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Old 09-28-2020, 04:17 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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New Hitch System

I'm towing a 31' 1974 Airstream International with a F-150 6.0L Ecoboost with max tow package. I'm currently using a standard Curt hitch. On our first trip we had some heavy winds the AS was swaying. I'm looking to upgrade my tow system. What do people recommend.
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Old 09-28-2020, 04:24 PM   #2
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Old 09-28-2020, 06:00 PM   #3
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yeah, the 1/2 tons are not the best choice for 30+ foot trailers. ProPride or Hensley is the way to go they will tame sway, but they can't work miracles so add 5-7 psi to the rear tires if you don't exceed limits and take 2-3 psi off the front. Watch your speed on winding steep downgrades.
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Old 09-28-2020, 06:50 PM   #4
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Enough truck.
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Old 09-28-2020, 07:21 PM   #5
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Not hardly....
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Old 09-28-2020, 07:48 PM   #6
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I am happy with my Equalizer.
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Old 09-28-2020, 07:59 PM   #7
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Another vote for Pro Pride
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Old 09-28-2020, 08:03 PM   #8
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I use an F150 3.5 Ecoboost (2020).

1. Propride hitch.
2. Roadmaster suspension system.

The propride will eliminate the sway. The roadmaster will eliminate the porpoising.

I tow a 28’ and the difference from the blue ox to the propride was immense. You won’t regret it.
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:02 AM   #9
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BayouBiker, When you refer to rear and front tires are you referring to the trailer tires?

My local RV service place doesn't install Propride, they are recommending the EAZ-elite round bar hitch. I'm assuming this doesn't compare to the Propride as well.

Anyone, form Ontario know who installs Propride?
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoldenGatt View Post
BayouBiker, When you refer to rear and front tires are you referring to the trailer tires?

My local RV service place doesn't install Propride, they are recommending the EAZ-elite round bar hitch. I'm assuming this doesn't compare to the Propride as well.

Anyone, form Ontario know who installs Propride?
I did the install myself, wasn't hard. The instructions and a couple YouTube videos made it pretty straightforward.
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoldenGatt View Post
BayouBiker, When you refer to rear and front tires are you referring to the trailer tires?

My local RV service place doesn't install Propride, they are recommending the EAZ-elite round bar hitch. I'm assuming this doesn't compare to the Propride as well.

Anyone, form Ontario know who installs Propride?
I add 5psi to the Burb's rear tires when towing.

As far as the install goes...We use the Hensley, it also came with a thorough manual which included a detailed install procedure. It's a good way to 'learn' the system and it makes future maintenance much easier.
You may have to buy some tools, but they also will be needed later.

Don't worry it ain't roket seance.


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Old 09-29-2020, 07:43 AM   #12
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I used an Equalizer and traded to a ProPride towing a 9100# Classic 30 Slideout, but with a Ram 2500. The Equalizer did fine but I'd definitely recommend the ProPride with an F-150. I traded to the ProPride for ease of hooking and unhooking, not because of any towing problems. There is a ProPride in the Classifieds right now in Houston, TX but the seller is asking for local pickup. I just went back and saw you are in Canada. Might be difficult shipping across the border.

I installed my ProPride. The instructions that come with it are available online and are very detailed.
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoldenGatt View Post
I'm towing a 31' 1974 Airstream International with a F-150 6.0L Ecoboost with max tow package. I'm currently using a standard Curt hitch. On our first trip we had some heavy winds the AS was swaying. I'm looking to upgrade my tow system. What do people recommend.


I am another vote for ProPride. We are on our second Airstream and our second ProPride hitch (sold the first one with the first trailer). I installed the first one by myself...took about 4 hours but was pretty easy overall. I had help installing the second one with a person from the dealer but did it mostly by myself and again it was not difficult. If you can turn a wrench and either own or can get a torque wrench, you will be fine installing it. The folks at ProPride are outstanding...they will take your call anytime and help you through any issue or question.

We have now towed about 7K miles with it and never once (on either trailer) have we had any sway whatsoever. Our current setup is a 2020 F250 7.3L Gas with Firestone airbags added to the rear suspension. We are towing a 2021 Classic 33FBQ. While the hitch is expensive compared to others, I would gladly have paid even more for it...it’s that good.
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Not hardly....

Normally, I'd agree, however a vintage 70s Airstream does weigh considerably less than say a 90s or 2000s Airstream, so this should be find with this application based on what I saw in the OP's specs.

To me, hitches are subjective. It's like having a Ford vs Chevy convo. There are pros and cons to every hitch setup out there IMHO.
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Old 09-29-2020, 10:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoldenGatt View Post
BayouBiker, When you refer to rear and front tires are you referring to the trailer tires?

My local RV service place doesn't install Propride, they are recommending the EAZ-elite round bar hitch. I'm assuming this doesn't compare to the Propride as well.

Anyone, form Ontario know who installs Propride?
No sorry I am referring to the tow vehicle. The trailer tires should all be inflated equally and should be inflated to carry about 15-20% more load than actual, particularly if the trailer is large relative to the vehicle capacity. If the tow vehicle has quite a bit extra capacity then the trailer tires can/should be inflated a bit more.

On trailer weight, I've noticed once loaded, owners report the 70's and 80's trailer are quite similar in loaded weight to the modern ones.

On hitches, the designs and performance are quite varied. Fords, GMs and Rams, not so much.
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Old 09-29-2020, 12:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post

On trailer weight, I've noticed once loaded, owners report the 70's and 80's trailer are quite similar in loaded weight to the modern ones.

On hitches, the designs and performance are quite varied. Fords, GMs and Rams, not so much.
I'm going to have to disagree. Here is a spec sheet off a 1974 trailer right from the Airstream site. As you know 30' trailers now have a gvwr of nearly 9000lbs in Flying Cloud format. Classics now push 10,000 lbs. If an owner of a vintage unit were to load as you are suggesting, the trailer would in fact be overloaded comparatively to a late model Airstream. My comments are taking into account that a vintage owner would follow the NCC of their particular non-modified trailer. Factory GVWR is approx 7100lbs on a 1974 31' trailer.

As for power, the F150 ecoboost has enough power, however the wheelbase for a 31' trailer (in my opinion) is rather short at about 122". But it's not grossly over matched given the (Airstream)factory stated GVWR of 7100lbs if loaded correctly..and at about 2k of NCC, it would be hard, not impossible to load a 1974 31 footer to 9000 or 10000lbs. If a vintage owner were to do as you suggest and push that unmodified vintage trailer to 9-10k lbs, then I might be in agreement.

As for my Ford/Chevy comment, I would clarify that my point was that discussions about hitches tend to fall down the same path of the Ford vs Chevy type discussions, everyone has an opinion on what's best. I had no description of the actual performance of any hitch setup or vehicle.
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Old 09-29-2020, 10:29 PM   #17
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I'm going to have to disagree. Here is a spec sheet off a 1974 trailer right from the Airstream site. As you know 30' trailers now have a gvwr of nearly 9000lbs in Flying Cloud format. Classics now push 10,000 lbs. If an owner of a vintage unit were to load as you are suggesting, the trailer would in fact be overloaded comparatively to a late model Airstream. My comments are taking into account that a vintage owner would follow the NCC of their particular non-modified trailer. Factory GVWR is approx 7100lbs on a 1974 31' trailer.

As for power, the F150 ecoboost has enough power, however the wheelbase for a 31' trailer (in my opinion) is rather short at about 122". But it's not grossly over matched given the (Airstream)factory stated GVWR of 7100lbs if loaded correctly..and at about 2k of NCC, it would be hard, not impossible to load a 1974 31 footer to 9000 or 10000lbs. If a vintage owner were to do as you suggest and push that unmodified vintage trailer to 9-10k lbs, then I might be in agreement.

As for my Ford/Chevy comment, I would clarify that my point was that discussions about hitches tend to fall down the same path of the Ford vs Chevy type discussions, everyone has an opinion on what's best. I had no description of the actual performance of any hitch setup or vehicle.
Inertial mass moment is the determinate in stability. That weight distributed uniformly over 30-31 feet is more than ideal for many 1/2 tons. Reading from this site, many go over. And why not? The frames axles tires and wheels are up to it.
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Old 09-30-2020, 07:29 AM   #18
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Nothing like another lively debate about tow vehicles. I certainly under estimated my hitch system. However, I did not under estimate the power of my tow vehicle. My f-150 has enough power to tow a 31' airstream that weighs 6500 pounds. I'll be investing in a propride hitch to make my whole rig more stable and efficient.

Thank you everyone for your valuable advice.
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Old 09-30-2020, 11:10 AM   #19
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New Hitch System

Installed a ProPride system myself with some assistance from 19 year old daughter to pass tools and parts. I used a floor Jack and a bottle jack to lift and hold heavy parts.

I did need to buy a 250 foot-pound 1/2 inch drive torque wrench to tighten some of the bolts. I followed the excellent instructions and took my time to get it centered exactly on the A-frame.

Won’t tow with anything else, period. And yes, I’m a certified old phart with a bum back. It was not hard to install. Unpacking the head was a bit of exercise...
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Old 10-01-2020, 08:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Inertial mass moment is the determinate in stability. That weight distributed uniformly over 30-31 feet is more than ideal for many 1/2 tons. Reading from this site, many go over. And why not? The frames axles tires and wheels are up to it.

I will agree that folks can and may go over. My comments are based on people following the manufacturer's ratings and, a bit of common sense, in the OP's case, Ford and Airstream. But I am questioning the initial 1/2 comment that the 1/2 is less than ideal in this application in post #5.

There is no long term way factory rated axles at around 3500lbs (if even that high) are going to be able to withstand what you have suggested for very long-- a 31' 70s Aistream matching GVWR of a late model Airstream. To do that you'd either have to have converted that vintage trailer to a toy hauler, in which case, all bets are off --OR-- the owner is a hoarder and will shortly find the factory rated axles not able to withstand such loads long term without significant repercussions (many popped rivets, bent or broken axles, etc). Either way, a 31' late model Airtream's GVWR is between 8880lbs and 10klbs. GVWR on the 70s 31 footer is 7100. At best you'd be exceeding the GVWR by nearly 1800lbs (almost a ton), and if you were comparing that of a late model Classic , almost 2900lbs puts that vintage rig now at nearly a ton and a half OVER it's rated GVWR.

If significant modifications were done to the coach to allow these significant additional weights, then I may start be in closer agreement with you in your 1/2 comment.

The OPs question mentions no modifications to either trailer or truck. Based on that, and his/her being within both Airstream and Ford specs, I find they would be able to successfully and safely tow (not just move) their Airstream with the proper hitch connected. The idea that a 1/2 ton cannot safely move this is somewhat misleading at best. There were cars that had 1/2 ton ability (or less) in the 60 and 70 and were towing this same sized Airstream on caravans around the country and the world- some with far less that what the OP has today.

By all means, get a quality hitch, but do not discount the OPs 1/2 TV in this particular application.
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