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SGS2019

SE Michigan

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Posted: 11/02/19 10:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello! I joined today because I have been unable to solve my towing issues and would like to see if anyone can give me ideas to help.

Tow rig: 2018 F150 Lariat Crew 4x4, 3.5L max tow
Camper: 2007 Gulf Stream Innsbruck 24RKL
Background: For as long as I’ve owned this camper, towing with two previous GM trucks, I’ve never felt comfortable towing this trailer. It doesn’t sway, but in any type of winds, the stability just isn’t great. It feels as if I am being shoved around and it can be difficult to keep in the lanes at times. I upgraded to an equalizer hitch setup in hopes that would help, but it has not. I decided to start from scratch and start weighing everything. This is where I ran into a serious problem. My camper, with no propane, water, gear in the front is weighing in at 1200 tongue weight using a sherline scale. After finding that, I hit the cat scales and confirmed a reading of 1160. This is well in excess of the recommended 10-15%. I am also just under my gvwr, with just me in the truck, and the tongue weight is over the rating of my equalizer.

I tried to fill my back grey tank, shift weight and the best I could get down to was 1100 lbs. Basically, I’m at a loss on how to get this trailer down to an acceptable tongue weight of say 900 lbs. The actual tongue weight is far in excess of what the trailer spec sheet shows. I guess shame on me for not figuring all of this out earlier, but I want to figure out how to make this safe and comfortable to tow.. I would appreciate any suggestions, and please let me know if I’ve left out any detail needed. I am looking to get rid of this camper at this point because it would seem that I need 600-700 lbs of ballast at the rear to make this right, but I am afraid of creating a sway issue. Thank you for any and all input.

ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 11/02/19 10:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You probably need a stronger set of bars on your WDH (or adj them tighter). You do not want to lighten the tongue - that is a common mistake and will not improve handling.


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SGS2019

SE Michigan

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Posted: 11/02/19 11:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I thought about that as I have the 1000 lb bars since the tailer is supposed to be around 900. At 1160, I am at 17% tongue weight. With the setup now, I have the front truck tires at the exact ride height as they are when I'm unhitched. All along I thought I had too much weight removed from the front steer axle causing this issue. Unhooked, front axle is 3180, hooked no WD its 2700, hooked with WD is 3040 lbs.

I just don't see this being stable at 17% even with heavier WD bars because that won't change the static tongue weight down from 17%. Here is my weight readings:

With WD Without WD Truck (GVW)
Truck Front Axle 3040 2700 3180
Truck Rear Axle 3900 4420 2780
Trailer Axles 5840 5660 N/A
Gross (GCVW) 12780 12780 5960
Truck Weight GVW 6940 7120 5960
Trailer Tongue Weight 980 1160 N/A
Trailer Weight 6820 6820
Tongue Distribution 14.37% 17.01%
Ideal Tongue Weight (10% TW) 682 682
Target Weight Shift (10% TW) -298 -478
Ideal Tongue Weight (12% TW) 818 818
Target Weight Shift (12% TW) -162 -342

2018 F150 Pkg Specific GCWR 18,100
2018 F150 Pkg Max Tow 12,700
Under/(Over) GCWR 5,320 OK
2018 F150 Pkg Specific GVWR 7,000
Under/(Over) GVWR 60 -120
Camper GVWR 7960
Under/(Over) GVWR 1140 OK

DutchmenSport

Indiana

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Posted: 11/02/19 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is there any way you could try towing the trailer with a heavier truck, like a 2500 or an F250, or even a dually? See if you experience the same things. My first guess is, the truck itself is just too light. It may tow the weight, it may also be within specs for load capacity, but the actual weight of the entire truck is just too light, trailer too long, and trailer too heavy. The weight, design, and length of the trailer just overpowers the truck, causing very uneasy feelings when driving. If you can borrower someone else's truck for a short while, go for a drive, see what you think. If you still experience the uneasiness in the heftier truck, then something is wrong with the camper itself. That's the approach I'd start with. Good luck.

Tom/Barb

Oak Harbor, Wa

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Posted: 11/02/19 11:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SGS2019 wrote:

Hello! I joined today because I have been unable to solve my towing issues and would like to see if anyone can give me ideas to help.

Tow rig: 2018 F150 Lariat Crew 4x4, 3.5L max tow
Camper: 2007 Gulf Stream Innsbruck 24RKL
Background: For as long as I’ve owned this camper, towing with two previous GM trucks, I’ve never felt comfortable towing this trailer. It doesn’t sway, but in any type of winds, the stability just isn’t great. It feels as if I am being shoved around and it can be difficult to keep in the lanes at times. I upgraded to an equalizer hitch setup in hopes that would help, but it has not. I decided to start from scratch and start weighing everything. This is where I ran into a serious problem. My camper, with no propane, water, gear in the front is weighing in at 1200 tongue weight using a sherline scale. After finding that, I hit the cat scales and confirmed a reading of 1160. This is well in excess of the recommended 10-15%. I am also just under my gvwr, with just me in the truck, and the tongue weight is over the rating of my equalizer.

I tried to fill my back grey tank, shift weight and the best I could get down to was 1100 lbs. Basically, I’m at a loss on how to get this trailer down to an acceptable tongue weight of say 900 lbs. The actual tongue weight is far in excess of what the trailer spec sheet shows. I guess shame on me for not figuring all of this out earlier, but I want to figure out how to make this safe and comfortable to tow.. I would appreciate any suggestions, and please let me know if I’ve left out any detail needed. I am looking to get rid of this camper at this point because it would seem that I need 600-700 lbs of ballast at the rear to make this right, but I am afraid of creating a sway issue. Thank you for any and all input.

Your problem isn't the truck, replace your trailer tires. go to (G) or heavier


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Dick_B

Palos Heights, IL USA

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Posted: 11/02/19 12:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Seems to me the truck is overloaded. I was going to suggest a Hensley Arrow but even that might not solve the problem if the truck is not up to the task.
I tow 7500 with a 3/4 T truck which works just fine except the engine is underpowered but that's a different story.


Dick_B
2003 SunnyBrook 27FKS
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naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 11/02/19 12:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Generally speaking, lower tongue weight results in DECREASED directional stability, not increased. Given that you are too heavy for the truck, I’m gonna stick my neck out and suggest the problem is your rear tires are overloaded. Have you tried adding five psi to those tires?

From what you have described, you are right on the edge of stability. If the rear tires are slightly overloaded at whatever pressure you have there, 5 psi would make a world of improvement. If you are already at their max as shown on the sidewalk, you can still add 5 for a brief test, just don’t leave them there or hit any big bumps or potholes. If the added air solves the stability issue, you will know you need higher load range tires. It’s an experiment.





Ivylog

Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 11/02/19 12:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Too much tongue weight is a lot better than not enough. I pull a bunch of different trailers without WD but I can adjust the amount of tongue weight by where I tie the load down...more is better. I do not think the 1160 lbs of tongue weight is your problem but you could put a 55 gallon barrel of water in the back to decrease your tongue weight and see if that solves your problem.

I would start by increasing all of your tire pressures to max sidewall (doesn’t cost anything) and see if this helps.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.

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George3037

Central Square, NY

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Posted: 11/02/19 12:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What tires are on your F150? They should be LT tires at least E rating. Are they set to proper inflation? If they are "P" passenger tires that may be the problem.
And as Tom mentioned trailer tires could be a problem too. especially if underinflated.

SGS2019

SE Michigan

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Posted: 11/02/19 12:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trailer tires are brand new Goodyear endurance st205/75r15, which is a D load range, set to 50 psi.

Truck tires are stock 275/55/r20 113T. They are SL rated, so max weight capacity is at 35 psi which is why I had not inflated higher.

I have not tried is inflating them above stock 35 psi. They are rated to go up to 51.

* This post was edited 11/02/19 12:55pm by SGS2019 *

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