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Old 06-19-2016, 06:48 AM   #15
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sway control

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Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
Yesterday, June 17, 2016 I nearly had a catastrophic accident. I started driving with my 2014 Cloud 19 from home to BigBear, all has been good for the past 1.5 hours. Then all of the sudden, I started to sway. I ease off on the gas, but I can still feel a sway. I noticed before leaving home, that when I added my bikes in the back, my tongue was slightly higher than normal.

So after this first sway, I lowed it to one hang instead of two hang. Oh my gosh, at 50mph, it was BAD! Swaying half way through both sides of the lane. Very very scary to say the least.

So we pulled over once more. This time, I put three of the four bikes inside. And left it at two hang. All was good all the way to BigBear safe and sound.

I have never experienced this before because I have always brought my two Yahama 2000 gens and put them under the front dining table which countered the weight I guess. However, on this trip to BigBear since it was a full hookup, I didn't bring the two gens.

My question is, will it be better if I do a three hang? Or my weight in the back is just too much?


I would love an answer by June 19 since I am leaving June 20th.

Much appreciated.
If you get sway do not let up on gas pedal or touch yor brakes.tap your trailer brake control this will take out the slack and help stop the sway.been there done that.
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Search on finding bathroom scale method of weighing tongue.

Can also drop jack foot on Cat Scale Pad and figure from percentage of length.

Search also the Three Pass method of using a scale to determine setting WD hitch.
The following PDF from Goodyear Tire is a useful manual on the care and feeding of RV tires. It also fully explains the 3 pass method of weighing your rig.

http://www.goodyearrvtires.com/pdfs/tire-care-guide.pdf

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Old 06-19-2016, 08:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
Team, thank you. Lots of good advice.

I wanted to know will playing with chain hang count have any effect to my weight problem now. I can't do much other than putting my bikes in the trailer on the way back home.

But will going to three hang instead of two help if I had all four bikes in the back?


I'm trying to see if the three hang will help. I would prefer not to have to bring gens as counter weight, but will do if I have to.
.
IMOP, increasing the chain link hang count is not an appropriate solution for two reasons.

#1 You have a too-light tongue weight problem. Increasing the number of hanging links does not solve the moving-mass physics problem you already have.

#2 Running with too short a chain length will cause your hitch to fight itself when you make a sharp turn. When the chain length is too short the bar and chain on the outside of a turn stretch tight. Hook up your trailer with three links dangling in an empty parking lot, hang a sharp turn, stop mid turn, and look at your hitch. You will see the outside bar and chain are stretched tight with three links dangling.

You need to load your trailer differently to keep more weight on the tongue. The best strategy for controlling sway is to have a properly weighted tow vehicle/trailer combination. Can you possibly carry a couple bikes above the propane tanks on the tongue? (Another reason for avoiding 4 bikes on the rear is that Airstream trailers do not have the frame strength to carry significant additional weight behind the axles. Extra weight on the rear increases the chance you will develop the dreaded rear bumper separation on your trailer.)

Another strategy is to make sure the tow vehicle tires are fully inflated. When under-inflated the tires are squashy--much easier for the tongue of the trailer to push laterally. You can test this physical principal with a wheel barrow that has a pneumatic tire. Deflate the tire until it still holds its shape but has almost no air pressure. Push the front of the wheel barrow sideways. The wheel barrow will move sideways before the tire starts sliding on the ground won't it? Now inflate the tire to recommended pressure and repeat. How much deflection sideways do you have with the fully inflated tire?

But the main reason I wrote all this is your language quoted above. Fiddling with the chain links does not overcome the physics of your situation. You have to insure adequate tongue weight. Proper tire pressure helps to manage sway, but proper tongue weighting is the key to success.


And may you happily Airstream ever after.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:08 AM   #18
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Very, very dangerous load that cannot be corrected with weight distribution, because the excess load is on the back, not the front.

It cannot be safely corrected with loading the front to balance it either, it may seem so but the overloaded ends of the trailer will have a moving pendulum effect that is very difficult to bring under control when, sooner or later, you have to.

That receiver welded to the back with four bikes dangling out there has to go. Start with removing the bikes before towing again.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:43 AM   #19
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:53 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
I have the EazyLift with sway bar, but bent the ball mount by the TV on my first few trips. Yes I know, rookie mistake. I never thought I would ever need it. I'm gonna have it bend straight and buy another away bar to replace it.
Please post a picture of your hitch. Bent components and random adjustments to the chain count are going to have a much greater effect on your rig than 4 bikes on the back. 4 bikes are should be just over 100 lbs. If you assume a 60/40 ratio between the lengths of the tongue to axle and axle to rear of the trailer the bike only have a negative 40 lbs effect on the tongue weight. Not enough to be the single cause of the problem if the original tongue weight of the trailer was between the 10 and 12% design standard and the WD hitch was set up correctly.

It would also be very helpful if you could give us scale weights of the TV alone and the combination as you would normally b set up for towing.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:29 AM   #21
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Personally I would rather have the bikes on the TV. I also would prefer a different hitch, like a Reese St line or a Blue Ox. But I think the observation that the front was higher when hitched is telling. Among other things the trailer must be level or slightly nose down. Have you adjusted your WD setup for the amount of weight transfer, either by measuring the amount of return of front fender height or weight restoration? And if you have to drive it home very low speeds are in order.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:40 AM   #22
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I love it when someone plays the guilt card.🔥
"At the risk of being inappropriately blunt, it appears that you may have an overloading situation, and may be putting you and your family's lives at risk"
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:44 AM   #23
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I love it when someone plays the guilt card.��
"At the risk of being inappropriately blunt, it appears that you may have an overloading situation, and may be putting you and your family's lives at risk"
No guilt card, just a personal factual assessment of a potentially dangerous situation, which the OP has proposed solving by changing the chain link count in his WD set up, which is not a good solution IMO as others have stated.

Better safe than sorry, even if my personal assessment is wrong, but betcha a complete weighing of the fully loaded trailer at the truck scales will reveal some issues . . .

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Old 06-19-2016, 11:27 AM   #24
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Did you back up with the sway bar on?

Just so others know and can be helped by the thread too.. what's the tow vehicle?
Backing up, turn to tight
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:37 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Please post a picture of your hitch. Bent components and random adjustments to the chain count are going to have a much greater effect on your rig than 4 bikes on the back. 4 bikes are should be just over 100 lbs. If you assume a 60/40 ratio between the lengths of the tongue to axle and axle to rear of the trailer the bike only have a negative 40 lbs effect on the tongue weight. Not enough to be the single cause of the problem if the original tongue weight of the trailer was between the 10 and 12% design standard and the WD hitch was set up correctly.

It would also be very helpful if you could give us scale weights of the TV alone and the combination as you would normally b set up for towing.
Here is quick shot. It is slightly bent, but the sway bar is toast.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:40 AM   #26
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Team no worries. I don't get offended when asking for help. Stupid as I may have been, as dumb as I may have been. Preventing future issues with the help of all of you is a blessing. Thank you.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:41 AM   #27
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I missed this point earlier. Are you saying you were driving a single axle trailer Without Sway Control in place.

Originally Posted by cazual6
I have the EazyLift with sway bar, but bent the ball mount by the TV on my first few trips. Yes I know, rookie mistake. I never thought I would ever need it. I'm gonna have it bend straight and buy another away bar to replace it.

I had hoped to post a video of the correct way to set up a WD hitch but the one I thought would do, a Reese video, had more mistakes in it than I wanted to correct. You need to start from scratch and get a hitch that does not use a friction sway plate.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:44 AM   #28
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Here is the bike rack and hitch in question so everyone can read from the same page:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ck-152116.html
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