Equalizer vs. Fast way E2 hitch? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-22-2016, 06:55 AM   #15
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Name: Jane
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I have the rear bed model, not the front bed. Thanks to everyone for the encouraging words.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:15 PM   #16
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Here's one thread on tongue weight: Article on Tongue Weight Dynamics.

Here's another: Tongue Weight and Trailer Size.

And:
About Wind, Stabilization Bars, etc..

This thread has some posts dealing directly with the Bigfoot 21RB. How Big, Function vs Ease of Use.

I hope some of these help - and maybe give you an idea of other terms to search. Good luck!!
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:36 PM   #17
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I'm confused. The previous owner used the trailer and hitch about four times a year for fourteen years with no problems. The person who drove it 4 days straight from California to bring it to me (the trailer was empty) had no problem. He used the same hitch. Why does everyone think it's a tongue weight problem? Please explain.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:47 PM   #18
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towing flat?

since you don't provide pictures I can only guess.....ok here's one....your hitch ball is too high and you're towing "bow up" (causing insufficient...yep, you guessed it....tounge weight)

now for your "smart vehicle" problems...I can onlly empathise.....my 07 Dodge has something called anti-skid technology.....that almost got me T-boned by a bus at highway speeds once long story but when it goes into a skid the outside front wheel brakes hard!!!....that does stop the skid alright...problem is I am faster than the technology and I have already counter steered....so the one wheel braking action happens with the wheel turned....causing a violent change of direction....

whenever it's slippery I have to "de-select" this feature (comes on automatically at engine start)
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:19 PM   #19
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Francois, I promise my trailer was level when I was towing. I feel sure my problems were caused by the ESC (anti-skid). My anti-skid icon displayed at least one of the times I had the problem. It's only happening when I tow but with very little provocation ( like curvy road or changing lanes). Once the brakes engage they don't go off until I turn the car off. The brakes on the trailer are not engaged. I did not try turning off the anti-skid button but will when it happens again. I posted the problem on this forum before I had the accident and another member reported a similar problem with his jeep. At lower speeds I was able to deal with the problem but at 55mph I could not. When my accident occurred, I was easing into the left lane but then decided to stay in my lane. I believe that simple movement caused the anti-skid to come on. With the car breaking and the trailer not, the fishtailing occurred. There was damage to both the car and trailer. I also reported the problem to Chrysler but my expectations are low because they won't return my calls. Am I crazy to think that if the anti-skid brakes the car when you're towing, the trailer brakes should also engage?
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:51 PM   #20
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Low tongue weight can cause sway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane H. View Post
Twice I had a problem with the Durango putting on the car brakes when I was towing which I believe is related to the Electronic Stability control. Basically the brakes are coming on on the SUV but not the trailer. ( I am not pressing the brake pedal.)
I think we're jumping on the "low tongue weight" bandwagon, because it's an obvious culprit when sway is a problem. (Too much weight behind the axles can contribute to low tongue weight, as others have said.) The links I posted weren't anything conclusive; I thought maybe you would see something that fits your situation.

Looking back at your description of your accident, however, it's weird for your SUV brakes to come on if you're not pressing the brake pedal. (I know nothing about the features of your Durango, so maybe what you describe is normal for the "Electronic Stability Control" but it sounds very strange.) Maybe someone with knowledge of the Durango's systems will be able to help you.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:05 PM   #21
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Tires, tire pressure, and to much or to little tongue weight and hitch height are the first (and easiest) things to check and rule out. Before spending hundreds of dollars on a WDH that you may not even need, checking the basics is a good way to go.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane H. View Post
Am I crazy to think that if the anti-skid brakes the car when you're towing, the trailer brakes should also engage?
Many trailer brake systems rely on a movement of the brake pedal to begin braking the trailer just before the brakes engage on the tow vehicle. I am not familiar with the system on the Durango, and don't own any vehicles new enough to have those kind of systems, but I have rented them. The braking on at least one model did not engage the brake pedal, it was otherwise controlled.

If your trailer braking system uses the direct link to the brake pedal to brake the trailer, this may explain your issue.

Another thought: check your owner's manual to see what it says about trailer towing modes. You may need to de-activate certain features to tow safely.

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Old 06-23-2016, 08:02 AM   #23
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Jane, I reread this whole thread. I can't imagine how frightening your experience must have been, and unless I could find and fix the cause, I would not tow with this combination again, either. You have a substantial amount of money invested in the trailer and vehicle (sweet!!!), so it may be time to involve a professional hitch specialist to help you figure out what went wrong and get it set up right. I have to believe it can be fixed, and I am thankful nothing worse happened so that you have another chance!

It seems to me there are two possibilities: either trailer sway is causing the ESC to activate (most likely), or the ESC is activating for some other reason and causing the sway.

Taking the second possibility first, if the ESC is initiating the sway condition, I can think of several possible reasons. (1) The WDH was improperly adjusted and allowing some wheel slippage on an inside wheel during cornering (at the front if under-tensioned or at the back if over-tensioned). (2) The trailer brakes and/or controller are not adjusted correctly, causing an unexpected tug or jerk on the vehicle and activating the ESC (but you said you didn't touch the brakes, before or during? the incident… hmmm…). (3) The ESC is malfunctioning or improperly set for towing, as Vic suggests. If you haven't already, a careful read-through of everything in your owner's manual about the ESC system and towing would be a good start. Your Durango R/T was designed as a high-performance vehicle, so the ESC may be programmed differently from the run-of-the-mill systems in other vehicles. It wouldn't hurt to have a conversation with a Dodge technical specialist. If they don't return calls, a letter might be in order.

On the other hand, if sway is the initiating factor, it has to have a cause. A number of them have been mentioned: low tongue weight, nose-high attitude, excessive speed, wrong tire type or low pressure, shifting weight (water sloshing in a half-filled tank, for example), improper cargo loading, faulty trailer design, to name a few.

If it were me, I would start with some baseline data regarding the tongue and axle weights of this trailer, preferably loaded for travel. I would definitely want to understand more about the ESC and towing systems on this specialty vehicle. If the brake controller is built-in, I'd want to understand how it works in tandem with the ESC system. In a sway situation, you really don't want vehicle braking without trailer braking. And I would seriously consider working with a hitch specialist in your area to choose and set up the WDH.

Best wishes, and don't quit just yet!
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:13 PM   #24
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Thanks for all of the comment and suggestions. I am reading and rereading them all.

Sorry for the delay in responding. I was really down yesterday. I've read the manual again and the only new info I got was that I should hear a noise while the anti-skid is active. I never heard a noise. The towing info is a half page with the weights for each engine and model. No help there. By the way, my RV guy hitched the trailer the second time I had the problem.

The good news is that my insurance company is sending an investigator to look into the problem. I hope he can figure it out. I'll post it if I get a definitive answer.
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:45 AM   #25
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Equalizer vs. Fast way E2 hitch?

Sure hope they can uncover some additional data to shed light on this puzzling situation. Disappointing to hear Chrysler doesn't return calls. Your vehicle is one of their premier models. I'd keep pursuing them- maybe after insurance completes their investigation and you take some time to recover. Keep us posted.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:24 AM   #26
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I would send Chrysler a registered letter. It's much harder to ignore than a phone call.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:42 AM   #27
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Equalizer vs. Fast way E2 hitch?

I have a 2014 Jeep GC, virtually the same vehicle as a Durango. If the computer detects trailer sway it will brake one of the wheels to TRY to correct the sway. Sounds like your system is malfunctioning. There is no 'adjustment' or 'tow-haul' switch.

The towing package includes self leveling rear shocks. They aren't air shocks but adjust themselves up (or down) over the course of a couple of miles of driving.

I don't know much about WDH but don't they have to be adjusted to apply the correct "virtual" tongue weight. If so and the hitch was grossly out of adjustment the car might have been trying but was unable to correct the sway. You have a stout tow vehicle with plenty of capacity, weight and wheel base to easily tow a 21' trailer (360 hp, 7200 # trailer weight limit). Either the ESC is malfunctioning or the WDH is set up wrong.


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Old 07-15-2016, 10:22 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCDenny View Post
I have a 2014 Jeep GC, virtually the same vehicle as a Durango. If the computer detects trailer sway it will brake one of the wheels to TRY to correct the sway. Sounds like your system is malfunctioning. There is no 'adjustment' or 'tow-haul' switch.
Personally would disconnect any system on the vehicle that resulted in it applying brakes to the vehicle only when towing.

Its a pretty well known that applying brakes to the vehicle when a trailer is swaying is the perfect recipe for a full out fish tail as the OP experienced. If and when a trailer starts to sway applying brakes to the vehicle will make things worse - thats the reason for the lever on the brake controller that allows you to apply brakes to the trailer only, if and when it starts to sway. Applying brakes to the trailer only is a much safer way to stop the sway.

If I was the OP I would download the instructions from the WDH manufacturer and make sure it really is set up correctly. Not only does the trailer need to be level but equally as important is the tow vehicle needs to be level. If the tow vehicles front end is high it will result in a very sloppy tow.

Recently had a new WDH installed by my trailers dealer. While I paid for the install I noted that the employee doing the install was measuring the trailer all the way around to make sure it was level but not measuring the front wheel well of the vehicle - he just stood back and eye balled it. They assured me it was good to go although I suspected it was not as it looked to me that the front end of the truck was a bit to high. Sure enough I got out on the highway and it was NOT a nice solid tow - to wiggly/sloppy feel for my liking. Pulled into a rest stop found a flat spot and reset the whole thing, so not only was the trailer level but so was the truck. Much better!!
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