Horrible noises when backing/turning

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hpydawg

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Sep 12, 2005
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21
We understand the part about removing the swaybar before backing.  We do that...but when we back up and make any kind of turn......very loud banging and tortuous metal sounds come from the equalizer/hitch area.  What the heck is happening?  I witnessed other trailers backing into spaces at the park without this horrible cacophony happening so I'm wondering why it happens for us.  Is this normal??  It sounds so wrong.  Should we remove the equaliizer bars before backing too??
 

Tom

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Sure doesn't sound right, but I'll let the trailer experts come up with ideas re the cause.
 

edjunior

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Roman Forest, TX.
Hmmm, sounds pretty strange.  I've never removed my equalizer bars before backing in, and have never heard anything like that.  I don't have a sway control yet.  You're gonna have to get a spotter back there while you're backing in and try and pinpoint the noise.
 

quasi

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Mar 31, 2005
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Northern Kentucky
First thing I'd do is get some grease on the ball. Ours sets up a racket when dry.  What type of brake controller are you using. If you use Prodigy and have the boost function enabled, it will apply the brakes to a higher level than needed when backing into a level site. Disconnect the cable or set the boost level to b.1 or .c. If you turn the boost off, the controller will still apply the brakes inertially or they can be applied using the manual engage lever.
Try that and get a spotter to look at where the noise is coming from.
Q
 

camper1b

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Endicott, NY
quasi said:
First thing I'd do is get some grease on the ball. Ours sets up a racket when dry.? What type of brake controller are you using. If you use Prodigy and have the boost function enabled, it will apply the brakes to a higher level than needed when backing into a level site. Disconnect the cable or set the boost level to b.1 or .c. If you turn the boost off, the controller will still apply the brakes inertially or they can be applied using the manual engage lever.
Try that and get a spotter to look at where the noise is coming from.
Q

I think quasi pegged your problem.  We started towing our trailer without realizing the necessity of lubrication.  (I didn't want to get the ball all messy! - sheesh - the things ya learn, eh?)  Anyway, I'll be you've got no grease on that ball or equalizer bars and boy does that make a racket if you don't.  If it turns our to be something more serious, let us know what you find.  Good luck.
 

hpydawg

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Sep 12, 2005
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DARN!!  Grease???  What kind of grease??  I'm so mad.  They knew we were total newbies at this.  Why didn't they TELL us we needed to grease things??  Oh my gosh.  We're taking off with it again this morning for a few days.  We'll stop along the way and purchase grease if you will kindly tell me what type and exactly where to put it.  On the ball and where else???  Please describe it as you would to a kindergartner.  lol 
 

hpydawg

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Sep 12, 2005
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Well shoot.  My husband just got up and informed me there was grease on the ball.  Huh.  Maybe not enough grease?  Maybe not somewhere else it's needed?  I asked him if we had a Prodigy and he doesn't know.  Sigh.  I will be reading every piece of paper we have about our hitch etc on the drive and I'll copy the info from this thread to take along.  We just have to figure this out.  It's embarassing.  lol
 

edjunior

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Well, when the guys set up my truck/trailer with the equalizer setup, they greased everything in sight.  The ball, dabbed a little inside the trailer coupler, got the equalizer bars where they insert into the hitch, and where the ballsetup inserts into the hitch (very little there though).  Maybe that's why mine doesn't make all that noise!
 

hpydawg

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Sep 12, 2005
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Thanks so much everyone.  We went and got grease and my husband is out there greasing it up.  Fingers crossed.  If that doesn't do it I'll be back asking more questions when we get home Wed.  :)
 

Carl L

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hpydawg said:
Thanks so much everyone.? We went and got grease and my husband is out there greasing it up.? Fingers crossed.? If that doesn't do it I'll be back asking more questions when we get home Wed.? ?:)

Just a thought.  If you have a Reese, or Equal-i-zer dual cam sway control, be careful of greasing the camming surfaces.  Friction on the surfaces improves the anti-sway resistance.  The systems are noisy anyway, as the bars clank up and down on the cams in slow speed sharp turns, they can make a startling noise.    That is just the sound of your system working, not a malfunction.

Anyhow do grease the ball, it is actually a huge ball bearing.  Any high pressure grease should do nicely,  tho RV stores vend special purpose ball grease.    IF you spring bars are mounted with trunnions, grease the trunnions also -- tho failure to grease them is by no means fatal.

BTW, greasing makes the ball really filthy with steel and grease crud.  That is inevitable -- wear gloves.
 

hpydawg

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Sep 12, 2005
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Thanks Carl.  I'll show your advice to my husband.  I hope he didn't grease anything that shouldn't have gotten it.  This last trip was wonderful.  No horrible noises at all and when we got home he backed it in neatly.  I told him about the hint someone mentioned on this forum about putting his hand at the bottom of the steering wheel.  Worked like a charm.  Now if he'd only learn to give up some power.....I want to try!!  lol
 

Tom

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hpydawg said:
Now if he'd only learn to give up some power.....I want to try!!

A number of our other halves here are the primary drivers. Driving keeps my wife occupied and prevents her getting bored. Meanwhile, I can navigate, read, get online and do all kinds of stuff I wouldn't get to do if I were driving. What's more, I get a lot less nagging and hear no back seat driver  ;D
 

quasi

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Mar 31, 2005
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49
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Northern Kentucky
hpydawg,
What happens if DH sprains an ankle? I made it a point to teach my wife everything she would need to know to set up and knock down so that, in an emergency, she could do it by herself. We split chores setting up and knocking down and try to swap jobs to keep in practice. We split the driving and found that while she is terrible at giving directions, she's pretty good at following them ( at least where backing the trailer is concerned. I haven't had much luck in any other areas.) ;)
You'll be surprised at how much more confidence you'll have once you know you can do this. My suggestion is to hook up and head to a multi-plex theater with a bazillion acre parking lot. Set up cones (or some of the 327 plastic tumblers you get free with your purchase of ......) and practice turning, stopping smoothly and backing.
Q
 

Ron

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Jan 29, 2005
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Home is where we park it
As many of you know Sam does most of the driving.  I do get to drive occasionally.  There have been a few times when I was asked how I ever got that 40' motorhome in that tight spot.  My reply is " It wasn't all that hard fact it was really simple"  after giving them some time to think that over I say " Why I just should my wife were I wanted it and she parked it"

I do think it a good idea for both husband and wife to be able to drive and do all the required steps to get ready to drive or to park including hooking up and disconnecting the toad, just in case one becomes sick or injured.

 

hpydawg

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Sep 12, 2005
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I totally agree with all of you.  We don't have many choices of large parking lots.  Small island community, but our road out front is not that heavily traveled.  If nothing else.....I can drive around the block repeatedly and back into our drivway from both directions. I'm wishing now that we had gotten it earlier in the year.  It's going into storage at the end of the month.  Four months after that......it'll be like starting over.  :( 
By the way.  We can't seem to find any good mirrors for our vehicle.  The cipa ones we have strapped on are just barely adequate but so far we can't locate anything better for a Toyota 4 runner.  It's frustrating. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
By the way.  We can't seem to find any good mirrors for our vehicle.  The cipa ones we have strapped on are just barely adequate but so far we can't locate anything better for a Toyota 4 runner.  It's frustrating.

The premier add-on towing mirror is the McKesh from Hennsley.  Straps on tight and won't vibrate. Quality constriction too.  See www.hensleymfg.com/mckeshmirrors.html.  Some Rv stores carry them (or can order) or I think you can order direct as well.
 
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