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Should have read the Bible first!!

Discussion in 'Towing' started by Mac, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Mac

    Mac [OP] Well-Known Member

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    We bought our first camper trailer (2000 19" Fleetwood Mallard) this spring and finally had a chance to take it camping a few weeks ago. I hooked it up to my '05 Sport with the towing package and drove north to get useless in Eustis. (as we say up here in Maine) All went fine and we had a great time. When I got back I logged on for the first time in a while to check out the site and happened across the Towing Bible. (thanks for the excellent info!!)

    The whole trip I thought the electric brakes were working because I had the 'towing package'!!

    Thanks for pointing out my misunderstanding. I would have thought a brake controller would have been included somewhere in the gaggle of electronics stuffed under the dash or hood.

    I will be getting an ActuatorIII soon!

    Here's my setup:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. flyingpostman

    flyingpostman Well-Known Member

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    What is the weight of that trailer? How well did it pull it?

    Nice setup, btw.
     
  3. Mac

    Mac [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The dry weight of the trailer is listed at 3700 lbs with a GVWR of 5600. With liquids in the tanks, dual propane, dual batteries, food, bikes etc, I'm guessing it was probably in the vicinity of 5000 lbs, loaded.
    I only went about 150 miles round trip up Rt 27 in Maine. Nice little combination of hills, towns and curves for our shakedown cruise.
    It pulled like a charm and like I said, I thought I was using the trailer brakes the whole time because stopping wasn't an issue. (but I did just have the brakes done on the Sport)
    I have ordered a brake controller that I will install before the next trip.
    Can't wait!!
     
  4. sechsgang

    sechsgang Well-Known Member

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    Are you using a WDH? If so, you should probably check it's setup, as it seems like the truck has quite a bit of rear sag / rake. If you don't use a WDH, I would VERY strongly suggest looking into getting one.
    Nice setup!
     
  5. Mac

    Mac [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.
    No, I don't have a WDH. I think the sag is the notorious rear spring issue that I haven't taken care of. There was some stuff in the bed of the truck, but you are right - there does seem to be too much sag (especially noticeable in this picture). The trailer was empty of fluids at this point and loaded pretty evenly also.
    Am I correct in assuming that the WD hitch would not of much help until I fix the springs?
     
  6. maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    You need the WD hitch. Mine's lighter and I have the spring upgrade I do not have a WD but going to get one before I go back up to Canada the end of the month they make a big difference also get's rid of the rocking horse effect. If you thought it stopped OK wait till you get the controller and see what you were missing. Estis is a good place to get useless I go up in the winter and snow mobile have a friend that has a camp above Flagstaff lake we snowmobile (only way to get there) down to Stratton across the lake for a pint.
     
  7. sechsgang

    sechsgang Well-Known Member

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    You need a WDH, if possible with sway control for that trailer, if you are pulling it with a Tacoma. Do you know what the tongue weight is, and the total trailer weight? You need to do some more reading and studying if you want to make your setup safe. Right now, you are unloading the front axle; and you are most likely what's an acceptable tongue weight without weight distribution. With your estimated 5K lbs of treiler weight, I bet your tongue is north of 600 lbs, which is approaching the limit WITH weight distribution.
    Yes, a WDH will help the rear sag (a lot) even without upgrading the springs. Once you know your approx tongue weight, you can select the right hitch. I would recommend the Equal-i-zer. Here is a good source: http://www.rvwholesalers.com/catalo...r-hitches-equal-i-zer-travel-trailer-hitches/
    Good luck! You may also want to join the rv.net forums and ask questions in their towing section.
     
  8. Mac

    Mac [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Wow!! What a difference. I thought the braking was good before.

    I just installed my Actuator III controller and went for a short test drive. I immediately felt the power of the extra brakes. Pretty sweet!! (Not that I had any problems before but,,,) And the controller was so easy to install and to adjust. I got the pigtail and it was just plug and play. Nice! I installed it to the right of the steering column on the bottom lip of that little cubbie hole. Easily accessable.

    I am headed out for a short (60 mile) journey tomorrow and will feel more comfortable with the extra brakes.

    I still need the WDH but one thing at a time. I won't be very loaded this time so I am not worried about not having it. I will take it slow.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  9. erm626

    erm626 Well-Known Member

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    What type of gas mileage are you getting when towing ? I went from about 19-22 mpg to 11 mpg. Does that sound normal? But then again lots of hills in NC. Also what gear are you doing most of your towing?? thanks ..
     
  10. Mac

    Mac [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, mine dropped to around 10 because I used 4 mostly and I was driving kind of fast on the interstate.
    If I slowed down 5 to 10 mph and used OD I am sure it would get better. (my tranny doesn't hunt when I tow in OD like some do)
     
  11. erm626

    erm626 Well-Known Member

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    Mac what type of trailer and how heavy? I'm' pulling a 21" just under 3800 lbs. I hear a lot of buzz on Not driving in OD. I can't see why not if on a open and flat road??
     
  12. erm626

    erm626 Well-Known Member

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    Mac ,
    just saw your other Posts! Our trailers about the same weight. Still the OD issue??
     
  13. stunt man hans

    stunt man hans displaced viking living in new jersey

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    dakar leaf pack :)
     
  14. Mac

    Mac [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey Ed, when I tow in D (OD), I have not had any hunting issues.
     
  15. tractng

    tractng Well-Known Member

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    For that much weight, use "4" man.
     
  16. Bama_TACO

    Bama_TACO ROLL TIDE!!!!!!!

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    Look around on Craigslist in your area for a WDH. You can usually find them for half the price of new on there.
     
  17. Mac

    Mac [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, thanks, I have been looking there - nothing yet.
     
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