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Old 07-26-2022, 03:31 AM   #1
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2022 RAM 1500 sways when towing

Before I start I'm asking everyone responding here to stay on the RAM 1500 subject and we don't need a 2500 either.
The truck in question here is a 2022 "Bighorn", "Off Road Edition" with load range 'C' tires, Hemi powered 4 WD. owned by my son. There is no switch we can see for "Sway Control".
My son recently bought a 2017 Coachmen Catalina 28RKS Legacy Edition TT GVW 6200#.
Aside from bringing it home he has only had it out twice due to work schedules etc. Bringing it home and the first trip he took were both on State highways and secondary roads with 55 mph speed limits. While he did notice some sway on the State highway it was nothing like what he experienced at 65 mph on the interstate when he traveled last weekend.
His tire pressures are all set at the recommended pressure both on the truck and the trailer.
His weight distributing hitch came with the trailer which he bought from an individual we know and trust. The WDH is a "Fastway E2" Trunnion sway control/weight distributing hitch. This hitch was installed on the trailer when my son bought it. The previous owner hauled this trailer with a Chevrolet 1500 4WD pickup around a 2017 or 2018 model year.
We have gone all through the set up instructions and procedures and made a couple small changes to the adjustments to make the hitch work properly with my son's truck.
Last evening we went through the entire set up procedure again to be absolutely sure everything is set and adjusted correctly and we are sure it is.
We took his truck and trailer for a 10 mile test drive after checking the adjustments. Up to 55 mph you could feel a little sway and the truck seemed to bounce a bit from front to rear but when he pushed the speed up to 65 this combination became a real handful. I mean if you weren't up on top of the wheel you'd be covering the whole lane in the road and probably more.
We returned home and we rechecked all the adjustments one more time. Then I came up with an idea. I suggested we hook the trailer up to my truck. My truck is a 2002 Chevrolet 1500 Silverado Z-71 4 WD. I have owned it since 2004, don't drive it in the winter time and it has just over 100,000 miles on it with all original springs and shocks. The tires are standard load Cooper M&S set at 35 psi. Not the ideal tires for hauling a large trailer. I measured the receiver hitch height on both my son's truck and my truck. My hitch is 1/4" higher than his which should make no difference. We put his hitch into my receiver, hooked up the trailer and the WDH and took it for a test drive. My son was driving to keep things the same for our test drive. We live on a secondary road (my son lives next door to me) and even at the lower speed my son said he could feel a difference in the handling. When we got to the State highway to take the same route as we did with his truck we got up to speed and my son said, "What a difference". Then we pushed the speed up to 60 then 65 mph. This combination went down the highway as straight as a tightly drawn string. No sway what so ever and no front to rear bouncing (I call it porposing). The ride was smooth and comfortable and he could drive with one hand on the wheel relaxed.
We have eliminated the trailer and the hitch being the culprit here. If my truck can haul this trailer fine his truck should be able to. There is no question the issue is in the Ram's suspension somewhere. The rear suspension is coil springs and it seems to have a pretty beefy track bar and sway bar in the rear. Ram offers an air bag rear suspension option but I'm not convinced it would help in this case. My son isn't anxious to start spending money on a lot of aftermarket parts etc. and find out they don't help. The factory air bag option is around $1000 which seems ridiculous to me. That is a hefty price to pay only to find out it didn't help in this situation.
What I would like to find is someone who has either had this same experience and has or hasn't corrected it or can honestly say they have hauled a 6200# trailer with their Ram 1500 and it worked fine.
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Old 07-26-2022, 05:29 AM   #2
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In the above post I didn't mention last winter we did have a heart stopping moment with this truck. I have a 28' enclosed snowmobile trailer we use to carry our race sleds in I normally pull with my 1999 GMC 1500 4 WD 9 passenger Suburban. The trailer weighs 2440# empty and the four sleds weigh between 2200 and 2400# plus 10 gallons of gas and 10 gallons of race fuel plus our suits, helmets, boots, tools, spare parts, 2 propane heaters, a folding table and a couple folding chairs. My Suburban handles this well.
I had a leak develop in the front axle of the Suburban so we decided on a Sunday morning to use my son's truck to haul the trailer to a race about 100 miles from home. We did notice a sway when hauling the trailer but didn't think too much of it thinking it was the way everything was loaded etc. which wasn't really any different than the way we normally load the trailer There is no WDH or sway control for this trailer and hauling it with the Suburban I never saw a need for one. The trailer pulls straight down the highway with no bouncing around fully loaded or empty with the Suburban.
After the race we were on the way home and we came up over a rise in the highway at about 50 mph and hit a patch of ice. The truck and trailer got out of shape to the point where a lesser driver might have lost control but my son pulled it out straight and we continued on our way. We blamed this on the road conditions and didn't think much about it afterward. Looking back now this could have all been due to something in the Ram which doesn't want to play nicely with a trailer behind it. There may be more here than I realized.
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Old 07-26-2022, 06:13 AM   #3
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Be there done that. I towed for 3 years at 45 -50 mph with no problem. At 60 - 70 I had terrible sway and suck/push from semi's. What I think my problem was the wheelbase of my tow vehicle was too short.

If the wheelbase of the Ram is within the guidelines then I think something with the trucks electronics does not play well the trailer.
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Old 07-26-2022, 06:46 AM   #4
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Be there done that. I towed for 3 years at 45 -50 mph with no problem. At 60 - 70 I had terrible sway and suck/push from semi's. What I think my problem was the wheelbase of my tow vehicle was too short.

If the wheelbase of the Ram is within the guidelines then I think something with the trucks electronics does not play well the trailer.
Marc's truck is a full four door cab truck. The wheel base is actually longer than my extended cab Chevrolet. I have read where some have turned a sway control switch off in the Ram trucks which improved the handling but we can't find any switch on the dash for a sway control.
Thanks
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Old 07-26-2022, 07:14 AM   #5
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After market 400.00 AirLift or Firestone air bags will likely take care of your problem and you can install them yourself in about 2 hours if you are a bit handy.

I have heard that Dodge 1500 suspension is not very robust.
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Old 07-26-2022, 07:18 AM   #6
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Are his tires actual "LT" tires, (LT will be listed as the first two letters of the size on the sidewall).

Many half tons, even from factory, are equiped with softer non LT tires, the sidewalls can/will flex more which can make trailer sway worse. His truck being the "Offroad Edition" my have come with softer sidewall "offroad" tires designed to flex and take rock impacts, instead of LT Tires which have stiffer sidewalls to handle heavier payloads and control trailers better.

If the trailer is within the tow and payload specs of the vehicle, and the hitch is setup right, my next thought would be to try load range D LT tires. Truck ride comfort will suffer, but the stiffer tires are better at controlling trailer sway.

Another thought, do both your trucks have sway bars on the back and front axles? That could be a differnce between your two trucks.
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Old 07-26-2022, 07:32 AM   #7
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I would suggest posting your tale at one of the Ram forums 'towing/hauling' sections. You may find other owners that have/had similar issues that can offer some insight.

Here's a link to one

First post I saw there is a complaint similar to yours.
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Old 07-26-2022, 07:41 AM   #8
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I had a 2013 ram 1500 with the pentastar, the sway is more like an emergency only thing, where when it gets ugly, the truck takes over and brakes each rear tire as needed to prevent rollover. There is a sway bar at the rear, and a bigger one could be installed.
Air bags and or loading the front more might work with the rear coil springs.
Some say they changed tow bar brands and it worked.
Heck,,,,, i have a 2015 ram 2500 with the 6.7 cummins, and a forest river grey wolf 26bh, loaded to the max, and going across the windy states i swayed, and needed to installed one brake style sway, then the second, to control sway, as i dont need load leveling, and i have no problem loading front heavy, but still needed sway control. I also have rear coils on mine.
One can do just load leveling and put brake style sway on, the brake style can be adjusted as needed and are not that expensive.
A friend with a ram 1500 with the factory air ride, no load leveling or sway, tows from northern MN to the keys of FL, no sway at all.
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Old 07-26-2022, 07:47 AM   #9
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I have heard various good & bad comments on Ram's towing capabilities, but frankly have never been interested in a Ram, so didn't pay much attention. (I do think the latest Ram offering is a nice looking truck exterior, but have not even sat in one.)

Can you post the door jamb labels for each truck?

One thing I have seen from others on here is that various trucks, that at a glance should be similar, have wildly different towing capabilities. Even 2 trucks from same manufacturer, 2 @F150, 2 @GM (1 @ Chevy, 1 @ GMC), might not even come close to having the same towing capability.

I was shocked to learn how much penalty a GMC Denali gets for payload over my simple little Silverado.
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Old 07-26-2022, 07:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrollf View Post
Are his tires actual "LT" tires, (LT will be listed as the first two letters of the size on the sidewall).

Many half tons, even from factory, are equiped with softer non LT tires, the sidewalls can/will flex more which can make trailer sway worse. His truck being the "Offroad Edition" my have come with softer sidewall "offroad" tires designed to flex and take rock impacts, instead of LT Tires which have stiffer sidewalls to handle heavier payloads and control trailers better.

If the trailer is within the tow and payload specs of the vehicle, and the hitch is setup right, my next thought would be to try load range D LT tires. Truck ride comfort will suffer, but the stiffer tires are better at controlling trailer sway.

Another thought, do both your trucks have sway bars on the back and front axles? That could be a differnce between your two trucks.
I was thinking the same thing. It may be the tires rather than the suspension. I would also check that the rear tires have higher than normal pressure (at least 5 psi higher than the fronts).

Also check that the hitch is not over-adjusted. There should not be more than 33% front axle load restoration. Taking too much weight off the rear tires will cause the trailer to sway and the truck to oversteer.
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:03 AM   #11
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Marc's truck is a full four door cab truck. The wheel base is actually longer than my extended cab Chevrolet. I have read where some have turned a sway control switch off in the Ram trucks which improved the handling but we can't find any switch on the dash for a sway control.
Thanks
If equipped with TSC (Trailer Sway Control) it is part of the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system. Looking at the 2022 RAM 1500 manual Safety Features starting on page 315 these features are described. On page 322 it states that TSC is disabled when ESC is either "Partial Off" or "Fully Off" state. It looks like there is an ESC button that is used to switch between the different modes.
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:09 AM   #12
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I would not be turning off the trailer sway control or electronic stability system. I know that some hitch manufacturers tell you to do this but that would deprive you of an important safety feature. TSC should not activate during normal towing. You would know it if it does activate. It is there for emergency only. If your hitch makes it activate you should get another hitch.
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:13 AM   #13
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His tires are load range 'c'. Like I said in my original post my truck has standard load mud and snow tires on it and the sidewalls and tread are softer than a standard highway tire. I failed to say we did put an extra 5# of pressure in the rear tires of Marc's truck before testing it.
The WDH he has is also a sway control. I made no change in adjustments to his hitch when I hooked the trailer to my truck.
Here is a link to the installation of the hitch he has:
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:15 AM   #14
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I would not be turning off the trailer sway control or electronic stability system. I know that some hitch manufacturers tell you to do this but that would deprive you of an important safety feature. TSC should not activate during normal towing. You would know it if it does activate. It is there for emergency only. If your hitch makes it activate you should get another hitch.
I agree with this, however, for purposes of troubleshooting the issue temporarily disabling it and observing the results is not a problem. If in fact there is a demonstrated contention with it on then the underlying root cause for that needs to be identified and corrected. When properly configured these safety features do not need disabled. I would be surprised if disabling it made any difference.
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