Towing with a pick up truck.... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-20-2014, 06:50 PM   #1
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Towing with a pick up truck....or suv/van with hatchback

For those who tow their trailer with a pick up truck and find that they can not open their tailgate while hooked up, there is a solution. I purchased one of these
Jack-E-Up
and installed today, took about 15 minutes. I can now use a standard stinger or my Andersen set up and still open my tailgate. Some pictures of the install, later will post after hook up.
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:52 PM   #2
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two more, notice I had to notch my propane cover
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:20 PM   #3
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Interesting idea. Wouldn't work for me since I have a Fastway® Flip™ automatic jack foot on the bottom of my jack. Instead, I use this to move the ball out enough to clear the tailgate. I drilled new holes through it to get it so it just clears, about a 10-inch extension. Works great.

12" Hitch Extender
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:23 PM   #4
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I tried that approach but felt it created an unsafe towing set up, the longer the stinger, the less capacity and more chance of sway. This way I can use a short stinger and stay within the factory specifications for the hitch and trailer and truck.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:31 PM   #5
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Frankly, I was worried about whether the towing characteristics/stability would change when I first got it. But I towed my 17-ft Bigfoot from California to Alaska last winter with this set-up and it was no different than without it (except that I could get the tailgate open). I'm a few days from making the same trip south with the same set-up.

I would be leery about using it with a larger, higher tongue-weight trailer though.
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Old 09-21-2014, 02:18 PM   #6
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Moving the ball further away from the rear axle of the tow vehicledefinitely has a negative effect on safe towing. Does this move you out of the "towing safely window'? Maybe not out of the window but definitely the wrong direction.
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Old 09-21-2014, 03:02 PM   #7
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If you were at the ragged edge of capacities and such, it certainly could be a problem. But I tow a diminutive 17-foot Bigfoot with a full-size V8 Toyota Tundra 4X4. I've got towing capacity to spare.

That being said, I was concerned that the towing characteristics might change with this extension, but it tows as straight as an arrow and as stable as can be. I don't use a WD hitch or a sway control device either.

I was reluctant to post anything about this extension until I used it a little while. I now have 5,000 miles + using it in all sorts of conditions with no issues whatsoever. From the driver's seat you cannot tell whether it is being used or not. Still, I understand that YMMV depending on your trailer and tug. Just sharing my personal experience.
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainjunkie View Post
That being said, I was concerned that the towing characteristics might change with this extension, but it tows as straight as an arrow and as stable as can be. I don't use a WD hitch or a sway control device either.
Appreciate your post and comments.
Please consider the use of a simple sway control device. There are circumstances out there on the road that can blindside anybody and that is when the safety devices kick in.
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:09 AM   #9
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Appreciate your post and comments.
Please consider the use of a simple sway control device. There are circumstances out there on the road that can blindside anybody and that is when the safety devices kick in.

Amen! On our last trip I was going a little faster than I like (70 mph) hit a rough patch of road maybe swerved a little and before I knew it the tail was wagging the dog. And I drive a full size, long wheelbase pickup truck ahead of the Scamp. I reached down and hit the trailer brakes and little and things eased out but I had a few uncomforatable moments. I plan on adding some sway control before I head out on any long trips again. Looks like cheap insurance.
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
Appreciate your post and comments.
Please consider the use of a simple sway control device. There are circumstances out there on the road that can blindside anybody and that is when the safety devices kick in.

There are at least two schools of though concerning anti sway bars. One it's a safety item. Two is masks a real problem.
I believe that the safest and best thing you can do is make sure your trailer sway point is well above your traveling speed. Do the things you can control and you wont be so likely to have sway.
The ball and socket connection between the tow vehicle and the trailer are designed for easy pivoting, making the combination easier to negotiate corners. When a sway bar is introduced you stiffen or reduce the freedom of the ball and socket connection. This increased the side loading of trailer tires and depending on the tires and size of tow possibly the tow tires too.
With any reduction in traction, we pavement and etc., the trailer tires can break free of the pavement. The trailer then becomes a big pendulum and when it hits the far end of it's ark yank the tow around. Not a lot of fun.

My point is be careful with anti sway devices, they can be more dangerous than not having them.
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Timber Wolf View Post
Amen! On our last trip I was going a little faster than I like (70 mph) hit a rough patch of road maybe swerved a little and before I knew it the tail was wagging the dog. And I drive a full size, long wheelbase pickup truck ahead of the Scamp. I reached down and hit the trailer brakes and little and things eased out but I had a few uncomforatable moments. I plan on adding some sway control before I head out on any long trips again. Looks like cheap insurance.
For many trailer 70 mph is probably getting pretty close to the sway speed. The answer might be to first slow down, second make sure the towing dynamics are as good as possible, (do what you can to raise the sway point)

I believe that keeping things well away from the point where sway can happen is the safest thing to do.
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:37 AM   #12
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What Bryon said. I do not tow at 70 although I have run up to that speed to see how the trailer tracked. Straight as an arrow, even when changing lanes. More importantly though, I prefer to keep things as simple as possible. On my bi-annual treks between Alaska and California, the fewer things there are to fail or break en-route, the better. Plus, everything on or around the tongue gets absolutely hammered on every trip. I would probably have to replace the sway control after each trip, if it even made it that far.
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post

My point is be careful with anti sway devices, they can be more dangerous than not having them.
This is a good point Byron. Any anti sway device needs to be the correct one for the application and it needs to be installed and adjusted properly. Also note some are better than others.

Quality anti sway devices are made to last a long time. Our dual cams on our Reese Hitch are 40 years old and work as good as day one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
There are at least two schools of though concerning anti sway bars. One it's a safety item. Two is masks a real problem.
I subscribe to..... One it's a safety item.

Real rig/sway problems should be dealt with in a responsible manner.
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:05 PM   #14
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Mike,

I want to dispel the idea that an anti-sway bar is a severe wear item

We have had the same anti-sway bar for 7 years. We travel over 7 months a year and have towed across Labrador when the Trans Labrador was a 1,000 mile dirt road. Outside of a little rust the anti-sway bar functions as well as the day we installed it.

It is a rather simple mechanism and really doesn't have a lot of wear parts. The most severe workout for the anti-sway bar seems to be when we back into a site.

We have towed a few 1,000 miles without one and virtually never had any sway. Our top speed is usually 62 mph (under our tire's limit).

I installed it when a more experienced, long time trailer 'tower' suggested it might be valuable in an emergency and only cost about $50.

On our trailer it's Ginny's job to connect it and tighten it. It literally takes a minute.

I agree it's purpose is NOT to 'control' every day sway.

In a NM wind storm the anti-sway bar served as an anchor to hold the Sat dish tripod in place, an unlisted multi-use item.......
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