Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-02-2016, 07:27 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
1968 24' Tradewind
Hudsonville , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 16
Tow Vehicle Information Needed….

We have a 1968 Airstream Tradewind which weighs approximately 4,500 pounds. We have owned the trailer for 11 years and have always hauled it with a Chevy 1500 Suburban and a sway bar system. Our first suburban was a 2001 with the trailer package from the factory and this truck did a great job hauling the trailer with no issues. Two years ago we up dated our truck to a 2013 Suburban and have found this truck just does not work with our trailer. This truck is a 1500 also - but no factory trailer package so we had an air bag system installed. Still we have times that the trailer wants to fishtail really bad. We have experimented with additional air etc, but nothing seems to work. Are the newer Suburbans that much lighter weight? Do we need to go to a 2500? Does the factory trailer package make a difference? We just need some answers, before we put our truck up for sale to find a better option to keep us and our trailer safe.
Redteddy76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2016, 11:47 AM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
1990 32' Excella
jonesboro , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 257
Don't know that much about the suburbans. First question is are you using a wt distribution hitch. If you are and you still have to use bags you have a problem. Anything you have to put bags on is not sufficient for the job you do with it. All bags do is keep the vehicle from collasping the suspension. It does not alter the fact that all the componants of the suspension are over loaded and stressed. The fact that you cannot get rid of the sway proves that. You can get expensive hitches and sway controll. But if the wt is not distributed properly it is not safe. Bags may lift the rear but unlike a w/d hitch it does not even out the load between all axles it only lifts the rear. You are still going to have more wt on the rear than it should have and the frt will still be light and will add to sway problems. Good luck and be safe.
joel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2016, 05:59 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
 
1968 24' Tradewind
Hudsonville , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 16
Yes - we are using a weight distributing hitch, it is the hitch that came with our trailer and same hitch we used when we had our 2001 Suburban.
Redteddy76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2016, 06:15 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
SteveSueMac's Avatar

 
2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 7,400
Hi. What are the manufacturer's specs for your specific model/configuration Suburban? Perhaps you're closer to those specs than the older version? I also don't know if the frame/suspension has any limitations to consider. Just places to look - sorry I can't be of more help.
SteveSueMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2016, 07:17 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
1990 32' Excella
jonesboro , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 257
Sounds like a trip to the scales is in your future.get the instructions for your hitch and follow all the set up. And check every thing. If you are with in the capacities of your rig it should level out. Check your trailer load also for balance. From looking on line the base model has surround a 5000 lb towing capacity. You need to get individual axle wts if it doesn't level out without air bags.this will tell you a lot.
joel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2016, 08:19 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
SSquared's Avatar
 
2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redteddy76 View Post
We have a 1968 Airstream Tradewind which weighs approximately 4,500 pounds. We have owned the trailer for 11 years and have always hauled it with a Chevy 1500 Suburban and a sway bar system. Our first suburban was a 2001 with the trailer package from the factory and this truck did a great job hauling the trailer with no issues. Two years ago we up dated our truck to a 2013 Suburban and have found this truck just does not work with our trailer. This truck is a 1500 also - but no factory trailer package so we had an air bag system installed. Still we have times that the trailer wants to fishtail really bad. We have experimented with additional air etc, but nothing seems to work. Are the newer Suburbans that much lighter weight? Do we need to go to a 2500? Does the factory trailer package make a difference? We just need some answers, before we put our truck up for sale to find a better option to keep us and our trailer safe.
I'm no expert on towing, but I use a somewhat similar vehicle, a 2010 GMC Yukon (short wheelbase). I find this vehicle is very sensitive to the amount of weight transfer being applied by the WD hitch. My owners manual says to adjust the hitch to get the front wheel wells back to the same height they are with no trailer attached; I find that it feels better when I have the hitch adjusted tighter than that. I think it is better to adjust by weight (using a truck scale) that by measuring wheel well heights. I have weighed my rig several times and find that what feels best is in the range of getting the front axle 150 to 200 pounds more than what it is without the trailer.

I think your new vehicle has it's hitch receiver mounted higher than your old one. So you had to adjust your hitch for the new Suburban. You should double check your wheel well heights and/or weigh your rig at the truck scales. And try it with more weight distributed to the front axle and see what that does.
SSquared is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2016, 08:31 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Mrjkq's Avatar
 
2016 25' Flying Cloud
Venice , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,024
Did you have the WDH hitch set up to your current truck or did you just connect & go? If not take it to an RV dealer for the proper set up as that may be the problem.
__________________
Joe
Venice, FL
2016 FC 25RTB
TAC FL-47
2018 Nissan Titan XD Cummins Diesel
Mrjkq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2016, 08:38 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
1991 25' Excella
Stanfield , Oregon
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 317
Set your wd hitch up with the airbags at minimum pressure and air your tires up to max. You can play with the bags later. You definitely need to find some scales to dial it all in.
SpletKay06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2016, 08:58 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
dkottum's Avatar
 
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,714
I would start by ensuring the trailer is optimally set up, at least 10% total weight on the hitch coupler, no bicycles, generators, or anything on a rear hitch receiver, heavy gear carried mid-trailer and light gear at the ends, tires at full pressure.

Then the truck. Airs bags will look like hitch weight is being equalized but it might not be. Wheel well measurements may not be useful with air bags inflated, weight the truck before and after w.d. to see if load is being properly transferred. Many new trucks have soft passenger car tires for soft ride, they tend to flex sideways easily contributing to sway felt at the steering axle. A stiffer sidewall tire may be needed. Loading the truck heavy behind the rear axle can make it difficult to transfer weight. Weighing will also tell you if an axle is overloaded, compare to GAWR on the door jamb.

Then the hitch setup, fully one-third of the successful combination. Cannot advise without seeing it, research proper setup. What brand/style is it and w.d. bar rating?

We became frustrated with conventional w.d. hitches allowing trailer push when semi's pass and gusting side winds, bought a ProPride hitch and all trailer side movement issues are totally eliminated.
__________________
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

The Truth is More Important Than the Facts
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2016, 09:29 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Mrjkq's Avatar
 
2016 25' Flying Cloud
Venice , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,024
Air bags add a different dynamic to WDH set up. My 2015 RAM has 4 corner air bag suspension. My AS is a 2016 25ft flying cloud delivered just a year ago. I knew air bags would play into a proper set up so I did extensive research mostly on this forum looking for the answer. I had purchased an Equalizer WDH online & as part of the purchase agreement the dealer agreed to install it at no cost to me when I picked up the trailer. My concern was the tech knowing how to deal with air bag suspension vs non air bags so I insisted to watch the set up.
The proper way for my truck is to turn the air bags off & do the measuring etc that way. He did not know that but agreed to reluctantly do it my way & guess what, it turned out perfect & when the air was turned back on the bags made a minimal adjustment. I've towed 7500 miles since without any sway & even tire ware. The point here is the set up is the most important part IF the tow vehicles, trailer & WDH are compatible.
__________________
Joe
Venice, FL
2016 FC 25RTB
TAC FL-47
2018 Nissan Titan XD Cummins Diesel
Mrjkq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2016, 12:13 AM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
2008 27' International FB
Oklahoma City , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 35
I tow a 27' airstream with 2011 Tahoe and haven't had any problems. My Tahoe does have the trailer tow package and 3.41 rear end but I don't think that would make any difference for towing your weight trailer. I set up the WD hitch for the front fenders to be approx. the same height with the trailer & WD hitch attached as when there is no trailer attached. I had to buy a longer shank for the WD hitch for the ball to be lower on the Tahoe.
Americal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2016, 12:32 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
J. Morgan's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,868
Images: 11
There will be people that HATE what I am going to say, but it is true so I am going to say it.

Get a Hensley or a ProPride and never worry about sway again,,, ever...

Not exactly cheap, but a lot cheaper than a new tow vehicle.

#Justsayin..


Superat stultitia.
__________________
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

J. Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2016, 03:35 AM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
MaineStreamer's Avatar
 
2007 20' Safari
Old Orchard Beach , Maine
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 469
See http://www.trailerlife.com/trailer-towing-guides/.
__________________
Marty Womer
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Trailer name: Quarantina
2019-2021 President, Northeast Mountaineers Airstream Club
MaineStreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2016, 07:41 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Mission , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 836
Another ~10% of trailer weight on the tongue ...
Then ditch the airbags and use a WD hitch or WD/anti-sway hitch.
nrgtrakr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2016, 08:29 AM   #15
4 Rivet Member
 
Burnside Bob's Avatar
 
2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
1973 31' Sovereign
Mt Angel , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redteddy76 View Post
We have a 1968 Airstream Tradewind which weighs approximately 4,500 pounds. We have owned the trailer for 11 years and have always hauled it with a Chevy 1500 Suburban and a sway bar system. Our first suburban was a 2001 with the trailer package from the factory and this truck did a great job hauling the trailer with no issues. Two years ago we up dated our truck to a 2013 Suburban and have found this truck just does not work with our trailer. This truck is a 1500 also - but no factory trailer package so we had an air bag system installed. Still we have times that the trailer wants to fishtail really bad. We have experimented with additional air etc, but nothing seems to work. Are the newer Suburbans that much lighter weight? Do we need to go to a 2500? Does the factory trailer package make a difference? We just need some answers, before we put our truck up for sale to find a better option to keep us and our trailer safe.
Hi Redteddy76:

Sorry to hear you are having such problems with your current TV and TT.

Since you did not have a problem with the same trailer and WD hitch with your older vehicle, I think you have to look to the 2013 Suburban to address your sway issue.

First, tires. What load range are they? Do you run with all four tires inflated to the pressure marked on the tire sidewall? You need sidewall stiffness in your tires to resist lateral movement (sway). My V2500 Suburban ordered with HD towing came with Load Range E tires--80 lbs psi rated.

Second, axles/suspension. What are the axle load ratings? Are you exceeding them? A low GVWR axle will be paired with a similarly low rated suspension--a package deal. Low axle/suspension rating may mean your rigs ability to resist lateral movement is inadequate for towing.

Third, torsion bars. A torsion bar, sometimes called a sway bar, is an additional suspension element that increases your vehicles resistance to body roll. My V2500 suburban came with a rear torsion bar.

Fourth, steering play. How precise is your steering? How much rotation of the steering wheel do you have to make before the vehicle starts to steer in the new direction? The more play, the more lateral motion can steer your vehicle before the driver can make a corrective response.

* * * * * * *

I do not want to sound like I am detracting from the other posters here, but I am concerned that fine tuning the hitch isn't getting at the root of your problem. The thing to keep in mind is that the anti sway hitches are oscillation dampers--they use friction or increased tension to kill lateral movement. Very useful indeed, but reactive, rather than proactive answers to the TV/TT tendency to sway.

The Hensley and Pro Pride hitches do offer an advantage by effectively increasing the distance from pivot point to trailer axle. Good physics at work there which may be helpful in correcting your problem.

Do heed the sound advice given by the other posters regarding hitches and proper set up. But, as your original post suggests you already know, you need to start with the TV.
__________________
Best, Burnside

"To err is human, to air is devine."
Burnside Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2016, 12:06 PM   #16
2 Rivet Member
 
1975 Argosy 22
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 86
I agree with J Morgan, a Hensley will resolve all of your issues. I have used one for 10+ years. It simply works to stop any and all sway. It does however have it's critics, mostly due to the hitching-up requirements,
mrdfred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2016, 12:14 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
AWCHIEF's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,278
Images: 33
"All"????
__________________
MICHAEL

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
AWCHIEF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2016, 01:00 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
pappy19's Avatar
 
2002 30' Classic S/O
Garden Valley , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,622
Equalizer fan here, no sway, less complicated and less expensive than the Hensley.
__________________
2008 F-250 4X4 Lariat V-10
2002 Airstream Classic 30' w/SO #2074
2007 Kubota 900 RTV
1996 Ford Bronco
2007 Lincoln LT
pappy19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2016, 01:06 PM   #19
Rivet Master

 
2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 8,880
Tow Vehicle Information Needed….

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
"All"????

Flat out all, in my experience.

Compared with the old Husky brand setup, there is absolutely no sway under any circumstances. Thats why I spent the money to get the peace of mind.

I particularly enjoy the fact that the AS stays behind me in downtown Phoenix traffic panic stops--smoke from all eight TV and AS tires at least once. Can't believe those local folks....

I also have zero issues hitching and unhitching, backing or tight turns. It just flat works. Makes the AS track much like a fifth wheel--which takes a bit of getting used to, admittedly.


Sent from my pocket Internet using Airstream Forums
__________________
Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
'The Silver HamShack' ('07 International 22FB CCD 75th Anniversary)
Multiple Yaesu Ham Radios inside and many antennae sprouting from roof, ProPride hitch, Prodigy P2 controller.
2012 shortbed CrewMax 4x4 Toyota Tacoma TV with more antennae on it.
rmkrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2016, 01:38 PM   #20
Rivet Master
 
2017 30' Classic
Anna Maria , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redteddy76 View Post
We have a 1968 Airstream Tradewind which weighs approximately 4,500 pounds. We have owned the trailer for 11 years and have always hauled it with a Chevy 1500 Suburban and a sway bar system. Our first suburban was a 2001 with the trailer package from the factory and this truck did a great job hauling the trailer with no issues. Two years ago we up dated our truck to a 2013 Suburban and have found this truck just does not work with our trailer. This truck is a 1500 also - but no factory trailer package so we had an air bag system installed. Still we have times that the trailer wants to fishtail really bad. We have experimented with additional air etc, but nothing seems to work. Are the newer Suburbans that much lighter weight? Do we need to go to a 2500? Does the factory trailer package make a difference? We just need some answers, before we put our truck up for sale to find a better option to keep us and our trailer safe.
I would start by removing the add on Air Bag System. It is throwing of the dynamics of the factory suspension. With your WD Hitch set up properly you shouldn't have any problem leveling the TV. You are well within your weight limits of that half ton suburban with a tongue weight of about 500+# .
The air bags essentially keep the weight of the suspension and truck body is teetering on the Airbags.
franklyfrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tow Vehicle/STOW Vehicle for Full-Timers Foiled Again Full-Timing 13 06-28-2014 12:55 PM
Useful Information - Towing Vehicle Mass Guide Timofeevich Tow Vehicles 0 07-19-2011 04:43 PM
table information needed mackellar Member Introductions 3 02-14-2006 01:40 PM
Information needed on Passport America John On The Road... 8 03-07-2004 06:22 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.