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Old 05-05-2016, 10:30 PM   #1
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Squirrelly handling

I am confident this has been addressed dozens times before, but I am not finding the threads.
I have a 2007 31 foot Outback. I am pulling it with my E-350 Ford van with a V10 engine. I am fighting with a tremendous amount of instability in the ride. This has been going on for a little while with it getting very much worse in the last month. I just (yesterday) had the van's front end aligned with new tie rods installed. We have shifted a tremendous amount of weight forward. I tightened up the sway controllers (3 chain links instead of the usual two). Grooves in the road, passing vehicles, cross winds all wreak havoc with my ability to keep it on the road.
What else can I do/ look for?
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Old 05-05-2016, 10:38 PM   #2
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An inherent problem with vans is, the long rear overhang acts like a lever to compound any vehicle sway and transmit it to the trailer.
I don't know if this is your particular problem though. It's been a long time since we traveled with a TT.
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Old 05-05-2016, 10:38 PM   #3
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Do you have your axle weights ; loaded for travel ?

You need to check your actual weights against your vehicle ratings and the weight ratings on the tires , Van and trailer.
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Old 05-05-2016, 10:40 PM   #4
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What kind of hitch do you have? The chains on the bars are normally only for weight distribution, not sway control. Sway control is done through another bar that typically connects to what looks like a mini ball hitch next to the regular one. It sounds like you don't have sway control at all.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Do you have your axle weights ; loaded for travel ?

You need to check your actual weights against your vehicle ratings and the weight ratings on the tires , Van and trailer.
I ran it over a weight scale a month ago and all axle weights were under their max. Tires are all up to pressure and are rated for the weight. I have been careful to not allow "things" to accumulate.
Are there my other weight/ axle considerations I need to be looking at?
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
An inherent problem with vans is, the long rear overhang acts like a lever to compound any vehicle sway and transmit it to the trailer.
I don't know if this is your particular problem though. It's been a long time since we traveled with a TT.
Thanks for the input. Unfortunately, the van is my only option. So, if you are correct, it's not going away until I get the Class A I really want. It also has the tall sides that probably compounds the problem with "sail." Hmmm, so far this is not going well...
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_sos View Post
What kind of hitch do you have? The chains on the bars are normally only for weight distribution, not sway control. Sway control is done through another bar that typically connects to what looks like a mini ball hitch next to the regular one. It sounds like you don't have sway control at all.
Sway controller vs weight distribution. I tightened the sway controller also, but now I need to know the difference between weight distribution and sway controller. I was under the impression they worked together and as a whole were the "sway controller."

I will have to look up the actual make and model of the hitch.
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:18 AM   #8
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The main contribution a weight distribution hitch contributes is distribute weight to the front of the vehicle and back to the trailer.

check your front fender height. It should be the same before and after you hitch on the trailer. If the Front fender is too high after you hitch up you up then your rig will wander feel very unstable. Sway controller will not fix that problem.
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:30 AM   #9
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As stated above hitch weight could also be a problem. Shifting the load forward in the trailer could put too much weight on the hitch actually lifting the front of the van. Check to see what the Van's manual says is the maximum weight the hitch will support (not the pulling weight). A couple hundred pounds is usually normal but you need to check the manual. When you start lifting the weight off the front tires the handling gets squirrelly real fast.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:56 AM   #10
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I do not know the equipment you're using. I am however wondering did you by any chance check the sway bar or Beef It Up under the van. It could need bushings don't know it say how many miles you have on it or what else you do with your van. Too many variables there but thought maybe you might want to check. Also make sure you have your height on your trailer correct more less level with just a touch lower in the front of trailer. I know this help me... Dusty
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:30 AM   #11
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Moving weight forward was a good step. I'd put the chains back where they were before and take it for a drive.

Look into a Blue Ox Sway Pro hitch.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjlakatos View Post
The main contribution a weight distribution hitch contributes is distribute weight to the front of the vehicle and back to the trailer.

check your front fender height. It should be the same before and after you hitch on the trailer. If the Front fender is too high after you hitch up you up then your rig will wander feel very unstable. Sway controller will not fix that problem.
This may be the key. I will shift weight to the rear a bit and try it again.
Thank you
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyone View Post
I do not know the equipment you're using. I am however wondering did you by any chance check the sway bar or Beef It Up under the van. It could need bushings don't know it say how many miles you have on it or what else you do with your van. Too many variables there but thought maybe you might want to check. Also make sure you have your height on your trailer correct more less level with just a touch lower in the front of trailer. I know this help me... Dusty
Thanks Dusty. I am wondering if the friction strips in the sway bar controller are just too old and hard to do the job. I will also look at the height issue.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:21 PM   #14
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Thank you all for the input. I will make adjustments when I get my van back. We blew a spark plug on our V10 engine today - the same one from a few weeks ago. This is going to hurt the pocket book.
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