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Old 02-28-2016, 06:05 PM   #1
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Rear end broke traction

First a little background....I tow with a 2003 Chevrolet 1500 1/2 ton with a trailer towing package. I'm running Firestone Transforce AT tires that were made in August 2009 and have about 1/2 the tire tread wear left. I tow a Solaire 201SS TT at about 24 feet total length and weighing about 4000 pounds. I use a Blue Ox Sway Pro as a hook up between my truck and trailer. My trailer has the original West Lake tires with about 12K miles on them. Again the tire tread is about 1/2 used up.
Last October I was pulling out of Fort Bragg, Ca on Highway 20 going west. It was the first real rain of the season and the road is used by logging trucks during the summer. The road is an asphalt twisting mountain pass. On several occasions the rear end of my truck broke traction for a split second. I was not driving fast in any way. I thought perhaps the road might have had oil sitting on it from the logging trucks, but then again I have the weight of the trailer pushing down on the rear of the truck. I spoke to my mechanic, who is has been a "RV guy" for years, he thought that when hooking up the Sway Pro I had too much pressure on the spring bars and when in a turn of the road the trailer wanted to push the truck straight ahead causing the rear to break away. I also thought that perhaps the truck tire compound is hardening up due to their age and thus not not having the sticky traction they should. Has anybody had this experience?
As a side note I'm considering new TT tires this year just to be on the safe side, but my tires look in great shape.

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Old 02-28-2016, 06:19 PM   #2
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My WAG is the same as your buddy. Wet road,sway control wants to keep the truck straight. Tires could skid real easy in this case.


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Old 02-28-2016, 06:34 PM   #3
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I have had that happen in icy conditions, the one time you DON'T want sway control is in slick conditions. The first time it happened to me was with a monster Coleman Niagara popup behind my 97 F150. I was had a friction sway control and the trailer started to slide sideways and was taking the truck with it. That jogged my memory enough to remember reading in the directions that they were not supposed to be used in slick conditions. I loosened it up enough that it didn't happen again. With the icing I was down to 25-30 mph anyway so sway wasn't going to be much of an issue.

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Old 02-28-2016, 06:35 PM   #4
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You said, "first rain of the season". That could be a lot of it. The oils in the asphalt will come to the surface making it very slick. Periodic rain keeps the oils washed off surface.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:14 AM   #5
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Just a point worth bringing up:
Every WDH kit that I've ever read up on (that is, read the instructions myself, or heard others explaining the actual instructions), involve measuring the amount of weight transfer by confirming the front wheel well height is within certain parameters after engaging, compared to before attaching the trailers. Typically, you want the front wheel well height to be the same as prior to hooking up the trailer.

I was reading up on the Blue Ox last week, wrt some other threads here. I did not see anything about any such parameters. They only speak of things being "level". I think this is a result of the spring-steel WD bars, and the idea that they are self-regulating.

Can the OP confirm this? Did you set up the Blue Ox by taking front height measurements, to be sure you are back to stock loading? If not, it is highly likely that you may be transferring too much weight back to the front wheels.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:28 AM   #6
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IMHO I think everyone who commented here has nailed it or part of it. I believe it may have been a combination of all three solutions mentioned earlier. Your truck tires, although good tread may indeed be "hardening up" a bit, 1st rain on the road is always slicker that usual, and you may have your WDH too tight which was transferring too much weight to the front therefore unloading the rear.

I had a Chev. 1500HD with a 6.0 and a TT in the 9000 pound range w/about 950 lbs tongue weight & if I rounded a tight curve on an uphill grade the rear would break loose & spin with a posi rear. When I backed off one notch on the WDH chains, it no longer did that.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:28 AM   #7
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It is Totally possible to Lift the Rear end of TV where as you have NO traction on Dry roads,Add Rain/Snow/Ice/Oil and you have a Recipe for Big trouble! Proper W/D /S/C setup is VERY important! Youroo!!
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:31 PM   #8
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I once had a Dodge Dakota 4WD with Goodyear Wrangler tires and excellent tread. I was embarrassed when starting off from a traffic light because the rear broke traction when the roads were damp. Even with weight in the bed. It was ridiculous to use 4WD to start off on a wet street. I bought a set of off brand tires from Pep Boys and solved the traction problem. I could not believe the difference.

Though I was not towing, it proved to be the tires. If you are not having traction problems running empty, it is possible that you have a combination of things causing loose traction.

Infrequent rain on oily asphalt is one of them. We were crossing into Wisconsin from Red Wing, MN on a bright sunny day. A garbage truck a few block ahead of us broke a hydraulic line spraying the driving lane with a light coat of oil. At less than 30 MPH, it cause a collision on the bridge and multiple vehicles trying to avoid getting involved. Once the vehicle tires made one rotation in that oil, it became a free-for-all.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:24 PM   #9
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I want to thank everybody for the reply's. It seems that the issue could be a combination of old truck tires, oil on the road and over sprung Blue Ox.

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Old 03-01-2016, 07:25 AM   #10
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I know most guys want to make their trucks level with the WDH. But it's a truck, when towing weight it is not a bad think for the rear to sag just a bit. It helps with everything from sway to pushing you thru turns.

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