Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-12-2003, 10:39 AM   #15
Rivet Master
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
Comparisons between the US and European countries might be interesting but there are entirely too many differences in roads, travel styles, fuel costs, vehicle preferences and other things to make it very instructive without extensive qualification.

In this country, I think a proper census will show that there are an awful lot of people who do not use spring bars or sway control, exspecially as the trailer length goes below 22 feet or so or the tow vehicle goes towards larger trucks. This sets the 'industry standard" and, I think, will also often meet Andy's other criteria of the truck scales.

Spring bars are part of a suspension system. If the shocks and springs in your truck are rated for extra load, you will get a rough ride. If rated for too small a load, your handling will suffer (as will safety). The same consideration applies to spring bars.

I'd tend to agree that it is rather dumb to run without proper rigging as it is easily noticed by poor handling - and there is no need for that.
__________________

__________________
bryanl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2003, 11:01 AM   #16
Rivet Master
 
drboyd's Avatar

 
1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,428
I gotta agree with Andy on this one...

I'm just getting ready to pick up my first Aristream next week, and I want to trip home to be boring. BORING! No "white knuckle" events, no rapid pulse, no nothing.

I've invested a lot of time, energy and money in picking out the right hitch, which in this case is a reese dual cam. Now the bars are 1000# bars, and the tongue weight is probably 650#, so they are a little heavier than I'd like, but they're still gonna be safe....

...and boring.
__________________

__________________
drboyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2003, 02:59 PM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Weight Distribution Question

Greetings Drboyd!

With a hitch weight of 650 pounds, you may be satisfied with 1,000 pound bars depending upon the tow vehicle involved. It is my opinion that the best operation of the Dual Cam System would be had with 800 pound bars - - my experience with 1,000 pound bars on my Overlander with similar hitch weight being towed by any one of the following ('84 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, '95 Chevrolet K1500 Club Cab Z71, or '99 K2500 Suburban) was that the Dual Cam System seemed to be far less effective than with the 800 pound bars - - it seems like the amount of pressure placed on the pring bars bears a relationship to the effectiveness of the Dual Cam System. With my Suburban, I was only able to drop 2-links on the 1,000 pound bars (never experienced any true "white-knuckle" experiences with this setup, but the trailer did not feel "solidly-linked" to the tow vehicle); but am able to drop up to 4-links with the 800 pound bars depending upon the way that I have the trailer loaded (with this setup, the trailer feels like it is solidly linked to the tow vehicle and still no "white-knuckle" experiences).

Good luck with your first trip!

Kevin
__________________
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)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2003, 04:26 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
drboyd's Avatar

 
1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,428
Thanks overlander64!

I've heard conflicting opinions about the 1000# bars. Personally, I'm a little hinkey about 'em, but I went out to one of the local Reese dealers, (and a pretty reputable slash knowledgable one at that) and he told me they would be fine. Matter of fact, I was gonna offer him $$ to trade me for some 800# bars, and he talked me out of it. How 'bout that?!?

I'd be glad to trade 'em straight across for a set of 800# bars, but I don't need to have one set on the trailer and the other set gathering cobwebs in the garage....

I'm pretty psyched about getting the trailer. I got a copy of a 1979 owners manual on CD off eBay (very nicely done, by the way!) and read thru it this morning. I figure the more time I spend planning, reading and thinking, the smoother the trip will be.

Everyone on the board here has been an incredible help!!
__________________
drboyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2003, 08:50 PM   #19
4 Rivet Member
 
WayWard Wind's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 424
Kevin ----I'm a little green in regards to what you mean by dropping 2 links or 4 links. I'd appreciate it if you could explain what you mean. I have the Reese WD w/ Dual Cams with 1000# spring bars & I'm having a heck of a time getting consistent answers in regards to proper weight of the spring bars. I called Reese, in regards to the weight ratings of the spring bars & was told they ( 1000# )would be fine for my rig (19'Bambi w/ 1500 Ram ), however I really feel 800# would be better. I would like to make an intelligent decision, but need better facts to do so.
Best,
__________________
Home of the Wayward Wind

Bogfrog & Mr. Turbo

If in life you stumble, make it part of the dance
WayWard Wind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2003, 11:26 PM   #20
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Weight Distribution Question

Greetings A. E.!


When I wrote of links dropped, it refers to the number of links beyond the peg on the snap-up bracket. In other words, three dropped links would mean that the fourth link is on the snap-up bracket peg - - or four dropped links would mean that the fifth link from the end of the chain is on the snap-up bracket peg. I always treat each side of the hitch the same in regard to the number of links dropped.

In regard to spring bar selection, the general line from Reese and most hitch dealers is similar - - the heavier the bars the better. I happended to run into a Reese hitch technician who was VERY aware of Airstreams and advised me on the selection of spring bars to optimize my Dual Cam Sway Control System - - at the time I was on my second set of bars - - first were 500 pounds (far too light and bellied out - - permanently bent in the center) - - the second were 1,000 pounds (too heavy and the Dual Cam System never seemed to be fully functional and the truck-trailer never really felt like they were a tightly joined unit). The technician fitted the hitch with 800 pound bars, and the difference in the feel while towing was phenomenal - - the truck-trailer reacted as a fully-joined unit and the Dual Cam Sway control performed exactly as promised.

Kevin
__________________
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)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2003, 05:48 AM   #21
4 Rivet Member
 
WayWard Wind's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 424
Thanks Kevin for the come-back. I thought that's what you were refering to regarding the dropped links. The reason I asked is because the set-up instructions that came with the Reese WD states that if there are LESS than 5 links between the hook & u-bolt then the ballmount angle needs adjustment. I need to take the unit back to the dealer & see if the set-up is correct, as I figured that the dealer tech's SHOULD know what they're doing. I'm just not that up on WD alinement, but perhaps I need to pay more attention to details.
Best,
__________________
Home of the Wayward Wind

Bogfrog & Mr. Turbo

If in life you stumble, make it part of the dance
WayWard Wind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2003, 07:53 AM   #22
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
Well, I don't know what these europeans are using, but they would have to be dumb if they put MY trailer (not all that huge) onto MY truck without WD equipment, looked at it, and thought it was safe. (remember the VW commercial, where they first hook up the A/S to a beetle, and the front wheels lift off the ground? well, it isn't THAT bad...but almost!). It says right on my factory installed hitch that it is rated for 500lbs tounge weight, or 1000lbs with weight distribution, and 5000lbs trailer weight, 10,000lbs WD. But ANYway...

I still need some fine-tuning on my hitch. The directions on the reese site are confusing, where they list the table for how high off the ground the ends of the spring-bars should be. First of all, my coupler/trailer tounge doesn't match any of the three in the diagram. on top of that, the bars I have are only 28" long, and I believe that all the more current bars are 30". So that's going to affect those measurements, too.

I set it up as close as I could to the directions, with the ball height 1" higher than the height that the trailer coupler is supposed to ride, and angled the head back so that the end of the spring bar was about 7" above the ground. (didnt' take much angle; its only a couple of teeth back from "0".). When I hooked up the trailer, and tightened up the springs, the trailer was still too nose-low. so raised it by 1 more link. The bars had quite a bow to them, but the trailer rode level. When I got to my destination, I had a difficult time un-coupling the trailer, because the bars were so tight. raising the trailer with the jack, the coupler wouldn't come off the ball...it let go of it, but only rose half-way clear, and then the spring bars started lifting the truck. My intention was to just raise the trailer enough to take the tension off the spring bars, so I could unhook them easily, but it couldn't be done under this configuration. (This was with the 5th link of the chain on the snap-up bracket; I think that I should probably be using the third or 4th. )

So, I think what I need to do before my next trip is to raise the head another notch (hole?) on the draw-bar, and increase the angle backward.
__________________
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2003, 08:08 AM   #23
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,482
Images: 19
Chuck, I am not sure I totally understand your post, so I may be suggesting something here that does not apply.

Your post seems to say you released the coupler, then raised the tongue jack to release the spring bars. On my rig, this would not only be difficult, but probably impossible. The easier method is to leave the coupler hitched, raise the tongue (which will also raise the back of the truck), and release the spring bars first. Then lower the tongue so you can release the coupler.

Of course, this is much easier with an electric jack.

Mark
__________________
j54mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2003, 11:24 AM   #24
uwe
418
 
uwe's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1974 29' Ambassador
Yucca Valley , California
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 1963 26' Overlander
Posts: 4,767
Images: 41
Send a message via Skype™ to uwe
It is common practice in Europe to use a small trailer as sort of an instant pickup truck - just add car. Any car, for the most part.
Pickups and large SUV's are rare in Europe, the largest size is like a Jeep Grand Cherokee ( usually with a French turbo diesel).
Tow and hitch weight ratings are much different. Receiver tow bars are mostly illegal. Brake systems must be hydraulic, usually of the surge brake type.
So, they have to have lighter tongue weights and lighter trailers to tow with their passenger cars of small SUV's. The speed limit in Germany is about 50mph for trucks and vehicles with trailers.
The legalities do not allow for weight distributing hitches and electric brakes.
30mpg is bad gas mileage in Europe - they start smiling at 40+mpg.......
__________________
Uwe
www.area63productions.com
uwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2003, 12:14 PM   #25
Rivet Master
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,820
Images: 3
???

Quote:
Originally posted by j54mark
Chuck, I am not sure I totally understand your post, so I may be suggesting something here that does not apply.

Your post seems to say you released the coupler, then raised the tongue jack to release the spring bars. On my rig, this would not only be difficult, but probably impossible. The easier method is to leave the coupler hitched, raise the tongue (which will also raise the back of the truck), and release the spring bars first. Then lower the tongue so you can release the coupler.

Of course, this is much easier with an electric jack.

Mark
Just the opposite in my case. I always unlock the coupler first, raise the tongue jack a ways, and then release the chains. When I release the second chain, the coupler usually rises at least half way off the ball. A touch of the tongue jack and I'm ready to pull the truck away. With the jack raised, the chains release very easily. I barely have to use the pipe.

I have been doing this on two trailers for about 6 years and it works just great.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2003, 01:43 PM   #26
Rivet Master
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
John,

releasing the coupler from the ball prior to releaing the spring bars is more hazardous than leaving the coupler and ball locked together while you release spring bar tension.

If you lift your coupler and ball together about five inches, the spring bars should have no load which means handling the drop chain lever is less likely to cause a harsh break over center resulting in arm injury.

Its always best to remove as much load as possible before manipulating things.
__________________
bryanl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2003, 02:05 PM   #27
Rivet Master
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,820
Images: 3
I don't agree

Quote:
Originally posted by Leipper
John,

releasing the coupler from the ball prior to releaing the spring bars is more hazardous than leaving the coupler and ball locked together while you release spring bar tension.

If you lift your coupler and ball together about five inches, the spring bars should have no load which means handling the drop chain lever is less likely to cause a harsh break over center resulting in arm injury.

Its always best to remove as much load as possible before manipulating things.
One difference may be that I have (and need) only 550# bars, but doing it my way there is no "harsh break over center". I don't lift the jack more than about 3" or so, the truck rises with it, the ends of the bars rise slightly (look at the geometry), and the coupler stays lightly on the ball until the spring bars are released. Then the coupler usually rises about an inch on the ball . Releasing the chains is an easy one-handed operation that hardly requires the "pipe".

I have done it both ways over the past 6 years and this way certainly works best for me.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2003, 02:23 PM   #28
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
From reading this, perhaps I have some overkill then. The ride is not uncomfortable, but I do have the 1200# bars. I use the second link on the chain and after a few more connections (sway, break-away, lights/brakes, I'm off.

Both vehicles are near dead level with the bars as configured. If the bars are not on, the rear of the car sags very low and the Bambi leans forward greatly.

Good, bad, or ugly. All comments welcome!

Eric
__________________

__________________
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which Weight Distribution Hitch to buy? Navigator Hitches, Couplers & Balls 7 11-19-2003 08:56 AM
how works a weight distribution hitch remcolent Hitches, Couplers & Balls 5 11-10-2003 07:24 PM
Weight Distribution, side to side JimC Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 8 08-13-2003 04:19 PM
Weight Distribution newae On The Road... 9 07-18-2003 11:08 PM
Education on Sway & Weight Distribution John Our Community 7 01-28-2003 03:48 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.