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Old 06-03-2014, 05:21 PM   #43
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A person would think that since the legal aspect of anti sway and equalizer hitches that has been mentioned here a few times that Airstream would require its dealers to require its customers to have such equipment before leaving the lot....
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:51 PM   #44
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Requiring dealers ...

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Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
A person would think that since the legal aspect of anti sway and equalizer hitches that has been mentioned here a few times that Airstream would require its dealers to require its customers to have such equipment before leaving the lot....
Our dealer tried to talk us out of at least the sway control. I'd done the research (including talking to people here) and knew what I wanted.

Why doesn't A/S require them? First, they really don't have control of what the buyer/dealer does. Second, the bottom line is that IF A/S doesn't require sway and equalizer and IF the trailer comes off and kills a busload of young people (i.e. high damages) THEN it still doesn't effect A/S's liability. Liability is the liability of the owner first, maybe at a stretch the dealership that advised against it. So for them, no harm no fowl, and they don't have to add several thousand dollars to the price of an already expensive luxury item.
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:56 PM   #45
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My 34' classic tows just fine behind my Fiat 500 with reinforced hitch. No WD or sway control.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:00 PM   #46
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As to requiring sway control when the towing company picks up from the factory to take it to the dealer I looker at one of the companies web sites to see what you needed to drive with them. 2500/3500 truck, mud flaps to 4" above the ground but nothing about any sway control. Since there isn't a mark on the typical A-frame I would conclude that there is no sway control when they tow them to the dealer.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:11 PM   #47
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Companies will in all probability not specify something they have no control over. ie AS does not make a hitch or hitch system, they don't know if a skilled installer is putting the system on a given AS or a 16 year old who walked into the dealership one day. So to say nothing helps them in a law suit. It does not preclude them from being brought in on legal action in the event of an accident. The line of defendants would probably be something like this - 1. The AS owner 2. Hitch Mfg 3. AS 4. The AS dealer 5. The hitch ball mfg 6. The A frame mfg if different from AS 7. The receiver mfg and so on. A good litigator will bring everyone possible in on the suit, thus increasing the possibility of an out of court settlement between all or some of the parties involved. Been there a number of times as defendant in another industry but involving retail buyers and a moving piece of machinery.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:26 PM   #48
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I don't think it is quite so easy to defeat a lawsuit by not taking a position.

If I reject the fictitious example of a Fiat. 500 towing a 31 footer, and I look at a reasonably sized truck or SUV as a tow vehicle, I don't really think that an equalizer hitch is a requirement nor does it necessarily always add a real degree of safety.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:52 PM   #49
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See the part that starts with the highlighted word sway in the pic below. Interesting language (again, from my 2012 manual) - it's not their field, but they understand many users have them...reads like a liability protection argument to me...

Either way - a few folks here say you don't need it - until you need it. Others say the Airstream is designed to limit sway, some say to drop it on the ball and go, and others address proper tongue weight and placement of weight inside the trailer, etc.

Not sure there's a single right approach. For me, there are things in and out of our control when trailering. 90% of the time, I doubt I need the sway protection I feel I have with the ProPride hitch I use - but unexpected side winds, semis passing at 75 mph or emergency maneuvers due to some idiot texting while driving are times I am grateful to have and not need (vs the opposite).


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Old 06-03-2014, 09:06 PM   #50
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What happens if you use smaller ball?

Really if it comes right down to the nitty gritty, if a person wants the ultimate towing stability, a 5th wheel trailer is going to beat out an Airstream period.

This just is. A properly set up 5th wheel truck and trailer is rock solid. My Airstream tows goodly and safely without an equalizer. If and when I can afford one , I won't waste my money on anything but a Hensley or a ProPride, not so much for the equalizer aspect of the device but for its advanced method of sway control. (Larry, I really like the way the PulRite looks, but I don't think they made them anymore)

I am not one to spend hard earned money on eyewash, and besides, the front of my truck isn't light when towing.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:23 PM   #51
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My last trip out my truck only swayed one time on a 2,500 plus mile round trip.

I was going through Dallas in the center lane one semi to the left of me, and one to the right, in a moderately heavy cross wind, going downhill, the perfect storm. I stayed well within my lane at all times and it straightened out with a tap of the brakes. No big deal.

Would an equalizer alone have prevented this? I doubt it.

Would a friction anti sway device prevented this? From what I have read maybe, maybe not.

Would a ProPride or Hensley have prevented this ? From what I have read probably.

Yea, I would love to be able to plunk down $2,500 for a ProPride or a Hensley, but it will have to wait, and that is ok, like I said one mild sway incident in 2,500 miles where control was never an issue isn't a big deal.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:33 PM   #52
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Yup. That PullRite (which would have been my first choice if they still made them for my truck) is basically similar to having a 5th wheel under the truck bed - the pivot point is mechanically at the axle. The Hensley and ProPride virtually project the pivot point there and have the same effect - at least in my experience, the rig is rock solid.

I think it's possible my rig would be rock solid without the PP (at least for 90% of the miles I drive).

And for what it's worth - other weight distribution and sway devices are also very good. While somewhat controversial here, another intriguing option to me was the Andersen (they warn about comparability with a particular coupler - I forget which but it's over-documented in that string :-) ). It seems with large tow vehicles that don't need 100% of the lifted front axle weight restored (like mine and I assume yours) it could be a very effective and innovative choice with a friction-based sway reaction device (sort of a brake lining inside a conical holder for the ball). I think new they're about a quarter the price of a ProPride.

Other brands have strong reputations too - I don't think they're not worth having.

If you're going without such a device, you can always keep it slow and steady (some here won't tow over 55 mph even with sway devices) and that would definitely help from a safety perspective.

Good luck, safe travels and happy camping!!
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