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Old 04-17-2015, 02:59 PM   #1
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Properly configured or not?

I've been towing my Keystone 299BH for the past year with my 2013 Ram 1500. She pulls and stops fine (trailer brakes), I've never felt like the truck was laboring at all when towing. My only concern is with wind buffeting causing the trailer to initiate small side to side movement with the truck. This occurs most especially when being passed by semi's, although it does happen on windy days. I don't know if this is normal for a truck/trailer combo of this size or if it is something to worry about.

When towing I go no faster than 65mph and remain alert. However, on busy interstates, this buffeting occurs so much it creates a white knuckle experience for me. There was one time my antilock brakes engaged and it sounded like my left front tire lost traction. This has only occurred once and was on a wet road when I was passed by a semi. That was months ago and has not happened again. This incident may contribute to my anxiety because I'm constantly on the alert listening for it to happen again.

I'm also using a BlueOx sway pro hitch with 1000lbs bars, and tow the trailer with the tanks empty.



Here's the stats on the two vehicles:

2013 Ram 1500

5.7 Hemi with 3.55 rear end and tow package installed.
1661 is max payload
8800lb max tow limit
curb weight is 5150
GVCWR is 14150

2015 Keystone Laredo 299BH

Dry weight of 6819 (probably has 1000lbs of stuff in it)
hitch weight is 830lbs (more like 1000lb when loaded)
trailer is 11'1" tall and 32'10" long.

I'm wondering it it's the height and length rather than the weight causing this.

Should a properly equipped rig have these symptoms?

When I say side to side movement it's not truck sliding side to side but more of a vague jerky feeling in the steering wheel. this might be natural when towing something heavy, I just don't know.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:26 PM   #2
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I towed a comparable set up. 2008 Chevy Suburban 1500 and Salem Hemisphere 312QBUD. I believe the problem is that you (we) are pushing the weight limits for the tow vehicle. The real issue is the sway that comes in to play. Think of the trailer as a giant sail. I greatly improved my experience by changing my hitch from a cheap-o to an equalizer with friction sway control. This made the set up good 90% of the time. My next plan was to get either the Hensly hitch or probably a Pro Pride hitch. Read up on them. I did a lot of research and couldn't find a person th
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:28 PM   #3
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Sorry cut myself off. Never saw a person that didn't rave about the towing improvement. Long story short, I never got one. One trip to the RV show and wife picked us out a 5th wheel and told me to go buy a new 3500 pickup. I didn't argue!!
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Old 04-17-2015, 05:55 PM   #4
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I had the same issue when towing a 5,000 lb. trailer with a Honda Ridgeline. The passing semi would 1st push my rig away toward the rumble strips then as it passed it would pull me to the left. It took two hands on the steering wheel with steering corrections for up to 15 seconds.

I upgraded the truck to a F-150 with sway control built into the truck. Never felt that kick in but 95% of the sway was gone. My thought - I was now towing a 5,000lb trailer with a truck rated for 8,500lbs. So I was well with-in it's limit and was not pushing those limits.

Towing a camping type trailer is not like towing an aerodynamic boat. A camping trailer catches a lot more air. Sounds like you already have a good hitch but maybe try the Pro-Pride. My understanding is the Pro-Pride is a top grade hitch system...maybe the best.

Good luck.
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:32 PM   #5
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make dang shore your NOT using CRUSE CONTROLE!!!!!


don't ask how I know this
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:50 AM   #6
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Have you actually weighed your truck+trailer combo? Do you know the % tongue weight of your loaded trailer? The greater the percentage of weight on the tongue, the more stable the tow. I'm pulling an 8000# trailer with a half-ton; it's over 15% tongue weight at 1220# but tows well with my 1400# Equal-I-Zer WDH.

With 1000# TW (or over) and only 1000# bars you may not be able to return as much weight as needed to the Front axle. I would have them tightened up as far as I could and try to return 100% of the weight to the front axle.

With my Equal-I-Zer you can crank up the anti-sway tension by tightening the bolts in the head. I've got mine tightened up as tight as I can get them. Don't know if that's possible with the BlueOx.


Another thing: my half-ton, and I suspect all half-tons, don't really have the suspension or tires to handle a full load without "wallowing" around. They are really tuned for a soft-ride while "grocery-getting" and commuting. I ended up upgrading the suspension and putting on LT-E tires on mine. That definitely helped.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:52 PM   #7
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I think you will notice an improvement by putting LT tires with an E load rating on your truck. These are what come on 3/4 and 1 tons. They are much less squishy and have less deflection in the sidewall when you get a lateral load such as the wind push. This is largely because they will handle up to 80psi, so make sure your wheels can handle it.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:17 PM   #8
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The fact you are using 1000# bars does not provide assurance the ball height and head angle are set properly, or that the rig is level when hooked up (chains properly tensioned).

There's way to many potential variables to make "proper" setup a function of just having the right hardware.

When we sold a TT (new or used) we used to hook it up to the new owner's tow vehicle. Variables above were checked and/or set properly, and the new owner was schooled on some of the variables and shown what the rig SHOULD look like when hooked up properly. Then we disconnected it and the new owner(s) hooked it back up themselves, with coaching as required.

That's not to say a tow vehicle/trailer combo will be wind proof on the road. It's only to give you your best shot, knowing it's as good as it's going to get.

As somebody that's done this professionally for quite a few years, it's amazing to note how many rigs that are on the road are so far out of "tune". I'd guess at maybe 30%...
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TDI-Minnie View Post
I think you will notice an improvement by putting LT tires with an E load rating on your truck. These are what come on 3/4 and 1 tons. They are much less squishy and have less deflection in the sidewall when you get a lateral load such as the wind push. This is largely because they will handle up to 80psi, so make sure your wheels can handle it.
I'm running Goodyear Wrangler LTs, although not at their full pressure. I usually run with 55psi...I'll inflate them all the way and see if that helps. thanx.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:52 AM   #10
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Next time you hitch up make sure the TT is parallel to the ground. Then pre hitch measure the front fender well. Now hitch up and set the WD up so that you return 100% of the front fender well back to the original height.
Double check that the TT is still parallel to the ground. Don't worry about the rear of the truck.


Make sure the TT tires are inflated to the max psi. If you have E rated tires on the truck you don't need to inflate to the max 80 psi. 50-55lbs is all that's needed for the load on your truck.


Then when all said and done go to a scales and weigh the setup as loaded for camping. You want 12-13% for tongue weight. The more the better.


You can check you tongue weight by using the bathroom scale method. I tried it on my last TT and it was pretty close to the scales we have in Oregon.
https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-...ue-weight.aspx
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:52 AM   #11
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Sorry, but for proper handling, you absolutely do care about how the rear of the truck looks, big time. If the tow vehicle and trailer (both!) are not level (or very close) when hooked up and ready to go, you have no chance at achieving optimal handling.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:19 PM   #12
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IMO you are very close to or over the capabilities of your truck. If you are adding 1000 lbs hitch weight, fuel, passengers and other stuff your truck is maxed. You make no mention of axle capacities and the actual weight of the truck loaded.

That plus what the others have said about the ride characteristics of a 1/2 ton. You say 1661 for max payload but that does not include any optional equipment you might have which will reduce the number. Max payload would be the GVWR of your truck minus the loaded weight of your truck. Check the rear axle as well.

Easiest thing is to get a larger truck. May be overkill but a 3500 will take away the white knuckles and make life on the road enjoyable. Plus you have room to grow into a larger unit, possibly a 5er.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:19 PM   #13
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What's this about not using cruise control ???? When on the super slap i use it all the time. No problems !!! Set on 60 or 65 and watch for problems, don't have to worry about maintaining speed.

Jim
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavagrand View Post
I'm running Goodyear Wrangler LTs, although not at their full pressure. I usually run with 55psi...I'll inflate them all the way and see if that helps. thanx.
You need to verify to load range on the tires. LT tires can come with several different ratings B to F. D goes up to 65psi, E goes up to 80psi and F goes to 95psi. Each has 2 more ply than the former and thus can handle more weight and are directionally more resistant to deflection.
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