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Author Topic: Help .  (Read 619 times)

7Iron

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Help .
« on: March 22, 2017, 06:12:43 PM »

We have just recently moved from a pu to a Coachmen Freedom Express 246 RKS.  I pulled it from SE MO to Mobile AL (500 miles) and 3 other trips of 150 miles or so.  And my wife has to use a 2x4 to pry my butt from my driver’s seat.  I don't know what "normal" trailering feels like, but if this is it....I don't think that I will be doing it for long.

Our TV is a 2007 Avalanche 5.3 2wd 3.7 gear ratio, 13000 GCWR and a GVWR 7000 or 6800 depending on what document.  The TT has curb wt of 5076 and we have it loaded to abt 5900 (three CAT scale weighing).  The dealer installed a Pro Series 49903 WD/Sway system, rated for 10k and 1k.  (BTW only one friction sway bar....2nd will arrive from eTrailer tomorrow)

So the problem statements:
1. Push and pulled by passing 18 wheelers....very very uncomfortable
2.  The rig feels "tender"....I would not want to turn the wheel quickly!!!  Just too "tender"
2.  Occasional "porpoising"....not a big issue but not comfortable

Observations
a. Just noticed that the passenger side WD bar is skewed towards the a frame (the chain is resting against the a frame) and the driver’s side is skewed away from the a frame...see pictures
b. The ball has worn a lot..
c. The TT is 2 3/4 inches higher at the bumper than at the hitch when coupled.
d. The front wheel well is within 1/8th-1/4 inch of original position after coupling
e. The rear wheel well is 2-2.25 inches lower than baseline position after coupling
f. The hitch socket on TT is 21.75 inches when tt is level
g. The ball on TV is 23 inches before coupling
h. Tongue wt for 3 weightings 636,617,700 (derived by subtracting TV wt with TT and TV wt w/o TT)
i. The WD bar chain on passenger side is not vertical ...the bracket is about 3/4 inch more forward than drivers side.


What can I do to take the very uncomfortable and downright scary  pushing and pulling and very “Tender” feeling??

grashley

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  • Western KY for now.
Re: Help .
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2017, 06:45:14 PM »
I am no expert, but a few things jump out to me.

A 6K TT and a 7K GVWR truck means you are right at the GCWR for the truck.  A bigger truck may make a HUGE difference.

If the front of the truck is the same height with or without the TT, but the rear is 2 inches lower, I suspect the WD hitch is not set up properly.  The set up changes from an empty camper coming home from the dealer and ready to go camping.

You did not say how fast you were driving.  I doubt this was an issue, but stay below 65 mph for several reasons.

Limit driving to 300 miles a day to reduce stress.

Hope you can find a solution!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Help .
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2017, 06:51:27 PM »
Well, to start, with you have too little truck. With a 6000 lb trailer plus passengers, hitch & any gear in the Avalanche, you are pretty close to its towing limit. My guess is that scale will show you very close to the GCWR with family and gear onboard.  Further, the Avalanche is a rather car-like truck, configured more for a soft, comfortable ride than heavy hauling. When GM says the Avalanche can tow 7000 or so lbs, they don't promise you will like it. Just that it is within the truck's mechanical capability.

I would also wonder if the truck tires are adequately inflated for the load, and whether the tires are in fact the stiffer sided LT (Light Truck) tires that are more suitable for loads and trailering. Sometimes P (passenger) tires are used on personal trucks like the Avalanche. Stiffer tires can help the handling quite a bit.

I share your concern about the WD spring bar position and suspect the chain mount is in the wrong place. Not sure what effect that would have, but it's not right. The weight distribution is also a bit off - ideally the rear of the truck should not settle more than the front, but I don't think it is unsafe. Just "not optimal".

Towing a big trailer is always going to be a concern in crosswinds or with trucks & buses passing. It's a huge, 24x10, ft sail being buffeted by 50-60 mph winds caused by passing vehicles. A heftier truck will make it feel more under control, but the effect is still there.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Gods Country

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Re: Help .
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2017, 07:02:12 PM »
Your own numbers suggest you are close to being overloaded.  A quick glance shows your vehicle weighs somewhere around 5800 pounds (guessing, need your actual vehicle weight), which gives you a payload of maybe 1200?
Between tongue weight, passenger weight, and everything else, you are near or over your weight. that is a light vehicle to be hauling around 6k.  I have no doubt semi's are pulling you all over.

BTW semi's pulling you over is not uncommon, but a sway bar should reduce that.  IMO you need a heavier vehicle.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 07:37:35 PM by Gods Country »

7Iron

  • Posts: 4
Re: Help .
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2017, 07:30:19 PM »
Thanks to all,

the one (not so good chart) was intended to give the numbers, but I now recognize that it is hard to read:

I have had 3 weights since purchasing 13 Mar 2017:



TT                 5816       5817        5960    (6k would be normal)
TV                 6644       6160        6320    (6440 would be norm)
Total             12460      11977      12280

Tongue         636          617        700

Gods Country

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Re: Help .
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2017, 07:50:09 PM »
See you knew the answer all along. :D

At around 12,230 average you are about 95% your MAX combined rating.
Many of the problems and concerns you voiced all add up to being overloaded or close to it.

The Avalanche just isn't a heavy TV. 3 tons is a lot of weight. The fact that the TV and the TT are close to the same weight is an indicator.

A nice comfortable tow rating for that vehicle IMO would be 75% or about 9,200 combined.

Your trailer would haul nicely behind a properly suited 1/2 ton truck.  A 3/4 ton would haul it like it were still a pop up. ;D

7Iron

  • Posts: 4
Re: Help .
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2017, 09:42:30 PM »
So what would be a solid 1500 tv?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Help .
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2017, 08:49:59 AM »
You have to get down to the specific truck configuration to answer that. 1500's have two capacities ranging from 5600 lbs all the way to 12,000. You want to toward the high end of that range. I would suggest a tow rating of 8500 or better to give you a more comfortable margin. You can consult a GM towing guide for configurations like that, or the Trailer Life Towing Guide to cover all vehicle brands and models.

See http://www.trailerlife.com/trailer-towing-guides/

I still think that tire type and pressure may be a factor in the Avalanche, though.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

RVRAC

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Re: Help .
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2017, 05:13:48 PM »
Time for a new truck that is capable of your TT loaded.
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.

Gods Country

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Re: Help .
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2017, 05:25:52 PM »
So what would be a solid 1500 tv?

I'm not current with various 1/2 ton configurations.  I agree that something in the range of 8,000 or better towing capacity (true towing capacity not the published BS) would give you some nice comfort range and will be a far more pleasurable towing experience.

7Iron

  • Posts: 4
Re: Help .
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2017, 06:25:09 PM »
Thanks to all for the very beneficial inputs!!

I traded in my Avey for a GMC Sierra SLT Crew Cab and short box , 1500 pickup with Heavy Duty Towing package (extra coolers, More HP and a 4.2 gear ratio ) and a GCWR of 15000 lbs vs 13000, trailer wt of 9600 vs 7200 and TV available cargo wt of 1540 lbs vs. 938 lbs.

But I still think (based on ya'lls input) that my hitch is not properly adjusted...so I will also correct those issues as well

Again thank you very much....all the inputs were meaningful and I appreciated each and everyone .


grashley

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  • Posts: 3736
  • Western KY for now.
Re: Help .
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2017, 06:30:26 PM »
You made a very smart move!

The WD hitch needs adjusted just because of the different truck. 

I believe you will be much happier!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Gods Country

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  • Posts: 488
Re: Help .
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2017, 06:50:15 PM »
Wow you don't waste time! ;D

I think a few tweaks here and there and your wife will be prying your rear from the seat because you will be enjoying yourself too much! :D

grashley

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  • Posts: 3736
  • Western KY for now.
Re: Help .
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2017, 07:06:33 PM »
Wow you don't waste time! ;D

I think a few tweaks here and there and your wife will be prying your rear from the seat because you will be enjoying yourself too much! :D
;D  ;D
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

 

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