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Old 05-11-2016, 08:04 PM   #1
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Maiden Voyage Question #1 (towing)

OK, got the new 5'er home about an hour ago. 2 day trip from Ohio. Have 3 things I need help with.........the biggest is towing.

Honestly, I'm pretty disappointed. BUT, I'm hoping this has some kind of 'easy adjustment' type answer. IF not, wow.........not sure what to do.

I could explain in detail for pages.........but bottom line is that on smooth roads it pulls great. No issues really. I can REALLY tell it's back there......it's a behemoth! Not going go from 40 to 65 in any kind of record, for sure. But still, it's fine.

BUT on bumpy interstate (read 64.49948% of America!!), it is beating me to death. I've pulled all kinds of trailers in my life, boats, 29' Grey Wolf, utility trailers, etc.........and this is the worst. And I THOUGHT I had it all figured out in advance........Dually truck (that y'all talked me into, thank you so much, nothing else would work for sure!!), trail air king pin with the right amount of air, B&W companion hitch..............and still, this.

It porpoises a lot.........push/pull........but mostly it just bottoms out.

I can only think of two possibilities.......but I'm a NOOBIE on 5'ers or goosenecks (bed connections) and I just don't know. My first thought, and hope, is that the B&W hitch is adjusted wrong. I know it has 9 'holes' to bolt into the frame that's attached to the bed.........and it was put in middle since I bought it before we had the trailer. I'm thinking (hoping) it might could be moved forward getting more weight on truck. ???? I have no idea.

The only other possibility I can think of is ....... air bags. Another expense. I might do that anyway.

The third possibility is "This is just life, deal with it" but man.......I don't like that one.

Any ideas are appreciated.

Thanks.

(I have a couple of other things but won't mix them on one thread)

Bill
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:24 PM   #2
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Some people will argue this,but Ive been pulling these things for quite a while and positiong the pin center or gooseneck ball 2" or so ahead of the centerline of the rear axels will transfer some wieght to the front and result in better directional stability.Most of my experience has been with goosenecks,horse trailer,equipment trailers and now a toyhauler.To find the true center of the axels you need to level the truck (front to back) then set a 4' level vertically at the*center of the rear wheels on both sides of the truck.Connect these points with a string,thenuse the same 4' level to project the pin center up to the string.This is the only way you can accurately find this spot.When you are hooked up and ready to go the truck should be level too.An inch or 2 high in the rear is ok but under no circumstances should the front be lower than the rear.Obviously the trailer frame should be level as well.Then its time to head to the Cat scale and see how the axels are loaded.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:31 PM   #3
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Well, I understand.........I do. But this truck has a DIC display that tells me if the truck is 0" (level), 1", 2" or whatever left to right, or front to back...........right on the display panel. And it says 0 inches both ways.

Maybe that's not 100% accurate, but why would I be experiencing such radical bouncing and porpoising?
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:49 PM   #4
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I have F350 SRW but I found on my new 5er I was about 3/8 of inch from my over load springs making contacting. Smooth road was fine but if I got on rough road you feel the back end go down - make contact over load springs and spring back up with a added force. I put air bags on the TV and now if I pump them up to 35psi it takes out most of the roughness on rough roads but rides rougher on smooth roads.

I have a B&W hitch with a Mor-Ryde pin box and my pin box is set about 2" in front of the rear axles and in it's lowest position. My 5er sits about 1/2 inch nose high. I didn't have this problem with my lighter Crusader and didn't show up till I got the new heavier 5er.

Sorry to hear about you problems maybe one of the DRW guys can solve your problem, I have only test drove DRW and have never towed with one.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:52 PM   #5
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My first 5er porpoises a lot and I found that the dealer filled the fresh water tank which was behind the axles and caused a light pin. Emptied it and the problem was solved.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWSWine View Post
My first 5er porpoises a lot and I found that the dealer filled the fresh water tank which was behind the axles and caused a light pin. Emptied it and the problem was solved.

I dumped all tanks at KOA this morning before we left...........same problem, no difference.
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Old 05-12-2016, 01:35 PM   #7
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When you say 'bottoms out' I'm assuming your truck springs are hitting the overloads like CWSWINE was talking about.

I would check my shocks first, but your truck is new so you would assume they are good. Perhaps airbags are necessary. Most of my friends just add them automatically to their new trucks.

Sounds like you have all the right equipment! With your Trail Air kingpin you shouldn't feel much push/pull (I'm assuming it's the one with an air bag and a shock absorber in it). I get a better ride when my air pressure in my sidewinder kingpin is in the middle of its range.

If your truck and RV are both within an inch of level the only thing I would suggest is to check the pin weight of your RV and then check the load balance.

Good luck!
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Old 05-12-2016, 01:51 PM   #8
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Make sure that the king pin of the 5th is riding at least an inch forward of the center line of the rear axle. I have seen some 5th wheel hitches installed as much as 8 inches behind the center line of the axle causing many of the type problems that you are having. Also make sure the 5th wheel is riding as level as possible, you may have to adjust the hitch or the pin box to make this happen. If you have to adjust them make sure that you have a minimum of 6 inches between your 5th wheel and the truck bed rails.
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:25 PM   #9
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Make sure that the king pin of the 5th is riding at least an inch forward of the center line of the rear axle. I have seen some 5th wheel hitches installed as much as 8 inches behind the center line of the axle causing many of the type problems that you are having. Also make sure the 5th wheel is riding as level as possible, you may have to adjust the hitch or the pin box to make this happen. If you have to adjust them make sure that you have a minimum of 6 inches between your 5th wheel and the truck bed rails.
This was my original thought. I'm in a mess here at home, and we leave tomorrow, so can't deal with this very much till we get back end of May. I don't know where it sits........but it is STILL hooked up and I'm going to check that very thing here in a bit.

So far today I've had to have my house septic pumped out (solved that problem!) and now the central a/c guy is out there. A/C unit has 5 lbs freon and holds 15!!!!! Dunno where it's leaking.

The Trail Air had to have some air, but dealer put it in, and it is sitting exactly where the arrows say for it to be. I am thinking it is set too far back.........but not sure there's enough adjustment to make that kind of difference.

Edit: Just looked........just from 'eyeballing' it, the center of pin seems to be in center of wheel on rear axle.......... but I think the B&W can be adjusted frontwards........not sure. Surely that would help even though minor.

Not sure what air bags cost..........but I fear I'm about to find out.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:10 PM   #10
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Experiment with the air in the pin box. Mine was noticabley rough when I brought it home from the dealer, and after sitting for the winter it was a little low when I went out last month and it rode a whole lot better, but was not bottoming out. I will see where my pin is relative to the back axle tomorrow when it is light and let you know.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:36 PM   #11
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Talked to folks that installed the B&W today. They said there is a height adjustment up and down, but no way to move it forward. Or back.

I just don't get this. Everyone else that has this setup........even those with LESS truck......have few, or zero, problems. This thing beat me to death on bumpy roads.

I repeat........but I can't see anything else to do other than air bags. If that doesn't help, I'm lost....... and btw, "I can't tell it's back there" is a long gone thing. This is heavy! I pull fine, it goes up all grades......but accelerating with this thing behind me is a slow proposition.

Oh......on the trail air.............they did have to add air before I left. But it went up to the top of the arrows saying "Inflate to this point". Now it's a bit below that. I wonder if I can inflate above those arrows and it might matter?
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:10 PM   #12
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I think, CWSwine may be right with bouncing off the overloads. My Ford dually does it around 2500 pin weight. Heavier is fine. Lighter is fine. Right around there is pure misery. I added airbags and cured the issue, but I bought the dually in hopes I wouldn't need bags. Wrong! New trailer is a little lighter on the pin but I still air the bags up to 30-35 psi.

You say your truck tells you how level it is riding---and it says 0 when hitched up. Where does it read empty?

The B&W side arms can be mounted forward or backward to move the head, which orientation are yours in?

Lastly hit a scale and see what your weights really are. Maybe something really goofy will show up.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:08 PM   #13
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Which B&W do you have?

Otherwise, your experience matches mine for the most part. I know I'm pin light at right around 17% (3,000 lbs.).

Nothing I've done has helped- air pin box and shocks on the trailer.

I'm seriously considering either Bilstein shocks the truck and/or air bags.

We hit some bridges and pert near hit our heads on the roof of the cab.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:49 PM   #14
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I witnessed a Dodge 3500 Dually pulling a big 5er. He hit the approach to a bridge at interstate hwy speeds and darn near launched the thing into orbit on rebound after it bottomed out. I'm thinking this is a common issue.

P.S. This is just what I saw, not a comment on Dodge. I'm guessing brand had nothing to do with it.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:30 AM   #15
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I pull a Cedar Creek 34 RLSA (35'8"). Due to the shorter 5er., I think the pin weight may be a little more than the longer trailers, never have weighed it. I pull it with a 2015 Chevy 3500 SRW 6' 6" standard bed, B&W Turnover with Companion. Pin box is TrailAir I keep inflated about 88#. My ride is very smooth even on most rough roads (EXCEPT the 16 miles on I-65 through Birmingham, AL-nothing will ride smooth through that stretch of road).

BandJCarm, you should not need air bags on that 3500 Dually pulling a CC 36 CKTS. You may end up getting even more bounce with the air bags. I am thinking your 36 CKTS may be a little lighter on the pin than mine plus you have a longer truck bed that mine.

You may be able to shift some weight forward of the axle, a little, with the B&W pivot arms ( I know B&W said you can't ). You will see in my photo mine is set to actually bring the front of the 5er., back a little due to me having a 6'6" bed. May try to flip the B&W Pivot arms around and see what happens.

On the TrailAir, I can inflate mine to the tip of the arrow when parked in my drive "almost" level, move the rig a few feet down the drive, check it and it is below the tip of the arrow. Check it at the end of the drive and it may be a little above the tip of the arrow. Seems to me that every time I move the rig a little, the position of the shock on the TrailAir changes a little. Good luck, hope you can work this out to get a smooth ride before you invest in air bags.

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Old 05-13-2016, 06:05 AM   #16
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I have a couple goose neck trailer, dump, flatbed. I had the same problem even when at Max weight. 10 ton of dump trailer and it road horribly. Truck did not say but I was just off the overloads. I was bouncing off them when I hit bumps. Put air bags on and problem solved. I also have drw, quad cab, long bed dodge. For a quick experiment fill water jugs or get sand bags and fill the bed till you are on the overloads. See if that helps
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:13 AM   #17
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I APPRECIATE ALL THIS! You guys are great. Sometimes when I feel alone with an issue, I get great info here.

A) A friend suggested I MIGHT have trailer brakes grabbing. That's a thought! But, I got 10.5 mpg average on 700 mile trip, which seems pretty fair. Doesn't seem that would be that high if brakes grabbing. Thoughts??

B) It hit me on the way home that all the talk here about brand of truck is overrated. IF (big IF) you are talking a 3500 truck and IF you are talking a 15,000 lb 5'er, or so, it isn't going to make one whit of difference whether you have a Chevy, Ford, or Fiat truck (sorry, can't resist). They will all pull that camper. One is rated higher here, another one there. Everyone is chauvinistic about trucks, but brand doesn't matter. SIZE DOES! In life, size always matters! Anyone pulling what I pulled with a 1/2 ton truck is crazier than my Aunt Bessie. That is an OPINION. I wish I had a Kenworth, to be honest.

C) I just got a small 'largesse' from the deal where tree fell on our farm house. I think I am going to just bite the bullet and have air bags put in. The place that did the hitch sells them, $450 plus $175 install charge. I am going to always wish I did have them, and I'll spend this money on wine, women, and song if I don't. I am concerned how that will affect my non-trailering ride.......

D) On the questions above........the truck says "level" either hitched or unhitched. Sorta makes me wonder if it's accurate, but that's what it says.

Not sure how to adjust the B&W Companion hitch.........but the guys who put it in said bring it by and let them look at it. Their location is NOT conducive to a big rig (odd for such a business!) but I'll try and get it there.

I have the same issue with the arrows on the TrailAir. Seem to move on me.....not sure why. Do they notoriously leak air? How far can I overload it? There's no gauge, nor any recommendation as to lbs of air that is optimal.

I KNOW I need to weigh it and the truck to figure it out. I just got it, but I will. Time is not my friend. I leave in one hour for 2 weeks in Colorado (no trailer). I camp for 2 weeks in June in South Carolina. Then Goshen. In between a camping trip with wife's uncle. WHEW! But somehow I'll make time to weigh it, maybe July (?).

I will be offline till about Sunday or Monday. I'll check back for more answers then. Thank you guys SO much! This (and the hot water issue) are the only 'serious' things wrong. And both MUST get addressed. This one MAY end up just 'I have to live with it', and if so fine. But I want to know the facts first.

Thanks again.

Bill
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:15 AM   #18
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On airing up the Trail Air do you do it while hooked up or unhooked from the truck? I always air mine up when hooked up and the weight is on the hitch, unhooked might cause to much air in the bag. Just thinking out loud here, good luck.
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:38 AM   #19
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Only when hooked up....
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:11 AM   #20
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I noticed to have a GM vehicle. I had some similar issues with bounce on my 3/4 but towing a tt. I installed the Timbrens which are easy to install and got rid of a lot of the bonce. Also a lot cheaper than air bag system. Later RJD
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