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Old 02-18-2019, 09:53 PM   #1
swj
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sway

2018 F150 3.5L turbos, max tow pkg, 20 inch wheels, tow rating 12,000 lbs,
Fastway hitch, sway control/ weight distribution, Forest River Surveyor 251RKS (6000lbs dry) water tanks empty, got a lot of sway today. Truck pulls great, sway is a problem.... someone said fill fresh water tanks(mid to front of trailer) to put an extra weight on ball??? Need to find a fix for the sway. Comments?
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:10 PM   #2
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I'll be the first to say it...no you do not need more truck.....
First, I have basically the same truck as you. I have used that hitch on a similar length RV.

It's a rear kitchen model, and they can be more prone to sway. Is it sway from wind or just starts to sway as you increase speed. Sway from higher speed probably means a balance issue with loading. Get it weighed and see what your hitch weight is. A loaded rear kitchen may be a little tongue light. Try increasing hitch load and playing with the weight distribution.

However I honestly think it's the hitch. I towed a 25' and a 33' camper with an e2 hitch. 25' towed fine, no sway. 33' wanted to sway a lot, mostly from wind but it never felt controlled. I adjusted weight, balanced, filled water, etc. Finally decided it was too long for that 2 point sway hitch. I borrowed an Equalizer hitch and pulled once. It was enough to made me but one. Major improvement in stability with towing and sway. It can sway, but typically just once and then you can feel it catch itself. Wasn't that way with the e2.
I think you may have too much length for a 2 point sway hitch.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:54 PM   #3
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You can’t always get away with just throw darts in the dark as to getting the set up right. Usually you can get away with just setting it by measurements to get you in the ballpark but even that normally leaves some safety & stability on the table.

Weigh your rig on a CAT scale at least relatively camp ready with your WDH hooked up. Then release the spring bars & get another weigh. Pull off the scale unhook the TT and weigh just your truck. Now you have all the info axle weights you need to make adjustments and a starting point for progress to concretely make this an in spec (not overweight in any one place) safe & stable set up.

Your goals should be to adjust your hitch (assuming you have a strong enough rated hitch for your TT) and your loading to roughly replace your unloaded truck steer weight when under load of your camp ready TT. Also to make sure your drive axle weight isn’t grossly exceeding its rated capacity or spec. Last subtract the unloaded truck combined axle weight from the loaded truck combined axle weight for the actual seen tongue weight. That number should be between 10 & 15 percent of the gross trailer weight.

You can add that tongue weight to the TT axle weight on your weight slip for the gross TT weight. I generally try to adjust hitch & loading to not only get the steer & drive axle weights in line but the TW toward 12.0 percent as this is enough that even a box front TT will be stable at highway speed yet not use up more of the trucks gvwr than necessary. Naturally the TT should be level front to back. Now barring something odd and assuming your numbers are within the trucks specs (axles, cvwr, gvwr) your truck will tow it like a boss safe & stable.

Whenever I find someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and think their “white knuckle ride” is because their truck is too small when really it’s not because you can do this to bring it in spec with only redistributing weight. They often think their truck is too small because of how it is towing before being adjusted to within spec and someone had them stack up weight estimates towards a payload sticker number and said you are overweight you need to sell it and buy a bigger truck, when it could be resolved with $20 & an hour or two at a triple scale.
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The answer to what can my 1/2 ton tow; Generically whatever TT has a GVWR less than TV’s max tow rating. Specifically is found on CAT scale via weight distribution with TV TT & WDH. Best motor & gearing all 5 Mfgs within specs IE safe & stable normally to 8k but passengers & bedload reduce this. RAM 1500 ED max tow 9,200, max axle ratings 3,900, max 09-18 CVWR 15,950, axle weights me & gear 3,240 steer 2,560 drive
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