Equalizer Hitch to Reduce Bounce? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-10-2009, 11:09 AM   #1
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I have a SurfSide TM-14 (front galley) and I tow with a Pontiac Montana (short model). I seem to have a lot of bounce from the trailer that kicks up the back end of the van too. I did install a new axle thinking the 35 year old original was to blame but it didn't help much. the van could use new rear shocks but I'm wondering if an equalizer/sway hitch will help with this issue?
anyone have any insight into this?

thanx,
Scott
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:07 PM   #2
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Name: Dana
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Good rear shocks will help a lot.

An equalizer hitch will help a little -- it's just a spring so it doesn't do anything for reducing bouncing directly.

What would really help is to reduce the angular inertia the trailer has, which means move whatever weight you can to be close to the floor and close to the axle.

Weight that is up high causes a pitching moment when you accelerate or brake, and that's bad. It's the primary reason I don't like to see roof-mounted air conditioners, or heavy things like canned goods in the upper cabinets.

Weight that's on the floor but far from the axle increases the angular inertia and makes any pitching much harder to stop. Think of a teeter-totter -- when no one is on it it's real easy to stop any motion, but when you have a 300-pounder on either end it takes a lot of braking force to stop any motion. And that's the job your rear shocks have to do, so make it easy on them.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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thanx Dana, the shocks I need anyway so I'm gonna give them a go first. I think I have access to a used hitch to try it out first so I'll do that after the shocks.
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:39 PM   #4
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I you get new shocks, pay the premium for air shocks.

Make sure you TV is loaded and use the air shocks to level the load before hitching up your RV.

Adjust your WDH to relevel the RV/TV after hitching up.

You will be amazed how much this will improve the ride quality.

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Old 11-10-2009, 05:33 PM   #5
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I wonder what percentage of the weight you have in tongue weight. If it were relatively high, could that cause the up and down "sawing" motion?

I thought of this because you have the front kitchen, and I know that kitchen stuff can be heavy.

I don't know if extra tongue weight can account for this - I'm just thinking aloud.
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Old 11-10-2009, 06:01 PM   #6
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I wonder what percentage of the weight you have in tongue weight. If it were relatively high, could that cause the up and down "sawing" motion?

I thought of this because you have the front kitchen, and I know that kitchen stuff can be heavy.

I don't know if extra tongue weight can account for this - I'm just thinking aloud.
In my experience, a tongue weight that's too [b]low has caused excess motion. When I filled the water tank (in the front end) and the two propane tanks, I had much less bounce and it felt more stable. Don't know if this is generally true, or just in my particular case.

I'm fairly certain that bad shocks in the TV would definitely cause excess motion, regardless. If there's still some motion after replacing them, then readjusting the loads in the trailer and TV could help...
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:18 PM   #7
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I thought about the air-ride shocks too. I'll have to ask the shop how they perform at minus 40. then again, nothing performs well at minus 40.... especially ME!

thanx for the input from everyone
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:51 PM   #8
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Scott

You've come to the right place with a very good question. Generally, it is of great help if you can share a few specifics with us:
1. What is the year,make, model of your tow vehicle? Transmission?
2. Factory tow rating (tow limit in owners manual).
3. Factory tow package (transmission cooler, larger radiator, size hitch, ect.)
4. Actual trailer weight (loaded) *
5. Actual hitch weight.*
* weights are very important to help decide on what changes ($) need to be made. Best to visit a scale.
6. Trailer tires specs.
7. Are trailer tires inflated to factory specs? (lbs?)
8. Are there any cracks/breaks in the tongue or frame?

9. How many PBJ sandwiches do you have in the forward galley???
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:46 PM   #9
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I thought about the air-ride shocks too. I'll have to ask the shop how they perform at minus 40. then again, nothing performs well at minus 40.... especially ME!

thanx for the input from everyone
Scott, take a look at the Cadillac Escalades or DeVilles in your area, if they are any.

They all use air shocks in their automatic leveling systems.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:50 AM   #10
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I'll have to work on this list in the spring Bill. I've tried the weight distribution both in front and rear and it's better with more weight in front. a good friend is also loaning me a hitch in the spring so I'll be able test all of these theories.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:37 AM   #11
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found a near new equalizer hitch online and paid $60 for it. if there's still no snow here in Winnipeg on the weekend, I might just see how it works.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:16 AM   #12
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PUt 4 new shock on the tow vehicle, use equalizing hitch, and you will reduced bounce.
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