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Old 06-24-2006, 06:36 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
This type of truck will be overkill for an Airstream and will shake it to death. I have seen several people pulling with a heavy duty stake truck or a converted semi tractor. I do not know how they have modified them to make them compatible.
you don't mean a 3/4 ton F 250, you mean with the added springs?
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Old 07-01-2006, 08:46 PM   #44
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1984 31' Excella
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What is the right way...

Naval Aviation has an old axiom that goes something like this, "All safety rules and regulations are written in blood". They stop there and don't tell you whose blood was used to write with.
We never had to sit around and make up scenarios to create new rules and regulations because the sailors and marines were always way ahead of us, we were always just trying to catch up.
I don't know if Andy still sells insurance or not but I believe his motive to be good and true. He has been at this so long that he has seen most every "new" idea that ultimately ends up in someone getting hurt. As for his statments on the adjustment of the spring bars and hitch, it dovetails with Reeses installation instructions. Reese just yesterday(Friday July 28, 2006). I can forward these instructions to any one who wants them as the web sites listed here I could not get on, maybe someone else is also having trouble, OR, I could email them to Andy for verification of authenticity. Which ever floats yalls boat.
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Old 07-02-2006, 12:30 AM   #45
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Amen there beginner ,Andy has specific experience and knowledge for longer
than some of us have been around .I am glad to see some good reponses .
Further I sense concern for saftey first at all times and a strong stand on what he knows ,the insurance co .carravaner I believe allowed him to see it
all with trailer /vehical accidents etc ,also with airstream in peticular .Ok
the Henschen axle price is high ,that does not mean that Andy cannot provide information that is helpful ,or parts we need .

Scott
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Old 07-03-2006, 01:31 PM   #46
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I don't know if Andy still sells insurance or not but I believe his motive to be good and true. He has been at this so long that he has seen most every "new" idea that ultimately ends up in someone getting hurt. As for his statments on the adjustment of the spring bars and hitch, it dovetails with Reeses installation instructions. Reese just yesterday(Friday July 28, 2006). I can forward these instructions to any one who wants them as the web sites listed here I could not get on, maybe someone else is also having trouble, OR, I could email them to Andy for verification of authenticity. Which ever floats yalls boat.
Beginner

I never sold insurance, and never will.

I was employed by the insurance division of Airstream, Caravanner Insurance, to do a number of things.

That included traveling the country visiting various dealerships to teach their shop and parts people how to "get it done". When most of the dealers found out how poorly their shops were running, because of what they heard from the dealers that I had visited, they had me booked up months in advance to spend time at their dealership, so they could have a profitable service and parts department, instead of tax write offs.

I also had to catch the "next flight out" to wherever in the country, to help one of our insureds, that was in a severe accident, or a roll over.

Additionally, I was charged with "find out why" programs, to reduce the number of, at the time "no one knew why" accidents. That entailed several research programs, headed by myself, to obtain data about these accidents.

Most impoortantly, Airstream and the Underwriters of Caravanner Insurance, as well as the management of Caravanner Insurance, required "proof positve" as to these cause.

The causes were determined, whenever possible, along with "proof" of the cause. These proofs were initially examined , criticised, and laughed at by many of the powers that be.

However in short order, the laughing stopped, and the very serious faces now appeared, without exception.

What caused that change to take place? The task was not easy, to say the least, but it was challenging and dead serious. Since I already had a background in research, it was a matter of coming up with "predictions". These predictions, proved themselves over and over again, year after year.

The primary area of interest was "why does it matter how someone has rigged their tow vehicle to the trailer". A load equalizing hitch is all that's necessary.

As a result of the exhaustive research, it quickly became very clear, that a loss of control accident could indeed be predicted. With the data at hand, the predictions were now stated, in writing, and proven. We then reviewed, over 2000 (two thousand) loss of control accidents, using the prediction formulas and information. This was confirmed by written feedback on a form that was mailed to those same insureds. It was these "owners losses" that very clearly, also proved the validity of the predictions.

From that analysis, we proved, to "ALL" the powers that be, that the predictions, indeed, were valid. We proved that two thirds of "ALL" loss of control accidents, were because of improper rigging or improper rear end suspension modifications.

Yet today, these same predictions still hold. Some people don't want to listen, and some don't want to hear the facts since their mind is made up.

I authored a couple of articles that were in the early issues of Airstream Life, about hitches and rigging.

Strange, there are those that argue, but never once, has anyone come forward with any data to refute the findings that were made by Caravanner Insurance Company and myself.

For data to be valid, such as rigging, many many different rigs must be examined and weighed. One or two examples, is not, I don't think, any where comparable to the thousands of man hours we put into that program.

My personal interest is safety for those that tow an Airstream. With safety, personal injury is also a very i,portant factor.

To those that read, listen, and understand, thank you for reading what I have stated many many times, and doing your best, to help yourself and your family, by using that information and knowledge.

To those that disagree, I, along with thousands of others, will anxiously await the results of your long term research program.

Opinions, in this case, are not a valid rebuttle.

AND SO IT IS.

Andy
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:42 PM   #47
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I've been reading through this thread. Just when i though I had it made.. Getting back to being " over hitched ". That may be my problem. My 1979 31' Excella 500 came to me with the Drawtite hitch head and drop shank missing. All I got was a set of 1000 # round style bars and the brackets were mounted on the trailer tongue.
So, I recently ordered a replacement hitch head and a 10" drop shank from e-trailer. Today I installed it, and attempted to get the correct trailer coupler height, and ball height, etc. According to my measurements, my coupler height was 17 1/4". Leveled , loaded trailer.
I have a 2005 Dodge 3/4 ton diesel 4x4 with 33" off road tires. My ball height adjusted as low as possible was about 21 3/4" at the top of the ball. I hooked it up and after the trailer settled( trailer was largely empty, no water in the tanks, just propane and maybe 100 lbs of misc. items altogether) it came out looking quite level( my trailer level at least backed up my visual observations).
I had placed 5 chain links under tension, and recorded the difference in measurements on the TV fenders-to-flat pavement. My front end only dropped 3/8 ", and the rear dropped a little over an inch.
I realize I need to play with it more. I didnt have time to try tilting the hitch back.
I'm wondering if I should also try the 550 # bars too?
Your thoughts please?
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:01 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeandbecky
I've been reading through this thread. Just when i though I had it made.. Getting back to being " over hitched ". That may be my problem. My 1979 31' Excella 500 came to me with the Drawtite hitch head and drop shank missing. All I got was a set of 1000 # round style bars and the brackets were mounted on the trailer tongue.
So, I recently ordered a replacement hitch head and a 10" drop shank from e-trailer. Today I installed it, and attempted to get the correct trailer coupler height, and ball height, etc. According to my measurements, my coupler height was 17 1/4". Leveled , loaded trailer.
I have a 2005 Dodge 3/4 ton diesel 4x4 with 33" off road tires. My ball height adjusted as low as possible was about 21 3/4" at the top of the ball. I hooked it up and after the trailer settled( trailer was largely empty, no water in the tanks, just propane and maybe 100 lbs of misc. items altogether) it came out looking quite level( my trailer level at least backed up my visual observations).
I had placed 5 chain links under tension, and recorded the difference in measurements on the TV fenders-to-flat pavement. My front end only dropped 3/8 ", and the rear dropped a little over an inch.
I realize I need to play with it more. I didnt have time to try tilting the hitch back.
I'm wondering if I should also try the 550 # bars too?
Your thoughts please?
Your ball height is about two inches low.

I would suggest you check out the axles.

As the torsion arms go rearward, at worst, when the trailer is completely loaded for travel, they should be parallel to the chassis.

If as they go rearward, with no load in the trailer, they are parallel or upward, then the axles are done.

Towing that trailer with bad axles, is a good way to spend tons of money repairing the damage that will occur.

Andy

It sounds like they are shot.

Andy
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:18 PM   #49
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Andy,
what would be the best way, on my trailer, to first properly check to be certain it is level. Where would the best measuring points be? I'd like to rule out the possibility that the " stick on " side levels may be off. I think I need to measure my trailer first.
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:25 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by mikeandbecky
Andy,
what would be the best way, on my trailer, to first properly check to be certain it is level. Where would the best measuring points be? I'd like to rule out the possibility that the " stick on " side levels may be off. I think I need to measure my trailer first.

Side to side measurements can be made at the wheel well.

Front to back can be made at the rub rail.

I cannot access the Forums without waiting 7 1/2 minutes for it to load, and then another minute or so between page changes.

Therefore I cannot easily post the address to our web site articles, so that you can learn how to check your axles yourself.

Please go to our web site Airstream Innovations at Inland RV Center, Inc. (951) 734-8130, click on articles and then click on the dura-torque axle article.

Andy
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Old 08-23-2007, 09:36 AM   #51
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Well, I checked the axles this morning.With the load that I have in there, though not too heavy, my torsion arms are almost parallel with the frame. I really plan only one trip with it the rest of the year, and I dont forsee any problems there. Afterwards, my next project will be new replacement axles. Prior to my 'discovery' I had always thought it pulled extremely well. I dont even notice pulling it with the TV.
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Old 08-23-2007, 03:13 PM   #52
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Andy,
Where would the " rub rail " be located ?
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Old 08-23-2007, 03:19 PM   #53
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Andy,
Where would the " rub rail " be located ?
The "rub rail" is the molding that goes around the trailer at the floor line.

The molding at chest high level is called "belt line."

Andy
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Old 08-23-2007, 03:49 PM   #54
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Thats what I was thinking it may be. Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:29 PM   #55
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Couple Questions

Way back in this post, I think Andy stated that 750# bars were for 1/2 Ton Trucks, and 550# were for 3/4 Ton trucks, and it appeared from the post that the tongue weight, and weight of the trailer did not matter, only the size of the TV. Maybe I read it wrong, but that's what it looked like, so I am a little confused.

Also, Andy you mentioned that Airstreams, do to their design's were less stable and more prone to sway than a box style TT. Just curious as to where you got the data for that. It seems to me that airstreams would be less affected by gusting winds, and the "push" of tractor trailers, do to thier curved design and low centers of gravity. I know that my Bronco gets pushed around a lot more on the highway, since its a box on wheels, and due to high center of gravity, than my car does. I would assume those same forces would exert the same type of pressures on the usually higher center of gravity, box style TT. Even with sway control, I usually see them swaying and moving more than an airstream as they go down the highway.

Just curious.
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Old 08-24-2007, 05:09 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by WestMichCamp
Way back in this post, I think Andy stated that 750# bars were for 1/2 Ton Trucks, and 550# were for 3/4 Ton trucks, and it appeared from the post that the tongue weight, and weight of the trailer did not matter, only the size of the TV. Maybe I read it wrong, but that's what it looked like, so I am a little confused.

Also, Andy you mentioned that Airstreams, do to their design's were less stable and more prone to sway than a box style TT. Just curious as to where you got the data for that. It seems to me that airstreams would be less affected by gusting winds, and the "push" of tractor trailers, do to thier curved design and low centers of gravity. I know that my Bronco gets pushed around a lot more on the highway, since its a box on wheels, and due to high center of gravity, than my car does. I would assume those same forces would exert the same type of pressures on the usually higher center of gravity, box style TT. Even with sway control, I usually see them swaying and moving more than an airstream as they go down the highway.

Just curious.
Flat fronted trailers offer huge wind resistance. Airstream and Argosy trailers offer a very small amount of wind resistance.

Therefore, when towing a flat fronted trailer, you will get less gas mileage because you must use more horsepower to maintain a speed of, as an example, 60 mph, than you would an Airstream of the same length and weight.

That effect makes the flat frontal trailers more stable to tow since it offers huge wind resistance which is like a built in sway control.

On the other hand, since Airstream offers minimal wind resistance, you do not have same sway control effect as the flat front trailers, therefore you must address the load equalizing hitch/rigging to a much higher degree.

I towed a loaded 31 foot Airstream, at 115 mph on a test run.

That same tow vehicle would only tow a 5 x 8 empty box U-Haul trailer 75 mph, maximum.

That is not to say that a flat fronted trailer is not subject to a loss of control accident due to a sway. It happens every day.

Andy
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