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Old 08-18-2015, 09:40 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalemonroe View Post
We have a short 2006 Sprinter TV and a 2008 17 foot Safari Sport AS. Our WD hitch is an Equal-i-zer with sliding bars, not chains. We get too much up and down motion when crossing undulating pavement. My previous trailer, 19 ft long, had Reese chain type WD hitch and I never noticed any excessive bounce. Also, it had tandum axels. This trailer is a single. I suspect that the chain type hitches would be better with bounce. The fact that this is a short trailer might be part of the problem.
Would it be better to get a hitch with heavier bars? My tougue weight is about 350 lbs. AS GVW is 3500 lbs and the van weighs about 5500 loaded. I would appreciate any helpul suggestions.

You may have some setup options with your current Equal-I-zer hitch that could help that porpoising effect you describe.

You might also want to investigate the Andersen whose users say it handles porpoising better than any other hitch. It doesn't distribute a lot of weight but you apparently don't need to move much.

There are many threads here on both of those hitches that could be of some help. Good luck!
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:59 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by MacPDX View Post
Well, there are a few reasons why one might not by a PPP/Hensley besides cost. I have read the "Official Propride" thread from top to bottom, now at 1200+ posts and this is what I have gleaned:

1. Extra ~100 lbs of tongue weight
2. Dealers, for the most part, cannot install the hitch properly, so one should be mechanically inclined
3. Many PPP purchases have trouble getting the setup correct - see #2
4. If the setup is not correct, you will have troubles - yoke out of alignment, weight jacks cranked too much or too little, not enough washers, too many washers, you get the point
5. Dealers don't know how to move a trailer with a PPP
6. Storage yards don't know how to move a trailer with a PPP
7. More skill require to hitch and unhitch - some get it right away and some never get it
8. There is only one source, the vendor - hope they keep selling so they stay in business

I have not doubt the PPP is one of the best hitches out there.

But, if you are not mechanically inclined with the proper tools or
if you have a storage yard where they need to move your trailer or
if you have a dealer and they need to move the trailer or
if you really don't want another ~100 lbs
the PPP may not be for you.

Thank you!!


Dan
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:13 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Loden View Post
I was driving a Toyota FJ Cruiser pulling a R-Pod 177. The R-Pod was well within the towing limits of the FJ, and was 18' long. I was decelerating, having taken my foot off the pedal, on a downhill stretch traveling at about 50mph in the right land of a narrow, undivided 4-lane highway. The speed limit had just dropped from 70mph to 55 as the highway approached a town. An 18 wheeler went by me in the left land traveling a LOT faster than I was and so close that when I felt the trailer jump, I thought the 18 wheeler had hit it. The trailer jumped laterally, yanking the rear of the car, just as the front of the truck went by. The timing of the passage amplified the lateral motion of the FJ. As the 18 wheeler trailer passed the R-Pod, again the timing was such that the R-Pod was already swinging back and was sucked left. I found myself aimed at the ditch and corrected. That resulted in a reverse swing with me nearly crossing the center line into oncoming traffic. My turn to the right to avoid a head-on collision was the last controlling input I made. The next thing I knew I was in the cedar trees off the road facing back the way I had come. The trailer had rolled onto its side and was attached by the chains.

I had towed that trailer behind the FJ for three years and many, many miles and never had a "significant" sway event. As I wrote above, I simply did not realize that I was routinely having marginal control events until I hooked up my new Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax to a Eddie Bauer 27' with an equalizer hitch and headed down the road. Other than the extra "bump" as the trailer wheels passed over uneven places on the road and the momentum difference, it was like there was no trailer back there. I drove through extremely narrow stretches of I-35 with 18 wheelers going by like rocket ships and never experienced the sense of lateral drifting that was so routine with the FJ-R-Pod combination.

I have since made a point of asking people I see with variations of standard trailer hitches who pull travel trailers and apparently that "drifting" feeling is pretty standard for them as it was for me. Most have experienced "snaking" as the academic literature calls it. All of them, as I once did, thought of it as just a normal part of pulling a travel trailer.

The "drifting" feeling is very much the same as when one is traveling at highway speeds and hit a patch of water on the road. Just for a moment there is the sense that the vehicle is no longer solidly tracking down the road as the rear end drifts slightly to one side or the other. I now comprehend that was my trailer making one or two small wags. As I have driven on the Interstate since, I have noticed that slight "wag" as travel trailers (other than mine) change lanes or let off on the accelerator as they head down hill.
Thanks for sharing details of your unfortunate towing experience. Your honesty is most appreciated and I could see many folks, myself included, acting exactly as you did in that example.

I had a near fatal car accident 2.5 years ago, got infant and toddler now that I'm a bit over protective of. If I told you I wasn't anxious on some level about buying a camper and truck/SUV to tow all over the nearby Smoky Mountains, I would be lying.

The many lingering physical, psychological, and emotional scars motivate many of my recent threads here. Learning from folks like yourself and others validates my decision to research the many aspects of towing a camper safely prior to purchasing. Thank you.


Dan
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:29 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
About 65-75% of TW will remain on TV after WD is set. One might be over "rating" but that's a marketing thing. The real limit is axle/tire/wheel. Somewhere in between isn't a concern, overall.

If you want to mess with it, figure 80%. But nothing much changes with these guesstimates. A few hundred pounds is not a delineator of concern.

Thanks for that. If trying to make a large SUV work, a better understanding of the calculations is needed on my part. Frankly, I'm about to abandon the idea in favor of a 3/4 ton truck with a long bed anyway.

At this point, sounds like black magic more than science. Many guys here obviously have a lot of towing experience, yet can't agree on which of four hitches is the superior design.

It's hard to not be interested in the HA or PP after hearing from you guys. Especially you, I've not only read many of your old posts, I've studied them. Ha ha.



Dan
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Old 08-19-2015, 05:27 AM   #103
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Trailer instability/stability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
Referring to post 59. Did you have any sway control? What trailer and TV? Thanks
As I noted above, the tow vehicle was a Toyota FJ Cruiser, which has a very short wheel base and no inherent sway control features, towing a 2013 R-Pod 18' travel trailer. I had a generic load-distribution hitch (bars and chain) but no sway control per se. The load distribution system has some degree of anti-sway effect, but not sufficient to make a great deal of difference.

I have studied this issue in a heck of a lot of depth since my near-death experience, including reading several published papers on the subject. (I have a master of science degree and access to academic publishing through my alma mater.) I now realize that a combination of the wheel base and trailer lateral flat-plate drag was a set up for a disaster.

Flat-plate drag is the degree of wind resistance an object will have as it moves through the air. The greatest resistance occurs if a flat plate is the surface against which the wind energy will be exerted. While the R-Pod was well streamlined fore and aft (it is a tear-drop shaped trailer), the sides of the trailer are absolutely flat plates, thus a lateral wind force change is going to have a large effect on the trailer.

Combine the lateral surface area of the trailer with its light weight and balance that against the relatively short arm (wheel base) of the fj cruiser and the system has an inherent conditional instability. The length of the arm from the hitch ball to the trailer wheels was longer than the distance from the front wheels of the Fj to the trailer hitch, so that means the trailer had both a greater leverage and a much greater lateral flat-plate area than the tow vehicle. Oddly, because I was traveling light with very little cargo in the trailer, I was actually more at risk than if I had been traveling with a greater load, particularly since when I load cargo, I do so well forward.

A Hensley or ProPride hitch would have probably kept the displacement of the trailer within controllable parameters as the 18 wheeler passed very close at hand and with a much higher velocity, but it still would have been touch and go. That vehicle (FJ Cruiser) should actually been limited to pulling something like a pop-up trailer. Of course, with a relatively small vehicle like the FJ, the weight of either of those hitches would have been a factor as either of them would have pushed the tongue weight limit right up to the max given the trailer tongue weight of the R-pod.

Under normal driving conditions the combination I was driving was conditionally stable, but on that day I had filled the fresh water tank in anticipation of a boondocking camp and on the R-Pod the freshwater tank is aft of the axel! I.e., I had about 300 pounds aft and no offsetting cargo forward. Even then all would have been well if not for the close, high velocity-passing of a very large truck on a day when there was a pretty fair left to right wind.

From there it was largely a matter of the trailer initial swing taking the FJ beyond the steering range of the front wheels. That produced a lateral skid, which decelerated the tow vehicle rapidly. With the tow vehicle decelerating with a high delta-Velocity and the trailer no longer directly behind the tow vehicle the trailer was going to come around the tow vehicle. It was just a matter of which side, and which way the tow vehicle would be yanked when it did.

From my analysis of the skid marks, it appears that there was an opportunity to exert some control over the outcome during the middle of each of the two swings as the trailer came back behind the tow vehicle enroute to the other side of the pendulum swing. In those two moments, it appears that I must have instinctively steered away from the oncoming traffic in the left two lanes and that appeared to tip the balance, resulting in my being flung into the cedar trees to the right of the road instead of into the oncoming traffic on the left. It also may have been simply that the truck exerted the destabilizing force from the left and thereby created a rightward momentum, or a combination of the two.

Fundamentally, I was operating a conditionally unstable TV-trailer combination, probably with an out of balance trailer because of poor trailer design. A Hensley or Propride hitch could possibility, and I suspect even probably have alleviated those issues and resulted in a merely uncomfortable lateral movement as the truck passed. I suspect that an Equalizer might have also worked, but that is questionable. Friction-based hitches appear to work well pulling an inherently stable rig and serve to reduce or eliminate the temporary sway that would self-correct assuming no further destabilizing inputs from either the drive or the environment. Among those, the Equalizer appears to be the best.

As I mentioned in another post, the salvage yard where my trailer was taken had an entire corner, consisting of most of an acre, covered with small travel trailers that had suffered the same fate. As you may guess, there were no Airstream trailers there. I asked the attendant who was assisting me in recovering personal items if he ever saw Airstreams in the yard (which serves a great swath across Texas). He told me in over ten years of working there he had never seen an Airstream brought in.

It is very apparent after studying this issue that the Airstream is designed to be a stable trailer. The freshwater tank is located directly over the axles, and as the water moves from the freshwater tank to either the gray or black tanks, the movement is forward, thereby increasing inherent stability. The axel(s) are located well aft of the center of gravity, and the heavier elements in the trailer are located well forward. Combine that with the very important lateral streamlining of the curved surface and low center of gravity and one gets an inherently stable trailer, with or without sway control. Add a good sway control/elimination hitch and things get about as good as they can get.

Still, as many an 18 wheeler has demonstrated, it is possible to jack-knife any trailer, no matter how stable. For that matter, it doesn't take a trailer to result in a vehicle entering into an out of control condition. All it takes, as we put it in aviation, is "exceeding the envelope". Knowing the stability parameters of your vehicle/trailer combination and remaining within them is critical. I was, in fact, outside the envelope from the time I left my driveway, but had no idea that was so. My current TV/Trailer combo is well inside the envelope and I plan to keep it that way.
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:33 AM   #104
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When reading comments about these hitches, note that most if not all those making negative remarks about Hensley/ProPride have never used one.

And those making positive comments about Hensley/ProPride actually use the hitch, and most have also used a variety of conventional w.d./sway control hitches.

My own mistake was listening to the negatives and blowing good money on two conventional hitches before getting a ProPride.
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:39 AM   #105
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Question

"How does Reese WD w/sway control compare to Hensely/PP/Equalizer?"

As you probably realize by now......for the users of the PPP style hitch, it is not possible to to initiate a comparison, as it is not possible to initiate sway, unless, as in our case, you have had experience with the Reese, in that case there is no comparison.

For the non-users.... it's is not possible to compare until they have used, which means they will have to compare and rationalize all the negatives listed above.

Once again......

“If your happy with what you're using......it's adequate.
If others are unhappy with what you're using......it's not.”
RLC


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Old 08-19-2015, 08:44 AM   #106
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please repeat all the positive comments about the expensive hitches. I've only read them about a hundred times, mostly from the same people.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:36 AM   #107
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please repeat all the positive comments about the expensive hitches. I've only read them about a hundred times, mostly from the same people.
Please repeat all the positive comments about the expensive trailers, all I've heard is the negative, mostly from the most.......



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Old 08-19-2015, 11:10 AM   #108
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Doug, a PPP hitch is 100# heavier than a conventional hitch (150# than an Anderson hitch). That is a fact/truth. This extra weight may prevent someone from using the PPP hitch (for example, those who are already at the max limit of their hitch with a conventional hitch). Which part of this simple statement do you NOT understand?
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:37 AM   #109
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When reading comments about these hitches, note that most if not all those making negative remarks about Hensley/ProPride have never used one.

And those making positive comments about Hensley/ProPride actually use the hitch, and most have also used a variety of conventional w.d./sway control hitches.

My own mistake was listening to the negatives and blowing good money on two conventional hitches before getting a ProPride.
No end to it.
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:34 PM   #110
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Please repeat all the positive comments about the expensive trailers, all I've heard is the negative, mostly from the most.......



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I said hitches, not trailers. Reread.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:08 PM   #111
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Wink

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I said hitches, not trailers. Reread.

I'm sorry....I just wanted to change the subject, re-read.

"Please repeat all the positive comments about the expensive trailers, all I've heard is the negative, mostly from the most......." I'm strange

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Old 08-19-2015, 01:21 PM   #112
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Gotcha, I'm tired and need a rest. Sometimes when I go back to something I posted its scary. Have a good one!!
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