So many bad setups - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-19-2015, 05:31 PM   #15
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Gotcha MC1 -- We upgraded from a 13' Scamp to a 16' and the last time out, I noticed we were using the same draw bar -- making the nose of the 16' point down. (I also made mental note to get the hitch ball installed on a different draw bar before our next trip so it would level the camper.)
I was just curious as to what the negative part of that angle was?
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:41 AM   #16
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5th wheel

Yesterday we made a 10 minute QEW highway drive south to Niagara Falls. Had a chance to cruise along with a Ford 250 FX off road / about a 28' dual axle 5th wheel.

The front of the Ford was clearly up and the rear was sagging from the tongue weight. No doubt there was a "light feel" at the steering wheel. The other thing we noticed was the constant, front to rear rocking motion of the truck.
The 3rd thing was the sound of the working Ford engine going up a slight grade up the escarpment just before Niagara Falls. That rig slowed and the flow of traffic passed on by them.

We have traveled that route many times with 23 in tow and even with the 150HP Nissan Van we never lost any speed on that incline.

I know many years ago we were impressed with all the interior space of the big 5ers but after that experience yesterday I strongly feel that there would never be one in our future.

On the way back from the Falls again on the QEW we over took a truck trailer combo. Again the truck was high at the front and low at the back. As we passed by I noticed about a 25' sticky trailer and a 2500 series pickup.

A quick glance I saw the issue. No WDH or sway control! I'm sure there are folks out there that will say this is just fine but sorry I cringed. Was not impressed with that setup. Note, I will say his 55MPH speed was fast enough for that rig.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:21 AM   #17
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I see SO many huge 5ers on the roads, but have no desire to own one. I wonder what I am missing or what I am not thinking about.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:22 AM   #18
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The heavier, taller, and longer the trailer, the harder it is to get weight and balance in the little range that makes the TV stock suspension happy. When the trailer weight exceeds the TV weight, You have exactly three options:

1. Drive unsafely, which is what you saw.
2. With a ball hitch: Learn how the physics work, install a WDH and use it.
3. With a fifth wheel: install some sort of rear suspension aid for towing.

The really sad part of these nose-heavy fifth wheel trailers is that there's not much advantage to having a really high tongue weight on a fifth wheel rig - they're all tandem axle anyway. You want the usual 10-15% to plant the driving wheels, and that's about it. It's either bad design or bad loading - forward gray tank and black tank are full and the fresh tank and rear gray tank are empty - that sort of thing.

Every time I see a big 5er and pickup combination going down the road I wonder how much fun the driver is having right now and how long it will take him to calm down (if he lives) after the tow.

By comparison, towing my 16 foot egg is just about painless. I tend to forget it's back there other than the combination length when I pull in for fuel and the inevitable aerodynamic drag.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:32 AM   #19
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yeah, you can see it all out there....

why, just the other day I saw a guy towing a 23 Airstream with an Infinity G35 !! (towing capacity 1000lbs)......LOL....

you must have done a lot of modifications to that rig.....but I bet that more than a few people do a double take and comment when they see your "set-up" going down the road
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Old 07-21-2015, 02:03 PM   #20
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Thumbs up Thumbs up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
why, just the other day I saw a guy towing a 23 Airstream with an Infinity G35 !! (towing capacity 1000lbs)......LOL....

you must have done a lot of modifications to that rig.....but I bet that more than a few people do a double take and comment when they see your "set-up" going down the road
Hey Franswa, that's our rig!!! For sure we get a lot of thumbs up's. We do take pride in having gone with the pro set up. Other than the usual stuff like brake controller, tranny cooler, and McKesh mirrors it did need an HD custom receiver to support the WDH.
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Old 07-21-2015, 04:04 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by steelypip View Post
By comparison, towing my 16 foot egg is just about painless. I tend to forget it's back there other than the combination length when I pull in for fuel and the inevitable aerodynamic drag.
I always disagree with this kind of sayings. Riding in the TV NEVER feels the same when it is alone or when towing. There is a BIG difference in the feeling.

I tow Scamp 16 with F150. I FEEL that I tow the trailer.
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Old 07-21-2015, 04:43 PM   #22
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I'm with you Sergey. To may peeps think that they are doing good when they brag that the "Don't even know it's back there". That leads to them forgetting that it's back there, aka an accident looking for a place to happen.


More than once, after being passed, I have been cut off by a trailer being towed by someone that forgot it was back there.... Proof that they forgot it was back there, or they chose to ignore that little fact..... they are typically driving 65-70 mph and the speed limit for towed trailers is 55mph in California
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Old 07-21-2015, 04:57 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
To may peeps think that they are doing good when they brag that the "Don't even know it's back there". That leads to them forgetting that it's back there, aka an accident looking for a place to happen.
Agreed - I'm also becoming more and more convinced that the VAST majority of people towing incorrectly are just complete idiots and don't care.

My husband unfortunately is one of these... he couldn't tell me the tongue weight of his utility trailer, or even the ACTUAL tow rating of his specific truck (I got a "well most F250's can handle" type answer and tried to convince me that the tongue weight limit was the same as the towing capacity and I just shook my head and walked away). He tows his utility trailer with a receiver that is too high (trailer is not even close to level), and when I questioned that, he basically said "well it works fine, I don't see any reason to change it".

He laughs at me for having 3 different receivers for my own car (to get my hitch at different heights - I'm covered 16-20" now) and putting brakes on my 13' scamp, but I can say without ANY hesitation that he will never ever be towing my scamp anywhere.
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:09 PM   #24
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WOW... now there's a disconnect, I just hope that the safety chains hold!


If not, I can tell you my tongue weight in a NY minute, and would you be interested in living in sunny California???? LOLOLOL
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:23 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahspins View Post
Agreed - I'm also becoming more and more convinced that the VAST majority of people towing incorrectly are just complete idiots and don't care.

He laughs at me for having 3 different receivers for my own car (to get my hitch at different heights - I'm covered 16-20" now) and putting brakes on my 13' scamp, but I can say without ANY hesitation that he will never ever be towing my scamp anywhere.
Sara, you seem to be in the know when it comes to this towing stuff.

Impressive!
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:13 AM   #26
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I wonder about the trends in cars trucks and SUVs.
Trucks and SUVs keep getting taller and the suspension are more and more adjusted to give plush rides for the luxury vehicles they have become.
All of these things reduce the stability of the systems as evidenced by the increased rollover accident rates. This higher Center of Gravity along with unsophisticated rear suspensions means that with the roll center at the ground and the CG up high the roll coupling between the TV and trailer is impaired compared to passenger cars.
These raised trucks and SUVs on tall tires (usually under-inflated) are accidents waiting on the proper conditions to happen.
I see this type of vehicle often on my daily commute inexplicably in the ditches on the side of the road. This is without trailers attached and NO combination handles better with a trailer than without.
As one of the contrarians on the forum I think that often the newer passenger cars with IRS and very much better suspension, often with Sports suspensions handle better both with and without a trailer as long as the weights are in line with good practice of less than 85% of the TV.
Since I have the small molded trailer for the lightweight and low drag for the reason that an excessively large TV is not necessary.
As far as not being able to tell the trailer is back there I don't know if I can't tell, what with the thing filling the center rearview mirror and having the extensions clamped on the side mirrors, that it is there from any poor handling of my VW.
My new VW that I am setting up for towing has the European trailer module to activate the trailer mode on the car electronics to adjust the T-ESP, engine fueling map, cooling programming, DSG shifting profile, etc. (the Ford Escape does the same if the entire kit with electronics is added This changes the rating from about 2000 lbs to 3500 lbs.) The Westfalie OEM hitch fits where the VW engineers intended to transfer the loads to the unit body chassis.
The VW also is getting the Tekonsha P3 brake controller and Air Lift 1000 air springs to level the car with a load.
The old VW did really good without all of the bells and whistles so this one should be the cat's pajamas.
Personally I think that VW's reticence to rate their cars in the US is partially driven by the lack of support from their already pretty poor dealer network and the lack of the North American trailer electronic module packages. It has bee a real PITA to get the proper operation of the turn/brake lights for US spec trailers. It would have been easier to rewire the Scamp for the 13 pin Euro specification!
My expectation is that this new VW Sportwagen will do a much better job of towing than the old one with 250,000 miles. 25 mpg is nice too.
I don't recommend anyone else follow my example because as an engineer I am willing to form my own informed opinion and deal with the issues. My Insurance company has no problems with it either.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:40 AM   #27
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I don't really "feel" towing the 13 ft. Scamp behind a V6 Ford Escape. Have to be careful or my speed will creep up simply because the trailer is well under the tow capacity and power of the vehicle but....

When I brake I can sure tell I have something behind me pushing. Been a few times I wanted to name the trailer Satan. As in get thee behind me Satan, and stop pushing!

One thing to bear in mind closer to limits more critical each component of "good" towing set up becomes. WDH not really required for a small FGRV behind a large truck or SUV. Becomes more important as the proper tongue weight gets closer to overload the rear suspension.

Nose up I know from experience is awful. Tongue weight being exact? Did find out on a camper because it is a fairly consistent load, won't on the utility trailer. I already know that fully loaded with crushed rock trailer is still under towing and trailer capacity. Generally just load 2/3 forward of axle 1/3 rearward or something approaching that distribution. Then if it handles ok leave it that way. Have had a couple of loads of building material I shifted around after hitting the road to improve weight distribution.

The most critical component to safe towing is the vehicle operator. Equipment can't compensate for lack of knowledge or care. Can't do it right if not willing to find out what "right" is. If nothing else "right" makes a good base line so you have a way to measure how far out on the wild side you are.
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:59 PM   #28
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I tow with a GMC Savana 1500 van with a raised fibreglass roof. I need a van because I have lots of kids. My Trillium 4500 barely affects gas consumption, since it is in the wind shadow of the van.
The trailer has brakes, and I tend to adjust them kinda high. I can feel the trailer pulling the van when I hit the brakes. If the tongue weight is too light, I can feel the trailer pulling up on the hitch, when I hit a bump.

My point being, if I can feel that little trailer with a big van, then how is it possible for someone to not feel a trailer when towing with a car?
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