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Old 08-07-2013, 07:59 AM   #57
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We have towed a bumper travel trailer, 18', 21', 28' and a triaxle 35' and they all did fine. The hardest one to dial in for good towing was the 18' towed by an S-10 Blazer. We towed the 21' with a Ford explorer. Both were marginal tow vehicles even though we were in weight limits. Both had equalizing hitches and friction sway control.

The 28' and 35' were pulled with an F350 DRW. Both had a Reese Dual Cam HP Straightline hitch.

I cannot stress enough the importance of having a properly matched truck, know your weights and getting the hitch dialed in when the trailer is loaded for normal travel. Also, learn where your waste and water tanks are and how they effect the loading of the trailer. Tanks aft of the axles are a recipe for disaster if not properly loaded.

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Old 08-07-2013, 08:27 AM   #58
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Best invesment we made while towing a TT was a tongue weight scale. The empty TT tongue weight was over 100 pounds lighter than in the specs. That was about 20% lighter. Just guessing and using their numbers could be disasterous.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:08 PM   #59
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Quite often the tow vehicle tires cause this problem. The tow vehicle had P-rated tires (P=passenger car) instead of LT-rated tires(light truck); the softer, more flexible sidewall of a P-rated tire (usually not inflated to sidewall max) allows the tow vehicle to sway sideways on the tires even more because of the towed loads effect on the tow vehicle.


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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
I can think of many things that might have caused it from driver error to poor construction. but tire inflation is my Number one suspect... I often explain that two pressures all but guaranteed to be wrong are the one molded into the side wall (It is proper if the tire is carryig it's maximum load) and the one on the sticker in the vehicle (usually low in the case of RV's but.... not always) Other tire issues (Failure) can cause strange things to happen.


As to what to do next.. Depends on how often you move the rig.. If it's at least once every month or two, try a Class A.
ST trailer tires recommend inflation to sidewall maximum for towing safety and tire safety. Carlisle Tire even states in their warranty to inflate to sidewall maximum or warranty is void. I think there is only one ST tire manufacturer that does not agree. The RMA=Rubber Manufacturers Association states over 90% of all tire failures are due to underinflation/overloading.
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:00 PM   #60
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Best invesment we made while towing a TT was a tongue weight scale. The empty TT tongue weight was over 100 pounds lighter than in the specs. That was about 20% lighter. Just guessing and using their numbers could be disasterous.
100 lbs is nothing! The advertised tongue weight on our "super lite" is 518 lbs. After going to the scale, it turned out to be 960 lbs. That's 442 lbs or 85% more! I was shocked.

We bought 800 lb WDH bars in advance based on the factory dry hitch weight. I tried and tried to get the weight transfer set up after numerous passes through the scale and could not do it. I finally ordered 1200 lb bars and it ended up being a piece of cake to set up.

We ordered many factory options and they seem to have added a lot of extra weight. As if the tongue weight wasn't enough, the TT weighs just 200 lbs under the GVWR with empty tanks and loaded for a short duration camping trip.

Not sure why they call it super lite. Just where is the "lite" if it's almost at max GVWR and the tongue wt. is nearly double?

I don't care what some might say, but I say it's a must to go through a scale. You never know what weight surprises you may find. I'd love to have a tongue scale and think it's a great idea. Maybe an Xmas present? (Hint to some readers.)
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:55 PM   #61
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Quote:
We ordered many factory options and they seem to have added a lot of extra weight.
That is where the problem lies - still with the manufacturer. They rivet a generic compliance plate on all empty vehicles and then load all the optional extras on regardless of the weight and distribution and never do an out-the-door weighing. Poor customer then carries the can. If that doesn't happen, it is the dealer who adds all the extras, but it still comes down to the owner
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:22 PM   #62
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That is where the problem lies - still with the manufacturer. They rivet a generic compliance plate on all empty vehicles and then load all the optional extras on regardless of the weight and distribution and never do an out-the-door weighing. Poor customer then carries the can. If that doesn't happen, it is the dealer who adds all the extras, but it still comes down to the owner
The dealers and manufacturers that add equipment and not place the ACTUAL weight of a unit should be locked up. People shouldnt have to buy something and have to go weigh something to make sure they are ok. I think its unfair for a newbie or veteran rver to feel uncomfortable or nervous cause they dont know about the first 5 miles home or 100 or 1 cause they havent weighed their rigs... just my .02 sorry for the rant...
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:30 PM   #63
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Not sure why they call it super lite.
Because that is what sells units, you fell for it.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:47 PM   #64
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I"m very sorry for your experience. Very glad everyone is ok. I always tell people never use the unloaded weights. It is a totally useless number. the number on the sticker is the actual unloaded weight with your options installed. But the reason I say the unloaded weight is useless is that nobody tows a trailer as bare as the day you picked it up. Once you put the first items into the trailer, the unloaded weight is now useless as your trailer now weighs that unloaded weight + whatever you put into it. I advise people to use the GVWR of the trailer unless they know for sure how much their stuff is going to weigh.

I am not sure that this would have contributed to the violent swaying at 30-40 mph. I am not an expert towing travel trailers (I only towed pop-ups and then 5ers) but it seems odd that it would sway that bad at that low of a speed. If it wasn't windy, then it sounds like something was, or came, loose.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:06 PM   #65
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The dealers and manufacturers that add equipment and not place the ACTUAL weight of a unit should be locked up. People shouldnt have to buy something and have to go weigh something to make sure they are ok. I think its unfair for a newbie or veteran rver to feel uncomfortable or nervous cause they dont know about the first 5 miles home or 100 or 1 cause they havent weighed their rigs... just my .02 sorry for the rant...
the manufacturer of my trailer provided me a document that indicated the Delivered Weight of the trailer. That is the weight of the trailer was when it left the factory with all of my options installed. That does not include the slide toppers that the dealer installed for me. I am not a lawyer, but this seems to be a hole in the manufacturing process. But as the person who is going to be pulling that trailer, I am going to make damn sure I know my tow vehicle can tow it and not depend on someone else to tell me whether it can or not. This is why I always use the GVWR in my calculations. I would tend to think that it would be illegal for anyone to sell a trailer that sitting empty exceeds the GVWR.

Personally I would not buy a truck that could not muster the calculations for a given trailer, nor a trailer that would overload my truck. Likewise, one must keep the trailer weight within the GVWR of that trailer. Towing heavier is not safe.

I'm not going to take anyone else's word for it. I am going to do the math myself. I am going to weight everything myself so that I know for sure what I am working with. That said, the onus is on me to insure I am within the safe limits of my vehicles and as such I have no one else to blame.

I hear all the time that dealers and manufacturers don't insure that the RV'er is within the weight limits of their vehicles. I just do not agree with that. Why would we think it is up to the maufacturer or the dealer to make sure the owner is driving safe? Do auto dealers take on the responsibility to insure that people who buy their vehicles drive safe? It is not their job; it is mine. We all need to take responsibility for our actions and not try to place blame on someone else. I understand that there are times when it does boil down to someone else making the mistake. But insuring I am towing safely, falls on my lap, nobody else.

I am not trying to slam you or the OP. That is your opinion and I respect that. After all, what makes this country great is that we all can have our own opinions and have the freedom to state them. I am just using the statement made for my opportunity to rant. MOHO.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:12 PM   #66
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the manufacturer of my trailer provided me a document that indicated the Delivered Weight of the trailer. That is the weight of the trailer was when it left the factory with all of my options installed. That does not include the slide toppers that the dealer installed for me. I am not a lawyer, but this seems to be a hole in the manufacturing process. But as the person who is going to be pulling that trailer, I am going to make damn sure I know my tow vehicle can tow it and not depend on someone else to tell me whether it can or not. This is why I always use the GVWR in my calculations. I would tend to think that it would be illegal for anyone to sell a trailer that sitting empty exceeds the GVWR.

Personally I would not buy a truck that could not muster the calculations for a given trailer, nor a trailer that would overload my truck. Likewise, one must keep the trailer weight within the GVWR of that trailer. Towing heavier is not safe.

I'm not going to take anyone else's word for it. I am going to do the math myself. I am going to weight everything myself so that I know for sure what I am working with. That said, the onus is on me to insure I am within the safe limits of my vehicles and as such I have no one else to blame.

I hear all the time that dealers and manufacturers don't insure that the RV'er is within the weight limits of their vehicles. I just do not agree with that. Why would we think it is up to the maufacturer or the dealer to make sure the owner is driving safe? Do auto dealers take on the responsibility to insure that people who buy their vehicles drive safe? It is not their job; it is mine. We all need to take responsibility for our actions and not try to place blame on someone else. I understand that there are times when it does boil down to someone else making the mistake. But insuring I am towing safely, falls on my lap, nobody else.

I am not trying to slam you or the OP. I am just using the statement made for my opportunity to rant. MOHO.
I like the fact that u got a document. Ill just stick to getting trucks bigger than ill need for a while. My next truck will be a drw 1 tonner. Ill prolly never need a truck that big but I want no limitations.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:47 PM   #67
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I used the tongue scale a lot. Well worth the price.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:51 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by K-Star View Post
...
I hear all the time that dealers and manufacturers don't insure that the RV'er is within the weight limits of their vehicles. I just do not agree with that. Why would we think it is up to the maufacturer or the dealer to make sure the owner is driving safe? Do auto dealers take on the responsibility to insure that people who buy their vehicles drive safe? It is not their job; it is mine. We all need to take responsibility for our actions and not try to place blame on someone else. I understand that there are times when it does boil down to someone else making the mistake. But insuring I am towing safely, falls on my lap, nobody else.
Bingo! Can't blame the dealer; his job is to sell you the biggest baddest RV on the lot. And he'll tell you ANYTHING to get you into that RV. At the end of the day, it is up to YOU to make sure any accessories (trailers included) you install on your vehicle do not make it unsafe to operate.

No slam against the OP, or anyone else; the tendency for us to try to find someone else to blame for our failures is human. But the fact is, it is OUR OWN responsibility to make sure our rigs are safe.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:45 AM   #69
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Thank You all!

Just want to say Thank You all again for your responses.

I am happy to say that I am alive to Thank You! I have learned so much since the accident, much of it, thanks to all of you!

I agree with some of you that it should be the owner's responsibility, but I also like the analogy of the construction project...that you should trust the experts. We actually were worried about the Denali pulling the TT and specifically asked are you sure that are Denali is ok to pull this?? I think that is what gets me the most...that I specifically asked and was told an incorrect dry weight and no mention of wheelbase.

I think the worst part is that I went in today to get some of my money back for some add-ons and there did not seem to be much concern for our story. I explained the wheel-base calculation and the salesman just looked at me as if he had never heard of it. Not really even an acknowledgement of fault. That bothers me. They are willing to give me a new trailer at cost...but only when I point blank asked them if they would.Got to admit that I am still not sure I want to deal with this company again though.

We are now leaning towards getting a Super Duty truck so we don't have to worry about towing weight again...and plan on getting a fifth wheel. I can also add that we both will be attending RV driving school. I agree that there needs to be a test for a driver's endorsement for RV'ers to pass who drive a TT or motorhome over a certain length.

Anyway, that is the update. Everything ended up getting totaled, but we are alive to say that the most thing hurt was our pride. I am glad this has been such a vigorous discussion and hope that you all can learn from our mistakes....do your research, educate yourself, take a driving course if needed, and NEVER trust a dealer!

Thanks again!
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:49 AM   #70
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NRiley - I am so very glad everyone is OK. I worked in RV sales for about 3 weeks. The other sales people I worked with were all x-car sales people. One more thing to remember. The sales people are not necessarily experts, they are there to sell you the RV of your dreams. I quit because I got tired of being chastised because I sat down with my customers and did the math with them to figure out what they could or could not tow. Whenever someone came in wanting a 40' 5th Wheel but found out they could only tow a 25' Ultra Lite and left upset I got the comment ....swept another customer out the door, huh! So I left that profession (guess I'm too honest) and decided to give advice to whom I can, where I can. And I'll be the first to say I am not always correct, and I'll tell someone when I don't know. So I am not an expert either.

I don't have an answer. There are a lot of construction people out there who don't know what they are doing either. In today's society the consumer must protect themselves. Most, I am reluctant to say all, companies are only interested in their bottom line; not the customer. Heck, most corporations don't even care about their employees anymore, only the bottom line. Just be cautious and work the math yourself. Don't rely on the sales people.
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