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Looking for some advice to remove sway

Discussion in 'Towing & Hauling' started by jbluetooth, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Aug 6, 2018 at 11:38 AM
    #1
    jbluetooth

    jbluetooth [OP] New Member

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    Hello everyone. I'm a motorcycle racer who's been towing bikes to the track for a long time, but I consider myself a beginner when it comes to towing a big trailer. I upgraded from a small box trailer to a 22ft toy hauler a year ago and it came with a WD hitch and sway bar. The trailer weights around 6500 lbs empty, and upwards of 9500 fully loaded and full of water. The WD hitch is an old Reese system with 750lb trunnion bars that slide on friction pads, and there's also a small friction sway bar that attaches on the small ball on the side of the hitch. I have a 2014 Tundra with the smaller 4.7 V8. The trailer is front heavy for a bumper tow and has a lot of weight on the hitch, plus occasionally I have another bike in the back of my truck (though most of that weight is in front of the axle).

    I've been towing this for awhile now learning and doing what I can. At first, the handling was terrible. I played around with weight loading in the trailer a bit, and finally added airbags to the truck, then readjusted the weight distribution hitch to level out the truck and add some weight to the front wheels. This helped a lot, but at this time, I noticed that the spring bars were only 750 lb rated. I weight the truck and trailer loaded and I would guess that on average I have 1200-1500 lbs on the hitch, plus sometimes the bike in the back of the truck, but sometimes the hitch weight is probably higher than 1500 if I can't dump the Grey tank and it's full. My hitch weight could be as high as 2000 lbs. The truck pulls the weight fine, but since it's the smaller V8, it may not be setup as well for towing from the factory.

    After adding the airbags and readjusting, the truck pulls much better and straighter, but still sways pretty bad if I pass a semi, even at 55-65 mph. I want to fix this, hopefully without getting a new truck. I'm assuming the really undersized spring bars are hurting the effectiveness of this system, especially with a Tundra which is pretty light in the front compared to a big diesel. This style WD system seems to be pretty highly rated, however, I can only get 1200 lb bars for this setup. So I guess my question is do you think 1200 lb spring bars with this setup will correct the issue? Or should I look at a different distribution system that goes higher in weight, like the Reese Dual Cam 1700, or even something else? It doesn't seem like there are a lot of systems designed to handle this kind of tongue weight.

    Or is there something else entirely that I'm missing? I've been reading a bit, and it seems like maybe I should add rear sway bars to the truck? What do you guys think?

    Any input is appreciated. Thank you for your time!
    Jesse
     
  2. Aug 6, 2018 at 11:39 AM
    #2
    TheBeast

    TheBeast Dirtbag

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    add a Toyota rear sway bar. that will help a lot.
     
  3. Aug 6, 2018 at 11:55 AM
    #3
    jbluetooth

    jbluetooth [OP] New Member

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    Now that I write all this down and think about it a little more, I didn't realize I had the weight that far forward until I just weighed everything loaded and put the pieces together. There's some of this weight in the trailer that I can move behind the rear axles of the trailer to lower the tongue weight a little. I can probably get it down to 1200 lbs or less. I used to intentionally put a few things up front to make sure my center of mass was in front of the trailer axles but now I realize its way too far forward. So if I move a little weight back and get the tongue weight down to 1200 go upgrade to the 1200 lb bars, do you think that will solve my sway? Should I still add the Toyota rear sway bar?

    thanks!
     
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  4. Aug 6, 2018 at 1:05 PM
    #4
    TheBeast

    TheBeast Dirtbag

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    ColoradoTJ and 15whtrd like this.
  5. Aug 6, 2018 at 1:10 PM
    #5
    15whtrd

    15whtrd I tried being reasonable, but I didn't like it.

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    I think a swaybar would help as well as proportioning the load in the trailer properly. Also setting up your weight distribution hitch properly. But it sounds like you’re overloaded no matter what way you look at it. Especially since you put the bike in the back of the truck. ColoradoTJ can give you the proper advice.
     
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  6. Aug 6, 2018 at 1:11 PM
    #6
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ My balls was hot Staff Member

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    Sadly, your tongue weight is just to much. (Really glad you didn’t to a 5ver like some do on here)

    Not to get hammered like I normally do, there is a few things you can do.

    Please post up what year, make and model of TH you have.
     
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  7. Aug 6, 2018 at 1:13 PM
    #7
    15whtrd

    15whtrd I tried being reasonable, but I didn't like it.

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    OP, you have the 4.6 engine not the 4.7 FYI
     
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  8. Aug 6, 2018 at 1:31 PM
    #8
    jbluetooth

    jbluetooth [OP] New Member

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    Its interesting how sometimes you just have to write things down to realize what you're doing hehe. Right after posting this, my little brain put the pieces together and realized that now that I have the hitch installed correctly to match the airbags, I never checked my tongue weight until yesterday. And now that I see it's so high, I realize I probably just need to move some weight in the trailer back to lower the tongue weight. I did that today and will take another trip over to the scales to check if I'm more evenly distributed with a lower tongue weight. I'm hoping that's all it takes. As for the bike in the truck, that isn't part of my normal load. Usually I won't have it. So mainly just trying to sort out the sway problem with my normal load. And by sway, I mean, the truck pulls fine in a straight line. But when I drive past a semi, I get pulled toward it bad enough that I usually can see the semi swerve a little in my mirror. And gusts of wind push me around more than I would like. Also going downhill or decelerating, I can feel the front of the truck get light and I lose some stability. I'm hoping that's mainly due to the extra tongue weight and will now go away.

    Anything else? Is the rear truck sway bar important here? Or does that solve a different problem?
     
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  9. Aug 6, 2018 at 1:33 PM
    #9
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ My balls was hot Staff Member

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    Let me move to the laptop. Be right with you Jesse.
     
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  10. Aug 6, 2018 at 1:49 PM
    #10
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ My balls was hot Staff Member

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    You first need to find out exactly what your tongue weight is. Not an estimate, but cold hard numbers. Load everything up like you normally would, please do not try and remove tongue weight by moving to the back of the toy hauler. Load responsibly of coarse, not everything needs to be up front, but just use common sense. This will induce a sway that you might not recover from. Trust me on this one. I was pretty lazy one time cutting wood and tail loaded my 22' trailer pretty bad. Yep, I was removing wood and re-stacking on the side of the road. I was still pulling seat foam out of my ass a week later.

    After you find out how much overloaded you are, you have some options:

    -Different trailer
    -Different Truck

    In the mean time, keep anything from being over the rear axle on the truck. This adds to the LDH equation. I just plugged in your numbers at this site and they don't even make a LDH that meets your requirements.

    I put 9500 lbs, 1275 tongue weight, 250 in bed (assuming you race MX)


    https://www.equalizerhitch.com/find-your-hitch-size

    My 1 ton diesel has a LDH limit of 1500 lbs...if that tells you anything.
     
  11. Aug 6, 2018 at 2:06 PM
    #11
    jbluetooth

    jbluetooth [OP] New Member

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    Thank you,
    When I say move weight back, I mean because I have too much weight in the front of the trailer and the trailer isn't balanced like it should be. So I'm going to try to move weight behind the rear axle of the trailer so the trailer is better balanced, closer to neutral, with 600-1200 lbs over the tongue, around 6-12%. That should be better correct? From what I've read, more weight forward makes it more stable, but it seems I went too far, so I'm thinking I have to find the happy medium between stability, and not overloading the truck, axle, and hitch. Does that make sense?

    I weighed my truck and trailer yesterday, fully loaded, water still in the tanks, some in the grey tank, motorcycle in the bed. My truck weighs 5400 with me and a full tank of gas, the loaded truck and trailer was 15200, the trailer wheels were 8000. So that tells me with that load, with the motorcycle in the truck, I had 7200 lbs on the truck, minus the truck weight 5400, cargo in the truck 200, and motorcycle in the back 350 (sport bike), that I had about 1250 on the tongue, plus some of the weight in the truck. So I estimated on the high end saying around 1200-1500. If my grey water tank was full instead of half full, and I'm adding a second grey water tank, I figure worst case I'd have another 400 lbs on the tongue. So maybe the 1200 lb spring bars would be fine if I didn't have the bike in the truck and I move a little weight to the rear of the trailer. And maybe the 750 lb spring bars would be fine if I didn't have the bike in the truck and I move a lot of the weight back in the trailer. Does that all make sense?
     
  12. Aug 6, 2018 at 2:50 PM
    #12
    Berkdawg

    Berkdawg New Member

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    I used to also be affected terribly by the bow wave from semis with my TH. I have 1200 lb spring bars. I already had E rated tires so I pumped them up to 55-60 PSI and added Road Master Active Suspension. The RMAS was not adjustable as my front black water tanks filled, so I just switched to airbags. I no longer get the sway with the bags or the RMAS. My TH is 5800# dry but I do not have toys. Just everything my wife can stick in it.
     
  13. Aug 6, 2018 at 4:45 PM
    #13
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ My balls was hot Staff Member

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    I’ll get back with you on this one. It will be a long one.
     
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  14. Aug 6, 2018 at 11:08 PM
    #14
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ My balls was hot Staff Member

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    Sorry for the late response. My wife had a kink in her neck that needed to be worked out. Damn work stress.

    Your tongue weight should be 9-11% of your loaded trailer weight.

    Toy haulers are usually nose heavy anyway since they know people overload the shit out of them.

    My TH has a factory hitch rating of 725 lbs. After all options and whatever, still empty, I was like 825 lbs before I even put anything up front. I have never put more in the front (TH part is front loading) more than dogs and supplies. Not sure what the TH would tow like with another 1000 lbs on top of what it is now.

    That being said....

    9250 lbs is what I got from your description. At 10% TW, 925 lbs. I would need to see your yellow sticker inside the drivers door to see what the truck you have is rated for. However, this is Toyota’s specs:

    2D588A58-E2AF-4D9B-857C-C16363D3E33F.jpg

    Yours is the second one in from the right going in.

    Tongue weight, your pretty much maxed out, and from your gross combined weight, pretty close as well, and with the smaller V8.

    I’m not sure where you live, but I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt and guessing you live in flat land, no mountain passes, and closer to sea level (or under 4K ft of elevation).

    So let’s just get back to the math of this.

    You have a max tongue weight of 980 lbs and your setup is probably 900-925 lbs. pretty close to max, but still good, unless you weighted your truck separately, or put the trailer tongue jack only on the scale (or have a tongue weight scale) to get accurate readings.

    Payload, I would need to see what the sticker says inside your drivers door. However, if the Tundra is like most, let me give 1375 lbs.

    1375-925=450 left in capacity.

    150 lbs for you (sound young and need to be in shape to run tracks), so you have 300 lbs left. If you put a bike in the bed, you will be over. Cargo in cab of 200 lbs only leaves you with 100 lbs capacity. Hopefully you done plan on taking anyone else.

    Your weights are in check as long as the numbers are good.

    Bad thing is your maxed out in most categories. If in deed your tongue weight is 1200 lbs, you need way bigger trunion bars, and the truck is overloaded. The 725’s you have now are just way to low in rating.

    Air bags can help, but only if you use them a little. Think about it. The force pressing down on the bars is giving load distribution and sway control (except in your situation, and it sounds like you have round bar LDH with a friction sway control) Now raise the back end of the truck from the axle, your taking sprung weight off the LDH, and sway is easily happening.

    Now let’s just say your math is correct and you indeed have 1200 lbs of tongue weight. That just means your 200+ lbs overweight in tongue alone.

    I posted a link on a Nissan Titan XD a while back where a guy had a big load and heavy tongue weight and bent his frame. Food for thought.

    https://www.titanxdforum.com/forum/...-problems/20217-bent-frame.html#/topics/20217
     
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  15. Aug 7, 2018 at 2:52 PM
    #15
    jbluetooth

    jbluetooth [OP] New Member

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    Looks about right. I reloaded the trailer with weight as far back as possible for my load, and emptied the truck, put the bars back on, and weighed it again. Dropped the weight of the truck+tongue to 6340, so about 1000 extra pounds on the truck. However, the truck wasn't as stable driving like this. It rode more level through accelerating and braking, but was more prone to sway. I ordered the 1200 lb bars. I think a combination of the properly sizes bars, and readjusting them again (which will be able to send a little more weight back to the trailer and forward to the front of the truck, and somewhere in the middle of my rear loading and front loading, and I'll find a happy medium. But yeah, I realize I'm pretty much maxed out for this truck, that's why I'm trying to do what I can to keep it safe and properly loaded until I can get another truck.
    Thanks for all the help.
    Jesse
     
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  16. Aug 7, 2018 at 3:05 PM
    #16
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ My balls was hot Staff Member

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    No problem.
     
  17. Aug 8, 2018 at 10:54 AM
    #17
    scharring100

    scharring100 New Member

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    Do all TRD sway bars come in red? the other option is Helwig 7692 which are gray but cost more. as you can see my tundra is bronze and i think red would not look good
     
  18. Aug 8, 2018 at 11:49 AM
    #18
    15whtrd

    15whtrd I tried being reasonable, but I didn't like it.

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    I thought helwig was cheaper. But if you don’t like the red why not just hit it with a few coats from the rattle can? Even more awesome would be to paint it bronze!
     
  19. Aug 9, 2018 at 9:31 AM
    #19
    scharring100

    scharring100 New Member

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    The issue with painting is I drive or rocky roads and it afraid it would chip pretty easily. the best price I have found in Helwig 7692 is over 400.00
     
  20. Aug 9, 2018 at 11:15 AM
    #20
    Basscat 1966

    Basscat 1966 New Member

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    You can get a Hellwig for $300 to your door. I just bought one from Summit. Should deliver tommorow
     
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  21. Aug 9, 2018 at 2:29 PM
    #21
    15whtrd

    15whtrd I tried being reasonable, but I didn't like it.

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    Not bad better than $400. Still the TRD version is cheaper to your door. It may not be quite as thick and it also comes in red but it’s still the better deal in my opinion.
    I had a hellwig on my last truck and I did love it!
     
  22. Aug 10, 2018 at 7:21 AM
    #22
    scharring100

    scharring100 New Member

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    You got a great deal at Summit, I just priced them at 411.26 from summit. I'm no engineer but I would think thicker is stronger. Right?
     
  23. Aug 10, 2018 at 7:37 AM
    #23
    15whtrd

    15whtrd I tried being reasonable, but I didn't like it.

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    Stronger? I guess so but you don’t really need strength in the sway bar as I doubt they will break. Thicker will just be a stiffer cornering experience.
     
  24. Aug 13, 2018 at 7:45 AM
    #24
    Basscat 1966

    Basscat 1966 New Member

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    The Hellwig is adjustable also. I didn't want the red also
     
  25. Aug 20, 2018 at 10:37 AM
    #25
    scharring100

    scharring100 New Member

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    I assume that you have some sort of discount coupon or are talking about a different vehicle, possibly the front sway bar. The Helwig 7692 or the rear of my 2016 crewmax is 411.26, not including taxes..that is a Summit price per their website and I also talked to their sales rep via telecom..any other ideas?
     

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