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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just picked up my first enclosed trailer which is an all aluminum 7x23 (including 5' V Nose) Stealth Predator a couple weeks ago and took it up north for the first time this weekend. The ride up it pulled like a dream but on the way home we had about 3 hours of driving in 10-15mph cross winds and it was a white knuckle ride. When you get a good cross wind you can feel the rear suspension of the truck extend and it shifts the truck about a quarter of the way over in the next lane or the median depending on which way the wind is blowing.

I pull the trailer with a 2013 F150 Ecoboost and the trailer was properly loaded with three sleds and with the gear in the front of the trailer. You could tell by the way it rode that there was plenty of tongue weight on the truck. It almost feels like the truck isn't heavy enough to resist the push of the trailer with a cross wind maybe??? Feels like the trailer is driving the truck in the wind. It is a weird feeling and I have towed plenty of campers before and never experienced this. Luckily we were not in any kind of bad weather but if it was icy and snowing this could be a recipe for disaster. Trailer is not that big and I figured that it is somewhere around 3500-4000lbs loaded so the truck should be plenty to tow this trailer.

Have any of you guys pulling inline trailers with F150s or any other 1/2 ton trucks experience this before?? How can I fix this?? If the truck isn't heavy enough, I was thinking about maybe putting more weight in the bed of the when pulling the trailer???

Really like the truck and it is rated to pull more than I would ever need so upgrading to a 3/4 ton truck is not something I want to do.
 

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Ya, thats scarry. Are you sure you have enough tongue weight? Sometimes people are surprised when they hit a scale and weigh things. Half ton trucks are fairly light so in normal conditions things are good, but when conditions turn questionable, the half tons shortcomings become amplified. Is it possible with what you have to carry a sled in the bed and not interfere with the trailer? I've been on a ride like you described and it was not fun at all.
 

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Well...I have the same truck, and a 7 X 22' Neo. I think I noticed with mine mine is I have to have the sleds loaded facing forward, not enough tongue weight or you get that dreaded sway. I have read and read on the F150, and towing, I also have a large RV trailer I tow with it, hitch height, tongue weight is a killer for sure, but the #1 thing I have read is the tires, you have to get rid of the P rated tires, they are super comfy and give our trucks a great ride but they allow the side walls to flex causing a large amount of sway, giving the trailers are basically a big sail and we are the rudder the tires can cause some sway.

So I found placing my Renegade in front flip the rear over to the wall and pull the blizzard up to where the ski almost touches the track of the Ren is where mine rides the best. Snow gear really doesn't weight much so its placement really is null.

As I mentioned I towed my RV with high cross winds last fall, I pretty much lowered my weight dist hitch on it too place more weight on the truck and tighten the sway control up more just to get home...I also have P rated tires..just waiting until they wear out to put actual LT rated on.

Camper.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. The truck is a crew cab short box. I bought the trailer to haul 3 renegades so I have to load them per manufacturer recommendations from front to rear. They simply will not fit loading facing front and do not want to mess with backing in then pulling in. The trailer is really nice and it is really awesome being able to pull all of them in from the front and close the doors and go.

Would adding weight to the bed of the truck accomplish the same thing???

As for the tires I will have to check and see which ones are on the truck.

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What tire pressure are you running on the P/U's rear axle ?

Adding some weight directly above the rear axle has helped me a lot .

I just have 6 cinder blocks side by each & locked in (fore & aft) with 2 cargo bars .
 

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I am guessing not enough tongue weight loaded that way, your second sled is on top of the front axle and rear sled is all tail weight . You can't load from the rear, putting the engine of front sled up front in the nose? That would give you plenty of tongue weight.
Those three sleds prob weight 1,500lbs, that means spreading that out equally from front to back, I bet your less than the 10% tongue weight.

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I towed my R&R 18x7+ 5ft V inline, loaded with 3 Gades, about 3000 miles the past 3 weekends back and forth to the UP a couple times from Indianapolis. Each trip was very windy...and one day, the worst day (last Friday Feb 19), was literally AVERAGE 40 to 50 mph cross winds (gusts reportedly reached 70 mph at times) up I-65 in Indiana, I was running 73 to 75 mph with the cruise control set and had no problems. We actually passed 3 semis along the route that were blown over laying on their side and laying in the median. Yes it was one of THOSE days that made the news. I was towing with a 2015 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab. Weather highlight: http://www.weather.gov/lot/2016feb19_highwinds

I went into that drive expecting a handful. But I was so pleased to quickly find had almost zero sway with the gusts...barely felt the cross winds, basically easy two-finger cruising even when passing big semi trucks and such. Frankly I was stunned how stable it was. I swear my 4 door sedan would have taken much more input to keep on the road on a day like that, compared to this rig.

My secret? And honestly I truly think this is the best answer? A full blown weight distribution hitch setup with integrated sway control. I would never consider towing a trailer of this size with a 1/2 ton truck without it. I knew the hitch would work well handling bumps and heavy loads and it always has, but after that particular trip which was my first with SERIOUS cross winds? I now know the conditions where the setup flat-out works incredible.

Yes it's a $$ investment and a bit of a PITA to install on these trailers that don't always take well to WD hitches. But to anyone towing 3 place inline or larger with 1/2 ton trucks I'd strongly recommend figuring out how to get it done. I showed and explained my setup in this link when I installed it 2 seasons ago (initially I put it on my 2003 3/4 ton Silverado but I have since traded in on the 2015 1/2 ton and then re-set the same hitch for the new truck). Was a fantastic investment, I've towed it a lot of miles now, and I have no regrets:

http://www.dootalk.com/forums/topic/881745-my-weight-distribution-setup-on-rr-v-nose/
 

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Some additional comments.

1. I think you're underestimating your overall weight. Mine has been weighed and it is about 4500 pounds loaded with 3 sleds and a bit of gear. That's with unfinished interior, no cabinets, etc...pretty basic trailer. I do run only 4 strokes...pair of 1200's and a 900 Ace. But if they were all 2 strokes that would only reduce it by maybe 200 pounds max?

2. Ford's towing guide says your max towing capacity is 5,000 pounds when pulling bumper only (read the fine print). Anything beyond that "requires" Weight distribution hitch.

http://www.ford.com/resources/ford/general/pdf/towingguides/13flrv&tt_f150.pdf

3. Don't forget again with more fine print if you have people and gear in the truck, this weight has to be deducted from the GVWR of the truck, further reducing your towing capacity probably below the 5000 pound stated limit.

My point is after you read all their fine print that your truck is pretty much fully maxed out with that trailer with 3 sleds and a few people and some gear, despite the BS that Ford/Chevy/Dodge spew in their marketing saying their 1/2 ton trucks can tow 10,000 pound trailers or whatever. That's a pie-in-the sky figure that can only be achieved with full weight distribution hitch and driver-only...no other passengers or gear in the truck. But with bumper-pull, normal load of people/gear, and no WD hitch? Your max towing capacity is always way WAY below their advertised levels...50% or less.

Since I realized I was going to be towing very close to the max of what my truck is designed for, that's why I decided to go with the WD setup, and why I recommend it for others in similar situations.

4. I have no problem getting 3 Gades into mine all facing forward? Not sure why you can't. That said, I run mine with 2 loaded backwards and one loaded forward. Has more to do with my loading/parking situation and location of the man door than anything else. I've towed them in other configurations before and it makes little difference in my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I towed my R&R 18x7+ 5ft V inline, loaded with 3 Gades, about 3000 miles the past 3 weekends back and forth to the UP a couple times from Indianapolis. Each trip was very windy...and one day, the worst day (last Friday Feb 19), was literally AVERAGE 40 to 50 mph cross winds (gusts reportedly reached 70 mph at times) up I-65 in Indiana, I was running 73 to 75 mph with the cruise control set and had no problems. We actually passed 3 semis along the route that were blown over laying on their side and laying in the median. Yes it was one of THOSE days that made the news. I was towing with a 2015 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab. Weather highlight: http://www.weather.gov/lot/2016feb19_highwinds

I went into that drive expecting a handful. But I was so pleased to quickly find had almost zero sway with the gusts...barely felt the cross winds, basically easy two-finger cruising even when passing big semi trucks and such. Frankly I was stunned how stable it was. I swear my 4 door sedan would have taken much more input to keep on the road on a day like that, compared to this rig.

My secret? And honestly I truly think this is the best answer? A full blown weight distribution hitch setup with integrated sway control. I would never consider towing a trailer of this size with a 1/2 ton truck without it. I knew the hitch it would work well handling bumps and heavy loads and it always has, but after that particular trip which was my first with SERIOUS cross winds? I now know the conditions where the setup flat-out works incredible.

Yes it's a $$ investment and a bit of a PITA to install on these trailers that don't always take well to WD hitches. But to anyone towing 3 place inline or larger with 1/2 ton trucks I'd strongly recommend figuring out how to get it done. I showed and explained my setup in this link when I installed it 2 seasons ago (initially I put it on my 2003 3/4 ton Silverado but I have since traded in on the 2015 1/2 ton and then re-set the same hitch for the new truck). Was a fantastic investment, I've towed it a lot of miles now, and I have no regrets:

http://www.dootalk.com/forums/topic/881745-my-weight-distribution-setup-on-rr-v-nose/
Thanks for the info! I was looking into a setup like this. Who makes the setup you use? Is your trailer a single post tongue utilizing a pole tongue adapter for the weight distribution system?? Could you post some pictures of your setup?

As far as fitting three renegades in from the back, I have not tried. Just was told that they had to be loaded from front or they would not all fit in that trailer. When you tow with your weight distribution setup do you load the sleds from the front or back??
 

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Post #1 of that link at the end of my post includes 3 clear photos of my setup. That's my actual trailer and hitch. Yes I had to fabricate my own pole tongue adapter as is shown in the photos.

Mine is a Fastway e2 Hitch, their 6000 pound version. Basically a discount version of the Equal-i-zer. But I'm not brand loyal and don't think name brand matters at all. Someone else posted an Andersen setup with photos at the end of that thread, that uses chains instead of spring bars, and I have every reason to believe it would work equally well...and might be easier to install. It's a unique setup but same basic principle and includes a nice friction sway control.

I do like what I have, but I'd absolutely look into the Andersen if you think it would work better for your tongue setup and may not require any fabrication or any pole tongue adapter.

I've loaded my sleds all different ways. Doesn't matter tows about the same regardless. Usually I have 2 facing backwards and one facing forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info! I was looking into a setup like this. Who makes the setup you use? Is your trailer a single post tongue utilizing a pole tongue adapter for the weight distribution system?? Could you post some pictures of your setup?

As far as fitting three renegades in from the back, I have not tried. Just was told that they had to be loaded from front or they would not all fit in that trailer. When you tow with your weight distribution setup do you load the sleds from the front or back??
Sorry, I missed the link you provided for you thread on the setup that has pictures.
 

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I really like the looks and simplicity of the Anderson, might switch to that on my camper.

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2010 f150 Screw 5.4L with load range E Goodyear Duratrac's towing a R&R inline 7'x16'+5' with 2 129" sleds. Tows best with sleds loaded in front to back. So far so good, tows very well, trailer sits perfectly level when hooked up to truck.

I can relate to the trailer ever so slightly pushing the truck with high winds but nothing that concerned me much at all. Good luck.
 

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Be really careful with the weight distribution and icy, slippery roads, your taking weight off the rear axle of the tow vehicle (drive axle) and placing it on the steer. At 10% (the given ideal tongue weight) for this set up is roughly 450lbs (you stated your trailer with sleds/gear is 4,500lbs), you should try and get that, 450 on the back of a full size truck is not a huge amount so you wouldn't put much in the way of pulling weight off the tongue, however some have a built in sway with that hitch like Anderson where more weight applied to the ball crates friction...

Here is a way for you to actually measure your tongue weight via simply home scale and boards...

http://hildstrom.com/projects/tonguescale/

or head over to your local truckstop and utilize their scale.

Lastly make sure you measure the trailer level height, you want to weight your trailer tongue with the trailer level, and make sure your ball height is level not sitting high.

This is the hitch I use on my camper, it has built in adaptive sway control...but as I mentioned earlier, these are designed to pull weight off the rear and force it forward..in this case its not really needed as you just need sway control.

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/eaz-lift-trekker-weight-distributing-hitch-1000-lbs-/73916
 

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Axle placement on the trailer will have a big effect on the truck in the wind. The more trailer behind the axle/pivot point the worse it will be. Think weather vane.

Most sled trailers would benefit greatly having the axles farther back and/or being single axle.
As mentioned above ditch the P rated tires for LT rated.
 

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At 10% (the given ideal tongue weight) for this set up is roughly 450lbs (you stated your trailer with sleds/gear is 4,500lbs), you should try and get that, 450 on the back of a full size truck is not a huge amount
10% is considered a minimum. I can't find a Ford statement in their towing guide, but found this for GMC I'm sure Ford is similar:

"For conventional trailers with ball-mounted hitches, proper tongue weight is roughly 10 to 15 percent of the total loaded trailer weight."

So if we assume 4,500 pound trailer, tongue weight can/should be somewhere between 450 and 675. I know you said that 450 is not a huge amount, but it's actually pushing the limits of this truck. Right in the Ford Towing guide that the max tongue weight allowable on the F150 receiver hitch is only 500 pounds (1,130 pounds with WD hitch). So there's a good chance this trailer could actually have TOO MUCH tongue weight for the truck, and not too little as many seem to be assuming is causing the problem.

I agree with you 100% that tongue weight is critical to measure and know. We're assuming a lot here and we don't know much about Brad670's setup. I know my tongue weight on my similar trailer is about 600 to 650 depending on how I load it, as I weighed it before doing all my hitch setup. This was the primary reason I went with a WD hitch...it was clear to me my 600+ pound tongue weight was exceeding the capacity of my truck, even with NOTHING in the bed, and the WD hitch was required per GM to pull my trailer. Ford's not much different they limit bumper-pull to 5,000 pound trailer/500 pound tongue weight max without WD.

These 1/2 ton trucks have more limitations than many realize...I blame their misleading advertising. Even though people exceed their limits all the time, in truth they can only tow and carry so much safely, and they are especially limited with ball-pull hitches. They need help and setup work to come anywhere close to what their advertising material states.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for everyone's input...it is greatly appreciated.

I have been reading up on the WD systems with sway control and it sounds like a lot of people don't recommend them in icy or snowy conditions. Since I have only taken one trip where I didn't hit any snow at all I think I will save this option for a last resort.

Looking at the truck and trailer after doing further research, the tongue of the trailer is tipped up just a touch when hitched to the truck. Could probably use another inch of drop on the ball mount.

Have any of you guys had an issue that was caused by tongue sitting up and was solved by lowering the tongue?

The issue I have doesn't really seem like sway....I have had a trailer sway before where once you hit a certain speed the trailer constantly darts back and forth. This is not that symptom but more of the truck pivoting the opposite way that the cross wind is blowing the trailer. Like I said, very weird feeling when it happens. Once you correct it, the rig straightens right out and pulls fine but if your not two hands on the wheel waiting for it when it happens it could easily rip you off the road.

I forgot to mention that I had a chance to tow it empty with some cross winds the week I picked it up and I had the same thing happen. Are these trailers light in tongue weight when empty?

Anyone have any input as to how their inline tows empty?

I did have it loaded a little different on the way back then on the way up and I can see that it could have been a little heavy in the rear. On the way up I had the heaviest of the sled in the front of the trailer and without realizing it I had put the heaviest of the sleds in the back of the trailer on the way home. At the time I didn't think it would make that big of a difference.

I think I will try dropping the the tongue down another inch and make sure to load the heavy sleds in the front with the lightest one in the rear along with making sure the spare tire and jack are in the v-nose and see if that makes a difference in the wind. And maybe adding a little bit of weight to the bed of the truck if need be to see if that makes a difference at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
As soon as I get a chance I plan on loading the trailer and seeing what I have for tongue weight as well.
 
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