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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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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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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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Old 03-26-2016, 10:45 AM   #11
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just an update. After looking everywhere for a Load D tire for a 20" rim all I could come up with was a pretty aggressive BFG all terrain. so we ended up going with some Michelin Defender LTX load range E (I know its a bit overkill) Right now we have them at about 50PSI all the way around which is what discount tire recommended. The ride home really was not all that different from the old tires, a bit stiffer but my wife said she actually prefers the feel of the new tires over the old ones. Just for kicks I hopped online to see all of the wide range of tire pressure recommendations for empty/loaded and seen anywhere down to 30psi (seems crazy low for a 10ply tire) on up to guys that run 65-70psi empty and go with 80 while towing. So I just went straight to the horses mouth and called Michelin directly and spoke with a tech who took our exact vehicle and tire size and suggested that 50PSI is perfect while driving around empty and that it only needed to be bumped up 4-5 more psi when we are towing the TT. I asked about the low tire pressures on the 10 ply tire and he said the absolute lowest psi you should run a 10 ply tire was at 35 psi and that would be on a very light vehicle. I may still play around with ours and drop it down to maybe 45 empty and see if we can tell a difference. Got another trip planned here in a few weeks so I will report back the difference the tires make while towing when we get back
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:39 PM   #12
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just an update. After looking everywhere for a Load D tire for a 20" rim all I could come up with was a pretty aggressive BFG all terrain. so we ended up going with some Michelin Defender LTX load range E (I know its a bit overkill) Right now we have them at about 50PSI all the way around which is what discount tire recommended. The ride home really was not all that different from the old tires, a bit stiffer but my wife said she actually prefers the feel of the new tires over the old ones. Just for kicks I hopped online to see all of the wide range of tire pressure recommendations for empty/loaded and seen anywhere down to 30psi (seems crazy low for a 10ply tire) on up to guys that run 65-70psi empty and go with 80 while towing. So I just went straight to the horses mouth and called Michelin directly and spoke with a tech who took our exact vehicle and tire size and suggested that 50PSI is perfect while driving around empty and that it only needed to be bumped up 4-5 more psi when we are towing the TT. I asked about the low tire pressures on the 10 ply tire and he said the absolute lowest psi you should run a 10 ply tire was at 35 psi and that would be on a very light vehicle. I may still play around with ours and drop it down to maybe 45 empty and see if we can tell a difference. Got another trip planned here in a few weeks so I will report back the difference the tires make while towing when we get back
Keep us updated. I have 2014 Sequoia Platinum, just put LTX Defenders on it a couple weeks ago, but they are a load range 113. I couldn't find anything higher rated except those BFGs. My tire size is 275/55/20s, but I saw Michelin offered them in "LT" rated tires in other sizes.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:02 PM   #13
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Keep us updated. I have 2014 Sequoia Platinum, just put LTX Defenders on it a couple weeks ago, but they are a load range 113. I couldn't find anything higher rated except those BFGs. My tire size is 275/55/20s, but I saw Michelin offered them in "LT" rated tires in other sizes.
I went with 265/60/20s. They are a load range 118/121. The difference is very small in what it does to the speedometer and so far my wife and I both agree that they are more comfortable than the old tires that were on the truck. check out this site here to see the difference between the sizes https://www.tacomaworld.com/tirecalc...5r20-265-60r20
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Old 03-29-2016, 05:08 PM   #14
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Good info thanks!

Let us know on how much of a difference they make towing.

Do you have the air suspension/electronic ride control?
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Old 03-29-2016, 05:10 PM   #15
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Good info thanks!

Let us know on how much of a difference they make towing.

Do you have the air suspension/electronic ride control?
No, we have a limited, so no go on the air suspension. I would imagine that makes for a much better tow though.
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Old 03-29-2016, 05:15 PM   #16
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I was just running your numbers, and if you have 900 TW and say 6000? total weight (900 lbs of stuff) that is about 15% TW.

If sway isn't an issue, I wonder if you lighten the TW a bit down to 12-13% giving you about 720-780lbs TW if that would help?

There is obviously the CG that would be the same if you move stuff all the way to the back, and you could have the same CG with moving stuff right over the axles. I would think with the actual weight being over the axles it may help stop the porpoising?

I think once that weight gets moving up and down either forward or aft of the trailer axles it takes awhile for it to settle down.

Anyway just a thought. Good luck!
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Old 03-30-2016, 01:20 PM   #17
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I was just running your numbers, and if you have 900 TW and say 6000? total weight (900 lbs of stuff) that is about 15% TW.

If sway isn't an issue, I wonder if you lighten the TW a bit down to 12-13% giving you about 720-780lbs TW if that would help?

There is obviously the CG that would be the same if you move stuff all the way to the back, and you could have the same CG with moving stuff right over the axles. I would think with the actual weight being over the axles it may help stop the porpoising?

I think once that weight gets moving up and down either forward or aft of the trailer axles it takes awhile for it to settle down.

Anyway just a thought. Good luck!
If you move the weight to the back you increase sway. You need approx 60% of the total weight to forward of the axles.
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:07 PM   #18
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That's why I said if sway wasn't an issue. He didn't mention sway, but sounds like he has porposing.

1000 lbs over the axles vs 500 lbs each at 10 ft either direction will yield the same CG and tongue weight (we are assuming tw was and stays within parameters). The 1000lbs over the axels will have less porposing then the split weight.

Think of a teeter tauter with rubber bands (shocks) attached at each end to the ground. Put 500 lbs on each seat, pull down and release. There will be a motion that will take awhile to neutralize.

Now put 1000 lbs right over the hinge/fulcrum and pull down on the (now empty) seats again, the motion will end much more quickly.

Again, not talking about sway, that's different math, but the weight at the ends of the unit can also contribute to a continued sway once it's starts but on a different plane.
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:45 PM   #19
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Just wanted to post a quick update. I pulled some strings over at the local brewery to use their scales and got some weights. Some of you may have heard of it, Sierra Nevada Brewing here in Mills River, NC. Anyway for those number crunching guys here is what we got fully loaded and ready to camp.

truck with full tank of gas and passengers
front axle.... 3,300
rear axle..... 3,200
total empty.. 6,500

With weight distributing hitch
front axle............. 3,260
rear axle.............. 4,040
trailer weight........ 5,500

Technical specs on our sequoia
GAWR FRONT........ 4,000
GAWR REAR.......... 4,280
GVWR.................. 7,300
GCVWR................ 14,500

So with the above numbers off the scale
GVW................ 7,300 (100% of max)
GCVW.............. 12,800 (88.3% of max)
Loaded TT......... 6,300 (1,150lbs over dry weight)
Tongue weight....800 (12.7%)

So where does that leave us. I am technically within "specs" of Toyota's original equipment (just barely). But the way I look at it is those suggested weights are on the stock passenger tires and suspension. I have upgraded to load range E tires and also added some airlift 1,000 air bags to help out that coil spring suspension. The bags made towing the trailer so much better and was a night and day difference honestly. We just got back from a 320 mile round trip most of which was interstate driving at 60-65 and the rig was steady as a rock. I did some re-adjusting on the blue ox WDH as well and now with the bags at 33psi the truck ride height is within half an inch of empty on the rear and the front is pretty much exactly the same as when empty. One thing that makes me scratch my head though is why the sequoia's GVWR is only 7,300 when the front and rear GAWR's added together is 8,280? Anyway I know some of the half ton haters are going to tell me I am pushing the limits (technically I am ) but for the once a month weekend trip we take I think I finally got it all as good as I will ever get it and it's working great for us
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:59 PM   #20
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