Towing attitude - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-17-2006, 09:51 AM   #1
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I own a Scamp 5th wheel, and I tow it with a 97 F150 4x4. I bought the trailer used 02, payed new trailer price allmost. It tows up by the head. I was wondering if this was hard on the axle , etc. I called Dexter Axle in Indiana and asked. They had a tech call me back.
This is what he said With a single axle it does not matter in the slightest if you tow up or down as far as the axle is concerned. You still need to make sure you have clearance on the stern of the tow but it is not a problem otherwise. Because it is such a job to take the trailer off the frame and add a lift I really need a good reason before I do. My Gas mileage is such an improvement over my old sticky. Dexter did say this only applies to a single axle trailer, If you have a tandem then you need to tow as level as possible.
I also thanked them for the demo that Bill G displayed at the Oregon Gathering.
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Old 09-17-2006, 10:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
I own a Scamp 5th wheel, and I tow it with a 97 F150 4x4. I bought the trailer used 02, payed new trailer price allmost. It tows up by the head. I was wondering if this was hard on the axle , etc. I called Dexter Axle in Indiana and asked. They had a tech call me back.
This is what he said With a single axle it does not matter in the slightest if you tow up or down [b]as far as the axle is concerned. You still need to make sure you have clearance on the stern of the tow but it is not a problem otherwise. Because it is such a job to take the trailer off the frame and add a lift I really need a good reason before I do. My Gas mileage is such an improvement over my old sticky. Dexter did say this only applies to a single axle trailer, If you have a tandem then you need to tow as level as possible.
I also thanked them for the demo that Bill G displayed at the Oregon Gathering.
I always thought that the danger in towing attitude up involved "bumper pull" or a regular trailer hitch, especially with a shorter trailer. The issue would be that towing attitude up would induce lots of sway...

Now in your case, we're talking about a longer trailer in a 5th wheel / goose-neck configuration. Is sway still an issue?
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Old 09-17-2006, 10:51 AM   #3
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I have had no problems with sway, with an F150 I hardly know the 5er is behind me. With a smaller tug this may be a problem . With the 5th wheel the problem is clearance on the rails of the Tug. I have to tow on the highest setting to have clearance. . I was very careful at first to make sure I had enough clearance on the stern of the 5th wheel as well.
I did notice that towing Nancy and Mikes 5er home from Bandon I towed allmost level. I did not take the time to see if they had a lift installed. Scamp will install a lift at the factory on new builds
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Old 09-17-2006, 10:53 AM   #4
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I have had no problems with sway, with an F150 I hardly know the 5er is behind me. With a smaller tug this may be a problem . With the 5th wheel the problem is clearance on the rails of the Tug. I have to tow on the highest setting to have clearance. . I was very careful at first to make sure I had enough clearance on the stern of the 5th wheel as well.
I did notice that towing Nancy and Mikes 5er home from Bandon I towed allmost level. I did not take the time to see if they had a lift installed. Scamp will install a lift at the factory on new builds
I might add on my wish list is a smaller Tug before retirement, That also figures in on why I am reluctant to add a lift.
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Old 09-17-2006, 04:29 PM   #5
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With a tandem axle setup which does not share load perfectly (i.e. almost all of them...) changing the tongue height shifts load between the axles, and that's why pitch attitude would be particularly important to tandems, and not to single-axle trailers.

Even with a single axle, the weight distribution between axle and hitch is changed by tilting the trailer. Since lifting the front up moves the mass of the trailer back closer to the axle, the hitch carries less load when tilted to a more nose-up attitude. When I first heard about this concern I thought it had to be a tiny effect, but it actually can be significant, and other members have posted their observations of measured hitch weights with different heights. Since many tow setups seemt to have stability problems with insufficient hitch weight, towing more nose-up than intended could be a problem.

There could be bad aerodynamic consequences of a nose-up attitude (perhaps lift causing lack of traction, like the rear of most cars at very high speeds), but personally I have not seen any factual analysis of this for trailers.

I tow my Boler level - that is, the frame is horizontal when the whole rig is in the loaded condition - and took care to ensure that it would be that way.
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Old 09-17-2006, 05:30 PM   #6
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Now in your case, we're talking about a longer trailer in a 5th wheel / goose-neck configuration. Is sway still an issue?
Sway becomes far less of an issue with any hitch (5W, gooseneck, PullRite or Henseley) that actually or effectively moves the pivot point (hitch ball) very close to the rear axle of the tow vehicle -- The trailer may or may not still sway, but the leverage it has to transmit that sway to the tow vehicle has been reduced from feet to inches and the sway is barely felt.

For standard towing, the general rule of thumb is level is best, nose down is second best and nose up is worst.
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:45 AM   #7
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Because it is such a job to take the trailer off the frame and add a lift I really need a good reason before I do.
Why would you have to take the body off the frame to fix the axle?? Seems to me it needs to have a spacer put in between the body and the axle, which causes the body to rise. I'm not visualizing the problem here Taylor I had a 45 degree down Dexter axle put on my Scamp (w/ 15" tires)...must have raised the body of the Scamp 5-6 inches.
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