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Which solution for towing a trailer

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Old 07-03-2014, 11:49 AM   #1
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Default Which solution for towing a trailer

Currently I have a 18 foot boat on a single axle trailer, less than 4k pounds loaded. Just like my '10, my '13 has a nagging bounce that goes away on better road conditions. I have read through various solutions and was trying to decide on the best solution. DYI bolt on is what I am looking to do, so based on experience should I look into bounce like support from the Timbren SES, rear anti-sway bar or Hellwig helper springs?
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:49 PM   #2
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I went with the super springs SSA28 for the same kind of problem. Helps a lot to firm up the towing experience. I also liked the 30 min install time for a non gear head like myself.
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:23 PM   #3
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I suspect you're on the wrong track. Instead of messing with the truck's suspension, you need a weight-distributing (WD) hitch. Assuming your boat trailer has surge brakes, then you don't have a lot of choices as to which WD hitch to get. Equal-I-zer is the only one I know that advertises they work with surge brakes.

With a gross wet and loaded trailer weight of less than 6,000 pounds, you need the Equal-I-Zer hitch for 6,000 pounds max trailer weight (600 pounds max hitch weight). That's the lighest-duty WD hitch Equal-I-Zer makes, and it's just perfect for your requirements. Here is one source:
Amazon Amazon

If your boat trailer has a pole design instead of an a-frame design for the hitch and coupler, then you may need a slightly different hitch than the one I linked to. But they're available, so do your homework to get the correct hitch for your trailer.

No, normally a 4,000-pound boat trailer does not require a WD hitch. But a WD hitch can fix the complaints you have, so why not install one?
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:41 PM   #4
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I agree with Smokey - a WD hitch will probably do away with what you're experiencing.


As he said, normally the spring bar brackets attach directly to the "V" arms of the tongue, but if you have a "pole" type tongue then you can get a "pole tongue adapter" from most of the manufacturers. Here's the Equal-i-zer one:




Click the image to open in full size.


The other hitches with chain supports for the bars have different methods to attach the chain brackets, but most all the hitch makers have a pole tongue adapter.


Take a look on eBay or your local Craigslist for a used one. I got a very nice used 10,000 lb Equal-i-zer for a LOT less than a new one, and it came with a ball.


Actually, Equal-i-zer has a new 400/4000 hitch.


Bob


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Old 07-03-2014, 04:31 PM   #5
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BTW - if you have surge brakes, some WD hitches won't work unless you have electric brakes.


The Equal-i-zer hitch will work with surge brakes - here's info in the FAQ section of their website:


Quote:
The Equal-i-zer hitch will work with most trailers equipped with surge brakes because the spring arms rest on rigid Sway Control Brackets, rather than being suspended by chains. The bars slide forward/backward while turning or braking, without the tendency to "spring" back into the straight position like bars hung from chains do. This allows the surge brake to be properly activated, instead of intermittently activating/deactivating the brakes, or not allowing enough compression to activate the surge brakes at all.
So...if looking at other manufacturer's WD hitches, make sure they will work with surge brakes, if that's what you have.


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Old 07-05-2014, 07:09 PM   #6
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In a nutshell, springs control weight, shocks control bounce.


The F150 shocks are bargain basement units designed to provide exceptional unloaded ride characteristics. Buy a decent set of shocks and you'll cure the bounce along with problems you never even knew you had.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:54 PM   #7
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For 4K weight I don't see a WDH being needed especially if the hitch is at 7%. I'd suggest starting with a set of Bilstein 5100's on the rear. BTW, I tow a 3000# and a 6000# trailer with my F150 and both seem to do fine without a WDH.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boulevard View Post
In a nutshell, springs control weight, shocks control bounce.

The F150 shocks are bargain basement units designed to provide exceptional unloaded ride characteristics. Buy a decent set of shocks and you'll cure the bounce along with problems you never even knew you had.
x2
. shocks for sure. A WD for a single axle 4,000 lb trailer is crazy.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:12 PM   #9
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Have you checked your tongue weight, boat trailers are a different animal that "normal" trailers. they're usually set up different than other trailer types. I have a non tow package 2010 F150 and it towed my 18 Trophy without any bounce.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeywren View Post
I suspect you're on the wrong track. Instead of messing with the truck's suspension, you need a weight-distributing (WD) hitch.
X2.

Also, do you have P-metric tires? You might consider LT tires; load range C would likely be enough. Our newer F150 is nearly identical in configuration to the previous model. One difference, the newer truck has LT tires. We have discovered that there is a LOT less rear bounce with LT tires due to the stiffer sidewall.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:29 PM
 
 
 
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