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Old 06-04-2009, 08:15 PM   #85
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JV,

Your Navigator should sit level. The main point of weight distribution hitches are so that the vehicle hunkers down the same amount front and rear. So say you measure the fender wells to the pavement as 32" with the trailer not connected. You then hitch up and find that the back is at 28" now and the front at 30". You play with the hitch setup until you get it where all four wheel wells are now 29" off the ground. You've now 'equalized" your load on all four wheels.

If the trailer is level but the Navigator is tail low, you probably need a drop hitch to keep the trailer the same but "raise" the tail of the Navigator.

No matter what brand of hitch you have, the instructions for the Equal-I-Zer are pretty good for explaining this and you can find them online. I only recommend the Eq because I own one and have set it up and found their directions pretty good. As well, do a search on here and find my thread from about two years back where I detailed the setup of an Eq. I cover all this in painful detail

Take care and see ya on the road!
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:21 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by jvhawkins View Post
I am a new user towing a 28 ft Safari with a Lincoln Navigator with automatic air bags but with an on/off switch on the passenger side slightly under the panel and on the right wall in front of the door. I followed the manual as to the set up instruction that you quote but after I set the vehicle level with the load in place, luggage, people, etc. and it leveled out then I turned off the auto air switch. Then lowered the Airstream tongue onto the hitch ball. The load is about 950 pounds max. The Airstream rides level but the rear of the Navigator is down. I have stabilizer etc. It towed 350 miles with no problems but my headlights are affected. Is this the right way or are the Airstream and the tow vehicle both supposed to be level to have proper weight distribution? The front axel of my airstream shows a greater load than the rear axel.
Jim Hawkins in Calfornia
The ball height on your tow vehicle, must be lower in order to make the tow vehicle become level, as well as that will also allow you to transfer some tongue weight to the front axle of your tow vehicle, as it should be.

As your rig presently sits, you have remove front axle weight, which invites loss of control.

Andy
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:22 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post
Steve, what is your tow vehicle? My LANDYOT radius rods were custom made by a machinist who turned Excursion radius rods into a cottage industry. The sway bar was by Hellwig.

At the very least, I'd recommend the Hellwig rear sway bar on any tow vehicle.

Roger
OK Roger, but that is not the type of radius rods I was thinking of. I was thinking of a panhard rod which is used to keep the rear end housing from moving side to side under the frame of the truck.

My TV is an '07 GMC EX Cab 1/2 ton, and I tow an '01 25' Excella. I really don't have any "problems", but you probably know how it is....it could always be better. That's why these hitch threads are so interesting to me. My truck has some fairly large overload leafs, and I doubt if there is any axle windup, but I guess it's possible. The truck is very stable...almost sports car stable without the trailer.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:36 PM   #88
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". . . only observed best practices"

Definitions are always the hardest part.

And I seem to always forget to indicate that -- however strongly I feel about towing -- "best practices" means that no hitch rigging is permanent in my mind. And I am willing to try various sets (I wish 2Air had reported more of this observations -- numbers vs conditions -- with his truck & trailer)


Again, when the 34' acted up . . it was the truck suspension causing the problems . . doing anything other than holding the steering straight caused lots of problems.

The TV is often the problem, IMO. High COG in a TV is a real problem not well-addressed. Wheelbase is cited more often, and I DOUBT that it is more important past 120" wb.

As to trailer type I do not agree that a flatbed trailer is a viable candidate unless the COG can be determined more accurately. Travel trailers tend to have a highly-placed COG versus a utility trailer, and trailer COG (heighth) is key to understanding recovery from sway (as I see it) when we discuss this. Low COG trailers are going to have more time to recover. We do, do we not, travel with full fresh water tanks to offset that roof air-conditioner, etc.

I watch trailers of all sorts on the roads here in South Texas, every kind you can imagine and more (oilfield companies have some highly interesting, expensive rigs), and watching incipient sway is a favorite pastime when driving. I.S. meaning the wind is tipping that booger to one side (we have days, weeks of constant 25 mph winds off the coast, with gusts to 40) and suspension travel is greatly reduced. You should see the clueless -- ambling along at 70 mph with that SOB canted over -- they can't feel a thing through the trucks steering (and I won't say they are always from Manitoba).

What do TT's have, 4" suspension travel, on average? A/S has more?

There can be a real apples-and-oranges problems without sorting for trailer design.


Same for trucks. My 3/4T Dodge diesel has independent front suspension and power-assisted rack & pinion steering. The 4WD version has a straight axle with a worm-gear box. There is -- can be -- a big difference in control for two otherwise similar trucks when precise feel counts.

Etc.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:57 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post
Thanks Richard! I had forgotten that. I haven't looked at one since they were first introduced.

That single-tube tongue also presents a huge problem. And re-visiting the design of the Reese single-bar WDH, I'm not even sure that's an option for you as that snap-up bracket is designed to fit across the top of an A-frame tongue...

You may not have any WDH options for your Basecamp without some significant modifications.

Roger
I've looked at the PDF schematic of the single bar, and if the chain hanger would fit under the front portion of my propane/ac cover, it might work. I can't find the dimensions of it anywhere. The bracket looks like it would go over my single beam, but I'd have to lift the cover to install it... and hooking it up would mean a little bend and stretch to get under the cover to connect the chain. There would be no way to lever it up... it would have to be done with the trailer jack.

And speaking of... my trailer jack is buggered... does anyone recognize the one in the photo posted? It looks much better than the POS one that came with mine.

Thanks!
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:08 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Ford recently did this to test their version of anti-sway. Without getting into that debate, I only bring it up because they found a reliable way to induce sway conditions:
They had a semi pass the tow vehicle/trailer combo, and had the driver of the tow vehicle remove his foot from the accelerator at that point.
Hmm that alone is good information.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:11 PM   #91
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Check my set up please

Anybody see anything out of whack with this set up. I just bought and pulled home like this. Seemed to pull great with no issues. Only went about 40 miles. The PO had a Suburban about the same hight as my C-1500 so we set it up that way. I have no experience with a Hensley.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:15 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
OK Roger, but that is not the type of radius rods I was thinking of. I was thinking of a panhard rod which is used to keep the rear end housing from moving side to side under the frame of the truck.

My TV is an '07 GMC EX Cab 1/2 ton, and I tow an '01 25' Excella. I really don't have any "problems", but you probably know how it is....it could always be better. That's why these hitch threads are so interesting to me. My truck has some fairly large overload leafs, and I doubt if there is any axle windup, but I guess it's possible. The truck is very stable...almost sports car stable without the trailer.
Steve, the LandYot radius rods were, in fact, designed to keep the axle centered under the truck, and worked as advertised. They only allow the axle to move up and down, not to twist or move sideways under the truck. The Excursion leaf spring stack was considerably softer than the SuperDuty spring stack for the cushy ride quality.

I don't know if anyone makes such a thing for the GMC trucks... I'd think that their spring stack ought to hold the axle well enough too.

Roger
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:28 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirHeadsRus View Post
Anybody see anything out of whack with this set up. I just bought and pulled home like this. Seemed to pull great with no issues. Only went about 40 miles. The PO had a Suburban about the same hight as my C-1500 so we set it up that way. I have no experience with a Hensley.
Joe,

I tow a 30' Airstream Classic with a Hensley....your set-up looks good to me! However, you might consider going through the Hensley manual, if you received one from the PO; if you didn't, give Hensley a call and get one. The Hensley hitch require regular lubrication, and I imagine the PO may have let things go for awhile.

Another thing....crawl under your truck and check out the receiver....we have a GMC Yukon XL, and we upgraded ours to something larger with a few more attachment points.

I love my Hensley....towing a large trailer is much more relaxing with it!

Cheers
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:38 PM   #94
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Another point to consider is that the point of a WDH is to distribute the hitch weight of the trailer back across all three axles in the rig... that means you'll be stressing the Basecamp's frame and placing yet more weight on it's axle. With the pipe frame tongue, I wonder how wise an idea that really is? Is the axle sufficient to handle the extra weight as well?

I confess that I have no practical knowledge of the Basecamp having seen only one on a dealer's lot right after they were introduced... but these might be some issues that are food for thought. It'd be a real bummer to get your new WDH all figured out, set up, and installed only to have the weight transfer break the trailer's frame or axle.

Roger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday View Post
I've looked at the PDF schematic of the single bar, and if the chain hanger would fit under the front portion of my propane/ac cover, it might work. I can't find the dimensions of it anywhere. The bracket looks like it would go over my single beam, but I'd have to lift the cover to install it... and hooking it up would mean a little bend and stretch to get under the cover to connect the chain. There would be no way to lever it up... it would have to be done with the trailer jack.

And speaking of... my trailer jack is buggered... does anyone recognize the one in the photo posted? It looks much better than the POS one that came with mine.

Thanks!
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:57 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvhawkins View Post
I am a new user towing a 28 ft Safari with a Lincoln Navigator with automatic air bags but with an on/off switch on the passenger side slightly under the panel and on the right wall in front of the door. I followed the manual as to the set up instruction that you quote but after I set the vehicle level with the load in place, luggage, people, etc. and it leveled out then I turned off the auto air switch. Then lowered the Airstream tongue onto the hitch ball. The load is about 950 pounds max. The Airstream rides level but the rear of the Navigator is down. I have stabilizer etc. It towed 350 miles with no problems but my headlights are affected. Is this the right way or are the Airstream and the tow vehicle both supposed to be level to have proper weight distribution? The front axel of my airstream shows a greater load than the rear axel.
Jim Hawkins in Calfornia
Hi, jvhawkins. With out going into a great deal of explaining of how it works, for me, I will first say that while hitching and towing I never turn off my air suspension switch. Reading your statement about how you do it, you need to turn the air suspension switch back on as soon as your trailer is connected to your Navigator so it can do it's job of leveling out your vehicle. Better yet do it like I do, leave the switch on.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:15 PM   #96
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Hi Bob,

I was thinking of your setup on the way home through Petaluma tonight. There was a family with a lincoln just like yours. They were pulling a Jayco travel trailer which was probably 30 feet long. They were using only the ball hitch with no weight distribution or sway control. The lincoln was really straining and doing its best to stay level (i wish i had a picture) The front of the trailer was pitched down as the rear of the truck was aswell. Im sure it had the air suspension on as it surely would do damage to it had it not been. My observation was that there was no way for the suspension to keep up with the extreme tongue weight of this trailer. The whole thing looked crazy. Your setup looks perfect and he could learn alot if he just glanced over to yours and asked himself what the heck is wrong with his?!

Vin
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:32 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post
Steve, the LandYot radius rods were, in fact, designed to keep the axle centered under the truck, and worked as advertised. They only allow the axle to move up and down, not to twist or move sideways under the truck. The Excursion leaf spring stack was considerably softer than the SuperDuty spring stack for the cushy ride quality.

I don't know if anyone makes such a thing for the GMC trucks... I'd think that their spring stack ought to hold the axle well enough too.

Roger
Roger,

The thing that got me to thinking about a Panhard rod is Ford's advertisement about the 150 having wider spring leafs than GM trucks, and the only advantage that could give is slightly improved side to side stability. How much, I'm not sure.

In the mean time, I've done some rudametary testing on my truck in the driveway applying side pressure to the rear bumper while watching the axle, and I believe any sideways movement there is, is in the tires. The truck is equipped with the 20" tires and wheels.
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:02 PM   #98
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Roger,

The thing that got me to thinking about a Panhard rod is Ford's advertisement about the 150 having wider spring leafs than GM trucks, and the only advantage that could give is slightly improved side to side stability. How much, I'm not sure.

In the mean time, I've done some rudametary testing on my truck in the driveway applying side pressure to the rear bumper while watching the axle, and I believe any sideways movement there is, is in the tires. The truck is equipped with the 20" tires and wheels.
That's interesting, Steve. I've never really heard anyone complain about rear-axle steering under the GM trucks like the Excursions had though... and in fact the SuperDuty Fords didn't have it either as their spring stacks were much heavier than that under the Excursion. Before LandYot started building his radius rods, one common fix for the Excursions was to buy the SuperDuty spring stack and install it.

It's interesting that your 20" wheels have sidewall flex... are the tires E rated? E rated tires can have much higher inflations than typical D rated, and inflation is dependent on loading... which gives stiffer sidewalls as necessary.

Roger
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