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Author Topic: 21FT travel trailer swaying  (Read 726 times)

Riotrenee

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21FT travel trailer swaying
« on: April 28, 2018, 10:34:15 AM »
Hey all! New here!

Previously we had a toy hauler that came with an equalizer brand sway and distribution hitch, but we just bought a new Dutchmen 18b (21FT) camper and pulled it home last night with just a hitch. The thing swayed like crazy and of course scared the crap out of me. Only swayed when we went over 60MPH. Wasn't anything that made me think we were loosing control but makes you think. We pull with a 2017 RAM 1500 trailer brakes but has coil springs, not leaf springs. I do think that the trailer was probably light on the hitch because the propane tanks are empty and there is no battery, plus the camper is empty and the bedroom and bathroom are in the back. The specs for this camper are about 4200# dry and I want to say 420 hitch weight? We stopped at Wal-Mart and the camper was sitting very level, not nose high or low. Just looking for opinions as to if I should go invest in a 600 dollar equalizer hitch again or if maybe it is just something I can fix with a cheaper weight distribution hitch and just get the tanks filled, a battery, and load my crap in the front of it?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 08:16:47 PM by scottydl »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 21FT travel trailer swaying
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2018, 11:29:18 AM »
Trailer sway is almost always a simple matter of weight balance. If 10-15% of the total trailer weight is on the hitch coupler, the trailer won't sway except in extreme cross winds or similar conditions.  An empty trailer is likely to be far from the ideal balance.

Were you using a hitch ball on the bumper or a ball mount in the truck's receiver (if equipped).  That RAM will have a weight-carrying rating on ts bumper mount and its proabbly right around what that trailer has for tongue weight. The receiver is probably rated a bit higher, maybe 500 lbs weight carrying (No WD).

The Equal-I-Zer brand WD also builds some sway control into the WD spring bar mechanism. For a smaller trailer like your Dutchmen, you may find a Fastway E2 to provide plenty of sway management as well as WD. It's not as capable as an Equal-I-Zer, but should be plenty for a small rig.
http://www.fastwaytrailer.com/e2-hitch
Gary
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Gary Brinck
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Riotrenee

  • Posts: 2
Re: 21FT travel trailer swaying
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2018, 09:11:30 AM »
Thank you!

We are using the receiver that came on the truck, so I'm not sure if its in the bumper or not. This weekend I got to looking and noticed that the fresh water tank is up in the front so that will add some hitch weight and once we get a battery in there also. We also are getting a weight distribution hitch from a family member that recently sold their 28 ft camper, so hopefully that will do the trick! We weren't able to find a brand on it so fingers crossed it works with ours!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 21FT travel trailer swaying
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2018, 11:32:11 AM »
The hitch receiver (2" square tube?) is mounted to the frame, not the bumper.  The insert a ball mount into it and the ball mount has the coupler ball at its outer end.    As for the bumper mount, pick-up bumpers often have a flattened area with holes to accept a ball. That relies on the bumper's strength and attachment to handle the trailer tongue weight, so is usually rated lower than a receiver mount.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

muskoka guy

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Re: 21FT travel trailer swaying
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2018, 02:18:02 PM »
Not sure if you have seen this helpful video. It explains the importance of properly loading your trailer, and having proper tongue weight. Cheers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd-hUX8memY

Alfa38User

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Re: 21FT travel trailer swaying
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 07:56:10 AM »
Quote
We are using the receiver that came on the truck, so I'm not sure if its in the bumper or not.


The term "bumper mount" today is largely a misnomer as all 'bumpers' are a plastic/fibre material and you cannot tow anything using them. It is mostly used to distinguish between a fifth wheel trailer hitch and a travel trailer hitch type of mounting.

In the 'old days' when bumpers were made of steel (and chromed),  places like U-Haul rented their trailers using a real hitch that attached to the bumper itself, hence the term.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 08:00:33 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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Larry N.

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Re: 21FT travel trailer swaying
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2018, 10:41:53 AM »
Quote
The term "bumper mount" today is largely a misnomer as all 'bumpers' are a plastic/fibre material and you cannot tow anything using them. It is mostly used to distinguish between a fifth wheel trailer hitch and a travel trailer hitch type of mounting.

On cars that's generally true, but many pickups still have "bumper mounts," usually in the form of a hole in the (metal) bumper on the rear, which is designed to take a ball hitch. Of course those bumper hitches don't have the strength to handle many of the heavier TTs, so a proper receiver is needed anyway.

Personally, I prefer using "travel trailer" (or TT) instead of "bumper pull," and 5W, 5'er and other such for fifth wheel trailers.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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CCrew

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Re: 21FT travel trailer swaying
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2018, 11:08:15 AM »
On cars that's generally true, but many pickups still have "bumper mounts," usually in the form of a hole in the (metal) bumper on the rear, which is designed to take a ball hitch. Of course those bumper hitches don't have the strength to handle many of the heavier TTs, so a proper receiver is needed anyway.

Exactly. My Ram has a 5k rated bumper in addition to a Class IV hitch.
2018 Ram 1500
2018 Bullet 220RBI