Originally Posted by cazual6
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.
Lotsa good general info from respondents on here for general hitch set-up, but the OP is up in the SoCal mountains & needs to return DOWWNHILL on a pretty steep grade with switchbacks to get home (note where I bolded above).
So he/they need on-the-road advice/help.
First issue is whether or not your TV is adequate, because someone said you have a Traverse with either the 2000 lb tow rating without their factory tow option, or 5000 with the option.
So, does yours have the FACTORY tow option - or just the added receiver & electrical? If not, then that TV is definitely inadequate to tow your AS 19'er.
However, even with the factory tow option, you could easily be bumping up to or over the 5000 lb. limit with the AS "wet" & loaded (I don't know the gross max wt. rating for that AS 19' - so someone else can chime in on here with that). Even with a max, a family can easily overload a trailer with more than the gross rating, but I'm not aware of any scales up on the mountain to check your total weight - so ask around fi there might be - otherwise play it safe.
If you're over in either case, then I recommend that you go rent a tow equipped 1/2 or 3/4 ton pick-up from the Enterprise Commercial Rentals down the hill in San Berdu or closest location (NOT the regular car rental places which do NOT allow towing).
You can't use a U-Haul 1/2 tom, cuz they only have 4-pin electrical connectors - so you won't have brakes on the trailer (they do this because all of their rental trailers use surge brakes). But you could ask if they have any equipped trucks with a brake controller & 7-pin - otherwise it won't work to tow your trailer.
If you think your AS is over the 5000# (or 2000#) tow rating, then you should play it safe coming down the mountain, & rent a truck. Of course, if you have a local buddy with a tow vehicle properly set-up & capable of safely towing your AS & they can come help you out, then do that & pay for their gas & a meal.
I don't want to see you on the mountainside on the channel 7 news tomorrow!
2nd - You've said that your anti-sway is toast - so you have NONE, nothing, nada to counteract sway - period. You also posted the pic of the bent hitch bar - so you have nothing with which to connect a new sway unit either.
So today or tomorrow - BEFORE hitching to anything - you need to go buy a new anti-sway for your Equalizer & the hitch bar, then recycle the old ones for scrap metal. You should never have towed with that in the first place!
3rd - For now to get down the mountain safely with your family & AS - take the bikes & hitch off the back, & break them down - i.e.: wheels off & anything else to make them fit inside the TV &/or AS cabin, so you're not making the situation worse. If you end up renting a truck (or a buddy's), then put them in the bed with proper tied downs.
4th - Forget about the number of links per se - on any TV - yours or the rented/borrowed truck - use a tape measure to measure the top of wheel well opening front & rear on the TV before hitching, then hitch up the fully loaded trailer - with the NEW anti-sway & hitch bar, & then adjust your springs to the number of links position where the TV is at the same measurement to the top of wheel wells as before hitching when unloaded.
Your task with the WD hitch is to distribute the weight evenly to both F & R axles of your TV - not to diddle around with numbers of links to try to kill the sway, since it does nothing about the sway.
The reason for WD is that 100% of your TV's steering & most of your braking - & all of your drive wheels IIRC on a Traverse are at the front, so if the weight of the trailer pulls the rear down & the front off - you'll have little or no traction on your front wheels/tires for that purpose. So you adjust the links on the spring bars to pull the front end back down to a normal driving position, & thereby distributing the weight forward from the rear axle.
5th - As you know - it's dang hot 100+ degrees today & tomorrow, so you may want to try to leave in the early morning before it gets too hot, as you could over heat the TV, even with just using a low gear for engine braking down hill, but also on the flat on the freeway home down below.
You should also keep to 50-55 mph for this trip "limping" home, until you get the hitch, weight & sway issues all worked out at home.
Then you can read back through all the replies above & on here about how to weigh & properly set-up your AS & TV combo - BEFORE the next trip please
! You'll need to double check on the tow rating for your Traverse, & see if it's adequate, or if you'll need a more capable TV (there are many choices out there in a comparable mid-size SUV, if you need to upgrade, & still have a decent family hauler for daily driver duty).
That said, we tow a vintage kin Avion T20 which is 21'-6" long (not including the WD hitch), about 3000-3500 lbs wet & loaded, with a 542 hitch wt. per my weighing it on my Sherline hitch scale - so somewhat comparable you your 19' AS - but ours is lighter than yours (older trailers including vintage Airstreams were built lighter with light-weight materials, compared to today's models).
I've towed with rented 2012-13 Nissan Pathfinder V6s with a tad higher tow ratings than your Traverse at 5000-7000 lbs., as well as with the rented 1/2 & 3/4 ton crew cab pick-ups (total overkill TV-wise for us), as we search for our own mid-sized SUV TV - probably a used Cayenne S V8 (all rated for 7700-7716 lbs & 660-770# HW fyi) - or maybe
a used Toyota 4Runner or Land Cruiser V8 or Lexus twins of same.
So I'm not saying that you're necessarily out of bounds with your mid-sized SUV TV, but it definitely needs to be rechecked, & a Traverse needs to have the factory
Since I knew we would be using a "smaller than a 1/2-3/4 ton truck/suv" TV - & because I wanted the ease of use of not having to take off the hitch head/springs & a screw-jack to tension the springs (rather than in my 60's hoisting chains like yours), not to mention superior sway elimination - we got a Hensley Cub ("Arrow Jr.") which is in the $1300-1800 price range, & good for smaller trailers like ours & yours under 6000# gross & 600# max. HW - & about $1000+ less than the Hensley Arrow or ProPride larger versions (for up to 10,000# trailers & 1000# HW). Hensley also has a lifetime warranty.
It may also be a more capable hitch to hang bikes off your AS's rear bumper, but IIRC the bikes can weigh more than 25# each + the carrier + the welded on receiver - so you'll need to recalc if that much wt. hanging off the back is okay, & check your AS docs to see if they recco against it for structural reasons with the AS frame/shell itself. If you look at the Hensley Cub, then talk to Terry Powell & ask him about the Bike Rack question.
Yes, you can tow yours with a properly sized & repaired Equalizer, Blue Ox, & other comparable WD/AS hitches - assuming you replace the dang damaged hitch bar & anti-sway unit!!!!
Good Luck & please report back on here to everybody when you get home safely, then get to work on resolving the issues.