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Old 11-17-2021, 11:19 AM   #1
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Towing Experience Report

Howdy everyone,

I just thought I’d share a personal tow experience after picking up our new AS. No hard-core opinion, just my observations.


We just bought a 2022 FC23CB (5000lb dry, 6000lb gvwr) and towed it 1000 miles from Tampa, FL to Houston, TX with my 2018 F150 2.7 ECO 4x2 145”wb supercrew and it performed better than I ever would have thought it could after reading some of the threads on this forum. My TV was spec’d with only the “class IV hitch package” but it came equipped with the 7/4 pin, transmission cooler, 0.1” frame, and tow front sway bars, similar to the standard tow package. Oddly enough, it did not come with the trailer brake controller so I added an oem at the local dealership. I also have 20” Michelin LTX MS2’s and a 1640lb payload.

Long story short, my TV launched like a champ, pulled without hesitation, stopped as expected and tracked without drama. I did not have the opportunity to test it in extreme topography but there was some hilly terrain through the FL panhandle and one 5% grade at the Calcasieu Bridge (1/2 mile up and 1/2 mile down). Approaching the bridge, I tested it with cruise on at 50 mph (the speed limit) and the truck didn’t flinch. It maintained smooth constant speed going up and maintained correct speed coming down. I used TowHaul mode the whole way with 9/10 gears locked out though it drove mostly in 7th gear. I averaged 23.8 mpg going (not towing) and 13.7 returning (towing) at a reasonably constant 62mph. Worth noting is that using the truck’s electronic sway control in combination with the BlueOx made the front end feel light on my first day – like the wheel was constantly making unnecessary small corrections. A visit to the BlueOx web page advised that the truck’s sway control should be turned off when using the SwayPro. I did as suggested and the remainder of my drive became a relaxed (as you can be when towing almost 6000lbs!), one handed exercise.


The one drawback to my TV is it isn’t 4wd. I don’t think I’ll need it for near term camping but could imagine needing it down the road as we start venturing out of parks and into more remote areas. Until then, however, I am very pleased with my TV and glad I did not overreact with an unnecessary truck purchase.

The intent of my post is to highlight that there is some very good info on the forum but you do need to filter and do your own calculations. I hope this helps somebody.

Cheers,
Phil
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Old 11-17-2021, 11:35 AM   #2
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Towing Experience Report

Good stuff Phil. I have a ‘18 F150 lariat with max tow package.

I had never towed a large trailer before and we drove from Portland to Denver last month, to buy our first (used) 28RBT Flying cloud. ~6000 dry/7600 max.

It came with a propride hitch which was amazing to use. Drove all the way back with it and the F150 towed like a dream IMO. Yes a super duty probably wouldve been much “beefier” but I was extremely impressed with how well my truck handled it all. I think the experience wouldve been worse without the propride antisway hitch, due to the extreme winds we experienced in idaho and Wyoming but the truck handled acceleration, climbing, and hill descent just fine. I probably wouldnt go up any further in trailer size/weight without upgrading my truck, but this combo is working for me.

Edit: I also had les schwab add airlift airbags to the back suspension for about $750 and it makes a huge difference with bouncing and levels out my truck (headlights arent lifted so high anymore)
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Old 11-17-2021, 12:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Oregon_dude View Post
Good stuff Phil. I have a ‘18 F150 lariat with max tow package.

I had never towed a large trailer before and we drove from Portland to Denver last month, to buy our first (used) 28RBT Flying cloud. ~6000 dry/7600 max.

It came with a propride hitch which was amazing to use. Drove all the way back with it and the F150 towed like a dream IMO. Yes a super duty probably wouldve been much “beefier” but I was extremely impressed with how well my truck handled it all. I think the experience wouldve been worse without the propride antisway hitch, due to the extreme winds we experienced in idaho and Wyoming but the truck handled acceleration, climbing, and hill descent just fine. I probably wouldnt go up any further in trailer size/weight without upgrading my truck, but this combo is working for me.

Edit: I also had les schwab add airlift airbags to the back suspension for about $750 and it makes a huge difference with bouncing and levels out my truck (headlights arent lifted so high anymore)
Interesting on the airlift bags. I have a 2020 F150 with roadmaster suspension system. Do the airbags cut down on the bumpiness of the ride? Curious.

Also I have a 28’ with Propride. It’s a great combination for our use. It’s a bit short on payload, but my wife and I don’t go for long periods. Don’t need to take much. Just load up light balky stuff in the bed and put the rest in the trailer.
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Old 11-17-2021, 09:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Oregon_dude View Post
Good stuff Phil. I have a ‘18 F150 lariat with max tow package.

I had never towed a large trailer before and we drove from Portland to Denver last month, to buy our first (used) 28RBT Flying cloud. ~6000 dry/7600 max.

It came with a propride hitch which was amazing to use. Drove all the way back with it and the F150 towed like a dream IMO. Yes a super duty probably wouldve been much “beefier” but I was extremely impressed with how well my truck handled it all. I think the experience wouldve been worse without the propride antisway hitch, due to the extreme winds we experienced in idaho and Wyoming but the truck handled acceleration, climbing, and hill descent just fine. I probably wouldnt go up any further in trailer size/weight without upgrading my truck, but this combo is working for me.

Edit: I also had les schwab add airlift airbags to the back suspension for about $750 and it makes a huge difference with bouncing and levels out my truck (headlights arent lifted so high anymore)
Wow, that's a good size rig but with the max tow, I'm guessing you have the 3.5ECO. That's a nice motor. As to crosswinds, that's one of the things I'm waiting to experience to see how well my sway control is setup. There were some crosswinds coming from the NW on one of our days as we headed west so they hit more like at a shear angle than a true crosswind, and I think they were only 12-15 mph tops. I hardly noticed them.
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Old 11-18-2021, 01:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Daquenzer View Post
Interesting on the airlift bags. I have a 2020 F150 with roadmaster suspension system. Do the airbags cut down on the bumpiness of the ride? Curious.

Also I have a 28’ with Propride. It’s a great combination for our use. It’s a bit short on payload, but my wife and I don’t go for long periods. Don’t need to take much. Just load up light balky stuff in the bed and put the rest in the trailer.
The airbags make a big difference on the bounce down the hwy, but not so much with bumps in the road if tat makes sense. If anything they have a springier response when i hit a speed bump when not towing the trailer. The highway bouncing is not completely eliminated but it smooths it out significantly. I didnt get them put on till we got home to oregon. The guy I bought the trailer from, suggested the airbags as he had them too.

Yeah my payload rating is 1541 which leaves me with roughly 600 lbs after the propride hitch and the 899 tongue weight. But we dont have a ton of gear to carry in the truck.
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Old 11-18-2021, 01:20 AM   #6
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Yes its the 3.5 ecoboost v6.

Also dont get me wrong, i was white knuckling through most of WY and ID! My first time towing a huge expensive trailer in that wind was unnerving but i managed to tow 60-65mph consistently after i got the feel for it. But I think without the propride i wouldve been driving 25 mph i have since relaxed significantly on subsequent trips nearby.
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Old 11-18-2021, 07:42 AM   #7
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That’s funny. Though I’m not white knuckling and am satisfied with my TV’s performance, there remains something unnerving about towing that shiny, expensive aluminum can behind me! But that’s on me, not the TV. 🤣
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Old 11-18-2021, 08:15 AM   #8
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Glad to hear that you had a good towing experience! I think a 1/2 ton truck is generally the right size for a 23 footer. I'm very pleased with the way that my GMC 1500 tows my 23 FB.

I found your comments on the electronic sway control to be interesting. I've got electronic stability control and electronic sway control on my truck and I've never disabled these features when towing with my Blue Ox Sway Pro. My truck doesn't feel light at all in the front end, and it tows very smoothly. Electronic anti-sway never been activated on my truck, which is a good thing. My understanding of the GMC system (which may be different from the Ford system) is that it will automatically apply the trailer brakes in the event that trailer sway is detected, which should help to mitigate sway without intervention by the driver. I'm not sure why it would make the front end of the truck feel lighter.

Many things can impact the way that your rig feels and handles. I've got 1,000 lb. spring bars on my Blue Ox, and I keep my chains set on the 8th link. I've tried it on the 7th and the 9th link, and the 8th gives me the right balance of weight distribution and ride quality. I've been to the CAT scale multiple times in with various loads and I'm impressed with the weight distribution to the front axle and to the trailer axle(s) by the Blue Ox.
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Old 11-18-2021, 06:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dennis C View Post
Glad to hear that you had a good towing experience! I think a 1/2 ton truck is generally the right size for a 23 footer. I'm very pleased with the way that my GMC 1500 tows my 23 FB.

I found your comments on the electronic sway control to be interesting. I've got electronic stability control and electronic sway control on my truck and I've never disabled these features when towing with my Blue Ox Sway Pro. My truck doesn't feel light at all in the front end, and it tows very smoothly. Electronic anti-sway never been activated on my truck, which is a good thing. My understanding of the GMC system (which may be different from the Ford system) is that it will automatically apply the trailer brakes in the event that trailer sway is detected, which should help to mitigate sway without intervention by the driver. I'm not sure why it would make the front end of the truck feel lighter.

Many things can impact the way that your rig feels and handles. I've got 1,000 lb. spring bars on my Blue Ox, and I keep my chains set on the 8th link. I've tried it on the 7th and the 9th link, and the 8th gives me the right balance of weight distribution and ride quality. I've been to the CAT scale multiple times in with various loads and I'm impressed with the weight distribution to the front axle and to the trailer axle(s) by the Blue Ox.


Thanks for this input. I hadn’t thought about what the Ford anti sway does but it looks like it doesn’t just action the trailer brake but might also selectively apply brakes on the TV as it does with the traction control. I honestly don’t know but after I turned it off, the jitters in the steering were gone.
Currently, the whole setup is level but I’ve wondered about playing with the number of links. I’ll have to take an afternoon at my local Love’s testing the changes in how the weight is distributed. I too have the 1000 lb spring bars.
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Old 11-19-2021, 07:00 PM   #10
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Yeah my payload rating is 1541 which leaves me with roughly 600 lbs after the propride hitch and the 899 tongue weight. But we dont have a ton of gear to carry in the truck.
I hope you realize that all the occupants of the cab (driver, navigator, etc) also count as payload.
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Old 12-06-2021, 03:15 PM   #11
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I have read several threads about trailer anti-sway systems and also equalizer hitches.

I have towed trucks and cars on car trailers, trucks and cars on tow dollies, my 22’ AS, and pulled 40’ trailers with semi tractors (I have a “commercial” or Class A license).

The only 2 times I’ve had a problem with fishtailing / swaying is when I towed a car backwards (rear first) on a tow dolly to avoid removing the driveshaft; and recently towing a small utility trailer (moved the load closer to the tongue).

My 2012 RAM tows my 22’ CCD with ease AND exceptional stability, towing with ONLY the basic hitch. Out here in the desert, even semi trucks end up on their sides…. not from lack of anti-sway, but from driving in unsafe conditions from high cross winds or precipitation.

I’ve watched the vids on youtub which illustrate fishtailing / swaying due to improper trailer balance.

I’ve looked at hitch manufacturers’ sites and one I found even states that the equalizer allows you to load the hitch greater than it’s rating.

The physics of these hitches forces the trailer frame to distribute weight AND downward forces from road surface anomalies in a way that the frame was not designed for. If one looks at bare trailer frames, none have strength-adding members. Every time a TV and trailer drive onto a road from a driveway with a gutter dip, extra force is being applied to the trailer tongue and frame.

From what I have found, the ONLY reason to use a WDH is to tow a trailer with an inappropriate towing vehicle. Properly matched and equipped TV’s do not need equalizers.

Semi trucks DO NOT use equalizers nor anti-sway equipment.

The trend I see in the RV world is one of increased danger to the owners, their passengers, and the public near them, because people are doing a job (towing) with inappropriate equipment (towing vehicles). Equalizers are band-aids covering up weak links and causing hidden damage.
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Old 12-06-2021, 07:26 PM   #12
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A semi is more akin to a fifth wheel, which also does not use a WD/sway control hitch. Neither are fitting analogies to attaching a 6000-8000 lb trailer to a 2-1/2”or 2-5/8” ball hanging off the back of any pickup. I’m not disagreeing that “some” might use the WD hitch as a bandaid but they also offer sway control which I think is a nice comfort to hedge against what the trailer might want to do while attached to that tiny shiny thing on the back.
At the end of the day, I’ve observed most everyone here is just an arm chair quarterback with little academic or engineering training to offer advice. That is not to diminish the very valuable input I’ve received from some folks here. There is a lot to be said for experience. But it has also become a “safe space” for lots of opinions.
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Old 12-07-2021, 05:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ndcctrucks View Post
I have read several threads about trailer anti-sway systems and also equalizer hitches.

I have towed trucks and cars on car trailers, trucks and cars on tow dollies, my 22’ AS, and pulled 40’ trailers with semi tractors (I have a “commercial” or Class A license).

The only 2 times I’ve had a problem with fishtailing / swaying is when I towed a car backwards (rear first) on a tow dolly to avoid removing the driveshaft; and recently towing a small utility trailer (moved the load closer to the tongue).

My 2012 RAM tows my 22’ CCD with ease AND exceptional stability, towing with ONLY the basic hitch. Out here in the desert, even semi trucks end up on their sides…. not from lack of anti-sway, but from driving in unsafe conditions from high cross winds or precipitation.

I’ve watched the vids on youtub which illustrate fishtailing / swaying due to improper trailer balance.

I’ve looked at hitch manufacturers’ sites and one I found even states that the equalizer allows you to load the hitch greater than it’s rating.

The physics of these hitches forces the trailer frame to distribute weight AND downward forces from road surface anomalies in a way that the frame was not designed for. If one looks at bare trailer frames, none have strength-adding members. Every time a TV and trailer drive onto a road from a driveway with a gutter dip, extra force is being applied to the trailer tongue and frame.

From what I have found, the ONLY reason to use a WDH is to tow a trailer with an inappropriate towing vehicle. Properly matched and equipped TV’s do not need equalizers.

Semi trucks DO NOT use equalizers nor anti-sway equipment.

The trend I see in the RV world is one of increased danger to the owners, their passengers, and the public near them, because people are doing a job (towing) with inappropriate equipment (towing vehicles). Equalizers are band-aids covering up weak links and causing hidden damage.


I don't agree with comparing commercial 5th wheel geometry with bumper pull travel trailers.

A level trailer going up or down a normal grade will not damage a trailer A frame if it uses a WDH system. It's a spring system and it moves freely and is not a rigid thing.

A commercial truck frame is 5 times heavier duty than any light truck and can support and stabalize tons of cargo due to redundant dual wheels and rigid frames. The trailer is also designed for the load being carried accross its frame and is loaded specifically to maintain an equal distribution.

Light vehicles are not designed this way, towing from far back as possible. This needs weight distribution and is recognized by anyone familiar with this configuration.

While it is correct, if you have a perfectly centered load such as a toyota camry in a car hauler, you dont need weight distribution because you can move the vehicle back and forth to load and unload the hitch ball, and to some extent a travel trailer. However you cant distribute the weight that is already permanently attached like a water tank. Moving cargo in a trailer will only accomplish so much.

Thats when you need to distribute the weight with the WDH system.

ETA: I too have a Class A CDL and have towed at 110,000LBS gross, all the way down to mower trailers. Comparing such drastic difference in weight and vehicle configurations is not all that productive.
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Old 12-07-2021, 07:43 PM   #14
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I run big trucks for 52 years….doubles and triples..wiggle wagons..dump truck and pup…7&8 axles….uses a pintal hitch…handles like a dream..the truck weighs more than the trailer..55,500. And 43500 on the pup..there is very little weight on the tongue…with my 2013 31’ airstream Classic and 2500 2017 ram 4x4 6.7. The tv weighs more than the as….the Reese duel cam hitch puts weight back on the front axle…I been using these hitch’s since 1970….and my tow vehicles have always been more than adequate….
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Old 12-08-2021, 08:34 AM   #15
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If weight distribution was a necessity, then it would be a mandatory appliance. It would be standard equipment from the dealer, like brake lights. (Watch: someone here will go to their state representative demanding this become vehicle code law)

I expected a lot of rebuttals; no surprise. Lots of people do things which make them comfortable instead of what’s correct.

I have not yet seen one WDH in any pics of Wally Byam convoys. They travelled the world.

You don’t see them being used on bumper-pull cargo trailers or toy haulers.

Is there no control of the placement of weight of a water tank? No. But can you control the distribution of loose items and place them forward of the axles? Yes.

You guys want use WDH’s, do it.

BUT: Many people, new and seasoned, think that the only way to tow safely is with WDH; but look at all the threads of wrong set-up and problems, none of which would have happened if the trailer and towing vehicle matched.

Just because the masses do a thing doesn’t mean it’s right, especially when there’s profit to be had (WDH manufacturers).

Nor necessary.
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Old 12-08-2021, 10:06 AM   #16
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So are WDH’s a bandaid for a bad setup as stated in your first post or unnecessary as stated in your second? Weight distribution aside, which seems to be your focus, WDH’s also offer sway control, as I stated in my last post. Not just sway from poor weight distribution but from cross winds and other phenomena. Plenty of people tow without WDH’s and do fine. Let them.

The government doesn’t require disc brakes on autos, but manufacturers install them by default because they perform better and are safer than drum brakes. So what’s the cost of a little more safety? If I can afford an AS, I should be willing to pony up the money for the right TV and safety equipment.

Cheers,
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Old 12-08-2021, 10:40 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ndcctrucks View Post
If weight distribution was a necessity, then it would be a mandatory appliance. It would be standard equipment from the dealer, like brake lights. (Watch: someone here will go to their state representative demanding this become vehicle code law)

I expected a lot of rebuttals; no surprise. Lots of people do things which make them comfortable instead of what’s correct.

I have not yet seen one WDH in any pics of Wally Byam convoys. They travelled the world.

You don’t see them being used on bumper-pull cargo trailers or toy haulers.

Is there no control of the placement of weight of a water tank? No. But can you control the distribution of loose items and place them forward of the axles? Yes.

You guys want use WDH’s, do it.

BUT: Many people, new and seasoned, think that the only way to tow safely is with WDH; but look at all the threads of wrong set-up and problems, none of which would have happened if the trailer and towing vehicle matched.

Just because the masses do a thing doesn’t mean it’s right, especially when there’s profit to be had (WDH manufacturers).

Nor necessary.
Your seatbelt also seem not necessary to you; only need it in an accident, right? Same with WDH and anti sway...it is another level of safety for towing larger AS's and other TT's. Because you don't use one, nor see the need, does not mean they don't provide added value while towing.

Have you ever had to radically swerve to avoid a situation coming down a mountain at highway speeds while towing?? Many of us have and I can attest the WDH with Anti Sway saved our "bacon" on 2 occasions while running at highway speeds, towing a 25' and currant 28' AS's. Just makes good sense, is recommended by several vehicle manufacturers when towing, and yes, highly touted by many of us "believers" here, thru experience.
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