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Old 10-28-2012, 12:09 AM   #1
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5th wheel wiggle

Took out our "new to us" 97 Jayco Eagle 303rk this weekend. Had the water topped off w/ 56 gal. water (at the very back of the rig), full propane in the pass. front, all the holding tanks empty, new tires (same as old tires) aired to within 2 lbs on truck and trailer, about 4 inches clearence on bed rails, pulling w/ 2001 Chevy hd 2500, (same truck as I pulled old trailer with, Reese 15k hitch mounted 2 in in front of axel.
got up to about 50-55 mph and it felt like the trailer was whipping. Stopped and checked everything, looking good. got back up to about 50 started feeling it again, thought it might be wind, went around some curves still doing it changing wind direction, increased speed to about 60-65, still the same but not worse.
Pulled the rig home w/ about 20 gal water in tank, still feel it but not as bad. got home got the tape measure out and measured everthing under the trailer, everything equal on the measurements, did find that the passenger side brakes have never been hooked up, (no wire to the hubs and the little wire caps are still on the hub wires), they will be hooked up tommorrow.
Any ideas as to what my problem is of am I just feeling something that is not there. any ideas would help, got a elk hunt in 2 weeks and this is my camp, 450 miles one way
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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Jimbo, I would suspect that since the situation improved when you lost 35 gallons (around 280 pounds) from the tank at the back, that your problem may be in weight distribution. By losing weight aft, you are effectively increasing pin weight. You could try loading some heavy stuff in the forward storage area and see if it helps.

Good luck with it...
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:08 AM   #3
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Next I would give a serious look at the trailers suspension. 97 is old enough that unless it was already taken care of the spring eyes, bushing,shackle could simply be worn out.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:48 AM   #4
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55 gallon water tank full will be over 500# of weight in the rear. This will have a very definite effect on the trailer balance. Also, as suggested, check the suspension, shackles, etc on the trailer.

The heavy weight in the rear will have two negatives...this unloads the pin which creates problems and then the big weight acts as a pendulum. The lighter pin weight will aggravate the problem.

So, I would travel with as little fresh water as possible and load it as close to your destination as possible.

Ken
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:38 PM   #5
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Just cause your old truck was pulling your old trailer, that doesn't mean it can pull your new one ok.
Also, you need more room above the bed.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:33 PM   #6
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Also, 4" of clearance is not enough. (ask me how I know) Sooner or later you will have bent bed rails...
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