Air Bags and Towing Airstream 16'

Gladiator in my dreams

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I have a decided to install a Anderson system for my 16' Caravel (2021). Seems like the best unit for my light weight Caravel (4,300 Max GVW & 500+ hitch weight)

Towing with a 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland. (Max GVW 5,800 lbs) Actual weight on Cat Scales 4,800 lbs, no drivers, cargo but with full tank of fuel. So only a 1,000 lbs for people, cargo, actual hitch weight and tung weight. Anderson's weight is 60 lbs instead of 100+ lbs for other systems.

QUESTION: I also have Firestone Air Bags inside the real coil springs. Helps with the stability of the Gladiator Overland with rather weak/soft rear coil springs.

Other hitches suggest in the install of the hitch, when having air bags, is to just set a 5-10 lbs while installing and setting up the system. Than after that is done raise the pressure on the air bags to around 20-30 lbs. Enough to still have them steady the load, but not enough to transfer any weight to the front wheels.

I may need to tow 16' Airstream from Fort Myers, FL to Stuart, Fl "on the hitch" as I may not have the Anderson in time. Anyone have any issues with that? Will have the air bags installed for the on the hitch drive. It is about a 2.5 hour drive just on smooth 2 lane roads with little traffic all the way.

Thanks to any who might have an opinion on Air Bags and the Anderson.


Bob



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NGNERD

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I have a decided to install a Anderson system for my 16' Caravel (2021). Seems like the best unit for my light weight Caravel (4,300 Max GVW & 500+ hitch weight)

Towing with a 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland. (Max GVW 5,800 lbs) Actual weight on Cat Scales 4,800 lbs, no drivers, cargo but with full tank of fuel. So only a 1,000 lbs for people, cargo, actual hitch weight and tung weight. Anderson's weight is 60 lbs instead of 100+ lbs for other systems.

QUESTION: I also have Firestone Air Bags inside the real coil springs. Helps with the stability of the Gladiator Overland with rather weak/soft rear coil springs.

Other hitches suggest in the install of the hitch, when having air bags, is to just set a 5-10 lbs while installing and setting up the system. Than after that is done raise the pressure on the air bags to around 20-30 lbs. Enough to still have them steady the load, but not enough to transfer any weight to the front wheels.

I may need to tow 16' Airstream from Fort Myers, FL to Stuart, Fl "on the hitch" as I may not have the Anderson in time. Anyone have any issues with that? Will have the air bags installed for the on the hitch drive. It is about a 2.5 hour drive just on smooth 2 lane roads with little traffic all the way.

Thanks to any who might have an opinion on Air Bags and the Anderson.


Bob
I would not be worried about pulling this without the sway bar for one trip but just drive smart, plenty of distance between you and the one in front and slow down when big rigs come up on you. Cross wind, cross wind from big rigs, hard breaking, too much weight in the back of the trailer seem to be triggers for sway from what I understand.
In my opinion, you will always run out of payload before tow capacity, and looks like you are watching that payload. You will have about 1000 lbs of payload to play with from what I read here (also shown on your door jamb, but Cat Scale is best), your tongue weight looks to be in the 550 range, so you have 450 for you, passengers and gear. You will have plenty of pull power, you will be under payload, now just make sure you have a break controller to help slow it down. Break controller can help with sway too should you experience it, I have not but from what I understand if you have a break controller with the manual increase within reach (I do not, just the curt echo, but I tow light), just hit the trailer breaks and it should help with the sway.
However with this small of an Airstream doubt you will have any sway, don't put too much weight in the camper behind the axle.
Anderson is a good choice once you get it in my opinion, it will give you Weight dist and anti-sway for little cost off that payload number.
Enjoy, nice rig!
 
OP

Gladiator in my dreams

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Thanks for the info. Yes, the door sticker shows 1,035 of payload. On the Cat Scale showed I had a weight with full tank of gas and no one in the Overland, at 4.800 lbs, GVWR of Overland is 5,800 lbs. That missing 35 lbs I bet is the thick rubber bed mat I installed. :)

I am also going to use the Curt Echo. But I thought that you could push the red circle on the App on your phone and it would put the breaks on the trailer to take out the sway?

TAke care, Bob
 

NGNERD

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Thanks for the info. Yes, the door sticker shows 1,035 of payload. On the Cat Scale showed I had a weight with full tank of gas and no one in the Overland, at 4.800 lbs, GVWR of Overland is 5,800 lbs. That missing 35 lbs I bet is the thick rubber bed mat I installed. :)

I am also going to use the Curt Echo. But I thought that you could push the red circle on the App on your phone and it would put the breaks on the trailer to take out the sway?

TAke care, Bob
Yes, the curt echo will do that, sorry, I just do not have confidence in myself having that screen open and ready to hit that red circle in that instant :) but if you are prepared and have it open, then yes, it should work well.
 

eaglerugby04

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Thanks for the info. Yes, the door sticker shows 1,035 of payload. On the Cat Scale showed I had a weight with full tank of gas and no one in the Overland, at 4.800 lbs, GVWR of Overland is 5,800 lbs. That missing 35 lbs I bet is the thick rubber bed mat I installed. :)

I am also going to use the Curt Echo. But I thought that you could push the red circle on the App on your phone and it would put the breaks on the trailer to take out the sway?

TAke care, Bob
Get a redarc. After having to use the button on my Redarc the idea of relying on an app being open and available honestly scares me.

Also if you can I strongly recommend having the Anderson in place. From the few videos I have watched air bags only can technically worsen the weight on the vehicle. With a WDH makes perfect sense though given how light the springs are.
 

Overland-2021

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Hi Everyone,

I just got my 2021 JT Overland Eco Diesel this month. We bought the rig to tow a 2012 16" airstream trailer - the exact same weight requirements as Bob needs so I figured this is a good time to share what I've found. I've tow a number of different trailers in my day from monster tractor trailer flatbeds with large equipment to tiny ones I could almost pick up by myself. Done right it can be very satisfying.

We mothballed the trailer for winter the week before getting the Jeep so no real world examples yet. We did do the math and we will have a 4300lbs GTW trailer with ~500lbs TW - well under the max towing rating of 6000lbs. Truck has 1209LBS cargo max giving a GVWR at 6350lbs - my total weight will max out at about 10,650lbs. I will certainly know the trailer is there but well within safety limits.

I will be using a combination of airbags and weight distribution hitch.
The airbags help smooth out the flutter - that constant up and down will get to ya.
I could do without the air bags but not the WDH. Get one with the sway control bars - you will be happy you did.
Here is a good link on those hitches: These guys (Fastway engineers Jason Harper and Matt Barnes) did a great job showing what airbags can and cannot do for you how weight can be distributed:

Curt manufacturing also has some good articles in their knowledgebase section.
https://www.curtmfg.com
https://www.curtmfg.com/towing-capacity

Couple of things to keep in mind -
Always properly load the trailer. The ~15% tongue to total trailer weight is a good thing. Here is what can happed if done incorrectly:

No modifications you do to your truck will legally increase your ability to carry more weight. Overloading is unsafe and in some places can get you a hefty fine.

Safe travels
 

eaglerugby04

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