Swaying Scamp 16' - HELP - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-11-2013, 11:04 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
A sway control unit will cover up the symptoms (and you may have to get one), but it sounds like there is a problem that should be isolated and fixed. A 2200-2500 lb trailer with a positive tongue weight of 200 lbs or more really should NOT sway. If your tongue weight is 200+, IMO Scamp should be notified.
Well I have one of the lightest Scamp 16' on the Real World Weight thread (weighed in twice) I find its most stable with a tongue weight of 240lbs or more, if I am traveling at speeds over 55mph. If you look at the list it looks like most are running with at least that or much higher. My trailer appears on the list at one weigh in at 200lbs on the tongue (its the lightest tongue weight for a Scamp 16' on the list) and what was a test run I did and never went over 55 mph and only towed it about 50 miles like that.... wouldn't do it again, nope it didn't sway but it had that not so stable feeling.

I agree that a sway control unit is only a cover up of a problem and personally would not use one if I know I had such a problem. Would try and find the reason for it and fix it before adding a sway control unit.

Have traveled thousands of miles and only funny enough have had one situation that I would call a real sway situation come up, just last week. Was heading to a dry camp and stopped and filled up all the water tanks about 10 miles from camp - headed down a steep hill with a strong wind, doing about 60mph and the trailer did start to sway. First time in 6 years of towing this trailer that I have had to use the lever on the brake controller to bring it under control. Pulled over and moved a number of heavy items way up in front of the axle and a few others to the opposite side of the water tank and the trailer was once again stable.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:41 AM   #30
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I think evenly distributing weight, keeping most of it on or in front of the axle, and keeping speeds down to 60 are probably the biggest concerns to keeping sway down. But for safety sake, Im going to leave that anti sway bar in place... one never knows when wind suddenly picks up, or getting passed too fast and close by a truck.

And I know I was thinking about it for storage purposes, but if you put a cargo rack on the back receiver "just to store a few things" like I did, it has to stay pretty light. I felt the difference with that 18lb rocket stove back there. Took it forward and it rode alot easier. So dont even dream about the generator sitting back there like I did lol.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:42 AM   #31
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Floyd designed and built a bike rack for the front of his 13 ft Scamp . It is a simple, sturdy ,and well thought out design . Maybe Floyd would be willing to post pictures of his bike rack . The rack would allow you to carry your bikes and shift the weight to the front of your trailer . It maybe the solution to your sway problem
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:40 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Another factor, of course, is the tug. If the tug allows the ball to move side-to-side to easily, the trailer could sway in conditions which a more stable tug would not have a problem with. The FJ Cruiser is strong, more than heavy enough (2 tons) to handle this size of trailer, and has a good chassis; however, it's not very long in wheelbase, and typically has tall mushy tires.
Although I do not tow a Scamp 16', I do use my FJ Cruiser with stock tires and WDH to tow an Escape 19', and have experienced absolutely no problems with sway. The FJ is a very solid towing platform. However, I could see that towing performance could change for heavily modified FJ's with larger tires and/or suspension lifts.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:34 AM   #33
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Numbers are important. It's hard to resolve these problems. It would help to know your tongue weights, trailer weights, tire pressures on trailer and tow vehicle, type of size of tow vehicles tires, typical speeds and .... These number might give us an indicator of the source of the problem.

As well there's an excellent video showing the effect of weight positioning. Well worth watching.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:32 AM   #34
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Just want to thank everyone for guidance. In Grand Rapids we added 2 adults and 3 boys under 7. I put suitcases in the trailer front shower and in front of shower door, plus a few smaller things. I reduced trailer tires to 50# and tow vehicle from 35 to 32#, front and back. Result: none or very little sway. Traveled at 62-72 mph.

(Calm on Mack St bridge)

My hitch is 21.75 " off ground, recommendation was 21". Bikes likely aggravate the situation, probably 100# 15" off the back. As suggested, I think they lift the tongue some and act as a 'sail' off the back aggravating the sway. We want our bikes with us when we travel. It is a heavy duty carrier. As latter measure we could look for a tinge rack?

I think I will flip the ball, thus lowering it 1.5-2" as a first measure. I could look for a way to weigh the tongue, but also need the trailer's weight. Who weighs trailers except for truck highway scales? I should Google that.

We will remove the 7 people and their luggage on Sunday, putting us back to the original situation, except for a lower ball, hopefully.

I will look at a sway control for emergency situations.

Sound like a valid approach?

Again many thanks. We hope to settle this before we head for PA, NY, VT and maybe
Nova Scotia in another week.

David
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:04 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by deryk View Post
I think evenly distributing weight, keeping most of it on or in front of the axle, and keeping speeds down to 60 are probably the biggest concerns to keeping sway down. But for safety sake, Im going to leave that anti sway bar in place... one never knows when wind suddenly picks up, or getting passed too fast and close by a truck.
This is the way to do it. Too many people use wd or sway hitches as a bandaid for crappy loading, etc.

IMHO, get the trailer towing properly, then feel free to use a wd or sway hitch for a safety measure.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:16 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Dsironi View Post
.Traveled at 62-72 mph.

<cut>
My hitch is 21.75 " off ground, recommendation was 21". Bikes likely aggravate the situation, probably 100# 15" off the back.
Whooo thats a real load you have going and I thought my 16' feels crowed when two people are in it. Head to Nova Scotia... you will not be sorry!

Keep in mind that if you have ST tires on the trailer they are only rated at max 65mph.

Re Scamps recommended hitch height - it really is just a good starting point as there are way to many stow variables. As you have found out putting bikes on the rear is one of the big ones. Best to put a level on the trailer to see if it is in fact level or down on the tongue once the trailer is loaded up as you would normally travel. I know when I first got mine & purchased a draw bar to bring the trailer home with, I had the trailer at Scamps recommended hitch height but later changed it out for one with a 2" drop which works much better under most loaded conditions I travel under with my tug/trailer combo.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:49 PM   #37
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I also think I need to lower my hitch on the wdh...I did notice the front side of the trailer is higher then the rear so gonna drop it 1 bolt on the adjuster and see how it looks.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:10 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Dsironi View Post
Just want to thank everyone for guidance. In Grand Rapids we added 2 adults and 3 boys under 7. I put suitcases in the trailer front shower and in front of shower door, plus a few smaller things. I reduced trailer tires to 50# and tow vehicle from 35 to 32#, front and back. Result: none or very little sway. Traveled at 62-72 mph.

(Calm on Mack St bridge)

My hitch is 21.75 " off ground, recommendation was 21". Bikes likely aggravate the situation, probably 100# 15" off the back. As suggested, I think they lift the tongue some and act as a 'sail' off the back aggravating the sway. We want our bikes with us when we travel. It is a heavy duty carrier. As latter measure we could look for a tinge rack?

I think I will flip the ball, thus lowering it 1.5-2" as a first measure. I could look for a way to weigh the tongue, but also need the trailer's weight. Who weighs trailers except for truck highway scales? I should Google that.


We will remove the 7 people and their luggage on Sunday, putting us back to the original situation, except for a lower ball, hopefully.

I will look at a sway control for emergency situations.

Sound like a valid approach?

Again many thanks. We hope to settle this before we head for PA, NY, VT and maybe
Nova Scotia in another week.

David
David,
Normally I would think lowering the pressure would increase tire squirm and reduce weight carrying ability. Things don't always respond to logic though!

I weigh mine at a nearby moving van facility.

Shifting weight up into the forward bath was a good move, and helps counteract the bicycles in the aft end.

My experience with sway control is favorable. I can't make up for bad loading technique, but it will quiet the short oscillations that occur during lane changes and wind gusts. It is just one more thing to have to hook up, but worth it in my experience. And they are reletively inexpensive.
Russ
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:18 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Dsironi View Post
........ Bikes likely aggravate the situation, probably 100# 15" off the back. As suggested, I think they lift the tongue some and act as a 'sail' off the back aggravating the sway. We want our bikes with us when we travel. It is a heavy duty carrier. As latter measure we could look for a tongue rack?..........David
For the benefit of others reading this thread sometime in the future, the reason that bikes on the back contribute to sway is because they act to increase the trailer's angular (yaw) inertia (about the vertical axis). Sway is when the trailer / tow vehicle system goes into resonance about this axis.

This demonstration shows the effect of excessive weight toward the ends of a trailer.
Bailey of Bristol - Caravan Stability Studies
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:34 PM   #40
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That's a neat demonstration Thomas.

So in David's case, he moved the luggage forward to "balance the bikes", thereby increasing tongue weight (good for stability), but putting extra luggage mass forward (instead of in the center) increases the yaw intertia (bad). In this case, it sounds like the stability gained from the extra tongue weight as more than that lost to the increased yaw inertia.

The best solution would be to put the bikes inside, over the trailer axles, along with the luggage.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:46 PM   #41
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That's a neat demonstration Thomas.

So in David's case, he moved the luggage forward to "balance the bikes", thereby increasing tongue weight (good for stability), but putting extra luggage mass forward (instead of in the center) increases the yaw inertia (bad). In this case, it sounds like the stability gained from the extra tongue weight as more than that lost to the increased yaw inertia.

The best solution would be to put the bikes inside, over the trailer axles, along with the luggage.
Actually measuring tongue weight is just a crude way of judging yaw inertia. A heavier tongue weight assures that your center of mass is in front of the axle.
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:55 PM   #42
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Actually measuring tongue weight is just a crude way of judging yaw inertia. A heavier tongue weight assures that your center of mass is in front of the axle.
I would say instead that measuring tongue weight and comparing it to axle weight is just a way of judging centre of mass position, regardless of the (polar moment of) inertia.
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