Casita swaying - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV



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Old 09-18-2018, 08:57 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ice-breaker View Post
A well designed and properly loaded trailer should not show any signs of sway. Both my Escape 19 and Escape 15B exhibit no signs of sway even at relatively high speeds of 80mph.
Remember folks, the OP's Casita has NO BATHROOM up front. That seriously lightens the tongue weight, so you can't compare it to your FG campers with a front, or center front, bathroom.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:06 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by widgetwizard View Post
Thats really bad advice.
Why is this bad advice? The Trillium was light as a feather and I tend to travel light. When the friction bar was added it worked as it was designed to work. If you wish to disparage my comment at least come up with an alternate/hopefully better solution. By the way after going back through this thread I notice that I am not the only one who has advised the use of a friction bar.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
Remember folks, the OP's Casita has NO BATHROOM up front. That seriously lightens the tongue weight, so you can't compare it to your FG campers with a front, or center front, bathroom.

Enjoy,

Perry
Doesn't really matter whether a trailer is designed to have a front bath or not. In the design stage, consideration must be given to the as-built distribution of load within the trailer. Components should be moved as required to provide a proper weight distribution that minimizes sway. If a trailer comes from the factory and is susceptible to sway, then the designer has not done their job (no matter where the bathroom is located)!
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
Why is this bad advice? The Trillium was light as a feather and I tend to travel light. When the friction bar was added it worked as it was designed to work. If you wish to disparage my comment at least come up with an alternate/hopefully better solution. By the way after going back through this thread I notice that I am not the only one who has advised the use of a friction bar.
you didnt fix it. You masked it.

First you make the trailer tow properly by correctly loading it so it does NOT sway at your chosen tow speed.
This could be caused by many factors but usually comes down to too light on the tongue or incorrect tires pressures.
When all is good you can ADD a sway bar to help you out if you ever induce a sway though an emergency maneuver or an enormous bow wave from an overtaking box truck while battling a headwind etc...

Jim
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
If you wish to disparage my comment at least come up with an alternate/hopefully better solution.

That solution has been stated throughout this thread - proper loading of the trailer.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:51 AM   #20
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2018 Escape 5.0
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice-breaker View Post
Doesn't really matter whether a trailer is designed to have a front bath or not. In the design stage, consideration must be given to the as-built distribution of load within the trailer. Components should be moved as required to provide a proper weight distribution that minimizes sway. If a trailer comes from the factory and is susceptible to sway, then the designer has not done their job (no matter where the bathroom is located)!
Yes, that is true, but doesn't apply to the OP's current problem. If you had completely read and understood my post, once I figured we had to load heavier items up front it was NO LONGER A PROBLEM. We can't go back and change their Casita's design, but we can help the OP correct the problem and have a wonderful time with their camper. Isn't that the reason for this forum?

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:21 PM   #21
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Name: Alex
Trailer: 1999 Casita 16'
California
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Thanks for all advice

Hello everyone,

I appreciate everyone's responses. To summarize, it seems that I need to properly adjust weight when loading trailer and then add the anti-sway bar as a precaution. I understand that everyone who did NOT recommend anti-sway as a 1st step did so to encourage me to properly load the trailer as a requirement for safe towing and I intend to follow this advice, and add the anti-sway bar as an extra precaution, not a solution, for irresponsible loading. Frankly, I had no idea that extra 150 lb or so of beach gear, bedding, etc, could cause sway issues. Just to set record straight, I did not fill any water in water tank, so it was just regular Casita equipment plus "stuff" in the trailer.

I got 2 Yamaha 2000 generators and I plan to add a shelf above propane tanks as an additional tongue weight generating measure. I am also having my RV mechanic come and check out if trailer is leveled correctly. Currently, I believe I have a 4" "up" adjustment on my tow hitch, as installed by U-Haul professional. My mechanic thinks I may need to go down 2", but it already looks fairly low to the ground and Sienna is not even all that loaded. If there is anyone out there who tows with Sienna, what kind of adjustment , if any, do you have on yours?

Thanks everyone for their opinions, once again.

Alex
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:35 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Alex in LA View Post
If there is anyone out there who tows with Sienna, what kind of adjustment , if any, do you have on yours?
don't own or tow with a sienna, although we did test drive a new 1st gen one 20 years ago (but ended up with a Ford E150 Traveller full sized passenger van instead), so I can't directly answer your question..

but, do note, there's like 3 generations of Siennas that no answer is likely to cover all of them. Gen 2 were several inches longer wheelbase and taller than gen 1. each gen had a mid generation 'bump' in overall length and such if I go by the specs on wikipedia.

your hitch ball rise or drop should be dependent on the hitch height when the van is loaded AND the trailer is hitched so that the end result rides reasonably level. its generally OK if the front of the trailer is slightly /down/ but not so OK if its 'up'.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:51 PM   #23
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What Jon Said...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
The most likely cause of sway is improper weight distribution, particularly being too light at the front of the trailer. Sway can be very serious, so it's something you should address before your next trip.

When loaded for travel the tongue weight (or hitch weight) on the ball should be 10-15% of the total trailer weight with around 12% considered a good target. For example, if the total loaded weight of your trailer is 3000 pounds, the weight on the ball should be at least at least 300 pounds and around 350-375 pounds ideal.

That means you need to load up your trailer as normal and take it to a public scale. Truck stops, sand & gravel yards, feed & grain lots are possible places. Google "certified auto/truck scale." There may be a small charge for the weighing.

If you have a bathroom scale with a capacity of at least 400 pounds, you can estimate the tongue weight at home. Use a piece of plywood to protect the scale and drop the tongue jack onto the scale. Move the car out of the way and lower the tongue to the same height as when hitched and read the weight. Note that your true tongue weight (at the ball) will be a little less than the weight measured at the tongue jack because it is farther from the axle.

Once you get the weight distribution correct, you should find that sway under normal driving conditions goes away. Then you can add an anti-sway bar for an extra measure of safety when that pulling it with my sudden wind blast comes.

I owned a Casita 17 for nine years and never had a sway issue - even without using a WDH or anti-sway bar. I attribute that experience to paying attention to proper balance. That said I never traveled over 60mph when pulling it with my Toyota Tundra PU. (My self-imposed speed limit was mostly to increase mileage and make traveling less stressful.)

As Jon says, balancing your trailer is key. As an addendum I would add (as Thrifty Bill accurately points out), once balanced, getting the tongue weight correct is the rest of the story in pulling with optimum safety.
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Old 09-19-2018, 02:43 PM   #24
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As has been mentioned many times already: TONGUE WEIGHT.

There are some great youtube videos out there on what happens with too little tongue weight. There are expensive scales that can measure it for you. My last trip to Canada, I picked up the cheap version sold by Princess Auto.

As far as dropping the hitch lower, I tow where the trailer is level, front to back, or close to it. Most recommend it.
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex in LA View Post
... If there is anyone out there who tows with Sienna, what kind of adjustment , if any, do you have on yours?
I tow a Scamp 16 #4 with a 2015 Sienna, same generation Sienna as yours.

This generation has a beefed up suspension which helps. Owners of the previous gen have been know to use air bags in the rear springs. But with the Scamp I find that it works quite well without anything to beef up the rear end.

The Scamp is about 270 lbs tongue weight (as I load it). I would guess that your tongue weight is in the same ballpark. I do see a little rear-end squatting I am guessing that even though the van is rated for 350 lbs tongue weight, I would feel better keeping it under 300 to keep the front steering wheels sufficiently loaded. A WDH is another option but one I prefer to avoid if its safe to do so.

If I don't have a passenger then I try to load something in the front passenger area, such as a full five gallon water container and / or the trailer's spare tire. I also try not to load too much in the back of the van, but the problem is that anything loaded in the passenger area can become a projectile in a crash, so the safe distribution of non-passenger weight in the van is a challenge.
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:38 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
As has been mentioned many times already: TONGUE WEIGHT.

... There are expensive scales that can measure it for you. My last trip to Canada, I picked up the cheap version sold by Princess Auto.
...
The bathroom scale I bought for $5 at the thrift store works fine for light trailer tongue weight measuring (~200-300 lbs).
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Old 09-19-2018, 04:24 PM   #27
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California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex in LA View Post
Hello everyone,

I appreciate everyone's responses. To summarize, it seems that I need to properly adjust weight when loading trailer and then add the anti-sway bar as a precaution. I understand that everyone who did NOT recommend anti-sway as a 1st step did so to encourage me to properly load the trailer as a requirement for safe towing and I intend to follow this advice, and add the anti-sway bar as an extra precaution, not a solution, for irresponsible loading. Frankly, I had no idea that extra 150 lb or so of beach gear, bedding, etc, could cause sway issues. Alex
Glad to hear that Alex, proper loading, TT level or a tad tongue down and you should be good to go. BTW, the 150#s you mention....some folks have caused their trailers to sway by just hanging a bike or two on the rear of their rigs .
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:03 PM   #28
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If you search youtube for trailer sway, you will see a variety of sway accidents, some including empty flat bed trailers that ended up rolling over beefy tow vehicles. Big vehicle, small vehicle, big trailer, small trailer, sway can be deadly.
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