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Franchesca 04-25-2020 12:47 PM

New to towing, new to Airstream!😑
Hi all,
With the Covid event, I decided lifeís too short...better go get that AS Iíve always wanted!!! Thanks for being here. Iíve been reading this forum night and day and canít wait to get out there with my 2018 Sport 16!!! So much to learn!

Any advice on my towing set up? I pulled my AS home 50 miles with my tow package suv, 2014 Pathfinder SL, no problems, but so many say to get a WD and anti sway bar.

Hans627 04-25-2020 01:08 PM

First of all welcome to the forum and the joy of joining the AS community. You are going to have a lot of fun.

While I cannot comment on towing an AS such as yours I would suggest finding the local unit of the AS Club. There you will find lots of people who share your enthusiasm and can give you any assistance you may want or need. Iíve learned so much from others in the club. Plus the rallies are so much fun.

Best regards and be safe!

BayouBiker 04-25-2020 03:47 PM

Improvement to stability will be modest at best with Weight Distribution. Too much WD will put unneeded stress on the relatively light trailer frame. 500 lb bars max for your Sport 16. You can benefit from an anti-sway device in variable cross winds so you could consider it. If you decide to get a combination device, the anti-sway components should be independent in your case because you won't be using a lot of WD tension and the Blue Ox and Equalizers for example rely on tension for much of the sway yaw damping so they would not be your best bet.

You have a good set-up, but does the Pathfinder have a brake controller installed? If not, get one installed to take most advantage of the trailer brakes!

ROBERT CROSS 04-25-2020 04:06 PM

welcome Aboard...👍
Light weight bars,(600lbmax), with friction sway bar.

Small, light, single axle Airstream=sway control.:wally:

We did 16yrs with a 23' Safari, 10yrs with dual friction bars, worked great.👍


Franchesca 04-26-2020 06:31 AM

Hi all,
thank you for the help!

Bob, by saying "small, light, single axel = sway control" are you saying I need to add sway control or that "small, light = stable"...
So you added "dual friction bars" for sway control?


Franchesca 04-26-2020 06:41 AM

Funny you mention the Equalizer, a parts person at an rv place recently recommended an Equalizer for my set up. I'll look into the bars...I don't want to stress out my little AS.
Seems like you know a lot about towing, so I'll ask....
So, when hooked up, my Pathfinder rear end did look like it was "bombed down", and lower than my trailer.
I didn't feel any bobbing up and down when towing tho.
I was also reading a different forum on Nissan Pathfinders that some folks added rear suspension air bags to "stiffen the suspension"?????? Have you ever heard of that?
thanks so much!

BayouBiker 04-26-2020 08:21 AM

The Equalizer is a great product when stiffness is called for, the performance is very good to excellent, but in your case it's just not the best choice. Different designs address different situations, so no single design is always best. Bob's recommendation of the Curt system or one similar would be a superior choice for you.

Yeah being tail down is a great indication your tow vehicle's geometry and balance is off and likely to handle poorly. Air bags do stiffen rear suspension to reduce the spongy "porpoising" effect and they improve geometry, but they don't restore balance and steering or help much with sway prevention. Weight distribution hitches resolve geometry and steering response and will also help with porpoising. If you decide on airbags which do have their place, just make sure you set up your WD hitch with no pressure in the bags as they mask the balance issue.

Be sure and look at your tires, if they are not low profile performance tires or high load range LT tires, I strongly recommend you replace them.

ROBERT CROSS 04-26-2020 09:52 AM


Originally Posted by Franchesca (Post 2354510)
Hi all,
thank you for the help!

Bob, by saying "small, light, single axel = sway control" are you saying I need to add sway control or that "small, light = stable"...
So you added "dual friction bars" for sway control?

Yes...I would definitely advise sway control on a single axle AS.
Our Safari came with one friction bar, when it came time to get a newer design, I added 2 new ones. One on each tongue 'A' frame rail.
The weight distribution sway control systems requires weight to be effective, the lighter the trailer the lesser the weight available to supply the needed friction to the bars.
With the separate friction bar design you can adjust the needed friction for your application.👍

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