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Old 04-02-2012, 10:20 PM   #1
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Wdh & sway. Need advice.

Hi everyone. I test towed a X213 (4300lbs dry, 21' long body and total length 24') today in 70-80 kmhr wind and I need some help. First off I stopped by the rv dealer and they hooked the trailer up to my 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland v6 using my wdh. I have a friction sway controller but they did not use it cause there's no "hitch ball" on the A frame to connect to. My wdh is a "towing products" pro series with arms rated for 600lbs (the same dealer sold me the hitch when I purchased my PUP from them and I never heard of the name before today).

After hooking up I pulled away from the dealer and didn't get 5 km away before I was afraid for my life. The front end felt like it was very flighty. I pulled over and tightened the wdh up one more chain link before returning to the dealer. It felt a little better but still not acceptable. After returning to the dealer I spoke to my salesman who went to get a tech. While waiting I spoke to an older guy who works in the garage. He said the wdh looked like it was too tight but I told him when it was one link loser it seriously affected handling. He also said the cradles should sit further back but the propane bracket/base would need to be removed and mounted further back to allow for this.

A few minutes later my salesman and a younger guy arrived. I told them the handling was horrendous and beyond the point of feeling unsafe. The younger guy kinda seemed irritated and said the set up was fine. I told him the other guy said the bars looked too tight and that the cradles looked like they needed to be moved further back but the propane mount was in the way. His response was, "I'm a tech. The bars are rated for 600lbs and the hitch weight is 550. It's fine" (I guess he meant 550 when loaded to gross 5500lbs). He said that he would talk to his boss and see if he could install my friction sway controller and reschedule me for another test tow. He offered to come with me and said that "it's windy out and that's why it feels weird". I told him I knew it was windy but the handling was unsafe.

So I'm rescheduled to return this weekend for another test tow. After I got home today I started educating myself further on wdh and sway control. My thoughts are that I need stronger arms but not so strong that they bend the frame of the trailer as although it weighs 4300 it's an "ultra light". I would like to get your opinions as well as your thoughts on this as well as adding a set of dual cam sway controllers instead of a friction sway controller (I read lots of good stuff about them).

I took some pics of my wdh and some pics of it hooked up to the X213. Do the arms look too tight? The pics are a bit small because I forwarded them from my iPhone in a smaller format as I wasn't sure of the file size limitations on the forum.

Sorry for the ramble. Thanks in advance!

Wayne
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:37 PM   #2
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If you want to completely eliminate sway before it starts, get a Hensley or Propride hitch.

I've towed 50,000 + miles of sway free towing with the Hensley.

Propride was not available when I bought my Hensley in 2001.

You can find them used for big savings.

Worth every penny.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:59 AM   #3
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Looks like the snap up brackets are too far forward. Looks like the angle of dangle is not correct on your ball mount. Normally with the trailer unhooked and the ball mount in the receiver hitch the ball should tilt slightly away from your tow vehicle. This causes the spring bars to point slightly towards the ground. When you snap up, the bars should be mostly parallel to the ground, your vehicle should be "level" front to back, and the ball centerline pretty much plumb.

It takes an hour or 2 of adjusting to get everything right and the comments from the "techs" sound like those of some inexperienced high schoolers that don't want to do any work.

Get the owners manual for the hitch system, take the trailer home, load it up as closely as possible to how it will be when you travel, load up the TV including all the passengers and gear, and adjust it yourself. If you need to, get some help from someone who is mechanically inclined.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:15 AM   #4
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The chain to the brackets should be straight vertically to the bars. The bars look too high... they should be parallel to the ground or close. Here's some possible help:

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...d/17730894.cfm

If it was me, I'd want some sway control and if that meant buying a new WDH or adding a friction bar, that's what I'd do. Clearly you were not comfortable with your present set-up.

You might also want to find another dealer and get a pro to do the set-up if you're not comfortable doing it yourself.

Good luck
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:57 AM   #5
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Wayne,

It's obvious by your photos that the WDH isn't adjusted properly. A properly adjusted "round" spring bar WDH should have the bars running parallel to the TT A-frame once the snap-up brackets are engaged, this can be accomplished by adjusting the degree of ball mount tilt in conjunction with the required amount of weight transfer.. Also, the spring bars move forward/backward during TV turns so to insure adequate freedom of motion the the snap-up chain should be vertical when the TV/TT is straight.

Yes, the addition of the friction sway control device would help under windy conditions once the WDH is adjusted properly. Keep in mind that the WDH adjustment should be checked once any TV/TT combination is under "loaded" conditions.

RV and WDH manufactures recommend that the loaded tongue weight should be 10% to 15% of the loaded TT weight, so your PUP's 600lb rated WDH should be "ok" for the X213 when the loaded tongue weight is closer to 10% (not 15%). IMO with the low CCC of the X213 I think that the loaded TT weight will be approaching it's 5,500lb GVWR, and a 800lb rated WDH would support the 10% to 15% loaded tongue weight range (550lbs to 825lbs) more effectively. Look for a yellow sticker on the TT for the actual "ship weight", ignore the publicized UVW.

When confirming/comparing the specified weight limitations of your TV, always think in terms of "loaded" weights with the TT you are considering. Confirm that there aren't any WDH rating restrictions noted on the TT's A-frame.

Hope this helps.

Bob
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:37 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses everyone. Can anyone explain why the round bars should run parallel with the A frame? The "Tech" said that the bars are designed to bend upwards and that my bars could even bend further and take more load. I plan on stopping by the dealer today to see what they have in stock for WDHs and think I'll have a sit down with my salesman. I just want to have as much info so they don't try and baffle me with BS.
Cheers!
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:18 AM   #7
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Looking at pic #3, it appears that the hitch nuckle is rotated too much. It looks like it's adjustable and rotating the assembly down would allow the bars to have their needed tension while being more parallel to the TT frame. 70-80 kph wind! I'll bet that was "exciting"!
Do you have the owners manual for the hitch? If not, search the interweb for a copy.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:29 AM   #8
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This may not be the exact model but take a look:

http://www.proseriestowing.com/conte...ion/N49581.pdf
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:40 AM   #9
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Another thought. If you up to the limits of the TV, that could have a negative affect on the dirveability.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:44 AM   #10
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That weight distro is set up all wrong and see so many like that going down the road. Those bars are supposed to be parallel with the tongue tubes and the ball angle needs to be rocked back quite a bit.
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