Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-18-2016, 10:41 AM   #1
Stay CazuaL
 
cazual6's Avatar
 
2014 19' Flying Cloud
Reseda , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 432
Images: 1
Out of control sway

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.
__________________

__________________
cazual6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 10:53 AM   #2
Rivet Master

 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,768
I think you have answered your own question. On a smaller trailer like yours, adding all that weight WAY behind the center of gravity (front-to-back) -- without the gens inside -- really changes the center of gravity.

Could your water and holding tanks have been another factor to consider in the before-and-after picture? Not sure where yours are located, but our fresh water tank is right at the stern of the trailer. If we add a bike rack and bikes to our FC20, I have heard that we should travel without much fresh water back there.

Also, does your tow vehicle have its own sway control, and what weight distribution and sway control set up do you have on the trailer, if any? Could they have played a role here?

Glad you are OK, but if you have towed without sway before, you can probably adjust for this.

Good luck,

Peter

PS -- Welcome to the forum, and please wait for more expert opinions than mine to come along . . .

PS2 -- You might consider weighing the four bikes, and figure out the center of gravity for that mass on its own, which was located roughly 10 feet behind the trailer's center of gravity. That is a huge weight to put on the end of the pendulum. You might also want to load the four bikes on the trailer, then weigh the actual tongue weight of the trailer. Bet it changes to something outside of the design parameters for the trailer (and the WD/SC hitch if applicable).

I would also recommend checking all your tire pressures, especially the tow vehicle. Also weighing your entire rig carefully, as you may be overloading it with things like the 2 2000 gens inside. Small trailers like ours aren't really rated to hold a lot, and are easy to overload, increasing safety concerns like sway, and stopping ability.
__________________

__________________
OTRA15 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 11:24 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,675
Images: 12
If you are in a sway situation you want to apply the manual trailer brake and hold the throttle position or accelerate slightly. This causes the combination to straighten while the trailer is pulled back into alignment by the trailer brakes. Do not apply the TV brakes.

If you are playing with the number of chain links that tells me the hitch was never set up correctly. That is a lengthily process but once completed there should not be a reason to change the chain lengths from time to time.

Not sure you can set the hitch up while on the road but PM me when you are home and I will try and help.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 01:42 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
1991 25' Excella
Stanfield , Oregon
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 317
You really need to check your tongue weight after changing your load. It should always be at least 10% anyless and it well sway.
__________________
SpletKay06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 04:19 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,807
Thank goodness you didn't wreck! Glad you at least partly figured out what the problem was - and you've gotten some very good advice from the prior posters. Be safe, be happy!

Paula
__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 05:26 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
2002 19' Bambi
Lafayette , California
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 671
Assuming Airstream has not changed the location of the fresh water tank in the 19', it is beneath the dinette seat at the left front of the trailer. Having it full can help distribute weight to the hitch.

For our 19', we have always had a Hensley hitch which many consider overkill for such a short trailer, but we have never experienced any sway. So, if you are not using a hitch with anti-sway properties (doesn't have to be a Hensley or Propride), you have now found a good reason to obtain one.

Tim
__________________
Tim A. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 05:54 PM   #7
Maniacal Engineer
 
barts's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,210
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 4
Use a Sherline tongue weight scale to make sure that 10% of the weight is on the hitch. The fanciest hitch in the world will not fix a mis-balanced trailer.

Check where your gray & black tanks are... if you drain the fresh water tank and fill the black and gray, you may well substantially affect the weight distribution on the trailer.

- Bart
__________________
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
http://tinpickle.blogspot.com
http://smaalders.net/barts
barts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 06:43 PM   #8
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,020
Just an FYI for owners of newer tow vehicles:
Some vehicle manufacturers have configured the electronic throttle settings to drop to idle whenthe trailer or even truck brakes are applied. While this will certainly help fuel mileage, it's not so great for recovering from sway.
So, it's a good idea to try applying the trailer brakes and stepping on the gas pedal at a low speed to see if your tow vehicle is one of those affected.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 09:32 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
dkottum's Avatar
 
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,596
The problem is the 4-bicycle rack, the bikes mounted well behind the bumper on that receiver the stupid dealer welded to your frame. Too much rear weight, too far behind the trailer, with no upper support. Your Airstream Owners manual warns against such weight in this position.

This could be compounded by heavy items stored in rear compartments.

It's about good loading procedure, lighter items at the ends of the Airstream, heavy items near the axle. Offsetting heavy rear loads with heavy front loads makes an unstable trailer, don't do it.

Your hitch setup is probably okay, at least not the source of the problem.
__________________
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

The Truth is More Important Than the Facts
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 10:33 PM   #10
Stay CazuaL
 
cazual6's Avatar
 
2014 19' Flying Cloud
Reseda , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 432
Images: 1
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.

The wife doesn't want me to experiment. But will going to three hang instead of two help if I had all four bikes in the back?

The FC19 fresh water is in the bow port side.

I appreciate the tip on all the weight stuff. I should have known.

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.

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.
__________________
cazual6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 11:23 PM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
Plasma800's Avatar
 
houston , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 399
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.

The wife doesn't want me to experiment. But will going to three hang instead of two help if I had all four bikes in the back?

The FC19 fresh water is in the bow port side.

I appreciate the tip on all the weight stuff. I should have known.

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.

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.
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?
__________________
'15 27fb Signature
'12 Chevy 2500HD Gasser
Plasma800 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 03:23 AM   #12
Rivet Master

 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,768
Quote:
Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
. . .
I appreciate the tip on all the weight stuff. I should have known.

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.
. . .
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.

A trip to the truck scales to weigh your rig fully loaded would be a good investment, with all the bikes loaded on the back, the two generators inside, all humans and canines on board with all their food/gear. Tanks full. The tongue weight should also be determined.

As dkottum touched on, your owner's manual and VIN ID plate have various weight limits to obey, as do the tires on your single-axle trailer. If you are exceeding any of the limits, serious injury or death might occur, and stubborn insistence on continuing with old habits is not in your best interests.

If multiple weight and loading limits are being exceeded, all the worse . . .

Please consider changing things before someone gets hurt!

Good luck,

Peter
__________________
OTRA15 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 05:24 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
SteveSueMac's Avatar

 
2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,155
Out of control sway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plasma800 View Post
Snip...
what's the tow vehicle?

The OP's profile says Chevy Traverse which is an SUV that claims a 2000# towing capacity. (On edit: apologies, 2000-5000 depending on configuration...).

Cazual - glad you survived this sway incident, it certainly could have been much much worse for you, your family and others on the road. I think you need some help thinking through your entire setup from tow vehicle to hitch to trailer loaded for travel and, forgive me if this is offensive, but that bike hitch mod you posted about in a different thread is just plain dangerous in and of itself. I know some will say it's no big deal but a couple hundred pounds hanging off the far end of a lever - magnified on every bounce - is simply not safe.

I forgot in your profile where you live (sorry...I remembered the tow vehicle but not your location &#128533 but I would recommend seeking out a local WBCCI chapter to get some insight and advice from other AS owners on your setup. When the components are right and set up properly, it's a great experience and you'll have years of great memories. Good luck and happy, safe camping!!
__________________
SteveSueMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 05:29 AM   #14
Vintage Kin
 
slowmover's Avatar
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 6,827
Images: 1
Out of control sway

Search on finding bathroom scale method of weighing tongue.

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

A Sherline Gauge is also a good tool. Just like a dedicated use quality torque wrench for the wheel lug nuts and a Longacre tire pressure gauge.

Search also the Three Pass method of using a scale to determine setting WD hitch. I linked a chart by contributor "Ron Gratz" to this forum some years ago (so also search for it under that name).

It would be best to start from scratch on setting the WDH.

TW is always to be between 10-15% of travel trailer weight, and consider 12.5% as an ideal. Higher is better, generally, but the benefit curve falls off at 15% given that TW becomes a little too high for both vehicles to manage via WD.

What I learned nearly fifty years ago in regards trailer sway was to give the TV full throttle while hand-applying the trailer brakes to maximum. This deserves practice.

Also, one needs to know at what speed the trailer brakes will lock the tires on gravel, etc. Learn the range of the trailer brake control.

I'd keep TT tires at maximum sidewall pressure.
__________________

__________________
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which is better? A sway control hitch or a vehicle with sway-control? Lucky Strike Tow Vehicles 27 08-13-2015 05:34 AM
Does Dodge RAM's Integrated Sway Control Work Well With Friction Sway Control? interstateflyer Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 9 08-13-2014 10:05 AM
Sway bars and sway control phibbs Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 1 09-03-2012 05:48 AM
L-pins are grinding against the sway bars on my Equal-i-zer sway control hitch Simoneau Hitches, Couplers & Balls 9 06-20-2009 08:28 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.