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Old 06-11-2010, 12:34 AM   #1
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Question Groaning from somewhere down under

After several hundred miles of rainy driving we started hearing "groaning" or stress sounds from what seems to be the hitch/frame/undercarriage of our 2008 23' CCD. It only complains when I turn; all is quiet on the straight aways. But when we turn the trailer's frame seems to be groaning or creaking.

We lubed the ball, leveler bars and anti-sway bars of the Reese hitch. Not much change.

Help? Our Precious One sounds like she's in pain whenever we turn.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:51 AM   #2
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Check your wheel bearings... the wheels are under considerable stress in a turn due to the dual axles, and this is carried by the wheel bearings. Jack up one side (between the wheels is an excellent jacking point) and spin the wheels, listening for any groaning/rumbling/drag, etc. Also attempt to rock the wheel about the vertical axis; there should be no (or virtually no) discernible play.

- Bart
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:54 AM   #3
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Wondered if you use "load stabilizer bars". (the towing accessory that lifts the tongue of the trailer, in order to reduce the weight on your tow vehicle bumper)
If you DO use load stabilizers, the chains can make the sound you describe when turning.
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:11 AM   #4
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The reese straight line is notorious for making groaning noises when making slow turns. If that is what you are using I don't think lubing the friction cams is recommended, but a quick shot of WD 40 would tell the story.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homewrecker View Post
Wondered if you use "load stabilizer bars". (the towing accessory that lifts the tongue of the trailer, in order to reduce the weight on your tow vehicle bumper)
If you DO use load stabilizers, the chains can make the sound you describe when turning.
My chains "groan" in tight turns all the time. If the IP is using one of the friction type anti-sway devices, they groan like crazy.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:11 AM   #6
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Those groans may just mean that you are on the road and hitched up right. If you've ever been outside your rig while someone else is driving and making a turn, you'll try to hide so noone will know that crazed noise belongs to your beautiful Airstream! I'll bet that all is well...just part of the joy of hitchin' and travelin'. ~G
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDavis View Post
The reese straight line is notorious for making groaning noises when making slow turns. If that is what you are using I don't think lubing the friction cams is recommended, but a quick shot of WD 40 would tell the story.
The nubs that fit in the receiver should be greased. All they recommend for the cams is vaseline for noise reduction only -- after all, it is the friction of the spring bars on the cams that makes 'em work right!

From reeseprod.com:
Quote:
Can I grease the Dual Cam Sway Control?

Do not grease the cam and cam arms. The Dual Cam was designed to use metal-to-metal friction. Heavy greasing of the cam and cam arm surfaces will affect performance. If noise is offensive, a very light coating of lubricant, such as Vaseline, may be used. Tongue weights over 1,200 lbs. may require a light coating of grease to reduce friction and prevent excessive wear. The Dual Cam Sway Control DCSC is not to be lubricated on the cam arms when the tongue weight is under 1,200 lbs. Instead you will want to apply a thin coat of a petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline. This will act as a poor lubricant, but works well to dampen the sound. For trailers with over 1,200 lbs. tongue weight you should apply a couple of drops of an 80/90 gear lube to the cam arm to prevent excessive wear caused by the increased tongue weight.
Yet I would strongly recommend following Bart's recommendation. I run one wheel up on a ramp and check this periodically when something happens that makes me wonder if things are rolling right.
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyT View Post
After several hundred miles of rainy driving we started hearing "groaning" or stress sounds from what seems to be the hitch/frame/undercarriage of our 2008 23' CCD. It only complains when I turn; all is quiet on the straight aways. But when we turn the trailer's frame seems to be groaning or creaking.

We lubed the ball, leveler bars and anti-sway bars of the Reese hitch. Not much change.

Help? Our Precious One sounds like she's in pain whenever we turn.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
It could be the anti-sway bar friction setting. Try removing the anti-sway bar and driving to see if you can isolate the groaning....
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:08 AM   #9
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I get that in rainy weather too. I have friction type anti-sway devices, and when they're wet, they tend to stutter on turns.
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:30 PM   #10
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It's easy to have someone stand outside while on a parking lot and creeping forward turning side to side to listen where the groan or pop noise is coming from. If it's the sway bars it's probably normal. I found mine were starting to make more noise and simply wiped the wear surfaces off with a dry rag to clear debris and it stopped. If the noise is coming from the wheels you have a problem for sure.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:56 PM   #11
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Wow, I am so amazed at the incredible wealth of experience and information on this forum. Thank you all for your excellent suggestions. You are a life saver to us newbies out here.

I'll lift the rig and listen to the wheels. Thanks for that suggestion, Bart. That was my primary concern after re-greasing all the hitch points. But with fewer than 10,000 miles on the trailer I'm guessing they're okay.
I didn't lube the friction plates of the anti-sway, just the two connecting balls at the ends. Will try wiping the plates and maybe Vaseline.
Yup, we lubed up the nubs of the leveler bars, too.
Listening from outside is a great suggestion, thanks Arcamedies and Maxandgeorgia.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-17-2010, 02:20 AM   #12
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ProPride Hitch - regardless of weather (55 plus winds, light rains, heavy rains, etc.) no groans in turns...
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:15 PM   #13
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Thanks, John. Good to know for our next hitch.
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:04 AM   #14
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JimmyT, if you have the sway bars that connect with the little balls, I wouldn't put any lubrication on the friction brake surfaces. Doing so would be similar to putting lube on the wheel brake linings, with similar results.

With this type of sway control, it is often recommended that the friction level be reduced a bit with the adjustment handle when in very rainy conditions.
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