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Old 05-06-2020, 08:20 AM   #1
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2020 27' Flying Cloud
Austin , Texas
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Hitch Advice for 27FB on GMC Yukon Denali

As of this morning, my husband and I are now the future owners of a 2020 27FB w/ Hatch. It gets delivered next Friday. We are SO excited!! However, this is our first Airstream (although I'm no stranger to this forum as we've been considering for years). I need advice on our hitch.

My husband is a fairly experienced tower (boats, small trailers) and drives a 1500 GMC Denali which will be our TV. Our Airstream dealer (Camper Clinic II in Austin TX) is recommending an E4 hitch. They only sell E2 and E4 hitches. I understand that the Hensley and Propride hitches are recommended religiously by many folks, but those are just beyond our budget at this point. Can someone offer their opinion in terms of what we need to tow our new prize possession safely and comfortably? The dealer is recommending the E4 (of course) but we can bring our own hitch for them to install.

Many thanks. SO happy to officially be part of this community!

-Katie in ATX
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:48 AM   #2
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Welcome Aboard...👍

Just my opinion...that hitch uses friction on the WD bars to determine the amount of sway control, less weight transfer less sway control, wet weather less friction, less control.
Plus the non-tapered square bars are very stiff. Stiff=harshness transferred to the AS, not the best situation.🥴

This is one I have used and recommend.👍

Disclaimer...I currently use a Hensley Arrow.
Consider...you have spent BIG on the AS, now is NOT the time to cut corners, you can take it with you after all.

Stay Weird...

Bob
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Old 05-06-2020, 09:30 AM   #3
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Is the Yukon up to towing 27 FB?

Maybe first step is to check your towing specs for your Yukon. You did not mention what year or how it is equipped (Factory Tow Package? What engine? What axle ratio?) Since it is a Denali the cargo capacity is going to be on the low side. Yes, it maybe be rated to tow 8k/9k/10k LBS but do you have the cargo capacity. Look at the door sticker to determine cargo capacity, front axle and rear axle capacity. After you drop 1000/1100 LBS of tongue weight on the hitch you will have very little left over cargo capacity and might be over weight on the rear axle. Add in the weight of a Hensley or ProPride (they really are great hitches) and your cutting it even thinner on axle weight.

Not saying to not tow with your Yukon but to go into it with eyes open. If you do go forward with the Yukon your first stop should be a CAT scale and do a 3 pass weigh in of your rig.

Disclaimer: I use an Equalizer brand hitch to tow a 2019 25' FC RBT with a 2013 Ford E150 XLT Premium Van (Factory Tow Package, 8600 LB GVW rating, 3.73 Axle Ratio with limited slip, 3700 LB front axle, 5120 rear axle, 8 lug wheels, this was a special order high capacity E150 van). Tows like a champ! The Equalizer cost around $700.00 on Etrailer.com. Took less than an hour to install and set up. Happy travels.
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Old 05-06-2020, 09:40 AM   #4
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Congrats on your new Airstream!

FWIW I use an equalizer hitch with 1000 lb bars. First on a Tundra 1/2 ton pulling a 23D, then on a F350 pulling a 28RBT. It works just fine and is easy to use.
Never had any problems.

I DO like the design of the PPP/Hensley but never saw the need to go there. You’ll get a lot of opinions on this, good and bad. Wait for the guy that says you need no weight distribution (beware).

Jim
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Old 05-06-2020, 02:43 PM   #5
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
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Congrats on the new trailer. We were in a very similar situation a couple of months ago. 25 FC RBT to be pulled with a SUV - Lincoln Navigator in our case. After looking around, it seemed to me that anyone using a hitch in the less expensive segment was happy with what they had. So, I went with the dealer's recommendation which was a ReCurve R3. It's different from the Equalizer in that sway control is done by a pivot with brake material under the ball. The bars are tapered and relatively easy to use. So, I now am like everyone else, I like what I have.

I agree that you will want to look at actual payload to make sure you are within spec. We can't carry all that much cargo in our truck and stay within spec even though we are well below the towing capacity of the truck.
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Old 05-06-2020, 05:42 PM   #6
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We use a Trekker with 1k sway bars for 2019 25RBQ International Serenity. We've been to Ohio and back with it and around New England. So far we have been very happy with it. We tow with a 2016 Yukon XL.

Congrats on your purchase.
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:53 PM   #7
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You've already been alerted to the payload limits, and the specific model and year will have some variation in capacity, but generally the hitch limits should be good.

Bob's comments on the Equalizer's are spot on and his alternative is a super solid recommendation, but so are the folks who have good experience with the E4. The stiffness of the hitch is a valid issue while backing and traversing uneven terrain especially and the tendency to snap and pop is a bit annoying for you and fellow campers as you pull in. For sway control the PP and Hensley's can't be matched, but they can't help with oversteer so don't motor down the road with too much riding on the hitch to save you. The other top brands are nice also. I like my Blue Ox, it's a solid mid level performer, doesn't really do anything super well but doesn't suck at anything either. It is easy to set up and manage and the simplicity great. It is nice looking as if that is a thing. Honestly, you can't go wrong, but setting my bias aside as best I can, you should probably chose something that is strong in anti-sway given your tow vehicle so the Reese or E4 or even Andersen if you can get past the "owner ick" factor. I would push the PP but you already addressed that one and the weight also works against your payload.
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Old 05-06-2020, 07:14 PM   #8
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Noisy hitches

Can only comment on the Equalizer. Yep, it moaned and groaned until I discovered Equalizer "Bracket Jackets". It is a thick nylon type of shoe that fits on to the L brackets. Cost about $20.00. Takes about 30 seconds to install. A world of difference and does not effect sway control as far as I can tell. Very seldom there will be a creak or moan but very little noise. No need to disconnect WD bars when backing or making really sharp turns if it is properly installed.

Whatever hitch you pick remember that they require maintenance. Not a set and forget deal. I do proper lubing and retightening to manufacturers specs on the WD bars to maintain proper sway control. Read the manual supplied with your hitch. Happy travels.
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Old 05-06-2020, 07:28 PM   #9
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You definitely need a WD hitch while towing with that vehicle...you are going to be pushing the towing capacity of your vehicle, especially by the time you get it loaded with your stuff.....its almost 6000 lb empty.....you will be at at least 7000 ready to camp, more if boondocking....
I do not use a wd hitch , but I tow with a lighter AS with heavier duty vehicles, so my situation is very different, but still recommend sway control of some sort....
Enjoy that Airstream! They are great fun.
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Old 05-07-2020, 04:15 AM   #10
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Plenty of good advice already. I use Equalizer because that is what the dealer had. My preference would be to use Curt. My son uses it and it is a much better WD set up than Equalizer.

That said, all of the sway/distribution combo setups will transfer some harshness of the truck to the trailer. Ours was so bad with the heavy Classic 33' that we invested in an AirSafe hitch - what a difference!

You are driving a Yukon which probably has a softer suspension than our Denali 2500 HD.

At the end of the day - you just invested in an expensive trailer. Now is not the time to go cheap on your hitch set-up for the sake of convenience with the dealer. Crunch the wight numbers to make the right decision then buy a quality hitch set-up. If the ride is too rough for the trailer with the WD set-up, get an Air Safe hitch.
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Old 05-07-2020, 05:42 AM   #11
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The harshness of stiff, especially square bar WD hitches is one reason I avoided some designs. Round and flat bars are generally more forgiving. A damper, like the AirSafe takes the edge off high frequency and short duration stress for both the vehicle and the trailer, but does nothing for longer duration stress while traversing lateral uneven ground like drainage swales, driveways at awkward angles etc. It puts a tremendous amount of stress on the trailer frame and hitch receiver, especially the stiff WD hitches. Best to release tension in these cases.
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Old 05-07-2020, 05:54 AM   #12
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
The harshness of stiff, especially square bar WD hitches is one reason I avoided some designs. Round and flat bars are generally more forgiving. A damper, like the AirSafe takes the edge off high frequency and short duration stress for both the vehicle and the trailer, but does nothing for longer duration stress while traversing lateral uneven ground like drainage swales, driveways at awkward angles etc. It puts a tremendous amount of stress on the trailer frame and hitch receiver, especially the stiff WD hitches. Best to release tension in these cases.
^
X2

WD bars are springs not just levers...they need to bend, no bend=increased stress=harsh ride=pooped rivets.🤓

Bob
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Old 05-07-2020, 08:52 AM   #13
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I have a Equalizer with 1000# bars. I like it a lot since it incorporates anti-sway with WD. It does make some weird noises at walking speed.
But, I'd have no problem buying a Reese, Blue Ox, or Husky.
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:32 AM   #14
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There are many great systems out there (as you can see above). We personally use the Reese Straight-line Dual Cam Weight Distribution/Sway Control System with our International 25.
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:48 AM   #15
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May I suggest you get a Hensley hitch? It will only take one experienced with trailer sway to ruin your life (personal experience). Watch this first, it's only 3+ minutes.

https://youtu.be/0FsRXjI8W6o

Yes, they're pricey but you're already making a tremendous investment. Believe me, it's worth every penny. We use ours on our 22FB Bambi
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Old 05-07-2020, 10:44 AM   #16
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Hitch-

Make your life simple and get the Reese Steadi-Flex, makes some noise around corners but much better then the slamming you get from an expensive Hensley when you start and stop. The Hensley is a pain to to setup, mount and remove and weighs too much, I had one. If your handy you can install the Reese.
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Old 05-07-2020, 10:53 AM   #17
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E4

We bought a 2014 27FB Sterling from that exact same dealership in Buda in July 2013. We installed the Equal-i-zer E4 on our then 2010 Ford F-250 and on our current 2017 F-250.

I love these E4s. Not a fan of chains (personal preference). Keeping them properly lubricated (I use axle grease) and (if you like) the $18 Sway Bracket Jacket from Equalizer equals no noise at all, and great weight distribution/sway control. I never notice that I'm towing an AS.

I built a cool little storage bin for the bars out of PVC drain pipe with a screw-off plug on one end. Keeps the bars from getting anything dirty in the storage bin.
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Old 05-07-2020, 11:29 AM   #18
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirstreamRep View Post
Make your life simple and get the Reese Steadi-Flex, makes some noise around corners but much better then the slamming you get from an expensive Hensley when you start and stop. The Hensley is a pain to to setup, mount and remove and weighs too much, I had one. If your handy you can install the Reese.
How long has it been since you used your Hensley?

Bob
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:07 PM   #19
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Equalizer Hitch

We tow our 27FB with an Equalizer E4. It has worked flawlessly.

Noise is substantially tamed by using the Bracket Jackets.

It is a stiff ride, but after several cross country trips, we are quite happy with the arrangements.

We tow with a Ram 2500 diesel.
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Old 05-07-2020, 01:18 PM   #20
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Send a message via Skype™ to Brian Barry
We have been towing with X5 our 2019 GT and works great. we went to CanAm in Canada and was a great success. We tow a heavy motorboat as well with same vehicle!

Best regards

Joan and Brian
2019 GT
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