Help! Camper sway - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-12-2014, 03:10 PM   #1
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Help! Camper sway

Please help! I'm driving down the road in a new TV (a ford 1 ton or something like that) and the camper started swaying so bad. It was scary. I tried to search but it isn't working well what can I do?


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Old 09-12-2014, 03:14 PM   #2
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Do you have trailer brakes? If so, when sway happens, activate only the trailer brakes. There is usually a slider, or arm, on the brake controller that activates the trailer brakes manually. That will stop the sway temporarily.

But, what you have to address is the cause of the sway. This is typically too much weight in the back of the trailer or not enough tongue weight. Another cause is the tongue is too high. The trailer should be level. Tongue down is better then tongue up.
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Old 09-12-2014, 03:17 PM   #3
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We just put jacks on and were carrying an extra propane tank. We just emptied the pickup and put things in camper over and to the front over the wheels as best we could. Is that a good start?


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Old 09-12-2014, 03:18 PM   #4
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Yes, the weight should be forward of the axle. Light stuff in the back.

The rule of thumb is the tongue weight should be about 10% of the trailers total weight.
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Old 09-12-2014, 03:50 PM   #5
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One thing you didn't say. How fast were you going? If over 60mph slow down.

Make sure you have ST tires on and pressure at maximum per side wall markings.
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Old 09-12-2014, 03:52 PM   #6
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Trailer being nose up (hitch too high) is a sure recipe for sway. We normally tow with a Ford Escape, on one trip we had a the loan of a Ford Explorer which is bigger and heavier but sat higher and we could not find a stinger with enough drop to get the trailer level. At any speed over 55 mph we got a lot of sway we had to keep the speed down to 50 to be stable going down the road. Short trip but left no doubt in our mind that level towing makes a huge difference. As does speed.
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
Trailer being nose up (hitch too high) is a sure recipe for sway. We normally tow with a Ford Escape, on one trip we had a the loan of a Ford Explorer which is bigger and heavier but sat higher and we could not find a stinger with enough drop to get the trailer level. At any speed over 55 mph we got a lot of sway we had to keep the speed down to 50 to be stable going down the road. Short trip but left no doubt in our mind that level towing makes a huge difference. As does speed.
Roget Dat or that....
Notice that Roger slowed down to get out of sway.

Sway will happen at some speed. The trick is to keep the trailer set up to push that speed as high as possible then drive well below sway speed.
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:32 PM   #8
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This hasn't happened on my town and country at all. I can drive 70 with no problem.
Trying to find a new hitch. Does anyone know the biggest drop we can buy? We just got a 7" and it is definitely nose up compared to on my town n country
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:34 PM   #9
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I hope you can see the town n country in my profile pic. Definitely nose down. I can't go above 55 and even at 50-55 she sways a little


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Old 09-12-2014, 04:45 PM   #10
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Fits 2 Inch Hitch Ball Mounts | etrailer.com
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:48 PM   #11
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Awesome!!! So hopefully we can find someone who sells something more than a 7" someplace soon!!! Thanks for the link!! Browsing while trying to drive around (not the driver browsing!!!) is not easy!


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Old 09-12-2014, 04:58 PM   #12
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Meghan, the internal search function on the app is pretty rudimentary. Better to use your browser and go to the website and use the Google search feature (blue task bar, upper right under log-in info, "Search," down to the bottom of the drop-down menu). I got the best results by searching on "sway bar," since whether or not to use one usually enters the discussion at some point.

Here is one longer discussion I found.
Anti-sway Bar
I didn't re-read the whole thing, but it seems to identify similar possible causes as here.
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Old 09-12-2014, 06:09 PM   #13
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Meghan... Decades of towing all over the country and never had a trailer sway.

Nose up is not good. It needs to be level or slightly nose down.

Also... The air goes over the cab of the pickup and slides down into the bed. Then pushes against the front of the trailer. That force from the air is taking weight off the trailer tongue. With the Town and Country's shape there is less of an effect.
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:30 PM   #14
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W,


"Also... The air goes over the cab of the pickup and slides down into the bed. Then pushes against the front of the trailer. The force from the air is taking weight off the trailer tongue."

That description of airflow puts together some good information. When Meghan first described her problem, I though it was a weight distribution problem, plain and simple. Shift things around and problem solved.

I didn’t consider the issue of the tongue being too high as I just returned from Canandaigua, NY about a month ago with my 13’ Scamp and a Ford Ranger using its bumper hitch, after switching vehicles. I used the 60/40% weight distribution, 10% hitch weight, inflated tires, etc. The camper hitch was higher than a giraffes ass, and didn’t look pretty, but it was secure and I drove 70 mph for two and a half days in all kinds of traffic and weather with absolutely no hint of swaying at all.

However! I had a topper on the pickup box. It looks like toppers can make a huge difference in the air flow dynamics affecting the camper as you described when it flows over the cab and back off the bed onto the front of the camper, reducing hitch weight, even if it is loaded correctly. A topper keeps that pattern from happening. I have since put a Reese hitch on the Ranger and leveled the camper hitch as it should be.
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