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Old 06-05-2009, 03:11 PM   #99
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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
Roger, The tires are only XL (Extra Load) rated passenger tires. Max pressure with them is 44 pounds, but I only inflate them that much when I pull the trailer, and then only in the rear, 35 in the front. The spec air pressure is 30 front and rear. Even with only 30 pounds, they ride very firm.

I don't believe this size tire is made in even "D" load rating. (275/55 20)
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:38 PM   #100
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Roger, The tires are only XL (Extra Load) rated passenger tires.
Hmmm... Ok, Steve, I confess that I know absolutely nothing about any kind of tires larger than 16s... so maybe without doing my due diligence research I'm all wet here, but I think before I started messing with anything in the suspension that I'd get some conventional heavy-duty truck tires on that GMC for towing... probably on 16" wheels.

They undoubtedly wouldn't have the "cool" factor of the 20s, but it would be interesting to see if that improved your handling while towing.

Roger
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:22 PM   #101
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Roger, The tires are only XL (Extra Load) rated passenger tires. Max pressure with them is 44 pounds, but I only inflate them that much when I pull the trailer, and then only in the rear, 35 in the front. The spec air pressure is 30 front and rear. Even with only 30 pounds, they ride very firm.

I don't believe this size tire is made in even "D" load rating. (275/55 20)
I am familiar with P rated XL tires and use them on our 23'. They work great with 36lbs of air.

On our car (TV) we are using 215/55/17 ultra high performance tires (they do not have a XL designation). Normal pressure of 33lbs. When towing I go to 35lbs in the front and 37lbs in the rear. This is a very stable combination.

I'm thinking at 44lbs in the rear there is too much pressure and the tire is bowing at the bottom. Maybe too much in the front too?? The trailer only adds 150 to 200lbs of weight to each tire when the WDH is set up right so really the tires should not need that much more air when towing.

Suggest experimenting with less air. See what difference it makes.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:45 PM   #102
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1 plane or 2?

To Rednax's post:

Does trailer sway occur in one plane or two?

I was thinking it was only in one plane; what I'll call Yaw.
But, if it's actually a combination of two planes (like I'm now thinking maybe it is), then it's a combination of yaw and roll.

Side area would really only matter as far as "sail area" to catch wind for the side perturbation. But we could easily rig up a travel trailer for this test.

Actually, I would NOT use an Airstream if I were doing this test. I'd use a white box (preferably a disposable one as we might destroy it) because it would be more affected by wind than a streamlined trailer.

But that being said, it might actually be cheaper to buy a used TT than a utility trailer for the test. Get an older 30' or so Holiday Rambler or something similar. Something with a heavy enough frame to stand up to the testing without disentigrating (assuming we don't wreck it). You could also mount the movable weights up high so as to amplify the effects of CG.

Heck, I'd go ahead and make the CG higher than any rational person would ever be likely to get. Stack the deck against us so that the results are magnified from what a proper operator should encounter.

Guys, we just might be onto something here. This could be done for not a super ludicrous amount of money.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:46 PM   #103
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I am familiar with P rated XL tires and use them on our 23'. They work great with 36lbs of air.

On our car (TV) we are using 215/55/17 ultra high performance tires (they do not have a XL designation). Normal pressure of 33lbs. When towing I go to 35lbs in the front and 37lbs in the rear. This is a very stable combination.

I'm thinking at 44lbs in the rear there is too much pressure and the tire is bowing at the bottom. Maybe too much in the front too?? The trailer only adds 150 to 200lbs of weight to each tire when the WDH is set up right so really the tires should not need that much more air when towing.

Suggest experimenting with less air. See what difference it makes.
Thanks, but I've run them at 30 & 35, 35 & 35, and 35 & 40, and the higher pressure works better. We had no issues last year with the 23' and the Curt hitch with a friction sway control, but the 25' we have now is not as stable. I think it's just because it is about 1600 more pounds.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:49 PM   #104
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Thanks, but I've run them at 30 & 35, 35 & 35, and 35 & 40, and the higher pressure works better. We had no issues last year with the 23' and the Curt hitch with a friction sway control, but the 25' we have now is not as stable. I think it's just because it is about 1600 more pounds.
Ok Steve. You have been there and done it.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:50 PM   #105
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I think it's just because it is about 1600 more pounds.
It's all about sidewall stiffness. If your sidewalls wallow when loaded, so does the tow vehicle.

Roger
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:58 PM   #106
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The tires are rated at 2403 lbs each (4806 per axle), the truck rated for 3950 on the rear axle, and it weighs 3500 on the rear axle loaded with trailer in tow.

The numbers tell me it should be OK, and it is really, but who wouldn't want more stability, and more power. Like the C&W song...."I ain't never had too much fun!"
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:16 PM   #107
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guys and gals,
I've been the typical "lurker" for about a month while my wife and I are exploring the purchase of an AS. I usually spend hours and hours reading through sites and soak up as much as I can before making this decision.

We have an FJ Cruiser, SE TRD edition with a tow rating of 5000. We are looking at a 19' Bambi and I'm just curious: with that rig, what would be the best hitch and tow set up? I'd love to get a new TV and a 23 footer, but the FJ TRD (only 3200 made) is what we'll be using.

I really appreciate all of the discussion on tow vehicles and hitch set ups, but I just can't seem to find any consensus on what type of anti-sway and rig set up to get...I want to be safe and we're thinking about a long first trip from Florida to Wyoming and Montana...

Thanks in advance for any suggestions (and please don't flame me...I've really read and searched nearly every post on this great site.)

Cheers...

Karl
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:44 AM   #108
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Good question, Karl, but you probably won't find a consensus. Any of the major brand anti-sway hitches will work for you. My experience has been with the Reese Dual Cam, and that would be my recommendation for a lot of reasons. Properly set up, it will meet you needs nicely. Recognize that towing with a short-wheelbase vehicle like the FJ Cruiser is certainly do-able, but presents it's own set of challenges. When things go wrong, they go wrong much more quickly and are much harder to respond to and correct. You'll really need to stay on your toes...

Have a great time!

Roger
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:54 AM   #109
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guys and gals,
I've been the typical "lurker" for about a month while my wife and I are exploring the purchase of an AS. I usually spend hours and hours reading through sites and soak up as much as I can before making this decision.

We have an FJ Cruiser, SE TRD edition with a tow rating of 5000. We are looking at a 19' Bambi and I'm just curious: with that rig, what would be the best hitch and tow set up? I'd love to get a new TV and a 23 footer, but the FJ TRD (only 3200 made) is what we'll be using.

I really appreciate all of the discussion on tow vehicles and hitch set ups, but I just can't seem to find any consensus on what type of anti-sway and rig set up to get...I want to be safe and we're thinking about a long first trip from Florida to Wyoming and Montana...

Thanks in advance for any suggestions (and please don't flame me...I've really read and searched nearly every post on this great site.)

Cheers...

Karl
Karl,

While I have no first hand experience towing with the FJ, I've seen people doing it and talked with them. The folks I talked with were towing a vintage Bambi (16 foot), and they weigh about 2000 pounds. They were towing without a WD hitch.

However a modern 19' will amost double that weight (about 3800 dry), and I know they are considerably bigger...not just the 3 foot additional length, but wider and taller also than the vintage Bambi.

My first thought would be a Hensly or ProPride, but then there's the additional weight issue, and you are going to be close to the limit already when you get packed and loaded.

This is just my opinion, and I'm going to stick my neck out here, but I think I would go with a ROUND BAR Reese, equipped with the optional dual cam sway control, with an ADDITIONAL friction sway control.

I know you will get lots of arm chair quarterbacking on this, but my reasons for this hitch selection are: 1. It is resonably light weight. 2.The round bars will ride quite a bit smoother than the standard Reese trunion bars, and 3. The combination of the dual cams and the additional friction sway control should handle the sway issues nicely.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Edit: and one more thing....if you decide to go with any type of Reese with the dual cams, pay special attention to the proper setup, and even more especially, the adjustment of the cams. The down side of the newer Reese system is it is technically difficult, and you must be persistant to get it adjusted corectly. And, if the cams are not adjusted correctly, the anti sway system just does not work well.
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:54 AM   #110
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With such a short wheelbase, I would do whatever you can to position the hitch ball as close to the rear bumper as possible.

I drilled a new hole in the hitch shank after shoving it as far as possible into the receiver. If you shorten the distance from the ball to the rear axle by two inches, you effectively lengthen your wheelbase by four inches.
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:09 AM   #111
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Anyone ever use this rese hitch? High Performance Reese SC Weight Distribution System, 600 lbs. TW / 10,000 lbs. GTW 66152 : Trailer hitch bike rack and trailer hitches - etrailer.com

Seems to incorporate a friction system like the Equal-I-zer hitch. Do you suppose Reese has decided there is a better way than the dual cams??????
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:41 AM   #112
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Karl, ANY manufacturer of a WD hitch with anti-sway will do the job. There is a greater propensity for shorter Airstreams to sway just because they are lighter than the big rigs, and IIRC, the 19' is a single axle. I wouldn't be concerned so much about the brand as much as getting a knowledgeable installer to set it up correctly. One of our wise sage members recommended that you go to a horse trailer dealer for the set up. They are used to dealing with dynamic loads and precious cargo (ever notice the bond between a teenage girl and her horse?). They can get you set up properly. Also, they can advise you on the proper hitch system for your tow vehicle and Airstream. So if you are buying locally enough that you can buy the trailer and tow it carefully to a horse trailer dealer then do so. Or get the horse trailer dealer to recommend a hitch, have it installed by the Airstream dealer and take it to the horse trailer dealer for fine tuning. Essentially, that is what I did and got terrific results. But, my trailer is different and my tow vehicle is totally different from what you are looking at. After trading tow vehicles I took my rig back to the horse trailer dealer and had him re-fine tune it for the new truck and it tows divinely.

Also, before spending the big bucks for the HA or Pro-pride, both of which are excellent hitches, BTW, you might consider putting that money toward upgrading your tow vehicle if you really have your heart set on a 23 footer. Just a thought.
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