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Old 05-14-2015, 07:25 PM   #61
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Towing with ball only

I do. Picked up a AS 23' in south Texas. Traveled just over 2000 miles back to northern Michigan. Mostly non-expressway. Windy roads, up and down. Always try not to drive over 70 MPH, usually 55-65. Absolutely no problems. I tow with a Chevy 2500HD with Duramax diesel. The truck was made for towing. I'm certain the Ford and Ram diesel trucks perform equally. Totally spoiled and can not imagine going back to a lesser truck even when not towing. It's a joy to drive. The PO let the equalizer hitch go with the trailer. I looked at it and tossed into the back of the truck instead of using it. The truck weighs just under 7800 lbs. The trailer I believe grosses at 6000 lbs.

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Old 05-14-2015, 09:19 PM   #62
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From personal experience, safety is first and foremost. If you don't care to use a good anti sway device (Hensley or Pro-pride preferred) for your own protection, do it for the rest of us on the road.
We all want to get where we are going safely and with as little stress as possible.
Over confidence can be a killer, hasn't happened and won't happen to you. Right...
Safe Travels
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:38 AM   #63
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As the OP, I just want to say thanks for the insight and feedback. I'm continuing to follow the thread.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:33 AM   #64
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I haven't towed much lately with just a ball, but a couple of years ago I helped a friend bring a 30' Airstream back from Houston to San Antonio without a WD hitch, and used just a ball. His truck was a 1/2 ton, and mine a 3/4 ton Diesel.

We made it back in one piece, nothing seriously bad happened, but it was a white knuckle ride all the way, and I had prepared with 80psi in the rear tires of the truck. Trailer tires were set at max, 65psi. The trailer wanted to steer the truck all over the road, and when trucks passed us, it was a wild ride for sure. Something I never want to again.
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:14 AM   #65
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Anyone tow with just the ball?

Whether towing on the ball is practical depends greatly on the trailer itself and how it is loaded.

The thing that can make towing an Airstream "challenging" is the amount of trailer behind the rear axles.

This excess length multiplies sway oscillations due to inertia X leverage.


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Old 05-15-2015, 10:22 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
Whether towing on the ball is practical depends greatly on the trailer itself and how it is loaded.

The thing that can make towing an Airstream "challenging" is the amount of trailer behind the rear axles.

This excess length multiplies sway oscillations due to inertia X leverage.


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I agree with that statement, J. When we traded from a 31' to our current 34', I first thought the 34 was more stable, but then we got it on an Interstate Hwy and experienced the big trucks passing us, and decided while with no external forces applied, the 34 is more stable, but when the bow wave from a truck hits it, it is effected more than the 31 was.

I have noticed when the wind is from my Left, and a truck passes, the bow wave effects us quite a bit. When the wind is from my Right, and a truck passes us, not so much. Also I've learned if I get to the extreme Right part of my lane when a truck passes, the effects of the bow wave are diminished.

While these truck passing events are not really sway, they are what I call "disturbances" that do effect the truck and trailer's handling much like a gust of wind would.
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:32 AM   #67
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Anyone tow with just the ball?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
I agree with that statement, J. When we traded from a 31' to our current 34', I first thought the 34 was more stable, but then we got it on an Interstate Hwy and experienced the big trucks passing us, and decided while with no external forces applied, the 34 is more stable, but when the bow wave from a truck hits it, it is effected more than the 31 was.

I have noticed when the wind is from my Left, and a truck passes, the bow wave effects us quite a bit. When the wind is from my Right, and a truck passes us, not so much. Also I've learned if I get to the extreme Right part of my lane when a truck passes, the effects of the bow wave are diminished.

While these truck passing events are not really sway, they are what I call "disturbances" that do effect the truck and trailer's handling.

And in all of this I agree with also Steve.

It brings to mind the last sway experience I had with my trailer. Like you I had learned to avoid the bow wave by keeping my distance from big trucks. This time I was eastbound on I-20 south of Dallas, and got pushed to the middle lane by merging traffic. It ended up that I was between two trucks, one to my left, and one to my right going a little faster than I intended on a downhill grade in a mild crosswind....

This all conspired to set me up for sway. I kept it all in my lane, but I had to brake pretty hard in traffic.

(There is a danger in getting comfortable with the limits of a combination, confidence can get a person in trouble... )

My on the ball experience was that disturbance can lead to sway....

Shortly thereafter I found my premium hitch for a good price now I never think about sway much.

In the end, my conclusion regarding my combination is this, if I never drove over 60 mph, "on the ball" would be safe enough, but there is no way I am going to keep it under 60 on the open interstate.

A man has got to know his limitations...


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Old 05-15-2015, 11:06 AM   #68
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Wdwd

What did Wally do way back in the day? Granted, they weren't going very fast, especially through Africa and South America. But I'm curious if they used weight distribution and antisway?


I pulled my 34' Avion triple axle home about 600 miles on just the ball. It did OK. I took it across the Great Smokies and then up 77 to 81 and high speed home. I didn't sway any that I could tell, and being the first time I'd pulled a trailer this big, I was very alert. But after that, I got the 14K Equal-I-Zer and set up for it and it does feel much more solid now.

I'd like to get a Pro-pride, but the Eq does such a decent job I can't justify the extra money. If I had no hitch now, I'd go Pro-Pride.

I do run a 2500 CTD Dodge long bed 4-door, and it is pretty hefty. But even so, the big Avion did squat the back down 4 inches or so. So I don't feel bad using WD on it.

I'd like to do some tests on this with RC models maybe. But it seems to me that if you have a trailer that is loaded way front heavy (like a semi truck trailer) that the problem basically goes away...if you have enough vehicle to carry the weight.

I keep going back to the old Slimp Dolley. It worked well in 1950 and it could work again today (with bigger better tires for our faster speeds).

See ya on the road,
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:29 PM   #69
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Any disturbance in the towing force can put you into a Star Wars situation. Look out for the Death Star of towing. Jim
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Old 05-15-2015, 03:48 PM   #70
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Any disturbance in the towing force can put you into a Star Wars situation. Look out for the Death Star of towing. Jim

"LIKE"


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Old 05-15-2015, 04:04 PM   #71
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Generally speaking almost anyone can tow on the ball. But if one wants to take it up to the various levels of control and safety the WDH is the way to go.
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Old 05-15-2015, 05:46 PM   #72
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In my experience, good sway control mostly adds JOY IN DRIVING more than safety as we tend to adapt to the limitations of our vehicles.


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Old 05-16-2015, 10:03 AM   #73
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I towed on the ball to go have my wdh installed. If I were hooked up to heart rate monitors, etc. to follow stress, I probably added 10 years of camping to my life by adding the wdh. The previous owner never used a wdh and scoffed at the idea of me installing one, but I found the difference in towing to be an incredible improvement in control and handling. If I hit the road, the wdh is on.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:26 AM   #74
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Also having done it both ways, once on the ball, WD only. Second time with a ProPride setup. Night and day. WD only was an E-ticket ride I didn't want to be on.

Same route and TV and same TT loading (empty).

I'm too old to scare myself that much ever again. 😄


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Old 05-17-2015, 09:28 AM   #75
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WD without sway control is a problem big time. I have towed without WD but withe sway control and it was fine. I also tried towing with WD and no sway control and it was a lot worse. Tnis of course was with my truck and trailer, your experience may be different. Good luck, jim
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:31 PM   #76
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I tow with a 2500 Ram turbo diesel. With 1150 lbs. of tongue weight, my rear squats over 3" and my headlights point to the sky. BUT, the rig handles great without WD. Yes, I've tried it. Even so, I wouldn't even think about towing without WD.

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Old 05-24-2015, 10:42 PM   #77
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2015 Silverado HD Duramax, 2015 30' Bunk @ $120,000. ProPride $2,500 and worth every penny in safety, and absolute towing ease. Not sure why you would not want the best possible hitch you can buy to protect your investment, loved ones and fellow travelers. Sure you can go without or cheaply, but........


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Old 05-25-2015, 06:24 AM   #78
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Not all feel that that hitch is the best. Matter of opinion related to individual circumstances. Jim
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:32 AM   #79
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Not all feel that that hitch is the best. Matter of opinion related to individual circumstances. Jim

The hitch type is superior in every aspect. As to which brand is another question. But not much of one.
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:37 AM   #80
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My brother-in-law called me Saturday. 30' Classic/2500 Silverado. He was taking the AS to the dealer to get un-winterized and decided not to install the WD bars on his Eq....after all it is just a few miles, right?

He is an experienced tower. He has no idea what happened, but he began to experience out-of-control sway on I70. He said if he didn't know how to manually apply trailer brakes and hit the gas, he is certain he would have lost the whole rig.

Lesson?

Always use WD and sway control.
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