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Old 01-19-2013, 08:57 AM   #1
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1985 25' Sovereign
Okc , Oklahoma
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Hitch ball height?

I am towing a 85 Sovereign 25' with a Dodge 4X4
What height should the ball be in order to tow the AS level?

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Old 01-19-2013, 09:03 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by LeeJ View Post
I am towing a 85 Sovereign 25' with a Dodge 4X4
What height should the ball be in order to tow the AS level?
There is no ball height that you can depend on.

Because your trailer has a weight sensitive suspension system, the ball height changes depending on the pay load.

Also, the condition of the rubber rods within the axle, further changes the ball height.

The only answer to your question, is to measure the ball height on your trailer.

That measurement on someone elses has nothing to do with yours.


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Old 01-19-2013, 11:19 AM   #3
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I believe the factory height for most Airstreams is 18 1/2"-19" but like Andy said it can change (also depends on tires on trailer).

Best thing to do is go to a flat surface (far end of parking lot from store is usually good) and measure the frame front and back to make sure the trailer is level when hooked to TV (tow vehicle) loaded for a trip. It doesn't really matter what the height is before there is weight on the ball since depending on vehicle and tongue weight it can drop 1/2"-4".
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:30 AM   #4
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With trailer and TV loaded for travel and level on a level surface, measure to top inner surface of hitch on trailer. Unhitched ball height (top of hitch ball) should probably be about 1" to 2" higher than what you measured to allow for settling of TV suspension when WD hitch is properly adjusted. (You can measure your hitched and unhitched hitch height to see how much the suspension actually settles is for your particular TV when hooked up.)

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Old 01-19-2013, 11:39 AM   #5
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Since we carry widely varying loads in our 3/4 ton pickup while pulling the Airstream, I've found a set of adjustable Firestone Ride-Rite air springs to make leveling a much simpler job.

When we head out for Burning Man, for example, we may be carrying 700+ lbs more in the bed than when we're headed out for a weekend; it's not practical to expect an weight-distributing hitch to be able to compensate for this.

If your vehicle and trailer load-outs are consistent, this may not be necessary - but if they're not, consider this option.

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Old 01-19-2013, 12:02 PM   #6
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Factory ball height vs settled ball height

The factory ball height for all years and models can be found on the site. This is the height the trailer should ride at when it was new. It settles from there as the rubber suspension gets older or you change tire sizes. It is a good place to start. The right height is one that results in the trailer being level to the ground with all wheels taking an equal load. The weight the WD system is transferring has a meaningful effect.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:20 PM   #7
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Andy is Correct of Course...

... but if you asking where to start with a '85 Airstream, start at 18 inches and go from there.
Hitch adjustment depends on age of your axles and how much stuff you carry in your trailer and to a lesser extent the suspension of your tow vehicle.

It takes a couple tries and hour to get your hitch set up the first time. In the end your trailer will be level, and your truck will be squatting evenly at all four suspension points (the measurements at the wheel wells should indicate that though the truck is not level, its nose-down attitude, if any, is the same whether you are hitched or unhitched).
Hope this helps.
Ken L
2019 Flying Cloud 27FB
2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab 6.2L Max Tow
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:43 PM   #8
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I have mine set at 18 inches... 27fb Safari towing with a dodge 4x4

Sent from my iPad using Airstream Forums

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