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Old 10-13-2009, 12:10 PM   #15
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So, it looks like this might be a Reese hitch??? The shank seems to stick pretty far out from the bumper ...

Anyway... have you gone through the hitch adjustment/set-up for use with your truck? I have a similar hitch and had to completely readjust it when I switched trucks. I'm not saying that this process will alleviate the issue(s) that may be caused by your truck modification (shackle thing), but you should adjust the hitch properly none-the-less. If you can find the mfg of your hitch, there's likely a pdf on the web detailing how to set it (ball height, angle and chains). I'm attaching a pdf for the hitch I'm using - a draw-tite hitch. The instructions should be similar. There's a ton of information on this forum about hitch adjustment, especially about how to verify the trunion bars are positioned to shift the loads properly on the TV and TT axles. You can take this as far as you want: from making simple measurements and *eye-ing* the set-up to weighing your rig at CAT scales.

http://www.bsaohio.com/instructs/N7901.pdf

Laura
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:11 PM   #16
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truck too low for trailer

Greetings wn2fly!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstream ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wn2fly View Post
not sure if this shows the problem - we were told yesterday the springs are shot and their was a 'shackle' put on the truck to lower it...when the truck is on even ground it does not appear to be lower in the back but apparently it is...so the plan is to remove that shackle and change out to heavy duty springs...worst part is that it cant be done for a few days and its kinda spendy...we are willing to turn the hitch upside down though-thanks for all the feedback...we are beginners and learning trial and error -we bought this truck and was told it was tow ready
You might want to reconsider replacing the stock springs with heavy duty . . . Airstreams behave better and live longer without body-to-frame separation if the tow vehicle has more subtle springing. I know that I would step down from the heavy duty springs on my K2500 Suburban if I were to replace its factory springs. You didn't mention the length or weight of your Excella . . . given its vintage, unless it is a 34' tri-axle, you shouldn't require heavy duty springs for a good tow - - - better to make up the difference in hitch spring bars(IMHO); and even then, you will likely need a spring bar rated at less than the actual tongue weight of the trailer to give your Airstream the ride that it wants.

Good luck with your setup!

Kevin
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:51 PM   #17
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I have the 2004 version of your truck and it tows perfectly. I'd suggest getting your truck back to original specs.

Pat
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:13 PM   #18
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What's going on at the other end of the truck, ie, the front? Does the truck sit level by itself? It should no matter what its height. If it has been lowered in the back, it should have been lowered in the front too. Changing the front height (down or back up) is a lot more difficult (expensive) than the back.

I could be wrong, but Alaska does not jump to the front of my mind when I hear lowered truck, especially 3/4 ton. Find a similar truck and compare them side by side.

Talk to several knowledgeable suspension people. A visit to a dealership may be in order.
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:40 PM   #19
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Talking more confusion

to make things a little more confusing we got a 2nd opinion from a truck shop that was servicing rvs and they said the springs are fine but its the shackle that needs to be adjusted and that will raise up the back end about 4 inches...if that still isnt enough, they will be prepared to add a something else to give it a little more spring-this estimate was much cheaper than the other and sounds more appealing and we will try that but they cant do the work until thursday...the truck has 93 k miles diesel and we we are being told that the springs shouldnt be worn out at this age...
and no, we do not see low rider trucks in alaska...the other truck we have is a dodge ram and side by side, there was a height difference but we assumed it was natural, never owning a chevy before....now we think we do see a slight diference and the back may sit slightly lower...its not a huge difference and difficult to find perfected level ground to look at it...we just bought at 31ft excella...thus far the few nights we have been adjusting to it and settling in and are thrilled with it...we plan to winter over in this traveling throughout the south...we are in cape cod at the moment until the truck issue is fixed then heading to north carolina...
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:57 PM   #20
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Stock chevy spring shackle's do not have an adjustment. IMHO, go OEM if, the springs are good you should have 20+in. of ball height.

Take a few more photo's of how it's set up now, it's hard to guess what you are working with.

No need to add "something"
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Check this thread....http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...les-34603.html

Worked at a Chevy store, have seen quite a number of bad receiver's, cracked welds and poor build/design. Replace with good aftermarket. It's one of the first things I did when we got the 06 Burb. It is not restricted to just the 02's

HD springs not a good option, when towing a Stream, Just make sure the shocks and tires are in good condition and the trailer is level when towing loaded.
Agree with Robert about not putting in heavy duty springs. Airstreams like a cushy ride so standard springs should be fine. Also he's dead on about the hitch receiver being crap. A good aftermarket one isn't horribly expensive.

Good luck with the learning curve - we've all been there, done that. Look for a forum rally in your area - you'll meet wonderful people and really accelerate the learning process.

Paula
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:32 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wn2fly View Post
to make things a little more confusing we got a 2nd opinion from a truck shop that was servicing rvs and they said the springs are fine but its the shackle that needs to be adjusted and that will raise up the back end about 4 inches...if that still isnt enough, they will be prepared to add a something else to give it a little more spring-this estimate was much cheaper than the other and sounds more appealing and we will try that but they cant do the work until thursday...the truck has 93 k miles diesel and we we are being told that the springs shouldnt be worn out at this age...
and no, we do not see low rider trucks in alaska...the other truck we have is a dodge ram and side by side, there was a height difference but we assumed it was natural, never owning a chevy before....now we think we do see a slight diference and the back may sit slightly lower...its not a huge difference and difficult to find perfected level ground to look at it...we just bought at 31ft excella...thus far the few nights we have been adjusting to it and settling in and are thrilled with it...we plan to winter over in this traveling throughout the south...we are in cape cod at the moment until the truck issue is fixed then heading to north carolina...
I would tend to agree with the second opinion , the springs in an '05 should be in good condition unless the truck was beat to death , and that would show in other areas also. The stock chevys sit a little nose low , many owner have put in longer shackles to level the truck. Replace the shackles with stock and the truck should be good to go.

In the photo it looks like an adjustable head on the hitch . It looks to be in the down position . If the truck is too low unbolt the head from the shank and turn it up , it will change the ball height 3 to 4 in..
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:55 AM   #23
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Quote:
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......... the hitch receiver being crap. A good aftermarket one isn't horribly expensive.
Paula
The "round bar" units have been the most susceptible to failure...

Notice how short the frame mount is.

A few examples....
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:08 AM   #24
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Hey, Rob, that's the same reciever I have on the Avalanche. I plan to replace it next year. I've seen too many fail. Unfortunately, my friends at Putnam have gone out of business, so I guess it's Reese for me. Unless anyone knows of a better receiver. Darn things shouldn't be rocket science anyway.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:13 AM   #25
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Try to get a Hidden Hitch. Bolts right on, looks great, will tow a battleship.
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:19 PM   #26
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Curt now makes what used to be the Putnam receiver. Very reasonably priced.

See attached.
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:20 PM   #27
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Thanks. We will let you know what happens tomorrow after they are supposed to put it back to stock.
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:39 PM   #28
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Quote:
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Try to get a Hidden Hitch. Bolts right on, looks great, will tow a battleship.
I still have the stock receiver on my 05-2500 HD,I cannot find a hitch that also bolts to the bumper.I`ve pulled many loads much heavier than any AS,I do visual inspection quite often,so far it is fine. Think I`ll keep it till I see something bad. Dave
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