Trailer Towing Problems

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fts247

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Posts
5
We have recently purchased a 40 Ft Featherlite Vogue that has the auto leveling air system (there are no jacks that come down when we pull in to level and we also have the capability of raising / lowering while moving for dips and valleys)....I thought this would be a good thing, but I'm not so sure.  We bought the coach and after our first leg of our 1st trip, we picked up our new 20 Ft Trailer (it's a wide body 100' V Nose car hauler).  We can fit both Harley's and our Mini Cooper in this trialer. 

Well, we had no problems...it trailed great, didn't even know it was back there!! Well, that is...until we got home.  We went to drive into our driveway (which only has just a slight incline) and bottomed out with the trailer connection where you can crank it up off the hitch.  It does NOT have a swing arm on it.  So, once we got it out of the road, we changed out our hitch and put on the 8 inch rise hitch (which the trailer company advised against, saying we shouldn't have ANY upward slope at all)....the other hitch actually put the trailer absolutely on a level plain (maybe even just a tad on the downslope side).  Changing out the hitch did help and the trailer just has the slightest back tilt (not much at all).

Although changing the hitch DID make a difference (we no longer were sitting on the pavement but now was just a HAIR above the pavement) the entire Coach, going up even a slight incline as we have on our driveway, pretty much almost is on the ground (the receiver, that is).

Our Question....what else could we POSSIBLY do to get a little more clearance, or is this pretty normal that we're cutting it so close? We do have the ability to raise and lower the pressure in our tires (we keep it at 32 Pounds, typically).  We thought about possibly putting a few more pounds of air pressure, but fear this will cause our front tires to not have good contact at that point, creating a burn out type of situation.  We can also ,manually level the coach, but even with increasing the back to raise it up as far as it will go, keeps us just almost on the pavement when going up an incline?  Would it make any sense to lower the front (which seems to cause the back to raise a bit)?

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.  We're supposed to go to the mountains (Helen, Ga) later this month.  We're a bit leary of doing this until we get more comfortable with the thought of us being so low to the ground on inclines and dips. 



 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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73,979
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At our Silver Springs FL home
32 lbs in the coach tires can't be right - hope that is a typo!    Should be somewhere in the 100-120 psi range on that size/weight of coach.

Have you asked Featherlite about a ride height adjustment?

Moving from level to an incline is a common source of problems, especialy if backing up. The geometery is just plain awkward in that situation.  But I'm unclear on just what is bottoming out. Is it the bottom of the hitch, the tongue of the trailer or perhaps the tongue jack/wheel on the trailer?
 

fts247

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Posts
5
Please forgive me...I'm not real good with knowing the correct verbiage with regards to the anatomy of a trailer and/or an RV (I'm a woman....so I'll explain it in female terms... :).  The pressure I was talking about isn't the pressure in the tires, but actually, what I believe is called the tag axle pressure-- it's a valve that is behind the right rear tires.  We were told by the previous owner that 30-34 was the "magic number" (and it seems to ride very well there)...sorry if I confused you.

As far as what is dragging on the trailer....it's the jack that cranks up and down to load the trailer on and off the hitch on the bus.  It's not a swing arm type of crank that you can swing up.  Furthermore, it seems the entire bus seems to sit fairly low in the back (not while on level ground, but when going up any degree of an incline, the receiver under the back of the bus is almost on the ground, it seems). 

Friends that pull trailers and fifth wheels locally seem to think we're concerned about nothing, but we don't want to tear up this incredibly huge investment.  They seem to act as though even if we do catch some pavement, it won't hurt anything, citing that this is the reason the receiver sits lower than anything else...so we don't tear off the undercarriage of the coach.  They say it's designed that way.  I'm just still not convinced.  Thank you...for being so patient.  I'm female and I'm green.
 

Carl L

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Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
You are facing a geometry problem as your rig encounters changes in grade.? ?As high school students will tell you, geometry problems can be entractable.? There is a way to live with the problem -- sort of? -- skid wheels.? At least they can absorbs some impact.? See examples by cllicking HERE.
 

fts247

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Posts
5
Thanks so much.  We had never heard of these. We've discussed this and will definitely pick these up and install them before we head to the mountains in a couple of weeks.  We are both feeling much more comfortable with our travel plans at this point.  Can't tell you how much this information has helped us....Peace of mind is priceless.
 
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