Was towing this weekend and was awfully windy - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-08-2013, 09:33 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Steve L. View Post
The HF installation instructions mentions that if you want to install it on the left side you simply pull the slide out and put it back in upside down. That serves to orient it correctly on left side.
http://manuals.harborfreight.com/man...6999/96462.pdf
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:37 AM   #30
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Steve thats good to know, I'm liking the HF sway bar even better.
Deryk
Put your scales on blocks under the hitch. Then just use the jack to lower the hitch onto the scales.
Eddie

Im just gonna have to use a few blocks of wood and jack the tongue up and put my scale under the tongue jack and lower it down onto it. I use the tongue jack to support the traielr when its in the driveway...is it ok that way?
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:53 AM   #31
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once I get the sway issue done I want to do something with the cargo carrier...besides the little box on the back, I like that its a flat surface to put my blue water jug on and is high enough up so I can stand on it to put the awning pole on my roof for setting up the awning I made and would work as a low table if I buy one of those smokey joe bbq's..grill on the ground but can lay the food stuff out on it, and the generator would fit under it for a little protection if it rains. Dont want to carry a folding table like I did with my home built gypsy vardo....another thing to carry...bleh lol
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:03 AM   #32
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Deryk,
Until you make the necessary passes over a scale, you are just guessing at how to set up your rig. Folks are fond of saying, "I've towed this way for xx miles, and never a problem, and it all feels good". Subjective evaluation ( feel ) for sure is an important part of how to determine a good set up, however, the "foundation" for getting a good setup is objective data, and that starts with hard numbers that come from the scales.
Getting the "balance" of the tow vehicle and trailer correct is important, as well as getting the rigging between the two correct. A weight distributing hitch is one tool in setup to help get all of this correct.
Ideally, you will most likely want to have your hitched setup result in the steer axle being very close to it's "unhitched weight", and your rear axle be "somewhat heavier" that it's unhitched weight. There is only one way to do this with a tag-along trailer, and that is with a WD hitch. Buying one with sway control certainly makes sense as well.
Just adding sway control, when the steer axle has had a significant amount of weight removed can lead to other handling problems, such as understeer, especially on wet or otherwise slick pavement.

If you have a CAT scale near you, that is the easiest way to get the numbers you need, and it requires three trips across the scale to ensure a WD hitch setup is correct. It will cost you about $13 for three weighs.

Some folks may say, "just add air bags" or something similar. That does nothing to address the fact that weight has been removed from the steer axle. Air bags "can be" another tool in getting correct setup, but they typically are not the entire solution. As an example, about the only time they might be, could be when setting up a very nose heavy truck, like a one ton with a heavy diesel engine.

Getting your rig setup correctly will transform your towing experience. While I have no first hand experience towing with a Rav4, it seems pretty clear from Jon V's experience with his, that it certainly can be a good tow vehicle. Hopefully he will come along here shortly and throw his comments in regarding his setup.

george
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:10 AM   #33
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George, you said "requires three trips across the scale " what is done differently on each pass to set it up correctly?

thanks
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:29 AM   #34
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George, you said "requires three trips across the scale " what is done differently on each pass to set it up correctly?

thanks
Deryk,

1. weight the tow vehicle by itself. This gives you what the baseline numbers are for the steer axle and rear axle.

2. weight the tow vehicle and the trailer on the ball, with the WD bars disengaged. This tells you what the tongue weight is, as well as shows how much weight you have removed from the steer axle. You need to know the steer axle numbers so you know how much to "restore" with the WD hitch bars.

3. weight the tow vehicle and the trailer with the WD bars engaged. This final number tells you if you have restored the correct weight to the steer axle.

As an example, with my Frontier and my camper, with the WD bars dis-engaged, I was "removing" 300 pounds from the steer axle. I have my hitching set up to "restore" about 250 of those pounds, so obviously we can see my front end is only "light" by about 50 pounds. At this setup, handling is good, the front end "is planted" ( subjective term ! ), in other words, the steering feel is essentially the same as when the truck is driven solo. I found that if I restored "all of the 300 pounds" to the steer axle, the truck steering felt "heavy" when turning a corner. That is why I chose to back it off a little. Nissan specs that the range is to restore "between half, and 100%". So I am restoring about 80%.

Your scale weights will also tell you if you are within all specified weight ratings for axles, tires, etc.

george
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:34 AM   #35
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George,

ok #1 I understand, weight my Rav4

#2 "weight the tow vehicle and the trailer on the ball, with the WD bars disengaged" I know how to weigh the tongue on a bathroom scale but how do you weigh it on a fullsized drive on kinda scale?
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:15 AM   #36
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might try a friction anti sway bar a.
Deryk, I personally think its best if you solve the reason for the cause of the sway problem before adding an anti sway to the car. I would not be very comfortable with knowledge the only thing keeping the trailer straight was an anti sway bar. Its a personal thing but I would only use an anti sway bar as an extra insurance policy for the worst case scenarios, ie quick avoidance maneuver. If its needed to keep it straight under normal driving conditions then something just isn't right.

As others have suggested the extra weight on the rear of the trailer is often the cause of sway issues. When weighing the tongue make sure the trailer is on level ground and the tongue is at the same height it is when hitched to the tow. I carry a tote box in my trailer filled with all my trailer gear - hoses, cords, jacks and blocks etc that I can easily move forward in the trailer on days when I want/need a little extra weight on the tongue - ie windy or driving at speeds over 55 mph. Never had a sway problem without a WDH or sway bar even in winds high enough to put a semi trailer sideways in front of me on a highway in southern California one day last winter.

Hope you solve the problem.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:23 AM   #37
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George,

ok #1 I understand, weight my Rav4

#2 "weight the tow vehicle and the trailer on the ball, with the WD bars disengaged" I know how to weigh the tongue on a bathroom scale but how do you weigh it on a fullsized drive on kinda scale?
Deryk,
The advantage of a CAT scale is there are three platforms. When you drive on, you park with the steer axle on the first platform, the drive axle ( rear axle tow vehicle ) on the platform two, and the trailer on platform three. You will get a ticket that looks like the attached. This was from the other day ( F350 dually with equipment trailer loaded with hay ). Now for instance, let's say I would also have a weigh ticket of just the truck. Let's say for the sake of argument, that the empty truck would have have had a rear axle weight of 3640 pounds. We can see that with the trailer loaded and connected (5640 rear axle), that we would have had 2000 pounds on the gooseneck pin ( it's actually more than that in this case.....closer to 3K pounds in reality ).

Sorry I don't have the weigh tickets for the camper and Frontier handy....they are in the camper down at the barn. But anyway, you can figure from the three trips across the scales as described earlier, you can figure all your weights and distribution, and from looking at the sticker on the door of your tow vehicles, you can compare actual weights to what the stated limits are.
I'll leave it to another discussion for another time whether you want to stay within Toyota's stated limits.

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Old 04-08-2013, 11:26 AM   #38
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Inflating the Rav4's tires to maximum recommended pressure could help in a cross wind as well. I drove home from the desert a few weeks ago with 12 PSI in the Jeeps tires! I forgot to air up after playing in the dunes. Needless to say the rig was moving around more than usual. DOH!
Driving in gusty cross winds is never fun, as it takes perfectly timed steering corrections every new gust. It gets very tiring on long pulls.
At least our eggs are shaped optimally for these conditions.
Russ
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:26 AM   #39
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Carol, the odd part was coming home the water and grey water tank were empty, the cargo carrier was inside my Rav4. There was a chair on my bed and the tote box that couldn't weigh more then 40lbs on my bed as well... and it was still doing it, but was still really windy. The wind lessoned when I got into Jersey so the final part of the trip was fine and had no issue going over 60mph. I think George and Glenn have a point about the wdh and bringing some of the weight forward to my steering axle. The stupid part of this is that I wont know if its solved till I get another real windy day lol.

Coming back from Virginia when I bought the ParkLinerI was wondering if it was windy going over the delaware memorial bridge because its real high up I was wondering if the wind would be a problem (was real windy when I was heading to virginia) and it was pretty still. It would have been great if taking the cargo carrier off the back and the problem disapeared...but life isn't that easy lol.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:28 AM   #40
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I probably did not answer your question very well in the above diatribe ! Let's say your Rav4 by itself has a rear axle weight of 2000 pounds. Now when you hook the trailer to it "on the ball" with no WD bars hooked up, and let's say now your rear axle weighs 2500 pounds. You have a tongue weight of 500 pounds. At the same time, you will see that you "removed" some weight from the steer axle, because you have turned the Rav4 into a teeter-totter. The weight on the ball, the rear axle is the pivot point....so the front axle has to get lighter.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:31 AM   #41
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Thanks George, didn't know that about the scales... Ive had trailers weighed at scrap yards where its 1 giant flat scale. Im guessing the highway weigh stations would have a CAT scale...I will look into it.

Russ, I was actually a good boy and put air in my tires right before I picked the ParkLiner up on thursday... yeah I can imagine low pressure would make it more fun to drive.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:34 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post
I probably did not answer your question very well in the above diatribe ! Let's say your Rav4 by itself has a rear axle weight of 2000 pounds. Now when you hook the trailer to it "on the ball" with no WD bars hooked up, and let's say now your rear axle weighs 2500 pounds. You have a tongue weight of 500 pounds. At the same time, you will see that you "removed" some weight from the steer axle, because you have turned the Rav4 into a teeter-totter. The weight on the ball, the rear axle is the pivot point....so the front axle has to get lighter.
Thanks George, yeah that makes a bit more sense... I have been weighing the trailer for tongue weight, but I guess the "junk in my trunk" tools and such is also adding to my tongue weight... which is lightening the steering axle even more.
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