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Old 07-26-2003, 04:48 PM   #1
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2003 22' International CCD
East Durham , New York
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 126
Question Questions from a new A/S owner. Help.

Hello all,

I need help. I recently purchased a 22ft. CCD, my first Airstream. I've wanted one my whole life and I finally have one. I bought it used from a retired gentleman who only used it twice!, anyway I haven't actually made a trip in it yet. The car I owned at the time I bought it could not pull the A/S so I traded it in and bought a new VW Touareg. The factory tow package was just installed and now I am gearing up to make my first trip. I have never towed anything before and I'm kind of nervous. I have 3 main questions: first, the factory hitch is rated with a 7700lb towing capacity and a 620lb hitch weight, well within limits for the trailer. Can I simply use the hitch as is or do I need to use either a weight distributing system and/or anti-sway bars? The Airstream manual shows the car being used with a load equalizing system so does that mean I need one too? Also, I realize I now need to get a brake controller. Does anyone have any recommendations? are these fairly easy to undertand? Finally, the correct height for the ball on the hitch is 18 inches, is this 18 inches to the very top of the ball, or to the base of the ball? Forgive my lack of knowledge on these issues but I would like to get all of the information I need to make the right decisions before I go out on the road.

PS: this forum is great. All of your wisdom and knowledge help me make the right choice when I bought the CCD. I'm really looking forward to becoming a part of the Airstream community.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 07-26-2003, 05:06 PM   #2
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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You need weight distribution bars and a friction sway bar.

You can't go wrong with either a Prodigy or a Jordan brake controller.

You are the first to be towing with a VW that I know of, especially that one we've all been talking about. Please post your findings with it towing!

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Old 07-26-2003, 05:07 PM   #3
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Questions from a new A/S owner. Help.

Greetings James!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreaming!

You will definitely want a weight-distributing hitch with some type of sway control with your setup. My personal favorite is the Reese Straight-Line Hitch with adjustable hitch head and Reese Dual Cam Sway Control. While it is possible to setup one of these systems yourself with the information on the Reese web site, I wouldn't recommend it. I spent nearly nine hours setting up the system on one of my previous tow vehicles only to save $150 - - the money would have been well spent to eliminate the tedious job. You can find information about the Reese products at:

Reese Straight-Line Adjustable Hitch - - (Instruction Sheet)

Reese Dual Cam Sway Control - - (Instruction Sheet)

Reese High Performance Trunion Hitch (Straight Line) - - Product Information

Reese Dual Cam Sway Control - - Product Information

Good luck with your hitch selection!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC #7864
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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Old 07-26-2003, 05:14 PM   #4
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. , Illinois
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What Kevin said.... I just want to hear about how well the new VW did. I expect to hear great things, but would accept all input!
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Old 07-26-2003, 05:17 PM   #5
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I have been towing for a lot of years and I personally would not tow any travel trailer without a load leveling hitch along with a sway control. I personally use a standard Reese with 1000 lb bars on my 28 Airstream. Sounds like you probably need 750 lb bars on your 22. As far as hitch ball height, that would be to the top of the ball. On brake controllers, I have used Kelsey units for the past 10 years. However, I am going to change to Prodegy in the next month or so. I woud find a good RV dealer, preferably an Airstream dealer if you have one locally, and take my VW in, get the brake control and hitch. The dealer, then, can give you enough information to hook up the trailer and bring in to him for final adjustment. Good Luck. Jeff
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Old 07-26-2003, 05:19 PM   #6
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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Not the one in Illinois!

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Old 10-30-2003, 10:58 PM   #7
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VW towing ad pulled!

<this is a copy of another reply I made before finding this thread, sorry if you must read it twice!>

I had actually purchased a VW Touareg with the intention of purchasing a vehicle to begin my trailer life (never owned one, but was looking forward to it!).

I had contacted my local airstream dealer and explained my intentions when he pointed out that VW has since pulled their ad campaign and was even going as far as refunding money for the vehicle for folks like me that were duped by their ad campaign with the towing capacity.

Tonight's news confirmed it for me! Here is a link to a full stream of the newscast from CBS news.

Go to to check this
video clip.

I love the vehicle, but the bad news is that the hitch and car can't support the tongue weight of a vehicle as large as in the ad!

Looks like I will start smaller and work my way up!
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