Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (
-   Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches (
-   -   2019 Ford F150 & 2020 Bambi 22 ft bouncing too much! (

GeoffyJ 08-19-2019 11:06 AM

2019 Ford F150 & 2020 Bambi 22 ft bouncing too much!
Hi, we bought a 2020 Bambi 22ft and then bought a 2019 Ford F150 to pull it. We then found out that the F150 has a 3 leaf spring system and though the truck rides smooth without the trailer there is a lot of bouncing with the trailer. We have had the truck and trailer to Traveland where we bought the trailer to have the hitch and sway bars installed and then readjusted but still we are bouncing along the paved roads. We don't know what to do next to make this a smooth ride. Do we add airbags, or new leaf system, or Motormaster Active Suspension system? How do we get the smooth ride we need? Is there anyone with the same combo of truck and camper who have gone through this same experience and if so what is the solution please? We want to be safe on the road and not get bounced into an accident. Thanks!!

OTRA15 08-19-2019 11:11 AM

Welcome to the forum!

Apparently you do not have a weight distribution [WD] set up with your hitch?

Check your owner's manual, and call the AS dealer and Traveland for basic introductory info on this.

You are in the right forum, but you might want to peruse the topics in the Hitches etc. sub-forum:

There is a Sticky Topic at the top of the list, although it has been closed for comments:

Stand by for a deluge of advice on weight distribution hitches, one function of which is to dampen the road-induced oscillations you describe. Your sway setup does not help with these oscillations.

If you DO have a WD hitch, please advise on the brand and model.

Good luck,


DKB_SATX 08-19-2019 12:33 PM

"A 2019 F150" doesn't narrow it down much. F150 configurations range from "drive to the office" to "tow big farm trailers" with big differences in wheelbase, spring rates and damping in between those extremes.

I tow a trailer with about 1.9x the tongue weight Airstream claims for your Bambi, and my '17 F150 doesn't have a problem with porpoising. I suspect it's a hitch configuration issue, but it might also be that your truck isn't set up for towing.

Give us more info about the truck and the hitch, please.

GeoffyJ 08-19-2019 12:47 PM

The 2019 Ford F150 XTR that we bought came with a tow package. The truck has a 11,600 lb tow capacity and a payload of 3270 lbs.
Traveland installed the E2 Fastway brand hitch which is a 2 point sway control & weight distribution hitch combined. The bars that go from the hitch to the trailer are rated for 600 to 800 lbs
I hope this helps to figure out how to stop this bouncing!

DKB_SATX 08-19-2019 01:11 PM

1 Attachment(s)
You have a LONG F150? Supercab+8 ft box or Supercrew+6.5 ft box? That plus some other options is the only way to get to those payload #s... What does the sticker on the inside of the driver's door post say? That's YOUR truck's payload, rather than the brochure number. The US version of the sticker looks like the photo I've attached, I don't know if it's identical for a Canada-bound truck but I'd expect the same information to be there, and since the first number is in kg they may just use the exact sticker. You see that my actual payload is half what the max-for-any-F150 brochure number is. I don't think this is your problem, but it's useful for you to know.

My truck has P-rated XL tires (rather than LT "real truck" tires) and I run them at the sidewall max when towing to have firmer control with a 26' trailer, but the difference that makes is more side-to-side than porpoising. I wonder if they've dialed in too much or too little weight transfer when setting up your hitch... have you been across CAT-type scales?

GeoffyJ 08-19-2019 02:11 PM

door sticker for Ford F150 XTR 4x4
1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 349922

this is the door sticker on our truck

GeoffyJ 08-19-2019 02:14 PM

photos of weight distribution hitch on our truck
3 Attachment(s)
Attachment 349923

Attachment 349924

Attachment 349925

this is the weight distribution hitch that was put on our truck by the company that sold us the airstream

DKB_SATX 08-19-2019 02:19 PM


Originally Posted by GeoffyJ (Post 2278902)
Attachment 349922

this is the door sticker on our truck

Ok, MUCH more common range for an F150, and plenty for towing a 22' Bambi.

I think the next thing is to see how your hitch is set up, either by one of the estimation methods or by taking 3 passes across a scale the measures steer, drive and trailer axle weight.

For starters, you can compare the height of the fender wells from the ground without the trailer, with the trailer but no weight distribution, and then with the weight distribution set.

Old-school reference for this was that the front and rear fender wells should drop about the same from unladen to trailer+weight distribution. For an F150, they tend to run "tail high" without a load, my truck runs closer to level with the Airstream on the hitch than it does without, and that's with most of the steer-axle weight returned with the weight distribution. It handles and stops very well, without undue porpoising or other issues.

GeoffyJ 08-19-2019 02:22 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Attachment 349926

Attachment 349927

Attachment 349928

Attachment 349929

these are the photos of our new truck and Airstream So pretty!! But so bouncy!!

GeoffyJ 08-19-2019 02:42 PM

we are going to find a weigh scale to go to to see where the weight is sitting. We are also considering putting an extra leaf into the suspension but don't want to start going in the wrong direction to solve this bouncing problem.

gypsydad 08-19-2019 03:37 PM


Originally Posted by GeoffyJ (Post 2278914)
we are going to find a weigh scale to go to to see where the weight is sitting. We are also considering putting an extra leaf into the suspension but don't want to start going in the wrong direction to solve this bouncing problem.

If you have the "Max Tow" package from Ford, you likely don't need anymore support in spring area. Your good on Payload also. That F150 with that size 22' AS should work out fine. We have pulled 2 different 25' AS's when we had our 2012 Platinum F150 issues with porposing...we do use the Blue Ox WDH, however. We also used a Reese at one time, and also an EZlift, which was older and did break, which is why we got the Blue Ox...but that's another thread.

Not sure about your brand of hitch set up, but as was suggested earlier, you may want to look there first. Not familiar with the Fastaway you show. Your pictures look pretty level; the "rule" as mentioned above, is measure the front fender of your truck from the pavement un-hitched; then do it again, hitched with the WDH and AS connected; should be within 1/2" of un-hitched height.

Knowing your weight is also important, although with the 22' and the F150 as you have, there should be no weight issues. The weighing is pretty easy; load your truck with all the extra "stuff" you intend to carry so you know your "true" weight; same with the AS; water, propane, food, etc...close as you can. 2 scale passes; one with truck on one scale and trailer axil on the other. Second pass; trailer on one scale, and the tongue on the other using the jack. (no truck). There is a 3rd that many like to do, which is just your truck loaded, just to know your overall truck weight.

Also, the tire pressure can affect the ride. I run full pressure on my truck, and after weighing the Airstream adjusted the trailer tires per the Goodyear chart at 55psi cold. Some folks like to run theirs full pressure, but I have found popped rivets and broken hinges, fyi.

As for the hitch, I would go back to the dealer and talk with an experienced service guy there...sounds like hitch not set up properly or maybe bad hitch. Your trailer is not that big a load for that truck you describe. Let us know what you find out!:flowers:

Moflash 08-19-2019 06:51 PM

Change your cheap factory shocks to Bilstein 5100’s .No more bounce and no more leaning in corners.Your truck will thank you.

Caffeinated 08-19-2019 07:22 PM

It appears from your photos that your Airstream is a little nose high when attached to your truck. If that is the case you should either lower the hitch on your truck or dial in more weight distribution to even things out. It’s hard to tell from the pics but that’s what it looks like to me. I tow a 27 ft FC with a ‘19 F150 with no bouncing.


OTRA15 08-19-2019 07:24 PM


Originally Posted by GeoffyJ (Post 2278914)
we are going to find a weigh scale to go to to see where the weight is sitting. We are also considering putting an extra leaf into the suspension but don't want to start going in the wrong direction to solve this bouncing problem.

Thanks for the photos and additional details.

A full weigh-in is item number one IMO -- with and without your WD setup. Knowing you exact tongue weight will help too. Getting the WD set up correctly should solve most of your problem IMO.

Next . . . maybe better shocks as just suggested.

Unlikely you need to add another spring leaf, unless you plan to carry lots of weight in the bed of the pickup, or have a heavy tongue weight due to trailer loading.

One step at a time . . . and patience . . . that's the ticket!



PS -- The search function in the blue box above works great, if you are using the desktop version of this site. The search function in the App is not so good, from what folks have said. Add the term "" to a general Google or DuckDuckGo search will help as well IMO.

PS2 -- On what type of road are you experiencing the worst oscillations? Try different roads, and speeds, to see if things improve. Sometimes the harmonics of your total rig, and the road, can be "off" at certain speeds, and fine at others. You might also want to report on, and try changing, your tire pressures [both TV and AS] to see if this helps.

CWSWine 08-19-2019 07:33 PM

When I call Bilstein they told me NOT use the 5100 series on NON LIFTED truck and to use the 4600 series is for the truck without a lift any lift kit. They explain that it was because of the centering of the shock and the 4600 would outperform the 5100 on non lifted trucks


Originally Posted by Moflash (Post 2278990)
Change your cheap factory shocks to Bilstein 5100’s.No more bounce and no more leaning in corners.Your truck will thank you.

Alreddawg19 08-19-2019 10:27 PM

I am not sure why you would necessarily need new shocks. To me, your trailer is high at the hitch and you should lower the ball so it's more level. That should help. If not, I would invest in a new hitch and WD setup like the blueox

majorairhead 08-20-2019 07:05 AM

I agree the answer here is likely that the hitch is not set up properly. I'd access the hitch manual and go through the setup process step by step.

I too think the front of the trailer is sitting too high. The trailer should be level or a bit nose down when the hitch is set up correctly.

turk123 08-20-2019 07:23 AM

I think you need to take a picture of the truck (side view with the trailer hooked up), trailer side view, and both truck and trailer side view (stand back a little) so we can see how both are looking together. Cameras lie when it comes to distortion and I think we are seeing camera distortion, not the true view.

Take a picture of your hitch all hooked up also. Maybe we will be able to see something wrong.

glcmranger 08-20-2019 07:44 AM

Also— if you have Endurance tires, consider dropping your tire pressure down a little bit... I would start at 65 and see if it makes a difference...

HHPJ 08-20-2019 07:52 AM

I concur with the stock shock change....I too had this problem until I changed the stock shocks... the improved dampening really made a difference.

To eliminate all the variables, I started with the shocks, since my WD was spot on.

There is another thread on this matter with the F150....

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:31 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.