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Old 12-27-2003, 03:32 PM   #1
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Question use of lift arms

they always say there's no such thing as a dumb question. so!
it has been 18 years since i've towed a trailer, it was a 29' argosy. for the next several years after the argosy we had motor homes. we've purchased a 65 Caravel and my question is with a smaller trailer like this are lift bars and sway control vital or just recommended or not necessary at all? and also is there a difference in the lift bars for smaller trailers? i still have the ones from the argosy. can these be used or do i need different ones? again it's been quite awhile since i've towed a trailer and i want to be safe (for myself and all of you guys/gals out there)
thanks for all the help whistler

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Old 12-27-2003, 05:43 PM   #2
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I don't think you will be able to use or even need the stuff that you used on your 28 foot Argosy.

A Caravel is much smaller, like what, 17 feet?? But, it is a single axle so about the only item I would recommend would be a friction sway controller.


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Old 12-27-2003, 05:45 PM   #3
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Use of lift arms.

Greetings Whistler!

The answer as to whether the weight distribution bars will be necessary is dependent upon your tow vehicle. With my '78 Minuet which has a loaded weight that is likely very close to the loaded weight on your Caravel, I always use the weight distribution bars - - this is in part due to the fact that I am a big fan of the Reese Dual Cam equipped Straight Line Hitch.

You will likely find that the weight distribution bars from your Argosy 29 are much too heavy for a Caravel. I have three sets of weight distributing bars - - 500 pound for the Argosy Minuet and either of my primary tow vehicles, 750 pound for the Airstream Overlander/GMC K2500 Suburban, and 800 pound for the Airstream Overlander/Cadillac Eldorado Convertible combination. I have found these combinations to be necessary to get the best performance from my Dual Cam Sway Control system, and know that Reese's technician at the 1998 WBCCI International Rally in Boise, Idaho recommended that the weight rating of the the weight distributing bars be nearly equal to the tongue weight of the trailer - - the Minuet has a tongue weight of 550 pounds when loaded for a long caravan, and the Airstream Overlander has a tongue weight of 775 pounds when loaded for a long caravan.

If your tow vehicle is a 3/4 ton truck based vehicle, you may be able to get by with a weight carrying hitch of appropriate weight rating. I would, however, suggest that some form of sway control would be desirable as I have noted a slightly greater tendency for my Minuet to be affected by passing semis than the Airstream. In either case, I have towed neither trailer more than 250 miles without a sway control (the first trip home with each trailer was sans sway control - - all others have been with the Reese Dual Cam Straight Line Hitch).

Good luck with your new to you Caravel!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 12-27-2003, 05:47 PM   #4
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May not need much in the way of weight distribution but some form of sway control is never a bad idea.

Our 59 22ft single axle is a real handfull without sway control. Singe axle trailers by nature are much worse in the sway department then a tandem.
1959 22' Caravanner
1988 R20 454 Suburban.
Atlanta, GA
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Old 12-27-2003, 08:14 PM   #5
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Thanks. I didn't think I would need to use distribution bars since the unit is a 17' with a tongue weight of 250 lbs. I thought a sway bar should be used because of the wind from semi's. I won't have any trouble with the tow vehicle handling the trailer. Since we saved up all our money to buy the 'new' A/S we have to use the old truck to pull it. 1951 Ford F1 with modern drive train. Even though it's only a half ton you won't even know the trailer is back there.
Thanks again for your input, always helpful!
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