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Old 09-11-2006, 12:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streamer1
GC, according to the instructions included in the WD hitch, to properly install said hitch you would need to have the trailer present (i.e. varoius measurements to make and verify?). I am not 100% sure of that, but looking at the diagrams they provided, it looks like at least half of the WD hitch could be installed (the 1/2 pertaining to the TV anyway).
But to get the ball height correct and the tilt you will need the trailer.

Aaron
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Old 09-11-2006, 06:31 PM   #22
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Hi, bpcaudill,

Please define "high speed rear push." Thanks!

Lamar
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Old 09-11-2006, 07:59 PM   #23
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The manual I have for a 71 says to set the the ball to 19 to 19 and 1/2 inches on the tow vehicle while on level ground.
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:49 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streamer1
If you had to choose the best of a bad towing situation and had to tow your AS (pick a distance) with the AS either angle down towards the TV or angle up towards the TV, which would you choose and why?
I hear over and over again about the evils of towing with the front of the trailer high. I have no other choice unless I spring for a custom hitch shank, because the commercially longest available shank (an 8" drop) isn't long enough with the H2. I tow my trailer with the front high by 1 to 2 inches and have never had an issue in thousands of miles towing. My trailer axle weights are not quite equal, but are both well within spec and I have my weight bars adjusted to transfer a correct amount of weight - I have measured to verify this. I will clarify that the majority of my towing experience is with the H2, which is a heavy vehicle with a short rear overhang. This may make it less susceptible to questionable hitch setups than other tow vehicles.

I will however clarify that the front of my trailer is high because the truck hitch receiver is high, not because I cranked in too much weight transfer with the Reese WD setup. You have to transfer the correct amount of weight. Too much and the front of the trailer may end up higher than it should and handling may be compromised by the removal of weight from the truck's rear axle. Too little and the front of the trailer may be low and handling may be compromised by the removal of weight from the truck's front axle.

As to what the effects of towing with the front of the trailer high or low are, I will note the following:

Trailer Front High:
  • May drag the rear bumper (or drag it more often) over bumps and entering driveways (obviously this is more of an issue the longer the trailer)
  • Trailer rear axle carries more weight than front (assuming torsion axles, can exceed spec if not careful)
  • When turning the trailer will behave as if it is longer (when backing, it will react slower)
  • "Out of levelness" may affect fridge operation
Trailer Front Low:
  • May drag the saftey chains or even the hitch head (or drag them/it more often) over bumps and entering driveways
  • Trailer front axle carries more weight than rear (assuming torsion axles, can exceed spec if not careful)
  • When turning the trailer will behave as if it is shorter (when backing, it will react faster)
  • "Out of levelness" may affect fridge operation
In the end, it is my opinion that getting the proper hitch setup (including sway control) and transfering the correct amount of weight (if needed) is more important than the exact levelness of the trailer. If you can't get level, I do not know if either having the trailer front high or low in provides any specific handling benefits. Others may be able to expound on this thought.

In any case, your mileage (and others opinions) may vary.
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:46 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander
I hear over and over again about the evils of towing with the front of the trailer high. I have no other choice unless I spring for a custom hitch shank, because the commercially longest available shank (an 8" drop) isn't long enough with the H2. I tow my trailer with the front high by 1 to 2 inches and have never had an issue in thousands of miles towing. My trailer axle weights are not quite equal, but are both well within spec and I have my weight bars adjusted to transfer a correct amount of weight - I have measured to verify this. I will clarify that the majority of my towing experience is with the H2, which is a heavy vehicle with a short rear overhang. This may make it less susceptible to questionable hitch setups than other tow vehicles.

I will however clarify that the front of my trailer is high because the truck hitch receiver is high, not because I cranked in too much weight transfer with the Reese WD setup. You have to transfer the correct amount of weight. Too much and the front of the trailer may end up higher than it should and handling may be compromised by the removal of weight from the truck's rear axle. Too little and the front of the trailer may be low and handling may be compromised by the removal of weight from the truck's front axle.

As to what the effects of towing with the front of the trailer high or low are, I will note the following:

Trailer Front High:
  • May drag the rear bumper (or drag it more often) over bumps and entering driveways (obviously this is more of an issue the longer the trailer)
  • Trailer rear axle carries more weight than front (assuming torsion axles, can exceed spec if not careful)
  • When turning the trailer will behave as if it is longer (when backing, it will react slower)
  • "Out of levelness" may affect fridge operation
Trailer Front Low:
  • May drag the saftey chains or even the hitch head (or drag them/it more often) over bumps and entering driveways
  • Trailer front axle carries more weight than rear (assuming torsion axles, can exceed spec if not careful)
  • When turning the trailer will behave as if it is shorter (when backing, it will react faster)
  • "Out of levelness" may affect fridge operation
In the end, it is my opinion that getting the proper hitch setup (including sway control) and transfering the correct amount of weight (if needed) is more important than the exact levelness of the trailer. If you can't get level, I do not know if either having the trailer front high or low in provides any specific handling benefits. Others may be able to expound on this thought.

In any case, your mileage (and others opinions) may vary.
My experience has been similiar; I am about 1 inch high now with my current truck, and was about 1 inch high with the Suburban. Correcting this would have meant getting another shank for several hundred $, and losing a bit of ground clearance (was not crazy about that idea).WD is set properly. I have also towed for thousands of miles like this and never had an issue. If I were more than an inch or so out of level I might be concerned. I use an EQ, hitch, and when I first set it up I called them and asked about this situation, they said that should be close enough and to be more concerned about proper levelling using the WD. I followed this advice and have been fine.

Oh Yeah-I would definitely want the hitch with me when I picked up my camper. That is a lot of tongue weight...

Bill
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Old 09-17-2006, 01:19 PM   #26
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High speed push question.

Thanks for responding to my dilemma. I don't think the speed of the tow vehicle is the problem (could be wrong though). My wife who also feels this explains it as more of a side-to-side push versus the porpoising effect. The particular road we were on the last time we had it out was perfectly smooth without expansion joints. The trailer has brand new shocks and such, so I don't think there's any problems from that end.
What happens, is the truck and trailer will be going along as it should be. Then, the driver will experience the trailer trying to push the rear of the truck sideways (again, this is on a straight section absolutely no curves). At this point, I'm going holy cow, how do I correct. Letting off the gas seems to be the wrong thing to do. From experience, the only correction is to keep on the gas and slowly try to rergain control.
I think for now, I will try the going a little bit slower. Just for grins, is there some chance that I'm getting enough high speed air under the front of the trailer to actually be picking the front of it up and in turn taking away from the needed weight on the TV's rear tires??? Help
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Old 09-17-2006, 02:01 PM   #27
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push

Hey bpcaudill, I would slow your tv down to 60 max till you find out what is the cause of the side push.I drive coast to coast and have seen 20 to 25 campers and tv lying on their sides because of fish tailing..quite a few get hurt very badly cause of this,so slow down and save your life or some one else's..
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Old 09-17-2006, 05:45 PM   #28
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Hi, bpcaudill,

Hmm... That doesn't sound too good. I'd agree that slowing down is in order until you find out what's causing this.

And I know that's it can be hard to describe a sensation, but this sounds like the start of sway to me. Yaw may be the feeling you guys are getting. That would be rotation around the axis of the truck. This is also known as the "tail wagging the dog."

When you say "load leveling," are you describing a feature of the truck? If so, can it be turned off? What kind of hitch are you using? Weight distributing, anti-sway, both, neither?

I use a an older "twin cam" Reese hitch with my '79 31' Excella, which is a lighter trailer than your '94 30'. It works by effectively locking the hitch in a straight-ahead position and preventing sway by magic. (Okay, I know it's not magic, but I'm not an engineer, so it might as well be.)

I haven't had it over 60 or so yet, but I can attest that it's a HECK of a lot less scary with my 3/4-ton Dodge than it was with my old Dakota. Passing trucks used to give me severe indigestion. Now, it's just "press on."

And if you want to get passed by a LOT of trucks, try going 60.

Lamar
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Old 09-17-2006, 07:27 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeHarbor
I concur that I wouldn't want the trailer pulling UP on the hitch. These trailers are delivered to the dealers by trucks on the ball - without sway control or weight distributing - I understand.

Whether or not you should try that with a Titan, which I don't know much about - I don't know. I imagine that those delivery trucks are honkin' big jobs that weigh more than the (empty) trailers they're yanking around - so big that they absorb any of the wayward tendencies of the tow.

Lamar
Lamar,

Slightly off topic, but I saw at least a half dozen truck/flatbed combinations with several airstreams strapped to the bed on my recent trip cross country. Not all A/S's are towed to the dealers.
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Old 09-17-2006, 08:04 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpcaudill
At this point, I'm going holy cow, how do I correct. Letting off the gas seems to be the wrong thing to do. From experience, the only correction is to keep on the gas and slowly try to rergain control.
I think for now, I will try the going a little bit slower. Just for grins, is there some chance that I'm getting enough high speed air under the front of the trailer to actually be picking the front of it up and in turn taking away from the needed weight on the TV's rear tires??? Help
First, if your trailer starts to sway enough to try to get away from you, reach down to the brake controller and apply the trailer brakes ONLY, while accelerating. When the swaying has stopped, slow down and release the trailer brakes. What kind of sway control are you using?
In order to get enough air under the front of the trailer for it to try to lift off, you would have to be going unpleasantly fast. Like over 100 mph.
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:01 PM   #31
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I am towing a 99 safari 27' with a04 nissan titan,you will find it to be an excellent tv. Mine is a4x4 off road. I set my hitch ball at 19&3/4 inches. When the trailer is hooked up it drops he rear of the truck about 1 inch and the front 1/2 inch. My hitch is the equa-lizer, i also use 5 washers to set the pitch of the hitch head. You will also nead the 11 inch shank for your hitch head, if your truck is configured like mine. . I will check in the morning to see how much I dropped the L-brackets. I'am not very far from you, we live in Leonardtown Md.
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:26 AM   #32
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Hey Tom's Safari, thanks for the response. I purchased a WD hitch from my Nissan dealer here in Alexandria. Although I have neither the tools nor the complete knowledge to install this thing, I will bring it with me to install at a dealer close to the Airstream dealer in Tennessee I will be stopping by. From the present mountain location of the trailer to the TN dealer is about 4hrs. I will have to tow with a std 10K lb ball mount & hitch until I get to TN. I just hope I can hook up the brake controller correctly. It doesn't seem to difficult. What type of controller have you used? I have a Prodigy and a Nissan harness. Maybe I could see your setup?
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:43 AM   #33
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Out of curiosity, what tire pressure you running in TV and in trailer?

Soft sidewalls amplify wiggle and delay correction whether on trailer or tow vehicle...
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Old 09-19-2006, 08:43 AM   #34
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To interested thread readers, I plan on picking up the Excella on Saturday, the 30th of September. I will try to take "before and after" moving pictures to let ya'll know how things went.
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