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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > I brought home my new TT and I'm afraid of it!

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tomman58

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 02/23/12 01:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

taken wrote:

Friction sway control is fine for a small utility trailer etc. It is just about useless on a full size TT. I would recommend the Equalizer E4 hitch setup. Works as well as the Reese Dual Cam setup but is light years easier to set up. You can easily do it yourself with no help other than reading the directions. Should cost you a touch under $500 and will eliminate sway altogether. As far as the OD button. Most manufacturers say to have it off when towing. It will be listed in your owners manual. You never need to switch gears manually. Your auto will do it just like when you aren't towing. Ok, brake control. Tow slowly down the road about 8-10 mph. Slide the control all the way to max. If your tires on the trailer lock, it is set to high. If not, you can raise it until they do lock. What you want is for the max braking at full boost without the brakes locking. It's a very easy procedure. Just keep raising it until the brakes lock and then back it off a notch and test again. If they don't lock then your properly set. Other than that, go to a large parking lot as suggested and practice. When you get proper wd/sway control you will be much more confident, I can assure you. That is your biggest problem. Here is a link to the best price on the web and you can read about the hitch. Equalizer Hitch


I have used "Friction" sway control on all my trailers but what do I know as I have traveled in 50mph winds, huge storms and about 90,000 miles in about every state in the union. I travel at 65mph most of the time (conditions allowing).
My trailer presently in sig is over 32' long and isn't a 5er, been on the road for longer than most LOL


2008 Silverado D/A,CC 4x4 ,3.73,IBC LTZ+
2012 Jayco 322 FKS
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It must be time to go, the suns out and I've got a full tank of diesel!
Lifes short enough without bitch'n about it!


jerem0621

Tennessee

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Posted: 02/23/12 01:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tomman58 wrote:

taken wrote:

Friction sway control is fine for a small utility trailer etc. It is just about useless on a full size TT. I would recommend the Equalizer E4 hitch setup. Works as well as the Reese Dual Cam setup but is light years easier to set up. You can easily do it yourself with no help other than reading the directions. Should cost you a touch under $500 and will eliminate sway altogether. As far as the OD button. Most manufacturers say to have it off when towing. It will be listed in your owners manual. You never need to switch gears manually. Your auto will do it just like when you aren't towing. Ok, brake control. Tow slowly down the road about 8-10 mph. Slide the control all the way to max. If your tires on the trailer lock, it is set to high. If not, you can raise it until they do lock. What you want is for the max braking at full boost without the brakes locking. It's a very easy procedure. Just keep raising it until the brakes lock and then back it off a notch and test again. If they don't lock then your properly set. Other than that, go to a large parking lot as suggested and practice. When you get proper wd/sway control you will be much more confident, I can assure you. That is your biggest problem. Here is a link to the best price on the web and you can read about the hitch. Equalizer Hitch


I have used "Friction" sway control on all my trailers but what do I know as I have traveled in 50mph winds, huge storms and about 90,000 miles in about every state in the union. I travel at 65mph most of the time (conditions allowing).
My trailer presently in sig is over 32' long and isn't a 5er, been on the road for longer than most LOL


Friction sway does a pretty good job of dampening the movement of the trailer and goes a long way to tighten up the connection between the tv and the TT. I have dual friction sway control and my rig is very stable while towing. Friction sway is a great alternative to no sway control and for the majority of WD hitches it is the only easy option.

With that said I am going to be adding dual cam sway control to my rig and removing the friction bars. The main reason is because I want the most control I can get. And my hitch head design causes the friction bars to crash into the mounts on tight turns and backing up.

I have no problems pulling with the friction bars. I think that is where a lot of folks go wrong with friction bars. If your trailer is longer than 24-25 ft you really need 2.

Thanks!


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Ron Gratz

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Posted: 02/23/12 02:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

me and my boys wrote:

Ron, My dealer shut off the air suspension and told me to keep it off.---
The online Owners Manual for the 2008 Expedition states:

The air suspension system can be enabled or disabled through the
message center. Refer to Message center in the Driver Controls chapter.

If the system is off, the rear air suspension will not operate and will not raise (pump) or lower (vent) while the vehicle is not moving. However, if the system determines that the vehicle is low or high and needs to make a height adjustment while driving at speeds above 15 mph (24 km/h), the system will pump or vent as required. Normal vehicle operation does not require any action by the driver.
(Underline added for emphasis.)

I interpret this to mean that, although the system is "disabled", the system still will raise the rear of the vehicle to its preset height if the speed exceeds 15 mph. If this is correct, the air suspension system might interfer with the operation of a weight distribution hitch. In particular, if the air suspension raises the rear of the TV, that would cause a reduction in load transfer to the front axle and to the TT's axles.

Do you know how the trailer dealer "shut off" the air suspension? If he disabled the system via the message center, the system is not really "off" at highway speeds. If he removed electrical power to the system, it truly would be "off" -- but I think Ford would recommend against this practice.

To add to the confusion, the Owners Manual states:

Weight distributing hitch
When hooking up a trailer using a load equalizing hitch, always use the following procedure:
1. Park the unloaded vehicle on a level surface. With the ignition in the ON position and all doors closed, allow the vehicle to stand (without passengers) for several minutes so that it can level.
2. Turn the air suspension (if equipped) control to OFF.
3. Measure the height of a reference point on the front and rear bumpers at the center of the vehicle.
4. Attach the trailer to the vehicle and adjust the hitch equalizers so that the front bumper height is within a 1/2” (13 mm) of the reference point. After proper adjustment, the rear bumper should be no higher than in Step 3.
5. Turn the air suspension (if equipped) control to ON.
Note: Adjusting a weight distributing hitch so the rear bumper of the vehicle is higher than it was unloaded will defeat the function of the weight distributing hitch and may cause unpredictable handling.


IMO, this procedure also will allow the rear of the TV to rise after the WDH is adjusted -- partially defeating the function of the WDH. Step 4 contains the key specification, "adjust the hitch equalizers so that the front bumper height is within a 1/2” (13 mm) of the reference point." This height should be checked with the engine running, after driving for a distance at a speed in excess of 15 mph. If the front is higher than the height to which it was set in Step 4, the air suspension has caused load to be removed from the front end.

You might want to check with Ford to see if the air suspension does if fact operate above 15 mph even though it is "disabled" via the message center.

Ron

* This post was edited 02/23/12 02:13pm by Ron Gratz *

LaunchnRetrieve

Sonoma County, CA

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Posted: 02/24/12 07:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Aside from properly adjusted hitches and tire pressures and experience, the best thing I ever did was have my friend with towing experience go for a drive with me sharing his knowledge as we played around with different scenarios. Very little time, a little fun with a friend and fear-factor dropped hugely.

The next best thing I did was take my trailer to an empty parking lot and play around with backing and parking.

And finally, I swallowed my pride and allowed other rv.net types to give me advice when I found myself struggling in campgrounds. I learned some good stuff from some of those guys and gals.

This is the real finally. Relax. You're not going to flip it!


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Coyotecprs

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Posted: 02/24/12 07:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would recommend weighing on a scale to get an idea what is really happening. You need to weigh expy (no trailer), expy (trailer no WDH engaged), expy (trailer with WDH engaged). You can make adjustment from there. But I would want to drive with the air system engaged because you would likely hook it up with the air system deflated too much.


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Mark and Linda

Smyrna, Tennessee

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Posted: 02/24/12 02:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

me and my boys wrote:

Let me start by saying that I've never towed before. My TV is a 2008 Expedition with tow package, TT is a 2012 layton joey 268. The dealer put a Reese WD with an anti-sway bar and Primus brake control. I have alot to learn about towing,most of the posts about towing confuse me more and raise my anxiety that i am going to flip it. I need the do's and don'ts of towing specific to my setup. My TV felt like it floated all the way home, tossed around like I was in a tornado. I have NO clue what I'm doing and I dont want to tow until I'm schooled. I'm disappointed in my dealer, i feel misguided. He was made aware that I never towed before. My brief lesson consisted of "turn the dial of the brake control until it feels right,don't go too fast, take off the sway bar when backing in and have fun" Any advice or suggested books to buy would be greatly appreciated.


We just moved up from a PUP to a TT. I have a driveway with about 10 ft. between ditches in the front. I got use to backing my PUP into the driveway and placing it where I wanted with our Dodge Caravan. My first adventure with it was to a campground not far away. I did everything myself while DW was at work. I did practice a little with it before I got there. Now...we bought a 27 ft. TT...I backed it into the drive while DW watched with some hand signals. The other day I hooked up myself, pulled it up and backed down the drive, then back it to a spot I wanted. Like it has been mentioned, get out with your rig and practice some, get the feel of it, try a two lane road, four lane. Not everyone was born an expert...neither was I. When I was towing my PUP...I became one of the guys I always talked about. Be careful, use the mirrors, watch your cornering...and have fun.

shutdown

In The Dog House

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Posted: 03/02/12 01:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One more suggestion. Air the rear tires to the max PSI on the side wall of the tire. may help.

passport2590bh

Florida

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Posted: 03/02/12 02:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All these people telling you to practice in a parking lot
Sounds like his issue is on the highway, not backing into the campsite. Check the kind of tires on your expedition, air pressure, hitch set up, tongue weight of trailer.


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KilroyGuy

Arkansas

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Posted: 03/02/12 03:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know a guy who went to the dealer to pick up his first trailer --- a 34-foot fifth wheel. They hooked his brand new diesel truck to it, he looked at it and freaked. He left the dealer with the fiver still there. To make a long story short he wound up spending $1,200 to take some training (with his rig) at one of those CDL driving schools. He now is probably the safest guy on the road and is thrilled with the whole thing.

dewatkins

Dallas Texas

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Posted: 03/02/12 05:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mandalay Parr wrote:

I suggest you find some others with towing experience and have them help you. What you described is not proper for towing. Your rig should be stable.


If you really want some training there is the Escapees RVers' Boot Camp program.

Never been to it not an Escapees member just something I stumbled on.

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