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Old 03-24-2014, 08:51 PM   #1
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Smile Dinghy sway

Hi, and thanks in advance for some info. I'm new to small RVs, class C 26ft. All of our previous coaches were over 40ft and all close to 50,000lbs. We wanted to try something smaller, so we bought a 26ft Nexus class C. When pulling cars in our larger coaches, we never really noticed the toad vehicle, however, in the Class C, it's a much different story. I could feel the sway, moved by the draft of trucks, and overall, didn't like how the vehicle and coach handled. Toad car is a very small honda fit ( only 2,500lbs). Ford 450 chassis, and 14,500 GVWR. So, my question is:: Is this what I should expect because the RV is so small, or should cars be moderately invisible during normal driving conditions? I'd be interested in your opinion, especially if you have direct experience with smaller Class C's and towing. Thanks for the help.

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Old 03-24-2014, 08:56 PM   #2
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No experience with the smaller coaches, but plenty with towing. Your toad is quite small, and certainly with-in the capacity of your coach. Have you driven your C by itself, and how does it handle then? Could be the coach and not your toad causing the sway.

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Old 03-24-2014, 09:02 PM   #3
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dinghy sway

Alignment is being checked now. Will no more in a few days. Coach feels top heavy to me, but I just assumed that's the way Class Cs are
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:22 PM   #4
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Like a lot of other RV ailments have you weighed and checked the tire pressures on the C?
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:49 PM   #5
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Our coach is pretty short, 190" WB. I'm betting yours is similar. With the last toad we had, a '08 Scion XB, you could feel it pull the back of the coach back and forth making it harder to keep straight going down the road. I did two things:
1. Added a trackbar to the rear axle on the coach. This helped A LOT. I don't know if the make them for your type of chassis or not. They take all the play out between the axle, springs, and frame only allowing it to up and down and not sideways. Some owners have installed them on the front too, it acts like a steering damper.
2. I had 18" alloys installed with low profile tires on the car. After a time my son was a new student driver so I took the fancy wheels off and put the stock ones back on - he would have curbed them anyway, so I figured why let him screw up a thousand dollars worth of wheels. Low and behold the car towed immensly better with the stock tires. Apparently the extra grip and width of the fancy tires gave it more traction to tug on the rear of the coach. Viola, motorhome tracks straight as an arrow now.

We have a new toad, a Subaru Crosstrek, and it's not problem. Doesn't have real low profile tires, weighs about the same as the Scion.

We also towed a 28' aluminum tandem axle trailer with a boat that was about 4500lbs. and no issues whatsoever...except for climbing grades.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:46 AM   #6
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Welcome and glad to meet you!

You might get more answers by posting in the appropriate forum. Many of the experts here do not frequent the New Member Check In.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:39 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum......I had an issue similar to yours 15 years or so ago, it was the Class C shaking the toad. I could hardly keep it on the road around semi's. I ended up installing airbags on the Class C's suspension and about 80% of the problem was cured,,,,, Just FYI...
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:17 AM   #8
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I downsized from a 40'DP to a 25' B+ with Firestone Air bags, and did not notice any difference in tow performance except the additional drag impact. I have a Malibu Max I towed with my DP @~3400lbs I can tow it ok with the B+, NO Sway but I did notice the greater drag component so I bought the lightest toad I could get, a Smart car. MUCH less drag of course @~1850lbs but NO Sway on either under any condition. The wheelbase on my B+ is ~177" and not a lot of overhang.

I kept the Malibu as second toad just for occasions when I might need a 4 passenger car. I have only taken it with me on relatively short trips when I needed the extra pax space in the car. Much prefer towing Smarty when I tow at all. Sometimes I don't take a toad. But no sway on either toad.

My B+ has a lower C of G than most 25' units. ~ 10' high and the Chev 3500 chassis is heavier then the sprinter units for example and I carry full water, propane and gas whenever I can so C of G is good and the ride is stable. Virtually no impact with truck passing or other sidewind components with or without toad. I have driven some Class Cs that seemed to have a lot of latersal sway with nothing on behind. That high profile with the cab over weight and longer overhang etc could amplify a sway component introduced by a toad. Just speculating from a physics perspective on this. Have no supporting evidence.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:09 AM   #9
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There is a world of difference between a large class A and a small class C. Generally you would expect to feel the toad more in the smaller unit. The problem is somewhat magnified because of the overhang on a class C. The distance from your rear axle to your tow bar, plus the added weight in the back of your unit contribute to the problem. Make sure your tow bar and base plate are level with each other. On a Honda Fit, the base plate sits low on the vehicle. If necessary you might need to use a drop receiver hitch. In short, compared to your previous unit, you will feel it more, but it should be barely noticeable and not uncomfortable to drive.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:15 AM   #10
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Driving a 32ft Class C with a miata, similar weight to your fit. The sway I feel, not sure if it's the same with yours, comes from the Class C not the toad. Have you driven the rig by itself? I think the sway will still be there with or without the toad.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:19 AM   #11
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Hi Paul! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the gang!

Sorry I can't help with your questions. Enjoy the forum!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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