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Old 11-17-2014, 07:07 PM   #1
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Tongue weight reduction.

I have a 2015 Salem 27DBUD. Unfortunately I didn't do all my home work and have come to realize I need to get the tongue weight down some to get under the 15% mark. Right now I'm at 15.6%. My plan is to replace the 30# gas tanks with 20's. And move gear from the front pass through to the rear compartment. I'm having a hard time understanding how some of the trailers that are much larger come in with weights substantially lower than mine. The other possibility is a super expensive lithium battery. I use one on my bike and I'm very impressed with it's performance. My current tongue weight is 1050# and the trailer weighs in at 6760#. We really don't carry that much gear with us when we camp and we rarely go camping more than 3 times a year and never over 50 miles away. The F150 is just maxed out with payload and very close on tongue weight. Any other ideas other than a new truck (out of the question right now) would be much appreciated. The trailer will be up for sale in the spring and we'll probably move to a good used Class C motorhome. Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:23 PM   #2
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Looks like that tt has a dry tongue weight of 12.5% so I can see where it would be easy to get up to a loaded 15% TW. Remember to be careful transferring to much back as it can cause a sway condition. How is your wdh set up? Are you level, front axle weight is close to unloaded weight? What method did you use to determine your tongue weight?

What do you have in your front closets and under the front bed? Remember anything in front of the axles will add to the tongue weight. That tt is set up very similar to my old zinger and we did run a heavy tongue weight. We tried moving some weight to the rear and got sway so had to go back to the heavy tongue weight.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:46 PM   #3
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I have a 26 TBUD and in general these similar models were just designed with a high tongue weight. I've seen identical layouts from other makers that were much lighter.

I think you are ok unless you are over your tongue rating for the F150. It is better to be a little too heavy on the tongue than too light, which as mentioned will induce sway. If you aren't over your tongue weight, leave your tanks and maybe shift a little weight to the rear. Personally I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:48 PM   #4
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The hitch was set up wrong at the dealer. It looked good at PDI but it wasn't sitting level. We used it one time and looking at it on level ground it's a little tongue high. I was using a Husky WHD with two friction sway controls. I haven't set it up yet but I now have a straight line duel cam that I will do myself. We don't load anything in the wardrobe until we get where we are going. We put our clothes and stuff on the dinette which is over the axels. Right now I have the heavy gear in the front pass through (which really isn't heavy at all) and the lighter stuff in the back. At over 15% I can afford (at least I think) to move some stuff to the back. When I towed it the last time I had a real sway problem on the interstate. I'm hoping getting the hitch set up right, the dual cam and reducing the weight at the hitch will fix the sway issue.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techntrek View Post
I have a 26 TBUD and in general these similar models were just designed with a high tongue weight. I've seen identical layouts from other makers that were much lighter.

I think you are ok unless you are over your tongue rating for the F150. It is better to be a little too heavy on the tongue than too light, which as mentioned will induce sway. If you aren't over your tongue weight, leave your tanks and maybe shift a little weight to the rear. Personally I wouldn't worry about it.
Can I as what you are towing with?
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:28 PM   #6
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Storm rider do you have LT Tires on the truck? That certainly helps with load capacity and nearly eliminates the rear end squirm in the truck.

Brian
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:41 PM   #7
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Was it true sweaty or wander? True sway is defined as oscillations increasing in speed and sideways distance. A little side to side wander/ wiggle is normal as is a little bow wave affect from passing semis. Or do you have more of a porpoise motion? If you really do have a sway condition, do not decrease your tongue weight as it will worsen the sway condition. What you need is better wdh set up as you have already guessed by purchasing the reese dual cam. I used the reese dual cam with my old tt, it is a bear to dial in but once correct, it is a great hitch. I found adjusting wdh by weights to be Vetter than measurements. Start out by measurements and then go weigh your rig. If you haven't already, get a truck weight with no tt, a weight with tt and no wdh and then a weight with wdh hooked up. Goal is to get your front axle as close to unloaded weight as possible without going heavier. Remember, a properly set up wdh will distribute the tongue weight over both truck axles and done weight back to the tt as well.

Here is a great write up on how to set up wdh.
And a good one on how wdh works.

I wouldn't change too many things at one time or you won't know what helped vs made worse. Start with the hitch first. Then look to how you are loaded. Also, are you running p tires or LT tires on your f150? LT tires are stiffer and have less wander than p tires. If your rims can handle it, go load range E.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B and B View Post
Storm rider do you have LT Tires on the truck? That certainly helps with load capacity and nearly eliminates the rear end squirm in the truck.

Brian
No Brian, I still have the P metrics on my truck. I don't drive much. It's a 2012 and has less than 24000 miles on it. That said my tires are in great shape and as bad as I would like to change to LT's I just can't make myself get rid of good tires. But you are absolutely right it would make a huge difference and maybe I should just bite the bullet and go ahead and do it.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asquared View Post
Was it true sweaty or wander? True sway is defined as oscillations increasing in speed and sideways distance. A little side to side wander/ wiggle is normal as is a little bow wave affect from passing semis. Or do you have more of a porpoise motion? If you really do have a sway condition, do not decrease your tongue weight as it will worsen the sway condition. What you need is better wdh set up as you have already guessed by purchasing the reese dual cam. I used the reese dual cam with my old tt, it is a bear to dial in but once correct, it is a great hitch. I found adjusting wdh by weights to be Vetter than measurements. Start out by measurements and then go weigh your rig. If you haven't already, get a truck weight with no tt, a weight with tt and no wdh and then a weight with wdh hooked up. Goal is to get your front axle as close to unloaded weight as possible without going heavier. Remember, a properly set up wdh will distribute the tongue weight over both truck axles and done weight back to the tt as well.

Here is a great write up on how to set up wdh.
And a good one on how wdh works.

I wouldn't change too many things at one time or you won't know what helped vs made worse. Start with the hitch first. Then look to how you are loaded. Also, are you running p tires or LT tires on your f150? LT tires are stiffer and have less wander than p tires. If your rims can handle it, go load range E.
Good advice and great articles. Why I haven't seen those already I don't know. I thought I had watched every video and read every article on the subject. It was defiantly sway. My dog doesn't wag his tail like that and my brother who was behind me called me on the radio to see if I was alright. It was on the verge of being out of control. I know what you are referring to it feels like the tongue is going around in little circles. My Hybrid did that. After awhile I didn't even notice it. This was completely different. My understanding is tongue weight should be within 10% to 15% of loaded trailer weight. I'm at 15.6%. That doesn't contribute to sway?. I'm 100# under max hitch weight.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:09 PM   #10
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I felt the same way with mine, I did run them on the fifth wheel for the first summer. I have the same truck as you have, did tow a 32 FT Rockwood 2703 SS TT close to the same weight, the tongue weight was below 1000 lbs but I made up for that with a 500 lb cap on the truck. I have 8,000 miles on the rig this past summer with LT Tires and not an issue, I do temp checks at rest stops and nothing heats up like the P did. Speaking from my limited experience and two trucks (09 F150 5.4 L and now the Ecoboost) with P tires towing the TT the sway was absolutely awful, the hitch was not the culprit. DW wanted a 5th wheel and we traded so I never was able to close the loop on P and sway but from what other have experienced that is a major component contributing to it. I do know LT with the Fifth Wheel is just sticks to the road no matter what I encounter.

It certainly sounds like you are going to get the hitch fixed, my Reese SC Series Hitch was too light as well, needed 1000 lb bars they put 600 lb bars on mine and they could not handle it.



Sorry for the long post, all the best.

Brian
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