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Old 08-17-2018, 08:20 PM   #1
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Help Handling issues with 2018 forester 2431ms and Toad

We are ready to go on our first trip this weekend with our Toad (2018 Chevy Colorado Zr2). The handling on our 2018 Forester 2421ms (27 foot) has improved tremendously after adding Front and Rear Hellwig sway bars, Bilstein Shocks and safe-T-plus steering stabilizer. Also had Front alignment done.
Then we hooked up our Toad and we are worst than before these mods. Feels like we are lighter in the front and all over the road. Weight loaded minus the toad is 12,940 and with the truck is 18,200. Wheelbase Ratio is 56%. We called the alignment guy on some suggestions and he said we should of bought a 30 foot at minimum and this is a common problem. We are sick about this and wondering if anybody has come across this problem or has any suggestions? We are at 70 lbs in airbags. Also added a 7 inch riser to the hitch to level the truck. alignment doc.pdf
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:14 PM   #2
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Sounds like the tail is wagging the dog. If you did not add hitch weight to tow your family truckster and the handling was better after the add ons, you have two basic issues that could cause your handling to deteriorate. First is your alignment. Your attachment is unreadable so I’ll ask: Do you have >5* of positive caster? If not, thats problem #1.
The second is your rear axle. I did not read where you installed a track bar (panhard).
It prevents the lateral movement of your rear axle. Leaf springs are not stabile enough to keep the rear from moving left and right. Add a few thousand pounds of chevy on the back and your toad becomes a horizontal pendulum.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:40 PM   #3
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No rear track bar. Only thing we haven’t done. Can you tell me how they work? Recommendations? I will try to send that attachment again on the alignment. And yes it did handle better after the add-Ons, before hitching the truck.
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Old 08-18-2018, 02:09 AM   #4
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Sounds like the tail is wagging the dog. If you did not add hitch weight to tow your family truckster and the handling was better after the add ons, you have two basic issues that could cause your handling to deteriorate. First is your alignment. Your attachment is unreadable so Iíll ask: Do you have >5* of positive caster? If not, thats problem #1.
The second is your rear axle. I did not read where you installed a track bar (panhard).
It prevents the lateral movement of your rear axle. Leaf springs are not stabile enough to keep the rear from moving left and right. Add a few thousand pounds of chevy on the back and your toad becomes a horizontal pendulum.
We are looking at supersteer and they say must use with factory sway bar. Do you know why? We have the hellwigs front and rear. And everything we have seen here on the forums is the s/s being used with heavy duty aftermarket anti-sway bars.
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by firemech2 View Post
We are looking at supersteer and they say must use with factory sway bar. Do you know why? We have the hellwigs front and rear. And everything we have seen here on the forums is the s/s being used with heavy duty aftermarket anti-sway bars.
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ml#post1744980

They say it must be used with the factory sway bar because if you donít have one, there is noplace to bolt the mounts for the track bar. As you can see in the link, the mounting brackets go under the sway bar u-brackets.

Saw your alignment specs. Your crack alignment guy did not dial in enough caster. Lots of posts on the subject and even Forest River specs. A simple googlee search will locate them.
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Duckogram View Post
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ml#post1744980

They say it must be used with the factory sway bar because if you donít have one, there is noplace to bolt the mounts for the track bar. As you can see in the link, the mounting brackets go under the sway bar u-brackets.

Saw your alignment specs. Your crack alignment guy did not dial in enough caster. Lots of posts on the subject and even Forest River specs. A simple googlee search will locate them.
X2. Your final caster/camber settings are fighting each other. All things being equal;ía vehicle will ďpullĒ toward + camber and - caster. The more + caster the better it will track. We use different camber/ caster settings on left and right to help a race car turn on different tracks. Road vehicles need almost same settings on both sides.
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by firemech2 View Post
We are ready to go on our first trip this weekend with our Toad (2018 Chevy Colorado Zr2). The handling on our 2018 Forester 2421ms (27 foot) has improved tremendously after adding Front and Rear Hellwig sway bars, Bilstein Shocks and safe-T-plus steering stabilizer. Also had Front alignment done.
Then we hooked up our Toad and we are worst than before these mods. Feels like we are lighter in the front and all over the road. Weight loaded minus the toad is 12,940 and with the truck is 18,200. Wheelbase Ratio is 56%. We called the alignment guy on some suggestions and he said we should of bought a 30 foot at minimum and this is a common problem. We are sick about this and wondering if anybody has come across this problem or has any suggestions? We are at 70 lbs in airbags. Also added a 7 inch riser to the hitch to level the truck. Attachment 183576
Our 28 ft Lexi is set up as yours is as far as shocks. 70 psi in rear air bags.
The one thing you don't mention is the psi your running in your tires. If your running the max 80 psi or so, I would suggest trying to drop the psi to around 72 front and 74 rear, and see if that dosen't get rid of some of the "light" feel in the front. You can go to the tire manuf web site and find the correct psi for the weight your running. Your posted weight is way under what 80 psi would be needed for.
If your rig, when towing, is tracking stright with the toad tracking stright, then your really not dealing with any weight on your hitch. Your simply pulling, with no down force on your hitch to make the front feel "light". If it feels "light" then your front tires may be overinflated, or you may have too much weight (inside cargo weight) aft of the rear axle. Towing your toad does not place a significant amount of weight on the rear.
Our Lexi has a long rear overhang, but we've towed a Subaru 30,000 miles and have never had a problem with "tail wag", and no, I don't have a trac bar.
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:00 PM   #8
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I wasn't happy about spending $300 for the alignment. But now having to go back to this guy who insists we made a mistake and need to get a longer motorhome to haul our Zr2. He also thinks that our hitch is too long with the 7"riser. So looks like we might have to shell out more money to get the alignment right. Not sure who we can go to in Orange County CA? That being said, the motorhome runs and handles beautiful with no toad and tracks straight as is. We can drive one handed going 70mph (not that we drive that way) easily.
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:08 PM   #9
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Our 28 ft Lexi is set up as yours is as far as shocks. 70 psi in rear air bags.
The one thing you don't mention is the psi your running in your tires. If your running the max 80 psi or so, I would suggest trying to drop the psi to around 72 front and 74 rear, and see if that dosen't get rid of some of the "light" feel in the front. You can go to the tire manuf web site and find the correct psi for the weight your running. Your posted weight is way under what 80 psi would be needed for.
If your rig, when towing, is tracking stright with the toad tracking stright, then your really not dealing with any weight on your hitch. Your simply pulling, with no down force on your hitch to make the front feel "light". If it feels "light" then your front tires may be overinflated, or you may have too much weight (inside cargo weight) aft of the rear axle. Towing your toad does not place a significant amount of weight on the rear.
Our Lexi has a long rear overhang, but we've towed a Subaru 30,000 miles and have never had a problem with "tail wag", and no, I don't have a trac bar.
Grumpy
Grumpy, thanks for the info. In fact we do have the max tire pressure in the rear (80lbs) and 70lbs in the front. So we will adjust that. The airbags are at 80lbs and we don't have much in the cargo dept. Increasing the airbags actually did improve handling slightly. Truck does track straight behind us but there is a lot of play in the steering (which is not an issue at all with no toad) and it feels light in the front.
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:15 PM   #10
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our setup.........
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:19 PM   #11
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Grumpy, thanks for the info. In fact we do have the max tire pressure in the rear (80lbs) and 70lbs in the front. So we will adjust that. The airbags are at 80lbs and we don't have much in the cargo dept. Increasing the airbags actually did improve handling slightly. Truck does track straight behind us but there is a lot of play in the steering (which is not an issue at all with no toad) and it feels light in the front.
Person telling you your rig is too short is blowing horse poo. As far as your 7" riser...I've seen rigs with 12" risers, and also tall class a rigs that had to use a 12" to lower the hitch bars.
Yours looks properly set up as long as there's no more than 3 or so inches from level when bars are connected.
Only other item I did almost 6 years ago was to get the front end alligned using adjustable camber bushings, with the alignment info I got from this site.
The bushings/alignment took care of the loose feel in the steering, and haven't had to touch it since.
I haven't found the need for a trac bar as our setup has never given us problems. But, after all else, considering your rig and toad are set up right, if the tail wag is still present, you might want to bite the bullet and get a trac bar.
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by firemech2 View Post
We are ready to go on our first trip this weekend with our Toad (2018 Chevy Colorado Zr2). The handling on our 2018 Forester 2421ms (27 foot) has improved tremendously after adding Front and Rear Hellwig sway bars, Bilstein Shocks and safe-T-plus steering stabilizer. Also had Front alignment done.
Then we hooked up our Toad and we are worst than before these mods. Feels like we are lighter in the front and all over the road. Weight loaded minus the toad is 12,940 and with the truck is 18,200. Wheelbase Ratio is 56%. We called the alignment guy on some suggestions and he said we should of bought a 30 foot at minimum and this is a common problem. We are sick about this and wondering if anybody has come across this problem or has any suggestions? We are at 70 lbs in airbags. Also added a 7 inch riser to the hitch to level the truck. Attachment 183576
Am I reading this right?

Youíre towing 5,260 lbs and the weight of your Forester only 12,940?????

12,940 versus 18,200.

Isnít that just asking for trouble?
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:46 PM   #13
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His Forrester is rated to tow 7500 lbs, and his Colorado is somewhere around 5000 lbs. Heavy, yes, but not over at all.
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Old 08-19-2018, 05:03 PM   #14
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Help Handling issues with 2018 forester 2431ms and Toad

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Am I reading this right?



Youíre towing 5,260 lbs and the weight of your Forester only 12,940?????



12,940 versus 18,200.



Isnít that just asking for trouble?


Those numbers are actual weights at the scale. The factory specs are 14500 (GVWR) and 22000(GCWR). Grumpy is correct hitch rating is 7500.
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Old 08-19-2018, 09:31 PM   #15
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The track bar works with helwig sway bars. I believe the track bar will benefit your situation. I did my track bar first and it made a significant difference towing. I then changed all four shocks to koni fsd which was a small improvement. Last I changed the sway bars to helwig which helped with side to side movement. Also had a steering stabilizer installed. My rv drive very good now. Overall cost me about 2k for the upgrades. Feel it was worth it.
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Old 08-20-2018, 01:19 AM   #16
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Thanks Charles, we did order the S/S trac-bar. Should be here tuesday. Hopefully that will help.
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:49 AM   #17
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Thanks Charles, we did order the S/S trac-bar. Should be here tuesday. Hopefully that will help.
You might notice that links to the install video is the blueox which is almost identical but blueox says not to use it on units with over the axle exhaust.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:43 AM   #18
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ZR@ is a lot of weight I would imagine- 5K + ?
I would add a rear trac bar and add caster as others have stated.
You have no hitch weight except for the towbar. The downward force is nill on the rear- the truck/toad's overall weight is swinging the rear around possibly.
Make sure the toad is tracking properly. Being brand new - it should be. Older toad vehicles with worn out front end tie rods and bushings can also cause this as the front steering begins to wobble.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by firemech2 View Post
We are ready to go on our first trip this weekend with our Toad (2018 Chevy Colorado Zr2). The handling on our 2018 Forester 2421ms (27 foot) has improved tremendously after adding Front and Rear Hellwig sway bars, Bilstein Shocks and safe-T-plus steering stabilizer. Also had Front alignment done.
Then we hooked up our Toad and we are worst than before these mods. Feels like we are lighter in the front and all over the road. Weight loaded minus the toad is 12,940 and with the truck is 18,200. Wheelbase Ratio is 56%. We called the alignment guy on some suggestions and he said we should of bought a 30 foot at minimum and this is a common problem. We are sick about this and wondering if anybody has come across this problem or has any suggestions? We are at 70 lbs in airbags. Also added a 7 inch riser to the hitch to level the truck. Attachment 183576
Not sure what length vehicle your toad is, but we tow a heavy 4 door lifted Jeep with 35Ē knobby off-road tires with our 25í forester and after adding a roadmaster steering stabilizer it tows it like a dream. Before the beefed up stabilizer, we were definitely getting some tail wagging and weíre constantly having to overcorrect on steering; it was fatiguing. Any decent wind and it was not fun at all.

Now we can do 65 fully loaded with the Jeep in tow in 25 mph gusts and barely feel it. If thereís no wind we truly forget itís back there. Iím sure the Colorado is a bit longer than our Jeep, but it canít be THAT much longer and you have a bit more length on the RV, so I would *think* youíd be ok.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:38 PM   #20
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Not sure what length vehicle your toad is, but we tow a heavy 4 door lifted Jeep with 35” knobby off-road tires with our 25’ forester and after adding a roadmaster steering stabilizer it tows it like a dream. Before the beefed up stabilizer, we were definitely getting some tail wagging and we’re constantly having to overcorrect on steering; it was fatiguing. Any decent wind and it was not fun at all.

Now we can do 65 fully loaded with the Jeep in tow in 25 mph gusts and barely feel it. If there’s no wind we truly forget it’s back there. I’m sure the Colorado is a bit longer than our Jeep, but it can’t be THAT much longer and you have a bit more length on the RV, so I would *think* you’d be ok.
The 2501 and 2421 are on the same chassis, same length and same wheelbase. That is encouraging that you got your setup to handle well with the Jeep. The Zr2 is 17.7' long. We did add the a rear trac-bar today, hopefully that will help. What is the PSI in your airbags, front and rear tires? Curious about your weights and did you do the front end alignment? Would like to see pics of your setup (motorhome and toad) if possible? Thanks
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