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Old 04-02-2013, 12:20 AM   #1
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1st day Towing - have questions

Hi All,

Today was the first day that I was able to tow my new trailer with my new truck. I've had the TT parked in my driveway for a month (delivered), while I met Fords recommendation of 1000m before towing. I have a 2013 5L F-150 and am pulling a 4000lb 26' TT.

I have a WD hitch and it is setup and is fairly level. The TT hitch might ride a little high, if anything, but is definitely not sagging.

Anyway, having never towed before, I was a bit nervous about it all, but the tow mirrors were awesome and I got used to towing rather quickly. The "feeling" however, I'm not sure if it's what I should be feeling. The truck can feel like it's being pulled forward and back rhythmically, almost wave like. Not drastic, but noticeable. Is this normal?

Also, I didn't ever floor it, and was driving on relatively flat ground, but I'm surprised by how pulling the TT affects the trucks performance. I mean it slowly gets to 60mph without too much effort, but it's VERY noticeable that it's now pulling 4000lbs. Is there a way to test the truck to ensure it's got the pulling power it should?

And last thing... I was quite surprised at how noisy my double axle TT is when turning. Especially when backing it in (creaks, pops and clangs). I've read that this is quite normal, but man, they should prepare you for that when they sell it to a newbie.

Thanks!!
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:31 AM   #2
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Sounds like you've got plenty of truck for the load- I'm curious, though about the trailer make/model. 4,000 pounds sounds awfully light for a loaded 26 foot trailer!

A couple of thoughts:

-If the hitch is riding "high", it may be that you've got the tongue too light, which could contribute to the sensation of floating you describe. Adjustment of load and/or WD system may be in order.

- As for the feel of pulling the weight- probably natural- it takes awhile to get used to the difference in how it feels, and since the tug is also new to you it may take longer than average to sort out what that's all about.

I don't know what to tell you about the noise you describe- could just be one more thing to get used to!
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:48 AM   #3
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Sounds like you've got plenty of truck for the load- I'm curious, though about the trailer make/model. 4,000 pounds sounds awfully light for a loaded 26 foot trailer!

A couple of thoughts:

-If the hitch is riding "high", it may be that you've got the tongue too light, which could contribute to the sensation of floating you describe. Adjustment of load and/or WD system may be in order.

- As for the feel of pulling the weight- probably natural- it takes awhile to get used to the difference in how it feels, and since the tug is also new to you it may take longer than average to sort out what that's all about.

I don't know what to tell you about the noise you describe- could just be one more thing to get used to!
The TT is an R-Vision Trail Lite. It's 24ft, but 26ft+ with hitch. It's rated 3800lbs dry, but the sticker says it's just over 4000lbs, and has a GVWR of 6100lbs.

It was being pulled completely dry, so the tongue weight should be 420lbs, according to the specs, so probably not that, although that was my first thought as well. I think that the hitch might be a shade too high. Not sure how to adjust that in a small increment that would solve it yet.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:00 AM   #4
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Your hitch may be a little too high. You generally want to bias a little more weight on the hitch if you can.

My friend and i were towing a car trailer loaded with a bunch of equipment and it would sway all over the place over 40mph. So we got out and rearranged everything on the trailer, putting the heavier items towards the front. It was rock steady the rest of the way home.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:09 AM   #5
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Yes, go through a complete hitch set up and make sure you have the truck and trailer level. You need to have about 12% of the trailer weight on the tongue.

Also, some road surfaces produce this chucking motion worse than others. Depends on the truck and trailer length.

Ken
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:30 AM   #6
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Those Stabilizer/Sway Bars with the Chains makes some clunking noise when turning.

Just a thought.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:49 PM   #7
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When I got my first TT it was older and used and first time towing and backing the creaking cracking etc i thought something was totally wrong even though the trailer and truck had been set up perfectly almost. All my friends have TTs as well and they have the same noises just what happens I guess when you have metal on metal and weight distributed on it. My new trailer I bought whole new hitch setup and Equalizer 4.0 sway/weight dist. bars they are great and they still make all the noise.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ryguy76 View Post
And last thing... I was quite surprised at how noisy my double axle TT is when turning. Especially when backing it in (creaks, pops and clangs). I've read that this is quite normal, but man, they should prepare you for that when they sell it to a newbie.
The trailer is probably not where the noise is coming from. More likely is the WD hitch. Depending on the brand and design of the hitch, some make more racket than others.

My Reese Strait-Line dual cam WD hitch/sway control makes some racket when backing up and not in a straight line. The spring bars have metal rubbing on metal at both ends of the bars, so unless they are nice and greasy (messy!) they are going to make a racket.

Some folks disconnect the spring bars before trying to back the trailer into a tight spot. That eliminates some of the metal-on-metal racket, but you still have the ball and coupler where metal is rubbing on metal.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:42 PM   #9
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you still have the ball and coupler where metal is rubbing on metal.
Ballgrease will quiet that joint, and the same used on other joints in the W/D system will help, too. (And not just with noise- wear and tear on moving parts is also reduced by greasing).
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:42 PM   #10
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I highly recommend Timbren suspension bushings. Google that and select the ones for your truck. I have logged several hundred thousand miles pulling a trailer cross country, and these bushings make pulling a trailer like nothing is back there.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:49 PM   #11
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I towed a 5,200lb trailer with a 2011 5.0 litre. Gas engines will work when towing. The truck knew the trailer was back there. My Reese W/D hitch set-up did make creaking noise when backing. I only experienced the chucking of the truck/trailer when the highway joints mis-matched the wheel base of my rig. Or maybe when they matched...I am not sure. I only experienced this about 5% of the time.

I was pleased with the way the truck towed as it was what I expected from other towing experiences.

Does your trailer have equa-flex suspension? My trailer did not have it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:10 AM   #12
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I tow a Rockwood Mini Lite, 3960 Ibsen wet weight, hitch % very important so go over he set up of WD hitch again to double check. The noise, well welcome to towing with WD hitches. You can mitigate some noise by using grease on the ball hitch, not much you can do with the chains on some WD bars, except unhook them when backing in tight spaces. I use the Reese system with sway control flat bars into pad pockets ( don't grease this area), still get some noise.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:33 AM   #13
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It sounds like "porpoising" to me. The TT must be level with the truck. You probably need to lever it better and get more weight on the hitch. We had this problem with our old Zinger. Leveling it alone did the trick!

We also use anti-sway bars and a WDH.

All three of our TTs made those squeaks, pops and clangs.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:20 AM   #14
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Instead of using "grease" get some dry graphite spray lubricant. I'm addicted to the stuff, and it will definately reduce the noise your WDH is making.
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