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Old 07-31-2020, 12:05 PM   #1
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First travel trailer

Recently, I purchased my first travel trailer. It is a Gray Wolf toyhauler, 22RR. We love the trailer and have a really good time on several short trips.

My concern is pulling the trailer. When I'm on the highway at higher speeds, 65-70, it occasionally feels like the rig is floating. Like a vehicle feels when driving in heavy rain and the vehicle hydroplanes...momentary loss of control. Maybe some of this normal as I don't know because my first travel trailer. I've never had this sensation pulling boats.

I use a blue ox sway pro weight distribution system. This system is attached by tightening chains. A pain to attach and take off but if it worked good I'm okay with the work of attaching.

I was told to get my weights at a CATS scale. I did this and the results are as follows:

With WDS engaged:
Front axle truck 3040
Drive axle 3080
Trailer 4760

Wthout WDS:
Front truck 2680
Drive 3540
Trailer 4640

Truckonly:
steer Axle 3020
Drive 2160

The calculated results are as follows:

Truck weight attached with WDH 6120
Truck weight hitched no WDH 6220
truck only 5180
Camper 5680
tongue 1040 18.3%

I don't have any idea what these results mean? I assume they indicate if my WDH is doing its job and attached correctly? If not correct, how do I make adjustments? Talking with Blue Ox, I've got the WDH set up correctly.

Maybe this feeling is normal with a travel trailer and I have to get used to it and don't drive over 60? Or, is there a better system than the Blue Ox type system? For our safety, (and so my wife can drive), I'm willing to purchase the best WDH system.

Thanks in advance for any help as it is greatly appreciated!!!

Oh yeah, my tow vehicle is a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with the max tow package. Rated to tow 11,300 lbs.
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:16 PM   #2
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You're going to get a lot of info from this post, so get ready.

What are you putting in the toy hauler section (what toy and what is the weight)?

I think 18% is too high for the tongue weight. You may be exceeding your hitch rating, but your manual may tell you that you can go higher with a WDH (my old Titan had two numbers).

What tires are you running? Passenger or Light Truck?
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:23 PM   #3
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Roll an ATV / UTV in the back of that and your Tongue Weight is gonna drop fast.
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:41 PM   #4
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Move the "toy" back and forth in the cargo area until the tongue weight is 15%.
What is the payload or cargo capacity of the Silverado?
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:45 PM   #5
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Not sure how to advise you on your cat scale numbers but a few things I can tell you...

- Most trailer tires are rated for 65 mph so 70 mph is pushing it. Check the rating for your tires and don't exceed their speed rating.

- A trailer is like a big sail and the faster you go the more wind resistance you'll create.... I think what you're feeling at higher speeds is totally normal, especially when you're towing with a half ton tow vehicle... Truck is 5180, camper is 5680 so only natural that your camper is the tail wagging the dog. What ever it wants to do it's going to transfer that motion to the truck and the truck isn't heavy enough to overcome it..

The one thing that did stick out a bit from your cat scale numbers is your tongue weight being 1040 or 18.3% of your trailer weight.... Each trailer is different but most advise your tongue weight should be in the 10% - 15% range so the first place I would look to resolve your issue is there. You can reduce the tongue weight 2 ways... Loading heavier items behind or further behind your trailers rear axles. Or, you can try and raise your trailer hitch ball to transfer more of the trailers tongue weight to your trailers tires rather then to your tow vehicle...

Hope this helps but in any case, I would stay 65 or under to be on the safe side.
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Old 07-31-2020, 01:27 PM   #6
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Read the manuals, do your esearch and slow tje heck down...
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:25 PM   #7
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I doubt I have an answer that solves your floating question but regarding the WDH doing it's job, you're close to spot on. The WDH is supposed to return most of the weight that gets taken off your steer axel (front wheels) when the trailer is attached. You show a "truck only" steer axel weight of 3020 and then a steer axel weight of 3040 with the TT attached and the WDH engaged. That is pretty darn good in my opinion. Maybe even a bit too good - you might try one link less tension on your bars and see if it makes hooking up easier (as long as you get the handling problem under control)
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
This system is attached by tightening chains. A pain to attach and take off but if it worked good I'm okay with the work of attaching.
I will address the pain to attach part... after coupling the trailer to the ball, are you using your electric jack to boost the rear/tongue of the trailer UP?

Doing this will allow the chains to get closer to the trailer connectors and hook up easier. Once hooked up let the electric jack and rear of the TV down and get the jack up off the ground. This will put the tension on the chains. DO this again when releasing the trailer off the ball... less tension on the chains.

Have you tried a little more tongue weight by moving some weight forward in the trailer to reduce the floating feeling? More tongue weight is more safe then less. Shoot for TW of 15% of total trailer weight.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:33 AM   #9
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Agree that your CAT scale values indicate your WDH is doing its job right.
Key additional values to note are the front to back level on the trailer. It should be level to slightly nose down to lessen any high speed lift.
Also truck wheel well center arch heights. Differences between no trailer, with trailer no WDH spring bars, with trailer WDH spring bars hooked up. The measured weights are important but the leveling of the truck and trailer are too. The truck wheel well heights are what are used when setting up the WDH.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:38 AM   #10
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Did you weigh it ready to camp?. Fully loaded with toys, tools, gear, water, fuel, food, adult beverages ECT? What toys are you hauling?
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:21 AM   #11
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Well, for a first post you certainly came fully prepared so I’ll give you props for that! The only thing you could have done better was to have a picture of your payload sticker.

From the sound it you may be a little tongue heavy but it does sound like your WDH is pretty close. If you have never towed a TT before then it will feel a little bit odd but you are right to try to get dialed in as much as possible. Are you feeling sway? I would increase your rear tire pressure up close to the max inflating and look at upgrading to LT tires as others have (and will) suggest.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:35 AM   #12
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Feedback

Thanks for the feedback!

Sounds like my WDH is properly working. Next week I'm taking the camper on a 700 mile trip so I will get to test the few adjustments I've made....inflated truck tires to 50 lbs...raised another link on WDH chains.

My weight figures are with trailer at least partially loaded. Depending on the trip, we carry a variety of items. Sometimes, we only carry a couple of light bicycles. Other trips I will load a couple of dirt bikes. For my upcoming trip I'm taking about 500 lbs of dirt bikes so, as suggested in this forum, I will get to try the trailer with some load in the back.

Ultimately, I guess that I need to drive slower with the trailer than without. Hard for me to do when driving on the interstate across Western Kansas!
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Old Today, 01:17 PM   #13
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We just got back from our 750 mile trip to Colorado and the trailer definitely sways. I've made many adjustments, including all suggested by Blue Ox and it still has considerable sway. With the sway, I couldn't drive over 60 so it took forever to get to our destination.

In 3 weeks we have another colorado trip planned. Because of the sway, I didn't want to drive the trailer back home and then back to Colorado in 3 weeks. Fortunately, I was able to find a place to store the camper for 3 weeks until we get back out there.

In the meantime I ordered a ProPride hitch system. I hate to spend the money but they appear to be the best.
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Old Today, 01:25 PM   #14
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Do you have E-rated tires on the tow vehicle? or P-rated? stiffer sidewalls on the TV will stiffen the ride of the trailer

how about the tires on the trailer? what load rating, size and brand?
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Old Today, 02:00 PM   #15
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Changing to a PP hitch is not going to solve set up issues. Only mask them. If your tongue is too heavy (I feel it is) then it will continue to be. If your tires are P-metric and overloaded, they will still be overloaded. Even if it feels better with the new hitch, I would recommend getting the weights sorted and make sure your axles and tires are not overloaded. TH's are going to be nose heavy without toys and there is no getting around that. Ours is 1900 on the tongue without anything in the garage and it is not pleasant to pull in non-optimal conditions. Loaded with tools and toys, she pulls like a dream at 75 (I only get to 75 downhill). Same hitch as yours.
Oh, how many dots are on the spring bars of the hitch? Did you get the correct ones?
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Old Today, 02:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by The Evil Twin View Post
Changing to a PP hitch is not going to solve set up issues. Only mask them. If your tongue is too heavy (I feel it is) then it will continue to be. If your tires are P-metric and overloaded, they will still be overloaded. Even if it feels better with the new hitch, I would recommend getting the weights sorted and make sure your axles and tires are not overloaded. TH's are going to be nose heavy without toys and there is no getting around that. Ours is 1900 on the tongue without anything in the garage and it is not pleasant to pull in non-optimal conditions. Loaded with tools and toys, she pulls like a dream at 75 (I only get to 75 downhill). Same hitch as yours.
Oh, how many dots are on the spring bars of the hitch? Did you get the correct ones?
That is one thing Blue Ox said was that I probably need one size larger bars. I'm thinking mine have 3 dots. I guess the most heavy duty has 4 dots?

On this trip I had the garage fully loaded.
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Old Today, 02:25 PM   #17
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are the weights in the first pic with the garage loaded or unloaded? Based on the tongue weight id say unloaded.

I bet once you "fully loaded" the garage you took a lot of it off and became tail heavy which induces sway.
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Old Today, 02:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cost4133 View Post
are the weights in the first pic with the garage loaded or unloaded? Based on the tongue weight id say unloaded.

I bet once you "fully loaded" the garage you took a lot of it off and became tail heavy which induces sway.
X2 ! I mentioned that in my first post early on. He may be too light on the hitch now.
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Old Today, 02:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by betakidd View Post
That is one thing Blue Ox said was that I probably need one size larger bars. I'm thinking mine have 3 dots. I guess the most heavy duty has 4 dots?

On this trip I had the garage fully loaded.
3 dots are 1000 lb bars. 4 dots are the 1500 lb bars. My opinion would be to use the 1500's since you are slightly more than 1000 at times. We went one size up and it made a tremendous difference. Does your model have a fuel tank? Ours has a 30 gallon In the rear and I fill it for ballast with the garage empty. Also put the coolers and whatever else I can in the back when no motorcycles are back there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cost4133 View Post
are the weights in the first pic with the garage loaded or unloaded? Based on the tongue weight id say unloaded.

I bet once you "fully loaded" the garage you took a lot of it off and became tail heavy which induces sway.
I don’t think loading up the garage will make that big a change. Putting 2300 pounds in our garage only took 300 off the tongue. Empty the TW is 19% and loaded it is 13%.
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Old Today, 02:50 PM   #20
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As mentioned above, maybe reduce the tongue weight to 15%. Max rear tire pressure will also probably help if on car tires.

But, bigger issue is you have returned too much weight to the front axle and have unloaded the rear axle too much. Most modern trucks only want 25-50% of lost weight returned, despite the old advice of 100% return. This sets up a possible serious oversteer condition, esp in wet conditions. You might be feeling the rear end getting pushed around a bit and it might benefit from more relative weight. Return the pct specified in the truck manual (probably 50%)
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