sway with a 16" scamp - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-16-2016, 12:16 PM   #29
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Iowa
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Originally Posted by Dawn HSV View Post
We have just got a "new" to us 16 foot scamp with side dinette (weigh in at 2340 loaded for light camping, including the hitch weight (195lb))
Our tow vehicle is a Subaru Forester (rated at 2400lb and 200lb hitch weight), so we are only just inside our specs
We have a class II hitch and a sway controller bar
between 55 and 60 we get a sway, any suggestions?
we love the 16 foot and the Subaru but thinking we may have to go with a 13 foot or a new tow vehicle.
Your most likely culprit is a loose hitch drawbar. If there is any play in the hitch it can start a sway. Do you have the sway bar friction adjusted tight enough?
then is the hitch ball as close to the TV as possible? the farther back it is the greater chance of sway.
Also, is the front of the Scamp slightly lower than the rear? It should be. And, you may need to shift stuff inside to have more weight on the hitch.
And, you need to keep a steady hand on the steering wheel. Any jerky movement at the wheel will generate trailer sway - Side to Side - that is.
If you are experiencing bounce - up and Down - you may have too much air in the trailer tires.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:21 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by bpfick View Post
Side dinette is always a bit harder to make balance, side to side. Might check your loading and arrange to weigh each wheel to see how close you are.

Also, be sure you have proper "slope" down to the hitch, just slightly tilted toward the tow vehicle, not tilted downward toward the rear bumper.

Longer tow vehicles, like longer pickup trucks seem to be better at towing than short TV's like a Forester, although I don't think I could give a good explanation of the physics.

And, yes. You're much too close to max on everything, imho. Way too close.
Unequal Side to Side weight should make no difference. It can contribute to uneven tire wear. Keep air pressure as low as you can without causing the tires to run hot. Warm to the touch is OK.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:25 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Dawn, you will do what you feel is right and best with all this conflicting advice. This is an old debate hereabouts- how strictly tow ratings and recommended tongue weights should be followed…

First, no matter how you slice this, you will either end up with more than 200 pounds on the hitch, or you will end up with less than 10% tongue weight. Norm, for example, was towing at 7.7% tongue weight (200 pounds tongue weight/2600 pounds total trailer weight). As others have said, tongue weight is not the only factor contributing to instability, but it is important.

Second, nobody seems to have observed that, at least part of the time, you will have four people in the vehicle. Tow ratings only factor in the driver (sometimes one passenger) and minimal cargo. Adding people and/or cargo reduces the towing capacity proportionately. When the whole crew is along, you don't have the full 2400/200 rating. I'm curious if your owner's manual address that- mine does, in great detail!
Actually, Jon, I did notice that... And it may be significant, but we need to know more specifics about HER setup before it should be pronounced "safe" or "unsafe" to tow. It's not inherently a problem, unless limits are exceeded. And we may need to eventually know whether a WDH with sway control can be used with their Forester. I'm not familiar enough with her specific car to know at this point.

Conjecture won't help her, but knowing specifics will be more telling.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:35 PM   #32
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Tire loading

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn HSV View Post
how do I weigh the loading of each wheel? we went to a CAT scale yesterday to check we were with in the specs for the forester. and have been using bathroom scales to get the hitch weight
one of the tires as a little low (4psi) will air it up and check again
Try to find a scale where the platform is level with the approaches and aprons on the sides. Weigh the whole rig - if possible. Then pull forward or back so you can weigh each axle separately. Do not hold the brakes, or put it in park, so as to not pull the scale sideways.
Once you have the trailer axle (both wheels) weight, Move the trailer over so only one wheel is on the scale. then do the other side. Those two readings should equal axle weigh to within 0.5 %.
Or, you can forget the scale. Set both tires to 30 psi. Make sure they are in the shade, or on a cloudy day, so temperature is equal. then measure the distance from the ground to the top of each wheel rim. If one is less it has more load on it. So, add some air to that tire till you get the same "static loaded radius" on each. Pay no attention the the MAX pressure stamped on the tires. For the load you have, 35 psi should be plenty.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:46 PM   #33
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A WDH only adds more dead weight, and load on the hitch.
Prudent loading of people and cargo makes a big diff. Try to travel with empty water tanks. Especially the grey and fresh water tanks which are behind the axle and reduce hitch load. Be sure to weigh your rig with all people on board, as you would be loaded for travel.
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:50 PM   #34
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Name: Dawn
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Thanks for all your help and suggestions! We got it figured out, didn't realize that you used different tire pressures for towing. When the hitch weight was higher it increased the sway so figured it wasn't a hitch weight problem.
Rear wheels were at 29psi when they should have been 41psi.
It makes all the difference!
The weights I gave and our test runs have been with everything loaded for camping.
Now no sway.
We will still looking into a new tow vehicle but fell very comfortable doing things locally while we save up.
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:02 PM   #35
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I think you need to congratulate yourself for making it through 33 posts, some on target, some way off in the boonies, and reaching a solution.
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:53 PM   #36
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Dawn. Thanks for the note. Air pressure is important. I'm a big fan of Andy T. of Can-AM RV in Ontario. He publishes a good magazine and frequently writes about towing. He's often writes about stiffening the tire sidewalls of both trailer and tow vehicle via elevated tire pressures. We've towed with a light hitch 7-8% tongue weight for almost a decade without any issues. Glad I could help.

Beyond tire pressures it adds to your margin to improve the little things as well as we did by improving the hitch connection and reducing the distance from the ball to the center of the tow vehicle's rear axle.

Wishing you safe travels.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:52 PM   #37
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Name: BigT
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Before you buy a new tow vehicle

Contact Andy Taylor of CanAm RV in London Ont. to see if he can recommend a fix, such as different tires on your vehicle, a reinforced hitch, etc. That would be a lot cheaper than a new tow vehicle. We have used his expertise twice and he was spot on.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:54 PM   #38
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So, CanAm can set up a tow vehicle and trailer over the phone?
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:56 PM   #39
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn HSV View Post
Thanks for all your help and suggestions! We got it figured out, didn't realize that you used different tire pressures for towing. When the hitch weight was higher it increased the sway so figured it wasn't a hitch weight problem.
Rear wheels were at 29psi when they should have been 41psi.
It makes all the difference!
The weights I gave and our test runs have been with everything loaded for camping.
Now no sway.
We will still looking into a new tow vehicle but fell very comfortable doing things locally while we save up.
I recommend a Toyota Highlander, either hyghbrid or regular automatic.
It has a class III hitch for up to 3500 lb tow capacity. Handles the 16 ft SD DLX Scamp with ease, and no need for a weight distributing hitch.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:22 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Wayne Collins View Post
A WDH only adds more dead weight, and load on the hitch.
Wayne, I'm not sure how much towing experience you have, but your statement isn't entirely accurate. While the hitch does have weight, of course, but when properly set up it also spreads tongue weight evenly across the two frames and subsequently the axles, taking it off the back axle of the tow vehicle. That's why most pickups' class III hitches have a dead weight limit of 500 lbs and a WDH tongue weight limit of 1,000 lbs.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:26 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn HSV View Post
Thanks for all your help and suggestions! We got it figured out, didn't realize that you used different tire pressures for towing. When the hitch weight was higher it increased the sway so figured it wasn't a hitch weight problem.
Rear wheels were at 29psi when they should have been 41psi.
It makes all the difference!
The weights I gave and our test runs have been with everything loaded for camping.
Now no sway.
We will still looking into a new tow vehicle but fell very comfortable doing things locally while we save up.
Yep, tire pressures are key, and the first and easiest thing to correct. Soft sidewalls will let all kinds of wiggly things to go on. Good job!
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:03 PM   #42
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Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn HSV View Post
We have just got a "new" to us 16 foot scamp with side dinette (weigh in at 2340 loaded for light camping, including the hitch weight (195lb))
Our tow vehicle is a Subaru Forester (rated at 2400lb and 200lb hitch weight), so we are only just inside our specs
We have a class II hitch and a sway controller bar
between 55 and 60 we get a sway, any suggestions?
we love the 16 foot and the Subaru but thinking we may have to go with a 13 foot or a new tow vehicle.
I found having pulled a 16' with a Subaru you need at least 10% of the total trailer weight on the tongue to avoid sway - with a 2340b total weight it needs to be 230lbs so the 195lbs on the tongue is a little light which will be the reason for the sway at over 55mph. I actually found I needed 240lbs on the tongue for stability when traveling at speeds over 55 mph.

Highly recommend you read your manual in regards to the WDH suggestions. When I asked Subaru's head office directly why they do not recommend the use of a WDH they indicated they have concerns that under certain driving conditions the use of one can interfere in a not so good way with the full time all wheel drive system they use. As you know the full time all wheel drive system they use is unique to Subaru.
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