Originally Posted by dpandorf
[You should not be using a hitch bar rating greater the 550 to 600 pounds.
If you are. you are punishing the trailer that will reward you with expensive repairs bills.
Hi Andy I have the Hensley Hitch and tow a 2000 34' Limited. Hensley recommended that I use the 1400 pound bars. So are you saying that's way too much?
I have adjusted my truck tires to the weight of the axles and trailer too for not as stiff a ride but plenty of air pressure to support my actual weights and then some.
You have enough rigging to tow the Queen Mary.
For your sake, and your trailers, I am being very critical of what Hensley has told you.
Hensley may know hitches, but they don't know beans about an Airstream.
An Airstream trailer, loves a soft ride. You have not provided that, as per the instructions from Hensley, and your tow vehicle. Basically, the heavier duty the tow vehicle requires a lighter duty hitch, in terms of bar ratings.
I have been with the Airstream program for 41 years. I was, for a period of 4 years, the sole field represenative for what was then Caravanner Insurance company, the insurance division of Airstream.
Amoung other things, I had the task of finding out why so many Airstream owners lost control of their rigs.
Two thirds of the reason, from over 2000 (two thousand) loss of control files,
was from rear end modifications of the tow vehicle or lack of proper rigging.
Overload springs, improperly inflated air bags or air lifts, excessive bar ratings and no sway controls as well as improper hitches, or lack thereof were those causes.
Certified truck scales were used for the study. Different tongue weights, different rating bars, etc, were all used during the study.
The result actually, confirmed that Laws of Physics works for trailer towing. We could and did, predict future losses, that in time, indeed showed up as a total loss.
In your case, your tow vehicle ratings are excessive from what could be more practical. Your hitch rating, is beyond comprehension.
Your trailer will suffer the following damages. Front end rivets inside and out will shear. Rivets in the shell inside and out will shear, especially around the entrance door. You will have trouble keeping the LPG bottles properly tied down. You will fatigue crack the front end of the shell inside and out. In time, you will also fatigue crack the A-frame, to the degree that it quite well may snap off while your towing. Statistics bear that statement out. Add to that the possibilty of improper or lack of running gear balance will increase those damages.
The heavier duty the tow vehicle, the lighter duty the hitch bar rating "must" be. Statistics prove that out for over 40 years.
What happens in your case, as the tow vehicle hits a small bump, that shock is transfered thru the rear end suspension of your tow vehicle, to the front of your trailer thru the excessive rated bars and rear springs. The correct rigging, in your case would call for a 550 to 600 pound bar rating, so that it offered some cushion from the shock that the small bump created. Now lets cover a large bump. That huge shock, because of the total lack of a cushion or resiliency, will cause the back end of your tow vehicle to rise, which momentarily defeats the purpose of the load equalizing hitch. That is the very moment, that a complete loss of control happens. It can and does happen so fast, that most of the time the rig is out of control far faster that you can implement a corrective action. It also delivers a shock to the trailer, that it was not designed to take.
The simple test that you can make, is stand on the coupler of the trailer while it is hooked up to your tow vehicle. Jump up and down. The coupler should move vertically 2 to 3 inches. In your case, I doubt that it moves at all.
I would suggest you lighten the bar rating before you make another trip.
The safety of those traveling with you, as well as your own and those that are innocent in a loss of control accident, should always be a major priority.
If you wish to call me, just you, for more details, please do so at 800-8777311.
I would gladly share additional information with you, in the hopes of saving someone an injury as well as helping you protecting your Airstream investment.
Hitch manufacturers want to sell all the heavy duty ratings that they can .
I don't sell safety, but I do promote it, based on my personal involvement with the study and experience.
It is indeed sad, of how many of our customers come in for service, who also have front end damges, caused by lack of proper running gear balance, excessive rated tow vehicles and/or excessively rated hitch bars.
Some may argue that their personal experience disagrees with the facts of the studies. So be it.
That still does not and cannot change the facts.