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Old 05-28-2019, 07:38 AM   #1
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Propride Hitch problems (is this Blasphemy?)

I own a Propride hitch with 1400 bars. I am beginning to hate it. Let me explain.

We own a 30' 2019 Classic and I wanted the best for her. I installed the hitch myself and feel good about the install. I installed it on my 27' Airstream before this and it performed wonderfully.

We now have over 12,000 miles on the trailer and to say it has been an easy adjustment would not do it justice. I went through all the calculations and made 4 trips to the Cat scales. Everything is dialed in as best as I can do. I've adjusted the head angle three times and have run the gauntlet with tension applied with the bars.

I cannot stop the sway. It appears at about 60 MPH with the slightest bump from the road causing the back of the trailer to dance requiring me to apply the trailer brakes to stop it. I have talked to Sean about this problem. He recommended I add even more tension to the bars. It helped but did not stop it. My wife has given me the ultimatum either the hitch goes or I go.

Going down a hill with a slight curve and my trailer feels like it is doing a 10 point turn as it turns, goes straight, turns, goes straight . . . .

On a slow curvey 8 percent grade, the propride can swing left or right and can pound the back of the truck. Literally making a bang.

I have approximately 950-1000 lb of tongue weight. My tow vehicle is a 2017 F-250 diesel. I added a sway bar (Ford) to the rear and Bilstein shocks on all fours. We have approximately 600 lbs of our belongings in the trailer. We've added about 600 lbs. of payload in the truck including wife and dog.

Once the shimmy starts in the rear of the trailer, it does not stop without me applying a pinch on the brake controller. I cannot go over 60MPH.

I'm beginning to believe this is not safe anymore. So what's wrong? I'm at Alumapolosa for the week and I hope to run into Andy the hitch wizard. Maybe he can recommend some ideas. I did not have any issues at all with the 27' Airstream. Pulled great. I did the setup on it also. We also run with a full fresh water tank.

Sean told me several times that the Classic 30 seems to have "issues" using his hitch. It is the most finicky and least stable of all the Airstream trailers. Does that say something? I know I'm going to get many classic owners who absolutely love their proPride. Me, not so much anymore.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:00 AM   #2
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This is unique to the Classic 30?? That sounds weird....

The bump you describe is usually attributed to a controller that doesnít apply trailer brakes first - but it sounds like youíre experiencing that just while driving (not only when braking) - is that correct?

If so I wonder if something got lost or damaged in the transfer from the 27 to the 30 - like those little discs that go in the WD bar slots? I donít know - just sounds so weird to me - and disappointing that Sean would suggest thereís something so unique about the 30 Classic....maybe thatís true but that feels so weird to me!

Ugh. Wish I knew more - maybe just having a different set of eyes on your install could help? Even a re-install with another PP user at the rally?

Good luck!
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:07 AM   #3
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Your tow vehicle can easily handle a 1000 lb tongue load without the hitch. Try towing on the ball and comparing the two. I think you will be surprised at how stable the rig is without the hitch.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:10 AM   #4
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My completely unprofessional opinion is that youíll have to compare notes with folks who have a nearly identical setup. Thereís enough variability between truck suspensions and trailer lengths/layouts that the resulting loads could affect the performance of the hitch significantly.

Clearly there are many folks on the forums (myself included) whose 3P hitches are performing well. In my case I still havenít dialed in a bit of porpoising on large pavement transitions but have yet to experience anything remotely close to sway. But I have a different trailer.

It would be effort, but is there some way for you to try out a different hitch (e.g. Equalizer)?
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:12 AM   #5
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do not oil the sway bars
you may need two sway bars, one on each side.

also did you tighten them enough.
they should squeak when you first drive away. if you hear no squeak, then they are NOT tight enough

give andy at CANAMRV a call, he can walk you through the correct setup
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:25 AM   #6
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ProPride does not have friction sway bars. It uses a trapezoid linkage to control sway. The WD bars need to be greased.

Something else is going on here.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:12 AM   #7
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snip...."On a slow curvey 8 percent grade, the propride can swing left or right and can pound the back of the truck. Literally making a bang."

I had a very similar noise with our Hensley when one strut bar was not adjusted properly.
Have you checked your yoke mounts, one of the bolts may be loose, or adjusted wrong.

Bob
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
snip...."On a slow curvey 8 percent grade, the propride can swing left or right and can pound the back of the truck. Literally making a bang."



I had a very similar noise with our Hensley when one strut bar was not adjusted properly.

Have you checked your yoke mounts, one of the bolts may be loose, or adjusted wrong.



Bob



Good point - I had that once - slightly misaligned as the bolts had loosened over time. I suspect with the OP installing it himself, heís probably looked at that but good to check. Iím still baffled why Sean would suggest itís something unique about 30í Classics! Do others have that same configuration? What do they report? This is a head scratcher for me....

Also wondering - for the OP - are you using the steel spacers to hold the WD bars tight to the A-frame? When mine was first installed, I didnít have the spacers and the WD bars bent outwards when tightening - probably not ideal for the job. If those arenít in place, maybe that contributes? But Iím sure Sean would have mentioned that already too....
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:00 AM   #9
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Your ProPride worked very well on the 27' AS and no observed sway, moved same hitch to 30' Classic and observed sway at onset of 60 mph. Most likely not a hitch issue. Hope it's not something related to design of the 30' trailer, like unique spacing of the double AC's on the roof create excessive sway. Just guessing. Only about 3% of Airstream owners are in that specific model. Minor air flow design flaw?
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martee View Post
Your ProPride worked very well on the 27' AS and no observed sway, moved same hitch to 30' Classic and observed sway at onset of 60 mph. Most likely not a hitch issue. Hope it's not something related to design of the 30' trailer, like unique spacing of the double AC's on the roof create excessive sway. Just guessing. Only about 3% of Airstream owners are in that specific model. Minor air flow design flaw?


I just looked at some pictures and while the Classic 30 puts the 2nd AC rear of the axles vs over the axles on other trailers, itís hard to imagine a (maybe) 50# hunk of weight back there could explain this situation unless to your point it somehow drastically alters air flow....What a puzzle! Are the axles placed differently than other 30í trailers? And either way - what would change the physics/geometry of the trapezoid hitch that pushes the pivot point further under the truck?
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:38 AM   #11
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I use a ProPride with 1400# bars on a 2002 Classic 30 Slideout, 9100# GVWR, around 1100# tongue weight per CAT scale calculations. I have never experienced any indication of sway pulling with Ram 2500 Diesel in nearly 15,000 miles of towing. If you are getting the "Hensley Bump" when you are not braking, something is wrong. At least one person commented on my bump complaint that they cured it by making sure the yoke was centered and the bar jacks were equally distant from the head. Make sure you have only the slight movement described in the installation instructions for the yoke. If I brake hard I will get the bump and then the trailer brakes catch up (I have hydraulic discs with a little delay compared to electric drums) and the trailer straightens out without swaying at all.

Hope you can get to the bottom of this. My thought is if you are having a problem with the ProPride it will be worse with any other hitch.

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Old 05-28-2019, 10:51 AM   #12
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Greetings,
I have a 2015 Classic with PP setup. My experience has been flawless, I can't see what difference the length of the AS would change the geometry.
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:54 AM   #13
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I know you have weighed it but still wondering if your tongue weight might be on the light side once you are loaded with your stuff. Your 27 was a front bed, if you tend to pack a lot of weight under the bed, now moving to a rear bed there might be a big change in the front to back loading. Just a thought. Also, I switched from an F150 to an ‘17 F350, only change I made with our Propride was changing the hitch height. Rock solid with our 28’ rear bed. Good luck getting it resolved.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:02 AM   #14
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Propride Hitch problems (is this Blasphemy?)

Iím wondering about weight distribution in the trailer itself. Is there adequate tongue weight of 15-20% of total trailer weight? Has the three pass weight checks on a CAT scale been done?

The Ďbumpí is going to be related to brake application gain and controller settings.

There are many places in the setup where proper adjustments need to be made. Tire pressures is just one of the subtle ones.

Even a slight misalignment of a ProPride setup in the yoke bracket position and tightness of the yoke to bar connection can cause some of what is going on.

I donít tow a 30 footer, but until I got everything exactly centered on the ProPride install and adjusted the brake controller (I have a P3) gain and percentage, plus getting the WD just right I had a few issues. Once itís right for the load, it stays good.

Sometimes I think Ďtweakingí the rigging of a trailer, a hitch system, loading, and tow vehicle setup is an art, not so much science.

Admittedly it took some fiddling to get my setup just right, and Iím pulling a 22 footer with a Tacoma. Once itís dialed in, it runs like itís on rails, even downhill and in panic stop situations. I canít speak to experience with any bigger trailer than 22 foot yet.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:09 AM   #15
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I too have a 2015 Classic with a PP and no complaints. I may get a minor "Hensley bump" while engine braking on a steep grade, but otherwise no bumping since the trailer brakes seem to activate quick enough to prevent this.

It took me several tries to dial in the weight distribution jacks to control purposing, but that's to be expected.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:21 AM   #16
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I'm using the Integral Trailer Brake Controller in my Ram 2500 on Heavy Electric over Hydraulic settings and Gain at about 7, if I remember it correctly. I get a bump unless I apply the brakes lightly about a half second or so before I get on them good since the hydraulic actuator for the disc brake has to spool up. I bought a 2 psi check valve to put in line but haven't installed it yet. Some guys on a 5th Wheel forum said that helped with the delay.

I can't see that my controller has anything equivalent to the P3's Boost feature which brings the trailer brakes on at a higher level than the truck at first. I may install my P3 to see if the Boost feature helps with the Bump.

Al
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:53 AM   #17
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We have a 2017 F250 diesel, a 2017 30ft Classic, and a Pro-pride with 1400lb bars. It performs flawlessly with no sway
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:17 PM   #18
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I also wondered about the distribution of your 600lbs in the trailer - is it toward the front, as it should be?

I have a hensley on my 30' international, and have experienced no sway.

I think I would double check the installation, make sure the struts (horizontal) are tight, and run my wd jacks up pretty tight.

I don't know how close you are to Alumapalooza, but perhaps you could day-trip over there for expert advice - or just get a good look at others' hookups.
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:41 PM   #19
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Propride Hitch problems (is this Blasphemy?)

In my limited case, I set the P3 boost depending on the terrain. P1 on the flat and P2 or P3 in mountains. Once I started doing that the ďHensley bumpĒ condition was eliminated.

Gain I rough adjust to the load using the skid test, and I adjust it slightly based on road and load conditions. Usually 1-2 numbers higher or lower as needed.

Others have noted using the P3 controller instead of the built in ones on several brands of tow vehicles, including recent Toyota Tundra setups with OEM time-delay brake controllers. What a step backwards...
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:49 PM   #20
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I cannot offer any wisdom except to act as a sounding board stating the obvious. Certainly I am bothered by Sean's comments in light of plenty of 30 owners stating that they have no problem.
It seems like you have two problems. One is the bump and people are suggesting controller issues. The other is what you are calling sway, but I thought that with the pivot point moved forward the geometry precludes sway. Maybe the squirrelly behavior is not sway. I cannot believe your weight distribution is much different than any other 30. Can you have the trailer alignment checked? How about the truck alignment?
We all want to hear how this goes...sorry for your troubles.
Larry
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