Anti-Sway Bar - Page 6 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-15-2012, 12:25 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post
Well, regarding tongue weight, there are some good reasons for having a correct amount of tongue weight. If you've never towed something with inadequate tongue weight, you should try it sometime. It's real special

george
George you are correct in regards to ensuring that the tongue weight is correct but what some people here don't seem to realize is that not all auto manufactures are the same in regards to the tongue/weight ratio they recommend & have tested by their engineering teams. I suspect this has to do with the fact different auto manufactures are using different drive systems. So the old school thinking as to what is a safe ratio does not necessarily apply with some of the newer autos. Again its important that people read the manual.

Now back to the topic of WD.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:54 PM   #72
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I thought that the tongue weight issue was about trailer stability not TV stability.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:13 PM   #73
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Tongue weight

Our trailer weighs 2400 pounds including the tongue weight. Our tongue weight is 200 pounds, +/- depending on propane tank and ...

I guess that puts us between 8 and 9% on the percentage on the hitch. Originally we towed the Scamp without an anti-sway bar. We never saw any sway before the sway bar and since we've had the anti-sway bar we haven't seen any sway.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:28 PM   #74
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I thought that the tongue weight issue was about trailer stability not TV stability.
LOL you have hit the nail on the head Paul! If you put a greater % of tongue weight on vehicle than what the manufactures states it should have and if that vehicle has one of the newer drive system or body designs - as you know there are many different types drive systems out there and they do not all work the same, you may be creating a serious problem in regards to the vehicles stability and safe handling. Who wants to be the one to discover the hard way that there is a real good reason for the manufacture to put the specs they do into their manuals :-)

I don't know about you but I feel safer going with what the engineers who made the car and did the crash testing recommend rather than going with the general rule of thumb that started long before some of the types of drive systems &/or body type designs in place today where even developed.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:38 PM   #75
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Well, okay, how about this: I just looked online for a 2011 Scooby-Doo Outback. It says, tow capacity 3000 pounds. Tongue weight must never exceed 200 pounds. Tongue weight must be between 8 and 11% of trailer weight. According to my handy dandy calculator, 8 to 11 percent of 3000 pounds equals 240-330 pounds. Hmmm, the plot thickens. Apparently the "tongue weight guys" were out playing golf the day the "tow capacity guys" were having their discussion.

Tongue weight is primarily intended for the trailer, not the tow vehicle. In a general sense, within reason of course, more tongue weight is better. The only folks I've ever seen who try to argue that "less is better", is usually someone trying to justify towing "too much trailer behind too small a tow vehicle".

The extreme example of lots of tongue weight is to look at where the trailer wheels are on a 40' van/trailer behind a class eight truck ( 18 wheeler ). Those wheels are all the way at the back, in order to place a greater percentage of the load on the pin ( that would be "tongue weight" ). Another example would be if you look at my 33' gooseneck horse trailer....again, the trailer axles are almost to the back of the trailer. Lots of weight on the pin, equals lots of stability. Nails the back of the F-350 dually to the road. Nice. Very nice.
There is a reason that vehicles that are designed with towing in mind have solid rear axles and typically leaf springs ( usually fairly stiff ). The reason is, that makes a tow vehicle that is sturdy in the rear end, and able to carry correct tongue weights. All other designs begin to compromise any number of important performance parameters regarding safe handling, wheel alignment, driveline angles ( u-joint or CV joint angular deflection ), bump steer, etc.

Y'all can tow whatever trailer you want with whatever you feel will work, but in a broad sense, running these tow vehicles close to or over the limits that the factory specifies is a roll of the dice on any number of fronts. The more "reserve" you have, the better. I wish you all safe towing, and a healthy dose of good luck.

george
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:49 PM   #76
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Apparently the "tongue weight guys" were out playing golf the day the "tow capacity guys" were having their discussion.
george
Either that or they are playing it safe in setting a tongue weight low that makes sure that people have safe margin left over of total tow capacity
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:48 PM   #77
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I read about the importance of 15% tongue weight but technically I don't understand the need. We're at about 60% of that value and I haven't seen any issues.

I will say that we run our Honda's rear tires stiffer than most people so the push of the trailer faces more side force resistance to tire sidewall rollover at the rear tires.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:08 PM   #78
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I read about the importance of 15% tongue weight but technically I don't understand the need. We're at about 60% of that value and I haven't seen any issues.

I will say that we run our Honda's rear tires stiffer than most people so the push of the trailer faces more side force resistance to tire sidewall rollover at the rear tires.
And that's certainly a good idea and point made Norm. Typically P metric tires are run at 35 psi, but often are rated to carry 44psi to gain max load capacity. Running the rears at 42 to 44, plus running the steer tires at 38 to 42 makes good sense.
I use a non contact IR thermometer also to keep tabs on tire, brake, bearing and diff housing temps. Any "tool" I can use to help me spot trouble early is given consideration.

But then I'm also the guy you will see with, literally, a bright red laminated "check sheet" in my hand as I walk around doing final inspection before leaving. I don't like leaving safety issues to chance. Would any of us want to fly in an airplane that the crew failed to use a pre-light checklist ? I know I wouldn't. Checklists work, plain and simple.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:20 PM   #79
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Either that or they are playing it safe in setting a tongue weight low that makes sure that people have safe margin left over of total tow capacity
The bottom line is though, according to their own specs, if you cannot exceed 200 lbs tongue, and you must maintain a minimum of 8%, the the real total capacity is actually 2500.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:26 PM   #80
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george,

I run my Honda rears at 39 psi and my fronts at 34 psi and my trailer tires around 47 psi. This compares to a normal 26 front and rear on the Honda.

As well, though my Honda is old, I added pressure sensors to the rear tires, giving me tire pressure and temperatures on the Honda rears and the trailer.

Once we get going the rears get to the 44 psi and are always warmer than the trailer tires. Once running the trailer tires quickly get up to 50 psi

The pressure readings seem to be accurate to +/- 1 pound compared to my digital gauge. I don't know how accurate the temperature reading is though I do own a non contact IR thermoneter.

Of course with temperature and pressure I'm looking for 'strange' change. I will say when I start off in the morning the temperature readings are around ambient.

For the record we've always run Bridgestone Duelers (they came with the Honda) and Goodyear Marathons on our trailers.
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:42 PM   #81
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Tongue Weight

When I was a first year apprentice they told me to drive the company 1/2 ton truck back to the shop , behind the truck was a 5000 lb Ditch Witch on a trailer with no brakes. It took me 1 1/2 hours to drive 7 miles I used both lanes of the highway including the shoulder. .I went from dead stop to a maximum of 20 MPH swaying all the way to the shop with both hands on the wheel and thinking I was going to die. When I arrived at the shop we unhooked the trailer , the tongue flew up in the air and the back end crashed into the pavement . There was NO tongue weight. The ditch witch was too far back in the trailer.. I learned my lesson about tongue weight. ( I was a 19 year old first year apprentice who had never towed a trailer in his life and in those days apprentices did what they were told or they went back to the Union Hall looking for work . I needed the job) "Young and Dumb"
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:06 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
LOL you have hit the nail on the head Paul! If you put a greater % of tongue weight on vehicle than what the manufactures states it should have and if that vehicle has one of the newer drive system or body designs - as you know there are many different types drive systems out there and they do not all work the same, you may be creating a serious problem in regards to the vehicles stability and safe handling. Who wants to be the one to discover the hard way that there is a real good reason for the manufacture to put the specs they do into their manuals :-)

I don't know about you but I feel safer going with what the engineers who made the car and did the crash testing recommend rather than going with the general rule of thumb that started long before some of the types of drive systems &/or body type designs in place today where even developed.
That's not really what I meant. I was implying that the 10% or more tongue weight "rule' is probably a good idea. If the max TW on an Outback is 200 lbs. I would be reluctant to move things back in the trailer to achieve that number. As has been stated, more tongue weight is better than less.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:54 PM   #83
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More tongue weight usually helps keep a trailer tracking straight and true. If the tow vehicle can't handle the downward force that the trailer requires for excellent tracking, your tow vehicle is too wimpy. I recently added a receiver to the back of my 16' scamp to be able to mount a Harbor Freight storage platform. I knew from past towing experience that the cargo carried would have to be light in weight to preserve trailer balance since the platform is very far aft of the axle. I have a large Rubbermaid storage container that stores some garden hoses and sewer incline props etc. I would estimate the loaded weight of the box at 20lbs. I also have a light sheet metal bbq to add to the rack along with a bundle or two of firewood, charcoal etc. Two weeks ago I loaded the trailer for our first trip. I put on the rack, bbq, Rubbermaid box and fire wood bundle. I also filled my water tank 3/4 full (7-8 gallons) since I didn't know where I could fill up near the camping spot. Inside the trailer I stashed some stuff under the rear dinette, maybe 20 lbs. total. After taking to the road, I immediately noticed some instability, and a "hunting" feel to the steering of my short wheelbase Jeep Wrangler. While going down a gradual hill and applying the brakes the trailer went into a "death dance" side to side. The Jeep absorbed the side forces rather well and quenched disaster, but had I been driving on icy roads here in San Diego It could have been hairy. I pulled over and took all the items from under the rear dinette and placed them in the front bathroom or near the door. Got back in and continued over the mountains. The rig handled like it was on rails! This difference was just from moving 20 lbs. from 4' behind the axle to about 4' in front of the axle. So, I would say balance the trailer for the proper handling, then weigh the tongue, then check if your vehicle is rated for that weight. You're good to go. No magic.
Russ
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:05 PM   #84
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Another thing that inadequate tongue weight can do, aside from inducing sway, is to induce a bit of "push-pull" on the tow vehicle. It can very very slight, or it can be quite forceful. It's usually at about 2 or 3 cycles per second, but it can be slower than that. This characteristic can be very damaging to driveline components, especially ring and pinion gears.

Essentially what tongue weight does is to make the TV and the towed chassis act more as though they are "one unit". Which is why weight distribution hitches work so well, because they fundamentally turn the hitch into a "bridge", and by transferring weight more evenly across all axles, you step even closer to the concept of the whole rig becoming one unit.
A fifth wheel even more so.
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