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Old 07-27-2014, 03:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
My opinion, no you do not. But the antisway is important. Boy are we gonna get yelled at! Jim
:-)

Yelling not required :-)

You could be right. I wish we had some figures to work with but maybe the yardstick process is good enough for jazz. Let's see.

And an unscientific opinion - 98.47% of the time, it's better to have and not need than to need and not have.

:-)
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:41 PM   #22
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According to your owner manual, you can load up to 600 pounds of tongue weight on your truck. Any more than that and you need WD. Where are you getting your numbers? If they are published AS dry weight numbers, you may be at or above 600 pounds when loaded for camping. You should really get some scale numbers to be sure. I think you're right on the ragged edge of needing WD. Your owner manual also recommends sway control with all trailers.
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:41 PM   #23
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Wds

jim your probably right, and I will try the tape measure, I was told that the tongue was approx 10% of the trailer weight the charts give it at 420 which takes into account propane and water and things in the trailer. Is this wrong, I have been wrong about alot of things pertaining to WDS. I have the snap ups and stirrups I just need the shank and ball mount and bars. I guess I'll have to get these items. I do agree better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:50 PM   #24
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russellsue,

Post #18 would have been a better start and a much easier way to get help.

There are people on Airforums that have worn out Airstreams, gutted them, rebuilt them, towed all over and I'm amazed by the depth of experience and experiences here.

I've found that there are several hot button topics here, anything related to hitches and ST tires is a near automatic range of ideas and opinions.

But ideas, suggestions and experienced answers are a post away.

Good luck with your rig.
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:55 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by russellsue View Post
jim your probably right, and I will try the tape measure, I was told that the tongue was approx 10% of the trailer weight the charts give it at 420 which takes into account propane and water and things in the trailer. Is this wrong, I have been wrong about alot of things pertaining to WDS. I have the snap ups and stirrups I just need the shank and ball mount and bars. I guess I'll have to get these items. I do agree better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it
The charts are AS charts? They do account for propane but no gear and I don't think water. But the water part may have changed over the years. Is it a chart online where we can look at it?
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:41 PM   #26
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I would suggest the Sherline scale as shown in this link:

Sherline LM 2000 - Trailer Tongue Weight Scale 2000lb - - Amazon.com

to weigh the tongue of the trailer empty and then in various load conditions (with and without fresh water, fresh water tank nearly empty with clean water [less messy for testing] in the gray and black tanks like on a camping trip and then with the necessary "stuff" you think is necessary in the trailer and then add what the spouse considers necessary in the trailer, which in my case was a lot more stuff...).

Then get down and read the actual numbers on the hitch data plate. Sometimes they are not what the salesman said they are. There can be two ratings - with and without WD (weight distribution) equipment.

Truck scales can be found at any quarry for gravel products, some lumber yards, feed stores that are also grain elevators, and most big truck stops.

The factory literature weights are not correct in the real world. Our 2013 25FB International Serenity has a 833 pound tongue weight in the sales literature. When I arrived at the dealership to pick the new trailer up, the tongue weight was 1,150 pounds with the Hensley hitch head installed. Camping ready, the tongue weight increased to 1,175 pounds.

I had the initial tow vehicle factory hitch (2007 Merecedes ML320 CDI diesel) reworked by CanAm to handle the weight. The tow home from Los Angles to Phoenix on I-10 through the mountains was uneventful with the Hensley hitch. There was no induced sway from the bow wave of the semi trucks passing me at 75 to 80+ while I was driving 55.

The scale tickets showed all axle ratings and vehicle GVW ratings were not exceeded on the trip home. After loading the trailer for camping, the front axle was overloaded and the GVW was exceeded. Exit Mercedes and entrance of a 2012 Dodge 2500HD diesel 4x4 pickup.

The Dodge factory hitch was rated 1,200 pounds and thread posts on the Dodge forums mentioned failure of the welds on either end of the hitch support tube. I removed the factory hitch and replaced it with a Curt receiver rated at 2,550 pounds tongue weight and 17,0009 pound trailer.

Our 2014 31' Classic model 30 has been modified with a solar system and four 92 pound batteries in a custom battery box. The tongue weight loaded for camping with a ProPride hitch head attached is now 1,345 pounds. The literature tongue weight is 773 pounds.

The scale tickets show that neither truck axle rating is exceeded with a rig weight of 18,860 pounds with the trailer attached. The front axle is 340 pounds lighter loaded for camping than with the trailer detached, however the 4,700 pounds on that axle maintains steerage as the truck and trailer each weigh over 9,000 pounds.

As one gathers weight information on both the tow vehicle and the trailer, the scales will tell the owner if the tow vehicle is appropriate for the job - under sized - just right - or over kill. Sort of like Goldilocks and the three bowls of porridge.
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Old 07-27-2014, 06:27 PM   #27
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Feel.. I love these posts and read them carefully. Need to learn. But for those of us with little experience... and those of us who want to trust our equipment and enjoy the ride... but if it feels safe isn't it?

I have the Andersen hitch. I have 20,000 miles experience towing. F150 Ecoboost and 30 foot Airstream. I have never been to the scales. I have been in big crosswinds, I have been on bad roads, trucks have blown passed me, crossed the divide many times. My rig feels stable, in control, not a problem. Safe.

Thanks for the technical information, I respect it, I read it. But I like to trust what seems to work, and enjoy the ride, and try to be happy, don't worry....
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:20 PM   #28
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Wow! Pretty interesting stuff, I always learn from some of you guys....for whatever it's worth, we've been involved with RV's for the past 45 years. Primarily 5th wheels, and travel trailers.

This current AS is our third Airstream, and is the best towing trailer I've ever pulled. Over the years we've pulled Airstreams somewhere north of 50,000 miles. On an earlier truck, (a Chevy Suburban) I had a PullRite hitch. Due to the design, it was the easiest hitch to back and make sharp turns with than any hitch I've had since. No problem with WD, pr sway control as as it was built into the hitch.

Since the PullRite is no long made, I've went to the Reese Dual Cam, (with 800# trunnion bars) and the AirSafe hitch.

A month or so ago, I finally broke down and bought a Sherline tongue weight scale. I find my tongue weight is 890#, as loaded for a 2 month trip beginning tomorrow.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, there are many combinations, and many opinions, find one that works for you, and go with it. There is always somebody who thinks they know more than you, maybe they do, maybe they don't, time will be the judge of that. I hope if they are wrong, they are on a different road than I am when their ideas don't work out so well.

WD with sway control is pretty cheap when you consider the consequences.

Larry
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:43 PM   #29
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Well......

Less than an hour ago I won an auction for a used Hensley hitch for my half ton Chevy that I have used to tow my 72 Sovereign on the ball for the last 10,000 miles or so.

I will update this thread when I see what kind of difference it makes.
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:41 PM   #30
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Airstreams tend to have very heavy hitch weights. Both my '74 Argosy 20 and my '14 FC 20 have actual hitch weights right at 700 # loaded up and ready to go, and measured at scales. The only way to really know the tongue weight on your specific rig is to weigh it directly.
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:58 PM   #31
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russellsue, your Airstream is light but you have to assume the hitch weight will be more than 420#. And anything you put in the bed of the truck behind the rear axle must also be added when trying to know what size w.d hitch you might need. 750# w.d bars would probably take care of it with some headroom, larger fine if they are the style that taper in size toward the rear. Your present friction sway bar seems to be working well.

Considering the relative size of your truck and Airstream using measurements to adjust your weight distribution, rather than scale weights is good enough.

Measure the empty truck fender wells of the front and rear before you hitch the Airstream and write them down. Then with the truck and Airstream loaded for camping and the Airstream hitched up, adjust the weight distribution so the fender well height drops equally, front and rear. Check that your Airstream is very close to level front to rear; if not adjust (or change) the receiver drop bar until it is. Then check your fender well measurements again.

This is a basic, simple method and "old hat" to the experienced. It ought to work for you and give you a safer and at least a little better handling rig.
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:24 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by SafariBez View Post
Feel.. I love these posts and read them carefully. Need to learn. But for those of us with little experience... and those of us who want to trust our equipment and enjoy the ride... but if it feels safe isn't it?

I have the Andersen hitch. I have 20,000 miles experience towing. F150 Ecoboost and 30 foot Airstream. I have never been to the scales. I have been in big crosswinds, I have been on bad roads, trucks have blown passed me, crossed the divide many times. My rig feels stable, in control, not a problem. Safe.

Thanks for the technical information, I respect it, I read it. But I like to trust what seems to work, and enjoy the ride, and try to be happy, don't worry....
I have a friend who uses his F150 Ecoboost to tow his Airstream without any weight distribution or sway control and his description of towing is similar to ours. Take it to the scales and you will see the Andersen does not have the leverage to restore the front axle weight with your rig. Most believe there is a risk in that lack of capability and it may not be evident under normal towing conditions. The hitch is also incompatible with your Airstream coupler, a risk of breaking the coupler and disengaging. I sent mine back to the retailer and bought a hitch with 1400# conventional w.d. bars which performs better in every way.

Keeping with this thread, weight distribution to restore the truck's front axle weight is an important part of a safe towing combination.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:28 AM   #33
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Wds

Thanks to all of you for the info I guess I was wrong I am going to get a WD Russ
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:22 AM   #34
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Suddenly I feel like the apprentice in the commercial about the "oldest trick in the book"....."lookest thou over there" (apprentice looks off in the distance), Master says, "ha, made you look!" Apprentice says, "Wait....Whaaaat?"
I thought it was:
"Looketh over there."
"Ha ha, I madest thou look!"
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:31 AM   #35
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It was
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:48 AM   #36
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I think weight distribution can help prevent sway buy keeping the front wheels on the ground, giving steering and braking control and resistance to side-to-side motion-
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:24 AM   #37
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Yes, it's difficult for people without experience with a properly setup weight distribution system to understand that it is about much more than just redistributing the static load. As M.hony says, it will help with stability by redistributing the load of the tongue weight to both axles of the tow vehicle, making the tow vehicle drive better, and more stable, and thus the trailer is more stable. And it is about the transient loads applied to the hitch when driving over uneven pavement, and hitting bumps in the road.

It's not this simple, but I like to think of it as moving the tongue weight, by the use of a lever, from the hitch ball to just forward of the rear axle of the tow vehicle.

This can only be a good thing even if you tow a 16 footer with a Kenworth.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:03 AM   #38
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Not so, a big truck will stop faster and better fully loaded than with no trailer.

Even when talking about a pickup pulling a trailer the weak link can and often is that the rear axle of a TV can be too light to get good traction.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:11 AM   #39
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The Kenworth literally would not know the 16' trailer was there-
The dual rear wheels are the anti-sway and the 80,000# payload is the weight distribution, but-
A 1/2 ton Toyota pulling a 30' Airstream knows it's there-
As a 250 or 350 would still know it's there-
a 350 dual rear wheel on the other hand-

18 wheeler tractors are designed to stop better/have better traction with a load.
An 18 wheeler tractor with no trailer is much less stable.
My Toyota- not so much-
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:14 AM   #40
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Guess my attempts at exaggeration humor are just too dry for you guys.
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