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Old 09-06-2010, 08:04 PM   #11
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Unfortunately I cannot flip the cam mounts, as that would move things back even further . From the measurements I took, it appears I will need 2 new holes and will deal with that one way or another. Thanks TheSasks for the link to the setup guide. And acadianbob, you sure are right in that with the front end being lighter, things were not right. At least I believe I have that part sorted and a much better understanding of how things should be. With the tests I did yesterday, it put weight on the front end and I guess more importantly??? is that the vehicle squatted fairly close on the front and the back.

mtnguy, my frame is also a 6" tube frame, with the coupler on top, why is that not so good? I also believe I will need a different coupler, as if I move the ball to the lowest setting on it, it will still be too high in comparison to the trailer and have it in a nose up position when towing. I have not taken more measurements yet, but with the trailer level when hooked up to the truck, I think everything will be fairly close to the ground, perhaps this is what you meant by this 6" frame with the coupler on top not being the best. When you mention tilting the head back. are you meaning back as in the top towards the trailer?

Say I need more links available, would tilting the head back, give me more links to play with? And am I correct in assuming that for example, if with the head in the current postion, I was on link 4, that if I tilted the head back?? that I would basically get the same effect on link 7? Hopefully I am not making this too confusing, as it is hard to explain. Just trying to get a good grip on the relationship of the head angle, chain adjustments and how this effects things with the transfer to the tow vehicle.

The amount of wear I am referring to, does not appear to be normal. With the way things were hooked up and twisted, the spring bars look like a grinder was taken to one side of them. One of the cams also has a flat spot and is ground down pretty good.

When I picked up the trailer, the roads home were all straight so I never got a real feel for how things felt when driving, but the truck pulled the trailer quite good. What I did notice is that it was like riding a bucking bronco, not so good, but with nothing to compare it to, I thought this was to be expected. I then talked to a couple other people and they said they do not experience anything like this, so I started to look a lot more closely at things. When going through a set of curves, the truck felt like it wanted to keep going straight and the front end could easily loose steering control. So thanks to the forums here, I recalled people saying to tighten up the chains, which I did and immediately I noticed a HUGE difference in the steering and how things felt. But I think I have a long ways to go yet, to get this thing properly setup, consider how bad the install was.

I do have one question that comes to mind right now. When you are driving in a straight line, doing 80 kmh (50 mph) and you take the steering wheel and give it a left to right wiggle, how stable should things feel? Right now the truck feels like it is not in control and I would not dare want to do an evasive type manoeuvre at those speeds. I realize that a lot of the problems are due to how bad the setup for the hitch is at the moment and also the fact the truck is running the stock P rated tires. I am planning on changing the tires out to LT ones after the winter, as they have a lot of tread and the trailer season is almost over right now. I am just not sure what I should expect for handling really, regarding how it should feel in curves or when you wiggle the steering wheel?

Many thanks,
Chuck
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:58 PM   #12
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Tilting the hitch head back (toward the trailer) will increase the pressure on the bars for the same number of links. So, yes, tilting the head back toward the trailer will give you more links.

Ball height; do you have a good adjustable ball mount like one of these?

Adjustable Ball Mount Ball Mounts | etrailer.com

It is imperative to get the top of your ball about 1" higher than the top of your coupler when the trailer is level. If the ball is too high, your trailer will never be level. It will be nose up and this will tend to induce sway. Another reason your trailer needs to be level is to get even loading on both axles/tires.

If your truck steering feels too touchy, I'm thinking that you are still too light on the front end/too heavy on the back. This will cause you to feel like you don't have adequate steering control. I think this is what you are trying to describe. Another sign of too little weight on the front (and too much on the back) is your description of bucking like a bronco.

My setup is solid as a rock whether meeting a semi on a 2-lane, in a curve, or in big cross-winds. And I am running P-metric tires.

I think you have several problems; ball height, inadequate pressure on the front of the vehicle, and trunion bar indents that are not properly seated on the cams. ALL of these problems will lead to instability.

By the way, even properly adjusted cams will show signs of wear over time.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:31 PM   #13
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I just looked up specs on your trailer and it is pretty hefty! What is the towing capacity on your Expedition? And what is your wheelbase? Another issue may be that your tow vehicle is at the upper limits of its capacity. You are at 34 feet and are no doubt over 7,000 pounds.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:41 PM   #14
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According to the Ford website, your wheelbase is 131" on the EL. With that wheelbase, guidlines suggest that you should only be towing about 25 to 26 feet. The same website lists your towing capacity at 6,000 pounds; unless you have the heavy duty towing package at 8,700 pounds. If your signature is accurate, you may have a tow vehicle capacity issue. I'm also trying to understand why you are having so much trouble getting your ball height to the proper level. We tow with an F150 which should be similar and have had no problem with that. You can turn the ball mount upside-down. Hope this all helps.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acadianbob View Post
According to the Ford website, your wheelbase is 131" on the EL. With that wheelbase, guidlines suggest that you should only be towing about 25 to 26 feet. The same website lists your towing capacity at 6,000 pounds; unless you have the heavy duty towing package at 8,700 pounds. If your signature is accurate, you may have a tow vehicle capacity issue. I'm also trying to understand why you are having so much trouble getting your ball height to the proper level. We tow with an F150 which should be similar and have had no problem with that. You can turn the ball mount upside-down. Hope this all helps.
And where does the manuf website state you should only be towing 25-26'?
Love all the misinfo members hand out.
Should he be towing with a stretch limo?
Lets not put the fear of god into this.
He was not asking if TV was suitable.
If an Expedition is not suitable I don't know what is.
Your Table is flawed big time
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:27 AM   #16
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The trailer length guideline I was referring to is not from the Ford site. The most commonly accepted guideline is 110" of wheelbase for a 20 foot trailer. Then, for each additional 4" of wheelbase, you can tow another foot of trailer. This guidline would suggest a trailer length of 25 to 26 feet for a 131" wheelbase. A 34 foot trailer is well in excess of that guideline. The combined gross vehicle weight for an Expedition is 12,000 pounds (15,000 if heavy duty tow package). This is a 7,000 pound trailer by the time it is loaded I would guess. An unloaded Expy must weight 5,000 pounds. My F150 is 5,700 empty. While I realize that the OP was not asking about his tow vehicle, it seems to me that the upper limits of the tow vehicle are potentially being pushed or exceeded. I brought it up because this could also be a source of the instability he is feeling. If my specs, calculations, or information are incorrect, my apologies. Factually based information that offers other conclusions would be welcome. My primary obective is to be helpful and to make sure everyone is safe.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:22 PM   #17
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Flumpydog, in answering some of your Reese questions, I failed to notice your tow vehicle and trailer combination. Everyone has opinions what is best to tow what trailer, so I will add mine. That is a long trailer for a Expy, and the weight could be a problem, also. Check out the tow limits of your Expy here: https://www.fleet.ford.com/showroom/...rMntrMarnr.pdf

Now to answer a few of your questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by flumpydog View Post
mtnguy, my frame is also a 6" tube frame, with the coupler on top, why is that not so good?
Check out these 2 articles: RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Towing: Travel Trailer Hitch Set-up Procedure & RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Towing: Reese Dual Cam rub The 1st is more on the Reese Straight Line setup, and the 2nd is on the Reese trunnion bar rub problems. The rub is a problem when you have a 6” frame with the coupler on the top, and using the square bars……the round bars present no problem. My setup was hitting the yoke bolt, and after conferring with 1 of the knowledgeable members @ RV.net and Reese techical support, I had to got with a 1” raised ball so that the yoke bolt rode higher than the spring bar…….but it will still hit the yoke during a extremely sharp turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flumpydog View Post
I also believe I will need a different coupler, as if I move the ball to the lowest setting on it, it will still be too high in comparison to the trailer and have it in a nose up position when towing. I have not taken more measurements yet, but with the trailer level when hooked up to the truck, I think everything will be fairly close to the ground, perhaps this is what you meant by this 6" frame with the coupler on top not being the best. When you mention tilting the head back. are you meaning back as in the top towards the trailer?
With that long of trailer, I would think that the couple should be fairly high off of the ground. If your hitch now looks like an “L”, trying flipping that so it will look like a “7”. I had to flip my hitch from the dealer setup to make things work correctly height wise.


Quote:
Originally Posted by flumpydog View Post
The amount of wear I am referring to, does not appear to be normal. With the way things were hooked up and twisted, the spring bars look like a grinder was taken to one side of them. One of the cams also has a flat spot and is ground down pretty good.
Pictures would be be nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flumpydog View Post
When I picked up the trailer, the roads home were all straight so I never got a real feel for how things felt when driving, but the truck pulled the trailer quite good. What I did notice is that it was like riding a bucking bronco, not so good, but with nothing to compare it to, I thought this was to be expected. I then talked to a couple other people and they said they do not experience anything like this, so I started to look a lot more closely at things. When going through a set of curves, the truck felt like it wanted to keep going straight and the front end could easily loose steering control. So thanks to the forums here, I recalled people saying to tighten up the chains, which I did and immediately I noticed a HUGE difference in the steering and how things felt. But I think I have a long ways to go yet, to get this thing properly setup, consider how bad the install was.

I do have one question that comes to mind right now. When you are driving in a straight line, doing 80 kmh (50 mph) and you take the steering wheel and give it a left to right wiggle, how stable should things feel? Right now the truck feels like it is not in control and I would not dare want to do an evasive type manoeuvre at those speeds. I realize that a lot of the problems are due to how bad the setup for the hitch is at the moment and also the fact the truck is running the stock P rated tires. I am planning on changing the tires out to LT ones after the winter, as they have a lot of tread and the trailer season is almost over right now. I am just not sure what I should expect for handling really, regarding how it should feel in curves or when you wiggle the steering wheel?
You will get more bounce towing than not towing….That is nature of the beast. The spring bars should be sized to the tongue weight of your trailer. A listed 595 lb. tongue of that trailer would suggest 800 lb. bars, but ready to go camping that figure might be over 800 lbs., meaning 1000 lb. bars (round) or 1200 lb. bars (square) might be in order. What sized bars did the dealer set you up with ??

The instability that you are feeling happens when you tow. The trailer is trying to push the tow vehicle. How much you are feeling, I have no idea if that is normal or not. Again, that is a lot of trailer for an Expy, and that might be some of the problem. Also, a properly setup Reese Straight Line Hitch will try to keep you straight. I feel it going into a turn. Equalizer and friction controllers will tend to keep you whatever angle that you are currently in, where the Staight Line will tend to do just that….get you back into a straight line. Either Reese or Equalizer type systems work great when properly setup, they just control sway in different ways.
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:19 PM   #18
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And where does the manuf website state you should only be towing 25-26'?
Love all the misinfo members hand out.
Should he be towing with a stretch limo?
Lets not put the fear of god into this.
He was not asking if TV was suitable.
If an Expedition is not suitable I don't know what is.
Your Table is flawed big time
The manufacturer wont tell you this it has to be figured out using facts and figures. The manufacturer wants to sell you a vehicle they don't give a rip about what you do with it or that you do it safely. RV dealers won't tell you either as they want to sell RVs.

So if we throw out facts and science then lets just tell anyone they can pull anything with any vehicle, that would make for a wonderfully safe holiday weekend.

So far I have seen no information handed out that is incorrect by Bob but I have seen others here saying "go ahead pull that 35' 5er with your f150" That IS misinformation.

I have seen first hand the aftermath of a friends sister who balled up her brand new trailer because no one like Bob was there to tell her she shouldn't be pulling the trailer with her short wheelbase vehicle even though it was under the "weight limits" for the TV. She's lucky to be unhurt after he accident.

Yes the OP asked if his TV was suitable, based on sound facts and figures the information he asked for was given. Some of you need to leave machismo and the "my truck can pull anything" attitudes at home and start thinking of safety, otherwise lets just tell people it's fine to pull a 33' TT with a Subaru wagon!
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:52 PM   #19
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More often than not trailering accidents occur due to inexperience not the tow vehicle wheelbase. I would not even consider allowing many of my friends to get behind the wheel pulling any trailer let alone mine. Many inexperienced people buy a rig without even considering that driving is totally different with a trailer in tow.
As for wheelbase I personnally towed a 28' trailer with a 2001 Pathfinder(Oh no with that short wheelbase) as well as with a Chevy Tahoe (another short wheelbase vehicle) without any problems whatsoever for many miles as long as my Dual Cam was set properly and proper tires.
I am sure auto manufacturers would put legal disclaimer into manuals with all the legal ramifications about max trailer vs wheelbase.
Look on the roads. See how short wheelbases are on 18 wheelers pulling 45'trailers.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:23 PM   #20
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More often than not trailering accidents occur due to inexperience not the tow vehicle wheelbase. I would not even consider allowing many of my friends to get behind the wheel pulling any trailer let alone mine. Many inexperienced people buy a rig without even considering that driving is totally different with a trailer in tow.
As for wheelbase I personnally towed a 28' trailer with a 2001 Pathfinder(Oh no with that short wheelbase) as well as with a Chevy Tahoe (another short wheelbase vehicle) without any problems whatsoever for many miles as long as my Dual Cam was set properly and proper tires.
I am sure auto manufacturers would put legal disclaimer into manuals with all the legal ramifications about max trailer vs wheelbase.
Look on the roads. See how short wheelbases are on 18 wheelers pulling 45'trailers.
Yep and just like drunk driving you may get home 50 times in a row with "no problem" but one of these days your luck will run out and your gonna wrap it around a tree. I just hope i'm no where near you when you do as I don't want you taking me with you.
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