So many bad setups - Fiberglass RV
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:04 AM   #1
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So many bad setups

Just got back from a 600klm road trip. There was a huge variety of rigs. We saw smaller cars towing pop ups all the way up to pickups towing very large 5ers.
Being a Friday we saw many rigs on the road and I couldn't help but notice so many were set up so poorly.

The most common issue was the nose up or nose way down problem. One pickup towing a pop up went by in the passing lane doing over 120kph (70mph) which had the trailer nose up about 3 or 4 inches too high. The back bumper of the trailer was just a few inches off the road

The good thing was we saw no accidents.
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Old 07-11-2015, 08:50 AM   #2
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I hear you loud and clear. The sad thing on many of the towable units is that all it would take on the receiver hitch is a rise or drop stinger. Then there's the large pickup trucks towing off the bumper instead of having a receiver hitch installed. Finally, the recreationist who wants what I call the full experience. Stuff strapped on the front, back, top (a la a questionable rack) and rear of the towed unit, and they still have loose stuff in the pickup box. State DOTs don't have any problem writing truck drivers a ticket for infractions as minor as bugs in the air horn, but they let this stuff go on continually which is much more dangerous to the rest of us on the road. It's sad when it's refreshing to see a properly set up rig as the exception rather than the norm.
Well that's my rant for the day, I hope.
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Old 07-11-2015, 03:03 PM   #3
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There must be more enforcement, or maybe more trailer set-up Pro's, down hereabouts.


On our recent trip of some 5200 miles (approximately 8368.589km) we saw hundreds of RV's being towed and only a few, mostly hitched on the back of jacked up pick-ups, seemed enough out of kilter to get our attention but, as we were there to enjoy the beauty all around us, we weren't really looking to critique others trailer set-ups.


BTW: 600km is more like a daily commute than a "Road Trip" for many in SoCal. LOL



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Old 07-11-2015, 03:15 PM   #4
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I'm with Bob. I'm out to enjoy, not to criticize other's setups. That said, I've lost count of the ones I've given a very wide berth.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:53 AM   #5
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IMHO

A week ago I started this thread about the lousy setup of rigs I saw on a recent road trip. Hap hazard set ups are accidents waiting to happen but the thread created very little interest.

To get around the dilemma of these sketchy setups I thought I would share some thoughts.........

I believe if everyone's rig was set up by someone who knows what they are doing we would be a lot better off and generally speaking the roads would be safer.

It is also wise to tow within the safe limits of your TV/trailer combination. Once again consulting with a resource or someone "in the know", whoever or whatever that is, gets optimal results when considering handling, comfort, and overall safety.

I guess the question is ...... who is the "person or resource in the know" and where would one look to find them? Guessing that, generally speaking, there are as many opinions on this question as there are forum members.
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:38 AM   #6
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I suspect there are many folks who give towing or hitch height little thought. This group probably overlaps strongly with folks whose microwave blinks 12:00 all the time. I am amazed the highways are as safe as they are. Still I too give some rigs and more drivers a wide berth.

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Old 07-19-2015, 02:39 PM   #7
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Wayne, we saw it all on a recent trip. Some of the trailers looked like they were doing the 'cha-cha' as they went down the road, the owner either oblivious or unconcerned. Oh well, you can lead a horse to water, but....


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Old 07-19-2015, 03:33 PM   #8
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Semantics ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Linck View Post
I suspect there are many folks who give towing or hitch height little thought. This group probably overlaps strongly with folks whose microwave blinks 12:00 all the time. I am amazed the highways are as safe as they are. Still I too give some rigs and more drivers a wide berth.

John
Hopefully you meant "That" group. "We" are this group.

I only wrote that after checking my own microwave clock. It wasn't flashing 12:00, it was a blank display and, apparently, had given up waiting to be reset. LOL



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Old 07-19-2015, 03:36 PM   #9
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MC1 --

Explain the good and bad of nose up and nose down while towing.
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:42 PM   #10
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When you are "Nose -Up", the center of gravity is moved slightly aft in the trailer, and air will push up on the front and of the bottom of the trailer, all of which can reduce effective tongue weight, leading to instability.


Slightly "Nose Down" increase tongue weight ever so slightly and avoids the problems of being Nose-Up.



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Old 07-19-2015, 03:45 PM   #11
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So slight nose down (or any nose down) is preferred over nose up?
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:51 PM   #12
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Yep, level to slightly down is better that nose up which can make some trailers somewhat squirrely (sorry for the technical jargon), especially smaller trailers like FGRV's . We are only talking something less than 2" on the hitch



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Old 07-19-2015, 03:54 PM   #13
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So what happens when the nose is more than slightly (beside more tongue weight than should be)?
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl M View Post
MC1 --

Explain the good and bad of nose up and nose down while towing.

Hi Sheryl.... I guess nose is a term used off shore and in these parts we call it the tongue of the trailer. Here is an image of a nose or tongue up situation. The connection hardware on this rig is not set up optimally.

Because the front of the trailer is higher than the back it tends to make the trailer more susceptible to sway. Ideally you want the trailer level or nose slightly down at the front.

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Old 07-19-2015, 04:31 PM   #15
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Gotcha MC1 -- We upgraded from a 13' Scamp to a 16' and the last time out, I noticed we were using the same draw bar -- making the nose of the 16' point down. (I also made mental note to get the hitch ball installed on a different draw bar before our next trip so it would level the camper.)
I was just curious as to what the negative part of that angle was?
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:41 AM   #16
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5th wheel

Yesterday we made a 10 minute QEW highway drive south to Niagara Falls. Had a chance to cruise along with a Ford 250 FX off road / about a 28' dual axle 5th wheel.

The front of the Ford was clearly up and the rear was sagging from the tongue weight. No doubt there was a "light feel" at the steering wheel. The other thing we noticed was the constant, front to rear rocking motion of the truck.
The 3rd thing was the sound of the working Ford engine going up a slight grade up the escarpment just before Niagara Falls. That rig slowed and the flow of traffic passed on by them.

We have traveled that route many times with 23 in tow and even with the 150HP Nissan Van we never lost any speed on that incline.

I know many years ago we were impressed with all the interior space of the big 5ers but after that experience yesterday I strongly feel that there would never be one in our future.

On the way back from the Falls again on the QEW we over took a truck trailer combo. Again the truck was high at the front and low at the back. As we passed by I noticed about a 25' sticky trailer and a 2500 series pickup.

A quick glance I saw the issue. No WDH or sway control! I'm sure there are folks out there that will say this is just fine but sorry I cringed. Was not impressed with that setup. Note, I will say his 55MPH speed was fast enough for that rig.
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:21 AM   #17
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I see SO many huge 5ers on the roads, but have no desire to own one. I wonder what I am missing or what I am not thinking about.
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:22 AM   #18
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The heavier, taller, and longer the trailer, the harder it is to get weight and balance in the little range that makes the TV stock suspension happy. When the trailer weight exceeds the TV weight, You have exactly three options:

1. Drive unsafely, which is what you saw.
2. With a ball hitch: Learn how the physics work, install a WDH and use it.
3. With a fifth wheel: install some sort of rear suspension aid for towing.

The really sad part of these nose-heavy fifth wheel trailers is that there's not much advantage to having a really high tongue weight on a fifth wheel rig - they're all tandem axle anyway. You want the usual 10-15% to plant the driving wheels, and that's about it. It's either bad design or bad loading - forward gray tank and black tank are full and the fresh tank and rear gray tank are empty - that sort of thing.

Every time I see a big 5er and pickup combination going down the road I wonder how much fun the driver is having right now and how long it will take him to calm down (if he lives) after the tow.

By comparison, towing my 16 foot egg is just about painless. I tend to forget it's back there other than the combination length when I pull in for fuel and the inevitable aerodynamic drag.
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:32 AM   #19
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yeah, you can see it all out there....

why, just the other day I saw a guy towing a 23 Airstream with an Infinity G35 !! (towing capacity 1000lbs)......LOL....

you must have done a lot of modifications to that rig.....but I bet that more than a few people do a double take and comment when they see your "set-up" going down the road
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:03 PM   #20
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Thumbs up Thumbs up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
why, just the other day I saw a guy towing a 23 Airstream with an Infinity G35 !! (towing capacity 1000lbs)......LOL....

you must have done a lot of modifications to that rig.....but I bet that more than a few people do a double take and comment when they see your "set-up" going down the road
Hey Franswa, that's our rig!!! For sure we get a lot of thumbs up's. We do take pride in having gone with the pro set up. Other than the usual stuff like brake controller, tranny cooler, and McKesh mirrors it did need an HD custom receiver to support the WDH.
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