weight distributing hitch - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-09-2003, 11:31 PM   #1
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weight distributing hitch

Although the toungue weight is low on my 13' Scamp (short wheelbase) I notice some oscilation on certain Interstate Highways. Some say a weight distributing hitch will take care of that problem or is there a better /cheaper fix ?

Noel
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Old 01-09-2003, 11:35 PM   #2
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Many people prefer a ‘Sway-Bar’ if they don’t have too much tongue weight. Cost is much, much less and it is very effective for Sway (fish tailing).

I hope this helps.
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Old 01-09-2003, 11:41 PM   #3
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Sway...

Before we head out to buy different hitches...

How is the trailer loaded??? Having too much weight in the back of the trailer can also cause this problem. I've seen others report having major sway problems - after sticking a bike rack onto the back of the trailer and loading it up. Is it possible that the trailer is loaded more heavily toward the rear, contributing to the problem?
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Old 01-09-2003, 11:45 PM   #4
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Thanks Michael for the comment. My problem is more of an up/down motion (hobby horse effect) and is probably some what inherent in the tow vehicle as much as the trailer (1998 Ford Ranger XLT 4dr) Truck suspension is fairly stiff and it's wheelbase doesn't help matters either. :reyes

Noel
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Old 01-09-2003, 11:45 PM   #5
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Good point Mike.:chin
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Old 01-09-2003, 11:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Noel M. Lutsey

Thanks Michael for the comment. My problem is more of an up/down motion (hobby horse effect) and is probably some what inherent in the tow vehicle as much as the trailer (1998 Ford Ranger XLT 4dr) Truck suspension is fairly stiff and it's wheelbase doesn't help matters either. :reyes

Noel
Another thing you might check. Have a wheel alignment check of your trailer. sometimes one side gets slightly bent. How are the tires wearing? Just a wild thought.
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Old 01-09-2003, 11:53 PM   #7
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Excellent ideas and woth double checking. Toungue weight is around 150-175lbs with battery and propane and no extras on the bed or in the storage cabinets and only the factory spare on the rear.
The tires are new (2,000 miles) and show no unusual wear at this point. Handling seems to be OK no dragging or pullinf to one side and when following the rig down the road appears to track just fine.

Noel
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Old 01-10-2003, 03:48 AM   #8
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Hi ----Maybe the problem is suspension in tow vehical causing the up and down motion.You should look to see your rating on the vehical suspension. If it is not quite up to par look at getting air mounted shocks which you can adjust yourself. Just a thought.
Another thing I do is to make sure my trailer is level when hooked with tow vehical. Some trailers i have seen look like there ready to take of for the moon when hooked up.:r
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Old 01-10-2003, 06:42 AM   #9
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Trailer Bounce

This is not just true with fiberglass rv's ... but on some set-ups, with certain tow-vehicles attached to certain trailers on certain highways hit the highway expansion joints just right to cause trailer bounce.

It's something to do with the combination and permutation of the tow vehicle wheel base, length of the hitch, spacing of the highway expansion joints, etc.

Sometimes the bounce or rythmic motion can be cured by attaching a "hitch extender" (available at on line , or your Local Bubba's RV which adds up to 18 inches to the length of your ball mount ... giving more distance between your tow vehicle and trailer.

http://www.crbrophy.com/hitchacc.html

Please note: Using a hitch extender reduces the effective "carry" weight of your hitch. I wouldn't use one with a heavy trailer ... but with a 13 inch Scamp ... shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 01-10-2003, 07:19 AM   #10
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:wave Good point Charles.

I had a 3/4 ton Ford Supercab Long bed that I could not go 55 mph without getting what you are talking about. The harmonic bounce from the road seams, wheel base length, and the F-250’s stiff suspension drove me crazy.
:o

My F-150, I had just before the F-250, with a short wheel base rode like a dream.
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Old 01-10-2003, 07:33 AM   #11
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Thanks Mike, Michael, Chester and Charles. Some of this I knew already and of course some of this is new to me :reye2 all of it bears reviewing (like checking the alignment and re-weighing the toungue). Now if some one can come up with a formula for calculating vehicle wheel base vis-a-vis trailer wheelbase....... if nothing else the longer extension would help the turning radius.

Interesting.

Noel
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Old 01-10-2003, 08:21 AM   #12
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bumps in the road

These conversations are so interesting, but I wish I really understood.
1. this bouncing can be caused by the seams in the road. and the vehicle hitting two different seams at the same time or slightly off?
2. lenthening tongue can repair, but what if diffferent roads have just enough difference that the next raod doesn't like the last roads fix, so you would get it again?
3. this rocking motion? couldn't this be mainly from a light tongue? Mine did a yanking motion and weighting the tongue of the trailer solved it. the only yanking then was if the ridge in the road was huge, like when getting on a bridge. or are you even talking about this, and I'm in a totaly different realm?
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Old 02-05-2003, 10:29 AM   #13
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the dreaded Popcorn Effect

When we had a boler 13 in the 80s, ours would bounce so badly that the cushions ended up all over the camper. Occasionally cabinet doors would pop open and dump everything. When you pulled in, you had some major straightening up to do.

So, how common is this? Is this characteristic of the 13' units? Let's here from some of you 13 and 16 owners -- do things stay put in your unit while towing, or do you suffer from the "popcorn effect"?
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Old 02-17-2003, 07:01 PM   #14
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Weight Distributing Hitch

We tow our 16ft Scamp with an 83 Chev Blazer (full size) powered by a turbo charged 6.2 liter diesel through 3.73 to 1 gears. The hitch is a fully equalizing unit that we also use to tow our 26ft Avion. With the bars set to minimally equalize, the amount of bounce I get on the concrete pavement is less than with the Blazer alone. We have never had a problem with stuff bouncing out of cupboards, etc. unless we happened to go over a railroad intersection fast, or got into some real bad road.

In my previous business I towed a tandem axle utility box trailer extensively. When I changed from a non-equalized to an equalized hitch I couldn't believe how less tired I was at the end of the day. I would expect that even with the Scamp, if I were to tow it unequalized I would do it only once.
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