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View Full Version : Any campers here? Advice on towing


Capemay Eagle
05-11-2011, 09:39 PM
I am towing a new 26ft Camper and the weight unloaded is about 7500lbs. The problem I have is that when I tow it, I find that it tends to bounce? I had a smaller 22ft that seemed to do the same thing.

I have an Ford F150 Platinum and the truck pulls it fine, but I just get that hop or bounce. I am using a Reese mount with the Trunnion bars. I sometimes use the sway bar, but not unless it is long distance. This is my mount http://www.activetrailerparts.com/products/REESE-ADJUSTABLE-BALL-MOUNT-(58112)--14%252d0675.html I can lower or raise the ball on the mount, but I am not sure that this is the cause or is it? So any one towing a camper with a halfton experience this problem or have a fix or is this the way it is!

Dr.NewEarth
05-12-2011, 01:30 PM
My father owned a recreational trailer manufacturing company and he also rented them.

All I can offer trailer users, is to keep the weight balanced and over the wheels.
Not all at the front or the back.

KENLUDE97
05-12-2011, 01:57 PM
Sounds like the shocks in the truck are either being over worked or wearing/worn out. I don't know how old the truck is and how many miles or if the shocks have ever been changed out. But i that is the 1st thing that i would check.

Mark Oomkes
05-12-2011, 03:05 PM
You find what tends to bounce? The truck? The trailer? Both?

jsslawncare
05-12-2011, 04:01 PM
Sounds like you over loaded the truck. I have a 28' with 2 slides and weights 7500lbs but I pull it with a 2500 Dodge. You have to remember just because you can pull 7500lbs doesn't mean your truck can control it with the weight or even stopping it.

Mark Oomkes
05-12-2011, 05:41 PM
Sounds like you over loaded the truck. I have a 28' with 2 slides and weights 7500lbs but I pull it with a 2500 Dodge. You have to remember just because you can pull 7500lbs doesn't mean your truck can control it with the weight or even stopping it.

I was thinking along the same lines, but thought I'd be a nice guy first for once.

PROPERTYLAWNSERVICELLC
05-12-2011, 05:50 PM
I am towing a new 26ft Camper and the weight unloaded is about 7500lbs. The problem I have is that when I tow it, I find that it tends to bounce? I had a smaller 22ft that seemed to do the same thing.

I have an Ford F150 Platinum and the truck pulls it fine, but I just get that hop or bounce. I am using a Reese mount with the Trunnion bars. I sometimes use the sway bar, but not unless it is long distance. This is my mount http://www.activetrailerparts.com/products/REESE-ADJUSTABLE-BALL-MOUNT-(58112)--14%252d0675.html I can lower or raise the ball on the mount, but I am not sure that this is the cause or is it? So any one towing a camper with a halfton experience this problem or have a fix or is this the way it is!


I would start at the cheapest thing first rotate and balance all tires.
while the tires are being balanced have the tires shop test the for uneven wear on your trailer tires from having the tire brakes lock up could cause them to flat top.
Do a test drive if you STILL have the SAME problem then I would check the trailer height difference between your tow rig could cause the front trailer axle to leave the ground on certain roads causing a bump.
That should get you started if problem persists I/we can help.
BTW look at your Ujoints in the driveshaft alot of wear could cauld cause that to.

PROCUT1
05-12-2011, 07:58 PM
An F-150 is a light suspension truck. Its more "springy". Designed more for ride comfort than work.

The only solution to make it stiffer and less bouncy will probably be to have heavier springs installed, though air bags might help, but I have no experience with those

Mark Oomkes
05-13-2011, 08:50 AM
There's a good chance you might have too heavy of a trunion bar and it is actually unspringing the rear end of your truck, causing the bouncing.

Any idea what the tongue weight is?

Darryl G
05-13-2011, 09:13 AM
Pitch of the trailer and the tongue weight can make a huge difference in how it tows. I would experiment with different hitch heights, especially since it's adjustable.

Capemay Eagle
05-22-2011, 09:44 PM
Thanks for all the replies!
The truck is almost brand new with 10K miles! It is a 2009 Platinum Screw, with the max tow package. The truck is never used other than local errands and for towing for a camping trip or towing my utility trailer.

I actually made a mistake on the trailer weight and the true weight of the trailer dry is 5400lbs! the 7500 is GVWR. So the truck is not overloaded!! I read the weight wrong on the title! I probably think all said and done the trailer loaded is about 6200lbs. My truck is rated at 9700lbs towing from the original paper work, but in the owners manual it say that it is rated 8500lbs? In either event, I am under the tow weight restrictions by about 2 to 3000lbs.

I am going to try and lower the ball and maybe a link or two on the trunnion bars on the next trip! I have been playing with the thought of buying new heavy duty shocks and springs, but I think that the truck should be able to handle 6K towing with the standard equipment! I am new to heavy towing, so I am just looking for advice. I have towed utilities with mowers and quads and dirtbikes for years, but again, new to heavy duty towing, just looking for any tips or hints to keep level towing!

tuney443
05-22-2011, 09:55 PM
The trick to properly distribute weight with your bars is AFTER you have the correct pitch AND height on your ball is to grab the link that best keeps your bars as parallel as possible to your trailer frame.If you're distributing too much weight to your front axle,that would definitely cause the bouncing.You also want the trailer height to be as even as possible front and rear to the road.

Capemay Eagle
05-22-2011, 10:33 PM
The trick to properly distribute weight with your bars is AFTER you have the correct pitch AND height on your ball is to grab the link that best keeps your bars as parallel as possible to your trailer frame.If you're distributing too much weight to your front axle,that would definitely cause the bouncing.You also want the trailer height to be as even as possible front and rear to the road.
Thanks! I will use this info on the next hook up!

sidecar
07-09-2011, 10:52 PM
26' is a little long for an F150. Your camper is well within the weight rating of your truck, but 26' plus 3' of tongue hung from almost 5' behind your the truck's rear axle gives a lot of fulcrum to the trailer's weight. F150's do ride nice, and that soft suspension is going to bounce with that long of a trailer.
If you really want to keep the truck, I would agree with the replies above suggesting air bag assistance +/- significantly stiffer rear springs on the truck.
The safest option is trading up to a 3/4 ton truck, depending on how much traveling you plan on doing.
It is worth taking the truck + trailer to a truck scale and weighing just the truck, just the camper, and camper + rear axle of the truck to be able to measure accurately what your tongue weight is. Loaded with all your gear (and water in the fresh water tank if you plan on carrying any water with you), shoot for 10% of the trailer's total weight as your desired tongue weight.
A load-distributing hitch should then be adjusted so your pickup sits about level from front-to-back.
I've pulled quite a bit over the last few years, and have had a few scares and near-disasters with too light a tow vehicle for the load behind it, (and can say with wisdom learned by doing it wrong first) that a heavier duty tow vehicle is absolutely worth having.
JL