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New Trailer Towing is scary

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Old 05-10-2015, 03:27 PM   #1
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Default New Trailer Towing is scary

I recently purchased a loaded 30' dual spread axle enclosed car trailer +/- 4300lbs empty and 10000lbs loaded to pull behind my 2013 F150 FX4 ecoboost.I had a Reese part number 61009 1200lbs Hitch and roundbar leveling system installed by a shop and they leveled everything unloaded.I towed the new trailer for the first time and it was a little scary as when got to 50mph the front of my F150 was very unstable and steering was weird,I also had the pogo effect.I read up a little on this site after that outing and got a few ideas but do not want to spend money that won't cure/help the problem.I put on the factory 275-65-18 Goodyear tires and wheels which have less than 100 miles on them that came with the truck and no they are not LT's as I was running 22' wheels and tires before purchasing the trailer and knew I could not tow with these.
I have since increased the air pressure to 42lbs which seemed to help a little but still I will not run over 50mph.I need to get this sloved as I have a couple of long distance runs to make shortly and do not want to have to drive at 50mph.I am thinking about adding a airlift 5000 load leveler kit which I think will cure the pogo effect and also transfer more weight to the front tires.My prevoius set up was a 08 F450 pulling a 48' 2 car ensclosed trailer with which I could run 75mph while sleeping.
Any help would be appreciated
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:00 PM   #2
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You didn't mention any scale weights or any payload specs. Have you been across the scales and have you compared the weight to the axle load limits and the tire load sticker with the maximum weight of passengers and cargo?

Three trips across the scales will determine how close the load is to the weight limits of the truck and whether the weight distribution hitch is properly adjusted. Weigh the whole rig with and without the WD bars hooked up. Then weigh the truck only. That will tell you if you need to add any more tension to the bars to get more weight to the front of the truck.

The air bags will NOT transfer ANY weight to the front of the truck. Only the weight distribution hitch can do that.

My rig is within all the weight limits, but it's close. My truck is at 99% on the rear axle limit and at 97% on the truck limit. I have experienced the pogo effect on one 1/4 mile section of interstate.

I am towing with the 18" P rated tires at 44 psi and they are OK for my situation. It gets a little side movement when the big trucks pass, but nothing alarming.
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:24 PM   #3
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If you have pogoing and the truck handles funny than you are definitely having troubles with an unbalanced load. Here is what I would do; With the truck and trailer loaded I would set the WDH so that the truck is level to the ground and the trailer is level to the ground. This does not mean level with each other, but level with the ground. Use the WDH to level the truck, the hitch height to level the trailer. The hitch itself should be taking a lot of weight and the bars should be damn near impossible to lock in place. Personally I hook up everything but the bars and than jack the trailer/truck up using the trailer jack. You than hook up the bars and lower your rig back down and into proper position. Another thing to look at is how the truck sits loaded and hooked without the load bars. The truck should really sag. If it only goes down a few inches than you have got to move the weight in the trailer forward. If your truck is anything like mine than it should sage about 1 inch for every 200 pounds of tongue weight or in your case about 4-5 inches at the bumper..minimum.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:18 AM   #4
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Did you get the optional Dual Cam sway control with that hitch?
If not, get it.
I've heard their a bit tricky to set up but work well once they are dialled in.

The problem with Toy haulers is that their tongue weight (and overall weight) varies dramatically depending on whether the toys are inside and where inside they are positioned. While a trip to the scales is a good idea for your truck's weights, your trailer's weights can change dramatically. And your WDH set-up will need to be changed, depending upon that tongue weight.

I would get a tongue weight scale to help you standardize your trailer loading and to give you a better idea as how to adjust your WDH.

It's possible your dealer didn't set up the WDH properly in the first place.

Finally, even with the WDH set-up ok and sway control in place, you may still want to stiffen your suspension (and switch to LT tires). I did. There are many options out there. These half-ton suspensions are really tuned for no-load commuting and grocery-getting.

Good luck.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for the interesting info.I am going to take the time to get the WDH set up properly as the installer did it unloaded and I towed just like that.From what I understand by shortening the chains on the bars this will level my truck which in turn should help with the squirly front end.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TedF150 View Post
Thanks for the interesting info.I am going to take the time to get the WDH set up properly as the installer did it unloaded and I towed just like that.From what I understand by shortening the chains on the bars this will level my truck which in turn should help with the squirly front end.

Definitely sounds like the first thing to do is get whatever WDH setup you have adjusted for a full load.


Next, you really need to get to the scales and see the true weights you are working with...then go from there...
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:41 AM   #7
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It might be that you're just seriously overloading the truck.


What's the payload capacity, GVWR, rear GAWR, and GCWR of your truck?


Unless you've got Max Tow and HD packages, I doubt you're within the weight limit ratings of your truck. Not so bad to exceed by a little bit, but you say "I have a couple of long distance runs to make", so not a good idea to be too much over.


With a 10,000 lb trailer, unless you've got at least the Max Tow pkg, you're probably well over your GCWR and GVWR. And, you say you got a "Reese part number 61009 1200lbs Hitch", so I doubt you have the Max Tow pkg or you would have had a 1150 lb hitch from the factory.


With the tongue weight of a 10,000 lb trailer, I suspect you're way over your payload capacity, probably over your rear GAWR, and exceeding your GVWR. Again, maybe not so bad for some short range towing, but with your upcoming long-range tows you probably want to be closer to the max limits of your truck for safe and comfortable towing.


My King Ranch probably has a lot more options than your FX4, so my truck is VERY payload capacity challenged!!! I have an enclosed car hauler to tow my track car to events. It only weighs 6500 lbs with about a 720 lb tongue weight when loaded up, and I can't pull it with my truck without being WAY over GVWR. I do have a solution that allows me to pull up to a 8000-8300 lb trailer (those weights put me right up at GCWR) without exceeding any limits, but again, without at least the Max Tow option on your truck a 10,000 lb trailer will probably be way over your real max trailer towing weight.
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:06 PM   #8
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My F150 FX4 has all the bells + whistles including the max trailer tow package.
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TedF150 View Post
My F150 FX4 has all the bells + whistles including the max trailer tow package.
Aha!! Then you're probably OK if you don't carry much in the cab and bed when towing.

What's your payload capacity (look on the sticker on your driver's side door)? What's the tongue weight of your loaded trailer?


Max Tow is good, but if you have "all the bells + whistles", a lot of heavy options really cuts into your payload capacity. I know in the case of my King Ranch that I have a 1020 lb payload capacity - a full 500 lbs less than the max payload weight rating of 1520 lbs for a SCrew 4x4 with standard tow pkg in the "sales" brochure.


And, your Max Tow hitch receiver will be limited, with a WDH, to a weight of on the receiver of 1150 lbs. The WDH head you mount on the receiver probably weighs around 50 lbs, so your max tongue weight will be 1100 lbs.


In order to prevent uncomfortable sway and pogoing, the tongue weight should be 10% to 15% of the loaded trailer's weight. So....you'll be limited to 11% if you want to stay within the rating of your hitch.


Let's say, for example, that you have a very nice 1700 lb payload capacity. With 1150 lbs of that taken up on your hitch, that would leave 550 lbs for people and stuff in the cab and bed when towing. That might be good for 2 people in the cab and a couple hundred lbs of tools and track support stuff in the bed.


The EcoBoost will pull the trailer with no problem, but as you have experienced, 10,000 lbs is a heavy load to be towing with a 1/2 Ton pickup. As has been mentioned in other posts, you'll really need to load up and go to your local CAT scales to see what the weight is on the axles of your truck - if the weights are way over the rated limits you may have maintenance, longevity, and reliability concerns, not to mention the safety and towing comfort problems you're already experiencing.


Let us know what the stickers on your door say for GVWR, and especially payload capacity.

.
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:29 PM   #10
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So scary that people tow 10,000 pounds without verifying that they can safely do so BEFORE buying or towing. Many never read forums...
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