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Receiver Testimonials

AirSafe Hitches

Last April I invested in an addition to my Equalizer hitch, an addition I had never heard of before.  Why this addition?  Well, like most Airstreamers, I spent some time perusing various aspects of the trailering world.   Jane and I were not new to the camping world, but we might as well have been, since our last adventures, featuring differing trailers over the years ended decades ago. Fast-forward to the fall of 2019, when we bought a 2020 25’ FBT Flying Cloud, after our daughter and son-in-law bought a 30’ rear bedroom Flying Cloud a year and a half before.  Somehow, the camping bug hit us again.  After a brief fling with the Airstream Nest, we settled on our present trailer. 

In the process of learning and relearning as much as I could about the trailer world and its systems, I came across several somewhat concerning, if not disturbing articles.  Reports came in concerning dimpling of the aluminum just over the front A frame, popping rivets, and even the cracking of the A frame on two particular models of Airstreams:  the front bedroom 25’s, and the front bedroom 27’s.  In an effort to research this phenomenon, it appears several factors contribute to this malady.

To begin with, the front bedroom (FB) configuration ends up being very tongue heavy, in relation to the back bedroom setup.  The published TW (tongue weight) of our particular trailer is 837 lbs.  But in reality, it comes in at around 1100 lbs.  Other similar trailers I have measured had yielded the same results.  With the FB floor plan, there is a lot of storage available in the front half of the trailer, and not so much in the back.  In addition, the underbelly tanks all go forward of the dual axles.  The water tank begins at the axles, preceded by the black and the grey water tanks both in front of the axles.  This of course will increase the TW, especially in relation to back bedroom trailers, like our kids’ 30’ FC, which has tanks at and then extending behind the axles toward the back, as well as a large storage area in the very back, underneath the huge double bed, where Greg, our SIL stores various items, including tools.  (Most of my tools are stored in the front, behind the propane tanks.  I have put some in the very back, under the dinette seat.). Take note that, in measuring our FB TW, the black and grey tanks were NOT full…in fact empty and 20%…which is to say that the TW was at a minimum; full would have added even more TW.

So why does this play into possible trailer damage, and what can be done about it?  To begin with, we all no doubt realize that the purpose of the WDH (weight distribution hitch) is to transfer some of the TW from the back axle of the TV (tow vehicle) to the front axle, resulting in  a more balanced setup.  Usually, the back axle ends up with 60% of the TW and the front 40%. In order to achieve this, the WD bars experience severe stress…this stress is transferred to the A frame of the trailer. The net effect of the WDH is to create a single platform; that is, when set up, the WDH plays out as a solid platform between the TV and the trailer frames.  Incidentally, to exhibit this, years ago, one of the WDH companies ran an AD in a magazine showing an Oldsmobile Toronado (which was one of the first full sized vehicles to have front wheel drive only) hitched to a trailer via a WDH with the back wheels removed. Obviously, they over torqued the WDH bars, but the phenomenon was, and is real.

Well, the net effect of this setup, which we all use, is to transfer any bump experienced by the TV to the trailer, and vice versa.  So, when you hit a bump, each component, the TV and the trailer, each receive not just one, but two jolts. (When you hit a bump, the truck transmits it to the trailer, and when the trailer hits the bump, it re-transmits it to the truck.) Again, this is because you have one solid platform.

While this obvious phenomenon is known to us all, in some cases, it appears that a certain combination exacerbates the situation.  In thinking this through, I believe a combination of a TV with a stiff suspension, combined with a stiff WDH, combined with a heavy TW is the perfect storm.  Which it is in my case.  I have a ¾ ton pickup with a High Capacity Tow Package (I didn’t order it this way, I just took what was available as I simply wanted a white truck with LED lights and this combination  was found in Harrison, AR, then sent to Harrisonville, MO).   Be it as it may, I have in essence, a heavy duty (unforgiving) suspension, mated to a very stiff (Equalizer) WDH, with a front heavy trailer.  While the Equalizer WDH works well, the bars are so solid as to not provide any cushioning when one hits a bump.  Contrast that to the Blue Ox WDH my SIL has for his 30’ trailer, which bars noticeably bend upon hitching.  It seems to me that bend also allows some cushioning.  And he has a much better balanced trailer with the back bedroom setup.  So, my unqualified opinion is that a ½ ton mated to a hitch like a Blue Ox may be a more forgiving combination.

But back to my inherent problem.  I came across a solution for my unfortunate malady.  BTW, I did not experience a problem with my setup, I just wanted to avert one.  It turns out there is a type of intermediary to a hitch designed to specifically address this problem.  This has to do

with an addition to a hitch that cushions the blow delivered by each bump with an air bag. I found two companies that address this issue:  Shocker and Air Safe.  Shocker appears to be cheaper, but I went with Air Safe (www.airsafehitches.com) , based on reviews, and interactions with other Airstreamers online via Airstream Addicts, who were navigating through this same issue.

The Air Safe hitch is mated to either a simple ball hitch or a WDH hitch (in my case).  Now this combination is heavy together they weigh 100 lbs…add the bars, and it is a total of 127 lbs.  In order to load it, I purchased lift table from Harbor Freight, for around $200.  With this table, I can easily, and precisely slide this WDH combo into my truck’s receiver, and also unload it. 

When you hit a bump, the Air Safe absorbs the blow (90% the manufacturer says) and does not pass it on to your trailer.  Conversely, the trailer does not pass the bump back to your TV. The result is a smoother ride, a supposed savings in fuel, tire wear and a damage preventative to your trailer. 

How effective is it?  I’m not 100% sure.  It seems to me that the trailer rides more smoothly…maybe it is psychological…I do know that it makes me feel better.  Other people, who are no doubt more savvy than I am, have to a person claimed a marked improvement. One of these, Marvin Williams, who bought an Air Safe partly upon my recommendation, has noted improvement.  His is mated to a Blue Ox WDH I believe. BTW, even though my SIL’s longer, better balanced 30’ FC sports a Blue Ox WDH, he has experienced popped rivets in front that I never have.

Air Safe has been making models for 5th wheel, Goosencks, and Receiver setups for decades.  Also, they are popular for people towing horse trailers.  Regarding the models for trailers, there are currently eight.

Classes 1 and two are no longer featured…out of production? Anyway, few of us would use those anyway.

Class 3  features a 2” draw bar, 600 or 800lbs TW,6000 or 8000 lbs GTW (gross trailer weight).

              It appears this model cannot be mated to WDH.

Class 4    2” draw bar (hollow shaft), 900lbs TW, 9000 lbs GTW

Class 5    2 or 2 ½” solid shaft draw bar, 1400lbs TW, 14,000lbs GTW. Also available with 

                  8.5” extended shaft, 1050 TW, 14,000 lbs GTW

Class 6    2 or 2 ½” solid shaft draw bar, 2000lbs TW, 20,000 lbs GTW. Also available with 

                  8.5” extended shaft, 1500 TW, 20,000 GTW

Class 7    2 ½” or 3” solid shaft draw bar, 2500 lbs TW, 25,000 lbs GTW. Also available with

                  8.5” extended shaft, 1875 lbs TW, 25,000 lbs GTW.

Class 8     Same, except 3000 lbs TW, 30,000 lbs GTW,  2250 lbs ext shaft.

The reason I have a Class 7 is because my truck, with it’s heavy duty tow package, comes with a 3” receiver.  The sales distributor, Lloyd Stegemann (407-973-2980), out of Island Park, NY) recommended that so that there is no slop.  I probably could have gotten by with a much smaller size, but I didn’t want the slop.  Evidently, my extra built-in capacity (1875 lbs TW) still works well with a smaller sized trailer as mine, as one blows up the rubber airbag to where the silver side bars are level. 40lbs in my case (which I have never had to adjust).  Obviously, this allows a softer bounce; a heavier TW would require more air pressure, up to 100 lbs.  Lloyd said this would work, and it does.  

Prices vary among the various models, depending on each model’s specifications. And of course, prices are in flux, given our inflationary economy.  Current prices without extras and without shipping I obtained online are : Class 4 – $950, Class 5 – $1195, Class 6 – $1695, Class 7 – 3” shaft – $2095, Class 8 – $2295.  For classes 4 and 5, extended shaft models add another $100.  The size of the shaft will influence the price a bit, usually $45-$100.  I suspect the extended shaft models allow one to drop the truck’s tailgate without hitting the trailers jack.  In my case, the addition of the Air Safe hitch mated to my Equalizer hitch extended the setup far back enough to where my tailgate easily clears. (It must be noted, that when one extends a hitch, it also tends to add to trailer sway; however front heavy trailers naturally exhibit much less sway, and besides, not hitting your tailgate is a real bonus). I gave $2185 for my Class 7 hitch (including shipping for $85).  Not cheap, but when one considers the alternative…ie., popped rivets, dimpled aluminum, and even cracked A frames, then add in the often frustrating warranty claims process, I felt the price was worth protecting our investment.  I am a bit of a worry-wart, and I know I sleep better now.

BTW….  Lloyd reminded me that the capacities of each of the Classes’ hitches is decreased by 25% if you mate it to a WDH (which we all would). These capacities can be seen above in the extended shaft number…for example, with a WDH Class 5 has a TW capacity of 1050 lbs, Class 6, 1500 and Class 7, 1875lbs. 

Most of you have towed your trailer for many more miles and for many more years than Jane and I have.  And obviously, if you haven’t encountered any problems, you are good to go.  Yet, physics being what it is, those of us owning trailers in the purported vulnerable realm may benefit from this unique device.  Happy towing to all!

– Lee Orth

Hooked up the WD to equalizer hitch. Unbelievable! Best of all worlds. We love it. I’m going to write about it on Facebook too. Pulled 200 miles today over very rough roads. I’m an air safe believer. Thanks for your help. 

Mike Zimmer

Receiver Testimonials 2Has never towed better!!! It would be easy to forget the trailer is hooked up.
THANK YOU !
GREAT PRODUCT !
JIMMY
Left AirSafe for a ProPride hitch last year. After one season sold the ProPride came back to my Class 5 AirSafe. A more solid and smoother ride. Quality product.     L. Santoro

 

I Purchased the air safe newly redesigned class 4 Hitch to initially to my 22 foot aluminum tilt bed car hauler trailer. Initially the trailer is so light I felt every bump in the road and no matter what I tried to soften the ride empty or loaded to no avail. After the initial setting of air pressure words cannot describe how amazing this product is I will never tell without it it is absolutely wonderful and worth every cent. Such  a quality product very  detailed construction and such  a robust looking product!! In short this product is absolutely amazing thank you so much for the help in helping me choose the right hitch .  Mitch Southern 

Just a note to let you folks know that I installed the Airsafe hitch, which was quite easy, only having to make one adjustment to get the height correct. Good instructions. Took a 600 mile round trip into the West Virginia mountains which involved both interstate and gravel road portions.NEVER have I had such a comfortable ride for both my truck and Airstream. I am a fan of the system, as is my wife.
Good job, and thanks.  George “Sandy” Browder
“First thank you for your service in getting the hitch to Port Orford before we had to leave and your aid in installing it on my F350.B & I drove from Port Orford OR to Fort Stevens on Hwy 101 on the Oregon coast, which is a hilly winding road built in the 1930’s.  It is not as bad as I5 coming out of LA (that was when we decided that we would try your hitch!!), but it has many rough spots.  What impressed us the most was the improvement of comfort on the smoother portions of the road.  The Air Safe combined with the Equalizer hitch I had been using let me relax and enjoy one of the most beautiful drives in the USA.After using it less than 300 miles, I would not “leave home without it” when I am driving my 34′ Airstream Excella or any other trailer.I will be recommending it to all who ask “What is that funny looking hitch?.Best Wishes for your continued success,”
Jim & B Bailey
“I bought an AirSafe Hitch from you in May (I think that was the time frame) anyway, it was a Class 5.  I have a F-450, a Lance 992 truck camper, a Torklift SuperHitch with a 24in extension truss and that’s what the AirSafe Hitch connects to.  I then added a Reese weight distribution system (after getting your weight distribution bracket) and to this is a 28ft Pace American enclosed auto hauler.  This carries my 1984 Toyota Landcruiser which just recently passed the 300,000 mile mark almost all driven by myself.  I bought it new in October of 1984 with 8 miles on it.After buying the AirSafe Hitch, I did what every skeptic does, I hooked up all the above WITHOUT the AirSafe Hitch and got out on the road.  I was in Austin, Texas so I took a spin on MoPac (one of two major north-south arteries) and full of bumps and the usual ups and downs of US freeways.  I was surprised at how much jerking and yanking was going on behind me.So on the evening of my departure I thought, well hopefully it can’t be any worse with the AirSafe than it was without it.  I left Austin at around 9pm on a Sunday evening and arrived in Colorado Springs around 2pm the following day.  I was fairly surprised at how well the AirSafe worked.  I’ll admit there were moments when in the middle of some highway construction project that I was bounced around a little but there were many more times when I would hit some bump and notice the trailer bouncing up and down but there was not the accompanying jerk to the truck and of course the transmission.I’ll tell you this, I was pretty impressed.  I had more than one truck pass me and in the middle of doing so…they slowed down and I could see them pointing to the hitch.  I can’t answer the question for anyone else as to whether this is “worth it” but for me….had I spent those 1,000 miles being jerked back and forth and bounced up and down, I would probably be replacing something in the F-450 not to mention spending some time in treatment to fix this old man’s body.  I arrived in pretty good condition, as did my trailer, my truck and my Landcruiser. Lloyd, I’ll pass this along as my recommendation – a guy in a truck stop outside Abilene walked up to me, and it was in the early morning hours, and looked at the hitch, pushed back his cap, scratched his head and said, “that makes sense”.Thanks.”
Rip Gough
“Medium Duty Receiver and Weight Dist System. Actually, the hitch performed quite well during the  whole trip.  Driving distance was about 375 miles, but much of it was on dirt  roads and bumpy areas.  If you have a map of Arizona, we went up  I-17 to I-40 where we averaged about 65 miles an hour.  We went faster in places  and slower in places.  Going west on I-40 to Williams, we then took the little windy (Perkinsville) road south from Williams to a mountain/forest area.  We  then took a dirt road approximately 12 miles into where we set up camp near White Horse lake.Going back, we drove the 12 miles dirt road back to  the blacktop road going south out of Williams (Perkinsville).  We took it south  about 20 miles then onto another dirt road (10 miles) and over (west) to route  89.  We took it south through Prescott, Yarnell, Wickenburg and into Phoenix.  The road from Prescott to Wickenburg was paved but very  windy and “high” up … down the mountains. The speed limit on it was 20MPH for  about 20 miles.The “feel” was a little smoother than with ordinary  hitches.  There were a few times that I started to get an oscillation between  the truck and trailer following a bump but it was dampened out immediately by  the hitch.  There was not a “big” difference in feel, but definitely a  “smoother” pull and it did stop the oscillations (bouncing back and forth  between truck and trailer) right away.There were no problems with the hitch.  We did have a  problem with the electrical cord falling out of the bumper socket due to the  bumpy (and washboard) roads.  But the hitch performed flawlessly.”

 

 

Duane Loftus
“Here are the pictures I told you about.  These were taken somewhere along the Alcan Highway.  We hit a lot of snow on the way north.  They put sand and gravel on the road for traction so your truck and trailer take a real pounding.  The hitch really got hammered.  All I had to do was keep the tie rods lubricated and that was it.  The unit performed flawlessly for the entire trip.”

 

Brett & Nicia Rotermund
“I just finished a 5500-mile cross-country trip with a new 14000 LB GVW Air Hitch on my F-250 Powerstroke pulling my 28-foot travel trailer, and the Air Hitch worked as advertised…which means very well indeed!It was money very well spent…an investment in comfort for me and durability for my truck and trailer.The Air Hitch did smooth out the potholes and railroad track crossings. It did dampen the rock-and-roll concrete expansion joints and otherwise damaged road surfaces found on too many highways. It did help isolate and help make independent the relatively harsh suspension of the F250 from the softer torsion-bar suspension of the trailer so that each could do the respective job it was intended to do without interfering with the other. In other words, it did make the ride much better for both the truck, the trailer, and all the respective contents, including the passengers.I like the feel of the truck/trailer connection riding on soft air rather than hard steel, and the view in the mirror of the trailer reacting independently to harsh road conditions in the way that serves it best without undue interference from the tow vehicle, and vice versa.When I see 18-wheelers with the sign “Air Ride” on their trailers, I think, “Me Too.”Thanks for making such a great product.”

 

 

Mike Prudhomme

Thanks for everything! I–and my wife–loved the hitch and how it changed the ride of our rig, and how it dampened the effects of roads on the trailer (we were constantly finding pillows tossed around inside, and shower doors broken and closet door broken. The Airsafe hitch stopped all of that. Yes; it was heavy. But a LOT of people admired it–it was a conversation starter in any campground we found ourselves in with other people!

Best regards,

Joe Clappis

“Lloyd, we completed our first trip with the new hitch.  I have to say I was quite impressed.  While it did not eliminate the bouncing effect caused by perfectly spaced saw cuts in the concrete, it did lessen the effect considerably.  That is something that will probably never go away with the truck/trailer combination… the “perfect storm”.  What I was most impressed with was when I would pull in or out of a driveway, or drive over any significant bumps, I would only feel the truck, not the trailer.  Don’t get me wrong, I can surely notice 6000# behind me, but when the trailer axle hit the bump, it did not move the truck.  Lastly, the effect of driver fatigue was a complete shock.  I thought it was just a bunch of marketing hype.  But, I was amazed at how much less stress there was with this hitch in place.

I suspect in about 30 years I’ll need a small crane to help mount the hitch on my truck.  But for now, my back is strong and I won’t pull my trailer without it.

Thanks again for a great product.  And, the sleeping kids in the back thank you as well.”

 

Gary

“I just completed moving a 37′ boat from Little Rock, AR to Homer, Alaska using your hitch.  It was moved with a Chev Kodiak 5500 and used your class 7 2” receiver unit.  I have never moved anything that heavy for that distance that I didn’t feel as if I had been beaten up every day, that is before using your hitch. The Air ride hitch is an absolute must-have if you are towing a heavy load over a long haul.  It is virtually unbelievable how much it smoothes out the road and completely eliminates the “rocking horse” after road bumps.  I will never again tow a load without using the Air Ride.  I initially had thought the hitch was pretty expensive, but after using it, I think it is very cheap.  The amount of road stress it eliminates on the driver has to be experienced to be appreciated, Thanks for a great product.”
Ken Cope
“I have been really busy racing and showing my Monster Truck all over the country! I just got back from Texas 24-hour drive with your hitch in place, it was a pleasant drive once again! Thank you sincerely for your great product, it makes my life much nicer and the long drives more fun. I drove to Roswell New Mexico last month for a race, I blew a rod right out both sides of the Monster Trucks engine, after only three passes. I collected only $2,500 in pay and the overall trip and damage came to $9,500 The only good about that trip was the Air Hitch and the fact that my rig will last longer than ever expected because of your hitch! I am extremely happy with my Air Hitch and I still have not had to tighten any of the bolts and the overall appearance of my hitch is still perfect! Approximately100,000 miles now. I will keep in touch, thanks again”
Frank Schettini
” I purchased an air ride hitch from your company recently. The first trip me  and my wife went on was from North Carolina / Virginia state line to Myrtle  Beach SC. You’re hitch was amazing, The road’s along this section are notorious  for being rough and bumpy. You’re hitch made the trip so much more enjoyable.  When we arrived I wasn’t tired or worn out from the rough ride. I purchased the  medium duty hitch, at first I was skeptical about the cost but I will tell  anyone who asks the cost was money well spent. “
Randy Golding
My hitch is still working awesome, I have been using it almost every  weekend going to a truck show, race or even just towing my dirt bikes to the  desert for some fun. Thanks again for  the great product you make, your hitch is adding  years to the life of my trailers and related components.  Talk to ya soon,  Frank Schettini Pro Comp Tire Monster TrucksHey Lloyd, thank’s a million!  We used the hitch with one vehicle around town there in Vegas, then towed home with it.  Then another truck used it to go back to Vegas with my big trailer, to pick up and tow another big truck home.  Everyone that did any of the driving LOVED the hitch.   I especially liked it behind the F-350 Ford Super Duty towing the Monster Truck, it worked great on the  freeway overpasses liked I expected it too,,,, but where I was really impressed was the cushion over speed bumps in parking lots..  It used to go BANG over speed bumps, now it is smooth and better than when not towing as well.   I will resize all of the photos taken and send them to you.  I am about to be late to meet someone   so I will get back to you soon, and yes I am about to use the hitch rite now,  I have the trailer empty and hooked up,  Thank’s again  Frank”
Frank Schettini
“With this hitch I am in the state of happiness.”

 

Roy Wilkens
“Yes you can use my name and state. Also it improved the ride enough that our family traveler sleeps on the back seat of the truck (picture of MisTea inside our T.T. at a camp-site. Thank You for your service.”
Phil Bruner
“Here’s a photo of my truck hitched to our 27 ft. Airstream, ready to go on our  latest camping adventure. The hitch is a medium duty Advance Air Hitch which  makes traveling a whole lot more comfortable, especially on these rough concrete  interstates.”
Bill Howell
“The tractor, a 1942 Silver King, maxis out the weight limit (4500#) on my truck(2000  Dodge Dakota Quad).The hitch makes it ride like a Cadillac. It performs just as  advertised. Can’t imagine ever pulling a trailer with out an AirRide Hitch. Well  worth the cost.”
Stephen Wolf
“I´ll send you a picture of my big truck and horse trailer, the air ride sure helps the horses ride better and not as tried when you get somewhere with them. The picture will come in another email.”
Lee Carousel