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Old 01-22-2017, 05:07 PM   #1
3rd one is the charm?
 
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
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Bumpy ride when towing at times

I had a FC 19 purchased in Oct 2015 that I towed with my 2000 Tundra. Towed great, smooth and quiet with a Curt WD Hitch.

Moved up to a 2014 FC 23 FB this past October, same hitch, 100# less tongue Weight. 800 lb bars.

On my extended maiden voyage, I notice on "SOME" roads, mostly ones that had seams in them (i.e. poured concrete with grooves every 10 feet or so), I would get insane bouncing of TV and I presume front of trailer. I mean like I could feel my guts bouncing up and down and could hear the "thwap thwap thwap" as I crossed the grooves. My poor pup in the back seat was literally bouncing up and down like the seat was a carnival ride. I tried speeding up or slowing down, not much difference. Tried letting down an extra link on the spring bars, not much difference.

I wondered if for some reason, the wheelbase of the Tundra combined with the distance to the AS 23 axles, was "just right" to cause some kind of harmonic bouncing that it didn't do on with the 19 Foot? Like maybe if conditions were just right, one of the Tundra axles would cross a groove at the same time as the trailer axles, etc?

On a smooth road like asphalt...no issues.

I did have it out of storage the other day and brought it home for the day. I noticed this happened on the road near my house...but then on the way to return it, I didn't use the spring bars on the short drive (Tundra suspension is quite stout) ...and the ride was WAY smoother overall, with no bumpiness. Like noticeably smooth, I couldn't believe it. So I'm suspecting I need to really have a good look this spring at how much tension I have on the bars based on loads, etc? The initial tension was set up by the dealer in TN when I picked it up, by measuring the TV bumpers before and after hitching up to maintain a level attitude. I'm just wondering now if it's just that, or also some sort of perfect storm with wheel base and the 23 ft, as mentioned before, that comes in to play.

Tough to diagnose from afar, but just curious for any feedback based on what I have described.
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:24 PM   #2
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This harmonic bouncing while towing is called porpoising. Either speed up or slow down to change the rhythm. Shift some cargo weight forward in the trailer. Changing tension on the WD torsion bars might help too.

There are several threads on this forum you will find if you use the search function.
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:32 PM   #3
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I second that !! I have tried anything from 55 to 80 to no avail. Speed limit 75 mph.
I have also gone left and right NO help.
I adjusted chains plus and minus 1 link; no help
Black top cures it; it is the cement with joints,, cracks and repairs that are not even that are the cause.
Mark those roads and stay off them. We call them "bobble heads"
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:47 PM   #4
3rd one is the charm?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airtandem View Post
I second that !! I have tried anything from 55 to 80 to no avail. Speed limit 75 mph.
I have also gone left and right NO help.
I adjusted chains plus and minus 1 link; no help
Black top cures it; it is the cement with joints,, cracks and repairs that are not even that are the cause.
Mark those roads and stay off them. We call them "bobble heads"
Mike
Interesting...I wonder if my 19 would have done the same and I just wasn't on one of those roads? Glad to hear it's not just me.
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:50 PM   #5
3rd one is the charm?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
This harmonic bouncing while towing is called porpoising. Either speed up or slow down to change the rhythm. Shift some cargo weight forward in the trailer. Changing tension on the WD torsion bars might help too.

There are several threads on this forum you will find if you use the search function.
Thanks. I've always thought of 'porpoising' as being more of a gentler wavy bouncing movement--like a porpoise swimming along and jumping in long arcs. What I experienced was a very jarring and closely spaced hard feeling 'bumps'.

I'll search the forum for more on this, however.

*edit*...found some posts and yep, the jarring bumps are covered under 'porpoising.' Although I'd rename it "jackhammering"!
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Old 01-22-2017, 06:54 PM   #6
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Mark those roads, and AVOID them!

I drove with my right tires on the shoulder, and slowed to 35mph. It didn't prevent the bucking, but it kept it from getting unmanageable. I figured other trailers had the same problem, but this is the first mention so specific.

You were probably right with your first assessment. You're getting harmonic bouncing. Some concrete roads have hatch marks on the seams where the tires track. These can be very helpful. Also some seams are at different intervals, and won't make your rig buck.
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:16 PM   #7
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I used to believe it was the roadways until I got a hitch setup that equalized the load on our truck axles, not by leveling the truck but by weighing it when hitched up. If you carry a lot of weight behind the truck's rear axles, the 800 lb weight distribution bars may be too light to transfer enough load to the steering axle. If the w.d bars are not a tapered design to ward the back, they are too stiff. If the hitch head is not tilted down toward the back so the w.d bars have enough vertical movement when going down the road, you will have a rougher ride.

Some other things that matter. Worn out shocks on the truck, too heavy of gear in front and/or back of the Airstream, too heavy of gear behind the truck's rear axles.
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:27 PM   #8
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As others report, I have experienced the same problem on some concrete slab roads.

I have usually found that unless you are prepared to make a major speed adjustment it doesn't seem to help much.

Never tried adjusting the WD bars only because by the time it was becoming an aggravation to that extent, I had gotten back onto an asphalt surface!

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Old 01-23-2017, 04:02 AM   #9
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I run my truck tire pressure at the recommended 35 psi. I thought I'd get a better ride at a higher psi but it caused the truck to be bouncier, so I went back down to 35 and things straightened out.
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Old 01-23-2017, 04:07 AM   #10
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Single axle to double axle trailer? Hmmm.
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Old 01-23-2017, 11:16 AM   #11
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Work the numbers of setting hitch for TW distribution. Same for TV tire pressure. Find the range for each. It will be small, but not being able to work from scale derived numbers makes for frustration.

These adjustments may not be a cure (nothing may be), but keeping them to a minimum is worth the effort. It's also an annual check to keep things in trim.

Better shocks on TV always worthwhile.

And, as mentioned above, how both vehicles are loaded matters.

TT TW should be from 10-15% of scaled weight, and 12.5% an ideal.

Experiment. See threads on using CAT Scale.


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Old 01-23-2017, 12:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
I had a FC 19 purchased in Oct 2015 that I towed with my 2000 Tundra. Towed great, smooth and quiet with a Curt WD Hitch.

Moved up to a 2014 FC 23 FB this past October, same hitch, 100# less tongue Weight. 800 lb bars.

On my extended maiden voyage, I notice on "SOME" roads, mostly ones that had seams in them (i.e. poured concrete with grooves every 10 feet or so), I would get insane bouncing of TV and I presume front of trailer. I mean like I could feel my guts bouncing up and down and could hear the "thwap thwap thwap" as I crossed the grooves. My poor pup in the back seat was literally bouncing up and down like the seat was a carnival ride. I tried speeding up or slowing down, not much difference. Tried letting down an extra link on the spring bars, not much difference.

I wondered if for some reason, the wheelbase of the Tundra combined with the distance to the AS 23 axles, was "just right" to cause some kind of harmonic bouncing that it didn't do on with the 19 Foot? Like maybe if conditions were just right, one of the Tundra axles would cross a groove at the same time as the trailer axles, etc?

On a smooth road like asphalt...no issues.

I did have it out of storage the other day and brought it home for the day. I noticed this happened on the road near my house...but then on the way to return it, I didn't use the spring bars on the short drive (Tundra suspension is quite stout) ...and the ride was WAY smoother overall, with no bumpiness. Like noticeably smooth, I couldn't believe it. So I'm suspecting I need to really have a good look this spring at how much tension I have on the bars based on loads, etc? The initial tension was set up by the dealer in TN when I picked it up, by measuring the TV bumpers before and after hitching up to maintain a level attitude. I'm just wondering now if it's just that, or also some sort of perfect storm with wheel base and the 23 ft, as mentioned before, that comes in to play.

Tough to diagnose from afar, but just curious for any feedback based on what I have described.
You will get axle roll on many concrete pavement roads. Most have a joints every 10' and the sections heave and settle especially on heavily used roads by truck traffic. Adjusting your speed is and obvious must. An over-sized stiff hitch can amplify it big time.
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Old 01-23-2017, 12:20 PM   #13
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Our "inaugural ride" with our then new 2016 27 FB was from the Seattle area to the rally last July in WVA, a total of 9 K miles roundtrip. What we experienced was a lot of pots & pans on the floor & the microwave landing there, too, twice. I had never experienced such bumpy roads. Not all roads; just many; particularly those under construction. While in WVA, I ordered an AirRide hitch & had it delivered to home. Once home, I installed it between the truck & the Blue Ox Sway Pro. It has all but eliminated the bumps thereafter.
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Old 01-23-2017, 12:35 PM   #14
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The concrete roads will jar you even when not towing. I 40 thru Oklahoma is to be avoided. I40 in Arkansas was the same until it was redone in asphalt, smooth now. I make them and avoid them. Then notify fellow travelers ��
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:26 PM   #15
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On an interesting side note; when I was towing my Hi-Lo with the 4-Runner, the assembly would jerk backwards and forwards when on a bumpy road.
It got so bad that the Husky hitch started to separate at the ball's doubler. It was replaced under warranty, and I reinforced the replacement hitch to prevent a
re-occurance.
I blamed it on the spring rates of the HiLo being out of phase with those of the 4-Runner.
Curious!
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelGoddard View Post
On an interesting side note; when I was towing my Hi-Lo with the 4-Runner, the assembly would jerk backwards and forwards when on a bumpy road.
It got so bad that the Husky hitch started to separate at the ball's doubler. It was replaced under warranty, and I reinforced the replacement hitch to prevent a
re-occurance.
I blamed it on the spring rates of the HiLo being out of phase with those of the 4-Runner.
Curious!
I didn't mention that the Ford/AS combo handles the bumps rather well.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:50 PM   #17
3rd one is the charm?
 
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Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
Single axle to double axle trailer? Hmmm.
Hmmm what??
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Old 01-23-2017, 06:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgentum View Post
Our "inaugural ride" with our then new 2016 27 FB was from the Seattle area to the rally last July in WVA, a total of 9 K miles roundtrip. What we experienced was a lot of pots & pans on the floor & the microwave landing there, too, twice. I had never experienced such bumpy roads. Not all roads; just many; particularly those under construction. While in WVA, I ordered an AirRide hitch & had it delivered to home. Once home, I installed it between the truck & the Blue Ox Sway Pro. It has all but eliminated the bumps thereafter.
I'll guess one of the roads you are talking about is I-77/I-64 just south of Charleston,WV. Towing my prior 30' Excella, I thought the rear wheels of my truck would bounce off of the road going through that section of the road. My 34' and my 25' trailers do not have that issue on the same section of the road. I assume the issue was/is the spacing between the road joints in comparison to the spacing between the tow vehicle/trailer axles is different.
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:56 PM   #19
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The worst road I encountered was in western NE. We were coming up I-29N to meet I-80W. Rt 2 cuts off the corner between Lincoln and Nebraska City. I thought I was going to lose my load! When you've got 15,000 lbs of bucking and bobbing steel and aluminum, something's got to give! It's a good thing the police didn't stop me for going slow. I would have unloaded all my frustration all over him! I'd probably still be locked up, lol.
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Old 01-23-2017, 11:32 PM   #20
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Correction: it's not an AirRide hitch --- it's an AirSafe hitch.

See: www.airsafehitches.com

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