rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft  (Read 979 times)

delavan

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« on: June 21, 2018, 07:26:28 AM »
I just purchased my first TT. A vintage (1978) 21 foot tandem axle. Aluminum panels and wooden frame.

-GVW is 5600lbs dry. don't know much more what to say to describe the trailer. 2 5/8" ball needed.
 I bought 4 x new Goodyear ST tires, 205, 75 R15. 65 lbs of pressure. The old ones were very rotten and dangerous.
Its got flipped axles, as the previous owner was pulling it with a lifted truck. It would cost about $500 to revert back to normal.
Got the brakes checked and it seems good to go. Some magnets are a little weak, I'll work on getting that replaced.

My tow vehicle is a 2016 F-150:

-Payload 1776 lbs
-5.0L V8, 6 speed transmission, 3.55 rear end. 6.5 foot box with the crew cab, so 157 inches wheelbase.
-Tow package, with 9100lbs of towing capacity.
-Trans cooler, etc. I got a straight hitch adapter, ball has no drop at this point.

I do not have a WDH.

Now, first impression: The truck seems stable pulling this trailer on flat ground. no white knuckle ride. I pulled it back home in 30mph winds on a one-lane highway coming across big rigs. Even if its riding high, it seems that all is good.
Squat on truck is minimal, yet I haven't measured it.

Its quite the learning curve! I believe I need a WDH because of the weight, although I wonder if Its mandatory, or really needed. I know the ford manual states without WDH, trucks is good for 5000lbs, and with a WDH, up to max tow rating for the truck (9100 lbs for me).

Help?

Back2PA

  • Global Moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 3770
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2018, 08:06:30 AM »
Iím not a trailer guy but right off the bat I can tell you that youíve answered your own question re a WDH, you need one just to pull the trailer completely empty - as the manual states that 9100 rating is only with a WDH.
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (38')
2011 F-250 Super Duty 6.2 Gas, LB 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

regval

  • ---
  • Posts: 288
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2018, 10:57:53 AM »
As Scott has mentioned, you need a WDH. Do some web searches on how to install a weight distributing hitch. The tongue weight of the trailer will affect the stability and performance of your truck without a WDH, even if you think it may tow fine without a WDH. Safety is an issue when you are towing and stability is really important when stopping or towing during any windy condition.  A properly setup WDH will help immensely in an emergency stop situation, and believe me, you will encounter one sometime in your future if you tow.
So, get a WDH with sway control is my recommendation.
Stay safe...
Reggie
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer


"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

Lou Schneider

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 8637
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2018, 01:31:01 PM »
Don't worry about the rear of the truck squatting, the real question is how much weight is the trailer tongue taking off of your steering tires?  That's what a WD hitch does, as it leverages the hitch upwards it also pushes downward on the front suspension, keeping your steering wheels firmly anchored to the road.

delavan

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2018, 10:27:56 PM »
All, I understand that you are all knowledgeable, actually quite a bit more than I can ever be in this domain.

I see quite a few second-hand distribution hitches on buy&sell ads. Is it even an option? I don't know how to properly adjust these. I can save a few hundred bucks if I buy used.

Am I answering my own question again by saying that I need to buy new and get it installed by experts?

I'll hook it up tomorrow and look for measurement of squat and front lift on the truck.

I see trailers with mini excavators and bobcats being pulled without WDHs daily...is this different than a travel trailer?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 10:30:09 PM by delavan »

regval

  • ---
  • Posts: 288
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2018, 10:50:07 PM »
I see quite a few second-hand distribution hitches on buy&sell ads. Is it even an option? I don't know how to properly adjust these. I can save a few hundred bucks if I buy used.

I've owned 3 travel trailers, still have one, and never bought a new WDH. I have two used WDH, one is longer than the other and use it with my cargo trailer. Buying used, you need to inspect the hitch components ( hitch ball, trunnion bars, assembly bolts, etc.) to insure there are no defects or missing items.
Also, make sure it's weight rated for your trailer weight. Ask the seller for the mfg. name, model and research it before wasting a trip to look at it. I got my used hitches for less than $100 each.
There are many internet how to videos on installing a WDH.

Regarding others you see towing heavy equipment without a WDH, I just shake my head and avoid getting close to them.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 10:58:11 PM by regval »
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer


"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

grashley

  • ---
  • Posts: 5318
  • Western KY for now.
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2018, 07:52:54 PM »
Welcome to the Forum!

Clearly, you are here to learn how to do it right.  THANK YOU!  We are here to help.

-GVW is 5600lbs dry.    This is an oxymoron.  Dry wt is an EMPTY camper.  GVW, or GVWR is GROSS weight - loaded.  When it is loaded ready to go camping, it will weigh closer to 7,000#.

Used hitches are fine, as noted above.  No need to get a pro to set it up.  It will need adjusted again once it is loaded.  Follow on line instructions and view You Tube.

Ask lots of questions!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

delavan

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2018, 12:28:41 AM »
Lol.
 I do what I'm being advised to do. I got an appointment to get he trailer re-flipped back to normal height. Then, once its done, I will get a proper WDH.

Yes I might try to find a used one, but I'm just trying to get me and the wife hooked up right away with some morale boosting camping!

Ernie n Tara

  • ---
  • Posts: 3611
  • Life is Good - Together
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2018, 08:19:25 AM »
As to towing Bobcats, I recently encountered a case of a 1500 towing one west in ND. I barely avoided him as he lost it completely and zig zagged across the interstate with ALL tires smoking. He did recover and so did I, but he went past us later at an estimated 15 mph (we stopped to eat).


Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler

delavan

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2018, 03:02:33 PM »
As to towing Bobcats, I recently encountered a case of a 1500 towing one west in ND. I barely avoided him as he lost it completely and zig zagged across the interstate with ALL tires smoking. He did recover and so did I, but he went past us later at an estimated 15 mph (we stopped to eat).


Ernie

Well, yes there seems to be a lot of people being negligent somehow when they tow. This is why I enquire about the "proper" ways. You can't always rely on what you see on the road to learn how its done, there is many bad examples out there!

I got 4 brand new tires of good quality, will get a WDH, etc...

delavan

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2018, 09:02:51 PM »
Now, I'm looking at refinishing the roof of the trailer. Its an aluminum roof. Can I lay down on top? I can get an 8foot ladder and stay besides it too I suppose.

There is some black tar that seem to have bee added over some seems. I bought some of this:

http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/premium-elastomeric-white-roof-coating-0408371p.html#Reviews

I'm planning to apply it to the whole roof with a roller. I wonder if I have to scrape all the old stuff first. Ideas from folks who did roof repairs?

steveblonde

  • ---
  • Posts: 2672
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2018, 09:07:42 PM »
Congratulations - good for you, enjoy. Ive been doing this for some 40plusyears ( started with my parents whem i was very very young) and i love every minute of it

In the seventies my dad was the plant manager for skipper , scamper , and glendale trailers.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 09:13:44 PM by steveblonde »
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
2014 F150 Ecoboost Reg cab (company truck) daily driver
2017 Black on Black F350 Diesel Dually loaded  5167lbs cargo/weight capacity
Selling truck parts for 15 yrs plus
" If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space"
From Canada Eh

Lynx0849

  • ---
  • Posts: 105
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2018, 12:10:59 PM »
As to towing Bobcats, I recently encountered a case of a 1500 towing one west in ND. I barely avoided him as he lost it completely and zig zagged across the interstate with ALL tires smoking. He did recover and so did I, but he went past us later at an estimated 15 mph (we stopped to eat).


Ernie

Note that not all pickup trucks are 1/2 ton models. Some are pretty hefty.

delavan

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2018, 04:27:22 PM »
Just got back from our first trip!
The fridge is working, which is a god sent. I had to clean some rust that was blocking the flame and the temperature inside the fridge finally dropped.
I dropped a little bit more money than expected to make this trailer secure and road worthy, but the WDH and new Goodyear ST tires were worthwhile!

Back2PA

  • Global Moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 3770
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2018, 04:30:32 PM »
Just got back from our first trip!
Yay!  :)) Many more to come
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (38')
2011 F-250 Super Duty 6.2 Gas, LB 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

Gwbeech

  • Guest
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2018, 06:42:28 PM »
Go to YouTube and watch some of the videos without using a wdh and sway control
then ask that question

Back2PA

  • Global Moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 3770
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2018, 06:47:31 PM »
Go to YouTube and watch some of the videos without using a wdh and sway control
then ask that question
the WDH and new Goodyear ST tires were worthwhile!
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (38')
2011 F-250 Super Duty 6.2 Gas, LB 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

delavan

  • ---
  • Posts: 30
Re: My first trailer, 1978 Kustom Koach 21Ft
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2018, 01:09:40 AM »
Hi all,

just to add the latest to my story/quest!

-My WHD is a 10 000lbs (pull)/ 800lbs (tongue). I got it installed by the RV shop. Even if I'm somewhat mechanically inclined, I didn't want to take any risks. i now know that this is fairly simple. Now that I use this WDH and feel the benefits, I see many people not using them...anyway, I worry about my family....

-I did hit the "CATSCALE". The 5600 GVW was basically the MAX LOADED weight. With 2 x 30 lbs propane tanks, 1 x class 24 battery and all our gear in the trailer (all tanks empty), the scale weight is 4200 lbs for that oldie goldie 1978 tandem axle, 21 footer. So I could confirm that my truck's ratings (2016 F-150) are ok. Weight is 6770 full load, with a GVWR of 7050 lbs...I guess the catscale "feels" the tongue weight on the truck too..
I'm not too great about getting on the scale, I never drove a big rig....
My truck was also loaded with large toolkit, canoe on top, WDH, firewood, fishing gear, spare tire for the trailer, extra tools to fix the trailer....

-The ammonia fridge is rock steady at this point...touching wood. My wife is happy. Haven't played with the heater. Its a hydroflame 7200 series....doesnt work...havent needed to work on it..not a priority.

-I bought cheap LED 1156 lights from Amazon. 12 for about 20 bucks CDN. Cheap..they all work. Greenish hue, but hey CHEAP.


-I bought a 100 watts solar panel and with the light usage (lights for a little bit before going to bed and using the water pump), we are autonomous...we are going to campsites that don't offer 120v current, cause I'm a cheap bastard.

- ! bought 3 x rolls of DICOR tape (1/8" x 25') to redo the 4 corner's seems. Also, a roll of ETERNABOND 2" x 50 feet roll for the roof. Because my roof is hard aluminium, I would get a REFUND for the 3 liters of elastomere white roof coating...I don't think its pertinent to this roof type. There is only 2 roof seams (widht) and the 12" x 12" vents and the plumbing vents, basically. The rest of the aluminum roof is good, besides the hail damage dings...

-The black water tank is damaged. My noobie mistake. I didn't see it when I bought. Mind you it wasn't leaking the first time we used it...The outlet is directed straight back. Buddy most likely hit a rock or backed over uneaven terrain and craked the area around the 4" discharge fitting. I'm planning on drying it up and using some ABS glue inside a little bit. also some JB weld that I would smudge over some drywall adhesive wall repair mesh...I know it sounds sketchy...wish me luck.

Besides that, I enjoy the old beater.

I bought this because the wife wasn't feeling too well and didnt feel like going camping using a ground tent anymore this year...so I made that command decision..now I learn with you fine folks!
« Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 01:11:52 AM by delavan »