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Old 11-05-2015, 01:40 PM   #1
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New to towing

This question may be answered already - however after reading numerous pages I did a search for 'lurching' and found a thread that was 780+ days old and would not let me post there.

New to towing - after years with a Class C, we have moved into the TT world. I replaced my Dakota with a 2010 Tundra. Looked at Ram's first but Toyota had a much better warranty, and the towing capacity on the Tundra is just a bit better. The dealer set up the WD hitch for us and showed us how to hook and unhook the camper. We're comfortable with that after a bit of practice.

The truck weighs around 5k and the dry weight of the camper is 7k. I figure even when loaded, we're under the 10k towing capacity of the truck. I also know that a 10k towing capacity does not really mean we can safely tow a 10k camper, which is why we opted for a 7k camper (2016 'Minnie' Winnebago 2401RG).

Now I know my concerns are mostly caused by being new, so that is why I searched the towing forum for 'lurching'. While bringing the camper home, we hit a bumpy spot on the interstate and with the truck lurching like an amusement park ride, believe me I thought the brakes in the camper were engaging unnecessarily. We pulled off on the first exit, reset the brake controller in the parking lot till it felt ok and all was well till we hit another patch of bumps. Now I know it's not the brakes at least.

We just installed the Air Lift 5000 suspension bags on the rear axles of the truck, hoping to reduce the bucking and lurching. The paperwork says never to go below 5psi and never above 100psi (if it would even go past that), but there's not much in the paperwork about what setting to use normally and on bumpy roads - basically it just says 'set it by what feels best'. The shop where we purchased it said to put it at 50psi before hooking up the camper and leave it there when towing - adjusting for a better feel on different roads. I just don't trust a recommendation from a "non seasoned RV'er", so that's why I am here.

We took it out around the neighborhood on a fairly bumpy stretch to try out the air bags and really didn't notice any difference. At 25-30mph we lurched considerably - I couldn't imagine what it would be if I was going faster.

In my research so far, I read that the best way to determine the psi for normal towing is to measure the height of the wheel wells before the camper is attached, attach the camper and then set the psi to match the original height.

Not having the experience to know when to increase or decrease psi in different situations, all I can do is to experiment. Any tips would be appreciated!

Thanks
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelkitty

The truck weighs around 5k and the dry weight of the camper is 7k.

Way too much trailer weight and tongue weight for a half-ton pickup.

Quote:
I figure even when loaded, we're under the 10k towing capacity of the truck.
That 10k towing capacity is the max weight your drivetrain can PULL without overheating anything in the drivetrain and without being the slowpoke holding up traffic on hills and mountain passes. Your problem is not the towing capacity, but rather the HAULNG capacity of your Tundra,

Quote:
I also know that a 10k towing capacity does not really mean we can safely tow a 10k camper, which is why we opted for a 7k camper (2016 'Minnie' Winnebago 2401RG).
Good for you. But you didn't go far enough. Your 7k camper is going to gross a lot more than 7k when wet and loaded on the road.

Your tow rating is based on the GCWR of your drivetrain. But that's not your limiter as to how much weight you can tow. The limiter is the GVWR of the Tundra. The GVWR results in payload capacity, and your trailer that probably grosses over 8,000 pounds with about 1,000 pounds of tongue weight causes you to exceed the payload capacity of your Tundra.

Quote:
While bringing the camper home, we hit a bumpy spot on the interstate and with the truck lurching like an amusement park ride,...
We just installed the Air Lift 5000 suspension bags on the rear axles of the truck, hoping to reduce the bucking and lurching.
The Air Lift suspension will mask some of the symptoms of an overloaded pickup, but it will not fix the cause of overloading.

Your first step should be to determine how much overloaded you are. Tie onto the trailer, load the truck and trailer with everybody and everything that will be in it when towing. People, pets, jacks, campfire wood, everything. Drive to a truck stop that has a certified automated truck (CAT) scale, and weigh the wet and loaded rig. Add the weights on the front and rear axles to get GVW. Compare the GVW to the GVWR of the Tundra. You'll be overloaded, but a hundred pounds overloaded shouldn't be causing your problem. So I suspect it's more than that.

If your truck is overloaded with that wet and loaded trailer, start throwing out some of the weight in the truck and trailer. If you cannot get the weight down closer to the GVWR of the truck, then consider trading for more truck or less trailer.

BTW, my half-ton pickup is overloaded by 100 pounds over the GVWR of the pickup when towing my small TT that actually weighs only 4,870 pounds when wet and loaded on a long RVing trip. Trailer GVWR is only 5,600 pounds and we don't loaded it over 5,000 pounds.

I love Toyotas and have owned at least one for the last 30 years, including a 2013 Venza right now, but the Tundra cannot tow a 7,000-pound (dry weight) TT without being overloaded (i.e., exceeding the GVWR of the Tundra).
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:32 PM   #3
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You need to take your TT to a scale and find out all the true weights. All will probably be more than you think. I think a 1500 could be configured to tow your TT if you don't carry a lot of extra stuff. When you the numbers take it back to the dealer to make sure the hitch is set up correctly. You'll probably be surprised. Never had a Tundra but I think if you don't do much mountain towing and are careful loading you should be able to do it safely.
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:03 PM   #4
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The Minnie will be closer to 6,000 - 6500 lbs. I ran my trailer and truck through CAT scales a while ago. The results are in one if my other posts. There is also a rather large thread dedicated to the Winnebago towables in the Winnebago owners forum. You'll find a lot of good info there.

Your trailer has a 7,000 lb gross weight rating. Dry weight should be 5,200 - 5,300 lbs if I remember correctly.

You still need to watch your payload and axle ratings.
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:05 PM   #5
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I purchased the truck because it passed the SAE J2807 towing standards. The payload listed on the truck is 1465 lbs. My wife and I, a couple of lawn chairs and a cooler will be all we haul in the truck when traveling. After reading my own post, something didn't sound right so I looked up the weight of my camper again - Dry weight is actually 5,220, GVWR is 7k.
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by knightstorm View Post
The Minnie will be closer to 6,000 - 6500 lbs. I ran my trailer and truck through CAT scales a while ago. The results are in one if my other posts. There is also a rather large thread dedicated to the Winnebago towables in the Winnebago owners forum. You'll find a lot of good info there.

Your trailer has a 7,000 lb gross weight rating. Dry weight should be 5,200 - 5,300 lbs if I remember correctly.

You still need to watch your payload and axle ratings.
Thanks Knightstorm - yes I knew something was 'off' when I read my own post!
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:09 PM   #7
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The air bags should be inflated to return the rear to it's normal height. For example; if the front came down 1" with the weight distribution, then run the rear 1" lower than it was when empty.
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Old 11-05-2015, 05:02 PM   #8
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I have a Dodge Ram 2500, diesel engine, a 21 foot long trailer, and it is properly set up. My weights are 4,820 on the steer axle, 4800 on the drive axle, and 5120 on the trailer. I use an Equal-I-Zer WD hitch.

It lurches on bumpy roads. Accept it. Sorry, but that's the way some things go.
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Old 11-05-2015, 05:05 PM   #9
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With your revised numbers it seems you should be able to set it up to work. I wonder how bad the "lurching" really is? You are new to this so it may be something you have just not experienced much of. You can try a couple of different settings on the spring bars, both up and down and note how the ride and handling change. You may just need to fine tune the settings and get used to the new handling you are experiencing. Do you know/trust someone with experience that can drive your rig and give you some opinions? Please note I am not trying to tell you there is nothing/anything wrong with your setup or what you are doing, but without the experience yet, you may be close to where you should be and not realize it.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:33 AM   #10
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With your revised numbers it seems you should be able to set it up to work. I wonder how bad the "lurching" really is? You are new to this so it may be something you have just not experienced much of. You can try a couple of different settings on the spring bars, both up and down and note how the ride and handling change. You may just need to fine tune the settings and get used to the new handling you are experiencing. Do you know/trust someone with experience that can drive your rig and give you some opinions? Please note I am not trying to tell you there is nothing/anything wrong with your setup or what you are doing, but without the experience yet, you may be close to where you should be and not realize it.

I definitely appreciate the help! Like I said, I am new to the towing world. We have enlisted a friend who has towed their airstream around the country for years. We'll set it up again once the brake controller is moved to a less obtrusive spot in the dash of our tundra. Then he'll drive it around a bit, over the bumpy road we went on and let us know if it needs to be tweaked, etc.

So for the airbags - should we start by having them set at 50 psi before attaching the camper to the truck? That is what the truck accessory place recommended, but I wanted opinions from people out here who are used to towing.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:15 AM   #11
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Heavier duty shocks ! The trucks shocks have to control the trailer due to the link of the WDH. Because of the dynamics of the hitch, both front and rear shocks need to be upgraded to absorb the forces of the trailer.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:32 AM   #12
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I have found that using a bolt rather than a hitch pin helps to reduce lurching and sway.





I bought a grade 8 bolt, washer, lock washer, and nut a Tractor supply. Torqued it to 100 foot pounds.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:41 AM   #13
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The trailer is heavier than the truck so some lurching can be expected. However if the amount makes you uncomfortable or you fear for the safety of your family it would be better to get a more capable truck.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:05 PM   #14
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What kind of WDH are you using?

We found quite a bit of lurching, enough to make my dog car sick, using the dealer installed (cheap) EAZ-Lift friction bar style WDH. As soon as we upgraded to a Blue Ox Sway Pro (no friction bar), the lurching was vastly improved (but not entirely eliminated depending on how rough the road is).

Your trailer weighs more than your truck. When you initially slow down over a rough patch, the trailer will PUSH the truck until it can also slow down, and then you may feel a pull. You may be able to help some of this by adjusting the trailer brakes to be stronger on initial braking to reduce the PUSH effect.

I do recommend going through the process of weighing the truck and trailer and insuring you are under the 1465 payload. I tow a 6K dry, 7K loaded 33 foot TT with a RAM 1500 and we must be diligent about not loading supplies in the truck, and loading heavy items near the TT axles to reduce the overall effect on payload. We do this by putting our luggage on the couch, our bikes on fork mounts on the dinette, the cooler in front of the fridge, and the groceries loaded into the fridge. This keeps our negotiable heavy items near the axels meaning the truck only has to support ~12% of their total weight rather than 100% if we kept these items in the truck while towing. Without making this effort, we exceed our payload limits (see sig for specifics).
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