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Old 02-23-2019, 01:10 PM   #1
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Tahoe Question

I have searched threads but wanted to be specific to our set up to see if we are missing anything.

We are newbies feel like we are experiencing a bit more sway than we should. Trying to determine if it's just newbie nerves/being overly aware of every movement or something more. Here are the specs...2013 Tahoe. GVWR 7100. Payload 1652, towing capacity 8500. The trailer is a 2005 Safari SS. Specs are 5270 dry weight GVWR 7300. Blue Ox with 750# bars on 10th link. Took to cat scales today. Seems like it transferring enough weight? See pics. Cousin mentioned getting a hitch with a shorter shank or maybe an additional anti sway bar? (4pt). Really don't want to upgrade tow vehicle at this time as we are only going to be traveling mostly in flat FL for weekend trips and by the #'s I think we should be good. Maybe eventually a trip to the keys. Anyone else tow with a tahoe that maybe could give us advice? If we are going to upgrade truck it would be a F-250 or Chevy 2500 not going to make a move to a f-150. We would just go for all of the extra payload availability with a 250 or 2500 if spending money on a new truck as we want to eventually take our Hobie kayaks as well. Those would add an additional 140ish#'s to the payload.

Our last trip we drove 60ish on the highway at 65 it seemed to tow a bit better but I know 60ish where most people are commenting they like to tow at. I know with the semis going by you're normally going to feel it but other times it just seemed maybe just a light wind may have caused it?

Any thoughts/suggestions as to help sway.
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:49 PM   #2
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I canít tell from your tickets what you are seeing. Iím assuming the 3080 on the steer is without WD and the 3160 is you restoring 80# to the steer axle. If thatís an accurate guess, you put about 700# on your drive axle and moved about 600 of that to the trailer axles. But what does the truck without trailer weigh? If you took 400 off the steer and only replaced 80, that could be part of your problem. You need 3 weights:

1) truck alone
2) truck connected to trailer, no WD applied
3) truck connected to trailer, full WD applied

And you likely want to put back 100% of the weight you took off the steer axle.

Hope that helps some - there are probably other things to consider but starting there is key.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:01 PM   #3
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I was so busy putting other details in that I forgot to say the first ticket (on left of pic)is the trailer separate from the truck and the 2nd is with the trailer hooked up. We set it up so the axles were weighed separate while the trailer was hooked up and unhooked. So we drove it onto CAT scale so the steering axle in front of the first line, drive axle in between the 2nd & 3rd line then the trailer fully behind the third line on the scale. Hope this makes sense. We thought we were doing it right by what we researched but may have misunderstood something.

So I think you're saying we missed weighing it with just the hitch on but not the WD hooked up. And that would give us another clue correct? (The WD was fully hooked up in the 2nd weighing)

Are you also meaning maybe go down to link 9 on the chain and that would put some of the weight back in the steering axel?
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:45 PM   #4
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Couple of thoughts to start.

Try to restore more weight to the front axle, at least back to what it is at empty.

Check that the trailer is level when hitched.

Were the truck and trailer loaded as for camping when you weighed it? If not, weigh them loaded as for travel. You want to restore front axle load from the effects of the cargo load as well, not just the tongue load.

Consider the condition of the tow vehicle shock absorbers, particularly if they are original.

Confirm tow vehicle tire pressures.
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:30 PM   #5
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The trailer wasn't loaded for camping today, I know it was suppose to be but we had the chance to go to the trailer and had time to take it to the CAT scale. So we wanted to start with something. We will do that also. Thanks for the tip on the shock absorbers, I'm about 99% they haven't been replaced as we knew the previous owner fairly well and they never mentioned it. We will also look at the tire pressure as well on the truck.

Both of you mentioned, shifting the original weight to the front axle. Newbie here so can you break down how to do that? As we didn't shift anything in the truck between the two weighs the only difference was the hooking up to the trailer with the WD on.

I've a added a pic of the truck at the CAT scales so hopefully that may help you to identify something new as well.

Appreciate all the help. I have spent alot of time trying to read through other posts and couldn't find something specific other than going to the CAT scale to start there. Since some others people's posts said even though it looks level the weight may not be distributed correctly. (When they asked about sway etc.) So that's what we did and we're still learning all of the lingo.

Thanks,
B
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:48 PM   #6
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You shift weight to the front (steer) axle by increasing the amount of weight distribution, eg change the number of links. Since the front axle is reading lighter than when unhitched, the tongue weight is leveraging the back of the Tahoe down, and thus lifting the front axle.

When you load up the rear of the Tahoe with cargo and passengers for camping, which is normal, there is even more weight that you will want to shift to the front axle. Shifting the eight will level the Tahoe, and help restore the handling.

From the photos, shortening the shank may also help, by bringing the trailer closer in to the truck.

You are on the right track. When you get the WD adjusted, recheck that the trailer is level or slightly nose down, not nose up. Sounds like shocks may be a worthwhile investment as well.

Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2019, 07:57 PM   #7
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I canít quite tell from the pics but there are 3 definite segments to the scales. When you have the whole rig on, your steer axle is on one, the drive axle is on another, and the trailer axles are both in a 3rd. Youíll need 2 measurements in the configuration - one with WD applied (meaning, more links on the chain) and one without, meaning, your trailer is connected to the Tahoe but you have no links applied. The third measure you need is the Tahoe by itself on the first two scales.

What youíll see is something like 3000 (or whatever the actual is) on your steer axle alone. Then when you connect the trailer without any links, youíll see the steer axle looses a lot of weight. Maybe 400-600 pounds. Then you add the links and you are trying to push however much you took off the steer axle.

Once you get the hang of it, itís kind of fun and gives you a great baseline to make and track changes over time.

Keep asking if this doesnít make sense. It took me a few tries to get it at first. Youíll get there!
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:36 AM   #8
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Thanks Guys. We had the tires placed correctly on the scales. We just missed the weighing with the trailer hooked up but without the WD on. I'm pretty sure we understand what we need to do. We are camping next weekend and the CAT scale is close to where we store it. So we will try some further adjustments then. We also are going to upgrade to the 1000# bars as there is some bend in the bars(as some others noted whom I showed the pics to) and if we have to shift more weight to the front I believe that will only bend them further. We will post an update in a couple of weeks once we make all of the adjustments. Analytical stuff is up my alley so getting this all figured out is kinda fun.

Thanks,
B
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:13 AM   #9
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G-n-P,


This is just a "for what it's worth" type of thought...


When we first started towing with a SUV (2012 Ford Expedition) many years ago, we, too, were experiencing more sway than comfort dictated. After 2+ years of moving more weight forward, light truck tires, equalizing bars, etc, we stumbled onto the fact that Ford had installed a very light duty sway bar in the rear of the Expedition. They do this, I think, to give it more of a smooth car ride. $179 (+ installation) for a replacement Helwig 21mm (almost an inch) diameter sway bar and all of the uncomfortable sway went away. You may want to crawl under the rear of the SUV and look at the sway bar. If it's about 5/8 inch diameter, a beefier bar may improve your sway for less than the cost of a new F250?


I hope this helps, it made a huge difference for us. We still use truck tires and equalizing bars, by the way.


Good luck,
Roy and Marie
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:04 AM   #10
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G, from what I can tell and extrapolate (with missing weights) and considering that you weighed without everything you would normally be traveling with when going camping, your tongue weight that day, was somewhere around 670# and well within the 600-750# Sway-Pro spring / torsion bar capabilities. It is supposed to be very well bent.



Tongue weight is calculated with trailer and no WDH. So, based on my best guess with WDH... you moved 180# of the 670# back to the steer axle and moved 70# to the trailer axles.



If my estimate of 3850 to 3900# rear axle weight isn't higher than your RAWR and 11,720 or 11,740# didn't exceed your GCWR, the Tahoe is okay.



I would suggest readjusting the chains one link at a time, while weighing, to get all of the 180# shifted off the steer axle back to it.



Another thing I would suggest is when you reweigh, get axles more towards the center of the CAT scale sections. The photo shows the steering axle barely on that section of the scale. I am pretty sure accuracy is better towards centers.



I have a good weight calculator (Excel) that I could send if I had your email address (PM if you want it).

Clint
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 64airstream View Post
G-n-P,


This is just a "for what it's worth" type of thought...


When we first started towing with a SUV (2012 Ford Expedition) many years ago, we, too, were experiencing more sway than comfort dictated. After 2+ years of moving more weight forward, light truck tires, equalizing bars, etc, we stumbled onto the fact that Ford had installed a very light duty sway bar in the rear of the Expedition. They do this, I think, to give it more of a smooth car ride. $179 (+ installation) for a replacement Helwig 21mm (almost an inch) diameter sway bar and all of the uncomfortable sway went away. You may want to crawl under the rear of the SUV and look at the sway bar.

This is really a non-issue with the GM Tahoe, however, if you do decide to swap the rear sway, you will most likely need to swap out the front sway to closer match the rear. Unbalanced front and back sway bars (one significantly stiffer than the other)can cause a dangerous and unstable condition. Also, consider that the roughly 116" of wheelbase on a Tahoe, is sort of short for a 25' or larger. Dangerously short, no, but short nonetheless. Having towed my setup with a roughly 116" wheelbase compared to my current 130" wheelbase of the Suburban, was much to my surprise a much more pleasant towing exp.



I have been towing with the slightly longer Suburban, and the Reese Dual Cam set on 4 links, using 600lb bars, it's a great combo. Been towing with it for over 10 years. 40+mph side winds, non-issue. Trailer and RV both are level and tow perfectly, even in emergency maneuvers when some clown doesn't look and pulls out of nowhere...trailer followed as if it were on rails.
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:38 PM   #12
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Thanks 64airstream, we will check into the truck sway bar as well.

Clint, we will definitely make sure we place it better next time on the scale, I see what you're saying. (Just like a home scale if you don't stand on it right it will give you different #'s) It's interesting that someone else said the sway bars were to bent to much and you're saying they should be bent. I'm a big safety nut so I prefer to not stretch limits. So is there any opinions as why not to switch to the 1000# ones so they don't bend as much. We plan on trying to put the 11th link in the "pin" section(instead of the 10th link) and re-weigh it that way next weekend when we take it camping. I think for the time being that should shift the weight back to the front as we need it to.
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:49 PM   #13
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I see where you could shorten the shank what looks like 4" just by drilling a new hole it it. Do you have rear hatch clearance for this?
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Old 02-25-2019, 06:20 AM   #14
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G, I feel like I have useful information for you and have had years of towing experience, although as I have found out on my current combination, I don't know everything and actually have not found to my satisfaction anyone who does. Read to the bottom.

What you get on these forums boils down to opinion and you know what they say about opinions. Most opinions on forums are not based on experience. Nuff said.

I have been fighting a uneasy side to side "thing" (don't want to call it sway, but it is kind of a sway) that I solved but tried several things first to no avail. I am sure Sway Pro would not let it get out of hand.

Some will tell you that you don't have enough tongue weight. I filled the fresh tank and loaded everything I could as forward as possible. Good tongue weight ratio but the problem persisted.

Some will tell you something could be loose under the trailer. I have it checked and axles aligned, no help

Some will recommend inflating tires to the max. Made my issue worse. Went back to recommended TP of 35 psi on the truck and 50 psi per Goodyear load chart. If you don't know the weights and don't have a chart, 65 psi could be recommended in a D rated tire. But, I have those things and know better.

Some will recommend adding a heavy duty sway bar to the rear of the TV, this will do nothing to stop trailer sway. The Tahoe will handle like a slot car (remember those), but trailering... no help.

Some will recommend turning off TV trailer sway control (TSC) and that ain't it. When TSC engages there is not doubt it is working. Had this happen one time and WOW!

Some will recommend a heavier truck (that should have been first on the list). You don't hunt rabbits with RPG.

Some will tell you they can't tell the trailer is back there. Come on people... hauling a 6000 to 10,000 pound trailer is very noticeable. Maybe true if you were hauling a popup with a Kenworth.

Some will recommend a stiffer sidewall tires on the TV... now this could actually help. Could. Its only a $1000 to find out... not knowing how harsh the ride will be either.

Some will recommend drilling the shank or receiver to move the ball closer to the truck. This could help a tiny bit, at least in theory. The closer the ball is to the rear axle the better. But an inch to an inch and a half is an improvement of 1/4 of 1 percent. Not worth the trouble or voiding a warranty IMO.

Some recommended adding anti rattle or hitch immobilizer to eliminate sloop in the receiver to shank connection. This stopped the rattle, at least. I think it also reduces wear in that area. You can get these at Harbor Freight or fancier ones at eTrailer.

Some will recommend a Pro Pride or Hensley hitch. Listen to them... I bought a Hensley and problem solved. Now a strong side wind effects truck and trailer the same. Its like they are welded together.

The PROs greatly outweigh the CONs. Best money I have ever spent and I will do almost anything to not spend money unnecessarily.
Clint
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