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-   -   Weight Distribution Question (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464/weight-distribution-question-85242.html)

star kitty 11-29-2011 05:08 PM

Weight Distribution Question
 
I have a 67' GT that has a dry weight of 2640 lbs and a TW of around 400 lbs. I tow with a half ton SUV. I was sold a 10,000 lb./1000 lb bar weight distribution hitch locally.

Is this set up too stiff for my trailer? Will this larger capacity hitch perform poorly or does it even matter which size you buy?

Thank you!

dznf0g 11-29-2011 05:25 PM

IMHO, yes. 600lb bars are even overkill a little, but I don't think you can get less, Unless you go with a complete replacement and get one of those single bar WDs. Someone else will have to chime in on that model.

What brand did the dealer sell you?

DMT 11-29-2011 05:26 PM

Sounds like a beefy hitch for the TT weights quoted. Lots of posts here indicating such a set-up would be very stiff resulting in stress cracking in the TT over time. What make/modle hitch is it?

DKB_SATX 11-29-2011 05:33 PM

A hitch designed to manage 1000 lb tongue weight is probably not the right hitch for a trailer with a 400 lb tongue. It sounds like the way Equal-I-zer specs theirs (that's just a guess on my part) so to stick with the same brand, they have a 4000/400 setup and a 6000/600 setup that would be a better choice.

If it's another brand, I'm sure they also have a setup designed for a trailer closer to the weight of your GT. The local shop sold you what they had in stock, figuring it's better to sell you the wrong product than to risk you finding another vendor while they ordered the right hitch for your setup.

star kitty 11-29-2011 05:34 PM

I purchased a Buyers set up at a very reputable hitch dealer here in town. They never asked the weight of my unit or the TW.

Over the course of time on these forums, I have learned this unit is too much for my trailer.

How will this change the performance? Will it be rough on the trailer during travel?

star kitty 11-29-2011 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DKB_SATX (Post 1077672)
A hitch designed to manage 1000 lb tongue weight is probably not the right hitch for a trailer with a 400 lb tongue. It sounds like the way Equal-I-zer specs theirs (that's just a guess on my part) so to stick with the same brand, they have a 4000/400 setup and a 6000/600 setup that would be a better choice.

If it's another brand, I'm sure they also have a setup designed for a trailer closer to the weight of your GT. The local shop sold you what they had in stock, figuring it's better to sell you the wrong product than to risk you finding another vendor while they ordered the right hitch for your setup.

You are right, it is all they had in stock. I questioned the size when I bought it and it's all he had.

Inland RV Center, In 11-29-2011 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by star kitty (Post 1077659)
I have a 67' GT that has a dry weight of 2640 lbs and a TW of around 400 lbs. I tow with a half ton SUV. I was sold a 10,000 lb./1000 lb bar weight distribution hitch locally.

Is this set up too stiff for my trailer? Will this larger capacity hitch perform poorly or does it even matter which size you buy?

Thank you!

Your hitch bars should not be more than 600 pounds.

There are 2 other things that cause a rough ride for an Airstream.

The first is the running gear, which should always be balanced as an assembly, or install automatic balancers.

The second is the condition of the rubber rods in the axle. No torsion axle lasts forever.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy

dznf0g 11-29-2011 06:00 PM

I would take it back. It is too much hitch and I believe it will cause damage.

DKB_SATX 11-29-2011 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1077683)
I would take it back. It is too much hitch and I believe it will cause damage.

It it's been too long to return it, they have a no-returns policy, etc. remember that you can sell the hitch for at least some of what you paid for it. After all, someone somewhere needs a hitch for 1000-lb tongue weight.

overlander64 11-29-2011 06:31 PM

Weight Distribution Question
 
Greetings star kitty!

Quote:

Originally Posted by star kitty (Post 1077673)
I purchased a Buyers set up at a very reputable hitch dealer here in town. They never asked the weight of my unit or the TW.

Over the course of time on these forums, I have learned this unit is too much for my trailer.

How will this change the performance? Will it be rough on the trailer during travel?

The situation that you describe is far more common than you might believe, and was even more prevalent before the Internet made information more available. When I purchased my '64 Overlander in 1995, I knew very little about the hitching requirements for an Airstream so I trusted the local hitch shop. When I told them that I was towing with a 1995 Chevrolet K1500 Club Cab Silverado and that I would be towing a '64 Airstream tandem axle 26-foot, their immediate response was a Reese 1,000/10,000 pound hitch. For three years, I was oblivious to any issues with this setup.

When I towed my Overlander to the WBCCI International Rally in Boise, Idaho, a stress crack developed over the entrance door. While at the Rally, I was introduced to a Reese hitch expert who was very familiar with Airstreams and he immediately insisted that I down-size to 600 pound weight distribution bars. I followed his recommendation and am continuing to use that setup today -- tow vehicle is the same as well -- 1999 GMC K2500 Suburban.

The stress crack above the door was identified as being directly linked to the over-hitching. In addition, while it was not identified as the primary factor, the over-hitching also was said to have likely made the rear end separation worse (the second owner had mounted the spare tire on the rear bumper where it rode for 15 years). I learned my lesson after more than $3,000 in repairs that over-hitching does have potential costs involved.

Something else that I learned was that the factory dry weight figures for Airstreams of the 1960s may be a little on the light side if my '64 Overlander is any example. Its dry weight was a little over 500 pounds more than the factory literature suggests. Through having the ready-to-travel weight checked, I learned that the coach runs very close to 6,000 pounds with a hitch weight slightly in excess of 725 pounds.

Good luck with your research and investigation!

Kevin

star kitty 11-29-2011 06:41 PM

I have a call into the owner and I will try to return it. Upon my initial conversation today, they stated they have never heard of my complaint before.

Thank you all for your help.

dznf0g 11-29-2011 06:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by star kitty (Post 1077710)
I have a call into the owner and I will try to return it. Upon my initial conversation today, they stated they have never heard of my complaint before.

Thank you all for your help.

Stick to your guns.
Based on what Overlander says his running weight is, I'd go with a Reese dual cam with 600lb bars.

Once you get all your gear and groceries, etc., in it, run it over the scales to ensure where you're at and verify proper wd setup.

SteveH 11-29-2011 07:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dznf0g (Post 1077668)
IMHO, yes. 600lb bars are even overkill a little, but I don't think you can get less, Unless you go with a complete replacement and get one of those single bar WDs. Someone else will have to chime in on that model.

What brand did the dealer sell you?

I have one of the single bar hitches rated for 400 lb tongue weight I use with a smaller trailer, and it works good. I would think it a very good hitch for a trailer of 400 lbs tongue weight, and a 1/2 ton tow vehicle.

dznf0g 11-29-2011 07:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteveH (Post 1077715)
I have one of the single bar hitches rated for 400 lb tongue weight I use with a smaller trailer, and it works good. I would think it a very good hitch for a trailer of 400 lbs tongue weight, and a 1/2 ton tow vehicle.

That's why I mentioned it, but I think she's on the ragged edge between the 400lb single bar and the 600 lb Reese after she gets in all her stuff.

What kind of trailer are you using it on?


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