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Old 01-27-2011, 02:15 PM   #1
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1970 31' Sovereign
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tow vehicle too heavy?

We have a 1972, 29' Ambassador model and are wanting to pull it with our 1992 Dodge 4x4 one ton diesel truck. We've heard that the truck is to heavy with a stiff ride and over time can cause tail separation because of the vibrations caused by the heavy truck. Right now the trailer has no separation and we would hate to cause it to happed. Anyone having any information or experience about this we would like to hear. Thanks.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:17 PM   #2
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In my opinion the frame seperation and tail droop problems are a result of an under designed frame in that time period. In fact there are reinforcing plates available and a factory service bulletin for these units. I bent my 69 Ambassador going uphill on a washboard road pulling with a 1/2 ton but don't feel the truck had anything to do with it.
If you tow with the one ton you might want to use lighter spring bars on your hitch but beyond that I wouldn't be too concerned.

I tow all my trailers with a 3/4 ton Dodge with added helper springs as I also pull heavy fifth wheels at times.. Have many thousands of miles and don't feel I have hurt any of the units.

The transport Co. I worked for had a request from some of the trailer makers, not to let certain drivers pull standard Travel trailers due to their being beat to death but these guys were using semi cabs with living quarters built on the back
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:29 PM   #3
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I believe RickDais is right on the money. Find someone who knows hitches, get the right weight distribution bars for the AS and you probably won't have any difficulty.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:47 PM   #4
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You can see by my info at the bottom of this post,we tow with a F350 /SW/Crewcab/Longbed /7.3 liter Diesel. The hitch is a Reese Straightline DUAL CAM. The bars are rated at 550 or 600 lbs. This setup gives a great ocean wave ride and after 3 yrs of towing I see no popped rivets or signs of problems. WHAT we did have problems early on because of BAD AXLES and we did experience some popped rivets and open doors and things moved around in the coach but only in the area around the axles where the most shock was generated. The bad axles were taken care of an no more problems.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
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I have a similar truck as Roger but went a bit further and installed an airsafe hitch.
If your worried about the trailer / truck combination your asking all the right questions. Lots of threads here under this topic. In fact.. I would say there are hours of reading.

Good luck

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Old 01-27-2011, 05:24 PM   #6
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Yes a 1 ton is overkill, but the more weight you load in the bed of your truck the better it will ride. You wont need w/d because 850# tongue weight will help smoothen the rear of the truck, but you want sway control.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:39 PM   #7
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I would still recommend light WD bars . There is no question the truck can carry the tongue weight, but the bars do wonders to smooth out expansion joints and "dippy" concrete on the interstate.
Nothing wrong with using sway control either however I would consider the WD more important. I don't use sway control on my own trailers (although I have nothing against it).
All new trailer are towed to dealers with out sway control as it is an aftermarket product.

Best bet Use both
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:47 PM   #8
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the early dodge spring packs aren't that stiff, i think your 92 is a good size IMO. when you have it hooked up W/O bars how much does it squat past level? that would be the best way to see how your set up would work.

Also a set of softer/adjustable shocks would help too.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:07 PM   #9
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You need to look at the actual ride - example - some of the older F-350/F-250 Ford's were very "stiff", as the truck progressed the ride has become more "soft" with just the recent release of the new 2011 F-250\F-350 being almost "SUV Like", better ride then the 2010's due to shock calibrations and new spring rates.

I believe the same can be said for the newly re-designed 2011 GMC/Chevy's compared to the previous generation 2010 models.

According to "AirStream" - stiffness of the tow vehicle has absolutely no impact on the Airstream trailer - they then talk about the Airstream suspension....

Sooo, what does that mean to you? Who knows, just more infor for everyone to absorb...
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:44 AM   #10
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My Airstream Owner's Manual has a warning not use use heavily sprung tow vehicles with the trailer.

Doug
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:07 AM   #11
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i think airstreams are the only trailers that has this thing with heavy duty trucks.
you have to treat them like a doz eggs. its like, if you tow,
its be, easy, carefull, dont brake it. thats why i like my avion, 6in frame, double over the axles.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock60 View Post
i think airstreams are the only trailers that has this thing with heavy duty trucks.
you have to treat them like a doz eggs. its like, if you tow,
its be, easy, carefull, dont brake it. thats why i like my avion, 6in frame, double over the axles.
hit wrong key 5in frame double over axle
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock60 View Post
i think airstreams are the only trailers that has this thing with heavy duty trucks.
you have to treat them like a doz eggs. its like, if you tow,
its be, easy, carefull, dont brake it. thats why i like my avion, 6in frame, double over the axles.
Try 3- 6x2x1/8 rectangle tubes the full length of the trailer from coupler to bumper with 5x2 tube under the frame above the axles to spread out the load. Its a frame that wont sag and it supports the walls. The ends of all the tubes have plates welded on to keep out critters or whatever.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
My Airstream Owner's Manual has a warning not use use heavily sprung tow vehicles with the trailer.

Doug
Is this the warning you are talking about?
This is from my Manual:

"NOTICE: Be realistic when ordering heavy duty springs. Only springs heavy enough to support your loaded vehicle (not including trailer) are necessary. Too harsh of spring rate will only shorten the life of the tow vehicle and trailer, and will make your journeys less enjoyable."

To me this sure doesn't say much. If I order a two ton truck, I expect it come with springs heavy enough to support it loaded.

Is it worded diferently in your manual, or is there another mention somewhere else?

Ken
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by r carl View Post
Try 3- 6x2x1/8 rectangle tubes the full length of the trailer from coupler to bumper with 5x2 tube under the frame above the axles to spread out the load. Its a frame that wont sag and it supports the walls. The ends of all the tubes have plates welded on to keep out critters or whatever.
your right rcarl, it is 6x2 and 5x2, very strong. i forget without looking a spec's thanks for update.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:48 PM   #16
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Checkout the AirSafe hitch. I purchased one and dropped my WD bars from 1200 to 800lbs. The ride has smoothed out tremendously. No more open drawers or popped rivets inside/outside the camper.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:37 PM   #17
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I have a 2009 27' FB Flying Cloud that I had towed with a 2001 F350. Originally I had the 1000# bars but switched to 600# bars after reading discussions here about stiff TV suspensions and potential effect on the AS. I will say that the ride with the 600# bars was much better, easier on the AS, the TV, and the occupants.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:39 PM   #18
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and the occupants.
Humans or critters? (Some would ask, "what's the difference...")
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:20 PM   #19
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TV's

I recently assisted my friend install the Pro Pride hitch on his 31' Classic, and he tows with a one ton Dodge--SRW. ( 1K WD bars).
We rode over rough back roads, freeways, and normal street driving. We hardly knew the trailer was attached!! Ride was smooooothe!
I ordered a 3P hitch!
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:06 AM   #20
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Yea - those 3P Hitch's ROCK...
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