Smoothing out my bumpy ride - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-31-2015, 06:44 PM   #1
KSM
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Name: kyle
Trailer: 1980 Fiber Stream
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Smoothing out my bumpy ride

I know this has been discussed ad infinitum but I thought I'd post the question one more time. How can I smooth out my bumpy, jerky ride?
I'm towing a 1980 Fiberstream with my 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited with tow package (rated for 4500#).
On smooth road the ride is ok. On road where there is any bump (which is most roads) the ride is bumpy and jerky. More than I think is necessary.
A couple of things...
In order to get sufficient drop from my hitch to get the trailer level I am using a Reese adjustable draw bar drop hitch at it's longest (lowest) setting. It means there is play at 2 points in the hitch which, I think, is contributing to the jerky ride. A fixed drop might improve this, yes?
As best I can tell, the springs and one axle are original 1980. The other axle is new within the past 5 years. Springs don't look saggy and both axles were recently serviced. I have read a little about adding shocks. Any other suggestions on what I might look at? What is a reasonable expectation on how smooth my towing experience should be?
Thanks
Kyle
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:50 PM   #2
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Quality shocks on car and trailer.

Tires on the Jeep? There many be other options that will give you a better ride and performance.

Hoping you are using a WDH. Easy Lift brand is gentle on the TV.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:02 PM   #3
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Hi MC1,
The Jeep is stock (tires and suspension), no shocks on the trailer. As mentioned, factory tow package. No WDH. I've begun reading a bit about them. The GVRW of the Jeep is 5500#. In theory, the dry weight of the trailer is 1600#. I haven't weighed it yet but I'm guessing it might be around 2500. No idea what the tongue weight is. Tow vehicle appears to bear the weight reasonably well.
A properly rated WDH might help, I guess...
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:07 PM   #4
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Hi Kyle.. Is it possible to post a pic of you Jeep/trailer. A picture is worth a 1,000 words.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:35 PM   #5
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Trailer tire inflation has an effect on the quality of ride, make sure it is correct. The first time I towed my Scamp, the tires were about 32 psi, which was way too low, and the ride was pretty rough. The prescribed pressure is 45 psi (cold) and that made my second trip much, much better. I even started researching the shock absorbing hitches, but then concluded that those things are not really necessary.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:43 PM   #6
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Hi Kyle.. Is it possible to post a pic of you Jeep/trailer. A picture is worth a 1,000 words.
I don't have a good profile shot and the trailer is parked elsewhere. I'll try to post something tomorrow, thanks.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Paul O. View Post
Trailer tire inflation has an effect on the quality of ride, make sure it is correct. The first time I towed my Scamp, the tires were about 32 psi, which was way too low, and the ride was pretty rough. The prescribed pressure is 45 psi (cold) and that made my second trip much, much better. I even started researching the shock absorbing hitches, but then concluded that those things are not really necessary.
When I first picked up the trailer the tires were soft and the ride was really terrible. The tires are actually rated for 90 PSI (I think). They are wee 12" tires. Seems I could only get about 70PSI out of the compressor I used to top them up. I should check where they are at now. They look firm but might still be relatively soft.
Thanks.
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:27 PM   #8
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70 psi seems way too high for a 2000 lb trailer. I'd drop to 60, then 55, then 50 and see how it rides.
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:15 PM   #9
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Smoothing out my bumpy ride

I wonder if your drop hitch is twisting because you have set it to the lowest position. If the pull from the hitch is not horizontally in line with the receiver then tow or brake force can translate to twist. Any elasticity in the drop bar or receiver could cause the jerkiness. You might try raising the drop hitch even temporarily and see if the jurkeyness goes away. Just a thought.


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Old 05-31-2015, 11:00 PM   #10
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I saw this on Amazon and bought one for our hitch. We used it towing the Scamp from New Mexico to Denver without a single problem, but in bringing it from storage to the house this past weekend, we didn't put it on and it felt like the Scamp was bumping and banging around behind us. In reality it was the hitch making noise and allowing play. Put this gizmo back on the hitch to return it to storage, and it was once again a smooth, quiet ride. Might be worth a try as well.

Amazon.com: Roadmaster 061 Quiet Hitch: Automotive
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:25 PM   #11
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70 psi seems way too high for a 2000 lb trailer. I'd drop to 60, then 55, then 50 and see how it rides.
They are C Load tires rated to 990lbs at 90 PSI. From what I have read, tires should be inflated to their max. That said, I don't know if they are the right tires for the trailer.
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by dleverton View Post
I wonder if your drop hitch is twisting because you have set it to the lowest position. If the pull from the hitch is not horizontally in line with the receiver then tow or brake force can translate to twist. Any elasticity in the drop bar or receiver could cause the jerkiness. You might try raising the drop hitch even temporarily and see if the jurkeyness goes away. Just a thought.


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Doug L
I do think the sloppy adjustable drop hitch is a big factor. There is a lot of play in it. It's the $40 version, not the $200 one. Next step is to find a solid 6-7" drop. Hoping that will make difference.
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:30 PM   #13
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Name: kyle
Trailer: 1980 Fiber Stream
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Originally Posted by emij View Post
I saw this on Amazon and bought one for our hitch. We used it towing the Scamp from New Mexico to Denver without a single problem, but in bringing it from storage to the house this past weekend, we didn't put it on and it felt like the Scamp was bumping and banging around behind us. In reality it was the hitch making noise and allowing play. Put this gizmo back on the hitch to return it to storage, and it was once again a smooth, quiet ride. Might be worth a try as well.

Amazon.com: Roadmaster 061 Quiet Hitch: Automotive
Thanks for this. I'll do a little investigating.
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:51 PM   #14
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They are C Load tires rated to 990lbs at 90 PSI. From what I have read, tires should be inflated to their max. That said, I don't know if they are the right tires for the trailer.
Wow, a 12" tire, 990lbs and 90#s. Sure you're reading the numbers right? I'm not in the tire industry but have never heard of a C range tire with those numbers.
BTW, the solid drop stinger you need are available. Also, they also make balls with a 1" taller shank to get it closer. Check out E trailer for info.
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