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towing a travel trailer cross country


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Hello

I was looking for some pointers on towing a travel trailer for a long trip

Truck:

19 Silverado 1500 LT crew cab 4x4

Payload: 1979

Max tow: 9879 (gvwr-curbweight)

Camper:

30ftx10ft travel trailer (outside dimensions)

Empty wight: 5350

Loaded weight: 7530

 

The day I picked my camper 100miles away from home I decided to not to use a weight distribution hitch (very bad idea) I was swaying so bad had to slow down to 45 on some streachs luckly I was  on back roads. I was so surprised that a camper almost half the weight my pickup is rated to tow was causing me to sway. Nevertheless I ordered a WDH the second I made it home. But my ordered got cancelled few times so I ended up buying the harbor freight one which looks identical to curt. I also bought the sway bar.

 

Set it up exactly like the instructions said and after watching 10s of videos. And I got dialed down really good.

 

Now I took it down the highway for some test runs going 55~60mph it felt alright as long as there is no cars passing. Back roads going 55 even 65 cars passing me the opposite direction has almost no effect on the sway. But for some reason cars that over take me down the interstate made the truck ass squirmy. These test runs were done with only me 200lbs and my son 150lbs in the truck. Camper was completely empty.

 

I towed lots of heavy loads with this truck. Loaders excavators all in town, granted I didn't go faster than 55 or even 50. I never experienced what I am experiencing with my camper. Maybe because most my towing were short distance maybe because my camper is an empty 30ftx11ft sail

 

 

My questions are:

1. Is this normal? And just have to deal with it?

2. Is this too much load for my truck? Especially for long distance

3. What would you do on a windy day or a ND day? It is always windy here

4. During rain and weather in general is the norm to pull over and wait?

 

Just wondering what everyone doing in general and if someone have a similar setup and have story to share.

 

Thanks, Moe

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What's the tongue weight dry?  Shoot for tongue  at least 12% of your wet weight.  I rented a 27ft TT that swayed just like that until I realized the tw is not enough.  Fresh water tank is up front fi

Bash me if you like but you need a quality weight distribution hitch with built in sway control, like a blue ox or a 4 point equalizer brand hitch. As previous noted tongue weight has to be correct a

Another brake bar is not a substitute for a real quality weight distribution hitch. You can usually find a used one relatively cheap. Believe me I have spent more time and effort trying to make a cra

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What's the tongue weight dry?  Shoot for tongue  at least 12% of your wet weight.  I rented a 27ft TT that swayed just like that until I realized the tw is not enough.  Fresh water tank is up front filled it 1/2 perfect tow.

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1 hour ago, calgator73 said:

What's the tongue weight dry?  Shoot for tongue  at least 12% of your wet weight.  I rented a 27ft TT that swayed just like that until I realized the tw is not enough.  Fresh water tank is up front filled it 1/2 perfect tow.

I will have to try that, don't have a way to measure tongue weight at the house so i will have to take it to the cat scale

 

 

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Bash me if you like but you need a quality weight distribution hitch with built in sway control, like a blue ox or a 4 point equalizer brand hitch. As previous noted tongue weight has to be correct and trailer should be level. Setting up the hitch properly will require a trip to a weight scale. The sway bar you refer to I assume is one of the brake type bars, I honestly tried one and it helped but it really a bandaid on top of a bandaid. Lastly a 30 foot trailer with a half ton is marginal at best. I tried it and moved to a 3/4 ton. Just my two cents but pulling an RV is the reason I will never buy another 1/2 ton truck.


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7 hours ago, Moend said:

I will have to try that, don't have a way to measure tongue weight at the house so i will have to take it to the cat scale

 

 

Random has a good point.  One other thing to look at is tires.  Soft passenger tires are squirmy at high loads.

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8 hours ago, randomledders said:

Bash me if you like but you need a quality weight distribution hitch with built in sway control, like a blue ox or a 4 point equalizer brand hitch. As previous noted tongue weight has to be correct and trailer should be level. Setting up the hitch properly will require a trip to a weight scale. The sway bar you refer to I assume is one of the brake type bars, I honestly tried one and it helped but it really a bandaid on top of a bandaid. Lastly a 30 foot trailer with a half ton is marginal at best. I tried it and moved to a 3/4 ton. Just my two cents but pulling an RV is the reason I will never buy another 1/2 ton truck.


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I hear ya. Upgrading to a 3/4 to is on the table but I want to make sure camping or rving is something we like before getting a new truck. And about the hitch I think I might just order another brake bar to install it on the other side. So I will have 2 total

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1 hour ago, calgator73 said:

Random has a good point.  One other thing to look at is tires.  Soft passenger tires are squirmy at high loads.

I do have stock tires and my next set of tires going to be load E tires which is coming up soon here 24k miles on the truck. I usually run tires 30~35k

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I have the equalizer 4 point on my setup. I'm about 6500lbs loaded on the camper and its approx. 28 ft overall tip to tail. The only time I've had an issue pulling is when a larger vehicle(i.e. semi/diesel pusher) passes us...the change in air pressure between the vehicles has a tendency to pull us over towards them briefly but it comes right back. I'm used to it now so I know to be prepared and compensate for it.

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I tow a similar weight travel trailer. Some tips. 

Make sure your tongue weight is at least 12% of the trailer weight. It sounds like you are too light on the tongue.

When you set up your hitch make the truck and trailer dead level. 

Get some better tires on the truck. LT tires are better than P rated tires for towing. That's a fact. 

Don't be in a race to get there. I see guys in  diesels towing a 36 foot travel trailer going 75+ mph on the interstate and I just shake my head. Fools. You got a 30 foot trailer weighing over 3 tons. I wouldn't even try going over 65 mph. Tires are speed rated to 65mph usually. Goodyear Endurance are the best and some are rated to 80. 

The wind is your enemy. You need to be on your game if it gets windy. It don't take much more than a 25mph side gust of wind to blow that trailer around like a rag doll. You probably should park it if its above 30. I would.

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thank you guys, it sounds like i should be replacing my WDH and i will be putting an LT tries before taking off, I will also take it the CAT scale to make sure tongue weight is approx 12% - as far as speed I am on vacation so getting to my next stop an hour or two late better than putting my family in danger - we even thought of having a back up plan in case we needed to stop for an extended period of time.

 

does anyone uses helper spring or airbags - sumospring is what i am looking for

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The passing vehicle "suck" is normal.  Nothing can be done about that.  Too bad you couldn't get a bigger fuel tank, as stopping every 200 miles will surely get old fast.  

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This is what I pull. Jayco 25RB. 6000lbs dry, about 6800 loaded with gear. Recurve R3 weight distribution hitch. Truck handles everything just fine. It looks like its sagging pretty good in photo however this is due to the dip in the parking lot. While towing, it's pretty flat. 

Jayco 25RB.jpg

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