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Old 09-19-2011, 06:47 PM   #1
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Trailer sway

Ew to RV and towing? We got a reese dual cam HP WD/sway control installed and we haven't really driven the trailer anywhere except for home. We are taking it out for the first time thos weekend.
Today, i saw 2 youtube video of travel trailer crashes and a story of a man loosing his life in another one. All these stories involved a swaying trailer.
Whule driving safely, following speed limit, can this still happen witht the proper set up?
Our tt is 26 feet in total lenght, gvwr 7600 lbs dry weight 5300 lbs tongue weight 750 lbs. Towing with dodge ram 1500 hemi
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:54 PM   #2
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Boubou, every accident has it's own set of circumstances; speed , weight ,road conditions ,wind , driver error,and many more. You know your weights; good ! You have equiped yourself well ; good! Get to know your unit as you travel, keep an eye on the road and weather, adjust your speed accordingly. Don't be afraid to slow down , use your flashers if necessary, get right off the road if you have to. I towed a 10,000, gvw 5th with a 3/4 Dodge for 6 years, worst conditions I've ever been in were on I-40, 40+ mph x wind, across a valley floor, no room to pull off, every one doing 30 mph. I saw no accidents there; I saw a lot of swaying, RV's and rigs, cars getting blown around too; but because of the low speed everyone had time to correct, and continue. Just remember when swaying starts you want to apply the trailer brakes, FIRST, have your controller, handy and gain adjusted properly. Safe travels.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:13 PM   #3
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The dealer may not have yo set up correctly. You need to get the Reese Dual Cam instructions and see it the rig is set up correctly. It is not hard, just takes a little time and some large wrenches.

Once you have the trailer loaded, set it up so that it is level and measure the height of the tongue from the ground. Back the truck up to the trailer (on level ground) and adjust the height of hitch ball so that it is about 1/2 to 1" higher than the tongue. Now this is where you have to carefully read the Reese instruction and sett the WD bars and cams correctly. Most dealers do not get this right.

Good luck and have fun.

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Old 09-19-2011, 08:31 PM   #4
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My wd/anti sway trunion bars are 800 lbs
My tongue weight is 750 (factory, i havent weight it yet)
The truck and tt are nice and straight, the measurements on frront axlesare good
Should i worry about sway if tongue weight ever surpases 800 lbs?
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:20 AM   #5
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Your TT owners manual may give a recomendation as far as a loaded tongue weight, normal would be approx 10% of total trailer weight, high would be 15%. Caution when loading to avoid getting weights too high, and remember the weight of water, and the location of the tank when figuring your load. I've had 4 , 5th wheels and only 1 had the water tank where it belonged; directly over the axels, adding water put no weight on the pin. Being light on the tongue will cause more sway problems than slightly heavy.
Remember your rear axle weight/ tire pressures on the truck get the weights and adjust tires accordingly.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Your TT owners manual may give a recomendation as far as a loaded tongue weight, normal would be approx 10% of total trailer weight, high would be 15%. Caution when loading to avoid getting weights too high, and remember the weight of water, and the location of the tank when figuring your load. I've had 4 , 5th wheels and only 1 had the water tank where it belonged; directly over the axels, adding water put no weight on the pin. Being light on the tongue will cause more sway problems than slightly heavy.
Remember your rear axle weight/ tire pressures on the truck get the weights and adjust tires accordingly.
The fresh water thank is over the axle, not sure where the grey and black are yet. I don't plan on traveling with any water. If need be, I would travel dry and fill up at or near the campground.
So if I understand correctly, if over 15%, it would put more weight on tires, humm. I don't have the best tires for towing but they'll have to do for a little while longer. They are Wrangler HP. Should I have the air in tire over or below?
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:22 PM   #7
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If you are heavy on the tongue, the problem will be excess load on the truck. You need some weight, 10% to 12% or so in order for the DC to work. Too light and you won't get enough force from the cams.

For that size trailer you should do fine with the 800# bars.

Ken
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:36 AM   #8
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If you are heavy on the tongue, the problem will be excess load on the truck. You need some weight, 10% to 12% or so in order for the DC to work. Too light and you won't get enough force from the cams.

For that size trailer you should do fine with the 800# bars.

Ken
What is the difference then between the 800 lbs and the 1200 lbs bars?
just curious in how this all works
would the 800 lbs trunion bars still work if one day I have 900 lbs tongue weight ?
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:46 AM   #9
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...would the 800 lbs trunion bars still work if one day I have 900 lbs tongue weight ?
Of course they will still help, but you won't be able to get them tight enough to properly transfer the right amount of weight from the hitch ball to the front axles of the tow vehicle and to the trailer axles.

The purpose of a weight-distributing hitch is to transfer hitch weight from the ball (and thus from the rear axle of the tow vehicle) to the other axles of the rig. About 25 percent of the hitch weight is transferred to the front axles, and another 25 percent of the hitch weight is transferred back to the trailer axles.

With 800-pounds weight distributing hitch, you can properly distribute up to 800 pounds of hitch weight of to all axles of the rig. But if your hitch weight is more than 800 pounds, you can still distribute 800 pounds of hitch weight, but that amount of weight that exceeds the hitch rating will still be undistributed - i.e., mashing down on the ball and thus on the tow vehicle's rear axle.

IOW, with a properly-sized hitch, you can raise the back of the tow vehicle enough to get it back to a normal stance. But with an undersized hitch tightened to the max, your rear end will still sag a bit. That's no disaster, but not as good as having a hitch rated for at least your max hitch weight.

With a 1,200 pound hitch, and an actual hitch weight of 900 pounds, you don't tighten the bars (or trunions) as much as possible. Tighten them just as much as necessary to result in the correct stance for the tow vehicle. But with an 800 pound hitch and a hitch weight of 900 pounds, you'd tighten the hitch to the max, and still not quite have the tow vehicle in the correct stance.

Does that make sense?
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:49 PM   #10
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Check your weights, hooked up, loaded ready to travel , all axles , and adjust your tire pressures accordingly , adjust the pressure with tire cold and never exceed the max listed on the sidewall of the tire for load/weight, or pressure. If you can't access a scale right away put the tire pressures up until you can.
When re-placing the truck tires, you'd do well to up grade the load rating, you'll give up a little comfort running empty, but the increase in control/safety loaded is well worth it .
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:40 PM   #11
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There are two basic things one can do to reduce trailer sway. Change the tow vehicle tires to LT designation if the present tires are "P" rated tires. Keep trailer tires inflated to sidewall maximum.
If the trailer does begin to sway, do not reduce accelerator pressure and gently apply the trailer brakes manually (manual switch on controller). Once the sway has disappeared you may slow down normally.
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:35 PM   #12
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If you want to stop the sway get a tow vehicle with a longer wheelbase and a suspension system to control the trailer. You need at least a 3/4 ton long bed PU. 1/2 ton PU's have soft mushy suspension systems which will not help in controlling the sway. The longer the wheel base the more control. Most TT roll overs are with short wheel base 1/2 ton or lighter TV's.
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:06 PM   #13
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wandering1 is on the money. I had a 2500 van that towed wonderfully as the rear axle was close to the ball hitch and torsion suspension. I then "upgraded" to a 1500 Suburban and my sway increased big-time. Ray,IN gave very good advise as well; when you feel sway do not let off the gas, maintain or increase throttle AND apply the trailer brake. You may find your 1/2 ton just won't do well over 55-58 MPH.
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:28 PM   #14
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Hey, Boubou!

Did you get out on the "maiden voyage"?
How'd it go?
Sure hoping all went well and you had a good time, etc...

Please report!

Francesca
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