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Old 07-20-2016, 07:47 PM   #1
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Towing setup not correct?

I have been struggling with the towing setup as not being correct on my new trailer. After 4 trips I took it to an RV dealer and they lowered the hitch ball. The result is what you see in this picture. The dealer says it looks ok and the front end of the Navigator being higher than the back is normal. I went with it as they said, but I don't agree it is correct.. As you can see, the trailer is not sitting level and the front end of my Navigator is high compared to the back of the vehicle. We have an E2 equalizer hitch with round bar WD bars. We came back from Wisconsin Dells last Sunday on a very windy day and my stability control light came on three times on my Navigator. A bit scary. Could only do about 50 MPH average. I know the strong winds were a major factor of the stability control light coming on, but I think the current hitch setup was also a contributing factor. There were folks blowing by me at 70 MPH with trailers and I was surprised that they could without seemingly any issues. I am relatively new to camping so I thought if some of you experienced folks can give me your thoughts, it would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your comments.
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:51 PM   #2
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I forgot to mention the Navigator has an air suspension that is self leveling
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:55 PM   #3
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Do you have any sway control installed? It's been a while since I had a bumper pull, but it doesn't look bad to me.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris24 View Post
I forgot to mention the Navigator has an air suspension that is self leveling
My Touareg has self leveling air suspension and the manual specifically said to NEVER use WD equipment. No issues towing.

Also, the front of the trailer still looks too high. Trailer should be slightly nose down for maximum stability.
Make sure you have max air pressure in rear tires.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris24 View Post
I have been struggling with the towing setup as not being correct on my new trailer. After 4 trips I took it to an RV dealer and they lowered the hitch ball. The result is what you see in this picture.
It's hard to tell for sure in that picture, but I suspect the tongue of the trailer is still slightly nose high. You want the floor of the trailer to be level front to rear when the rig is tied together ready to ride. Use a 4' carpenter's level and be sure the floor of the trailer is level front to rear. If the tongue of the trailer is high, use the adjustable shank of the hitch to lower the ball more.

And I'll bet your Navigator is overloaded over the GVWR of the Navigator with that much trailer hooked up. Weigh the rig on a CAT scale with everybody and everything in the Navigator. Add the weights on the front and rear axles of the Navigator and compare to the GVWR of the Navigator. There's not much cure for an overloaded rig except get the excess weight off the suspension of the tow vehicle.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:58 AM   #6
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From the way the picture looks, the Navigator is low in the rear and so is the trailer. Something is not right. And if it doesn't feel right that is even more evidence that it is not correct.

I would take it to someone besides your dealer (tow set-up specialist) and let them tell you what you need.

Don't know your weights and tow capacity, but it looks like a big TT for the Navigator.

You were wise to keep it slow in the winds no matter how good your set-up is.

Good luck.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:06 AM   #7
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Download the manual for your hitch and follow the steps for adjusting. They typically have instructions to measure the heights of your front and rear wheel wells unloaded and loaded, and how to apply the proper amount of force through the WDH.

You definitely want the trailer level or the nose a little lower. A nose high trailer is more likely to sway.

I'm not familiar with the airbag system on your car, but I wonder if the bags are independent of each other. If not, I can imagine that a sway can induce a ping pong effect of moving air pressure from one bag to the other, and then back again, making the sway worse.

Having said all that, I think you simply have too much trailer for your SUV. You can check the math, but advertised towing limits are inflated for marketing purposes and usually have something more like a boat in mind that is aerodynamically sleek, not a gigantic Kleenex box.
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Old 07-21-2016, 03:26 PM   #8
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I've got the same trailer. It's a heavy pig for what it is. Probably a 1000lbs on the hitch loaded. I've got the equalizer 4 point with 1000lb bars, and my dealer set it up incorrectly in the beginning. I was nose high on the hitch and sway was noticeable. I had a Tundra at the time and the soft suspension of my truck coupled with the trailer being nose high made it a little uncomfortable in crosswinds to say the least. I took it all apart, got out the instructions and started from square one. With that, adjusted the shank down, leveled the trailer and it was better. But, it still felt floaty and not entirely stable. Next step was a 3/4 ton, and now sway is non existent. I know there's a trailer back there, but not in a scary way.

I'd say if a heavier tow vehicle isn't in the cards, I'd at least get it level or nose low as others have pointed out. Make sure that rear storage area isn't full of heavy stuff as well. Get the weight forward.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:32 PM   #9
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Does the air ride system pump up when the key is turned on? I would think that the WD hitch should be set up without the air ride activated so that the hitch is taking the sag out of tha rear rather than just pumping up the bags. Then once the whole rig is leveled the air ride would just maintain the ride height.

What does the manual say about towing and WD hitches? Never towed with an air ride suspension so not sure how they want it handled but that is where I would start. You already know to lower the trailer nose.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:54 PM   #10
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Navigator has 9000 tow capacity in 4 x 2 mode. The trailer weighs 6100 dry. The hitch weight is a beast at 840 lbs. The Navigator also has heavy duty tow package. When the trailer is hooked up the back of the Navigator wheel wells are almost on the tires. Then when you start the car, the back lifts up as the air ride suspension kicks in. I will get it checked out. I think the best advice is to start over. Going on a 65 mile trip tomorrow and a 124 mile trip nect week. Will take it slow. Thank you all for the help. I greatly appreciate it.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:24 PM   #11
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Chris, the 9000# tow rating is a MAXIMUM and based on a stripped down truck with a 150# driver. For every pound you add to the vehicle of this base weight in cargo, passengers etc., you reduce the towing capacity.

As a starting point, you will probably max out your tow rating at about 80% of the 9000# or 7200# for a maximum loaded trailer. Your tongue weight plus the cargo and passengers, will probably have your Navigator over the GVWR.

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Old 07-22-2016, 06:32 AM   #12
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Another thought... I've seen plenty of Navigators of the vintage with the air suspension failed.
If you developed a leak in the air, it will b a catastrophic.

A friend on mine had his converted to conventional suspension and says it's great. Didn't cost much either.
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:47 AM   #13
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I have a 2015 Ram Laramie with 4 corner air suspension. To "hook and unhook" my 7,600 lb Wildcat MAXX , I put the suspension in "Flat tire mod" which allows the rear of the truck to be raised ( using the trailer electric tongue jack) with the trailer attached so I can properly tighten the chains on the Blue Ox Sway Pro WDH.
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:16 PM   #14
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Level, perhaps.

"my stability control light came on three times on my Navigator. A bit scary. Could only do about 50 MPH average. I know the strong winds were a major factor of the stability control light coming on, but I think the current hitch setup was also a contributing factor. There were folks blowing by me at 70 MPH with trailers and I was surprised that they could without seemingly any issues." Remember ignorance can be bliss.

Unless proven by a CAT scale print-out my guess is you're over capacity in your full up vacation mode. Dry trailer weights are at best fiction.
Inside the drivers door frame there is a sticker with tire pressures, and maximum payload weight of passengers and cargo. I'd wager it's somewhere about 1500 lbs.?

I'd suspect the Lincoln's air ride was designed for ride comfort VS HD towing stability. It may have a specific procedure or drawback with WD hitching. Ride height is not the same thing as or indicative of weight handling capacity. Large bumper pulling can be a challenge.

Best of luck.
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