Help! Camper sway - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-15-2014, 07:43 AM   #29
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Wayne,


All that said I have never owned a pickup truck but when we lived in the north in the winter it was clearly obvious in any snow storm that the rear end of a pickup is light.
So true Norm. My neighbor here had a nice 2 wheel drive pickup leased for a couple years. In the fall he added sand bags in the bed of the truck which really helped with the winter traction issue.

IMHO a 2 wheel drive pickup that in many cases is used as just a grocery getter should be FWD. Just makes more sense to have the drive wheels on the heavy end of the vehicle.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:31 AM   #30
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I remember the many advertisements in the 50s and 60s about front wheel drive versus rear wheel drive. All I know is you need weight over the drive wheels where ever the drive wheels are.

I also wonder about the advantage or disadvantage when towing of a solid rear axle (typical for trucks) versus independent rear suspension.

(Where are you Thomas?)
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:06 AM   #31
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As I mentioned in Post #15, I found no difference whatsoever in towing a similar size FGRV when I switched from my GMC Sonoma pick-up to a same year and basic body shell Blazer. They both towed fine with 10%+ tongue weight, proper tire inflation pressures and a fairly level stance.

In as much as several critical questions were not answered I think that all that can be done here is to make suggestions and listen to feedback. The most important missing information is trailer weight and tongue weight. Without that it's strictly like veterinary medicine, the patient isn't talking.....
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:00 PM   #32
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I found Carol's comments particularly interesting. She purchases a truck to get more towing capability and finds, even though level and properly loaded, she finds that the trailer sways like never before.

Is this related to the light rear ends of trucks?

Her solution was to increase the tongue weight, which increases loading on the rear of the truck, and to add a sway bar.


Norm I just want to point out that my answer to the sway was not adding an anti sway bar!

I did not add the anti sway bar until I had the sway issue well sorted out and had done a number of trips without an anti sway bar to insure it was stable under various driving conditions. The anti sway bar was added only as a cheap additional insurance policy should for some unforeseen reason encounter a sudden sway problem again in the future. I agree with others that if you add a sway bar to stop a regular happening sway issue you are simple masking a serious set up issue. If I had not achieved a nice solid tow by making the changes that I did and I know that under certain conditions - such as a truck passing would cause the trailer to sway I would be in talking to the hitch experts as to what more I needed to do to my set up to stabilize it. Then again I may just have used that as the final excuse needed to go out and get me a nice Escape 19' with the heavier tongue weight

I believe that there were a number of factors in why when I first set up the trailer with the truck I experienced sway. Some of the sway issue was probable related to the design of the Scamp itself. May have actually been the biggest contributing factor. Being a side bath model there is not a lot of places for storage ahead of the axle so it is inheritable light on the front end with only 1 propane tank and battery. Which funny enough is why I picked it out to start with as my Subaru had a 200lb tongue limit, which BTW I found wasn't enough to keep the trailer stable at freeway speeds & side winds with the Subaru either - much better tow with something in the 240lb range on the tongue.

I originally set the trailer up with the truck level and moved only a few items around inside the trailer to increase tongue weight as I know from prior experience with towing with trucks that it would be better with a higher tongue weight rather than having one closer to 11/12% of the axle weight the lower riding Subaru was fine with. I did on the first trip out with the truck/trailer experience sway when at speeds over 55 mph and a side wind or a large truck passed. No wind or trucks passing no sway even at 65 mph.

The fact the truck is lighter in the back end, sits up higher off the ground and has Bilstein shocks and is not full time 4 wheel drive (as the Subaru is) & does not have the same great independent traction system as the Subaru all probable played into the differences in the set up needed to get a stable tow as well. Even though I had pulled the trailer with the Subaru through some pretty heavy duty winter wind storms I had never felt the trailer tugging on the Subaru as I did towing it in a much lighter side wind or when a truck passed as I did with the truck. Which is why I believe the lighter back end of the truck played a part in the issue.

As MC1 pointed out the air flow coming off of the fiberglass tonneau cover of the truck may have contributed to it as well. Just not sure how much of a difference there really would be as wind would have been coming off the roof the Subaru and down to the tongue area of the trailer as well and there is not that great of a height difference between the trucks tonneau cover & the roof of my Subaru.

Of course all of this is all just my theory as to the many factories of why the towing set up needed to be different between the two vehicles for a solid tow.
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:12 PM   #33
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My neighbor here had a nice 2 wheel drive pickup leased for a couple years. In the fall he added sand bags in the bed of the truck which really helped with the winter traction issue.
In these parts you would be hard pressed not to find a truck of any make or size without sand bags or something equally as heavy in the back end of it in a mountain parking lot in winter. I like my truck but the simple truth is even in 4 wheel drive & good tires, it will not go out of my rather steep driveway without weight being added over the rear axle.... that is the main reason why I had avoided owning a truck for a long time as nothing bets Subaru's full time all wheel drive when it comes to driving in the snow. Even with the added weight of sand bags and a bed jammed full of gear and a few people in the truck it does not feel nearly as good/solid to me while driving in the snow covered Rocky mountains in the dead of winter as the Subaru did.
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:48 PM   #34
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For wind from the side a P/U truck is a slab sided wind catcher (outside & opposite inside of bed catch wind) when compared to the rounded solid sides of typical passenger vehicle. All with a very lite rear end. They are designed and have suspension to either support 1/2 ton or more Added weight in the rear OR have been totally jacked around to provide car like ride in something designed to haul that 1/2 ton of stuff.

My old Ford truck only had a decent ride when there was a fair amount of weight in the back. Put 1000 lbs of crushed rock in the back and I could hardly tell when it came to acceleration and stopping, ride was a whole lot nicer though.

Even as a young fellow I knew that doing burnouts and donuts in a p/u did not mean anything about the actual power of the engine, just no weight back on the drive tires.

Here in Mich. winters it is common to see truck bed with board between sides on either side of wheel wells and sand bags packed in there. Otherwise you get to spend a lot of time spinning your tires or going down the road backwards.

Swapping ends is just sway carried to an extreme but logical conclusion.
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:54 PM   #35
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Carol,

I do recognize that you added an anti-sway for emergencies or unusual conditions not to control sway while driving.

I do find it interesting that you need to load the truck and/or reload the trailer to tow without sway. Possibly there is a reason our little vehicles, your Subaru and my CRV, towed so well.

Though our first Odyssey towed revealed no issues, change often invites surprise (no political pun here).

Wishing you well with your new combo and even more with a future Escape. I bet Donna's fifth wheel tow well.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:15 PM   #36
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As I mentioned in Post #15, I found no difference whatsoever in towing a similar size FGRV when I switched from my GMC Sonoma pick-up to a same year and basic body shell Blazer. They both towed fine with 10%+ tongue weight, proper tire inflation pressures and a fairly level stance.
Bob... A neighbor here in town towed his trailer for years with a chevy Astro with no problems. He then mounted a bike rack and two pedal bikes on the back bumper. His next trip out on the highway lasted only 30 seconds. As soon as he got to 60MPH the trailer went into a violent sway and the whole rig ended up on it's side.

On the other hand lots of folks add bikes to the back of their trailers and experience no ill effects.

Point is every combination reacts differently to the physics involved. Think you have proved the point. Thnxs for posting.
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:12 PM   #37
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Product Concept- Truck Weight Distribution System

Since trucks are 'rear end light', maybe we need a weight distribution system for the truck instead of sand bags....
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:42 PM   #38
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Food for thought: I had all my camping supplies in the back of the pickup when the violent sway happened. I took it all out of the truck and loaded every bit into the camper. This was pre drop hitch. It didn't make a HUGE difference. The truck barely noticed there was anything in the bed. Maybe not enough weight for the truck but noticeable in the little camper??? Maybe


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Old 09-16-2014, 03:59 PM   #39
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I think part of the problem with large heavy trucks as a TV is the lack of "feel" of the trailer. So many times you hear the statement... I don't even know it's back there.
With smaller TV's that are set up right you feel the trailer back there. It is more of an intuitive driving experience.
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:26 PM   #40
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Food for thought: I had all my camping supplies in the back of the pickup when the violent sway happened. I took it all out of the truck and loaded every bit into the camper. This was pre drop hitch. It didn't make a HUGE difference. The truck barely noticed there was anything in the bed. Maybe not enough weight for the truck but noticeable in the little camper??? Maybe


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Weight in the truck bed, and the same weight on the hitch, are two different things when it comes to stability.

Think of what might happen if you added a lot of weight to the back of the trailer. That additional weight would add to a pendulum like effect once it started swaying. But... as Mr Fig Newton told us about equal and opposite forces, by having a greater amount at the front, it cancels out the motion at the back. The whole idea about hitch weight isn't as much about having weight on the hitch, but by assuring that there is more weight in front of the swing point (the trailers axle) than behind it.

Or something like that anyway!!!!!

An easy why to prove that is to buy four of those 30, 1/2 liter bottle, packs of water and stack them in the front of the trailer and carefully drive on a deserted stretch of road. Then put the weight (that's about 126 lbs) in the center and finally at the back of the trailer. In an FGRV, with less than, say 225 lbs tongue weight, you will see an immedicte difference in sway. The scientific term is called "The tail wagging the dog" Then you get to drink your science experiment supplies.

I have used this technique to prove to new trailer owners that hitch weight was all important.
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:35 PM   #41
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Meghan, as Deryk said, you need to go to scales. Anyone with a new trailer or TV needs to get their weights. You weigh the TV and trailer (loaded for travel), then drop the trailer nearby and weigh TV only. Then you can look at the numbers and see what the tongue weight is. Needs to be 10-15%.
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:55 PM   #42
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I just parked the trailer with the wheels off the scale and the jack on the scale. Not exact, but close.
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