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Old 05-29-2011, 08:36 AM   #15
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Sorry to disagree, offthe wall, but the toad should not be "wagging" at all, so the length of the rear overhang matters naught. If the toad is wandering around and pushing the back end of the coach, something is seriously wrong with either the tow set-up or the toad alignment.
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:25 AM   #16
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Gary is right. I have a 33' gasser and sometimes tow a Ford Flex which is at the end of my max. It tows straight and I don't need any extra effort driving. If anything it drives with less effort. Something is not right.

Just a shot in the dark, what is the tire pressure you are running on both vehicles?
Tom
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:17 AM   #17
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I have a Fleetwood with 52% a wheel base and was somewhat concerned with its driving. I can now say after about 3000 miles under my belt, it drives just fine. I did have to spend some time getting used to its characteristics as compared to the previous unit. I would classify the steering as neutral and suspect that an increase in caster might be beneficial. My point is that peoples' expectations are often too critical of driving a new coach. In my case I believe that the coach wiggles a little but I am not sensitive to that motion and just sub consciously work around it and correct when something other than normal occurs. I really do not even notice trucks passing until they are past for example. I think a good approach is to take the trip this summer and then make a decision after the trip. Then start with the basics of alignment of the coach with particular attention paid to caster. Just get a good shop for many will argue that increasing the caster is not to spec. Talk with them before they touch your unit. Be part of the solution as compared to dumping off at the shop and leaving the problem with them. I can almost guarantee the problem will not be fixed.
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Sorry to disagree, offthe wall, but the toad should not be "wagging" at all, so the length of the rear overhang matters naught. If the toad is wandering around and pushing the back end of the coach, something is seriously wrong with either the tow set-up or the toad alignment.
Not really, it is quite common. Search this forum. A blast of wind or a truck passing will cause the toad to move and the leverage of the long overhang on a relatively light MH will "wag" the MH tail. Now depending on how sensitive you as a driver are to this and how well the MH (not the toad) handling is in the first place will determine whether you consider this a mild or traumatic event.

I previously drove a 31' E450 based class C towing a 4500 lb Wrangler. When towing, the MH was more sensitive to wind and trucks than when not towing. It wasn't scary since I had done quite a bit of chassis work on the MH to make it drive nicely in the first place. Those long overhang, front engine, overloaded chassis MH's can be a handful in the wind by themselves. To say that adding a 5000 weight on the end of that long overhang makes no difference is naive.

BTW, I now tow the same Wrangler, same tow bar, with my DP and I do not even know it's back there.
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:38 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by offthewall View Post
An RV with a long rear overhang will most certainly be affected by a toad. Tail wagging the dog syndrome.
Hi, All

I don't have a motorhome (yet!), but hope you don't mind if I ask a question-
Are you talking about what us trailer-toters call "sway"?
I'm asking because "offthewall"'s post above seems to be controversial, and I've always understood it to be true as far as tow vehicles/trailers are concerned, especially if shorter wheelbases are involved...
Is towing with a M/H different???

Thanks!

Francesca
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Francesca
Hi, All

I don't have a motorhome (yet!), but hope you don't mind if I ask a question-
Are you talking about what us trailer-toters call "sway"?
I'm asking because "offthewall"'s post above seems to be controversial, and I've always understood it to be true as far as tow vehicles/trailers are concerned, especially if shorter wheelbases are involved...
Is towing with a M/H different???

Thanks!

Francesca
Yes. I'm talking about sway. Short wheelbase (long overhang) tow vehicles, as you as a trailer tower know, will be more subject to wind induced movements of the trailer (toad). As you get into heavier, longer dp's, the toad has little if any effect on the mh. I think it's only controversial in one posters mind
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:20 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by offthewall View Post
Yes. I'm talking about sway. Short wheelbase (long overhang) tow vehicles, as you as a trailer tower know, will be more subject to wind induced movements of the trailer (toad). As you get into heavier, longer dp's, the toad has little if any effect on the mh. I think it's only controversial in one posters mind
We towed a '94 Saturn SL-1 and now a '05 Saturn Vue with the same Falcon2 tow bar and have never had sway issues.

Now, let's be clear. There is a vast difference between normal towing with favorable wind conditions and what we get traveling East-West here in Texas with gusty SE cross winds. I suspect that if we dropped the toad when the cross winds happen, the MH handling would be worse, not better. Towing the car seems to add stability then, not detract from it. I will admit that gusty crosswinds are a handful and often the only solution is to slow down.

If I were in the OP's condition, I would be looking for expert physical help. Based on his description, something is wrong. I would start by having someone from a Blue Ox dealership ride with me after physically checking the towbar. The next step would be an alignment shop for the toad.

I know this is silly but are you sure that the steering wheel is unlocked while you are towing? A toad that wasn't following the MH because the wheel wouldn't turn could give you fits.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:55 AM   #22
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Insure Steering wheel is not locked. If it is locking car will pull to one side and tires will wear very quickly.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:49 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasfm11

We towed a '94 Saturn SL-1 and now a '05 Saturn Vue with the same Falcon2 tow bar and have never had sway issues.

Now, let's be clear. There is a vast difference between normal towing with favorable wind conditions and what we get traveling East-West here in Texas with gusty SE cross winds. I suspect that if we dropped the toad when the cross winds happen, the MH handling would be worse, not better. Towing the car seems to add stability then, not detract from it. I will admit that gusty crosswinds are a handful and often the only solution is to slow down.

If I were in the OP's condition, I would be looking for expert physical help. Based on his description, something is wrong. I would start by having someone from a Blue Ox dealership ride with me after physically checking the towbar. The next step would be an alignment shop for the toad.

I know this is silly but are you sure that the steering wheel is unlocked while you are towing? A toad that wasn't following the MH because the wheel wouldn't turn could give you fits.
Yes. A locked steering wheel on the toad would be a handful, not to mention being tough on toad. The op didn't mention what type of mh or what it's handling was like without the toad. All I've saying all along is that if you've got any bit of the tylical long overhang handling issues on the mh, they will be accentuated with the toad. Those who claim their mh plus toad is super stable, probably also have a super stable situation without toad. Our new dp is like that. Super stable with and without the toad. Our previous class c was ok without and fair with the toad. before suspension tweaks, it was not fun to drive in wind with or without toad.

To the op. No it should not be scary. IMHO it's likely due to marginal handling of the mh in the first place.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:37 PM   #24
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Hi, Folks

Hope you don't mind another "learn-before-I-buy" question...
Is "toad" tire type and/or inflation an issue in these circumstances?
Or is towing a regular vehicle with its two spread out axles different in that regard?
I ask because my trailer came with passenger car tires on it and its "sway" tendency was much reduced when I put the stiffer "Special Trailer" tires on it.

Thanks again for answering my "hope-to-be" questions

Francesca
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:54 PM   #25
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I don't think that toad tire type has anything to do with this or any other problem, but have no evidence to support that statement. In any case, you can't put ST tires on the toad (it's illegal).
Inflation is an issue only to the extent that the toad tires should be at their normal correct inflation.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:21 PM   #26
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I would like to thank everyone for their good suggestions. My problem is that I have spent almost $6,000 on a tow bar, base plate, SMI braking system and a new set of very expensive tires and I have not left town yet. I'm just going to tuff this one out and drive it the way it is. I'll keep the speed down and make a decision of my future with this MH at the end of my trip. Now I'm just hoping a tornado doesn't prevent me from going to Yellowstone and the Tetons.
Yes, I feel your pain...setting up a new tow is a real wallet smoker. I still stand by my post but in the meantime, there are a couple of things that did help me though my tail wagging problems until I did some mechanical solutions.

Try looking further ahead up the road... this will help you maintain your lane position by averaging out steering corrections over a longer distance. Also, you talked about the stress from the constant steering corrections your having to make to maintain lane position...try loosing the white knuckled death grip on the steering wheel(if that's the case) and try to relax a little. Try to input about half of the steering correction you think you might need to maintain lane center. You might find that you're trying to make too much of an input than you really need. I tried this advice (from this site's contributors), and it worked for me. Hope it helps and have a great trip to YS and the Tetons. Bob
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