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Old 05-14-2010, 02:55 PM   #1
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Weight and Hitch Data

The attached file has data for Vintage Airstreams--weight, tongue weight, and hitch ball height. I find the ball height data to be interesting...

Zep

Weight-Hitch data.doc
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:25 PM   #2
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ball height

That ball height chart is great.

BUT.

Owners should be reminded that those heights are for a brand new trailer, out the door, with zero payload.

The ball height decreases, depending on the payload, "AND" the age or condition of the rubber rods within the torsion axle.

AGE AND/OR CONDITION OF THE RUBBER RODS CAN CAUSE THE BALL HEIGHT TO BE AS MUCH AS 3 TO 3 1/2 INCHES LOWER THAN THAT CHART SPECIFIES.

As always, the only proper way to determine the ball height is to load the trailer ready for travel, and then measure what the ball height is on "YOUR" trailer. What someone else may measure for the same exact trailer will most likely be very different than yours.

Andy
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting that, Zep.

That data goes from '54 to '85. The only other one I have seen stops at '83.

Does anyone know of one that goes later, say into 2000 or even later?
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:00 AM   #4
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I got the data off the AIRSTREAMGUY site. His list goes through 2003. I limited my efforts to the vintage trailers--the reformatting took some time. If you look down the list to 1989 and later, the data includes GVWR.

There is an excellent tutorial on hitch ball rise/drop at the etrailer.com web site, with photos. That's how I found the airstreamguy data in the first place, trying to figure out if I could get my WDH ball height compatible with both my Ford and GMC tow vehicles--no. Well, heck, I needed another WDH anyway.

I took a swipe at the empty weight to GVWR ratios in the newer trailers--they seem to fall between 1.24 and 1.40, but most generally cluster around 1.31 to 1.35. I'm interested in that for estimating the axle specs when I replace the axles on my 70s models. I thought I might have over spec'd my axles for the 72 Overlander when I put in two 3000 lb axles. The original empty weight was 4570--using the ratios (assuming the design margins were about the same back in 1972 as they were in 1990, a completely unjustified assumption) that implies that a loaded Overlander would be in the area of 5990 to 6170 lbs. You have to subtract something like 250 lbs for the wheels, tires, and swing arms, since they aren't sprung. So my two axles are slightly over what is needed.

Based on this data, I'm thinking 6400 sprung lbs for the Sovereign and 4900 lbs for the Safari. I just wish Dexter would put the 12" brakes on these smaller axles, but I've been pretty happy with their performance on the Overlander. It's not stopping power I need--the 10" brakes will go all the way to skid if you turn up the controller. It's the bigger heat capacity in the 12" drums that I'd like to have.

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Old 05-15-2010, 06:21 AM   #5
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According to the sales sheet, the 1959 Tradewind is 3170 lbs (same as '57 Overlander) and 290 lbs tongue weight.

If you want to fill in a blank space in your table. .
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