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Old 04-05-2009, 11:17 PM   #1
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Just picked up our Sunset Trail 31QB Saturday. It was a windy day of roughly 24 MPH winds and 40+MPH gusts in central PA. I was all over the lane back and forth constantly. It was an extermely unpleasant experience. We tow the unit with a 2004 Ford Excursion diesel. Have added Bilstein shocks and the Roadmaster Active Suspension to the Ex. Our hitch is reese dual cam sway with 1200# bars. We will be camping this coming weekend so am interested to see how it tows with gear and a calm day. The proplem is we only towed our other trailer (that we traded in) once with the excursion. That wasn't a great experience either because we didn't have the shocks or RAS on the Ex. Anyone here have suggestions/comments on if they think it is an improper hitch set up or just what you encounter with such winds. Thanks!!!!
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:22 PM   #2
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I think those are winds you are going to feel no matter what you are towing with. You might be able to tighten the sway control. I friend of mine was towing his trailer for the first time and was not enjoying it too mugh (windy, rainy, two young kids in the back .) He tightened the sway control (tighter than I ever tightned mine) and felt much better. I do think those winds would be tought on any trailer. Let us know how the second trip (hopefully a calmer day) goes.
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:19 AM   #3
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I have towed in high winds with a single sway control arm (Draw-tite/Reese) with my old trailer and with the Equal-i-zer for the Sunset Trail, both without issue. If you're weaving in the lane then something isn't adjusted correctly or you're traveling too fast for conditions. Strong gusts may mean you need to slow down, but check your sway control adjustments and match them to conditions.
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:29 AM   #4
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How can I check that my hitch is set up completely correct? And adjusted for such windy conditions?
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:50 AM   #5
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sfsmith, don't know where in central PA you are....if all else fails, and you are near Dover PA, take it to Harbold's rv. I am sure Steve Harbold will help you out.



By the way, there are still sites available for the 2009 Northeast Crossraods rally at Twin Pines KOA campground....last weekend in April....see the rally thread.



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Old 04-06-2009, 02:13 AM   #6
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We had the same problem with a Sunnybrook TT. First I would check the tounge weight. With that being a front bedroom I assume that your storage is under the bed. I would not get too nervous until you travel loaded. I you are too light in the front I do know it will create swayproblems. If I remember right you want 12 - 15% of the total weight of the trailer on the tounge. We eventually bought a Hensley Hitch and have never had a problem since. It is a lot of cash, but we have been in some pretty bad winds and had no problems. But I would try it agian loaded with less wind and you will probably be fine.



Good Luck
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Old 04-06-2009, 02:48 AM   #7
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Thank you for the info Walt. I am from York as well and have heard of Hardbold's but never been there. You think that is the best place to take it to ensure a great set up? Thanks again!



I will have to check our calendar for that weekend. I am sure that would be a good time.
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Old 04-06-2009, 02:49 AM   #8
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just a thought. did you check your air pressure in all of your tires?
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:42 AM   #9
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Was just the trailer moving lane to lane or both the excursion and the trailer. If it was both then your setup is right and it is just the wind.
Here is the instructions I used to setup my hitch.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/17730894.cfm


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Old 04-06-2009, 03:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajlight
We had the same problem with a Sunnybrook TT. First I would check the tounge weight. With that being a front bedroom I assume that your storage is under the bed. I would not get too nervous until you travel loaded. I you are too light in the front I do know it will create swayproblems. If I remember right you want 12 - 15% of the total weight of the trailer on the tounge. We eventually bought a Hensley Hitch and have never had a problem since. It is a lot of cash, but we have been in some pretty bad winds and had no problems. But I would try it agian loaded with less wind and you will probably be fine.



Good Luck


I forgot about weight distribution. Excellent post! It is possible to balance the weight of the trailer, both side to side, or more importantly in this case, front to rear.



A competent dealer can certainly help make sure it is set up correctly if you're not comfortable doing so yourself (I'm not, but I was able to figure out the tension on the sway control on my Drawtite setup).
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:37 AM   #11
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All of the above advise is excellent. Proper loading, proper adjustment of the hitch and sway control and slowing down are all important things to do to improve handling.



I don't know what the wheel base of your Excursion is but I suspect it is a little shorter than a truck. Your trailer is pretty long. Generally the longer the wheel base of the tow vehicle the more stable the tow. I used to pull a 24' trailer with a full size blazer. I know the blazer had a shorter wheel base than your excursion, but my trailer was also at least 7 feet shorter than yours. I had the best sway control hitch that reese made at the time and I was very careful to load the trailer properly. Sometimes, especially when it was a little windy I wasn't sure which vehicle was in control,the blazer or the trailer.



My lastRV was a 32' class A motorhome andif I was caught in crosswinds much above 25 mph,especially gusty windsI was all over the road. Mycurrent 5er pulls much better in the wind than anything I have previously owned.



My opinion is that traveling with a straight pull trailer in 40mph gusts especially if they are crosswinds is simply not a good idea. My personal rule with this 5eris if the wind isforecast to be anything above 25 mph and is anything but a tail wind I don't travel. Of course I'm retired and generally don't have a schedule to keep.



That being said, about a week ago I was headed home from Arizona on a 300 mile travel day andran into unforecast 45 mph head winds for the last 100 miles. The Cruiser pulled through it pretty stable but that head windknockedabout 3 mpg off my milage for the day.
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