it clear that the holes in the gas tank tray need to be perpendicular to the axis of the trailer and not perpendicular to the axis of the A-frame member. Suddenly the holes are in the wrong place, and new ones need to be drilled. Since the error is not terribly great, the new holes need to intercept the original holes, which is bad drilling practice. So the new hole has to be put a little further away than necessary, then the intervening bit of metal filed out. Another tool required; I used three different files. Also, the drill bit of the appropriate size should be specified. A can of Black Rust-oleum enamel is a good addition as well for, although this is an error that will be hidden by the gas tanks, it is good to get a protective coating on all the holes, necessary and unnecessary. My gas tank tray is not welded down. But removing the tray and replacing it on top of the u-bolts would have been problematical. The tray appears to be held by self-tapping screws which are not likely long enough to span the gap that the u-bolts would create between the tray and the A-frame. And I do not think the tray would be stable on top of the U-bolts. On the other hand, now that the u-bolts go through the tray, the round bottoms of the gas tanks are a bit rocky because they hit the u-bolts. You warn about locating the u-bolts so that they do not interfere with the ring on the bottom of the tank, but not the tank bottom itself. Although the tank clamp holds the tanks down firmly, Iím thinking that some sort of shim to lift the tanks above the u-bolts would be beneficial.

Page 15, Weight distribution/Spring Bars. We discussed on the phone the fact that the links have six holes, not three (so there is no "middle" hole), but otherwise, this step went reasonably well.

Page 18, Yoke. This took some doing to get in; I had to shift the Frame Bracket (more holes). Annoying (and my own fault) but not difficult; only fussy. The issue with this step is that the ĺ" bolts cannot be torqued to 250 ft-lbs because the nuts are too soft. I set the torque wrench to 150 to start, and reached that level. However, as I upped the setting, the nuts rotated past the nut block; I rounded off one corner on each nut and stopped. Unless my brand new torque wrench is defective, these bolts are not torqued to 250. Setting the nut block clearance tighter might allow more torque. Using a set of feeler gauges (yet another tool) to fill the gap between the nut and the nut block might make it possible to get higher torque; I had a set with me but did not think of it at the time. A harder bolt-grade 5 or 8-might solve the problem. The question is whether 250 ft-lbs is a tested value or an assumed value; perhaps the solution is to reduce the spec. In any case, mine are as tight as they will go, and I am a bit concerned that the nuts have locked up against the lock washers enough that I will be unable to remove the bolts if the time comes.

Page 21, Final Installation Adjustments. Regarding instruction Number 3, torque issue as above. Regarding the note, you do not give a solution if the trailer is not reasonably level. I assume (and the dealer confirms) that one would adjust the setting on the Hitch Bar assembly, but that is not stated.

Page 23, Unhitching. Step 2 specifies that one should lower the tongue jack (raise the trailer) to take the weight off the back of the tow vehicle, but I was unable to discern where that point was. The geometry of the device is still a little unclear to me, but there seem to be three points at which one might be able to see a shift indicating that the tow vehicle is now being lifted rather than weighted down. These are at the hitch ball, where the hitch bar enters the main hitch unit, and where the hitch bar enters the receiver. All of these fit tightly enough that no shift is visible, although the hitch bar/receiver junction is somewhat obscured by the hitch mounted mud flap hanger. Pulling out the tow vehicle resulted in a significant drop of the tow vehicle; I was actually lifting my truck with the tongue jack. Taking a rough measure against my shin, I now have a better idea of what the level ought to be, but no precise measure. On my former trailer, using just a ball hitch, there was enough slack in both the ball joint and the receiver joint that one could have identified that change over point had it been necessary, but not with the ProPride so far as I can tell.

My installation was conducted over a period of 12 hours, but that includes time out to demonstrate my former trailer that I was delivering to a buyer, and a number of excursions for parts and tools. I estimate that, had everything been in place at the outset, I would have completed the task in about six hours. I may be a novice at hitch installation but I am tolerably mechanical; I think that a two-hour estimate for installation is overly optimistic.

These comments are not meant to be a criticism of the ProPride hitch, but rather to minimize the angst of installation. As I may have mentioned on the phone, a friend of mine used to manufacture model railroad kits. The hardest part was writing the instructions. Because he is an excellent molder already, has all the necessary tools on hand, and had designed the kit, assembly to him was very straight forward, but he always got complaints from buyers who found the instructions unclear. Writing instructions for the integration of a kit such as the ProPride with an assortment of variable existing products (the various different trailer designs) is clearly even more complex. I read the instructions start to finish before I even left home, and it was insufficient. There need to be more warning flags for installers, most of whom will be installing their first and last hitch.
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Old 05-05-2010, 01:53 PM   #218
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ok, 2 nice verbal reports...

good job jammers and maryD.

but WHERE are the pickchas!

no doubt the OFFICIALly supplied written instructions are...

not very polished...

there are some serious stylistic issues in the official word/picture document...

and some very cumbersome wording in that document 2.

which leads us TO this UNofficial guide.

the instructions provided here, in posts #7-21 and the #50s posts and the #150s posts

are ALL very useful...

so are the many photos added to this thread.

there are good examples of the bolt/nut block issue, the lp tank mods, gas line routing and so on...

essential TOOLS are also nicely covered here.
____________

MOST of the w/d hitches used require modification (movement) of the lp gas lines on streams ...

so if anything that's really an A/S issue, since they ROUTE the lines where brackets mount for several of the hitch makers.
____________

DIY installation is a good thing, since WE become quickly familiar with the parts.

but DEALER COST for HITCH INSTALL should be negotiated WITH the purchase price.

my old orange was installed BY the a/s dealer because i ASKED before purchase was finalized.

many other dealers DO install hitches too. certainly the ones they sell but again that's part of the negotiations...
___________

the pp is somewhat akin to an erector set with only ONE model built from the bits (hopefully )...
___________

it appears that some of the BITS included have changed or been revised over the 2+ years this thing has been on the market...

documenting those changes and variations HERE is a good thing.

i would EXPECT that another OFFICIAL pp install manual will need to be written eventually...

until then (and even after...) keep the reports coming, include ANY issues or personalized mods...

and throw up some pictures too!

in the UNofficial pp users guide....

cheers
2air'
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:58 PM   #219
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Tank cover and WD jacks.

This is what I did regarding the interference between WD jack's angle brackets and Tank cover.

On our trailer, the front of the tank was already resting on a couple wire bundles. I killed two birds with one stone by raising the tank cover with 8 stainless steel fender washers. This allowed the rear of the tank cover to rest on the WD jack bars and allowed more clearance for the wire bundles in front.

Regards,

Ken
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:09 PM   #220
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nice ken!

solved 2 issues with one fix.

for those of u UNaware of the tank cover/pinched wire issue...

it's covered in some detail in posts #14, 18, 33, 38 and 40 here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...tml#post515931

while the wiring on my rig has been RErouted to avoid the 'pinch'

the STACK o'washers will help with the pp jack brackets.

cheers
2air'
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:28 PM   #221
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Here is a photo of the way I trimmed the jacks.

Note that the arm supports are fully forward when the hitch is centered and move aft during turns. The hitch is turned at about 75 degrees in this photo. Therefore, though the supports will rub against the guards, they will not do so in the area under the tank cover.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:30 PM   #222
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And here is a photo of the dual clevis arrangement I used to lengthen the tow chains. It's a standard hardware store item. The stock airstream chains aren't long enough.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:16 PM   #223
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A word of caution. I lost one of the "keepers" that keep the over center latches in place. I am 99.9% certain I installed and checked both keepers before getting underway on a fairly long road trip a few weeks ago. When I made a fuel stop, I noticed one was gone, but the overcenter latch was still where it was supposed to be (ie latched). I found a hardware store close buy and got a temporary keeper in there.

My theory is during some of the rough stretches of road I went over, that the right safety chain got to dancing pretty good, hit the ring on the keeper and moved it to the up position and then on the next good bump, the keeper jumped ship.

Sean, can I possibly get a replacement?
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:03 AM   #224
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'01

r u referring to the linchpin (with integral spring ring) ?



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i've lost 1 or 2 of these over the last 5 years, probably from mislaying them...

OR someone pulling one out, when stopped.
__________

they are available at the big box stores, fastenal and many tractor supply stores or hardware shops...

SpeeCo Lynch Pin, 7/16 in., 2 pcs. - 1834062 | Tractor Supply Company

Lynch Pins | Fastenal

or online and in creative variations...

Lynchpin Manufacturer,Lynchpin Supplier,Lynchpin Exporter,Linchpin Manufacturers,Lynch Pin Suppliers,Lynchpin Exporters

carrying EXTRAS helps to insure none get lost.

these are also used on the classic 'streams to secure the bumper/wet drawer, in a smaller size.

cheers
2air'
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