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Old 07-23-2015, 07:14 PM   #1
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2010 30' Flying Cloud
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Pro Pride unhappiness

I tow a 2010 30ft Flying Cloud with an F150. I have been towing for the last five years and 80,000 miles with an Equalizer hitch. Just got a Pro Pride and I am not happy.
First a couple of things that I did not pick up in the literature or discussions. The hitch sits lower and uses up ground clearance that I did not expect. I cannot turn as sharply when backing with the Pro Pride as I could with the Equalizer. After about 10 hitch up trials I can see it will take me longer to hitch than the Equalizer did because of the weight distribution jacks.
But the real deal breaker is the ride. Folks told us the ride would improve but our experience has been just the opposite. There is a lot more movement in the cab and my wife started to get motion sick in the passenger seat on a test ride.
Anyone else have a similar experience?
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:31 PM   #2
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Once you get the alignment figured out it gets much quicker. Other thing that helps with speed is an 18-20V drill. Dial in the setup following the any of the suggested processes on the forum. Once you have the height of the jacks where you want them I simply took a piece of 3/4 PVC and cut it to that length. Put a string on it so you can find it/hold it. Run the jacks up to the approximate height and use the pvc to measure. I put it on the base and under the bottom edge of the top section of the jack.

Should be able to turn nearly as sharply but I've never had anything but a PP on the AS.

Ride could be to much weight on the F150. If you haven't done so make a trip to the CAT scales to get all of the weights and to help dial in the jacks. Do the weighing ready to go camping. Full Propane, full fresh water, AS loaded with your stuff, truck loaded with the normal passengers and stuff in the back.

Do the CAT scale passes, minimum of 3, to get the actual weights.

Rough ride could be jacks to tight, to loose, truck over payload as a few possibilities.

Share your results and photos of your setup. Also height you are setting the jacks at. That will help the forum help you with trouble shooting.

Lastly reach out to Sean at ProPride. He's darned good on being responsive.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:50 PM   #3
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I have to crank the jacks up to about 9" to get the weight distribution I need based on measuring how much the front and rear bumpers settle under load. I have not weighed this set up but did have had the old rig weighed a number of times before and have found that measuring the height of the front and rear bumper give a pretty good read. I know the overall weight is OK since the only major thing that is different from when we have headed out before is the Pro Pride is a lot heavier than the Equalizer.
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:04 PM   #4
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I went from an Equalizer and have not found any of the issues you have mentioned. Sounds as though there needs to be some adjustments and trips to the scales as previously mentioned. I pull a 28FC which has one of the higher tongue weights of any of the Airstreams and I have found my F150 ride very smooth pulling it. I actually find the PP easier and quicker to hook up than the Equalizer but I do use and electric drill to raise/lower jacks. Once I got mine dialed in, I just put a tape mark on my latching wrench and cheek it when raising bars. You do have to pay attention on hooking up that angles are all aligned, but that's a pretty easy step. One of the other things very nice about the PP is the ease to adjust weight distribution levels if for some reason you need to due to more weight in the truck bed, etc.

As far as ground clearance, you are correct but I have not had an issue with that so far and have not heard of too many people having an issue. As far as backing, I find no difference in the backing of it except it is a little different with the pivot initially when backing. As far as angles, I have gotten in some very tight spots with no issues and have no issues with a 90 degree angle getting into my drive. The difference I see backing with the PP vs the Equalizer is it is quite.

Spend some time getting it dialed in and I feel sure your ride and towing experience will be great. I am convinced after hitting a storm with straight line winds of near 60mph hitting us broadside that the hitch did it's job. There is a learning curve with the PP but, at least in my opinion well worth it.

Chuck
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:19 PM   #5
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As noted above, hitching and unhitching once you have a procedure that works for you is very fast. I get in and out first time almost every time. A few tips:-

Pull you TV up to the AS with stinger installed, set the level of the PP (with the AS tongue jack) so the stinger is lined up vertically on the center of the opening in the PP head. Measure from the ground to the top of the PP head. For me this is 16". This is the height you want the PP set to using the AS tongue jack for hitching and unhitching.

Shoot some Corrosion X or other light oil in the PP head (Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1437707926.867501.jpg
Views:	244
Size:	98.1 KB
ID:	243757to ease release).

Adjust the WD jacks so the PP head is level (approx). This will probably position the jacks about 1.5" up from all the way down.

Back the stinger in, latch up. Wind up tongue jack.

Apply WD, chains etc....

To unhitching, put tongue jack down until the top of the PP head is at the dim you measured above (16" for me).

Wind WD jacks down to about 1.5" from bottom (to level the PP head).

Unlatch PP, drive TV out.


If your PP head is on an angle when unhitching, release the WD first, the WD bars can then be moved to the side with your foot to enable the tongue jack to be lowered. I have never had to reposition the TV to get the tongue jack down. You can also pull forward a bit to straighten out the PP head if you prefer.

On the issue of motion in the cab of your TV, I get this when I have insufficient WD applied. The PP WD bars will likely be very much more bent with the right amount of WD applied. They will look like they are quite a bit closer to the AS frame at the rear. This is not typical for other hitches where you can get some good rearward tilt on the ball. You can simulate "ball tilt" by using washers on the PP. I use 4 washers in my setup and 6" to 6.5" of jack height. With 4 washers the stinger points down a bit. As noted above you can tune the angle of the PP head when hitching using the jacks, raise jacks to tilt the PP head down, less jack raise to tilt the head up.

Once you get this figured out, you will look back and laugh, persevere, the PP is an amazing hitch.

I'd would get to a scale as suggested above to dial things in.

The only thing you can't fix is ground clearance, it does look low but I have never had an issue with anything dragging. There are bits and pieces on the bottom of your AS at a similar level.

Let us know how you get on.
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ohiobrits View Post

I'd would get to a scale as suggested above to dial things in.

The only thing you can't fix is ground clearance, it does look low but I have never had an issue with anything dragging. There are bits and pieces on the bottom of your AS at a similar level.

Let us know how you get on.
Wow...you're towing that with a Cayenne. Pushing the limit for sure right? I've been concerned with my LR3 which is a lot heavier so maybe it'll feel just fine. Do you ever feel pushed around?
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:01 PM   #7
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Good help above on hitching/unhitching with ease, when it's aligned it's a piece of cake.

Your bouncing or porpoising ride is probably from too much load in the front of the Airstream or aft of the rear axle of the F150, or more likely not enough weight distribution applied.

The hitch is longer than the Equal-I-Zer so needs heavier w.d. bars to do the same job. We had 1000 lb bars on our Equal-I-Zer, have 1400 lb bars on our ProPride; our Ram 1500 rides very smoothly. Much smoother than the Equal-I-Zer, however there is more range of flexibility in the tapered bars than the Equal-I-zer's square straight bars. That might explain the bouncing if there is not enough weight distribution applied, or available from too light of bar.
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:50 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your tips. I'll see if I can make it work.
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:23 AM   #9
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BW-

The only thing I'll add to the above excellant tips is a reminder that as little as 1-2 turns on the PP jacks make a difference in the ride. We tow a 27FB with a '14 F150 crew 2wd.

We came home on a 2.5 hr ride from Ft. Desoto park up I-75 yesterday in blustery crosswinds and in /out of rain with a very smooth ride. And of course we had trucks blasting by us on both sides where I-75 is 4 lanes around Sarasota with no problems as we happily eased along in 5th gear at 65mph.

The 1-2 jack turns was actually a reminder to me yesterday. When we pulled out, we had some clunking/groaning on turns that we never get with our PP. I had over-tightened the jacks to 6.5-7" as I had on the way down on Monday when I had a heavier tongue weight, and the PP hanger arms were binding on the protectors. Adjusted 1.5 turns looser, and no more bind.

I am confident you can get it worked out, and you will love the ride. It is a pleasure to tow with this setup.
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:40 AM   #10
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Wow...you're towing that with a Cayenne. Pushing the limit for sure right? I've been concerned with my LR3 which is a lot heavier so maybe it'll feel just fine. Do you ever feel pushed around?

If I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me.....

The Cayenne chassis is very stable for an SUV, almost sports car like. It has 14.2" rotors on the front with 6 piston calipers and will stop from 70mph in around 160ft. The chassis will pull between 0.89 and 0.95 lateral g on a skid pan depending on set up. This means the chassis can resist very large lateral loads before being pushed around. It will hold this near 13,000lb rig at 65mph on a 5% downgrade when in 5th with no need for brakes. I am within all weight ratings (axle, GV and GCW) even with 4 people and dog on board (scale verified). The AS tongue weight has been reduced by about 150lbs. With the ProPride fitted this rig is very easy to drive, it's a pleasure in fact. I get 16 to 19mpg towing.

Most people that tow with a big truck don't believe a word of the above....but that's another thread on here....
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bw2315 View Post
I tow a 2010 30ft Flying Cloud with an F150. I have been towing for the last five years and 80,000 miles with an Equalizer hitch. Just got a Pro Pride and I am not happy.
First a couple of things that I did not pick up in the literature or discussions. The hitch sits lower and uses up ground clearance that I did not expect. I cannot turn as sharply when backing with the Pro Pride as I could with the Equalizer. After about 10 hitch up trials I can see it will take me longer to hitch than the Equalizer did because of the weight distribution jacks.
But the real deal breaker is the ride. Folks told us the ride would improve but our experience has been just the opposite. There is a lot more movement in the cab and my wife started to get motion sick in the passenger seat on a test ride.
Anyone else have a similar experience?
Try loosening the WD slightly, and retest. I've noticed out Hensley causes a much rougher ride when the bars are cranked up too tight.
As for ground clearance, after many trips, and many thousands of miles, I have yet to have it drag on anything.
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:57 AM   #12
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Hey BW - I can empathize a bit. The PP is all I've ever known and getting to know it had some highs and terrible lows. In fact, we're staying in the same park right now where we had our absolutely WORST experience with the hitch during our first year using it (how they let us back here I'll never know...I guess it helped that we sent them a box of awesome cupcakes when we got home...).

When I had set up, I didn't get out and look at the environment I was in and just started setting up and unhitching. As soon as I unhitched and drove the truck away, I heard this loud THUNK and knew that the stinger pulled up on the head because I was driving downhill at a pretty steep angle.

(At this point, everyone reading this who owns a PP is screaming NOOOOOOOOO!!!! &#128516.

I worried about it all weekend. I had no idea how I was going to get that stinger back in at such an angle.

What I know now (and wish I knew then) is that the biggest difficulty with hitching up is aligning the stinger to the box where both are on the exact same plane. If they're not, it can be impossible! BUT - the big learning for me was that no matter how far off it is, you can ALWAYS dial it in perfectly just by adjusting the WD jacks! Try this - while it's unhitched, dial up and down the WD jacks on each side and watch what happens to the head unit - the box your stinger goes in to will twist. There are times I back the stinger in and it starts to bind in the head - but when I dial down or up the WD, the head twists and slides itself right on the stinger every time!

That one simple trick made hitching up a complete breeze!

And the comments you got on how to solve "porpoising" (that tug/pull/up/down motion that made your wife sick) is also solved with the WD jacks. Just a few more turns to put a bit more weight on the front axle and you can ride real smooth (except on those awful concrete roads....different thread...).

Take it to the scales, follow the procedure outlined in several threads here (search for CAT Scales and author Ron Gratz and you'll get everything you need).

Long winded answer to your question but yes, I've experienced something similar. Once you get past the learning curve and get it dialed in right (same with any setup), you'll look back and have a good laugh!

Good luck!
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:28 AM   #13
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Some of the guys are saying dial in more WD, but I wonder. You said you are at 9". I read all of the threads before I purchased mine and I do not recall anyone needing that much on the WD jacks. 6-7.5" seems to be the norm. Truly the only way to know precisely is to get to the CAT scales.

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Old 07-24-2015, 05:37 AM   #14
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Pro Pride unhappiness

Actually, Larry - you have a very good point. I shouldn't have jumped to the "add more" conclusion.

I'm at 6" (5 gave me proposing) and that's the sweet spot for me. 9 might be way too much. Scales tell the story...it's a pain that first time, but spend a few hours to futz with it and establish your baseline. Then it's just an annual 1 hour checkup at the start of the season.
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:46 AM   #15
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We have Propride and had similar issues when we first got it. We tow 28' FC with Chevy Silverardo 1500.
We called Sean, he was great to work with. He had us flip our hitch and change the height. That made a huge difference. We jack our bars up to 6". I might be wrong but I think we were told to never go beyond 7"

One word of caution, a shear pin broke on our last trip making it impossible to engage the gears to rise or lower distribution bar. Called Sean, he told us this is happening due to using an impact drill. It turned out to be an easy fix but required scrambling to hardware store to find a roll pin .
We now use hand crank, it actually is very easy and I wonder why I ever thought I needed the drill.
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:12 AM   #16
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ProPride newbie here--using a Sierra 1500 to pull an FC 27. Hitch was installed and set up by Colonial Airstream in New Jersey. They use a lot of washers to angle the "stinger" downward a bit. The initial 5 1/2" set up on the WD jacks produced a pretty bouncy ride with 1400 lb. bars. Another 1/4" of extension cured the problem. But the Sierra has, IMHO, an under damped suspension. The F150s I've driven ('14 and '15) do not. Never had ground clearance issues, except when I drove off without cranking the WD bars and then went over a speed hump. 😖 I would check your weights on a scale; maybe you're running heavy.
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:51 AM   #17
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I've found that I seem to have less porpoising with less WD applied. Of course the issue there I believe is making sure enough weight is transferred to the front axle.

When hitching, I also adjust my WD jacks BEFORE raising the tongue jack, which makes cranking them by hand extremely easy.

One alternative to measuring the hitch box when unhitching is to watch the coupler as the tongue jack is lowered. As soon as the coupler starts to lift off the propride I stop lowering the tongue jack since that's evidence the trailer is now fully supported by the tongue jack and not the vehicle.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:31 AM   #18
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Ditto on 9" seeming to be way to high. On both my 2014 FC25 and the 2015 Classic I have found that if you measure to the top of the stinger while it is mounted to the truck a height of 14" is in the sweet spot range. Stinger I have been told should be level or close to it.

When I got the new Classic, I did the install at Colonial myself with some help with rerouting the gas lines. Followed the instructions. Setup the stinger at 14" and everything worked and aligned perfectly. Thought I might need to be an inch higher on the stinger since the ball height specs from the factory say it is an inch higher but didn't turn out to be the case. Everything tows, measures, looks like it should and about 1/2 inch higher to the bottom of the frame at the tongue vs the frame at the bumper.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:45 AM   #19
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We just took our first trip with the ProPride. We tow a 30FB with a 1500 truck and found out quickly that too much weight distribution made the truck ride very rough. I backed the jacks down a little and the ride smoothed out considerably. The "porpoiseing" effect was reduced with a little less weight distribution as well. I found out small adjustments (1/4" to 1/2") on the WD jacks can make a big difference in ride quality. The hitch felt much more stable than the name brand friction style hitch I replaced. I couldn't be happier now that I feel it is "dialed in" and working properly.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:12 AM   #20
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FWIW.....you don't adjust the WD for "ride quality", you adjust to transfer the needed weight to the TV steering axle, if done properly the quality will be there.

"Dialed in" works better with weights,(first choice) or measurements.

Bob
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