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gocindy

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Oct 25, 2005
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We are a family of 4. Mom, dad, boy(12 yr) and girl (3 yr).  We just bought a 1995 F-250 diesel and a 2001 Sandpiper 5th wheel 30 ft bunkhouse for traveling with.  We are excited about our 1st big adventure next spring.  We are heading to Alaska from NY.  I'll head out with the kids.  My husband will fly to a western city where I'll pick him up for the Alcan part of the trip.  Unfortunately he has to work and can't take several months off to play.  We used to live in AK so are familiar with the road and have lots of friends to see up there.  He'll spend some time with us there then fly home.  The kids and I will then travel and slowly make our way back.  The Grand Canyon looks like it's right on the way home, right? 
Question---I bought the truck in Florida and drove it north.  On the way home I bought the 5th wheel in Maryland.  Occasionally the truck would start bucking as I towed.  The first time I thought it was just a bumpy road.  Then it happened a couple other times where it seemed the highway was smooth.  It happened at different speeds, as I was going 40-50mph then at 55mph.  What would cause the truck to feel like it was bucking forward and back?  Other than that it towed beautifully.
Cindy
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
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Cindy

Welcome to our forum and congratulations on the truck and 5th wheel. I'll let our trailerites jump in regarding your bucking problem.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
Did this "bucking" occur without the trailer attached or only when towing?

Anythng that disprupts engine power can cause a "buck" - it's the power cutting out momentarily. Unfortunately, this can be either an ignition or fuel problem.  Clogged fuel filters and dirty diesel injectors come to mind.

When towing, the rubber expansion strips between sections of concrete pavement can cause a "pitching" motion, similar to a "buck". The trailer wheels bounce up on the strip, causing it to transfer weight forward onto the hitch, bouncing the truck. Then both rebound back. It can be rather extreme under the right [wrong?] conditions.
 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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west Los Angeles
The bucking is a standard misery.  I would be willing to bet you were on a concrete interstate, a heavily traveled one at that.  In laying out concrete surfacing, the engineers put expansion joints at regular intervals.  After a number of years, the individual concrete sections defined by the expansion joints wear diffentially setting up a rythmic undulation of the surface.  That is what is causing your truck and trailer to buck.

The only known sure cure is to find an asphalt section to drive on.  Slowing may help.  If your trailer does not have shock absorbers, most don't, a set may help.  Monroe makes a trailer shock kit.

However, most of us just slow down and cuss the memory of old highway engineers.

The Grand Canyon on the way to and from Alaska?  I suppose it could if you consider a 500-600 miles or so a reasonable side trip.  For the Canyon, I suppose it is.  Go see it.

 

gocindy

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Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Posts
3
Thanks for your input, guys!  The bucking or pitching only happened when I was towing the 5th wheel.  I was on I-15 going through Pennsylvania north bound.  It is a very heavily traveled road.  I was afraid it was something wrong with the truck.  The road surface setting off the pitching motion sounds more like the problem.
My family is used to my "it's right on the way" ideas.  I love to travel and experience different places.  When my husband and I were newlyweds 26 years ago I said,  "Let's go to Boston for dinner."  My husband replied that we couldn't do that.  My answer was "Why not?"  We lived near Rochester NY and Boston was a 7 hr drive away.  I compromised with him.  We didn't go that night but did go for the weekend a couple weeks later.  But then we ended up in Maine on the way home.
Cindy
 

Smoky

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Mar 11, 2005
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wherever we are parked
My theory is that the bucking is what Carl said.  There are a number of heavily traveled interstates that cause this.  I found I80 in Nebraska and Wyoming to be particularly bad, and I10 in the Minn - WS area.

Welcome to the forum, this is a great place to learn all kinds of things.

The Canyon should be on your path home.  Be sure to try the less visited North Rim.  It is awesome.  There is a nice campground (RV Coral) just north of it in Kanab UT.  Puts you 90 minutes away from the North Rim.  We stay at Kanab for a week each year.  Also if you are adventurous, there are places inside the Grand Canyon North Rim park that permit boondocking.  We will be trying that for the first time next year.
 

Ron

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Posts
18,082
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Home is where we park it
Cindy,

Welcome to the RV Forum.  The bucking and jumping you experienced was probably just as carl explained.
The grand Canyon is an awsome sight from the North Rim, South Rim or from the air. When we went to the North Rim the first time we stayed at a campground near Jacobs Lake.  Was close so we didn.t have to do a lot of driving everyu day.  When we visited the South rim we stayed in Williams Az and took the train with other forum members.
 

gocindy

New member
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Posts
3
Thanks for the Grand Canyon info.  I'll have to do more research on camping in the area and the boondocking places.  both my children have the golden access pass so we can go to national parks for free and camp 1/2 price in the campgrounds.  I haven't checked what is available at the Grand Canyon yet.  I also want to stop at Yellowstone and Zions parks on the way home too.
Cindy
 

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