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Towing in windy conditions

 
Old 05-29-2012, 12:20 AM
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Default Towing in windy conditions

Just towed my ~8k lb 27ft TT Friday up into ID, with my EB. Found power to be plenty and was very impressed. However I was towing in strong winds and was white knuckle for probably 150 of the 300 miles. I'm sure alot of it is the eps, doing its own thing to correct when I was a anticipating correcting myself.
I've got my hitch set up per manufacturer recommendations, but haven't weighed the trailer to make sure I've got proper tongue weight, just going off the trailer sticker. I did install 2 friction trailer sway units and adjusted them a few times throughout the trip. I corrected alot of the blown off the road from a passing semi feeling, but couldn't shake the wind blowing me everywhere.

Anyone else experienced some of this? Too light of truck for the load? Too short of wheelbase? I'm coming from a 9" lifted duramax and that thing handled like a dream (minus the bump steer) compared to this. Any ideas before I consider stepping back into a diesel? I bought the 150 to use daily and have the ability to tow, but by no means want to sacrifice safety for it.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:35 AM
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:43 AM
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Most would say your trailer is off balance and not loaded correctly but I say look into a better hitching system. I personally have a Hensley Arrow that I found used and fixed up - world of difference compared to my previous Husky with sway bar and Reese Dual Cam. I pull a 34' travel trailer at 8500# without any problems now. This past weekend was very windy and I watched trailer after trailer fish tail all over the place while I was all good. Propride and Pullrite are high quality hitches that you should also look into.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:59 AM
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Your wheelbase isn’t the problem. Unless your trailer was heavily loaded in the rear, weight isn't the problem. Friction sway control isn’t very effective on an 8,000 lb trailer.

Hensley/Propride is the ultimate in sway control. Reese Dual Cam would be my second choice. I have an Equalizer which works quite well, but it doesn’t auto-center like the Reese.

There’s no need to upgrade the truck, as it’s more than adequate for an 8000 lb 27’ trailer.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:49 AM
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How do you know your TT weighs 8000lbs if you haven't weighed the tongue? Are you assuming it's 8000lbs loaded or is it 8000lbs dry? If it's dry then you probably 9000lbs loaded, which is way too much for any F150. Lets asume its 8000lbs loaded. Optimum TW should be 13% or somwhere between 10-15% At 8000lbs a TT should have a TW of 1040lbs. Thats alot, for an F150. How is your truck configured, maxtow, reg tow and whats your cargo capacity? Also those friction bars are really not the best for controlling sway. I had an EQ with my F150 towing a 31', 7200lb loaded TT with a 900lb TW. I used 1200lb bars and didn't have any trouble. I now have a Hensley and they do what they say they will do. I can run down the freeway at 65 between two semis and not feel anything. The only problem with the Hensley or even the ProPride is the weight it adds to your tongue. About 150lbs more. I am using 1400lb spring bars and it works pretty good. If I was in your shoes, I would ditch the hitch set up you have now and look for a hitch that offers built in sway controll. But before that you really need to weigh your TT's tongue to see if your balanced right and to figure out what size spring bars you need. Heres a link to a slick idea to get your TT's tongue weight using a bathroom scale. I've done it and it real close to the trucker scales I've used.
http://http://www.etrailer.com/faq-trailertowtips.aspx
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:14 PM
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Thanks for the replies, I have a crew cab short bed with max tow and 3.73s. Dry is close to 7k on the trailer so im assuming close to 8 loaded. I really don't have much in the rear of the trailer, as the fresh water tank is at the very back, and was empty. The front has a few things but nothing too heavy (although when I weigh it I may be surprised.

Those friction style sway bars helped alot with semis passing, but not a thing for wind blowing me around. I have got a Reese 1200lb equalizer hitch that may be on the lighter end also.

I'll look into the other hitches as I'd love to hang on to this truck.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RideRed View Post
Thanks for the replies, I have a crew cab short bed with max tow and 3.73s. Dry is close to 7k on the trailer so im assuming close to 8 loaded. I really don't have much in the rear of the trailer, as the fresh water tank is at the very back, and was empty. The front has a few things but nothing too heavy (although when I weigh it I may be surprised.

Those friction style sway bars helped alot with semis passing, but not a thing for wind blowing me around. I have got a Reese 1200lb equalizer hitch that may be on the lighter end also.

I'll look into the other hitches as I'd love to hang on to this truck.
Your set up sounds very similar to mine. Same hitch, same tow package. My trailer is 26' and about 1500 lb lighter. I've only had a couple moments where trailer sway was noticeable. The truck's anti sway has never had to do anything as the sway was slight.

When semis go by in the opposite direction I don't feel a thing. When a semi or very large truck passes me (going the same direction) I sometimes get pulled in a little but things don't get unstable.

I'd recommend weighing your set up and then getting out the yard stick and measuring your trailer (front and back) and your truck's wheel well height before and after hitching. Then adjust your wdh to suit.

There is an excellent thread on rv.net that will tell you everything you need to know:

http://www.rv.net/FORUM/index.cfm/fu...d/17730894.cfm


I don't think anyone has asked yet, but how fast do you drive while towing?
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:11 PM
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I keep it around 65mph. I did get my heights adjusted with the equalizers. Sits .7" low up front (trailer) but if I crank another link it only changes .25" but it rides horribly
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:33 PM
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http://hensleymfg.com/products/the-hensley-arrow/
This hitch solved all my sway issues. It's expensive, but it's the Cadillac of hitches.
Their claim is true about eliminating sway-- 100% gone.

I paid $1400.00 (used twice by an older fellow that said he was too old to RV) for it but that would be cheaper for you then going up to a black smoker. We tow our trailer across the country every summer and I can honestly say that since we got this hitch I haven't had a white knuckle experience. I was hesitant about forking out that much cash for a hitch, but the resale on them is about $1200-$1400 so the risk is minimum.
Check out the videos at the very least.

The ProRide hitches are sweet too. My Sister tows with one. It's basically the same design as the Hensley. They are harder to find used though. New they run about $2200. If you can find them used they go about the same as a used Hensley.

Last edited by JPBeck; 05-31-2012 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:42 PM
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I've got a husky centreline hitch. Google it. It uses spring bars that lever on to brackets in the trailer frame. No chain. Two big coil springs in the head always pushing the spring bars to prevent sway. They call it active sway control instead of passive sway control. Works good for me. 6300 lbs. dry tt. Lots of adjustment to get it dialed in perfectly. Good unit.
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