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Old 07-17-2017, 09:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ronadams13 View Post
Yes i was also thinking of switching out the tires, just researching now... Has anyone added rear sway bar?? just looking at that as well as a possible add on
Instead of a rear sway bar and airbags I went with the Supersprings which really helps with this lighter truck.
To be honest I was thinking I had too much camper and too little truck with a bunch of money tied up. I would cringe knowing I had to get out on the road with this setup. 4K later, Supersprings: 400.00, E-Tires: 1000.00, and Propride 3P hitch: 2600.00 I have done everything I could do. Now I feel I have an adequate setup for the combo and it tows fine. My experience tells me these new trucks off the lot are not tow ready for a 7K, 30 ft. TT and conventional WDH's with friction sway control bars.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:16 AM   #12
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Same truck and same problem when we went from a 2010 6000lb 25' to 2016 7000lb 29' TV/TT combo. With the new F150's the WDH set-up gets tricky over 6000lbs: it took the dealer multiple tries with our original Husky round bar and I now have an Andersen and I am really careful every time I hook up as it doesn't take much to make the tow difficult.

My 2-cents: put your TV and TT on a diet (I got rid of 100lbs of crap from the stowage and bed), try upping your P-rated tire pressures when towing (I run 43psi); get a WDH with proper anti-sway; and if you didn't have air bags I'd suggest Timbrens (not sure if you can mix).

I looked at anti-sway bars but the Helwig site implied they were more useful to deal with body roll from something like a slide-in camper.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ronadams13 View Post
i have a 2016 F150 Lariat EB (love the truck) but got a new trailer (total length 30.5') this year coming in at 7600 total weight.

Hi, Ron, and WELCOME to our campfire.


Don't rely on the RV techs to choose the correct hitch or to set it up properly. Follow the instructions that came with the hitch and DIY to be sure it's done right.

Two problems. For one, if your F-150 doesn't have the heavy duty payload package (HDPP), and if your trailer grosses 7,600 pounds when wet and loaded on the road, then you're probably overloaded over the payload capacity of your F-150. Your air bags can help level the truck, but they don't add any payload capacity.

Wet and loaded 7,600 pound TT will have about 988 pounds of tongue weight, plus another 100 pounds for a good WD hitch, for a total hitch weight of almost 1,100 pounds.

There are cheap weight-distributing (WD) hitches, good WD hitches with built-in sway control (not sway bars), and outstanding WD hitches with excellent sway control such as the Hensley ProPride. I'll bet yours is a cheap hitch.

As a minimum, your WD hitch should list for around $1,000 and be available online for around $600. Good WD hitches with built-in sway control incude Equal-I-Zer, Blue Ox SwayPro, Husky Centerline HD (not TS), and Reese Strait-Line. Husky and Reese also make cheaper hitches, so don't buy one of those brands unless it's a Centerline HD or Strait-Line.

The ProPride, Hensley Arrow, and PullRite TT hitches are all a bit better than the $1000 WD hitches, but they cost more than twice as much. So you probably don't need more than an Equal-I-Zer or Blue Ox unless you want to absolutely guarantee that you won't experience uncontrollable sway regardless of the conditions you encounter while towing. (I tow my TT with a ProPride, but I tow my enclosed cargo trailer with a Reese Strait-Line trunnion bar hitch.)

With 1,100 pounds max hitch weight, you want the hitch rated for 1,200 pounds TW.

Then you must install and properly adjust the WD hitch. Any decent WD hitch will have an adjustable shank. Adjust the ball mount on the shank to get the ball at the correct height. Before you lower the coupler onto the ball, the top of the ball should be about 2" higher than the coupler of the level trailer. That should result on close to a level trailer when hooked up with the spring bars tightened.

Next, measure the distance from the front fender well to the ground when the wet and loaded tow vehicle is disconnected from the trailer. Then measure it again after the trailer is connected to the tow vehicle and the spring bars are tightened. The front fender well should be between zero and one-half inch higher with the trailer than without the trailer.

If the distance from the fender well to the ground is more than one-half inch, then tighten the spring bars a bit more. If the distance to the ground is negative, then loosen the spring bars a bit.

Then add only enough PSI to the air bags raise the tongue of the trailer a smidgeon. When you get it all adjusted, the floor of the trailer should be level with the ground.

After that's all done, then re-check the distance of the front fender well to the ground. If it's not still zero to one-half inch higher with the trailer than without, then fine tune the spring bars until it's right.

If you still have sway problems after properly adjusting a good WD hitch, then you simply don't have enough truck for your trailer.

Last edited by smokeywren; 07-17-2017 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by smokeywren View Post
Hi, Ron, and WELCOME to our campfire.


Don't rely on the RV techs to choose the correct hitch or to set it up properly. Follow the instructions that came with the hitch and DIY to be sure it's done right.

Two problems. For one, if your F-150 doesn't have the heavy duty payload package (HDPP), and if your trailer grosses 7,600 pounds when wet and loaded on the road, then you're probably overloaded over the payload capacity of your F-150. Your air bags can help level the truck, but they don't add any payload capacity.

Wet and loaded 7,600 pound TT will have about 988 pounds of tongue weight, plus another 100 pounds for a good WD hitch, for a total hitch weight of almost 1,100 pounds.

There are cheap weight-distributing (WD) hitches, good WD hitches with built-in sway control (not sway bars), and outstanding WD hitches with excellent sway control such as the Hensley ProPride. I'll bet yours is a cheap hitch.

As a minimum, your WD hitch should list for around $1,000 and be available online for around $600. Good WD hitches with built-in sway control incude Equal-I-Zer, Blue Ox SwayPro, Husky Centerline HD (not TS), and Reese Strait-Line. Husky and Reese also make cheaper hitches, so don't buy one of those brands unless it's a Centerline HD or Strait-Line.

The ProPride, Hensley Arrow, and PullRite TT hitches are all a bit better than the $1000 WD hitches, but they cost more than twice as much. So you probably don't need more than an Equal-I-Zer or Blue Ox unless you want to absolutely guarantee that you won't experience uncontrollable sway regardless of the conditions you encounter while towing. (I tow my TT with a ProPride, but I tow my enclosed cargo trailer with a Reese Strait-Line trunnion bar hitch.)

With 1,100 pounds max hitch weight, you want the hitch rated for 1,200 pounds TW.

Then you must install and properly adjust the WD hitch. Any decent WD hitch will have an adjustable shank. Adjust the ball mount on the shank to get the ball at the correct height. Before you lower the coupler onto the ball, the top of the ball should be about 2" higher than the coupler of the level trailer. That should result on close to a level trailer when hooked up with the spring bars tightened.

Next, measure the distance from the front fender well to the ground when the wet and loaded tow vehicle is disconnected from the trailer. Then measure it again after the trailer is connected to the tow vehicle and the spring bars are tightened. The front fender well should be between zero and one-half inch higher with the trailer than without the trailer.

If the distance from the fender well to the ground is more than one-half inch, then tighten the spring bars a bit more. If the distance to the ground is negative, then loosen the spring bars a bit.

Then add only enough PSI to the air bags raise the tongue of the trailer a smidgeon. When you get it all adjusted, the floor of the trailer should be level with the ground.

After that's all done, then re-check the distance of the front fender well to the ground. If it's not still zero to one-half inch higher with the trailer than without, then fine tune the spring bars until it's right.

If you still have sway problems after properly adjusting a good WD hitch, then you simply don't have enough truck for your trailer.
Smokey,
Yes what you say is true across the board. For discussion sake there are those including myself who own the new F-150 and are having issues towing. The truck is light in the rear end and the sway forces on the rear bumper seem to be more than usual when everything else was equal with the previous generation.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:25 PM   #15
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One last thing that could help is changing the rear shocks. Had Bilstein 5100 (completely stock height) on my 2009 truck and comparing the new truck, there is a VAST difference. This 2016 is completely underdamped and bounces around like crazy just dropping off a curb, even without a trailer attached. I plan on replacing the rear shocks sometime soon to a set of 5100s. If I could confirm the valving on the bilstein 4600s was the same as the 5100s I would just get those, but i only have experience with the 5100 and not particularly fond of the color scheme of the 4600s anyway.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:37 PM   #16
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The recomendation to NOT rely on the dealer set up is accurate.
I'm at the limit on my current rig (not F150 yet) and the first thing I did when I arrived home with the new trailer was to redo the set up.
I used the tips from the two articles attached and it has being working very well in 10K miles so far.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Understanding Ball Mount Angle.pdf (360.7 KB, 23 views)
File Type: pdf Equilizing Hitches.pdf (204.6 KB, 21 views)
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:19 PM   #17
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One last thing that could help is changing the rear shocks. Had Bilstein 5100 (completely stock height) on my 2009 truck and comparing the new truck, there is a VAST difference. This 2016 is completely underdamped and bounces around like crazy just dropping off a curb, even without a trailer attached. I plan on replacing the rear shocks sometime soon to a set of 5100s. If I could confirm the valving on the bilstein 4600s was the same as the 5100s I would just get those, but i only have experience with the 5100 and not particularly fond of the color scheme of the 4600s anyway.
Yes you get it. There rear on the new ones have more body roll due to lighter body and long leaf springs plus the crappy factory shocks. There are a few mods you can do by upgrading shocks, adding a Hellwig sway bar or Supersprings to stiffen up the rear end. Air bags alone do not correct this.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:11 PM   #18
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After fighting this issue with mine, towing a very similar size trailer @ 7600 lbs 30" overall, with a Reese dual cam hitch. Note: my previous 2014 Silverado had a 250 lb lower payload, but towed with maybe 10% of the sway the F-150 exhibits.

Here's what i have tried and found.
- Set the hitch up to recommended setting. Trailer nose down about an inch, front wheel wells back at unloaded height. Trailer sway was frightening. Truck felt like driving on marbles.
-Jacked air pressure in tire to 48 psi rears/ 45 psi fronts. This didn't appear to make any difference.
-Added Timbrens to rear of truck. This did make some improvement. Maybe got rid of 40-50% of the sway. Driveable, but not fun.
-Finally I gave up on the standard hitch set up recommendations. Took 2 more links up on the hitch chains. This brought the front fender height to about 1/2" below unloaded. This change took 95% of the remaining sway out of it. I still have about 2" of squat on the back axle with this set up.

I know they say you shouldn't have that much weight transferred to the front axle, but at least my truck seems to like it this way. It may be a result of the lighter aluminum truck, not sure? I do know the F150 is 800 lbs lighter that the chevy was.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:45 PM   #19
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I have a 2012 F150 (steel body) and have the round bar WDH.
Pulling a 33' 7,200# TT.
Originally had one friction sway bar. With high crosswinds, (20 - 30 MPH) had to slow down to around 50. Even without extra wind, big rigs would suck me toward them.
I added a second sway bar and it made a world of difference. I no longer pucker when I see an 18-wheeler about to pass me. I thought I'd probably be wasting my money. But the second sway bar made a world of difference.
Also, air up truck tires to Max Pressure (44# on mine). I still have P-Rated tires and my trailer pulls like a charm.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:37 PM   #20
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Not knowing what kind of WDH the OP has, it is a bit difficult to say exactly what the issue is, but as pointed out by others, the rear shocks are the #1 reason for poor handling. Sway is caused by too much momentum in the rear of the trailer being transferred forward to the TV.

Before you do anything, get the truck and trailer weighed properly, with and without the bars hooked up, and get a tongue weight as well.

When properly setup, assuming it is a round bar with external sway bars, winds against the trailer will move the entire rig as one, not push the nose of the truck the opposite direction but in the same direction. My trailer is a 7100# GVWR with a husky round bar with one sway control bar and it towed very well, very predictable with passing trucks. I am hoping my 16 tows as well. Already have 5100's all around, and same wheels/tires that were on my 14, so I know how they handle.

When properly set up, and within weight specs, no additional springs, helper bags, or whatever are needed for the truck to handle properly, those are just band aids for an overloaded, or poorly setup rig.
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