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Old 05-17-2020, 01:27 PM   #1
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2020 23' Globetrotter
Issaquah , WASHINGTON
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 8
Sway Control

Hi All...I'm a total newbie having just purchased a 23FBQ Globetrotter which we will pick up in a few weeks. My tow vehicle is a 2020 Lincoln Aviator with tow package rated at 6700 lbs. This SUV has all of the bells and whistles including integrated trailer sway control which brings me to my question.

Given this vehicle is equipped as it is, do I need to purchase a sway control device for towing? Note: I just towed a car trailer/car weighing approx. 5800 lbs from Nevada to Washington state without such a system and had no issues at all. The car trailer was a very simple U-Haul rental trailer with a compression brake system, so seemingly less sophisticated than what my new trailer has.

I appreciate any response!
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:49 PM   #2
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2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
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The Aviator with active anti-sway control is nice and the towing capacity is great, but the hitch receiver is a bit wimpy and only allows 10% of the max 6700 capacity on the tongue regardless of the hitch style. Even with a 23' GT you're going to have trouble keeping the tongue that light. You may want to invest in a stronger class III or IV hitch. Especially if you stay with the current hitch and manage tongue weight, you're going to want to invest in Weight Distribution (not a lot needed) and passive anti-sway (aggressive anti-sway is in order). The active system will arrest sway, but an aggressive passive system will dramatically delay onset (to speeds in excess of legal towing speeds), especially with your set-up. This is because the SUV is relatively light, and relatively short compared to the trailer. Even if you upgrade the hitch and bring tongue weight up to 850 or so, I'd recommend some modest passive anti-sway.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:08 PM   #3
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2017 28' International
Baileys Harbor , Wisconsin
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I agree with the above post. I would definitely go with a Class IV hitch. Your vehicle is really on the edge of the capacity when you consider tongue weight. Remember when you load that trailer up that tongue weight will increase especially with a front bedroom since that’s where a great deal of storage space is. I could easily see 800lbs+ for tongue weight (or more) when loaded. But then I’d look for ways to stiffen that rear suspension a bit through shocks and stiffer sidewall tires. As to the type of sway control hitch there are scores, but I would definitely get a sway control and WDH. You will want it on those windy days and when being passed by big trucks, etc.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:31 PM   #4
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2020 23' Globetrotter
Issaquah , WASHINGTON
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 8
Sway Control

Here's some detail in my calcs in hopes that clarifies. Not sure it will change any of your feedback, but hoping to be clear:

- Tow Vehicle Curb Weight: 4892 lbs
- Occupants: 340 lbs
- Dogs: 110 lbs
- Vehicle Fuel: 123 lbs (full tank)
- Other Items: 100 lbs
- Trailer Hitch Weight: 600 lbs (actually rated at 591 for the 23' GB)
- Total Vehicle Weight: 6165 lbs
- Vehicle Towing Capacity: 6536 lbs as equipped (via door sticker)
- % capacity: 94.32%

This is clearly close as you state, but vehicle felt great and performed well at similar weight this past week while towing the loaded car trailer. Would you still recommend the anti-sway hitch noting the vehicle is equipped with a class IV towing package and actually states a weight distributing hitch "is not required for your vehicle?" Vehicle also has an air suspension system that keeps the vehicle level (worked great when towing the car trailer).

Thanks again and apologies for the windy post!!
Pat
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:31 PM   #5
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2018 25' International
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I'm estimating you'll be at a trailer weight of 5300 and a tad over 5500 with the occasional full tanks. If you keep your tongue weight below the recommended 670 lbs, let's call it about 12% tongue weight which is light enough to promote some sway, especially in strong variable cross winds. The more weight you get on the tongue, the more damped is sway tendency this is why I suggest a passive system. Your vehicle will tow great most of the time so you wont recognize the onset of severe sway till it's too late. The Active system will help a lot and most likely prevent loss of control, but you can't guarantee it will always function as intended.

If you could get the tongue up to 15% (800-850) then I'd completely agree passive anti-sway is nice but not required.

A Class III hitch is rated 800 no WD and 1,200 with WD a Class IV is 1,000 no WD and 1,200 with WD so I'm wondering about sturdiness of the receiver. It is possible it is a plenty beefy set-up and the issue is elsewhere. I don't have good suspension data for the Navigator so I can't run my model, but it may well have oversteer issues and that is the reason Ford has settled on such a light tongue weight. If you can confirm the receiver and mount is indeed Class III or IV then you'll have to keep the tongue light and once again I would strongly recommend passive anti-sway. Simple friction bars would be fine. You may never encounter a situation where you needed them, but then again you might.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:41 PM   #6
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2020 23' Globetrotter
Issaquah , WASHINGTON
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Thanks Brian...Any recommendations on a passive system?

Pat
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:52 PM   #7
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Calculations

Quote:
Originally Posted by patandcole View Post
Here's some detail in my calcs in hopes that clarifies. Not sure it will change any of your feedback, but hoping to be clear:

- Tow Vehicle Curb Weight: 4892 lbs
- Occupants: 340 lbs
- Dogs: 110 lbs
- Vehicle Fuel: 123 lbs (full tank)
- Other Items: 100 lbs
- Trailer Hitch Weight: 600 lbs (actually rated at 591 for the 23' GB)
- Total Vehicle Weight: 6165 lbs
- Vehicle Towing Capacity: 6536 lbs as equipped (via door sticker)
- % capacity: 94.32%

This is clearly close as you state, but vehicle felt great and performed well at similar weight this past week while towing the loaded car trailer. Would you still recommend the anti-sway hitch noting the vehicle is equipped with a class IV towing package and actually states a weight distributing hitch "is not required for your vehicle?" Vehicle also has an air suspension system that keeps the vehicle level (worked great when towing the car trailer).

Thanks again and apologies for the windy post!!
Pat
The real world tongue weight of your trailer is going to be more than Airstreams published weight. The best and only accurate way to get the real picture is load your tow vehicle with everything your going to travel with and load up the trailer with everything your taking in there and proceed to the nearest CAT scale to do a 3 pass weigh in of the rig.

Yes, your going to need some type of WD hitch and some form of sway control. Do some homework on hitches. Pick one and install it yourself so you know how it works.

After your weigh in compare the figures to the allowable weights stated on the door sticker of your tow vehicle. Pay attention to Axle weight limits. You do not want to be over on axle weights especially the rear axle. Also, make sure the weight of the entire rig all loaded up for travel does not exceed the Combine Gross Weight Rating for your tow vehicle.

Replace the Factory Tow Package receiver with a Class IV/V rated receiver. Go to etrailer.com and look up the best, highest rated receiver for your tow vehicle. You will see why I recommend this when you compare the factory stuff to the good stuff. Happy travels.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:12 PM   #8
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2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
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There are many to choose from, some are nicer looking than others but they all perform about the same. this Reese is fine, but the Curt costs about the same. If you find one you like better, go for it.

You seem confident the hitch is strong and so I am more confident oversteer is the issue for the Navigator, its suspension and large low profile performance tires are very aggressive so they probably have it tuned for touring unladen which means you can't put too much weight on the hitch without getting the back end to swing out on high g evasive cornering.

For those wondering, oversteer occurs when the rear tires slip sideways more than do the front. A trailer dramatically increases overstear tendencies because the trailer momentum resists the vehicle's attempt to pull it through the corner and instead pushes the rear tires to try to keep going straight.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:29 PM   #9
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2020 23' Globetrotter
Issaquah , WASHINGTON
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by uraljohn View Post
The real world tongue weight of your trailer is going to be more than Airstreams published weight. The best and only accurate way to get the real picture is load your tow vehicle with everything your going to travel with and load up the trailer with everything your taking in there and proceed to the nearest CAT scale to do a 3 pass weigh in of the rig.

Yes, your going to need some type of WD hitch and some form of sway control. Do some homework on hitches. Pick one and install it yourself so you know how it works.

After your weigh in compare the figures to the allowable weights stated on the door sticker of your tow vehicle. Pay attention to Axle weight limits. You do not want to be over on axle weights especially the rear axle. Also, make sure the weight of the entire rig all loaded up for travel does not exceed the Combine Gross Weight Rating for your tow vehicle.

Replace the Factory Tow Package receiver with a Class IV/V rated receiver. Go to etrailer.com and look up the best, highest rated receiver for your tow vehicle. You will see why I recommend this when you compare the factory stuff to the good stuff. Happy travels.

Any idea as to "real world" difference you typically see in tongue weight vs. what the manufacturer publishes/posts on the actual RV? Wasn't planning on an RV so soon with my current vehicle and weights are getting close to capacities and want to keep it safe.

Thanks,
Pat
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:28 PM   #10
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2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
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Hey Pat, The tongue weights are accurate when the trailer has only the LP and the batteries but none of the accessories. Also the 23 FB is maybe one of the exceptions to the rule because it stands out as one with an initial % tongue weight quite a bit lower than the others. If you pay attention to how you load it you can keep it below the 670 limit of your Navigator without too much trouble. You're right you're close. If you keep your speed to the posted limits, follow the cornering speed guidance and read up on managing oversteer, I think you have a acceptable set-up, not perfect, but capable.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:16 PM   #11
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2020 23' Globetrotter
Issaquah , WASHINGTON
Join Date: May 2020
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Thanks all for your input!
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