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Old 07-15-2019, 10:11 PM   #1
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Sway

I am trying to get a handle on sway we have if any kind of wind is going on on our trip, we have a Forest River travel trailer 311RKS, total length is 34' and it has a rear kitchen.
This unit was just weighed on a cat scale and weighs 7250lbs, tongue weight is 925lbs (weighed separate on a tongue jack scale) and gross for trailer 9800 lbs.
Tow vehicle is a 2019 Ford F-250 super duty. Weight distribution hitch is Equal-i-zer 1200lb tongue weight/12000 lb gross trailer weight.
Hitch was set up per instructions and all front measurements worked out to within 1/4 inch.

When we travel and encounter wind oven light wind we have sway, stronger wind gust 10-15 and we are being pulled and pushed to a point we have to slow to speeds well below speed limits( i mean around 40 mph)

Truck passing us always gives me a good suck toward them the a good push away, maybe normal and i always prepare for it.

I upgraded truck from a tundra to help stop this but it seems the same.
Truck and trailer are very level when hooked up the only thing i have not done is weigh with distribution hitch unhooked the hooked to see how much weight is being moved. I also took truck and trailer to a hitch company which looked at it and said all look good, i.e good weight transfer on WD arms, trailer and truck level.

Just curious if others may have ideas to check that may help correct this problem or is it kinda normal for this size trailer wit ha rear kitchen causing me an issue.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:29 PM   #2
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More weight in the front usually helps
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:54 PM   #3
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Do you have an anti-sway bar along with the WDH? If the F250 has a tow package is the anti-sway feature turned on?
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:58 PM   #4
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Seems like not enough tongue weight, but according to your tongue weight listed it shouldn’t be too far off. Was it weighed ready to camp and fresh water tank as you travel? As you mentioned, I would check weights with and without WDH attached if it’s a possibility.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:25 PM   #5
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Rear kitchens tend to be more prone to sway due to the weight behind the axles. I would load it and check your weights on the cat scale vs to sherline or whatever you used. When the equalizer bars are engaged you could be throwing too much weight back to the trailer. My guess is you are light on tongue weight. You may need closer to 15% with that model. Luckily your truck can handle it. I'll get raked under for suggesting this but I pull our 34', 8200 rockwood with an f250 and a propride hitch. I had the equalizer before but this hitch is sway proof and the setup couldn't be any more rock solid. 0, sway.....ever. not even when trucks pass, although Im usually the one passing.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:12 AM   #6
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Assuming all your tires are properly inflated, and the truck is not lifted/ leveled with large sidewall tires.....
The hitch you have is a tad strong for under 1000 TW but that gives you some room to add a little TW. Might have opted for the 10K/ 1k bars though. (edit- you could also try adjusting the load bar brackets to decrease/ increase tension.) Over-rated bars can lend to sway because the connection is too rigid. Considering where you are at though, I would go to the store and pick up some weight- mulch, sand, cinder blocks...whatever. Sand is easy because you know what each bag weighs and it is easy to handle. Anyway, add TW until you get to 15% GTW and go for a drive. If it is better or worse, you have the answer.
Another thing to consider is the truck. The 250, unless equipped with the camper package, does not come with a sway bar in the rear. I know previous gen trucks did not. If playing with TW does not yield results then you may want to consider the Helwig rear bar for your rig.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:35 AM   #7
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Just curious are you experiencing sway or are you just being pushed? If the TT and TV track well together I don’t know if you are having sway issues but then again I’m not the one driving your setup. It was just something I was asked a few times by people with more experience towing and it took me a while to figure out what they were talking about.

On another note Based off what you have told us it seems like you are pretty well set up. Like others have stated are you weighed like you are heading out or are you getting weights before your loaded? Water tanks full? It is possible that you have to much hitch for the weight you have on you tongue. I know on my blue ox they say that if you have to heavy of bars for your TW sway control will be reduced and may experience sway. Just a few things to consider.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:37 AM   #8
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Thank you for all the responses.
The trailer is loaded as if we are traveling, thats how i weighed it. Also when i say sway i mean when the wind is blowing. Sorry if i used wrong word, no wind the truck and trailer track nicely. I never thought i could have to much hitch. The tongue weiggt for my F250 is 1250 lbs so i can add some weight and see if it steadys it up.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fairpilot View Post
I am trying to get a handle on sway we have if any kind of wind is going on on our trip, we have a Forest River travel trailer 311RKS, total length is 34' and it has a rear kitchen.
This unit was just weighed on a cat scale and weighs 7250lbs, tongue weight is 925lbs (weighed separate on a tongue jack scale) and gross for trailer 9800 lbs.
Tow vehicle is a 2019 Ford F-250 super duty. Weight distribution hitch is Equal-i-zer 1200lb tongue weight/12000 lb gross trailer weight.
Hitch was set up per instructions and all front measurements worked out to within 1/4 inch.

When we travel and encounter wind oven light wind we have sway, stronger wind gust 10-15 and we are being pulled and pushed to a point we have to slow to speeds well below speed limits( i mean around 40 mph)

Truck passing us always gives me a good suck toward them the a good push away, maybe normal and i always prepare for it.

I upgraded truck from a tundra to help stop this but it seems the same.
Truck and trailer are very level when hooked up the only thing i have not done is weigh with distribution hitch unhooked the hooked to see how much weight is being moved. I also took truck and trailer to a hitch company which looked at it and said all look good, i.e good weight transfer on WD arms, trailer and truck level.

Just curious if others may have ideas to check that may help correct this problem or is it kinda normal for this size trailer wit ha rear kitchen causing me an issue.
My wife and I had the same problems when towing 2017 234 VFK (v-nose). We tried everything suggested and still had the dame problem. We were going to sell the trailer after the third trip due to the White knuckle experience. Then we told aboout Hensley Arrow hitch, after what seemed like hours of research and then talking to the manufacturer on the phone numerous times, we bought the system. Install was pretty easy and performance is outstanding. We've pulled the camper in strong crosswinds here in Michigan, passed semis,etc... And have had zero sway. The system was not cheap, but when considering repair costs for damage from swaying, the safety the hitch provides and now the no worries while driving, I will never use another system. Just my two cents though.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:58 AM   #10
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I may be wrong as I am new to the trailer tow game, but doesn't a weight distribution hitch push tongue weight forward to the front tires and also to the rear of the trailer? If so when you weighed your tongue did you do that with WDH on or off? Are you taking to much tongue weight off?
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:24 PM   #11
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I weighed it with the WDH active, I guess i should weigh it with WDH off and on. I agree the maybe there is not enough tongue weight, maybe i will try adding maybe 100 lbs and see if it helps. Also I am running the truck tires at 70 psi, max is 80 psi, not sure if I should run truck tires at max pressure, Trailer tires are always at 80 psi.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:15 AM   #12
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I have the Equalizer E-4.

What were the weights of your Tow Vehicles front and rear axles when you scaled the truck and trailer? You may need to add, or remove, a washer.

What usually seems to happen is that a trailer is purchased and the dealer does a rough eyeball setup and then it is towed home and a bunch of stuff is put in the trailer which changes everything.

Did you just do the measurements for the ride height or did you go through the entire setup?

The first thing I did was check the ride height measurements and it looked good but I still had problems.

Then I downloaded the owners manual, didn’t get one from the dealer, and went through the entire set up from start to finish and found:

The “L” brackets weren’t set at the recommended distance from the ball.
The “L” brackets weren’t even the same distance from the ball. They were off by an inch.
The sway bar pocket riding surfaces weren’t lubricated nor were the tension bolts torqued properly.

FWIW:
I think that these hitches get a bad rap. I would guess that the majority of issues people have with these hitches are caused by improper setup.

Bob

The manual can be found here. Read through the entire manual. The manual menu can be found in the top left corner of the page.

https://www.equalizerhitch.com/manua...acket-assembly
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:34 AM   #13
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What type tires do you have on it?

I would fill the tires to their max pressure. Max inflation will make the sidewalls more stiff and if that is contributing, will reduce it. I think you ought to be targeting 15% with a rear kitchen trailer. Might even consider dropping the hitch a spot to assist, even if it means your not perfectly level but now trailer nose down just slightly. That will add some Tongue weight.

Then double check where you are loading everything. Heavy stuff in the front storage and in the front bedroom up against the nightstands as far forward as you can get it.

Check to see where your fresh water tank is. If it's rear of the axles, DON"T fill with water till you get off the highways. Look to see what other things you can do to reduce weight rear of the axles and increase it as close as you can towards the front of the trailer.

I'd try all these suggestions first as they are FREE. If none of them solve the problem, then look at different spring bars, maybe a Hensley or some of the other more costly suggestions.
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:20 AM   #14
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https://www.hensleymfg.com/product/h...trailer-hitch/

This cures it, you can go back to driving with one hand if you like, there is NO SWAY using this and while its not the cheapest it is the safest in my opinion and I used one for near twenty years on different trailers all over thirty feet long.
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fairpilot View Post
I weighed it with the WDH active, I guess i should weigh it with WDH off and on. I agree the maybe there is not enough tongue weight, maybe i will try adding maybe 100 lbs and see if it helps. Also I am running the truck tires at 70 psi, max is 80 psi, not sure if I should run truck tires at max pressure, Trailer tires are always at 80 psi.
What does the door sticker say for your truck? Mine, also a 250 PSD, says 65 psi. The tires max is 80. I have never gone above 70, and only to 70 when I had 2100 pounds in the bed.
You need to go to a CAT or similar scale where you can get all axles weighed. Then unhook and weigh the truck alone (no hitch in, that is tongue weight) to find out what the true, loaded weights are. Also, how much (or how little) weight is added to the front of the truck when the trailer is hooked up. You know your tongue weight, but you should add the weight of the hitch to that if you haven't already.
https://catscale.com/cat-scale-locator/
I can almost guarantee you do not need another WDH. Sure, the Hensley/ Pro Pride are great units but your trailer is easily handled by the SD. It is a set up problem. My friend tows a 12,000 pound 34' with a 250 short bed and that very same hitch (with heavier bars).
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:20 PM   #16
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I agree with other, you don’t need a new hitch, especially given your truck/trailer combo. My money is on too light of tongue weight. Have you taken measurements how much your front and read drop or lift before and after hooking up to the trailer?

Any easy thing to try would be lifting your L brackets up one hole, thus reducing the amount of weight distribution thus adding tongue weight. Would take 5 minutes to do and then get on the road and try it out.
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:39 PM   #17
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I have a Rockwood ultralight 2902WS. Also a rear kitchen with almost identical specs as your trailer. I tow it with a 2016 GMC 1500 Sierra CCSB 4x4. E2 1000/10000 hitch. Rear pantry is usually full and the pass through storage under the bed is usually full. I usually tow with a full water tank which is in front of axles. I have never had any sway to speak of and pay no attention when an 18 wheeler passes. can't give you any idea of weights as I have never weighed mine. Just pulls great. with a 2500 truck and equalizer 4 point hitch yours should pull as good as mine.
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by HappyTrav View Post
I have the Equalizer E-4.

What were the weights of your Tow Vehicles front and rear axles when you scaled the truck and trailer? You may need to add, or remove, a washer.

What usually seems to happen is that a trailer is purchased and the dealer does a rough eyeball setup and then it is towed home and a bunch of stuff is put in the trailer which changes everything.

Did you just do the measurements for the ride height or did you go through the entire setup?

The first thing I did was check the ride height measurements and it looked good but I still had problems.

Then I downloaded the owners manual, didn’t get one from the dealer, and went through the entire set up from start to finish and found:

The “L” brackets weren’t set at the recommended distance from the ball.
The “L” brackets weren’t even the same distance from the ball. They were off by an inch.
The sway bar pocket riding surfaces weren’t lubricated nor were the tension bolts torqued properly.

FWIW:
I think that these hitches get a bad rap. I would guess that the majority of issues people have with these hitches are caused by improper setup.

Bob

The manual can be found here. Read through the entire manual. The manual menu can be found in the top left corner of the page.

https://www.equalizerhitch.com/manua...acket-assembly
weights were 3740 Front
and 4340 Rear, I believe we have removed a washer already.
We did the entire setup several times. I will go back and check l bracket measurments just to see if they are correct
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:01 PM   #19
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Any easy thing to try would be lifting your L brackets up one hole, thus reducing the amount of weight distribution thus adding tongue weight. Would take 5 minutes to do and then get on the road and try it out.
I would NOT do this! The L brackets should be adjusted to have the bars pararell to the trailer frame. If the L brackets are too high or too low you reduce the friction contact area (and create a loud screech sound!) Adjust the arm pressure by adding or removing washers, not raising or lowering the L brackets.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:37 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by fairpilot View Post
weights were 3740 Front
and 4340 Rear, I believe we have removed a washer already.
We did the entire setup several times. I will go back and check l bracket measurments just to see if they are correct
There is your answer. Not enough weight on the front axle. You should be adding washers not removing them.

If you removed one washer I would add two washers. One to replace the one you removed and another to increase the weight on the front axle and re-scale the truck trailer combo to see what the axle weights are. I wouldn’t be surprised if you needed to add another washer on top of that.

In general I am more concerned about axle weights than ride height measurements.



From the manual:

“To correct under-adjustment you must add more weight distribution force to the hitch by adding spacer washers, or raising the L-brackets.”

https://www.equalizerhitch.com/manua...on-adjustments
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