We finally completed rebuilding our 2002 Salem 31BH (no slideouts - see pictures in posting Salem Water Damage http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ted=1#post6954
) and had our first opportunity to take it for a trip this weekend to a local campground (we stayed dry during the entire weekend it rained!!), and almost didnít make it due to vehicle sway. Beyond towing a much smaller pop-up, this is my first experience towing a trailer so I was looking for some pointers on where to begin looking for issues.
My tow vehicle is a stock 2004 Chevy Tahoe 5.3LT V8 4WD (not the ZZ1) with automatic transmission, and the dealer I purchased the trailer from installed a Prodigy brake controller, a Draw-Tite 66130 Strait-Line 1500 lbs. Trunnion Bar Hitch and Dual Cam HP to provide for sway control and weigh distribution similar to this link (http://www.draw-tite.com/menu/produc...tent=accessory
Upon reaching 45 on the highway, I could see in the rear view mirror the trailer was swaying side to side, and if I went over 55mph, it got so bad I had a tough time trying to recover from the sway as it began to physically affect the vehicle making it very difficult to recover.
When I purchased the trailer and towed it off the dealerís lot, I do not remember similar issues although this was last year. If you read my previous posting, when I purchased the trailer, all the wood in the exterior walls and the ceiling were saturate with water so they had to be replaced including some of the flooring (I used ĹĒ 5 ply plywood for roof instead of OSB). I havenít weighed the vehicle yet (next month) but I perceive that with the water logged wood gone, the trailer has to weigh less then it did when I purchased it. In regards to additional weight, beyond bedding, a stock in a small pantry area, I added three bikes, a Coleman road-mate grill, and a few chairs (all of which is stored between the front door and the front of the camper in the middle of the camper) there is no added weight, and all tanks were empty.
Additionally, I had to replace the original tires with four new Good Year Marathonís and changed my trucks tires to Firestone Destination A/T tires as the old ones were in need of replacing as the original owner spent some time hitting too many curbs and not rotating them.
Iíve been reading up on the comments regarding using a Tahoe for towing, and still cant come up with enough data to decide. I agree the wheel base may affect things, but I initially didnít have an issue when I first purchased the camper. The question I have, as I have seen Tahoeís towing bigger trailers, where do I begin to troubleshoot this? I assume it could be the truck tires, the trucks rear suspension (although the truck only goes down about ĹĒ when the full load is on the truck), the hitch system, and even the trailer itself, so any suggestions would be helpful as I really donít want to give up the trailer after all the work I have put into it, but also love the truck tooÖ
BTW, no disrespect towards pop-ups, as I loved mine, but beyond the towing issue, the advantages to the setup and teardown of my Salem in comparison to the pop-up, as well as the convienience and confort the Salem offered(I do miss my heated matresses), I dont know if I could ever go back to a pop-up even if gas went to $6 per gallon...