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RE: Trailer hitch

So I found something that can help. My camper is only 2000 lbs, 200 tongue weight. MAXXHAUL 12" Tires 70225 Trailer Dolly. That will help a ton and get what I need done. I still want to learn to back up, but have problems. I guess I am just dense. You just told us some more about your camper. 2,000# with 200# TW. And you can push it by hand with a small non powered trailer dolly. This means a short length camper, single axle. Many of us here have long campers compared to yours. The long trailers actually back a lot easier. Especially if they have tandem wheels. While the principals of backing a long trailer or a short one are the same, there a few differences. Real short trailers seem to want to go right into a jackknife almost immediately. It magnifies the issue until you understand what you are doing wrong. Here are a few tips to help with backing a short trailer. Your not dense, just need some pointers and then practice. 1. What can help most is, first pull ahead and make sure the truck and camper are tracking "straight" in line with each other "before" attempting to back up. 2. Go slow, very slow and start backing up. Watch the back of the camper. As soon as you see the back of the camper starting to drift off of being straight, make a "slight" steering correction. Keep an eye on the back of the camper and if it continues to drift off further, do a "slight" more correction. When it comes back to center, keep proceeding back. When the trailer is not tracking straight aligned with the truck going forward when you pull ahead, it will instantly start turning against you when you start backing as it is already steering the path you left it in. Totally straightening up ahead going forward stops this instant issue wrong way issue. When you make a correction, starting out, most drivers over correct. Until you master how much steering adjustment to do, go in very small increments and keep watching the trailer. And go slow. The fastest way to back up well when learning, is taking your time and doing it right the first time. If you get too far off course, realize it, stop, pull ahead straighten out, and start over. Trying to back your way out of an excess too far backing turn, most times just make it all worse fast. Backing long campers with long wheelbase trucks can have still have issues. It is just that short trailers aggravate things many times faster. I have a 8 ft box, 12 ft long ball to bumper, 5 ft wide utility trailer. In my truck in my sig, I cannot even see the trailer behind the truck. It takes time, realizing the issues and then practice. Don't rush it and do small moves. I have to wait to see the tail light hanging off the trailer to appear while backing slow to start a correction while backing. If I cannot see the left or right tail light, then I'm going back straight enough. Hope this helps and good luck John
JBarca 02/07/20 09:22pm Towing
RE: Rear picture window model suggestions

I see you are from Canada, I have friends in Canada with this model, so they are up there. If you find one on good shape and well loved, you found a gem. Sunline T-2499, Non Slide, 7,000# GVWR, Dry weight, just under 4,800# GVW, length 25' 11" A few pics, width=640 width=640 width=640 If you want more pics, see my Flicker page here. We sold our 2004 but I later bought a 2007 I'm restoring. Sunline T2499 on Flicker The pics you see are maple interior. The 2007's had a cheery option if you are after the darker woods. You can find this model from 2003 to 2007. I would not rule out the 2003's or a 2004's. 2007 models will be the last year they were in business. Sunline built a quality camper. And with any camper, the owner needs to take care of it so make sure you check for signs of water intrusion in any used camper. Sunline made other rear living floor plans, however the camper is longer and heavier needing a 3/4 or 1 ton truck to tow. I left them out, but if interested I have more on them. A note to understand, rear living campers can have high loaded tongue weight due to the floor plan. They load with more weight to the front. Those 2 nice swivel rocker chairs in the back looking out the big window do not offset all the cargo stored ahead of it. This is a trait generally regardless of brand. Make sure your truck and bed load is capable of handling the floor plan. Good luck in your search. John
JBarca 01/21/20 10:38am Travel Trailers
RE: Suspension Enhancements for Single Axle Trailer

I have a Passport 153ML, which although a lightweight, is a pretty tall windsail, and sits high on a 5000lb 6 lug axle with traditional leaf springs. I am toying with the idea of converting it to a torsion axle to smooth the ride and maybe lower a bit. Worth the expense? I can't seem to find a suspension enhancement product rated for 5000lbs and made for a single axle trailer, all the MorRyde/Equa Flex/etc. are mostly for tandems. Gman Hi Trying to help. You stated you have a 5,000# 6 lug axle setup. Where did you see this listed? I agree 6 lug, you can see it on the wheel, but the 5,000# does not seem to fit, or Keystone changed your camper and not their brochure. Is this your camper? The 2018 Passport 153 ML in this brochure? They list the dry weight as 3,514# with a payload of 1,085#. That adds up for a 4,500# GVWR. What does the VIN sticker say your camper GVWR is rated for and do they list the suspension rating? Knowing Keystone, it is odd they put 5,200# axle tube with 5,000# of springs on a camper with only 4,500 GVWR. Keystone many times will put the suspension less then the GVWR on certain models and let the truck take some tongue weight. To save money, they could of put a 4,200# axle tube with 4,200# springs and let the truck hold 300# and meet the 4,500# GVWR. Aside from that, I agree with the others, adding shocks will help. I do not agree with airing down the trailer tires unless you know exactly what your wheel weights are and still have some level of excess tire capacity. Ideally 15% extra capacity over the heaviest wheel. The torsion axle needs a reinforced trailer frame above and beyond in most cases, then the leaf spring mount. This is what some posters were talking about adding the 2 x 2" tube on the bottom of the frame. But that may not work if the main frame is just too thin for a torsion setup. TT frames are not anywhere in the heavy duty cagatory, and ultra lights are even less duty. Lowering the camper, the tire bump clearance was brought up. Dexter axle recommends 3" of bump clearance from top of tire to inside of the fender well. While 2 1/2" will just get by in some cases, it would be odd for Keystone to add lots of extra bump clearance to allow you to lower the camper. You may not be able to do it. Check and see. If your wanting to lower it 2 to 3" or even 4 1/2" for getting better towing mpg, odds are it will not affect your towing mileage to where you can find it. The air drag is still too great. To your question, is it worth it to spend $$$$'s on a torsion axle to help ride and lower MPG, I would say no. Yes, add shocks, they will make a difference in trailer ride and help the entire trailer from frame excess flexing. Hope this helps John
JBarca 01/05/20 09:35pm Towing
RE: Overtight weight distribution brackets bent frame....

From the pictures of the bent Reese snap up bracket, this looks like the classic Reese snap up bracket failure from heavy tongue weights when the bracket is not bolted on. It has occurred many times before on loaded tongue weights of 1,000# and over. In certain turns, the loads on the inside WD bar go real high. The heavy tongue weight coupled with 1,200# or higher WD bars has been known to spring open the top of the snap up. If they are bolted on, then this does not happen. If and when you bolt them on, make sure the bolt is touching the top of the hole in the bracket so it can't slip down. I used, 5/16" carriage bolts that fit in the square punched holes to bolt mine on. Your vintage may or may not have the square holes, then just add them as round holes size to size with the bolt. Page 5 shows the bolting if yours does not have the holes. They just do not go into why you need to bolt them on and what the issues are if you don't. You should get your tongue weight when loaded checked so you know what it is. I agree, fix the frame as leaving it like that is a problem that sooner or later will become a problem. From here, by the pics and the amount of cracked paint and rust under the top of the bracket, this problem existed a while ago. If you just bought it, you inherited the problem from a prior owner. I do not think this was caused by over tightening the bolt. Hope this helps John PS,. Reese now offers a heavy duty snap up with gussets welded on the side. I myself would still bolt it on.
JBarca 09/25/19 09:40pm Towing
RE: Reese Dual Cam HP frame brackets

The good news, they are sending you a new kit. Odd they feel it is OK. Years back when I talked with them they wanted the entire DC frame plate flat against the bottom of the frame. Like what they say on sheet 6 of the current instructions for a channel iron frame. They spell it out it "MUST" be in bold letters. See here Odd they do not stress it like that on a tube frame. Maybe one too many tech writers doing the instruction updates. Years back their instructions left a lot to be desired. They are better now.
JBarca 09/16/19 06:46pm Towing
RE: Reese Dual Cam HP frame brackets

Nice pics, I agree, your frame brackets are aggravating the cam out squareness issue. This pic just shows it. Even the chain hanging shows it width=640 Let us know how you make out with Reese. If you want to help this yourself, and you have a buddy in the metal fabrication business, they can put the brackets in a press and correct some of the issue. I have sent a lot of drawings to fab shops and a bend that far off is not what I call a low quality bend. It can be made square without a lot of effort the first time. That said, it will more then likely work the way it is made, just I myself would address it. I know it can be made to work better. This is fab shop 101 to do a true 90 degree bend.
JBarca 09/13/19 07:46pm Towing
RE: Reese Dual Cam HP frame brackets

Well to update this I’m having an issue with my cam arms. They are not square to the frame and only have a ware pattern on the inside edge of the cam and the spring bar. After about 2000 miles the spring bar still has paint on the outside 1/2 edge of the V. So it appears my initial concern was valid. I forgot to get some pictures. This the 17K Reese Titan straight line and my actual tongue tongue weight is1680 lbs. Hi, I have several of the Reese DC hitches and have used them since 2003. The camper in my sig is also on a 17K system as I have 1,600# of loaded TW. I'm still using the same cam arms since 2003, just the bars and head have changed from trailer to trailer. I saw the same issue with the cam lobe not being square to the WD bar V notch and it would create the uneven wear you are seeing. And this was on the older HP DC of the 2003 vintage when the cam was machined true round and still made in the US. What I found is you "need to" mark the left bar and the right bar so they "always" go on the same side as you set the cam adjustment too. The WD bars are forged and the V's are not machined. There are too many parts in the system not made accurate enough starting with the trailer A frame to ever have a true even wear in from new. However, if you dial the DC spot on, it can be centered to allow the WD V notch to be centered on a new non perfect round cast steel cam. Use a flashlight to look for daylight on the front and back. It will be resting on the high spot. In time the cam will wear to be a perfect match to the WD bar V. Then over time, you have a true matched set but only if you always put the same WD bar on the same side. If not the wear pattern will start all over again. And there are no 2 WD bars the same exact length anyway. See here when I was using 1,200# bars on the same cams. This is with 20K miles on the cams at this point. width=640 width=640 The WD bars width=640 As to your issue with the riv nuts, I really do not like them on a hitch this strong. Fortunately, I have 6" channel iron frame and I can through bolt the cam arms and the snap up brackets on. I had to shim out the cam arm due to the square corner on the channel iron, but the older Reese instructions even mentioned to do that. If your on a tube frame, I myself would create a through bolt (size to size on the bolt) setup and use a large washer plate on the tube inside. On the out of square DC frame bracket, yes I have seen that too. It stinks from bad manufacturing. To try and use it, make sure one side has full contact to the bottom of the frame. Ideally the outside frame side. The other side will have air to the frame, but the one tight side will help with the loading. The cam arm will most likely flex the bracket flat to the bottom with a 1,600# WD bar load. This is most likely why Reese allows the +/- 2 degs. Hope this helps John
JBarca 09/11/19 04:07pm Towing
RE: *UPDATE* ST tires any better nowadays?

I know money is always tight, but I'll pass this along on the tires you have now. Starting at year 3 of them, do a spin test looking for an out of round tire at the start of every spring there after. Just because they are LT tires does not mean excessive interply shear is not lurking in the background. I went with the Bridgestone Duravis R238's LT225/75R16 LR E's after the BFG Commercial TA's failed. Not the less expensive way, but after flying tread tore the camper apart, and already doing a 16" LT upgrade, going as bullet proof as you can is worth it when the pain gets high enough. Here is that post. I need to give an update. LT Tire Replacements - All season Happy camping this year. John I got just over 4 years with the BFG Commercial's before one failed. I saw the bulge and got it off before it let go. After 5 1/2 years (6 from date of manufacturer) running the Bridgestone Duravis R250's in LT235/85R16 without a issue I replaced with the Sailun S637. Hope the Duravis R238's serve you as well as Duravis R250's did us. Thanks, good to know
JBarca 07/08/19 06:25pm Travel Trailers
RE: *UPDATE* ST tires any better nowadays?

UPDATE: Thought I would come back here and close the loop on this. The new Goodyear ST tires are VERY pricey, so I opted for another low-budget set of LT225/75-16E from the local Mavis Tire. The Brand is Taiga, made by Vee Rubber, made in Thailand. Even still it was $600 out the door, about $200 cheaper than a set of the Goodyear Endurance STs. Taking the old tires off was a real eye opener...I got new rims, so I had the tire shop mount the new tires on the new rims, and put them on the trailer at home. I also replaced the Trail Air equalizers and greased the suspension. This is what the suspect tire looked like on the trailer: width=640 Once I got it off and put it next to the rear one you get a different view: width=640 Hard to believe these two tires are the same size. The other front tire was starting to do the same which was why I replaced the equalizers, they were worn out and shifting too much of the load to the front axle and overloading the front tires. I also saw this from my TPMS, where the front tires were running 10* hotter than the rear ones. Now back in business and ready for the next trip! Hi Don, From what I have seen on my ST and LT tire failures of detachment of the belts and tread, I'm not seeing how the worn out equalizer caused the belt to let go in that tire. How did you come to that conclusion? May learn something new here and looking forward to it. I would point more to an interply shear issue from the tandem axle turns trying to rip the treads off the tire. Have you weighed the camper lately? I know money is always tight, but I'll pass this along on the tires you have now. Starting at year 3 of them, do a spin test looking for an out of round tire at the start of every spring there after. Just because they are LT tires does not mean excessive interply shear is not lurking in the background. I went with the Bridgestone Duravis R238's LT225/75R16 LR E's after the BFG Commercial TA's failed. Not the less expensive way, but after flying tread tore the camper apart, and already doing a 16" LT upgrade, going as bullet proof as you can is worth it when the pain gets high enough. Here is that post. I need to give an update. LT Tire Replacements - All season Happy camping this year. John
JBarca 07/05/19 08:27pm Travel Trailers
RE: Atwood/Dometic Stove regulator 51062

1. I would indeed suspect the Dometic Stove reg's are bad. But, I doubt Dometic will fess up. It took months last year to get Dometic to agree that the Atwood Water heater Control boards on thousands of DSI water heaters were faulty. They then replaced them. Probably the same thing now. Their supplier has built faulty regulators and it will take time for the bad ones to show up in service centers before Dometic realizes the problem. You need to contac Dometic and explain in detail your testing process so they will understand that they are dealing with someone that knows RV LP systems. Hopefully they will want all your regulators back for testing. BTW, it is RARE got the Range/stove regulator to go bad. Usually they just leak. Doug I wanted to give an update. I'm not getting very far and I'm close to a dead end with Dometic. I started this with buying 3, new 51062 stove regulators. Two from one place, one from a second place. All 3 of them would not regulate, they would just pass whatever the tank regulator was sending. Even when the tank regulator was sending 14" WC, downstream of the stove regulator was at 14"WC, even with a burner running. I explained my testing method in the first post of this thread. So I bought 3 more new ones from a third supplier. I tested the first one and the same thing, it would not regulate down the pressure. I have 2 more still in the package. Then I started to look at the mfg dates and the serial numbers. They are all very close together. They must all be drop shipped from the same Dometic warehouse as 3 vendors selling them can’t have stock that close together. I called Dometic 3 times trying to get some form of resolution. The first call, the tech would talk to me. I explained exactly how I did the test. He listened and had to talk to a master tech. When he came back, he stated the regulator will no longer drop the pressure. I stated years back I had some that did drop the pressure, just these new ones will not. He stated the old ones did, but the new ones will not. I tried to ask then what does the regulator do? He stated it helps make the stove burn more even. I asked, OK how does it do this if it does not regulate? There are only 4 parts in the regulator, a spring, a spring pressure adjusting screw, a diaphragm and the poppet valve. I can see them. He said he didn't know but the new ones do not drop the pressure. He said he would send me some information on them. Nothing has showed up in 2 weeks. I called again today, this time I get a new tech. They will not talk to me as I have no dealer number. I explained my situation of repairing campers but I’m not a Dometic dealer. I stated, all I want to do is report a potential warranty issue, how I tested it and the results. I do not need technical help. I can even send them back and you test them. He said they ship 6,000 of these a week and no one has complained they do not work. He would not even talk more about it. I asked who in the company can I report this potential warranty issue to, he said there is no one. They do not have the engineering staffing to do this. I could tell I was getting nowhere, ended it with have a good day and that was the end. I called back again a 3rd time to the customer service and got the same nice person who forwarded me to the tech. She went over and talked to him. She said for liability reasons they cannot talk about technical things like this without a dealer number. I explained, all I want to do is report the issue, I can even send them back to you and you test them. She did not know how to respond to that. She was kind enough to give me an email address I could write in explaining what I found and she would send it to a supervisor. So that is where I'm at. I did look up the Seven Universe website (Seven Universe is who makes these now) and the GR60 LP regulator has an outlet pressure setting of 8" WC ~ 10" WC. It can pass 60,000 BTU's per hour. It is a pressure regulator. I have the 2015 Atwood range service manual where it states all the new Atwood ranges use the Seven Universe brand regulators and they are to regulate to 10"WC down from up to a 13" WC pressure at the main tank regulator. I was going to explain this too, but I was never able to get this far. I am not sure when Atwood Mobile sold out to Dometic, if Dometic actually changed the way the regulators work. The 2015 manual I have is now 4 years old and I do not know if there us a new one. It makes no sense to me they would be selling the same part number, 51062, to interchange into all the old Atwood ranges if they somehow changed the way the regulator is supposed to work. Has anyone else recently tested some of these current mfg Seven Universe regulators? The mfg dates on the 6 I have, 2 are from 11/15/18 and 4 are from 1/16/19. Right now I do not know how to buy one that will work. Unless I change brands and use the one Suburban ranges use. Do not really want to do that. Thanks for listening. Anything you can add is much appreciated.
JBarca 06/14/19 10:30am Tech Issues
RE: Suspenson

If you are SURE that there is no wear in the equalizers, then you don't need them. I'll second this. You need to measure the bore on the equalizer, a set of calipers will work if you don't have inside mic's. Especially the center pin on the equalizer. That pin gets more motion and thus in many cases wears more. If the equalizer hole is worn and not true round, the new bronze bushings will crack over time. Those thin bronze bushings need 100% support by the bore to not crack. In my book, 0.003" oval wear is not good. 0.005" and above is just plain bad. As far as quality, I have used both the Dexter and the Mor-Ryde. Both are very good products. If your nylon bushings are worn through, which can very well happen in 8,000 miles on a heavy tow hauler, odds are high the equalizer bore is going to be affected. If you do not have the tools to measure with in 3 place decimal inches, (or 2 place metric) then just buy the new Dexter kit with the equalizer. The bronze is then already inserted when you get it. HEADS up! Make sure you align the grease fittings holes correctly before inserting the spring pins in the hanger. 9:00 & 3:00, no 6:00. If not, the grease will not go in. And check that the spring/equalizer pin heads do not rotate in the hanger. If the hanger is worn and will not bit into the pin serrations, you need to address this. Pins that spin are no good for long term. Hope this helps John
JBarca 05/28/19 07:30pm Travel Trailers
RE: Upgrade my Fastway E2?

John, thanks for taking the time to reply. I wanted to stop at a CAT scale and weigh since it was one of the few times we have had the new trailer loaded, albeit light but the DW wanted to get home today. We really packed light for this trip since it was just a weekend get away 2 hours down the intestate. Clothes and groceries for the 4 of us don't amount to much and I never tow with more than 5-10 gal of water in the FW tank so that doesn't amount to much. As my kids get older (now 15 and 10) I find them packing less toys and junk and more electronics or board games so I think the trend of loading heavy is a thing of the past. Yes, that's my TT in the link. The trailer rides fairly level on a newer 2.5" drop shank I bought last year and I'm using 6 washers on the trunion angle thrust as Fastyway recommends but the ball seems to be straight up and down, not angled like I have seem some Equalizers set up. I thought I had some understeer and adjusted the bar perches up one but that didn't seem to help with either the steering or sway on the way home today. I again experienced some moderate gusts (20-25 mph) that seem to push the TT around a bit more than I was comfortable with but it wasn't as bad as Friday's winds. I have newer AT tires with about 1000 miles on them and ran the rear tires around 68 PSI instead of the full 80. I dropped the PSI several weeks ago to soften the unloaded ride but failed to air them back up for the trip. Anyway, I think I'm going to price a 1200 Equilizer and see if I can swing it. We are headed to South Dakota in June and I really want to get this sway issue handled before then so I'm not so fatigued from driving in windy conditions. Your welcome and glad to try and help. And thank you for your service! A few things stand out in your reply. Good feedback and this helps. There is no one thing you can throw at this to fix all the issues. Any one or a combo of them can create what you are feeling in the truck. If you want to figure out what is not working right, you have to look at "all" the areas in the list I posted. Yes, I know this is going to take time to do it. But it is the only way to sort this out. I have been there myself and helped others get out of their issue too. If you have optimized all of them, then you at least know that. Right now, you do not have much data to help guide you. This is going to be a process of elimination. Here goes. I had some time tonight so I typed it out. We respect you for asking to help make this better. And it can and will in time. The loaded tongue weight (TW) is critical to a stable towing camper. If this it not where it should be, there is no friction based anti sway of any brand that is going to overcome it. Figure out how to make time to load the camper the way you tow it and get the loaded gross weight and just the trailer TW. And since you are going to the scale, load the truck the way you go camping too. We can get to that more in a bit on how the truck plays into this. There is one thing that "use" to shock me every time I went to the scales. Darn, where did all this weight come from? I was lightly loaded, I thought. Trust me, we all have our camping stuff and all those 20#'s here and 10#'s there all adds up. You never really know how much you have or don't have, until you weigh the camper. Being too light on TW is a bad thing. I have finally come to grips with how much stuff weighs and how to adjust the camper loading in my favor and not against me. Next is the adjustment of the WD hitch. A question, which Fastway do you have, the round bar or the trunnion bar hitch? I made a guess it was the trunnion but maybe not. So tell us. I skimmed over their instructions here And I agree with the end principle of how they want WD on the on truck set. It is targeting for between 50% and up to 100% front axle load restoration. Which means, you restored 50% as a minimum of the weight removed from the truck front axle by using and adjusting the WD hitch. Your 2017 F250 manual is talking "approximately" 50%. The number is not an absolute, if you are 55%, 60% and even 75% is not a bad thing in some cases. Going to 100% or over 100% creates other issues. Going a lot less then the 50% can have other issues especially trying to make the friction based WD hitch anti sway work right. So now you have a target to shoot for. Did you take any fender height measurements? and if so what are they? You stated the 6 washers that Fastway recommends, that may have been taken out of context. Fastway stated to "start" with 6 washers. And if you read later on, it states to add more as needed first to gain more WD on the truck and then do an L bracket move if head tilt does not shift enough weight back to the front of the truck. You really cannot go by only how many washers and if the ball does not look tilted like other Equal-I-er hitches. Your goal is what is the front axle weights and fender heights doing. Once you get the trailer TW set in the 12 to 15 % range, then you need to start over on re-setting the WD on the truck. The WD on the truck has to be optimized, the WD bars fairly parallel to the frame and the hitch shank adjusted "after" setting the WD to level out the TT or be slight nose down. This is optimizing the WD and the anti-sway setup. Next on the list is the tires. You have 2 things going on that can create great havoc on towing. You are running low tire pressure. That can be real bad. The front and rear tires need to have stiff "enough" sidewalls to not have the truck wiggle around. There is no high friction anti sway WD hitch that will correct soggy truck tires. Air the tires up to door sticker and start from there. If you know the trailer TW is in the right percentage, the WD hitch is setup optimized along with the anti-sway system, then the tires have to do their part. The good news, you have the right truck suspension. I'm assuming your rear door sticker is around 80psi. If so , set it there and the front at door sticker too. This then leaves the front tires as the only adjustment left "above" door sticker. Test tow the setup and if the truck still feels it shifts left and right with high wind gusts or other sway producing events, then start going up by 5psi jumps until you either you reach max cold side pressure of the tire OR the truck front end bounces so hard going over a bump, it felt like shifted left to right. That bounce effect is too high a pressure, back it down 5 psi. This optimizes the tire pressure. A gasser can bounce this hard. A diesel not so much. Next is, you only have 1,000 miles on fairly new AT tread tires. This is a wild card some call, tire squirm and the more aggressive AT thread may aggravate it even more. What brand do you have? and what size and load range? One of us may be able to spot if that brand is one of the newer molded tires that has what feels like a friction loss of the tire until it gets broken in about 3,000 miles. The truck is part of this too. Ideally someone with a F250 can chime in on what brand they had that gave them heartburn. This is a real issue for us towing large campers. I can tell you that Continental Contitrac TR's that are now being produced will set a 2005 F350 off into an instability it never had before until they get about 3 to 4K miles on them. The prior 2 sets never did this, but the ones last year did. Something in the industry has changed in tire molding as others have reported other brands doing the same thing. And I can say that Michelin LTX tires have their issues too with low pressure. Air up enough and they can work better. While this tire squirm is a factor, you can adjust the air pressure now. You do not know yet of the tire squirm is a factor in your setup, yet as you have not yet optimized all the other areas. You mentioned going to a 1,200# Equal-I-zer hitch, how do you know the 1,200# rated hitch is the right one? Your camper has a GVWR 9,250#. When the camper is fully loaded, 1,200 might be too small. Then you have to either unload gear or go buy the 1,400# Equal-I-zer. It would be best to weigh the loaded TW of what you have now and then make a decision. You might be sitting at 1,100# right now and being that close, the 1,200 may not be enough once you get the TW up where it needs to be. Another reason to get the weights first and then make choices. If and when you go to the scale, try and adjust the WD hitch to get the front axle fender heights where they should be before going. When you get to the scales, you need to come back with 3 sets of weights. (means 3 weight slips) This is assuming you are using a 3 section truck scale. Each weight set will have the; TV frt axle on 1st scale, TV rear axle on 2nd scale and both TT axle tires on 3rd scale. These are the 3 weight sets: 1. Drive on the scales, TT and TV loaded, TT hitched and WD engaged (hooked up). Take a weight. 2. Do not move the truck. Jack up the tongue, unhook the WD bars, let the jack back down and the jack foot free from touching the scale. The truck is taking full tongue weight of the camper on the ball. Take a weight. This is, TT and TV loaded, TT hitched and WD diss-engaged (No WD in effect. it is not hooked up). 3. Hook up the WD bars and drive off the scales with the camper. Unhitch the camper in the truck yard, come back with just the truck. Weigh front and rear truck axle. This is truck loaded weight with no camper. With those 3 weight sets you can check all of these: Truck and TT combined axle loads against their ratings The gross combined load against the truck rating The truck GVW against the GVWR The camper tongue weight The camper gross weight The loaded camper TW percentage Confirm the WD settings on the TV front axle and see if the WD hitch is actually setup correctly by weight. Hope all this helps and let us know how it goes. John
JBarca 05/20/19 08:41pm Towing
RE: Upgrade my Fastway E2?

Hi, I looked up your camper, is this it? Looking at the spec's of the camper, the way the tongue weight balance is made into the camper, when the camper is empty (dry) it only has 9.76% tongue weight per the empty gross weight (dry weight) of the camper. Point being, with a dry tongue weight that low you have to be careful how you load the camper. You need to know the "loaded" tongue weight (TW) of the camper and the total loaded camper weight. Get that loaded TW higher up, shoot for 13% to 15%. There is a lot of cargo capacity in that camper (CCC 2,735#) . By adding enough gear and cargo to the camper, if you add 1,200# of cargo, (not hard to do with kids) that brings the estimated gross weight to 7,715 # and 13% of that is 1,003#. More gear and or carrying water and the TW needs to even get higher. First thing, weigh the camper loaded like your last bad day on the road trip. And weigh the tongue weight for that loading and sort out where your tongue weight percentage is. If it is low, move gear around to get it up where it needs to be. Look up Sherline Tongue scale. You can get one once you have a scaled gross weight, you can move gear around at home and measure the new TW with the Sherline. With a camper 33' 5" long the entire camper and truck setup has to be dialed in perfect. You have a good truck, but it needs the camper and the WD hitch setup spot on optimized. And truck tire pressure too. I do think sooner or later you will need a larger capacity WD hitch as you will exceed the 1,000# bars with a camper GVWR of 9,250#. A camper that big and long loaded close to max will easily go over the 1,000# WD bars. A few other things, The Fastway E2 needs good tongue weight to make the anti sway work. It needs the TW to create the high friction to help hold the trailer. If you were towing with fresh water in the tanks, does that add or subtract loaded TW? You need to know this if you haul water during towing. Before changing WD hitches, make sure you understand what is not optimized in your setup and fix that first. Here is a list to start with. 1. Weigh the truck and camper loaded the way it created the problem. Get an actual gross camper weight and a loaded tongue weight of the camper. 2. TT needs 13 to 15% loaded TW per loaded GVW to create naturally stable towing of the trailer. Move gear as needed to have this. 3. The WD hitch has to be setup and optimized for the "loaded" camper TW. If the dealer set it up with an empty trailer and empty truck, the settings are not right for a loaded camper. It needs to be readjusted. Make sure the truck and camper is loaded "normal" for camping before you set the WD hitch up. 3A. Part of WD hitch setup is the camper towing stance. Shoot for a level towing camper. Adjust the WD hitch up or down the shank until the camper is level or slight nose down when the WD on the truck is correct. Get a new hitch shank if the one you have will not allow enough adjustment to level out the camper or slight nose down. A high nose on the camper can create unstable towing sometimes on high winds. 4. Make sure the TW aligns with the WD bars and the hitch are at or less then the hitch rating. Do not overload the WD hitch. 5. Tire pressure on the camper and the truck can make or break a the ability high friction hitch anti sway feature to work right on any brand hitch. The TT needs to be at max cold side wall pressure. The truck needs to start at least at door sticker pressure. From there, it is a pressure experiment to go up in pressure until the side walls of the tires are stiff enough to hold the camper stable when towing. Do not exceed max cold side wall pressure of the tire. 6. With your truck that new, I suspect you are not on brand new tires but mentioning this for the future. Some brand new tires can create a friction issue to the road until they get 2 to 3K miles on them and then they settle out. And some brand tires just plain have soft sidewalls regardless of air pressure. Even LT truck tires. Hope this helps. John.
JBarca 05/18/19 09:46pm Towing
RE: Atwood/Dometic Stove regulator 51062

Update: I tried the 3rd new regulator today. Same issue, the stover regulator follows the tank pressure. I did try one of them under demand. One burner on hi, drops the stove pressure 2" WC, 2 stove burners on hi drops to 3" WC or adds 1 " drop. These regulators just do not regulate. These 51062 Dometic regulators have serial numbers on the package and mfg dates. 1. Ser. # 84699676 11/15/18 2. Ser. # 84699712 11/15/18 3. Ser. # 90298483 01/18/19 2 of them are made very close on the same day. The other one 2 months later. This does not seem like a good trend.
JBarca 04/20/19 04:19pm Tech Issues
RE: Atwood/Dometic Stove regulator 51062

BTW, it is RARE got the Range/stove regulator to go bad. Usually they just leak. Doug Thanks and I can agree with that. The last Atwood regulator on my prior camper leaked at the vent. Must of been a pin hole or something in the diaphragm. I finally caught it with leak solution. See here. width=640
JBarca 04/20/19 08:22am Tech Issues
RE: Atwood/Dometic Stove regulator 51062

1. I would indeed suspect the Dometic Stove reg's are bad. But, I doubt Dometic will fess up. It took months last year to get Dometic to agree that the Atwood Water heater Control boards on thousands of DSI water heaters were faulty. They then replaced them. Probably the same thing now. Their supplier has built faulty regulators and it will take time for the bad ones to show up in service centers before Dometic realizes the problem. You need to contac Dometic and explain in detail your testing process so they will understand that they are dealing with someone that knows RV LP systems. Hopefully they will want all your regulators back for testing. BTW, it is RARE got the Range/stove regulator to go bad. Usually they just leak. Doug Thanks Doug. These 2 new failed regulators are not doing any regulating. They are passing whatever the tank pressure is straight through. This camper also had a fridge cooling coil failure and with the fridge out, I caped off the fridge gas line. As a troubleshooting effort, I had my Dwyer gas gage on the fridge for tank pressure and the manometer on the stove burner. If it tweaked the tank regulator up or down, 13 to 12 to 11" the stove burner on the manometer would follow it exactly. Theses new Dometic regulators I got just plainly do not work. If I find anything out from Dometic, I will pass it along. Years ago when I called Atwood I got a lot of help. Calling Dometic was not the same experience.
JBarca 04/20/19 08:13am Tech Issues
RE: Atwood/Dometic Stove regulator 51062

Need one of the real techs here, but I did find this review where he says the OEM was too weak to run the oven but the new one does. Perhaps the new spec is 12 since the ones you got are both at that? I don't know if it matters that the OEM was Part 52154 for an R-2136. Hi, Thanks From my manual, the RA2133 uses the 51062 (year 2006 range). As does all the stovetops and ranges in the service manual,(2007 vintage manual). Seems they just use a standard step down regulator. It does mention that the 52154 regulator is the same as the 51062. As to the pressure, ranges and stove tops have been at 10" WC a long time. And the one I have, has orifices sized to work on 10" WC. I do not know of a change in the spec. That would be a major departure from prior industry standard 10" WC on a range/stove top. I also looked at the dates in the review you linked. They are all several years old when Atwood was still steering the ship. The person with the flow issue may have had a bad regulator not opening up enough under load.
JBarca 04/20/19 08:02am Tech Issues
RE: Atwood/Dometic Stove regulator 51062

Does the stove work? If you didn't have the measuring device would you suspect anything is wrong with the stove? Yes, the stove worked before as the main tank regulator was creating 10"WC which is what the stove is supposed to be working at. If I did not checked this, I would not have known I had a problem. What I have seen in the past on these cheap regulators is, once they start to deteriorate in performance sooner or later the water heater and the furnace may act up without enough pressure to operate correctly. Or worse, the pressure goes way too high, beyond 14" WC and then you run into risk of overheating. From my background, doing preventive maintenance with checking to correct things before they stop working, keeps you running longer. It is just hard to believe I got 2 brand new Dometic regulators that do not regulate properly right out of the box. I'm hoping some others have run into this before to give me some clues what is going on. Maybe Dometic changed suppliers and they have a quality issue. Don't know, yet anyway.
JBarca 04/19/19 09:56pm Tech Issues
Atwood/Dometic Stove regulator 51062

I have a Atwood range model R-A2133BSE. I am having issues with the stove regulator to sustain 10" WC and I need a sanity check if I am missing something. Background. Earlier this week, I did a LP leak test and pressure test on my camper. I am using my new Dwyer gas gage. I hook up the gage at the burner orifice, read the pressure. I am getting 10" WC with a tap on the gage at the burner orifice downstream of the stove regulator. OK this sounds good. I close the main tank valve. I vent a burner to bleed down to 8" WC at a burner orifice to open the main tank regulator. I let the system sit for a 3 minute leak test, no drop. I let it continue to time for 10 minutes. No pressure drop. Great, I have no leaks. I then take the gas line off "upstream" of the stove regulator to do a system pressure test. Hook up the gage, open the tank and I get 10" WC. OK what's up? I then suspect my gage is not reading right. I go get my old water manometer. Sure enough it is reading right on with the gage. OK the tank regulator is acting up. I adjust the tank regulator up to 11 1/2" WC before the stove regulator. Fire off the furnace and the system drops down to 10" WC. I never had much luck trying to adjust these cheap tank regulators, when they start acting up, they are usually toast. But, I tweaked the regulator up to 13" and with the furnace running it drops to about 11 1/2". Now let me check the stove regulator again as I really do not know if it was working right. I put the incoming line back on the stove regulator, and put the gage on the burner orifice and check the pressure at the stove burner. Yup, it reads 13"WC. Darn, the stove regulator is bad too. I order a 3 new tank regulators and 3 new stove regulators as I have several campers. They are all over 10 years old. And all using Atwood ranges. Today I put the new tank regulator in. That works right now. When the furnace and water heater are on, it only goes from 12" WC to 11" WC. SO I feel good the tank regulator is good now. I put a brand new Dometic 51062 regulator in the stove. Take a reading at the burner. I get 12" WC. This new regulator is not working. I check it again with my manometer, same thing, 12" WC. Ok, so I go get a 2nd new Dometic 51062 and put it in. Same thing. It passes full tank pressure at 12" WC. OK what am I missing here? I have had stove regulators go bad in the past when Atwood was still in operation and the new replacement worked right out of the gate. It was 10" WC right on the money. (now about 8 years ago) Now I have 2 new Dometic ones since the takeover of Atwood and neither one works. I have not yet opened the 3rd spare stove regulator. I even tried putting the regulator face up (diaphragm axis up) verses 90 degrees like the stove was originally. No luck Any suggestions?' This I will say, the older Atwood regulators you could pull the plug out and adjust the pressure. These new Dometics are sealed up with what looks like a pressed in disk over the diaphragm stem, so it is non adjustable. Thanks in advance. John
JBarca 04/19/19 06:20pm Tech Issues
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