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MaryNJWildlife 04-01-2017 05:56 AM

Parkliner Weight Distribution Kit
 
Hi, I will be picking up my new Parkliner (the 15 ft model) in 3 weeks from the manufacturing facility in NC. I made arrangements to have an electric brake controller installed. The trailer shop recommended that I also buy a weight distribution kit. They said they see many cases of accidents when a big truck passes a camper setup, and the wind causes swaying. It wasn't a sales pitch because they recommended I buy one off the shelf somewhere as theirs have ratings too high for my purposes. My tow vehicle is a 2012 Nissan Murano, rated for 3500 pounds of towing. Already have the hitch and 7 pin connector.

This is my first camper. Other towing I've done with the Murano: 1. have a wooden trailer for hauling firewood, probably loaded up 1500 pounds at least and no swaying; 2. son used it to haul a uhaul trailer to FL, and a uhaul moving trailer to upstate NY. Have not experienced any swaying.

I read on another thread that someone called Parkliner, and was told that there is no need for a weight distribution kit. Any advice would be appreciated.

Mary

kirkman 04-01-2017 06:35 AM

I tow my 17' Eggcamper with my Saab 97x (same thing as a chevy trail blazer) down the Garden st. parkway (I'm sure you know how crazy that is) without a sway bar and as long as I have the trailer loaded right with enough tung weight I have never had a sway problem.

MaryNJWildlife 04-01-2017 06:47 AM

Thanks for your response, Jason. This is consistent with what I've been reading. I suppose down the line if I travel out west it might be a good idea. In the plains the winds can be crazy and I've seen multiple trailers flipped over during a trip to South Dakota.

Jon in AZ 04-01-2017 06:52 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Is that 2014 a typo? That doesn't sound like a new model. I'd also like clarification about which Parkliner model you are buying. They seem to be rolling out some new, likely heavier, models. But as far as I have heard, the model they are selling is still the same 15', single hull design from past years.

If that's the case, I don't see a reason for a weight distributing hitch (WDH). Tongue weights are less than 300 pounds, I believe. In any case, WDH does not necessarily provide sway control.

What would make more sense is a friction sway bar. It's a simple, inexpensive device that attaches to trailer tongue and ball mount and dampens sway. It does require an attachment mounted to the trailer tongue. I don't know if Parkliner would help with that for the drive home. Here's a picture:
Attachment 104537

A properly hitched and loaded trailer (10-12% tongue weight) should not experience sway under normal conditions (including a passing semi). However a sway bar is good extra insurance for unusual situations, such as a sudden gust of wind from the side or an emergency avoidance maneuver.

MaryNJWildlife 04-01-2017 07:02 AM

Thanks for the reply, Jon. It's a new camper but not the new 16 ft design Parkliner recently unveiled. It's the 15 foot one, and they held the 2014 prices so I was happy to still be able to afford one. With the new business model and prices, I would have been priced out of the market.

Sounds great about the sway bar. I'm not too worried about this trip bringing it home. We'll have minimal load if anything at all. I'll definitely look into getting a sway bar for the future.

War Eagle 04-01-2017 07:18 AM

Just to further clarify (I hope) what Jon said, weight redistribution and sway control are two different things. A weight distribution hitch (WDH) forces a torsion flex at the hitch ball that takes some of the trailer tongue weight off the rear axle and, by forcing flex in the middle, transfers that weight forward to the front axle. The result is less weight on the tow vehicle's hitch receiver, so less squat in the rear of the tow vehicle, less "porpoising" over bumps in the road (especially if you are near the weight limit of your tow vehicle's hitch), and your headlight low beams don't angle up and blind oncoming drivers. Sway control limits the amount of side-to-side pitching of the trailer or even more violent and dangerous whipping side-to-side. It usually employs a friction or shock absorber-type device that simply slows the side-to-side action - hopefully to the point of elimination. Some hitches, but not all, can affect both weight redistribution and sway. I hope that helps....

MaryNJWildlife 04-01-2017 07:38 AM

War Eagle:
The result is less weight on the tow vehicle's hitch receiver, so less squat in the rear of the tow vehicle, less "porpoising" over bumps in the road (especially if you are near the weight limit of your tow vehicle's hitch)

The TV has a Class III hitch, so the maximum tongue weight is 600 pounds. Looks like the tongue weight from the Parkliner should not be a problem (275 pounds).

Jon in AZ 04-01-2017 07:40 AM

A last word... the best way to minimize sway is to keep your speed down. I know the I-95 corridor can be crazy, but I'd putz along at 60-62 and let them pass. Don't forget you can't take the trailer through the Baltimore harbor tunnels, and the Francis Scott Key bridge is not a good place for a trailer on a windy day.

Congratulations on your new Parkliner (from a MD native)! You did well to take advantage of the holdover pricing.

Jon in AZ 04-01-2017 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MaryNJWildlife (Post 633642)
The TV has a Class III hitch, so the maximum tongue weight is 600 pounds. Looks like the tongue weight from the Parkliner should not be a problem (275 pounds).

Okay, not the last word... The vehicle rating, not the hitch rating, is the limiting factor. With a 3500 pound tow rating, you are likely limited to 350 pounds tongue weight. Check your owner's manual for details.

MaryNJWildlife 04-01-2017 07:46 AM

Thanks for that info Jon. One more reason to avoid I-95. I plan to use I-81 mostly. I've been on there and there is considerable truck traffic. I think for now, I'll just get the camper home. Then I'll look into sway bar controls. Looks like something I'll need help with from the shop. For cross country type trips I think I'll want to have some emergency protection.

War Eagle 04-01-2017 07:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MaryNJWildlife (Post 633642)
War Eagle:
The result is less weight on the tow vehicle's hitch receiver, so less squat in the rear of the tow vehicle, less "porpoising" over bumps in the road (especially if you are near the weight limit of your tow vehicle's hitch)

The TV has a Class III hitch, so the maximum tongue weight is 600 pounds. Looks like the tongue weight from the Parkliner should not be a problem (275 pounds).

My reply was intended to be generic - not specific to this particular OP. So I guess my high school English teacher would have corrected me to write, "... especially if one is near the weight limit of one's tow vehicle ...". My bad.... (Please don't tell my high school English teacher I ended this post that way!)

MaryNJWildlife 04-01-2017 09:26 AM

War Eagle: No need to explain... ha ha, but looked up the class ratings to address your concern about the tongue weight limitations. I'm trying to piece together the facts to help make this decision, so finding that rating helped eliminate that particular concern. But I'm still a bit befuddled about this, since I've read some other posts from years back, and people give very conflicting opinions about what WDH and sway bar controls do, if they are needed, and whether sway control is included in WDH.

So back to the opinion of the trailer expert, I think his main concern was that my tow vehicle is rather small. He said if it were a large truck, he wouldn't be as concerned. So I'm thinking the wheel base has something to do with it. My Murano has 111". A Ford F-150 has 122" to 163", I guess depending on the model. But I just heard back from a Parkliner owner who tows with a Ford Escape which has a wheel base of 106" and has not had any problems.

The occasion when I saw a good number of trailers flipped over in South Dakota, there was actually a tornado warning in effect. So if I ever encounter such driving conditions with the camper, I think I'll just pull off the road and wait it out. I'm trying to be safe and prepared, but maybe in some situations it's not equipment but common sense that should prevail.

Wayne Collins 04-01-2017 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kirkman (Post 633629)
I tow my 17' Eggcamper with my Saab 97x (same thing as a chevy trail blazer) down the Garden st. parkway (I'm sure you know how crazy that is) without a sway bar and as long as I have the trailer loaded right with enough tung weight I have never had a sway problem.

"tung' is an oil used in woodworking.
Trailers have a tongue or hitch.

Wayne Collins 04-01-2017 09:43 AM

We pulled our new (last October) Parkliner home, with no WDH or Sway bar, and no problems. those gadgets only add more dead weight.
Keep a steady hand on your steering wheel, and make sure the ballmount is tight in the receiver. Any looseness can aggravate sway.
As others have said, pay attention to weight distribution in the trailer and Tow Vehicle. If your Murano is front wheel drive you need to avoid too much weight in the rear.

Glenn Baglo 04-01-2017 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wayne Collins (Post 633670)
We pulled our new (last October) Parkliner home, with no WDH or Sway bar, and no problems. those gadgets only add more dead weight.
If your Murano is front wheel drive you need to avoid too much weight in the rear.

Two problems here. You don't say what you used to tow the trailer, which makes the first paragraph quite useless.
And, you contradict yourself by pointing out the issue of too much weight on the rear axle, which is what a weight distribution hitch corrects.

flaco 04-01-2017 11:00 AM

Wayne and Mary, We tow with an 04 Honda Odyssey (350 max tongue, 3500 max total). We too would be happier with weight distribution and sway control. We do have air assist for the rear of the van. Good idea to actually see the real world fully loaded tongue weight of the camper as it may be more than advertised. We have contacted a LittleGuy dealer in Maryland about the new Parkliner. He said they would have one to show in June. Also whoever responds to the blog posts on Parkliner's website said no more RV shows this year. So no more 'show special price'? How has your overall Parkliner experience been so far?:cheers

Wayne Collins 04-01-2017 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wayne Collins (Post 633670)
We pulled our new (last October) Parkliner home, with no WDH or Sway bar, and no problems. those gadgets only add more dead weight.
Keep a steady hand on your steering wheel, and make sure the ballmount is tight in the receiver. Any looseness can aggravate sway.
As others have said, pay attention to weight distribution in the trailer and Tow Vehicle. If your Murano is front wheel drive you need to avoid too much weight in the rear.


Sorry, I meant to say that our TV is a 2013 Toyota Highlander, V6 4WD.
although a WDH does shift some weight toward the front axle, it adds to the total weight which takes more gas to move, slows you down on the uphill grades and more work for the brakes on the downhills./wc

Wayne Collins 04-01-2017 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flaco (Post 633683)
Wayne and Mary, We tow with an 04 Honda Odyssey (350 max tongue, 3500 max total). We too would be happier with weight distribution and sway control. We do have air assist for the rear of the van. Good idea to actually see the real world fully loaded tongue weight of the camper as it may be more than advertised. We have contacted a LittleGuy dealer in Maryland about the new Parkliner. He said they would have one to show in June. Also whoever responds to the blog posts on Parkliner's website said no more RV shows this year. So no more 'show special price'? How has your overall Parkliner experience been so far?:cheers

Have only slept in it the 5 nights we took to visit friends in NC, and the 1000 mile trip back home in November. The weather was pleasantly mild then.
We found a number of issues with it, which I was able to fix myself. Parkliner was willing to compensate me for time and materials. they said that they were using my list of "problems" to develop a final assembly checklist to assure no repeats.

iamjiwjr 04-01-2017 12:11 PM

We picked up our PL in October 2016. No Antisway or weight distribution needed. I've only found that I get anything like wobble on the road if I exceed 65 mph on occasional roads (and my wife gives me grief if I exceed 65 anyway).

I-73 from Greensboro to Ellerbe NC affects my PL differently than any other road I've had it on. And it's only on the northbound side - twice now, both fall and spring. But even on this road its fine up to 65 mph, even in spring wind.

trilliumdan 04-01-2017 12:54 PM

to sway or not to sway
 
Hi Mary . I think that common sence . Goes a lot further than any equipment . Perhaps the sway bar would be a good idea . They are not that expensive , And i know from experience they do help . But nothing can take the place of good judgement . Keep the speed at what is comfortable for YOU . You will do fine im sure .


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