2016 17' Bigfoot Travel Trailer Fishtailing With Tundra Tow Vehicle - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-30-2017, 08:55 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Ryan
Trailer: Bigfoot
California
Posts: 9
2016 17' Bigfoot Travel Trailer Fishtailing With Tundra Tow Vehicle

Hi All,

After 7 months of research I finally purchased a lightly used 2016 Bigfoot (25B175F last week, but need advice on how to properly tow it. I have towed a 3000 lb boat previously for many years with the same truck, but know little to nothing about properly towing a trailer. My dad (also experienced with towing boats, but never travel trailers) is currently driving the trailer out to my location, and has reported that it starts to fishtail if he exceeds 60 mph- he has been keeping the speed down, but this seems like an indication of a problem to me. I never had problems towing my 21' boat even at 80 mph with the same vehicle.

Current tow vehicle is a 2000 Toyota Tundra 2wd, 4.7L V8, with airbags. I don't currently have any sway bars or additional equipment other than the safety chains, a breakaway cable, and a prodigy p2 brake controller. I suspect the current trailer weight is about 4000 lbs.

Looking for advice on just about everything; how much weight should be on the tongue, how much pressure should I put in the airbags, should the hitch drop down, rise up, or be level? What about stabilization bars, etc- do I need them, and if so what are the best ones to purchase? I'm also wondering if the fishtailing is just a bi-product of a relatively heavy single axle trailer, which I am hoping is not the case.

I'm excited to enter the world of fiberglass camping, but am hoping for some good advice in order to do it safely and efficiently.

Thanks,

Ryan
__________________

__________________
rdf0011 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 09:09 PM   #2
Member
 
Name: Dan
Trailer: Bigfoot 30th Anv. 25B25FB
Washington
Posts: 55
Tongue weight generally 10-15%. Too much rear weight can cause a problem. E-qualizer brand weight distribution hitch is a good one if you need one.
__________________

__________________
Wacenturion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 10:11 PM   #3
Member
 
40bpm's Avatar
 
Name: Jan
Trailer: '02 Bigfoot 17'
Washington
Posts: 67
Registry
At 60 mph, you might be at the top end of the tire speed limit but you shouldn't have the sway. Possibly try shifting weight forward in the trailer. Also check that the trailer tongue is level or slightly down. Let us know how it goes!
__________________
40bpm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2017, 12:38 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Borrego Dave's Avatar
 
Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
California
Posts: 2,818
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdf0011 View Post
Hi All,

After 7 months of research I finally purchased a lightly used 2016 Bigfoot (25B175F last week, but need advice on how to properly tow it. I have towed a 3000 lb boat previously for many years with the same truck, but know little to nothing about properly towing a trailer. My dad (also experienced with towing boats, but never travel trailers) is currently driving the trailer out to my location, and has reported that it starts to fishtail if he exceeds 60 mph- he has been keeping the speed down, but this seems like an indication of a problem to me. I never had problems towing my 21' boat even at 80 mph with the same vehicle.

Current tow vehicle is a 2000 Toyota Tundra 2wd, 4.7L V8, with airbags. I don't currently have any sway bars or additional equipment other than the safety chains, a breakaway cable, and a prodigy p2 brake controller. I suspect the current trailer weight is about 4000 lbs.

Looking for advice on just about everything; how much weight should be on the tongue, how much pressure should I put in the airbags, should the hitch drop down, rise up, or be level? What about stabilization bars, etc- do I need them, and if so what are the best ones to purchase? I'm also wondering if the fishtailing is just a bi-product of a relatively heavy single axle trailer, which I am hoping is not the case.

I'm excited to enter the world of fiberglass camping, but am hoping for some good advice in order to do it safely and efficiently.

Thanks,

Ryan
Welcome to FGRV Ryan. First, TTs tow differently than boats, the tongue weight doesn't make much difference and really the only thing that's the same between boats and TTs is clearing the curb on turns and backing up. TTs need 10-15% of the weight on the ball. The trailer needs to be sitting level or just a tad low at the ball for a good tow. Speed can bring on the sway also if you're kind of iffy with the trailer loading and trailer angle. The number of axles makes no difference to fishtailing. Might want to ask your Dad what the angle is with his setup. The P2 is a good one. You may not need a weight distribution hitch (WDH) or air bags depending on the specs of your truck. Check to see what your manual says about the ratings your truck has. A Toyo dealer can also use your VIN # to give you the build specs. Your Dad should be fine when he hit CA as the speed limit for trailers is 55. Good luck to you and require pics for proof from new members .
__________________
Borrego Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2017, 06:05 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Ed Harris's Avatar
 
Name: Ed
Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Missouri
Posts: 1,766
Hey Ryan

I tow with an '01 Tundra Longbed also with the 4.7l motor and I have also pulled a whole variety of trailers with both this and an '01 V6 Tundy and both do just fine overall for me.

I have to think your rig may be too much for the truck overall or at least with no Sway Control and Weight EQ to help out a little.
The Bags are really just screwing with the truck suspension if I understand them correctly and I wonder if any bad might result there,I really have no idea.

I do know that I have had issues with various trailers that I wouldn't have thought I would,sometimes pretty light trailers not oriented properly and even seemingly minute differences in attitude seem to make all the difference in the world in drive-ability

As has been said already you want the nose level or down slightly and the slightest variation may make the difference for you.

I also have argued and discussed this over and over with others and all I can tell you is this:I am fine towing with the hitch alone but I am more fine using the WDH and Sway Control,sometimes much more fine!

Fiberglass is pretty heavy and your boat probably has a much smaller profile than the Bigfoot and there might just be too much resistance for this combo too?

I recently picked up an '07 Tundra with the 5.7l Beast Motor and I will tell you it is a whole new level of power and control in every way.
Our Tundra are not quite full size Pickups but the newer Gen. certainly is!
__________________
Ed Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2017, 06:32 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 5,352
Registry
Sway at 60 mph is definitely not normal. Any trailer will tend to become unstable (i.e., have a tendency to sway) at some speed, but with a properly designed, hitched, and loaded trailer, that speed should be well above normal towing speeds.

You might discuss with your father whether there were any crosswinds or other environmental factors at the time, as well as what he meant by "fishtailing." Are we talking intermittent, small amplitude wiggles in response to a gust of wind or a passing semi, or are we talking continuous sway that can be felt in the tow vehicle and with no apparent outside cause? Neither is desirable, but the latter is cause for serious investigation.

Two things to check for starters are (1) attitude- of the trailer, not the driver ...should be riding level or slightly nose down, and (2) tongue weight- as said, should be 10-15% of total trailer weight.

If that doesn't help, you may have to look for less likely causes, such as damaged or defective tires, wheels, or axle.

Once you've found and corrected the cause, I would definitely look into a weight distributing hitch (better than air bags) and/or a sway control device. Just don't skip straight to those things, because you don't want to mask a serious problem.

Welcome, and congratulations on the new trailer! I really like the 17.5FB layout and haven't seen or heard of any on this forum yet. I'd love to see some pictures.
__________________
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2017, 08:07 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot 17' DLX
Alaska
Posts: 371
Registry
I towed a BF 17 with a Tundra thousands and thousands of miles and it never fishtailed, even with a full fresh water tank which was in the right rear corner on mine.

As others have said, trailer nose slightly down, hitch ball slightly down. You might need to deflate the air bags, I doubt if they are needed.

Keep the bulk of the load in the trailer toward the front. You shouldn't need a equalizing hitch or anti-sway device to cure a problem. Go ahead and add anti-sway if you want, but not until you have solved the issue.

Mine towed as steady as a rock on every kind of road imaginable at speeds as high as 70.
__________________
trainjunkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2017, 08:49 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
CindyL's Avatar
 
Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Illinois
Posts: 2,510
Registry
We had scary sway with our Bigfoot Silver Cloud when we first got it. We bought a ProPride hitch and that ended it. Another hitch that is similar is the Hensley hitch. Both were developed by the same designer.

Hubby, who drives due to my disability, had to white-knuckle muscle the Expedition that we tow with to keep the Silver Cloud from swaying, before we got the ProPride. After adding this hitch, I pointed out to him once, while he was driving with one hand on the steering wheel, that he was being passed by a bus (worse than semis!). We barely moved.

CindyL
__________________
1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud, "The Egg Carton"
CindyL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2017, 08:57 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 5,352
Registry
Boy, you're right about busses, Cindy! And they always seem to be in more of a hurry than semis.
__________________
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2017, 11:15 AM   #10
Member
 
Name: Kevin
Trailer: In the market
South Carolina
Posts: 43
2016 17' Bigfoot Travel Trailer Fishtailing With Tundra Tow Vehicle

2006 tundra 2wd 8cyl with towing package. Towing a 5000 pound lance TT that has two axles. Using an antisway and load leveling hitch system. Tracks like it's locked in.

Never sways. Yes antisway bar would make a loud noise if it did sway. Maximum speed is 60mph according to Lance company. If that is the max, then I try to keep it real at 55 to 60 mph.

What is your MPG? Mine is only 8.5 to 9.5 best case. That engine just pulls great but eats gasoline. Wonder if the Tundra 5.7 uses less gasolene.
__________________
offroad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2017, 11:29 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: Henry
Trailer: Casita
Tennessee
Posts: 185
I have a 2011 Tundra 4x4 Dbl cab 5.7L w/towing package, Casita 17', fiberglass camper shell, truck box is loaded with goodies, Andersen WDH, tongue weight at about 17% when trailer is loaded, trailer is level or slightly tongue down. Pulls very well, no sway ever, sometimes forget it is even there. I get 11.5 mpg over about 10K miles last camping season. I drive 60 mph.
__________________
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2017, 11:48 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Gilles's Avatar
 
Name: Gilles
Trailer: Bigfoot 15B17G, 1986.
Quebec
Posts: 591
Registry
The first thing to check is the weight distribution.
as the tanks are at the rear and may contain a lot of liquid, this would be my first check, while making sure that there are 10 to 15% of the total weight located on the hitch.

See the following video :

https://www.facebook.com/SwiftCarava...9840290418351/

After weighing our trailer, in a government balance in my case, I find the 10 to 15% weight we need, with a home balance, as explained in the following E-Trailer :

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-...ue-weight.aspx

In this way the transport is very pleasant.

In my case I had to add stabilizer bars with anti-swing.
As the weight is well balanced, there is no wobbling on the road.
The anti-swing is necessary in the event of an emergency stop, to prevent the trailer from wanting to pass in front of us and when large transport trucks exceed us at high speed. The air movement they create can cause our trailer to tilt.

Good road
__________________
Gilles
Bigfoot 15B17G.
Towed with Dodge Journey 2012, 3.6 L., 6 speeds.
Gilles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2017, 11:50 AM   #13
Member
 
Name: Kevin
Trailer: In the market
South Carolina
Posts: 43
2016 17' Bigfoot Travel Trailer Fishtailing With Tundra Tow Vehicle

2011 tundra is $23000. 2006 is $15000. Giving $7000 difference.

Calculating savings of $2000 a year in MPG between 11 and 8 with 20000 miles a year. So takes three and a half years to payback on switching to a 2011 truck. Not bad payback actually. Might need to switch to a 5.7 liter.

Am mentioning this because changing to a 2011 truck with 5.7 liter engine for less than $7000 out of pocket is worth the expense. For towing stability and MPG savings.
__________________
offroad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2017, 01:01 PM   #14
Member
 
Name: Perry
Trailer: Bigfoot 25RQ
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
Posts: 78
After eleven years of Scamp/Casita camping we purchased a Cougar 21RB last fall, with an Anderson weight distribution hitch. Traveled over 3,000 miles last June with the Cougar. We didn't have any sway problems, but the Courgar was so tall (over 12') and short (25' ball to bumper) the top tipped in every time we were passed by a semi or bus. The Cougar had to go!

On the way back to Lanesboro, MN there was a 2003 Bigfoot 25RQ for sale in Worthington, MN. You rarely find these and I've been too late on two of them. We stopped in and found an immaculate, well-cared for camper and it was ours.

I've driven about 950 miles without a weight distribution hitch or anti-sway, and it trails perfectly! However, I know better. Fifteen minutes ago UPS delivered a Blue Ox weight distribution hitch. When I'm done typing I'll load the hitch in the F-150, head to the seasonal campground where the BF sits, hook up the camper to the F-150 and head to Rochester to purchase a new ball.

As soon as I get the ball I'll find a parking lot and setup the hitch. Then I drive 250 miles to my father-in-laws, where he are having an estate sale, to camp for a couple of days. Then we'll camp for another week in different locations, including the fall egg rally in Bemidji State Park.

The first thing the OP needs to do after his father delivers the camper is find out the hitch weight and then total trailer weight. Assuming (ass-u-me) there is nothing wrong with the axle/frame he needs to move weight from the back to the front.

Enjoy,

Perry
__________________

__________________
2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ - 2015 Ford F-150, 3.5 V6 Ecoboost

Previous Eggs - 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, that we regret selling
Perryb67 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bigfoot


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Tow Vehicle... 2016 Jeep Cherokee ralphieboy Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 14 10-08-2016 04:20 PM
Your Thoughts on a 2016 Tow Vehicle? Sherritini Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 71 07-20-2016 08:37 AM
Help, Im Fishtailing (and other first trip encounters) Thee Jimbo Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 63 09-10-2012 12:47 PM
toyota tundra for towing a bigfoot 3000 tt ? Simon Harris General Chat 7 04-20-2008 11:28 PM
Tundra Bed Cover and Tool Box for Tundra Double Cab Terrance Classified Archives 0 02-02-2006 03:33 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.