new to towing - slight bucking or dolphin like movement? - Fiberglass RV
Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-04-2021, 01:54 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Jesse
Trailer: In the market
Washington
Posts: 25
new to towing - slight bucking or dolphin like movement?

We have a Honda Pilot 21 and a 2005 Escape 17B. We took it out now only twice, once to get new tire/brakes and then to the RV shop to get a few things done, then towed it home. At the RV shop they put a Sway Control bar and the brake controller. Both before and after the new tires/brakes/sway control it felt the same. I noticed it mostly on the road that is two lane flat, somewhat windy road where we drove from 50-60 mph. Sometimes it felt like the car was hesitating or bucking a little, it didn't feel smooth or great, but it was subtle. I think it felt like this when the trailer moved more because of the road. I think it is possible that it is how it feels to tow, but I am not experienced at all, so I don't know if something isn't right. Do we have to just get used to that feeling. It is like a slight hesitating/bucking/jerking/less-more power feeling in the car. The trailer only weighs about 2k, doesn't have much water in it I don't think. It would be so great if there was something we can do *that doesn't involve taking it back to the RV shop that would make it a smoother drive.

Thanks!
harvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2021, 02:16 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,634
I used a weight distribution hitch without a sway bar to tow my 17B with a RAV4 V6 Sport. Towed it like that for 12 years and then bought a 2020 Highlander. I had no bucking or sway issues with the RAV4 and 17B.

The WDH makes the combo feel like a single unit. 17B is unlikely to sway unless you put everything you own on and under the rear bed.
Attached Thumbnails
With WDH1.jpg  
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2021, 02:32 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 10,127
Registry
Several things… One, an empty trailer will bounce more than when loaded for travel because the axle is designed for the weight of a loaded trailer. Ours settles down quite a bit when loaded. Two, sometimes too little weight on the tongue can cause the “porpoising” effect you describe. The tongue weight should be 10-15% of the total trailer weight, with around 12% being a good target. Try tossing a 50# canopy on the front dinette (or a 5 gallon water container on the front floor or…) and see what happens. Three, with a unibody vehicle, any looseness the the ball mount will be felt and heard through the whole vehicle. Make sure you install a hitch tightening (anti-rattle) device. Four, make sure you’re towing with the trailer level or slightly nose down.

With some vehicles an overly soft rear suspension can be a factor, but that is unlikely to be a problem with the Pilot. I think somewhere in the list above you’ll find a solution.
Jon in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2021, 02:40 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,634
My 17B has about 340 lbs. on the tongue loaded for camping. The trailer weighs under 3,200 lbs fully loaded.

I've towed a short distance without the WDH and the RAV would "buck" with any bump. With WDH, it would not.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2021, 04:02 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Borden's Avatar
 
Name: Borden and Carole
Trailer: 1978 Earlton Ontario boler
Ontario
Posts: 1,263
Registry
WDH with swaybar really smooths things out. If you are getting WHD check out the types first. Also use your loaded weight so you can minimize weight by getting a WDH for size of your load.
__________________
Our postage stamp in heaven.
Borden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2021, 05:26 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Name: Jesse
Trailer: In the market
Washington
Posts: 25
Thanks for the replies!

I just paid for the installation and the part for the sway control bar, because I had thought that would be sufficient for safety in case of any sway, which I was told we didn't have to do, but could help. I also had read conflicting things about WDH and unibody cars, which the Pilot is, so I felt hesitant to get a WDH. At this point, I don't think we can get the WDH because of the cost and we just got the camper back - we are eager to go camping! I will try first adding 50 lb on the front dinette, to see if that helps. Then the anti rattle thing for the hitch, because it is not expensive and we can do it ourselves! I don't hear any rattling, but from what I read, it can help with general stability too.

I also don't know exactly how to describe the sensation in the car. I do know that it feels slightly uncomfortable to me, like the car is losing some control - or I had thought it was jerking and due to the transmission or shifting. But on that second ride back to our house, I realized it did it more when there were sways/curves in the roads or bumps.
harvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2021, 09:52 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
Posts: 1,194
You're experiencing what is called Natural Frequency. The bouncing is caused by the expansion joints, or other irregularities in the road. Your Trailer/TV combination gets into a bouncing mode at certain speeds that excite their natural frequency. slow down, or speed up the get away from that.
Wayne Collins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2021, 10:49 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
John in Michigan's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1700
Michigan
Posts: 1,809
Registry
We've noticed various towing problems, and determined some remedies.

With old torsion axles, we've noticed the significant forward and back jerking motion when going over bumps and sometimes even worse, pavement joints. This problem was significantly reduced by replacing the axle. Also, I can imagine that a WDH would reduce this effect.

When towing an unloaded trailer, you may notice the trailer bouncing around. Then when the trailer is loaded the bouncing is significantly reduced.

When towing a trailer that is tilted up in front and/or too light in front, we've noticed a much greater tendency to sway. This problem was almost entirely corrected by front loading the trailer 10 to 15% and using a ball mount that positions the loaded, hitched trailer level to slightly lower in front.
John in Michigan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2021, 11:27 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Iowa
Posts: 815
You’ve received excellent advice from the previous posts. Get a piece of paper and a pencil and make a checklist
Cheap to expensive
First load the trailer like you’re going on an outing
Hook it up to your tow vehicle and see how it sets
It should be level so if you need a different stinger to get it to set about level buy one or borrow one.
Borrow or rig up a scale to weigh the tongue weight
Tow to a truck stop and use the cat scale to determine your total rig weight, and your trailer weight. See alternatives below and use good chocolate chips.
Your tongue weight needs to be about 12 1/2 % or minus 2 % of the weight of the loaded trailer
Adjust your load so it is. Then hook back up and see if your rear end sags and if your front end is lifted by measuring the height of the front fender rim before
And after the hookup. If is has changed I would advise getting a weight distributing hitch and installing it. The install is with wrenches. No drilling or welding is needed and you can do it yourself. Then you will be able to tension the hitch to level the front end of the tow vehicle to the original height. That should allow towing without porpoising. Porpoising is porpoising up and down and sway is sway side to side. Others may have opinions but many folks have pulled heavier trailers than yours with a pilot with good results insured by a tight hookup between the trailer and the tow vehicle via a weight distributing hitch as previously noted. I realize there’s some money involved but safety is job one here and you won’t miss the $ in the long run but you will regret the results if your tow combination does not perform as a single unit in a tenuous situation. If you go to a rally, announce that you’ll be going and ask if anyone has a sherline scale and can help you weigh the tongue. That’s one way to get it done. If you have a grain elevator, quarry or landfill in the area with a drive on scale treat the scale person nice, check what an unbusy time is and perhaps they will weigh for you for nothing. Chocolate chip cookies are usually good.
That’s my opinion.
Iowa Dave
Iowa Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2021, 12:19 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Civilguy's Avatar
 
Name: Mike
Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
Posts: 1,668
Registry
Install a hitch tightener.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Get weighed and review your weight distribution between the trailer axle and the tongue. Educate yourself to understand what it means. Also learn about the rest of the alphabet-soup of weight ratings, including how to evaluate them and ensure that everything is and remains within the rated limits.

https://www.curtmfg.com/towing-capacity

Unibody construction is not of itself incompatible with using a WDH. Review what the vehicle manual says about weight distributing hitches.

Keeping your trailer's loading close to and/or forward of the axle to increase the tongue weight will help. Locating heavy items more distant from the axle, such as bikes on a rack behind the trailer, will amplify any porpoising effect.

Increasing your tongue weight within reason will likely help. As noted, the porpoising can react to the spacing of irregularities in the pavement occur as a harmonic or frequency-sensitive effect.

At some 15 years old, the rubber in your axle is likely not very resilient anymore. This will tend to increase porpoising as the trailer will tend to rock instead of the axle rubber absorbing dynamic forces.

Your ball mount or "stinger" should be selected so that the loaded trailer is substantially level when it is hitched and the tongue weight is bearing down on the ball. Lowering the ball height will not affect weight distribution to any measurable degree. However, changing the hitch level could affect the vertical angle at which the trailer coupler "presses" against the vehicle from behind when braking.
__________________
~ “It’s absurd to divide people into good and bad.
People are either charming or tedious.” Oscar Wilde ~

Civilguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 07:24 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Trail Cruiser
Alberta
Posts: 747
Lots of great comments here folks!

Currently you have one chassis towing another through a multi-directional flexible joint. This results in the motion of each chassis having the potential to influence the motion of the other.
A more efficient arrangement would be to functionally, make both chassis a single unit with a weight distributing hitch which greatly reduces vertical motion. A WDH also distributes tongue weight evenly over all wheels, not just the rear ones.
Without a WDH to limit vertical motion, increased tongue weight on the tug as may occur when travelling rougher roads, pivots on the rear axle and reduces the weight on the front wheels which provide steering and much of the braking.
Mike_L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2021, 08:39 AM   #12
Member
 
nancyrnfit's Avatar
 
Name: nancy
Trailer: 19' Scamp Deluxe
Tennessee
Posts: 47
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvest View Post
Thanks for the replies!

I just paid for the installation and the part for the sway control bar, because I had thought that would be sufficient for safety in case of any sway, which I was told we didn't have to do, but could help. I also had read conflicting things about WDH and unibody cars, which the Pilot is, so I felt hesitant to get a WDH. At this point, I don't think we can get the WDH because of the cost and we just got the camper back - we are eager to go camping! I will try first adding 50 lb on the front dinette, to see if that helps. Then the anti rattle thing for the hitch, because it is not expensive and we can do it ourselves! I don't hear any rattling, but from what I read, it can help with general stability too.

I also don't know exactly how to describe the sensation in the car. I do know that it feels slightly uncomfortable to me, like the car is losing some control - or I had thought it was jerking and due to the transmission or shifting. But on that second ride back to our house, I realized it did it more when there were sways/curves in the roads or bumps.

I had a 2016 Pilot that I towed our 16 foot Scamp with. We installed a sway bar, but the Pilot manual said NOT to use a WDH. Consult your manual, and Honda, perhaps things have changed since you have a newer Pilot. Otherwise, try all the loading and hitching tips others have suggested.
nancyrnfit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2021, 09:16 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,634
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyrnfit View Post
I had a 2016 Pilot that I towed our 16 foot Scamp with. We installed a sway bar, but the Pilot manual said NOT to use a WDH. Consult your manual, and Honda, perhaps things have changed since you have a newer Pilot. Otherwise, try all the loading and hitching tips others have suggested.



Best re-read the manual. I believe it says that Honda is concerned that the owner will not install and adjust WDH correctly, and for that reason doesn't recommend them. I don't think it uses the word 'NOT'.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2021, 09:46 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Civilguy's Avatar
 
Name: Mike
Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
Posts: 1,668
Registry
The 2021 Pilot manual includes these bullets on pages 517 and 518:

Quote:
■ Weight distribution hitches
Your vehicle is designed to tow without the need for a load distributing hitch. If you wish to use one, please consult your trailer maker for proper installation and set-up. Improper set-up could degrade the handling, stability, and braking performance of your vehicle.

■ Sway control
This device can be used if your trailer tends to sway. Your trailer maker can tell you what kind of sway control you need and how to install it. Improper installation could degrade the handling and stability of your vehicle.
http://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/p...ATG72121OM.PDF

The pages preceding that discuss the reduced rated towing and tongue weight capacities associated with the vehicle's cargo-carrying capacity and the number of 150-lb. passengers with their associated allotments of 17.6 lbs. of luggage, or equivalents.

While the language on weight distribution hitches is not especially helpful, there is a pretty good section on weighing the trailer and evaluating the GVWR, GAWR, etc.

Sway is best controlled by proper loading and maintaining speed suited to the road conditions rather than depending on a mechanical device.
__________________
~ “It’s absurd to divide people into good and bad.
People are either charming or tedious.” Oscar Wilde ~

Civilguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2021, 10:08 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Civilguy's Avatar
 
Name: Mike
Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
Posts: 1,668
Registry
By the way, we do get a bit of the herky-jerky, push-pull, nervous motions towing at 30 mph or so on older roadways. It smooths out as we get onto better roads and also at higher speeds when there is a steady pull on the trailer.

So perhaps, some amount of this is just the sensation of towing which, as you mention, is all new to you.

I've long considered getting a Blue Ox Sway Pro weight distribution hitch as a WDH is specifically recommended by the manual for our Jeep Grand Cherokee at 5,000 lbs. I think it would serve to unify the tow vehicle and trailer. I've just been reluctant to introduce the additional complexity and cost. The JGC is rated to tow a maximum of 7,200 lbs. and our setup is generally working very well.

It's a funny thing. I spend tens of thousands on a tow vehicle and trailer. Then I cast about furiously trying to avoid spending a few hundred bucks more on accessories. That's why my roof rack is an off-brand and I use cardboard boxes in the cargo compartment instead of those specialized containers which are advertised.

However, in the case of a WDH I believe the Sway Pro is worth the additional investment above the cost of some of the round-bar units. However, this opinion is just based on what I have read as I haven't used one myself.
__________________
~ “It’s absurd to divide people into good and bad.
People are either charming or tedious.” Oscar Wilde ~

Civilguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2021, 11:04 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
John in Michigan's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1700
Michigan
Posts: 1,809
Registry
We had jerky, push-pull sensation when towing both our Boler 13 and our Trillium 4500. Both had original 40 year old torsion axles. In both cases, we replaced the axle with another torsion axle and that dramatically improved the towing experience, but still some jerky, push-pull sensation on rough roads. Also noisy, rattling ball mount in the receiver.

Our Boler 17 has leaf springs, and it tows very smoothly, never jerky. The leaf springs were apparently original and one of the leaf springs was broken. Still towed very smoothly. Have since replaced the leaf springs. The ball mount rarely rattles.

EDIT: Another factor in the towing experience is strong winds. Strong winds and wind created by passing trucks will be felt as a jerking, shaking sensation much more so than when not towing. Some molded fiberglass trailers are more streamlined than others, and streamlining reduces the wind effects.
John in Michigan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2021, 07:58 AM   #17
Member
 
Name: Tony
Trailer: 2015 19 Scamp DLX
British Columbia
Posts: 38
Sloppy reciever connection

Although not likely, check the amount of play or slop in your vehicle to reciever and ball connection.
Excessive play or slop can contribute to that "bucking" effect
Seacap10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2021, 11:25 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,168
I use a WDH with my 16' Scamp and that really helps the "hobby horse" rocking or bucking. The issue is finding a light duty one that will be in the proper weight range.
It is easy to find an heavy one, but I really had to look for my Reese Mini 350.
Properly adjusted it makes towing much more comfortable and most probably safer handling as well.
redbarron55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2021, 10:41 AM   #19
Junior Member
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 2019 Escape 17B
Ontario
Posts: 17
I don’t know if this would help your situation. These “helper”springs can stop excessive bounce of the rear of a vehicle when going over pot holes, dips etc as well as stabilizing the sway with wind or evasive manoeuvres.

They are inexpensive, easy to install yourself and help to keep the vehicle from drooping if it has soft rear suspension.

When not towing or unloaded you won’t know they are there.

I added a set on my full size pickup and like them.

https://www.etrailer.com/p-TGMRCK15S...&hhmodel=Pilot

Worth a look, they have a number of videos on etrailer that explains the installation and advantages.

Good luck, Bob
Lanarkwanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2021, 02:32 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 4,679
So.. you have received some good advice that will solve your problem... IF you have a problem.

But I am not sure you do.

Sometimes while cruising down the road I can forgot the trailer is back there. But in all my towing experience, at some point in the trip I get reminded. Just before coming to a complete stop there is a slight kick. As mentioned, the joints in the pavement can get into resonance with your speed and wheelbase, creating a rougher ride. Those are not a concern.

A slightly loose drawbar might go "clank" and that's not an immediate concern but after many thousands of miles the draw bar and / or receiver will have some wear and it will get worse. A hitch tighter will help here.

A WDH is likely not needed but it depends on the weights involved, especially the tongue weight and tug rear end capacity and condition. Same for any "Rear Suspension Enhancement System."

Which brings me to your comment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by harvest View Post
...like the car was hesitating or bucking a little, it didn't feel smooth or great, but it was subtle. ... I think it is possible that it is how it feels to tow, but I am not experienced at all, so I don't know if something isn't right. ...
In light of your statement it seems to me a good idea to find someone more experienced towing and ask them to go for a ride with you. There is no substitute for having a second (or third) set of eyes and ears with towing experience involved.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
light


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Canadian RV Manufacturer's Wary of Tiny Houses Movement! vintageracer General Chat 1 07-13-2016 03:55 PM
79 trillium 4500 'bucking' gomerthetrillium Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 24 02-09-2015 09:33 AM
Scamp 5th wheel "bucking" on uneven surface ? Westcliffe01 Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 15 11-12-2013 11:29 PM
"Bucking" feeling while towing in-town (trillium 1300/volvo 245) coalminecanary Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 12 10-18-2011 11:59 AM
Excessive Trailer Movement mikecontos Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 14 08-18-2007 12:30 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.