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Old 07-16-2018, 05:52 PM   #1
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2004 34' Classic
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Tow Bars???

I need help.

In preparation for my upcoming trip next week from Texas to Florida I have been reviewing every video I can find to be sure I have what I need to tow my 2004 AS Classic 34 LG purchased used a month ago.

I bought a 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 with tow package, and I also purchased a CURT 45900 Adjustable Channel Mount
• Mounts on trailer hitches with a 2" x 2" receiver tube opening
• Adjustable channel mount allows for precise trailer leveling
• Fits 2" and 2 5/16" couplers and accepts up to 14,000 lbs. (depending on ball)
• Shank can be flipped for a max rise of 5 1/4" and drop of 6"
• Two hitch pin holes provide shank lengths of 11" or 12"

The videos show hooking up tow bars... there were no tow bars in the rear compartment of the AS (there is a huge black iron thing that looks like it could be a jack). There is no hook up hardware on the A-Frame--there are a couple of small holes on the outside of the A-Frame.

The manual discusses hooking up the tow bars, and most of the videos do also. My question is--do I need tow bars? Any AS Classic 34 owners out there?
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:19 PM   #2
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Spend some time on the hitch threads. What you purchased is an adjustable hitch shank and likely is not going to get used.

You need a PPP weight distribution and sway control hitch - Hensley or Propride. .... $3000+/-500 - best - eliminates sway - geometric design that allows TV to turn, but not the coach.

Alternatively, you need a Reese straightline dual cam weight distribution and sway control hitch. $600 - historic good solution for an Airstream.

Alternatively you need a Blue Ox Sway Pro weight distribution and sway control hitch. New design that is gaining popularity. Read cautions carefully. $600 - bars are flat and must be flexed about 2" to eliminate sway.

Those hitches have tow bars included in their design. Videos are available to show you what they are. Tow bars are round tapered springs that when preloaded transfer tongue weight from the rear axle of the tow vehicle to the front axle of the tow vehicle and the rear axle of the trailer.

If your coach has not been inspected, do not take it on the road. Read the tire threads. The loss of a tire tread will do enough damage to the wheel well to set you back $3-5000 if you stop soon. Verify the hubs have been packed and the brakes have been serviced, adjusted and tested.

Much more to know and you may have it all covered. My apology if you do. Research, research, research. Stay put until you know more. Pat
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:28 PM   #3
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https://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-...on-systems.htm

That video may help. Pat
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:35 PM   #4
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http://www.canamrv.ca/towing-expertise/videos/

These folks are too far away from you to run over and see them, but they know how to tow. Watch the videos and give them a call. They may know of an acceptable shop in your area that can help you. They often recommend the Eaz-lift WDH with two brake pad sway control struts. It is about $300 and when used conservatively is effective. Pat

Worth reading the hints. http://www.canamrv.ca/blog/category/hitch-hints/
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:41 AM   #5
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Hitches and tires

Thanks for the info. I bought the AS from a large RV dealer "as is." However, I believe they did inspect it--they put in two new batteries, but they did not provide an inspection check list. The tires aren't new, but they look adequate? See photo.

I will look into buying the weight distribution hitch--I will also need the hardware to attach to the A-Frame--in the sunshine this morning I see where there had been something there previously.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:26 AM   #6
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After looking at what you bought, you do not have a weight distribution hitch. The bars are part of the hitch, so basically, you need to start over.
Probably the most popular hitch for Airstreams is the Equalizer. Most dealers sell and install that.
You can also find Blue Ox, Reese, Fastway, and a number of good reasonably priced hitches. If you're handy and can follow instructions, you can install it yourself, but I'd recommend having a dealer do it the first time.
Down the road, if you feel the need, you can venture into the uber expensive PP or Hensleys.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I have a Equalizer, and I never felt I needed anything more.)
Since you're buying a 2004 AS, I can't see recommending a hitch that breaks the bank. Equalizer sells for about $400. Installation will be another $300 at a dealer.

Quote:
The tires aren't new, but they look adequate?
You can't really tell by looking at the tread. Trailer tires hardly ever wear out, but they die from Sun exposure and sitting. There's a date code on the tire - 4 digits like "DOT 1308"
That means the tire was made in the 13th week of 2008.
If the tires are older than 5 years, I'd replace them. Sorry.
I know buying any RV hits the pocketbook hard, mostly at the beginning, but it is rewarded by safe travels down the road.
(I'm still spending like a drunken sailor, but I see the end in sight! It's like new toys at Christmas!)
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:40 AM   #7
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Thank you very much for the information. I will check out the date on the tires... they are probably 14 years old--the age of the AS.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:24 AM   #8
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I'm checking into getting the RV dealer/service to install my WDH--they have a Husky Weight Distribution Hitch; Round Bar; 1200 Pound Tongue Weight for $495 (was $695)--are you familiar with Husky brand?

More Info:

Weight Distribution Hitch with Bolt-Together Ball Mount/Shank Assembly
and Sway Control.

8” total height adjustment
Rise: 6-1/4″; Drop: 1-3/4″
Shank length: 10″
Ball to pin hole: 12-1/8″
Dual sway control platform
Raised ball platform for greater coupler clearance
1-1/4″ hole-on-head assembly requires 1-1/4″ shank on trailer ball
Ready for safe towing right out of the box!
Weight Distribution Hitch rated for trailers up to stated tongue weight
Dual Friction Sway Control brake pad system to diminish sway from windy conditions
and passing vehicles (recommended on trailers over 16 ft. in length)
Trailer Ball pre-assembled to Weight Distribution Hitch
Sway Control Ball attached
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:29 AM   #9
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Husky WDH

Here is a photo:
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:09 AM   #10
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Becky B

That is a good looking set up. That's what we run with also.

Curt and ETrailer have great YouTube videos of how to set the weight distribution system up properly in which steps.

Make sure they show you how to get those bars in. It is not hard to put the bars in, it is just a little bit fiddly when you don't know the system. The receiver is a bit awkard and heavy. The bars go in at a slight down tilt at about the 4oclock mark. Chains need to hang straight and will be firm when cranking the hook up. If the hook goes up too easy bring them back down and go to the next chain link.

Of course none of this makes any sense if you haven't done it before or watched the videos yet, sorry for going on.

You can also purchase a lift assist metal bar that will help you in getting the hooks lifted up to their upright position.

Safe travels
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:34 AM   #11
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BeckyBee,

Congrats on the new trailer.

One suggestion if you haven’t yet, try every possible system before leaving. All electrics 12 volt, 120 volt, check batteries and connections, fresh water, grey and black tanks etc. every possible system and it’s function.

Any history on the trailer brake and bearing inspection?

Post your concerns if any. Lots easier to address from home base compared to out on the road.

Safe travels

Gary
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeckyBee View Post
I'm checking into getting the RV dealer/service to install my WDH--they have a Husky Weight Distribution Hitch; Round Bar; 1200 Pound Tongue Weight for $495 (was $695)--are you familiar with Husky brand?
I use a very similar system called Eaz-Lift which was installed by Can-Am Airstream. Don't let the low price fool you, it is an excellent system of WD and Sway control.

If installed and tuned properly with the flexible WD bars it will help transfer some of the tongue weight (~1/3)to your front steering axle and some (~1/3) back to the trailer axles. Those bars also help reduce the stresses that can be transferred back to your trailer with an Equalizer WD system. The Husky anti-sway bars need to be cranked down tightly to get proper function and IMO work better than the Equalizer anti-sway. I remove them when going in to a campground and backing in to a campsite.
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:44 AM   #13
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Do you have a brake controller?
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:42 AM   #14
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Thanks, Gary. Everything checks out so far. There is no history info available that I know of--do not know the former owner's name/address/phone. Will see if I can get that.
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