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Old 04-28-2014, 09:56 PM   #1
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Am I being pushed or pulled by trailer?

We took our new and first TT out this past weekend and I cannot figure out if I am being pushed or pulled by the trailer. Up until this point we have driven on flat terrain and when I apply the brakes and let off I noticed no difference from when I drive our TV without the trailer. This past weekend we went to an area that has many more hills, Uwharrie area in NC. I noticed when going downhill in particular I would feel a bump when letting off the brake pedal. I tried adjusting the controller gain and could only get it to stop when turned down to 2 or 3. I also tried using the manual control only but could not make the bump occur. Would the bump be an indication of the trailer pulling and then TV jumping when the brakes are released or the opposite?

We have a trip into the western NC mountains planned in a couple of weeks. The steepest grade is around 6% for 5 or 6 miles so I would like to get things balanced better before we hit it.

My TV is a 2001 Explorer and the TT will be loaded weight of 3000 Lbs. I'm using a Primus IQ for my controller. Thanks.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:20 PM   #2
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Could be either, and both are somewhat normal on a hill. Everything down to the hitch pin can move just a little bit (but you may want to get into the habit of checking all of your hardware every time you move it...excessive play could cause some of that). I don't even notice it now, but I noticed every little noise when I first started pulling a trailer. I wouldn't worry about it unless it's a major jolt. Just set it up like the instructions say in regards to gain and you'll be ok. It'll adjust for the hills on its own.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:36 PM   #3
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You're on the right track, and honestly it sounds like you're adjusted correctly, for my taste at least. Downhill I like for the trailer to do a bit more braking than it actually needs so that I know all is right. So the trailer is pulling back against you, then pushing you when you release the brakes but the engine braking is still slowing you.

It's normal and in my eyes desirable, I like knowing that things are working right back there.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:14 PM   #4
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You do not want to over heat your trailer brakes, just as you do not want to over heat your tow vehicle brakes. Read the Manuel for the controller and set it up that way.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:31 PM   #5
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You do not want to over heat your trailer brakes, just as you do not want to over heat your tow vehicle brakes. Read the Manuel for the controller and set it up that way.
I have adjusted it to the specifications. It is made by Tekonsha and adjusts just like their other controllers (Prodigy, P2, P3). On flat roads it seems to function just fine. It was with the hills that I started feeling a bump or jerk when letting off of the brake. Depending upon whether it is pushing or pulling I would need to make opposite adjustments to the gain control.
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:12 AM   #6
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are you using a WDH with sway control?
is your Exploder a v-6 or v-8?
4 door or 2 door?
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:43 AM   #7
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What you describe sounds to me like slack in the hitch being taken up, either by a little slop in the hitch pin or at the coupler. A little slop in the hitch pin is normal but I would double check the tightness of the ball and the coupler on the ball.

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Old 04-29-2014, 07:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
are you using a WDH with sway control?
is your Exploder a v-6 or v-8?
4 door or 2 door?
Thanks for the responses so far.

I'm using an Equal-i-zer hitch and ball. All of the bolt's and ball are torqued to spec from the instructions. My Explorer is a 4-door, V6.

I would do some experimenting but I don't have any relatively straight roads with steep hills in my area that are lightly traveled. They either have so many curves that it requires two handed steering, are flat or have fairly heavy traffic.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:45 AM   #9
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What you describe sounds to me like slack in the hitch being taken up, either by a little slop in the hitch pin or at the coupler. A little slop in the hitch pin is normal but I would double check the tightness of the ball and the coupler on the ball.

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Good idea about slop. All bolts are torqued to the hitch specs. Based on your update I installed the ball mount. I cannot get any in and out movement of the shank in the receiver but I do get some side to side and up and down movement. I hooked the trailer up and could not reproduce the sound bouncing it around but it is not the same motion nor can I put the same stresses on it like driving does. Looking at how the coupler locks onto the ball I can see how it might allow for forward and backwards movement under pressure. I don't think it is adjustable but that will have to wait for another day when it is dryer outside. Here is a picture of my coupler:

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Old 04-29-2014, 09:00 AM   #10
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There is a nut under the hitch on most couplers that can be tightened also. You might check that.
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