Was towing this weekend and was awfully windy - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-08-2013, 11:41 AM   #43
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One of the issues involved in using vehicles such as a Rav4 as a tow vehicle is that the suspension design on these modern vehicles is a rather sophisticated independent design at all four corners. These are typically designed so that geometry of both the front and rear are optimized for handling with the vehicle within some range of loading that would be considered "normal" for it's intended usage. Let's face it, these cars are not really intended as tow vehicles, so it often becomes fairly easy to get the suspension geometry "out of spec" by loading things up for camping and hooking up a trailer. Which is where a WD hitch comes into play. It restores front axle load, and therefore typically also partially or completely corrects the front/rear attitude ( levelness ) of the car, getting it back into it's sweet spot for safe predicable handling.

As stated earlier, Jon has proved over many miles this car works well for this kind of towing. I can't remember what WD hitch he uses, but you could search him put and pick his brain on it.

One of the reasons pickup trucks are easier to set up is their simple ( crude ) suspension system. A solid rear axle does not change geometry when loaded ( not significantly anyway ), the front suspensions tend to be designed with the idea in mind that the vehicle is in fact going to spend some of it's miles/usage loaded. All this is also part of the reason why pickups don't "handle" as well as your car.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:45 AM   #44
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CAT scales are actually an independent company that is not affiliated with the state DOT. You can find out if a CAT scale is near you by visiting their site:

CAT Scale Locator | CAT Scale

Going to the scales is often an eye-opening experience for many people. Just ask your forum member Frederick !
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:54 AM   #45
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Thanks Again! I bookmarked it, and there is 2 within 30 miles of me so will have to take it for a ride and check it out. Jon has an equalizer, he thinks 600lb bars...I had a PM with him about it.

I am thinking about next february when I get my tax return back trading in my rav4 for a pick up...something v6 4wd so I can keep my extra camping gear in it and beable to tow more easily... just can't swing it right now. I guess for now its gonna be a wdh with anti sway.

I should also see if I can get anymore extra stuff out of my trunk...its amazing what collects in there lol.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:12 PM   #46
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Great dialogue. I printed this whole page out to save it in PDF for reference. Thanks for some darn good input. (for me).
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:10 PM   #47
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I'm thinking that tow axle sum "After" (F & R ) from step 2 or 3, less tow axle sum "Before" (F & R) from step 1 is actually tongue weight.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:21 PM   #48
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George, thanks for the web-site. I see there is a CAT scale just a couple of miles from me in Cabool. Now, if I can just remember it is there when I need it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:32 PM   #49
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No Sway

I admit to not understanding sway. Since our tow vehicles and trailer weights are similar I'm interested in the post.

The only time I feel anything is when a car carrier passes me. They seem to create more turbulance than a traditional slab side semi. I don't detect sway but I'm aware the car carrier's passing me.

Our trailer is similar in weight to Deryk's and our tow vehicle is similar in size to his as well. As to sway, we have one of the lightest tongue weights on the site, at least for a 16' trailer, and have towed it for at least 2000 miles with out an anti-sway bar and have never felt any sway.

We do have an anti-sway bar now for the reason Carol stated, 'in case of an emergency of some kind' and in fact have had two of those emergencies in six years of towing.

Our tongue weight is around 200 lbs, less if we're low on propane. We always carry a 1/2 tank of water and more if we're going to dry camp. We do have a bumper box, though not heavily loaded.

Deryk has not mentioned his tire pressure. I keep the Honda's rear pressure at 39 psi cold, fronts at 36. Substantially higher than the standard setting. I keep the trailer tires near maximum, around 48 lbs. I have no air bags or wd hitch.

As to wheelbase, there's two parts to the wheel base equation that count, distance between the axles and distance from the ball to rear axle. A truck may have a longer wheel base but also the distance from the ball to axle may be greater.

As to gripping tighter with both hands, one wants a hand free to be ready to give the brake controller a little tap if sway is occurring; generally a tap on the trailer brakes will stop it.

The only time we've seen sway is when we attached a generator to the rear of our first trailer on our very first trip. Moving the generator off the bumper stopped it.

I'll be interested in seeing how you control the situation.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:05 PM   #50
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Norm, I don't remember what the pressure is on the ParkLiner tires is off hand....I check the tires and use the number....

I'm leaning towards the Pro wdh with anti sway arm...worst comes to worst if its really windy i can add the 2nd anti sway arm like people do with heavier trailers. Both
Jon and Glenn have Escape 17's and Ra4v's and use wdh.. i have the airbags so it will take some of the load.

i guess at some point heavy wind will push the trailers around and i want to be prepared for it. Never know what mother nature will throw our way.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:48 PM   #51
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What's your rear tire rav 4 pressure?
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:08 PM   #52
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Long before you employ a WDH or any sway mechanism, having the tow and trailer set up properly is the first thing to do, as many have already said.

Proper tongue weight is the first thing to ensure is correct. The only times I have ever dealt with sway was when the weight was too far back. It is not only tongue weight that is important, but how the weight is loaded. Ideally you want the 10-15% tongue weight (I prefer to err towards the heavier end), and all the rest of the weight as close to the axle(s) as possible. I put a bike rack with two bikes on the back of my trailer, and even with moving other things forward, I still felt a tendency to sway. This is why I bought the Andersen WDH with built-in anti-sway. I just got in and have yet to try it yet though. Harley Jim just bought one too.

Tire pressure is very important, and should be kept at or near the maximum for the trailer and tow. The will firm up the ride. I believe you already stiffened your rear end, this would help to stabilize the tow as well, though most all sway comes from the trailer.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:24 PM   #53
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The tires on the Rav4 are 34 lbs I think...same front and back.


I wish the problem went away when I removed the cargo carrier....on Sunday driving back the water and grey water tank was empty...having had bariatric surgery I'm not loading up on food lol...had the trunk on my bed and a light wooden chair on the bed as well so tongue weight was over 10% for certain. It eased up a lot when I got aways into NJ and the wind wasn't as strong.


That's why I figure wdh with anti sway is the next step...hopefully won't have the high winds again...but 2 weekends ago I was on the NJ turnpike and glanced at my speedometer and I was doing 72 didn't even feel the ParkLiner behind me and I had most of the same stuff with me cept my 18lb rocket stove and only 1 qt of half and half not 2 lol.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:42 PM   #54
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High winds always play havoc with our puffball like trailers. Heck, one trip last year I burned over half a tank of gas in just over an hour, going into a very strong headwind. Gusting side winds are the worse. Also, for passing large trucks, it is much better to put up with the wind they cause on a calm day, than to deal with the lull followed by a blast on a windy day. Even with a WDH caution would need to be exercised in these high wind conditions.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:22 PM   #55
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Yeah I guess there is no all the time resolution for high winds but proper loading tongue weight anti sway bars all can help but there is no driving in a tornado lol
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:31 PM   #56
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Yeah, chasing tornadoes with a fiberglass trailer would not be wise.
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