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Old 05-21-2011, 10:56 AM   #1
Junior Member
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 14
5th wheel sway

We have a '98 Freightliner Fl60 toting an '06 Alfa Gold SGF35RLIK 5ver. It is a very nice combination. It pulls straight and true regardless of the conditions. We've had it for just over a year. We bought a toy-tote this spring in Lake Havasu, AZ for our '08 Polaris RZR . We did not have the RZR with us so we left with an airbed full of water strapped to the bed of the toy-tote for weight. Near Albuquerque the water bag broke. We made the remainder of the trip home without incident.

The toy-tote is a double center caster wheel under a 5' X 8' bed attached to the 5ver via a double receiver hitch setup that I believe is considered a frame extension & tag axle rather than a trailer.

We hooked-up for a family reunion in Chanute, KS and the Freightliner Rally in Gladewater, TX, adding the toy-tote and the RZR to our 5ver. As I headed out, the load felt “wierd”, the rear of the 5ver was moving way too much side to side. I returned home, unloaded the RZR and unhooked the toy-tote and restarted the journey. Everything felt normal even in the strong winds.

I considered all the changes that had been made, The only thing of significance was changing the 5ver wheels & tires from 16” G rated to 17.5 H rated because of a blowout on our last trip and the G's being so close to maximum capacity.

Loaded weights w/o RZR are: 7500 on front truck axle, 8500 on rear truck axle & 13500 on the dual trailer axles. Trailer axles are Dexter electric over hydraulic 8K disk. The trailer is about 38' long and the rear axle is about 13' from the rear of the trailer. The toy-tote weighs about 500#, the RZR about 1000#. The front of the toy-tote sits 1 1/2" lower rhan the rear and there is at least 200# of down weight on the rear of the 5ver. We re-hooked and followed in a 2nd vehicle, there appears to be no problems with the RZR mounting, the toy-tote connections or it's caster wheels, but the rear sway still feels and looks like to much sway (to me) at times, like when making very minor driving corrections.

What have you folks experienced with similar devices?? Am I being overly sensitive or picky??

Bill Link
Branson, MO

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Old 05-21-2011, 12:04 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Powell River, B.C.
Posts: 11,963
I've had a bad expereance with this type of situation, possibilities , the added weight on the rear of the 5th may be dropping the pin weight on the tow vehicle below the reccomended 15% of total trailer weight; some manufacturers may even have higher weight %;. The added height of the new tires/wheels may have thrown the balance off; but that would be apparent without the toy hauler; Tread pattern of the new trailer tires may be incompatable with the road surface, my truck went squirlly when I changed tread pattern even though the rating/brand was the same. Or it may be as simple as over/under inflation on the trailer/rear of hauler tires with the added weight. Check your level to the hitch; with and without; carrier. Indiviual axle weights; each tire if possible; and adjust pressures according to manufacturers spec's. Worst case is that the possibility that the rear of the fifth frame is too weak to handle the weight, check for stress marks on the frame rails; this could show up as , rust or paint flaking anywhere from the axles back.
If your not comfortable driving your rig it stops being fun in a hurry! Good luck.
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