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Old 09-21-2015, 06:10 PM   #1
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Weight.

I know when you get too much weight on the tongue the trailer will start the tail wiggle and can cause you to loose control of the trailer and tow vehicle. Can the same happen with a 5th wheel trailer. I am thinking that the most part of weight would be on the axles and then some front and back ends of the trailer. I am first timer here with a 5th wheel. This is a move to different Home base. and will have more weight than normal. I think i am under max weight but not sure if i can balance it out. I might have more weight in the back of the trailer than on the pin up front. Any issues there? Thanks, Dan
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Old 09-21-2015, 07:02 PM   #2
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No sway will be experienced on a fifth wheel with heavy king pin weight. You'll get squat with your pickup bed down on the axle.


If you have a heavy fifth wheel kingpin weight, go for a set of rear air bags. They'll level your tongue to where the truck/trailer corners and brakes better than when it's got the squat.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:24 PM   #3
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I would like to thank all who told me about the Maxairs tires. Had f plys and two steel belts. Tires could handle way more than the 8100 max gvwr. I had them at 80 psi and for 15 inch rims i thought that might be to high but left it at that pressure. Never lost any air pressure. I picked up a screw that i saw while checking out the tires at a break. found a screw and i was able to get it out easy and checked to see if it was in far enough to leak but no leak and here i checked it again and all were still at 80 psi. The first time i drove with a 5th wheel and was a non knuckle trip of 1000 miles. I did pack the wheel bearings on the truck and trailer. I did find out that i have a bent axle that will be replaced. Its from some time before we bought it. There was a flat on that axle and thought it was leaning because of that. We lived in it but never took a trip till this last week. I started to see it on my first leg of our trip. Not sure how they did that bend but it was bent in on the drivers side and out at the top on the passenger side. Anyway i will be replacing that axle. Only one other thing happened on the trip. The whole door side came off!! I was in a construction zone and there was no where to pull off. Have new door coming. These were minor compared to driving a class a motorhome and pulling a toad. I will take the 5th wheel anytime. Thanks again, Dan
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby Dan View Post
I know when you get too much weight on the tongue the trailer will start the tail wiggle and can cause you to loose control of the trailer and tow vehicle. Can the same happen with a 5th wheel trailer. I am thinking that the most part of weight would be on the axles and then some front and back ends of the trailer. I am first timer here with a 5th wheel. This is a move to different Home base. and will have more weight than normal. I think i am under max weight but not sure if i can balance it out. I might have more weight in the back of the trailer than on the pin up front. Any issues there? Thanks, Dan
I always tow my trailers without sway controls and the only time I experienced sway is when I am not loaded heavy enough on the tongue.
Equipment trailers just have pintle hooks and no sway bars and are towed very safe and overloaded most of the time because we can safely tow it that way.
Nothing more dangerous then easing the load on the TV to stay light. You need weight and proper tires to prevent sway.
A 5th wheel is better because it follows the truck better. Any sway of the trailer is eliminated due to the truck axle acts like the steering axle for the trailer.
With a TT the truck axle is like backward and truck turning one way swings the trailer the other way, then steering stability is very important and hitch load and truck weight is very critical. Therefore truck weight and trailer load is much more critical.
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:28 AM   #5
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caissiel is right. You get sway on a TT when the tongue weight is too light, not too heavy. The only time you might get instability with a heavy tongue weight is if you didn't have a weight distributing hitch or if the spring bars weren't adjusted properly and the high tongue weight took weight off the front tires making the steering light.

High pin weights of a 5th wheel add to stability, especially since the weight is essentially right over the rear axle of the tow vehicle.
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:05 AM   #6
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Light pin weight

I have experienced sway with a bumper pull trailer when tongue weight is light, but what happens on a 5th wheel in that condition? I'm just about done restoring a 1985 Alpenlite 25, and the PO had added a platform on the rear, very well constructed, and very well welded on. It's about 3 feet wide. I would like to haul a generator, ice chest etc. on this but am concerned that since it is cantilevered so far back, that it will lighten the pin weight too much. I realize this will also add loading on the rear axle of the camper. From what I'm reading, pin wt should be about 25% of camper weight. I'll weigh w/o any loading, then with gen and ice chest full of ice and compare. What should I expect in handling if pin weight is less than 25%?
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Old 10-07-2015, 03:23 PM   #7
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My pin is about 17% and it is very stable.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:21 PM   #8
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Had a 5th wheel with 10% hitch weight and it was very stable. But I was always carefully not to drive on soft shoulder of the road or slow down on wet roads. But never felt any sway.
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:06 AM   #9
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TheOldMan76,
Counter the weight on the rear with beer in the bedroom...
Seriously, you should be ok--general thought is +/-20% on the pin is fine.
Just take it easy til you see how everything is tracking, stop and do a walkaround several times early into first run.
Joe
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