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Old 06-14-2010, 09:51 AM   #1
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2004 19' Bambi
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WD Hitch for 2004 Airstream Bambi

Hello friends,

My wife recently bought a mint condition 2004 Airstream Bambi. My job is to drive her and her Bambi all over the Western United States this summer.
I recently retired and she is a school teacher and is off for the summer.

My question: What kind/type/brand of weight distributing hitch is compatible with the above referenced trailer. In looking at the tongue, the gas line runs underneath the passenger side of the tongue a-frame nearly the entire length of the tongue. The dual lpg bottle cover sits down on the a-frame starting about about 1 foot behind the hitch coupler.
I don't see where the break-over levers for the spring bar chains can clamp on to the tongue A frame due to stuff being in the way.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The Bambi GVWR is 4500 lbs, and the tow vehicle is a 2010 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4X4 with the Tow Package @ 10,100 lb tow capacity and 1575 lb payload capacity.

thanks,
Pronghorn
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:01 AM   #2
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hi prong'

there are 100s of threads here on "which hitch"

for each size/era of stream and every TV combo imaginable.

at the bambi size w/d may or may not be needed

but sway control is a great idea, many consider essential.

here are some basics to get your brain rollin'...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ons-22445.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...-do-21015.html

and a really good one...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...-ii-21000.html

and IF those don't grab your attention, this one might.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...rol-17986.html

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:01 AM   #3
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prong'

4got to cover the gas line issue.

many if not most of us have dealt with repositioning the gas lines as they pass under the A frame.

with most sway/hitch devices.

this is also covered in many threads with great pics...

these will get ya started.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...9-a-13385.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...sed-13290.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ort-34484.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...tch-25362.html


cheers
2air'
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:26 PM   #4
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2004 19' Bambi
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Sir,
Thanks for your help. I am trying to make sure I don't go too heavy with the hitch and end up popping some rivets. After doing some reading, I think that I can get a light to moderate duty hitch (400-4000 lbs), and also miss the lpg line. I will pull my rig up to my rv dealership and actually see what will work. He carries 3 different brands of hitches to choose from.

I am now also convinced that I need both a wd hitch and sway control since I will be encountering steep terrain out west.

Thanks again for the links to great information. I am kind of in a frenzy trying to pull everything together, and I need to slow back down and be more deliberate.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:56 PM   #5
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OOPS, after more reading I better make that a hitch with around 750 lb bars!
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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Pronghorn 1
I didn't read the whole thread,not knowing what your TV is,I would suggest that you look around ,ebay or craigs list or your local paper and find an older Reese Dual cam. This can be bought real reasonable. Make sure it comes with 550 lb bars,that would be 1 inch square at the trunion. That should take care of WD and Sway control all in one hitch.
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:27 PM   #7
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Howdy Pronghorn1! My wife has some ancestors from up that way, and I have a neighbor 90+ who moved from there to CC in the war. Been meaning to get that way for a stop on one of our next trips.

I know you'll enjoy that trailer, make the local certified scale your friend. I may be repeating what you've already gone through. Grab one of your friends as a helper makes setting hitch rigging easy. Dealers are okay, but the confidence you'll gain will make any on-road changes that much easier by having gone through the details yourself:

You'll want the TV empty (driver w/full fuel only + normal junk), and trailer (preferably) with full propane and fresh water. Nothing else.

On another day, take it across again with everything loaded for your trip.

You may find the below helpful, but what is mainly wanted is all axle weights empty, first, and loaded, second time. Tongue weight is also needed (whether derived or actually weighed)



Tongue Weight


You might like this chart to use.
(Per Ron Gratz over at rv.net)

Weighing #1

TT attached and Weight Distribution Activated

Let Front Axle Load be "FA1"

Let Rear Axle Load be "RA1"

Let TT Axles Load be "TT1"



Then, while in same position on scales, take
Weighing #2
TT attached and Weight Distribution Not Activated
(in truth, it may be good to circle around so scale re-sets)

Let Front Axle Load be "FA2"

Let Rear Axle Load be "RA2"

Let TT Axles Load be "TT2"



Then, drive off scales and drop TT.

Return to scales and take
Weighing #3

TV only -- TT Not Attached

Let Front Axle Load be "FA3"

Let Rear Axle Load be "RA3"



From the above values, you can calculate:

TV weight = FA3 + RA3

Gross Combined Weight = (FA1 + RA1 + TT1)
- should also be equal to (FA2 + RA2 + TT2) if scale weights are correct

TT Weight = Gross Combined Weight - TV Weight

Tongue Weight = (FA2 + RA2) - (FA3 + RA3)

Load Transferred to TT Axles
when WD System in Activated = TT1 - TT2




With some pictures of the hitch rigging take the combined info over to the thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...-in-17984.html

The peanut gallery around has some pretty good eyes, and, with both empty and loaded axle numbers plus TW, they'll help you really nail it.


(And, for what it's worth, I'd only have a Hensley Arrow or Pro Pride; second place goes to a REESE "Dual Cam". You can find plenty of arguments about them all, but that's my take on it. Ck Craigslist).

http://www.jaxed.com/cgi-bin/sd.cgi?cat=pts


Believe this was from BryanL:


Adjust the hitch ball height to 'level' the trailer

Adjust the weight distributing bars to 'level' the tow vehicle

Adjust the hitch head angle to 'level' the bars.

.
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:51 PM   #8
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"Adjust the hitch ball height to 'level' the trailer

Adjust the weight distributing bars to 'level' the tow vehicle

Adjust the hitch head angle to 'level' the bars."


Now I can understand this.........simple and straightforward. One question, when you angle your hitchball down and back to level the bars, doesn't that mess up the ball height? Or is this difference in drop too small to matter?

thanks
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:19 PM   #9
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"Tilt" is different than up/down, so in general, no. But you will want to play with it in different configurations to avoid height problems.
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