Towing help

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jdavis1877

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Jan 28, 2019
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Hi everyone I have an odd problem I can?t seem to figure out. I have a Dutchmen TT and I got it out for the first time this year and holy moly it was a terrible terrible tow. When I started out it was windy and that thing was causing the rear end of my truck to feel like someone had a hold of the back end and was shaking it from side to side. I got to our camp site and decided to readjust the hitch on some pavement that was near by. I have a 10k equalizer anti sway hitch and I got the front end rise down to only 1/4? so I?m dead on there and drive it home the next day in hopes it was just out of adjustment.

The next day was the same in fact it was windy and I ended up driving 40-45 mph on the interstate which to me is a hazard in itself. I limped it home being passed by much much bigger trailers etc but I couldn?t hit more than 55 and then it felt like I was gonna lose control.

For information sake I have a 17 canyon with the Diesel engine. Tow specs are 7600lbs and 900lbs tongue weight without a WD hitch.

My TT is 4600 dry and I only had water and a days worth of food so over estimated weight would be 5500lbs. According to multiple sites and some calculations my tongue weight on my trailer is between 605-673lbs. So I should be ok both tow weight and tongue weight.

I emailed equalizer and they said my setup was correct and they didn?t know why the truck was having so much trouble with the trailer.

Outside of getting a smaller TT anyone have any ideas on what I should do/check? I pulled this TT with a 3/4 dodge before and had zero issues. Yes they are different vehicles but I can?t go over 50 safely and that?s just not going to work.

I need to get the tongue actually measured to be dead on accurate but based on the manufacturing website they say I?m within spec. Thanks guys
 

SpencerPJ

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What length is your trailer?
Does your Canyon have the trailer package?
What does the carry capacity sticker in Drivers door say it can carry?
And lastly, your 10k Equalizer might be too much, making your set-up stiff as a board.  Maybe the Equalizer customer service can advise on that. 
Your TT is only a bit lighter than mine, and my YukonXL with trailer package gets uneasy with a lot of wind. 
Your extra packing, did you make it a point to keep some on the tongue?  It sounds like you possibly don't have enough tongue weight, and you'd never know without going to the scales and weighing trailer, then tongue.
 

jdavis1877

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Jan 28, 2019
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The water sits in front of the axles so it would be causing down force on the tongue. I had no weight in the canyon and the diesels have the tow packages, exhaust brake, hitch etc. yeah I?m suspecting too little weight might be the cause but the part that?s confusing me is if the same setup pulled fine with the dodge why wouldn?t it show similar symptoms? I?ve pulled the camper dead empty with the dodge and fully loaded down and it never showed any signs of issue except the one and only time I towed it without the hitch bars attached. When I did that going 60 the trailer got squirrelly. I?m still trying to track a scale down, there is one an hour away but after this tow experience I?m hesitant. I?ll see what equalizer has to say.
 

stevensc

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Jdavis,

I don't want to offend you with such an obvious question but you did check the air pressure in the TT tires didn't you?  Also, any chance you may have a bearing going bad in one of the hubs?
 

jdavis1877

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Jan 28, 2019
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No offense taken, I?m here looking for ideas. The TT tires are all at 42psi and the hubs havnt been  serviced this year but they were repacked last year. That?s a good idea to look into them also.
 

Lowell

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Tempe, AZ
jdavis1877 said:
I have a 10k equalizer anti sway hitch and I got the front end rise down to only 1/4? so I?m dead on there and drive it home the next day in hopes it was just out of adjustment.

I wonder if you have put too much effort into leveling the truck which also takes weight off the rear wheels. You still need sufficient weight on the rear wheel of your tow vehicle so the trailer doesn't "walk the dog". The Ram may have been enough heavier than your new truck that this wasn't an issue.
 

solarman

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jdavis1877 said:
No offense taken, I?m here looking for ideas. The TT tires are all at 42psi and the hubs havnt been  serviced this year but they were repacked last year. That?s a good idea to look into them also.

42 psi sounds a bit low.. are these ST tires or LT ?

I would suggest a higher pressure for the TT.
I have experienced sway with low TT pressures before that was eliminated when increased to 50 psi
 

SpencerPJ

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I agree, 42 sounds low.  Mine say 50.  Do you have something that says what you should be? If not, we can find a chart that tells.  Also, I run close to max tire pressure on the rear of my YukonXL, helps tighten up the stance. The extra weight you've have added, gear etc, , is it to the rear?  If the water tank is in front of wheels, I'd try adding water and putting more tongue weight in it.  The other truck you used, a 3/4 ton, no comparison.  I bet you hardly knew it was back there.
 

skydivemark

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North East Tennessee
My trailer towing experience (which is limited to cargo type trailers) has taught me that if the weight is too far aft (not enough tongue weight) it tends to make the trailer "wag the dog". When it starts it's almost impossible to stop, often causing something to break or a crash if going too fast, usually the latter. Once I saw a large enclosed cargo trailer (over 20 ft long) wag so bad it literally caused a suburban to lose control and crash. Not a pretty sight. A pile of twisted metal. Amazingly both driver and passenger walked away.  I watched it start when she abruptly changed lanes, starting a chain reaction.
 

grashley

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There are lots of weight assumptions here.  I would start with getting an accurate hitch wt.

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-determine-trailer-tongue-weight.aspx

Hitch wt less than 10% can do exactly what you describe.  Get the camper and truck weighed as well to see what the real percentage is.

Tire pressure on BOTH truck and TT can also give grief.  Make sure rear truck tires are properly inflated for the load.  Since it has the diesel and tow package, I assume tires are big enough for the load, but "P" tires may wallow under the weight.

Good Luck!  It sounds like something simple,  BUT WHAT????
 

jdavis1877

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Jan 28, 2019
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Thanks for all the replies, I havnt found somewhere yet that I can get weighed. I?m thinking I might try a gravel yard and see if they care. I did rig up a lever system and got the tongue weighed with everything the. Same as this weekend and I came in at 605 lbs. which if you use against my assumes weight of 5500 puts me at 9%, I think everyone?s right the issues are probably not enough tongue weight. As a test I?m gonna get some 5gallon water containers and put them inside near the front to add some additional weight and some more gear. Who knew going down in size with a truck would make me break out a calculator lol. I?ve always had more truck than needed so it didn?t matter what was behind it.
 

jdavis1877

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Jan 28, 2019
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Oh and on a side note, equalizer did say that it was the correct hitch at 10k, interesting enough they said my hitch ball being 1/2? lower than the trailer was wrong and wanted me to adjust it higher and readjust the rest of the hitch.  That sounds a little nitpicky to me but they are the ?experts?.
 

Gizmo100

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I going to jump in here for just a minute...

This is a thread that we just had that a similar issue

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,120901.0.html
 

SpencerPJ

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I think You make hitch adjustments and add weight to your tongue, it will change everything for the better.  Please keep us posted. 
 

John From Detroit

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I have seen videos of Semi's in a high wind blown right off the road. A 4,000 pound 1992 Chevy Lumina APV (not trailer) chang lanes due to a wind gust (BTW I was driving it)  You mentioned HIgh Winds.
 
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