Towing a full egg - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-25-2008, 09:22 AM   #1
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I went up North Moose hunting last week, we were camping in the bush so no fresh water was available I filled up the 17' boler before I left. I was pulling it with my 1999 Chev S-10 Blazer, on the road at 90 KM. the trailer began to rock back and forth I could feel the back end of my truck starting to lose control I slowly braked, it continued to rock so I stepped on the gas and it quit. This happened Three times on the way up and coming home empty there was no problem, could this be caused by the water moving back and forth?
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Old 10-25-2008, 12:59 PM   #2
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I went up North Moose hunting last week, we were camping in the bush so no fresh water was available I filled up the 17' boler before I left. I was pulling it with my 1999 Chev S-10 Blazer, on the road at 90 KM. the trailer began to rock back and forth I could feel the back end of my truck starting to lose control I slowly braked, it continued to rock so I stepped on the gas and it quit. This happened Three times on the way up and coming home empty there was no problem, could this be caused by the water moving back and forth?
You'll probably get plenty of different replies but with a short wheel base S-10 and a 17' trailer when you get the right type of wind angle hit it it would get it to swayin' possibly... week springs on the TV could be another factor......you don't say whether you used a WDH (weight distributing hitch) but an inexpensive stabalizer bar could really improve the sway on the trailer which i even use on a full size pickup.....you could have too much weight loaded behind the trailer axle etc. the list is endless.but with an S-10 and a 17' a WDH would help alot but the stabalizer bar would be a good inexpensive start.
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:11 PM   #3
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You'll probably get plenty of different replies but with a short wheel base S-10 and a 17' trailer when you get the right type of wind angle hit it it would get it to swayin' possibly... week springs on the TV could be another factor......you don't say whether you used a WDH (weight distributing hitch) but an inexpensive stabalizer bar could really improve the sway on the trailer which i even use on a full size pickup.....you could have too much weight loaded behind the trailer axle etc. the list is endless.but with an S-10 and a 17' a WDH would help alot but the stabalizer bar would be a good inexpensive start.
Joe
My S-10 does not have a receiver hitch and I use the bumper ball rated at 3500# I would put a reciever hitch on except I would have to move my spare tire from under the back to inside my truck and I don't really want to do that. The people I bought the trailer from used a Toyota Rav without an equalizer hitch, does everybody hauling a 17' use one?
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:16 PM   #4
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Rick, yes, the water can be a major contributing factor.

If your tank is to the rear of the axles, you have "Loaded" the rig with a tremendous amount of weight (Water weighs approx 8 lbs a gallon) incorrectly and the trailer cantilevers backwards. This takes weight off the tongue.

Tongue weight is important to sway control. The more the better (Within your tugs limits)

Joe is correct, weight distribution hitches will help, sway control too, but the best defense is to balance the trailer first. I personally rarely travel with full tanks, but if I do, its not very far, and I redistribute my normal packing to the front of the trailer to counterbalance the tremendous weight behind the axles.

As far as sloshing.. that may be. I have felt my 13 "wiggle" behind me from towing with a partial tank. It was like someone was running side to side inside the trailer and slamming into the walls.
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:21 PM   #5
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The fact that it was happening at one speed leads me to suspect the cause was indeed the water (and also the fuel in the TV tank), aka semi-live load. 'Fundamental' sway, based on towing geometry, balance and suspension, usually gets worse as speed increases.

That said, however, if you haven't already done so, I'd do some weighing on a scale to ensure that tongue weight is proper.

With a short wheelbase, even the proper tongue weight might be too much leverage on the front end and steering and the only way to correct that is WDH -- If you do that, I'd further recommend the Dual-Cam anti-sway system by Reese in lieu of friction anti-sway bars.

What would have happened if you had portions of a moose carcass to bring home?

My brother said (in Vermont) the luck isn't winning the moose hunt lottery, it's in having enough friends to haul the carcass out...

Here's a link to three hitches, only one of which mentions spare tire move -- I suggest you download the instructions for more info:

http://www.etrailer.com/hitch-1999_Chevrolet_Blazer.htm
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:33 PM   #6
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The fact that it was happening at one speed leads me to suspect the cause was indeed the water (and also the fuel in the TV tank), aka semi-live load. 'Fundamental' sway, based on towing geometry, balance and suspension, usually gets worse as speed increases.

That said, however, if you haven't already done so, I'd do some weighing on a scale to ensure that tongue weight is proper.

With a short wheelbase, even the proper tongue weight might be too much leverage on the front end and steering and the only way to correct that is WDH -- If you do that, I'd further recommend the Dual-Cam anti-sway system by Reese in lieu of friction anti-sway bars.

What would have happened if you had portions of a moose carcass to bring home?

My brother said (in Vermont) the luck isn't winning the moose hunt lottery, it's in having enough friends to haul the carcass out...

Here's a link to three hitches, only one of which mentions spare tire move -- I suggest you download the instructions for more info:

http://www.etrailer.com/hitch-1999_Chevrolet_Blazer.htm
Thanks for the link with the hitches I would much rather have a equilzer hitch just to be on the safe side I was driving the trailer up and my buddy was bringing the quads on a trailer with lots of room for bullwinkle, he didn't show in the early season next month we will try again. If you drop a moose back in this country the funs over! last year we shot one at 3 PM and we never got back to camp until 6 AM that was a long day in the swamp.
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:48 PM   #7
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You might also consider stabilizer bars for the Bronco suspension, if you don't already have them, adjustable shocks (NOT to take weight but to stiffen suspension) and LT tires (stiffer sidewalls and higher TPs).
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:00 PM   #8
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I think Gina is on to something with the tongue weight, on the back of the camper is a rack, I had 3 gas tanks with 60 litres of gas and a small generator sitting on it, on the way back I put the generator in one of the other trailers and the gas tanks were empty. The next time I load up I will check my tongue weight.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:25 PM   #9
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I think Gina is on to something with the tongue weight, on the back of the camper is a rack, I had 3 gas tanks with 60 litres of gas and a small generator sitting on it, on the way back I put the generator in one of the other trailers and the gas tanks were empty. The next time I load up I will check my tongue weight.
BINGO. That's it right there.

You want to maintain at least 10% of your trailer weight on the tongue. You probably had an extra 200 lbs on the back bumper, making the tongue light and the trailer squirrely.

Properly balanced, it should not give you that trouble.

Besides the possibility of having sway control, there's one other helpful thing a person can do if they have brakes on the trailer... when sway starts one can maintain speed (don't hit vehicle brakes) but engage the trailer brakes with the in-cab controller. This tends to bring it back into line pretty quickly in most cases.


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Old 10-25-2008, 10:47 PM   #10
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When I had my 17ft Boler, I had same problem. My tow Vehical was a GMC sonnoma. The water was the problem. I did have a WDH and all the goodies. Solution was no water in tank till destination. I did carry water in back of truck.
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Old 10-26-2008, 12:24 AM   #11
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Gina is right about tongue weight. I have a 2000 Blazer and a Casita 17, never had a sway problem. My spare tire is still where the factory installed it. I use a Reese receiver hitch with a sway bar but no WDH. People who are paid to be smarter than me say 10-15% of the trailer weight should be on the hitch, 12% is a good target. Etrailer is a good source.
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:34 AM   #12
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After reading about the weight on the back end of the unit I took a quick inventory, all the heavy parts fridge, furnace, hot water heater (full),water tank (full) 5 gals. freshwater, generator, 15 Gals. gas, spare tire, food, beer and pop was all behind the rear axle, compounded with the front end of trailer being higher than the back is sure to be the cause of the trouble. Now that I know a receiver hitch is available without moving my spare I will source one here in Canada and have it installed. Another good tip is when the trailer begins to sway is to use the manual brake on the controller, I never even thought of that. This was my rookie trip and with all the great advice and suggestions I have received in this forum I won't make that mistake again.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:46 AM   #13
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compounded with the front end of trailer being higher than the back is sure to be the cause of the trouble.
Oh my.

You had the perfect combination for disaster! I am glad you did not have one!



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Old 10-26-2008, 10:33 AM   #14
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This is good to know, as we are still putting our camper together. We shouldn't have much trouble with a 13, but I am glad to have read this so we don't pack too much in the back of our camper.
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