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Old 04-26-2019, 08:24 PM   #1
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Fastway E2 Trunnion Towing 174BH

Hi all. New to the forum and it's a great resource!

I have a 2019 174BH, towing with a F150. Dry weight about 3000lbs, 3750 gross. Dry tongue is about 300lbs but I am probably around 450+lbs tongue weight loaded. Unfortunately I can't access scales (whether for tongue or CAT scales for axles).

In terms of weight distribution and sway control, I have a Fastway E2 hitch with 600lb bars (this is similar to the Equalizer but only two points of sway control).

My concern is with the strength of the a-frames on these little single axle Jaycos. I've set the bars up fairly light for now, mostly because I'm afraid of over tensioning things and bending the frame. The a-frames on the Jay Flight SLX 7 trailers are only 3 inch as opposed to the bigger frames on some of the larger units.

With the bars set this light I'm getting acceptable weight distribution for my needs (the F150 really doesn't need much if any weight distribution at all for a trailer this light and I'm managing to return my front end to near its unloaded height) but I'm not getting the amount of sway control I'd like. The E2 depends on friction on the sway bars to control sway - and I feel like the bars need more tension to properly control sway. Sway wasn't terrible my last trip out, but I could feel it.

I have the hitch set with 5 washers which is the minimum number of washers and L brackets are set pretty low with the result that the spring arms aren't heavily tensioned. To get the adjustment better dialed in I brought my L brackets up a notch. My front end is now still well adjusted (good weight distribution - front end just about back to unloaded height) and I have much more tension on the trunnion arms which should give better sway control when I take it out for the next test run down the highway.

BUT...here's my concern. The little 3 inch a-frame on this trailer has me anxious. I'm very concerned that these bars just don't have the flex for this frame, and something is going to have to bend and it's going to be my frame! There are absolutely NO stickers or warnings on the frame warning against WDH limits. Only stampings are on the hitch coupler itself - Class III, Max 700lb tongue weight 5000 GTW (the 174BH has a max GVWR of 3750).

What say you? Am I being overly cautious here or is this a real concern. I've done some searching and see anecdotal examples of bent frames but am wondering if perhaps anyone here can weigh in. Anyone here using a similar hitch on these little single axle Jaycos with success?

Oh and lastly - I know people are going to tell me to just by an Andersen hitch!! I know they're a great hitch but I already have this E2 and really want to make it work if possible. Frankly if I can't make this one work I might just ditch the WDH and switch over to a basic friction sway control with no WDH (the F150 would tow ok with just friction sway but I really really want to get the E2 hitch working if I can since it's a great hitch!

Thanks all!!
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:39 PM   #2
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Return the truck front axle to 100% unloaded weight. You wont put any more stress on the frame than its already putting on the coupler. Also, get equalizer bracket jackets for your L brackets. Helps to keep the hitch quiet. I had to tack weld my brackets to my trailer frame because they kept shifting.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:47 PM   #3
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Congratulations on the new JayFlight and welcome to the forum.

I can't help with your specific question, but I have a question:
After you raised the L-brackets, have you towed the trailer?
If yes, did that help the your sway issue?

Unrelated to the hitching issue:
Have you inflated your tow vehicle and trailer tires up to the maximum shown on the tire sidewalls? That reduces sidewall flex and can help reduce sway tendency.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:56 PM   #4
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Thanks for the welcome! Yes - truck tires are well inflated (for better or worse that's how I alway keep them). But no I haven't towed with it yet with the brackets raised - mostly out of my fear of them being overtensioned.

And I will say - sway wasn't terrible my first time towing this trailer. I'm coming from a tent trailer - this is my first travel trailer so perhaps I'm adjusting to having a larger trailer behind me reacting to wind and trucks passing. But I could definitely feel movement back there and I think it would be a better experience with the spring bars set a bit stiffer.
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:12 PM   #5
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Is the trailer level when hitched up and WD engaged? Might it be just a bit nose high? I found with my 195RB Baja, which has the same GVWR, that it towed better when I set it to be slightly nose down - about 1 to 1.5" lower in the front than the rear when measured from the ground to the bottom of the frame.

I have a Sherline tongue scale and my measured tongue weight is always around 440 - give or take a few based on how much fresh water I had in the tank. The loaded trailer weight is ~3700 so that is about 12% tongue weight. I think the fresh water tank is up front on the 174BH so if you think you might be a little low on tongue weight you can just add a few more gallons to the fresh water tank and see if that helps.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:47 AM   #6
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I think you are over thinking this......Since you raised the "L" brackets, remove 2 or 3 washers and go for a tow. If you need more sway control, add a washer, repeat until it feels good for you. (see above - "know" your tongue wt), too little will induce sway.
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Old 08-09-2020, 01:04 PM   #7
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Deekay, exact same concerns here but with the jayflight 145rb (same 3” frame). I felt really good about it, had the numbers dialed in well (front end height in between unhitched & hitched/no wdh)....but a guy who seemed more knowledgeable than myself said to be careful with the stress that gets put on frame. Lol. Overthinking it engaged!!!
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:29 PM   #8
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WE have towed our 184bh for the past 7 years with a Ram 1500 and have had no sway control or wd hitch. We do not overload the trailer or truck. When hitched up our truck with trailer towing package is level. Our dealer advised us about incorrect use of wd hitches that stressed these light frames. Most important for us, is we have LT rear tires on our Ram inflated to 50 psi. The "car tires" that come on most 1/2 ton trucks are worthless.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:44 AM   #9
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Do you have a photo of your bars all set up? I'm curious because you say you have the L brackets set low. Are the bars parallel with the frame? They need to be parallel so the bottom surface of the bars have enough contact with the L brackets to make the sway control work effectively.

Also when you load the bars then lower the tongue jack back down, do you feel you could not slide the bars off by hand? If that's the case, you should have plenty of tension on the bars.
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Old 08-10-2020, 07:25 AM   #10
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If I’m not mistaken, the original poster (and myself) is not concerned with the functioning/proper setup, but instead the extra force/weight that is put on the a-frame (right where the l-brackets are mounted).

36 7/8” unhitched
36 15/16” wdh engaged
37 1/4” hitched, wdh not engaged

Feels awesome during towing, but concerned with the stress placed on the a frame. It’s a subject that’s been beat to death on these forums (and I’m positive a lot of the most knowledgeable members tire of it) by it does concern me. I have experimented with removing washers, and lowering brackets, but because of the tight margins in front end measurements, it’s pretty much the above numbers or nothing.

I’m aware I really don’t NEED the wdh with my little trailer, but it really does improve the haul.

Apologies if highjacked thread, but original poster was 2019 and doesn’t seem to be on the thread anymore. But our concerns are the same.

I’m considering going by welders shop to see about adding a bit of reinforcement to the aframe. Really like the wdh when set up to manufacture specs, but realize I bought a trailer that is bare minimum.

Also, I have added NOTHING to tongue weight and run light as possible. Will attempt to go by cotton gin today to use scales to determine how much weight getting sent to front axle....that should tell me roughly how much extra weight I’m exerting in the a-frame, CORRECT?
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:37 AM   #11
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Have you called Jayco?
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:32 AM   #12
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Yes.

While very friendly and willing, the only spec info they had was the 250 tongue weight when dry.

Got a hold of a welder friend and he feels like the 3” rectangular tubing (a-frame) is more than adequate to handle the added stress of PROPERLY tuned 6000/600 e2 wdh.

Getting close to feeling ok about it. Still gonna scale tonight tho.
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackman5000 View Post
Yes.

While very friendly and willing, the only spec info they had was the 250 tongue weight when dry.

Got a hold of a welder friend and he feels like the 3 rectangular tubing (a-frame) is more than adequate to handle the added stress of PROPERLY tuned 6000/600 e2 wdh.

Getting close to feeling ok about it. Still gonna scale tonight tho.
It just occurred to me that the frame is probably made by BAL. They can probably tell you a lot more than Jayco.

https://norcoind.com/bal/products/oe...me/index.shtml
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:37 AM   #14
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It’s a lippert frame. 2x3, .0125. Coupler stamped 700lbs. A-frame stamped max gvwr 5000lbs
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:37 AM   #15
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I gotta think that the Fastway E2 you have is just fine for that frame. My same suggestion as above, ask them.
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