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Old 04-24-2021, 07:55 AM   #1
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ProPride installation

I just towed my new 25 foot FC home a few days ago! All the boxes with the ProPride hitch parts were waiting in the garage. Now the fun begins...

I started by taking the propane tanks off the Airstream. Ah, the tanks don't sit on any kind of platform. They sit right on the frame of the trailer, with some rings welded to the platform to keep the bases secure.


Eek! That means there is no obvious way to lift the tanks up above the frame! Has Airstream made my job impossible?


Is this such a recent tweak from Airstream that nobody else has confronted it?
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:14 AM   #2
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Photo would help. I’m sure we can get it installed.
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:34 AM   #3
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My 2019 Flying Cloud had the tray. My 2021 Classic has the rings like you mention. Since home is 1700 miles away from my selling dealer, I had Colonial Airstream install my ProPride on the new trailer. (They also installed one on my previous trailer.)

But I will say that the new propane bottle configuration makes for a much nicer install. With no tray to raise up, the U-bolts fit around the trailer frame and fit completely within the propane cover. My trailer is at the storage facility, so I cannot take a picture today to show you how elegant you can make this work. I'll get a pic the next time I'm at the storage site.
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Old 04-24-2021, 09:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybauman View Post
But I will say that the new propane bottle configuration makes for a much nicer install.

Thanks for verifying it's possible... now I am thinking... the propane tanks have a ring at the bottom to keep the tank proper above the ground. The U bolts might fit up inside there just perfectly!
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:31 PM   #5
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The U bolts might fit up inside there just perfectly!
Yes. That's exactly how mine are set up.
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:01 PM   #6
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I've got everything installed now... and mostly torqued...


One question: how do folks measure torque on a nut on a threaded rod like those U-Bolts. The threads stick out way beyond the depth of my sockets, so I can't use the torque wrench I have. Is there some other kind of torque wrench, or some trick? Just get like 3 inch deep sockets?

Mostly the bits and pieces went together fine. The propane tank situation is not satisfactory. The U-Bolts ended up at middle of the tank where there is very little clearance, so the tanks are balanced on those U-Bolts. I am going to find some kinds of shims to add to the A-frame where the tank's base sits, to get them up, probably only 1/8 inch or so, off the U-Bolt.


Another problem is that the tank cover is lifted up by the weight distribution jacks. My idea to fix that is to get a few washers to add between that cross piece that secures the tops of the tanks and the cross piece attached to the tank cover. That way when I bear down on that big wing nuts, the washers will transfer the force to secure the tanks. Right now the tanks are wobbly at the bottom and wobbly at the top. The wing nut just squeezes the tank cover against the base of the WD jacks.



Nothing catastrophic, just little details that demand a bit of attention.
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kukula;
I've got everything installed now... and mostly torqued...


One question: how do folks measure torque on a nut on a threaded rod like those U-Bolts. The threads stick out way beyond the depth of my sockets, so I can't use the torque wrench I have. Is there some other kind of torque wrench, or some trick? Just get like 3 inch deep sockets?

Yup I use deep sockets for those longer bolts in the shank.
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:05 PM   #8
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Now that I have installed the hitch, I have a much better understanding of how the bits and pieces fit together. There are still plenty of mysteries, but a lot fewer.


Something that amazes me... the hitch is a hefty pile of steel. As far as I can tell, it almost all just hangs off the trailer coupler, that grabs onto the ball of the master hitch assembly. The coupler has that little lever - I assume that if I were to pull that lever, the whole mess would drop to the ground! Not a good idea! There is a hole through the A frame right by the coupler - if I stuck a shaft through that hole, it would prevent that lever from being lifted. When towing with a simple ball hitch, some sort of locking thing could be used there to keep the trailer attached to the tow vehicle. With the ProPride, some kind of lock there would keep the hitch attached to the trailer.


I don't even know what the name of that kind of lock would be. "Coupler lock" gets me lots of devices designed to prevent the coupler from connected to a ball. What is the lock that prevents a coupler from being DISconnected from a ball? Somebody must make those for the specific Airstream coupler... ???
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:09 PM   #9
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Maybe it's called a "coupler pin lock"...
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:15 PM   #10
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this looks like the right sort of device... anybody know whether this will work on an Airstream, especially with a ProPride 3P?
https://www.curtmfg.com/part/23523
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kukula View Post
this looks like the right sort of device... anybody know whether this will work on an Airstream, especially with a ProPride 3P?
https://www.curtmfg.com/part/23523

That looks like it might work.

For reference, here is the one that Colonial "threw in" with my new trailer. The small locks don't work with the new couplers that Airstream started using recently.
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Old 04-25-2021, 06:46 PM   #12
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I got a simple threaded rod with some nuts and washers to use as a coupler lock. I'm not so worried about somebody stealing the trailer. But I can imagine chatting with a neighbor about the setup, and they say "what's this" and give a tug.



I got a piece of linoleum flooring and cut it up to make some shims to lift the propane tanks above the U-bolts. Two layers did the job, and then duct tape to hold them in place. Rather primitive... I'll keep an eye on this, for sure!

The stack of washers to move the compression off the tank cover and onto the tanks... pretty tight fit... the tank cover is still touching the base of the WD jacks, but it'll slide around on there pretty easily. Whereas the brace holding the tanks, that is now solid. I'd rather have had a few threads showing out the top of that wing-nut, but still it looks reasonably secure. Again... I'll be popping the top open pretty often to make sure!
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:03 PM   #13
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Here are a few pics from my installation. No modifications to the height of the cover were required.



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Old 04-26-2021, 03:35 PM   #14
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Thanks for those pictures! It's so similar to what I have... but subtly different.



It looks like your WD jacks are a touch further back... enough to clear the propane tank cover. That's nice.



The U-bolts underneath the tanks look positioned identically to mine. Why your tanks don't hit, that's a mystery! Maybe tank dimensions vary. My shims are probably 3/16 inch or so... a bit more height on that tank base would have made my life easier!
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Old 04-26-2021, 04:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kukula View Post
It looks like your WD jacks are a touch further back... enough to clear the propane tank cover. That's nice.
The jacks cannot be moved any further forward, or I cannot open the battery box. They are back a bit more than I would like, but everything seems to work OK. I am hopeful that the V2 jacks give me more space for battery box and, more importantly, front hatch access.


Quote:
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The U-bolts underneath the tanks look positioned identically to mine. Why your tanks don't hit, that's a mystery! Maybe tank dimensions vary. My shims are probably 3/16 inch or so... a bit more height on that tank base would have made my life easier!
I'm having difficulty visualizing how your U-bolt doesn't clear the cover. I have a Classic, which comes with 40lb. aluminum propane bottles and the larger cover. Perhaps this makes a difference?
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Old 04-26-2021, 04:06 PM   #16
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Ah, 40 pound tanks might be the whole answer! I'm pretty sure I have 30 pound tanks. The problem with the U-bolt isn't the tank cover, but the tanks themselves. You can see in your photo, the bottom of the tank is mighty close to hitting that U-bolt. Mine was resting on the U-bolt until I shimmed up the tank a bit.

The tank cover was hitting the WD jack. Curious, my battery door opens fine. Yeah, the front hatch hits the jack. If only I'd known about the V2 jacks! Well, the hatch opens most of the way... I can live with it for now.
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Old 04-26-2021, 04:19 PM   #17
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I noticed from the photos that you didn't get the new style jacks with your hitch. I was under the impression that new style jacks are standard with the ProPride hitches. I would check with ProPride about that.
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Old 04-26-2021, 04:53 PM   #18
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I ordered the hitch on March 3... I wonder when they switched to the new jacks?


The battery box on the 25 FC sits up a bit, the cover is maybe 2 inches above the top of the A frame, so the base of the jacks can fit underneath.

All these little details!
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Old 04-26-2021, 07:14 PM   #19
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I ordered the hitch on March 3... I wonder when they switched to the new jacks?
New jacks started shipping April 1.
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:54 PM   #20
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I like the old BAL jacks. Gives bar tension in both directions.

Get some 3/4” automotive heater hose, split lengthwise and put around bottom lip of Propane cylinder. Should lift the cylinder enough to clear the bolts without sacrificing keeping the cylinder in the base loop.

The tank cover references off the top of the cylinder... so lifting the cylinder with the hose padding will also lift the tank cover, but only you will notice.
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