Originally Posted by GeeTee
Purchased a 28DBUD a couple of weeks ago - TV is a 2014 F150 Ecoboost. I have had the Firestone Ride Rite air helpers installed to assist with the up and down bouncing, it keeps the TV and TT nice and level while going through dips and over bridges. I have a WDH installed and i have installed 2 Husky Sway Control Bars, read that a TT over 24' needs to have two, one isnt sufficient. And having had a swaying TT before i didnt want to go down that road again.
I distributed the weight of the items packed into the TT pretty evenly, less in the rear, not as much infront but more or less evenly in the axle area. I have done a rough estimate i am def not of the cargo cap of the TT either. The TT also has 180lb of bicycles hitched to the back of it.
The bed of the truck probably has about 300lb of tools, tables, chairs etc in it, plus 350lb of passengers.
Now, when there is absolutely no wind it tows OK except for when passing trucks, driving at 65-70mph. However, this ideal scenario only lasted about 100 miles. Wind started blowing a little (15mph or so) and traffic got heavier. I could in some instances almost not control the sway of the TT, so much so that the wife, said she wanted to get out the truck lol - admittedly, it did get pretty bad. I had a serious fishtail, even when cars werent passing me.
I stopped, checked all the tire pressures and dropped the ride rite psi from 60 (i always drove it like this) to 40 - it seemed to help a little. The TT was also running a little more level now. 200 miles later when the wind became more steady and what seemed like every single sedan made me sway uncontrollably. Stopped the TV, released psi in ride rite to 30 - almost perfectly even/level. I took the bikes off the back of the TT and chucked them into the back of the truck - best improvement yet.
Checked tire pressures as the TT tires seemed a little flat - 44psi on the money - these tires are stock on the TT - 6 ply if i remember correctly. Some Japanese make. I towed 1200 miles in two days - it was a long drive to say the least.
Oh yes, my sway control bars are as tight as they can go - when turning into gas station or slow corners they grunt and creek a whole bunch, so i think they are tight enough.
Ive seen others guys pass me with 1/2 tonns and they dont even have WDH or sway control bars and seem to be doing fine - am i missing something here? I need to try and get this fixed, cant drive home like this i`ll age 20 years easily.
Attached is what the TV and TT look like hitched and loaded.
First, I'll admit up front that I only read the first page of responses so I may be beating a dead horse here.
Second, congratulations on your new camper.
Third, I also tow with airbags, so may be able to shed a little light here.
The first thing you need to do is find a nice level place to work.
Know also that a light tongue is conducive to sway, so load as evenly as you can, but ensure the majority of the load is close to the axles with bias toward the tongue.
Completely deflate the airbags, then measure the rear bumper height from the ground. Add enough air to lift the rear bumper one to one and a half inches.
Ensure the trailer is nice and level, then measure the distance from the top of the coupler to the ground. Adjust the hitch so that the top of the ball is the same height from the ground.
Now attach your bars. Adjust the angle of the hitch head so that the tips of the bars are about six inches from the ground.
Measure the height of the front bumper from the ground, then attach the TT to the hitch.
Measure the height of the front bumper from the ground again and note any increase in height. If anything, it'll likely be less than an inch.
Set the weight distribution bars to bring the front back down to level and lift the tongue back to the original height (level). If the bars are not parallel to the tongue, or have too much tension on them, adjust the angle of the hitch head to bring the tips of the bars up a bit.
This should get you set level all across with the weight properly distributed. However, you really need to weigh your rig at a CAT scale (or similar) with everything loaded for camping (including passengers, WD bars, and bicycles). Get the truck weight, then truck and camper without bars attached (lay them in the bed of the truck), then truck and camper with WD bars attached. Ideally, you want your tongue weight to be right at 13% of the trailer weight, but 10 to 15% is a good range.
The thing with airbags is they are intended to provide extra support for the rear of the truck to overcome sag. But if you attach a load and then set your weight distribution system, then add air to the bags to level the rear up, you are negating the weight distributing system. If you don't want the rear of the truck to sag under load (who wants a saggy rear?) you have to adjust it beforehand in anticipation of how much sag the load is going to induce, then distribute the weight of that load to the front of the truck and the axles of the trailer.
Lastly, are you sure the trailer tires should be inflated to 44 psi? I haven't seen it all, by any means, but most tires of this size are at least 50 psi.