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Old 05-10-2014, 07:24 PM   #1
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Sunset Trail 270BH -- towing ques.

Hi,
I have a Tundra 2014, 5.7l CM 4x4.
I'm towing an approx 6,000lb Travel Trailer, which I just picked up last week.
I'm using the equalizer WD hitch.

The dealer set up the hitch (it looked good) and I towed home the rig last week, about 2 hour drive. For the most part the drive was fine, very smooth.
I did nothing something though. When the road was (the only way I can think to explain it) rough, meaning the pavement wasn't very smooth, It felt as if the trailer/truck were hesitating. Almost straining, but not quite.
I had the tow haul button on. I was in 4th and 5th gear most of the time, but I would switch to 3rd gear sometimes on steep hills. This hesitation I'm mentioning was on slightly bumpy road that was on an incline.
I'm wondering if this is normal?
I had no trouble handling the truck/rig. I just noticed that hesitation.

My hitch is 1000/10000, so I guess the hitch bars are for 1,000 lbs.
The hitch weight of the trailer is 614, but I'm guessing that is dry weight without the propane/batter.

Some people in another forum suggested it might be that the bars I have are for too high a weight. If that is the case, some questions below...

1. Can/should I just change the bars on the hitch to a lower weight or do I need a whole new hitch?
2. This might sound silly, but could I just put a few hundred pound of blocks or something in my bed to even it out when I don't have a full load in the bed/trailer? I'm saying this because I'm wondering if I need that extra leeway (between 600-1000) for when I actually need to load stuff in the trailer/bed of the truck?
3. Does only loading the bed of the truck increase what my hitch weight would be or will loading the trailer increase that as well?



Thanks,
mike
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:08 PM   #2
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When we towed our empty ST270BH from the dealer to the campground about 20 minutes away we noticed that it seemed to be swaying a lot. Almost felt like it was wagging behind us and pulling the truck around. Once we loaded all of our gear into the front it was much more stable. We're towing with an Ecoboost so we haven't had any "hesitation" as the truck has a lot of torque. It goes like stink whenever it's asked too . I think our wagging issues were due to a low tongue weight. The fresh water tank was empty as well and I think it'll be better balanced when fully loaded.

I'm not sure that this helps since your issue sounds different but thought I'd share our first towing experience.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:12 PM   #3
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When driving over rough roads I've also experienced the tugging. I attribute it the truck suspension reacting to the road and the trailer counter-acting the movement.

I'm not quite sure you can do anything to minimize that.

If you experience the tugging from the trailer on flat pavement, than yes, you need to balance the weight of the trailer on the hitch and over the axles.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:24 PM   #4
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You have the correct size bars, do not go lighter. My tt is just under 6000 lbs dry and 7300 lbs loaded and I have 1200/12000 lb Reese dual cam. I'm trying to understand what you mean by hesitation. When I hear hesitation I think engine not hitch. Did you have trouble keeping speed or had high rpms? If this is the case, that is engine not hitch.

Did you feel porpoising where the truck and trailer are moving in an up and down motion front to back? Was it a sway side to side from the rear of the tt? Was it understeer where the front end felt like it was skating across the road? Or oversteer where the front end had too much bite from too much weight on the front? Did it feel like the tt was the tail wagging the dog and steering the truck but as 1 unit? These are some common issues with improperly set up hitches.
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:42 AM   #5
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Hi Anaro,
Thanks for the reply and questions. The answer is no all all of your questions, it doesn't feel anything like any of those things.
On a moderately rough road, particularly going up a moderate grade, the best expression that comes to mind is "in fits and starts". Kind of like the truck feels like it's pulling, then it feels like it's pulled back very slightly, then that pattern repeats itself. It's subtle, but I noticed it as well as my son in the back seat. I have the P3 brake controller. I checked the screen when it was happening and it had no readings just to verify I wasn't braking at all. (I also wondering if the P3 would show me if the trailer brakes were engaging without my stepping on my brake. Not sure about that). I believe the hitch was set up correctly, though I'm not certain. I was with the mechanic at the dealer when he set it up. Then once I got home, I looked at the video posted by Equilizer and it was the same way he set the hitch up.
I don't have trouble keeping speed. The RPM's were around 2500 to 3000 when this was happening. As an aside, I was practicing with the gears going down a grade -- at one point I put the truck in 3rd gear going down the grade and the RPMs went up to 4k, but not even close to redlining at 6k.

I don't believe I felt this same sensation when I was going up a grade that was smoother.
I'm new to towing so I need to get more time doing this to get better acquainted with how it's supposed to feel.
Thanks,
mike
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:49 AM   #6
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If I was to hazard an opinion, I would call what you are experiencing, "porpoising" and I would say that is caused by what's called road harmonics.
Which is the combination of TV and TT timing when hitting the road joints.
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:01 AM   #7
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Lloyd - thanks. I'll read about that some more and see if it fits. If so, is this something that can be remedied or is it just something that happens?
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:08 AM   #8
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It "might" change when you get your trailer loaded.
Just remember---I'm not claiming what I stated as gospel. I was just offering "my" opinion.
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:45 AM   #9
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All so check your rear tires, If you have a P type that is a passenger tire and has a lot of side flex in it. If you have an LT tire fill that up to the max Air pressure.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:09 AM   #10
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I agree with Lloyd. Porpoising is more prevalent in fifth wheel trailers, but the same thing happens to an extent with a bumper pull travel trailer. Washboard pavement is really tough. When I experience porpoising, I let off the accelerator until it smooths out, and then ease back into it.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:21 AM   #11
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If the motor was actually losing power and hesitating, I wonder what octane and grade of fuel you were using? I noticed using the low octane and 10% ethenel fuel I experience a little detonation. You can hear the motor ping and the ecm pulls timing causing it to lose power. It happens in may case when the motor is lugged down at lower rpm's.
Not sure about you vehicle but gm uses two sets of timing tables and can be fairly aggressive when pulling timing. If you are using the lower grade cheaper fuel and nothing else with the hitch or towing recommendations help. Try refilling with the high octane fuel before your next trip.
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:16 PM   #12
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What Lloyd and fhenn said. Tire pressure is an important thing to keep an eye on.
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:52 PM   #13
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I agree, it may just be a result of the bumps in the road but like the others said, check out your tires. LT tires are well worth the investment. if you go LT, get them all teh way around but make sure your rims can handle the additional pressure as LT tires run at a higher PSI.
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anaro View Post
I agree, it may just be a result of the bumps in the road but like the others said, check out your tires. LT tires are well worth the investment. if you go LT, get them all teh way around but make sure your rims can handle the additional pressure as LT tires run at a higher PSI.
Yes the very first mod to my Tundra was to ditch the girlie man stock P rated tires for LT's. I am guessing you are saying hesitation and meaning something else. (Possibly oscillation?) My 5.7 equipped Tundra tows unbelievably well. I tow my ST30RE and a 7500 lbs. equipment trailer, both which are stored at my mountain property and any of the three possible ways to get up there has sections of steep grade which never even make the engine breath hard. Is your Tundra equipped with the tow package? That gives you the 4.30 rear end rather than the stock 4.10.
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:53 PM   #15
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MEHOffman -- yep, I have the tow package. Also P3 brake controller. I'm going to check the tires. I know they are 20 inch on Alloy rims, but not sure of the rating.
I'm bringing out the Trailer in another week.
Engine never felt like it was straining on the tow home. Very smooth. Didn't realize I was doing 70 at one point and pulled back to 60. Maybe hesitation isn't the right word, didn't know what else to say though. The trailer is steady, no sway at all. Maybe it's oscillation. I'll have more details after another trip out with the trailer.
Gonna see how it goes when it's loaded up for camping. Thanks!
Mike
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:14 PM   #16
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Mike,
Wondering if you are feeling a little push/pull as you are going down the road. I get the same thing in my Ram. It sort of feels like that hesitation you talked of but its not the engine, just the trailer not catching up with the truck & it's suspension as it reacts to the road conditions. We were out again this weekend and I'll tell you it's something to get used too. Coming from a 4500# TV with 1500# pop up to now towing this 6000# trailer with a 6800# truck is MUCH different. Going over uneven roads will accentuate that push/pull feeling and will give you a good reminder that you have 30ft trailing you.

I'll tell you, second time out with the trailer gave us much more perspective on our purchase and we are darn glad we made it.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:01 PM   #17
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I bet Loyd and Jeff are correct. That push pull usually happens when truck and trailer go over a big bumps at different times if that makes sense. I notice it when going over bridges that are at the bottoms of hills for example. I let off gas pedal just briefly then get back into it. Seems to help.
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