We have a 28 foot 1998 Salem By Forest River. 6500# Pulling it with a 1/2 ton suburban. Comeing home from the lake this last wk we experienced a huge amount of sway. We inspected the trailer when we got home. noticed that the frame was tweaking and twisting around when we shook the rear of the trailer, while still connected to the truck. A local weld shop helped me to beef up the twisting frame. While the shop had the trailer, a new set of heavy duty tires was added to the truck. This has helped immensely. I am wondering about a better sway controll system. I have a eaz-lift weight dist. hitch with a friction type of sway controll divice. would another friction controll divice help?? We are very careful not to load the rear of the trailer, and never carry water or grey water in the tanks. can someone help??
I would sell the existing hitch and purchase either a Reese DualCam hitch or an Equalizer Hitch. Yes, you can add another friction type device to your existing hitch, but that is going to cost you over $100 which you would probably be better off putting toward a better hitch.
Here are a couple of URL's that may help you. http://www.disneycampers.com/RV/Hitch%20Guide.htm
Also, before you go spending any money, check that you have your hitch set up properly, that your tounge weight on the trailer is at least 10-15% of trailer weight, that your trailer and truck are level, and that your tires are properly aired up. Any one of these things can cause a rig to be prone to sway.
Hope this help you out. Good luck.
By the way, welcome to the forum. There are a lot of great people here and a ton of excellent advice. Good to have you aboard!
*This Message was edited on 07-Jun-02 08:29 PM by bsmith0337*
You didn't give much info concerning your rig, but IMHO you have too much trailer for your tow vehicle. I suggest the you take all your specs for the Suburban and trailer and read the many threads in this excellent forum concerning weights and lengths - then compare to your rig. It MAY be that sway control may only be the beginning of your problems.
Good luck and take care!
Hank & Pat in New Hampshire wishing you-all safe journeys: Toyota Tundra (V-8, 4wd, 4.75L.,245 hp) Roadmaster Active Suspension; Nash 22H travel trailer, PullRite Hitch, Prodigy Brake Controller.
We would never tow a single axle trailer of significant weight again.
WHEN IN TROUBLE - WHEN IN DOUBT - RUN IN CIRCLES - SCREAM AND SHOUT!
You didn't mention what model year Suburban you have. I have a 1999 1/2 ton Suburban 4x4 with a 3.73 rear end. Prior to the 2000 model year, this vehicle pulls a max. trailer weight of under 6,500 pounds. The 2000-2002 models can pull just under 7,400 pounds. If your truck is a '99 or older, you have a serious weight issue. If it's a 2000 or newer, you're right at your max and maybe a little over when loaded.
I just purchased at 27' Tahoe (5000lbs dry) so my set up is similar to yours. My entire rig is amazingly stable. Dry, my hitch weight is just over 15% of total vehicle weight. Slightly more if I have some water in the fresh water tank.
I had to increase to 1,000lb sping bars on my weight distribution system, but with the trailer and truck level and a standard friction sway control, I have no problem, even with strong winds on the freeway.
Having said all that, the first thing I'd look into if I were you is your trailer tongue weight vs. total weight. If you're under 12%, this is most likely your problem. Fortunately, this was one of the things I checked before purchasing my trailer. If it's extremely low, you're going to have a hard time stabilzing the sway on your rig.
You didn`t mention the year of your Suburban was but my last 1/2 ton only could pull 6500#!
Also if your frame flexes that much no amount of hitching will compensate for that! I would recommend a Hensley Arrow to you But, you may be to high on weight already and that would add 200# more to your total! If you have your flex fixed and you vehicle has the capacity, you can`t do much better than the H .A. Towing system!
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Camping World sells a 'Tongue Weight Scale' that is good up to 2,000 pounds. Here is the link to see the scale. Otherwise you would go to a scale, and drop just the tongue on the scale and see what the weight is. Or, if it is a truck scale, which will be multi-sectional, make sure the tongue is on its own platform, and you will not only get the tongue weight, but the axle weight as well, then add both for the total weight of your trailer. I made the link 'clickable' for ease of use. Hope this helps. Pricey, but neat gadget to have.