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Old 03-13-2016, 11:06 AM   #1
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Enhancing Tow Experience.

Alright, just got back from our first outing with our 240BH. The trailer towed fine, but the ride just feels a bit "squishy" to me and a little "floaty" on dips in the road. I want to run through the numbers that I have available and looking for suggestions to possibly enhance the towing a bit.

First off we are towing with a 2011 Toyota Sequoia. They changed the tow ratings in 2011 down a bit (from 9100 to 7300) to follow SAE J2807. Either way the dry weight on our trailer is only 5,150 so even loaded up I should be well under that. Now I have not had the rig on any scales yet (its on the list of things to do) but last weekend I used a bathroom scale and a 3:1 ratio to measure the tongue weight with the trailer perfectly level and a bunch of gear up front in the basement. The dry tongue weight on the trailer was 750lbs. (full propane tanks and battery on the tongue) and with the gear loaded up we were at 900lbs. We have a Blue Ox Sway Pro WDH hitch with 1,000lb bars on it (hitch weight 100lbs) and without getting into all of the nitty gritty math and details, from what I understand about WDH, this setup will transfer roughly 300lbs. of that tongue weight to the TT axles leaving the balance of the weight spread across the tow vehicle. Effectively placing a "payload" on the TV of 700lbs. (900lb tongue weight +100lb hitch weight -300lb WDH transfer) I have the WDH setup so that the trailer is perfectly level when loaded. The rig tows well enough, but I would just like to see if there is anything I can do to make it a little bit better.

Any thoughts on the following:

1. Replace the XL tires on the truck with a light truck tire. On the fence as to what load range to step up to. Current tires have a max cold PSI of 44 and I believe just a 4 ply tire (maybe 6). I wonder is load range D (8 ply 65psi) enough to help with the tow, but not be too stiff for day to day driving. We only pull the TT for weekend trips a few times a month for the most part so I don't know if an E rated 10 ply tire will be too stiff throughout the week.

2. Add some airbags on the back. I have heard that this makes a night and day difference for towing, but again I do not want it to interfere with day to day driving. Any ideas if any one is better than another? Which setup would be best for our sequoia.

3. This thought crossed my mind, but I dunno if its such a good idea or not. As I said earlier I have the WDH setup so that the trailer is perfectly level while towing. I would assume that If I raise the ball up a couple notches on the back it would raise the front of the trailer and effectively remove some more of the tongue weight off of the TV (probably not enough to really make a difference). I would be afraid that if I take some more tongue weight off the TV though I might get a little more trailer wobble and that would definitely not be good. When we brought the trailer home from the dealer they had installed the hitch way too high and barely had any tension on the WDH bars. The coupler height with the trailer level is about 21" and the dealer had the ball so high that the coupler was almost 26" high!!! Needless to say the drive home from the dealer had a little bit of trailer sway involved

I know this is a long post, but just looking to tap into the wealth of knowledge here on the forums. Any ideas and opinions are much appreciated.

PS: We just bought the Sequoia last year and absolutely love it!!! So before anyone suggests just trading in for a giant F350 to tow a 6klb trailer, trading in is not an option
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:27 AM   #2
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First off your asking all the right questions and I don't have all the answers but i will chime in to help. It sounds like the hitch weight is about right for the numbers you stated. Should be about 15% or so of the loaded rig weight. First thing I would do is get accurate weights. Anything before that is guessing. Tow vehicle alone, RV alone, RV hooked up, tow vehicle hooked up etc. It will take some time and effort but it will give you a place to start investigating.

Changing tires on the Toyota may help a lot. 4 ply and 44PSi seems low. D's may be better.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:49 PM   #3
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Definately go to a load range e tire this will help immensley. You can put less air in them when not towing for a better ride. Air bags do help and the same as the tires you can let the air out when not towing to retain your stock ride
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:58 PM   #4
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What was squishy and what do you mean by it ?
the tow vehicle or the trailer ?
Was the rear axle bottoming out and bouncing off the bump stops or just queasy squishy movement of the rear end?

Did I miss where you posted what psi you were running ?
get the exact tire mfg and size, etc and do a google search for their load inflation tables to tell @ what psi the tires can handle what load...
you are basically driving a car with a heavy cap on it, so it's not intended to be a heavy duty tow vehicle. so you may have to make some compromises..

1) click here --> and find a cat scale near you - spend $10 and 15 minutes weighing the combo.
2) my suspension is your rear axle weight will be over the GAWR of your TV and tires.

Towing I usually go to max psi for rear tires and maybe even a few psi about max... cuz squishy usually means low tire psi to me or overloaded tires !

good luck...

on edit, I had a similar issue with a ford excursion that was intended to be a people mover and had very little Cargo Carrying Capacity, so I put some of these on it and it helped with a 33 foot Open range TT years ago.
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:05 PM   #5
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I put air bags on my titan and it made a huge difference. We drop the air pressure when not towing and the ride is fine.
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodwalker View Post
Definately go to a load range e tire this will help immensley. You can put less air in them when not towing for a better ride. Air bags do help and the same as the tires you can let the air out when not towing to retain your stock ride
That's what I am leaning towards. At the very least a 65 PSI load range D tire. It is almost time for new tires anyway so I believe that's where I will start, then go with the bags if it needs it.
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Old 03-13-2016, 02:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by johnboytoo View Post
What was squishy and what do you mean by it ?
the tow vehicle or the trailer ?
Was the rear axle bottoming out and bouncing off the bump stops or just queasy squishy movement of the rear end?

Did I miss where you posted what psi you were running ?
get the exact tire mfg and size, etc and do a google search for their load inflation tables to tell @ what psi the tires can handle what load...
The tow vehicle felt a little squishy, definitely not bottoming out. The tires are a Michelin lxt tire, load rating XL didn't write it down but its about 2400lbs at 44 max psi. I run them at 40 while towing. From some of the things I have read on the forums it sounds like the tires are the biggest culprit and just give too much when they are loaded. I don't think they are overloaded by any means, but they are a passenger tire designed for comfort not for towing. I think a load range D or E tire will help out a bunch. Got a trip planned in May that's a couple hundred miles away so want to get it riding a bit better by then. Might swap the tires out in a few weeks and see.
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Old 03-13-2016, 02:10 PM   #8
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I have a 2012 Tundra and definitely understand what you mean when you say "squishy". Mine was squishy too with the stock P rated tire. It went away when I upgraded to a D rated Goodyear light truck tire.
I thought an E tire would be overkill for towing my 270 BH. The D tire has proven to be just right-definitely stiffer when towing, but not too harsh for regular daily driving.
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Old 03-13-2016, 02:30 PM   #9
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I have a 2012 Tundra and definitely understand what you mean when you say "squishy". Mine was squishy too with the stock P rated tire. It went away when I upgraded to a D rated Goodyear light truck tire.
I thought an E tire would be overkill for towing my 270 BH. The D tire has proven to be just right-definitely stiffer when towing, but not too harsh for regular daily driving.
Awesome!!! Glad to hear the tires made a difference on your tundra, our sequoia is essentially the same as the tundra with more seats and shorter wheelbase. Thanks for Posting!!!
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Old 03-13-2016, 02:35 PM   #10
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I think before making the switch to E rated tires, it would be wise to see if the rims on your truck can even handle them. Your tire dealer would be able to answer that for you.

With that being said, in my opinion, E rated tires in your application is over kill.
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