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Old 04-12-2018, 06:53 PM   #1
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Acceptable amount of sway?

I apologize in advance if there's already a thread on this but I could not find one. I recently upgraded to a 30 foot travel trailer. When driving at highway speeds, I noticed the back of the trailer swaying back and forth anywhere from 3 to 6 inches total. I cannot feel it in the truck and the truck feels planted pretty sturdy however it bothers me to see this in my mirrors. Is this normal for a travel trailer of this size
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:23 PM   #2
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I have to ask you to include some info on your truck, GVWR , GCWR, and any anti sway equipment you're currently using ,truck/ trailer tire inflation and weights , of your truck and trailer axles and total weights.

JMHO: Just because you can't feel it , doesn't mean it can't become a problem .
With more info maybe we can provide the solution.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:25 PM   #3
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Sway is often a sign of a too much weight in the rear of the trailer. Have you measured the tongue weight of the trailer? It should be 10-15% of the trailer's total weight.

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-...ue-weight.aspx

Also check that the suspension of the trailer doesn't move too much side-to-side. A track bar might be needed if all bushings and other components are in good shape.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:36 PM   #4
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Your truck and trailer is about 50 ft in length to see the rear move 3 to 6 inches could be the little movement you put in the steering wheel and not be sway at all .you would have to hold the wheel perfectly steady not to see any movement at that distances
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:41 PM   #5
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Truck is a 2015 F150. GVWR: 7000 GCWR: 16100, Front GAWR:3450, Rear GAWR: 3800. Payload capacity: 1700. Truck without trailer but fully loaded with gear and family: Front axle: 3320 Rear axle: 2940. Truck loaded with gear, family, and trailer: Front axle 3320 Rear axle 3520 Trailer axles combined: 5320. My trailer is a Jayco 267bhs. The numbers say that the trailer is 5320 lbs not including the tongue weight of about 600 lbs. I am using a Blue Ox Sway Pro with the 1000 lb bars. I realize that the bars are a little heavy but I am planning on taking a couple hundred pounds from the back of the truck and putting it in the trailer. Do you think i need the 750 lb bars? Also, when taking into effect the 10-15% tongue weight, do I use the weight of the trailer axles only to calculate the 10-15% or do I add tongue weight to the axle weight and then take 10-15% of that?
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDIrish View Post
Truck is a 2015 F150. GVWR: 7000 GCWR: 16100, Front GAWR:3450, Rear GAWR: 3800. Payload capacity: 1700. Truck without trailer but fully loaded with gear and family: Front axle: 3320 Rear axle: 2940. Truck loaded with gear, family, and trailer: Front axle 3320 Rear axle 3520 Trailer axles combined: 5320. My trailer is a Jayco 267bhs. The numbers say that the trailer is 5320 lbs not including the tongue weight of about 600 lbs. I am using a Blue Ox Sway Pro with the 1000 lb bars. I realize that the bars are a little heavy but I am planning on taking a couple hundred pounds from the back of the truck and putting it in the trailer. Do you think i need the 750 lb bars? Also, when taking into effect the 10-15% tongue weight, do I use the weight of the trailer axles only to calculate the 10-15% or do I add tongue weight to the axle weight and then take 10-15% of that?
Tongue weight should be 10-15% of the trailer's total weight.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:45 PM   #7
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Also, tires are at max pressure. They are Hankook dynapro which are rated for 2500 lbs each. The sidewalls are kind of squishy but they are the next thing i will upgrade.
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:00 PM   #8
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I noticed I got a far better ride when I upgraded to the Maxxis 8008 tires. far stiffer sidewall.
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:01 PM   #9
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before hooking up to the trailer measure the front and rear bumpers distance to the ground. After hooking up the front and rear should drop equally to the inch. If your load bars are not parallel to the trailer frame then tilt your hitch shank away from your truck.
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:11 PM   #10
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I did that. The front axle is spot-on and the rear axle has about half inch drop
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:41 PM   #11
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Actually, all the major hitch makers say to ignore how much the rear of the truck squats and to measure the front fender before hooking up and after dropping the trailer on the ball but without the bars on. Then when you add the bars the fender height should be at least half way back to the first height measurement but no more than the first measurement.

If your front fender is 36" from the ground before hooking up and 40" after dropping the ball on then when you hook up the bars it should be somewhere between 36" and 38".

Distributing too much weight can cause handling problems also because there is less weight on the rear axle. That will make it easier to be pushed by trucks passing you from the rear as well as side wind being tougher to handle.

And equally as important as the hitch adjustment is the attitude of the trailer. The frame/floor should be level when hooked up. Slightly nose down is preferable to slightly nose up. The frame to ground difference should be less than 1.5 inches from front to back.

With a fairly long trailer and a half ton truck you will feel the wind a good bit so setup is even more important. I would keep your 1000 pound bars.
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:54 PM   #12
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I parked my trailer on a level pad and put a 4 foot level on the bottom of the frame. When it was completely level, the frame was 19 inches off the ground. I then put the level on the bottom of the frame at the back of the trailer and the level showed that I was off and the frame was 22 inches off the ground. Should I just split the difference and make the front and back 20.5 inches?
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDIrish View Post
I parked my trailer on a level pad and put a 4 foot level on the bottom of the frame. When it was completely level, the frame was 19 inches off the ground. I then put the level on the bottom of the frame at the back of the trailer and the level showed that I was off and the frame was 22 inches off the ground. Should I just split the difference and make the front and back 20.5 inches?


I have a 34 ft travel trailer weighing 6,800 lbs empty pulling it with a 2017 Ford F-150 crew cab short box with an Equal-i-zer sway control weight distribution hitch. The front of my trailer is 1/2 inch lower than the rear of the trailer when properly setup and filled with water. No water is almost even measurements front to back. I do however have an overload set of leaf springs in the rear of the F-150 as well as added a Hellwig rear sway bar. Also swapped the stock 4-ply tires for a set of 10-ply. Run 65 to 70 psi when towing. Constantly get comments in the campground telling me “that’s an awful lot of trailer for that small of a truck”. I just smile and say “yes it is”. But truth is that “little” twin turbo Ecoboost with a 10-speed automatic transmission has passed many 3/4 and 1 ton diesels going uphill while the diesel owner stares in amazement. You just got to take the time to set up the half-ton truck for the towing application ... and be willing to live with 6 mpg going uphill passing diesels ;-)
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:49 PM   #14
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But to my answer the original question “acceptable amount of sway?” ... my opinion / experience is ... if your setup correctly ... there should be no sway at all.

There are those certain / rare situations where one encounters a severe crosswind / wind gusts (40+ mph for me). That is when it pays to slow down to the proper driving conditions.
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