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Old 03-11-2010, 08:45 PM   #281
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Nice work finalcutjoe. I was going to do the same exact tests. I think what you have absolutely proves the point. I have followed the instructions on both my hitch manufacturer and the hitching directions in my Airstream owners manual. I will be leaving on Saturday for a 6 hr drive one way to our campground in Arkansas. I will be monitoring the ride quality on the way and will be checking out everything at our fuel stops. Stay tuned.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:19 AM   #282
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Thinking . . .

Airstream has not accounted for frame flex when attaching these stiff aluminum structures, and that's the way it is.

Accelerometer experiments are 3 pieces of a 50 piece puzzle.

Heavy duty springs at the front axle (as well as the rear) and long wheelbase will inhibit weight distribution to the front, requiring exceptional force on the w.d. bars.

That exceptional force would be increased, not so much by vibration, but by vertical movement from up and down road surfaces with the ball being the pivot point.

600# w.d. bars would flex more in this movement than 1000# bars, reducing the force. But this does not reconcile with friction sway control.

Invest in Hensley/Propride hitch with larger trailers so that sway control is not lost with less tension on weight distribution bars.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:42 AM   #283
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no THINKING, but TRYING did this...

i have done 2 LONG towing trials with w/d adjusted to near ZERO or approximating 400-600 lbs of bar tension ...

both trials were using hitches from the sway ELIMINATION class.

in trial 1, covering ~3000 miles of towing 2 things resulted...

1. 4-5 32nds MORE tire wear at the drive axle...

2. some very interesting steering corrections in the mountains and twisty stuff...
________

in the 2nd trial (just 6 weeks ago) i could only manage 1000 miles towing this way, because i ran out of dimenhydrinate, and ...

1. the ROCK n ROLL of tow vehicle >>=<< trailer was akin to a school of DRUNKEN shoal of porpoise at sea with 20 foot swells...

2. EVERYTHING inside the trail was REarranged, every 100 miles,

as in ALL of the drawers were ejected and fridge contents scrabbled...

even clothes were UNfolded and UN racked from the hangers and the grates launched OFF the stove

((and these things are all near the axles where the LEAST motion happens))

it was very impressive to see the MESS inside at each stop.

3. the CONSTANT rocking resulted in big TEMPERATURE and PRESSURE changes for the 1st and 3rd axle/tires...

when compared to the 2nd (center axle) and on continuous reading of temp/pressures....

in other words,

really LIGHT tension on the w/d bars thereby allowing the A frame/ball area to float freely in a vertical plane...

IS A REALLY DUMB IDEA,

resulted in a HORRIBLE ride,

mangled interior...

and one can only imagine the frame/shell/rivet and APPLIANCE stresses produced.
_________

after RE-tensioning the w/d bars to the CORRECT setting based on axle loads and scale reading...

the IMPROVED RIDE was dramatic and tranquility was restored INSIDE the stream and tv ...
_________

so once again OLD often repeated and UNproven nonsense about a 'soft ride' at the ball, is just that...

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:02 PM   #284
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A really dumb idea that even you tried twice.

The suggestion here is to use lighter bars with stronger tension, rather than heavy bars with almost no tension, so there is some weight distribution, but with with more flexible bars.

What the heck, Andy must have learned something in all those years.
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:15 PM   #285
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A really dumb idea that even you tried twice.

The suggestion here is to use lighter bars with stronger tension, rather than heavy bars with almost no tension, so there is some weight distribution, but with with more flexible bars.

What the heck, Andy must have learned something in all those years.
Some still don't get the message, that there is far move to load equalizing hitches, than just keeping the trailer level.

Andy
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:40 PM   #286
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yeah the gear is ALL paid 4 so i'm free to break it at will.

the 1st trial was generally SMOOTH interstate, while the 2nd trial included generally bumping interstate...

the goal being to sample more roadway conditions.

the light bar "suggestion" isn't a suggestion at all, it's written as gospel.

my post is REPLY to your echo here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
...600# w.d. bars would flex more in this movement than 1000# bars, reducing the force...
which again LACKS any proof, in fact the data posted when it's been posted suggests this notion is WRONG.

and like gospel is primarily accepted by believers and based on faith alone or imagined benefits...

luckily there are methods available to prove/support/dis-spell the stuff that LACKs real evidence.

the FLEX of lighter bars keeps the cams engaged...

but MORE flex in lighter bars still doesn't provide sufficient weight transfer for heavier tongues/trailers.

and LESS w/d (or restored weight on the steering axle) is BAD regardless of bar rating or hitch brand.

this has been demonstrated over and over by many folks here.

see post 91 below...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...tml#post798719

the 'followers/believers' tend to toss out ALL data, facts or empiric trials that contradict the faith.

so there is no point in linking the 100s of other proofs posted.
_________

the trials DID transfer some weight, ~ the same as 400-600 lb bars might, base on scale readings.

LESS tension on higher rated bars results in exactly the same 'tension' at the ball/A frame junction.

again demonstrated many times and with real data.
____________

and many of us have "learned" something in a professional field, all those years ago...

that is now shown 2b no longer valid OR may have never been valid.

evidence based thinking wipes many long believed, long preached UNproven notions away...

thankfully.

____________

lastly, streams come in many sizes and axle configurations as do tow vehicles...

so outcomes SHOULD vary and solutions change based on these combinations...

folks like a 'one notion chant' that's easy to grasp and portends safety and 2 fit ALL combos...

even when that solution is imaginary.

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:09 PM   #287
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Good info 2air, as usual.

But the CAT scale comparison of light and heavy bars is without movement, as when
towing.

My unqualified suggestion is that the lighter, more flexible bars may exert less INCREASED tension as the rig moves down the road, pivoting vertically on the ball.

Maybe a lot less, so that trailer shell and body are not literally pulled apart as the frame flexes.

It seems unsafe to me, to use light bars on friction-based sway control hitches. But the Hensley/Propride?
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:22 PM   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post


Maybe a lot less, so that trailer shell and body are not literally pulled apart as the frame flexes.

Think for a moment where the EQ bars are connect to the trailer frame. They are connected way up in the front on the A frame, where the frame is narrow and they have practically no leverage to cause any frame flexing. If there is any significant frame flexing going on, it must be caused by unbalanced forces where the frame is wide, for instance in the area of the wheels and axles. Frame flexing could also be caused be significantly unbalanced loads in the trailer. For instance, more weight in the right rear than in the left.

Regards,
Ken
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:55 PM   #289
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Hi Ken,

I'm looking at the tongue now trying to think what would happen if the back of the trailer were lifted with W.D. bars off, and with them on.

With w.d. bars off, the trailer would simply pivot vertically on the ball. But with them attached, the bars would resist the vertical pivot, putting downward pressure on the front of the frame.

It seems this type of pressure would be exerted repeatedly as the trailer moves down the roadway.

Lighter bars, less stress?

Doug
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:12 PM   #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
...Lighter bars, less stress?...
this phrase continues to be posted, at least now there is a ? mark included...

"lighter" than what?

lighter that the tongue mass? (meaning ineffective w/d),

lighter than the tolerances of the beams in the A frame? (how does one determine that)

lighter that the frame/shell/C channel is assembled to tolerate?

physically lighter than some other bar set?

and so on....

THIS thread and most of the associated SHELL CRACKING is on trailers with tongue weights OVER 800 lbs...

and HOLES cut in the skin OVER the front frame area.

the thread is about THAT problem (cracking---potentially INadequate materials; HOW to safely connect/tow a HEAVY trailer)

it's not about small/light/single axle units that may NOT even need w/d gear.

YES w/d gear applies stress to the frame, it is SUPPOSED to do that.
_________

but to try ONE more time...

have u spent ANY time reading this link...

Measuring Forces at the Hitch

OR the thread and EXCHANGE of the same title here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...tch-53341.html

while NOT a perfect trial,

fc's efforts clearly suggest LIGHTER/HEAVIER w/d gear or tv suspensions are NOT transmitting evil stresses into the trailer.

cheers
2air'

on edit:

it's ALSO about the trailer manufacturer, NOT SUPPLYING any official help/guide/approach to PROPERLY rigging up the stuff the SELL...
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:55 PM   #291
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I have a different point of view than the main stream about spring bars. I had been using 1000 lb spring bars on my 23' trailer for 20 some years and had no seperation of body and frame or other problems associated with flexing, stress, or cabinets falling or stuff getting rearranged. That's about 90,000 miles of driving. The trailer and truck felt like they were on rails (very stable around bends or curves in the road).
After reading threads about lighter spring bars, I bought a set of 500lb bars and drove about 6000 miles with them. The ride went from good and stable to a bumpy hard pounding ride in the truck.
Now when I get my 29 footer the 1000lb spring bars are going back into use. The 500lb set will make good paper wieghts.
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:47 PM   #292
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Hi Ken,

I'm looking at the tongue now trying to think what would happen if the back of the trailer were lifted with W.D. bars off, and with them on.

With w.d. bars off, the trailer would simply pivot vertically on the ball. But with them attached, the bars would resist the vertical pivot, putting downward pressure on the front of the frame.

It seems this type of pressure would be exerted repeatedly as the trailer moves down the roadway.

Lighter bars, less stress?

Doug
Since the frame can certainly be considered to be rigid over these small distances*, what is actually being caused by your lifting is increasing the weight transfer to the front axle of the truck. If there is any deformation caused by your lifting, it will definitely be very slight just a foot or so away where the cracks are occurring at the front of the trailer.

Here is my stance on this subject:

I have a Dodge 3/4 ton pickup with a very stiff suspension. My max tongue weight is Supposed to be 1000#. The manufacturer of my hitch knowing full well what truck and trailer I had said that the 1400# pounds bars are the appropriate ones for my trailer. I was somewhat apprehensive because I had read these tales about WD bars. As it turned out I can tell from the amount of bend that the bars have to level the truck, that any anything less would not have worked. I strongly recommend that people follow the instructions given by the manufacturer of their hitch.

To me, the other side of this argument is very akin to most religions. An elder guru, states something to be fact, and expects you to accept it as such only because he says he has seen it many times. In this case, partially because I do not know the gentleman personally, and probably because my ancestors came from Missouri, I am skeptical. I am not saying that the guru is not stating the truth as he sees it. There are many different interpretations that can be made by different people observing the same thing. But I keep hearing it stated that this is fact. When asked for the facts, the response is "it is fact because,I have seen it many times".

So weighing the two choices, I see the scale tipped in favor of the person or company that designed and built the hitch. So that is where I am putting my money.

regards,

Ken

*the distance between the EQ bar attacment point and where these cracks occurred.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:55 PM   #293
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Read all the previous threads and thought it worth another try to reason it through, with others, for the benefit of the original poster.

I have great respect for all who contribute.

But I think I will go beat my head against the wall, and blame the wall because my head hurts.

Doug
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:04 PM   #294
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Question OK hypothetical ?

I went through like the first few pages of this and i was curious about something. so If i missed it let me know.

Andy since you have had the most experience dealing with the factory hopefully you can answer this. If not that's cool maybe someone else has had this experience.

OK say that Someone bought a brand New A/S had there dealer set up there hitch and the dealer showed the new owner how to hook it up and do all the checks needed before taking off on a trip, and Now they have similar cracks happening to there new trailer while it was under warranty. so the new owner takes trailer back to the dealer they purchased it from or even to Jackson Center, OH to have it fixed, what would the factory do ?
Would the factory send a rep out to inspect the damage and how said trailer is hitched up and then deny there claim do to improper hitch setup or would they fix it? or would it be left up to the service dept of the dealership to fix it under warranty or deny there claim?

this is just a hypothetical question to see what might be done if the trailer is was under warranty.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:11 PM   #295
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Quote:
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Since the frame can certainly be considered to be rigid over these small distances*, what is actually being caused by your lifting is increasing the weight transfer to the front axle of the truck. If there is any deformation caused by your lifting, it will definitely be very slight just a foot or so away where the cracks are occurring at the front of the trailer.

Here is my stance on this subject:

I have a Dodge 3/4 ton pickup with a very stiff suspension. My max tongue weight is Supposed to be 1000#. The manufacturer of my hitch knowing full well what truck and trailer I had said that the 1400# pounds bars are the appropriate ones for my trailer. I was somewhat apprehensive because I had read these tales about WD bars. As it turned out I can tell from the amount of bend that the bars have to level the truck, that any anything less would not have worked. I strongly recommend that people follow the instructions given by the manufacturer of their hitch.

To me, the other side of this argument is very akin to most religions. An elder guru, states something to be fact, and expects you to accept it as such only because he says he has seen it many times. In this case, partially because I do not know the gentleman personally, and probably because my ancestors came from Missouri, I am skeptical. I am not saying that the guru is not stating the truth as he sees it. There are many different interpretations that can be made by different people observing the same thing. But I keep hearing it stated that this is fact. When asked for the facts, the response is "it is fact because,I have seen it many times".

So weighing the two choices, I see the scale tipped in favor of the person or company that designed and built the hitch. So that is where I am putting my money.

regards,

Ken

*the distance between the EQ bar attacment point and where these cracks occurred.
Ken.

Your answer will come in time along with the miles on the coach.

Check the coach front end, during and after each trip.

If you don't see any changes, then so be it.

On the other hand, if you do, then you will have answered your own question.

Andy
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:19 PM   #296
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I went through like the first few pages of this and i was curious about something. so If i missed it let me know.

Andy since you have had the most experience dealing with the factory hopefully you can answer this. If not that's cool maybe someone else has had this experience.

OK say that Someone bought a brand New A/S had there dealer set up there hitch and the dealer showed the new owner how to hook it up and do all the checks needed before taking off on a trip, and Now they have similar cracks happening to there new trailer while it was under warranty. so the new owner takes trailer back to the dealer they purchased it from or even to Jackson Center, OH to have it fixed, what would the factory do ?
Would the factory send a rep out to inspect the damage and how said trailer is hitched up and then deny there claim do to improper hitch setup or would they fix it? or would it be left up to the service dept of the dealership to fix it under warranty or deny there claim?

this is just a hypothetical question to see what might be done if the trailer is was under warranty.
I cannot speak for the factory, but I would think that they would do the repair, under warranty, once.

Should the same thing happen, then it's anyones guess if they would repair it a second time.

We are communicating with an owner right now, that has gone thru this identical problem. But, the coach is now out of warranty.

However, the factory has expressed an interest in getting at the bottom of the problem, but at the owners expense.

I will be talking to the owner Monday, and go from there.

Should the owner elect to bring us the coach, I will take some photo's and post them, showing before and after, assuming the owner wishes to have the coach repaired.

Andy
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:25 PM   #297
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So weighing the two choices, I see the scale tipped in favor of the person or company that designed and built the hitch. So that is where I am putting my money.

regards,

Ken
Ken.

Your absolutely correct.

BUT, the hitch companies did not design nor do they build the Airstreams.

My suggestion would be bet your money, if you wish, but make it a small wager.

Andy
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:33 AM   #298
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Still don't know what to do!!!!

OK, I have read all 297 posts on this thread and I still don't know what to do.

With a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 towing a 1998 34' Airstream Excella 1000 (9800lbs & 1000lb hitch weight), using a ProPride hitch, WHAT IS THE CORRECT BAR WEIGHT AND BAR SETTING, (assuming that the ball and hitch are both trailer frame level)?

Can we get a straight answer please?
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:25 AM   #299
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I am a newbie but it seems to me the heavier the T/V is and stiffer the suspension the lighter the torsion bar is needed ? am i right?

thanks for answering the hypothetical to
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:16 AM   #300
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"Does it drive easy?" she asked.

"Yeah."

"Can't we go any faster?"

"Yes, we can. But I'm afraid to."

"Why?"

"It scares me."

"Scares you. Why?"

"I don't know why. It just scares me that's all." There was a long pause and I again stepped up our speed to twenty miles an hour.

"Have we got lots of power?" Merle asked.

"Seems like it."

"Does it feel heavy?"

"It's not light -- two and a half tons."

"Do you think we can pull it over the ridge?"

"I don't know. We can try. The man didn't --"

She blew again. "The man! The man! The man! Didn't he tell --"

"No he didn't. He didn't tell me anything. He just knows how to build trailers. He doesn't know how to tow them."

-- The Long Long Trailer by Clinton Twiss (page 3)
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