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Old 02-16-2024, 05:23 PM   #1
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Sproat Lake , British Columbia
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Landed a Classic & it likes to sway :)

Made a deal on a 2021 from Inland Empire Airstream, in Temecula, CA. Bought from photos. They did a nice job, everything works, clean inside and out, black parts touched up and a complete starter kit of hoses, filters, blocks, adapter plugs.

Pleasant to deal with and just a doc fee. I had the towing legend VernDiesel hook it up after a factory delivery to there, and he hauled it up the I5 in record time to Ferndale, WA where I was sippin' cappuccinos from Curbshots espresso and watchin' SMCI pop. Too bad it didn't stick!

This Classic 30 has an updated 12V fridge (we prefer), soft starts, smart TV and a nice bumper hitch installed.

Now onto sway. I read, and Vern has said the 30's don't tow quite as well as the 27 or 28 models. I have never had any squirming around or hint of sway towing until this 30RBT.

Hitch weight is 900lbs. I just dropped the tires to 65PSI from 80, & that will dampen things, create a bit of pull-back. I'm thinking there is more weight behind the axles in a 30+ to start the tongue moving.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to add the Curt sway control module, because when I squeeze the trailer brake any movement is stopped immediately.
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Old 02-17-2024, 03:49 AM   #2
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My 30 Classic swayed on the 150 mile ride back. It was empty. The rear bed must make it more rear heavy than my 27 front bed I came from that never swayed. Something is way different compared to the 27 in the weight distribution. Before I buy anything I want to see how it towes loaded.
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Old 02-17-2024, 05:24 AM   #3
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The obvious questions are
1. with what are you towing
2. what kind of hitch

If you're towing with a 2500 and a Blue Ox that's a seriously different set of questions than if you're towing with a Tahoe and a bare hitch.

Seriously different.
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Old 02-17-2024, 06:42 AM   #4
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Trailer sway can be dangerous and it is good to hear you can correct it with application of the trailer brake system. I strongly believe you can correct the situation with a good hitch. They make hitches that actually prevent sway. We use the ProPride and have for 10 years with our 1986 Limited 34' triple axle. And we tow with a Ford F350 diesel with load range E tires at 80 psi in the rears. We never experience sway conditions with a swerve to avoid a road object (like a truck tire tread) or high wind conditions, or braking while going down a long Colorado mountain pass with curves in the road.

I might add I have always believed strong truck tires are important in reducing sway. 65 psi in the rear tires sounds low to me.

Others here on these great Airstream Forums are likely to contribute other suggestions for your considerations. I'm confident you will find a solution.

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Old 02-17-2024, 08:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSHED View Post
The obvious questions are
1. with what are you towing
2. what kind of hitch

If you're towing with a 2500 and a Blue Ox that's a seriously different set of questions than if you're towing with a Tahoe and a bare hitch.

Seriously different.
I was thinking same questions! What are you towing with and what kind of hitch? Is the AS loaded or empty?
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Old 02-17-2024, 09:22 AM   #6
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Hi

Yup, welcome to a Classic. You are not at all the first one to notice this !!!!

Simple answers:

1) You have a lot of weight up high and in the rear of a Classic. (rear A/C and all those wood cabinets). Neither high nor far back is good for sway. Yes, sway is more complex than the simple explanations would imply ....

2) Fill the fresh water tank before you head out on a trip. It puts weight down low and closer to the front. That helps to balance things out a bit.

3) Resist the temptation to fill all those high cabinets in the rear with heavy stuff. Use it for the ping pong ball collection .

4) Also resist the temptation to put the full inventory of heavy tools in the rear storage compartments.

Yes, you do need a WD hitch. The Classics are a bit heavy. You also most certainly need an AS hitch as well.

Fun !!!

Bob
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Old 02-17-2024, 09:26 AM   #7
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Old 02-17-2024, 09:27 AM   #8
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We have a 30’ FC RBQ and it tows like a dream with Blue Ox and Ram 2500 Diesel.
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Old 02-17-2024, 09:41 AM   #9
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Checking your other posts, you’re towing w/ a 1500 Ram.



I wouldn’t.
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Old 02-17-2024, 11:22 AM   #10
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3/4 ton pu and Reese duel cam no problems
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Old 02-17-2024, 11:46 AM   #11
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Too much weight towards the rear of the trailer. Like earlier said, fill the water tank. Pack as much as you can towards the front of the trailer, not nearly as much in the nice under the bed storage...not particularly a well designed floor plan by Airstream when it comes to towing.
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Old 02-17-2024, 12:04 PM   #12
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Set up

Nice trailer. We have a 30 ft FC rear bedroom with an equalizer and a 3/4 ton truck never swayed but did Hobby Horse on certain heaved expressways . Our answer was A shocker weight distribution hitch that stopped the bounce. We have absolutely no sway. Our truck has Sumo springs and Bilstein shocks they made a huge difference you might want to start with them first.
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Old 02-17-2024, 12:40 PM   #13
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We tow our 2014 31' Classic (scales 9,200 pounds loaded with a 1,175 pound tongue weight [down from initial 1,345 pounds with GYM batteries] including the ProPride hitch head) with a 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins that is heavily modified: 56 gallon fuel tank under the cab and bed, complete air bag suspension with on board air compressor, stowage pull out tray for the truck bed, heavy custom Curt 54098 receiver rated for 17,0000 pound trailer and 2,550 pound tongue weight in lieu of deleted factory receiver.

Stock sized Michelin rear tires are inflated to 80 psi towing with 70 psi in front.

Sway and porposing controlled by the tension in the lift arms of the ProPride. The Tuson brake controller gets its information from the ODB port of the engine so it senses power and brake application for faster response. Mon the flats, my max speed is 65 mph unless posted lower. On long steep descents, I start at theta at 35 to 40 mph for better control and less brake application. The diesel back pressures often enough brake that the wheel brakes are not even applied.
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Old 02-17-2024, 12:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LNBright View Post
... towing w/ a 1500 Ram. ...
Yeah, I wouldn't want to either. I suppose it could be done, and if I was moving these things for a living, I might figure out a way, but I'd want to approach each limit really carefully.

Had a sailplane trailer (about 28 ft) that with the glider on it was perfectly stable behind an F150 (reg cab, short bed) at 78 in still air. At 80 it started to get weird. Without the glider, like when heading off to pull someone out of a field, it seemed happy at whatever I cared to do. Behind a Honda Accord 55 was OK. 60 was not.

The usual rule for working close to the margin is to enumerate and understand each limit, then approach each one slowly, changing one parameter at a time.

If that seems too complicated, the 2500 & Blue Ox, Equalizer, Dual Cam, or orange knobbly hitch thing seems to work well for lots of people.
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Old 02-17-2024, 12:44 PM   #15
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Lol

Good information Bob,



Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Yup, welcome to a Classic. You are not at all the first one to notice this !!!!

Simple answers:

1) You have a lot of weight up high and in the rear of a Classic. (rear A/C and all those wood cabinets). Neither high nor far back is good for sway. Yes, sway is more complex than the simple explanations would imply ....

2) Fill the fresh water tank before you head out on a trip. It puts weight down low and closer to the front. That helps to balance things out a bit.

3) Resist the temptation to fill all those high cabinets in the rear with heavy stuff. Use it for the ping pong ball collection .

4) Also resist the temptation to put the full inventory of heavy tools in the rear storage compartments.

Yes, you do need a WD hitch. The Classics are a bit heavy. You also most certainly need an AS hitch as well.

Fun !!!

Bob
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Old 02-17-2024, 02:33 PM   #16
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I think I figured it out.

First off, doesn't matter what or how you tow it, if the trailer is moving around, there is a reason why. We are talkin' trailer here, not truck, or driver .

Michelin LT tires have the lowest rolling resistance (RR) of comparable rubber*. And I'm feeling that, incl my fuel mileage @ 13L/100km which matches lighter 27fb trailers. Therefore, dropping tire pressure to increase RR and get some pullback from the trailer, is the right move here.

If I stand between the beds, and bounce the trailer I can get it to oscillate pretty easily, like on a trampoline!

Is there a Bilstein shock that will fit an AS??!

It does feel heavy behind the axles too, as you guys noted above, there is a lot of cabinetry wagging back there.
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Old 02-17-2024, 02:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redshed View Post
the obvious questions are
1. With what are you towing
2. What kind of hitch

if you're towing with a 2500 and a blue ox that's a seriously different set of questions than if you're towing with a tahoe and a bare hitch.

Seriously different.
exactly!
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Old 02-17-2024, 05:36 PM   #18
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I think I figured it out.


If I stand between the beds, and bounce the trailer I can get it to oscillate pretty easily, like on a trampoline!
If you're jumping up and down and the trailer is rotating back and forth, you have some serious problems.
If the trailer is bouncing up and down, while you're doing it, that's supposed to happen. Making it firmer is likely to shake things loose.
If the trailer continues to bounce up and down after you stop, then it's the shocks.

Quote:
First off, doesn't matter what or how you tow it, if the trailer is moving around, there is a reason why. We are talkin' trailer here, not truck, or driver .
well ... it's a system, so it really truly DOES matter how and with what your tow it. When you drive, you're constantly making small corrections on the steering wheel, and each of these puts a small - really small usually - amount of yaw into the system. The trailer is constantly moving around left and right, and it actually has to. If the resistive force provided by the tow vehicle is less than the divergent force from the trailer, the tow vehicle's tail will move back and forth, maybe it's millimeters, maybe centimeters, maybe ...

Like why an arrow has the feathers at the back and the arrowhead at the front, stability is helped by the distance between the center of gravity and the axis of rotation. A heavier tow vehicle with a longer wheelbase does this.

A weight distributing hitch doesn't actually change the CG of the system - it's not a magic levitation device. But it does attenuate up & down motion at the hitch (among other things) and this can help. Hitch based sway control doesn't remove the clockwise/counterclockwise forces at the hitch, but it effectively increases the tow vehicle's resistance to lateral motion as it happens. Electronic sway control will always be ~50-100 milliseconds later. We can go in to some details on why this is, if there's interest.

We can think about it as a system, or we can take a long and painful route to sorting it out.
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Old 02-17-2024, 05:58 PM   #19
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Got underneath and inspected the axles....
FOUND: One shock is off the mounting bolt. See I knew somethin' was up .

I don't like that I can get the trailer to porpoise (^/v) so easily with just my weight. Having said that, from forum posts and Amazon, it might be that the Monroe 555003 Gas-Magnum RV Shock Absorber could fit.

There is also 25lbs +/- of plastic flooring in the rear compartment. Remove or replace with plywood and save some weight there.
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Old 02-17-2024, 07:32 PM   #20
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Try towing it with the freshwater tank full. Assuming it's located between the axles like on many other Airstream trailers, it will help stabilize the trailer going down the road. Yes, it makes the trailer heavier, but the extra weight will be low and well centered between the axles where it belongs. There is a noticeable difference in my trailer like this.

The Reese Dual Cam does a good job on my setup also helping reduce problems towing.
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