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Bouncy first tow

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  • Bouncy first tow

    Took delivery of my trailer Friday (2/19/2021) and while the trip home was completely uneventful, it did seem awfully bouncy. Acceleration and braking was fine, and trailer sway wasn't an issue. But boy, did we bounce a lot! As a newbie to towing, maybe this is to be expected, but it was pretty uncomfortable at times. I have a Husky anti-sway weight distribution hitch (installed and set up by the dealer that day) on the truck. I was careful (I think) in my weight calculations, being around 400 lbs under max payload (1534#) and a couple of thousand pounds under max tow capacity. I guess I'm looking for some insight - and some suggestions as to how to tame the bouncing. I'm thinking new shocks? existing ones are 9 years old w/ 90k on them. Thanks in advance.
    Kevin & Angela
    2021 Imagine XLS 22RBE
    2012 F150 Lariat w/ Ecoboost 2x4

  • #2
    I'm going to guess it's a combination of shocks and tires. Cate&Rob is exceptionally knowledgeable about this stuff, so he'll know for sure or will be able to point you in the right direction.
    Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

    Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

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    • #3
      19hokie81 shocks are a good place to look but it could also be that the WDH is not setup properly and may need fine tuning. Some dealers do not get it setup properly and that can cause the porpoising that you seem to be experiencing. As well once you have the trailer loaded you will need to fine tune the WDH as well.

      Rob
      Rob & Barb
      2019 RAM 3500 Big Horn, 6.7 Cummins HO/Aisin
      2018 Reflection 297RSTS

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you howson and Calbar for your quick responses! Calbar, i will admit I was a bit concerned with how quickly that hitch was put on and set-up on pick-up day. When I asked about needing to adjust for a loaded trailer and how to do that, the response was "oh, you'll be fine".
        Kevin & Angela
        2021 Imagine XLS 22RBE
        2012 F150 Lariat w/ Ecoboost 2x4

        Comment


        • #5
          Shocks first for sure at 90K. What tires do you have on the truck?
          John & Kathy
          2014 Reflection 303RLS
          2014 F250 SC SB 6.2

          Comment


          • #6
            19hokie81
            Hi Kevin,

            I would agree with Howard howson that this is likely a combination of shocks and tires . . . but, I would start with the tires. Unfortunately, F150s come in a lot of varieties and from your 1535 lb payload in a 2WD truck, you have one of the lighter suspension/tire combinations. Your truck probably has passenger car tires running at likely 35 psi. The HDPP (heavy duty payload package) on this truck came with LT (light truck) tires with much stiffer side walls and running at 60 psi. My similar vintage truck came with LT245/75R17E tires. This would be a place to start (if you have 17" wheels or similar if you have larger wheels) but make sure that your wheels are capable of running at higher pressure. If this does not take out the bounce, I would suggest the shocks and even the springs that Ford designed for the HDPP which should fit your truck without any modifications.

            Rob
            Cate & Rob
            (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
            2015 Reflection 303RLS
            2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package
            Aylmer, Ontario, Canada

            Comment


            • #7
              Jkwilson "What tires do you have on the truck?"

              Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus, 265/60R18.
              Kevin & Angela
              2021 Imagine XLS 22RBE
              2012 F150 Lariat w/ Ecoboost 2x4

              Comment


              • #8
                Cate&Rob - Rob, thanks for your insight. The set of tires on my truck are advertised as truck tires by the manufacturer - Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus, 265/60R18 - but they don't' have that LT prefix like your tire size example. A lot of marketing hype on treadwear, appearance, etc., but nothing on sidewall strength or towing. Also, max psi appears to be 51, but I am running them at 35 (because I didn't know). Also, how do I know if my wheels will accept the high pressure? Did a quick look-up, and appears valve stem type is the determining factor (ref: eTrailer)?
                Last edited by 19hokie81; 02-22-2021, 12:24 PM.
                Kevin & Angela
                2021 Imagine XLS 22RBE
                2012 F150 Lariat w/ Ecoboost 2x4

                Comment


                • #9
                  19hokie81
                  Hi Kevin,

                  Light Truck tires are rated by number of plies and load carrying capacity. The LTE tires on my truck are rated at 80 psi max. Later F150s (2015 and after with the aluminum body) went to LTC tires at 60 psi max, because Ford could get into the 2500 lb payload range with these because the truck was lighter. Good question on how to know if your wheels can handle higher pressure. I would suggest contacting Ford directly . . . not just a dealer's opinion. Several owners have reported upgrading their tires and increasing pressure without problems, but I don't know who or how they verified that this would not be a problem. My 80 psi wheels and tires have rubber valve stems . . . so, this is not the determining factor.

                  Rob
                  Cate & Rob
                  (with Border Collies Molly & Angel and their kitty Gracie)
                  2015 Reflection 303RLS
                  2014 Ecoboost F150 with Heavy Duty Payload Package
                  Aylmer, Ontario, Canada

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 19hokie81 View Post
                    Took delivery of my trailer Friday (2/19/2021) and while the trip home was completely uneventful, it did seem awfully bouncy. Acceleration and braking was fine, and trailer sway wasn't an issue. But boy, did we bounce a lot! As a newbie to towing, maybe this is to be expected, but it was pretty uncomfortable at times. I have a Husky anti-sway weight distribution hitch (installed and set up by the dealer that day) on the truck. I was careful (I think) in my weight calculations, being around 400 lbs under max payload (1534#) and a couple of thousand pounds under max tow capacity. I guess I'm looking for some insight - and some suggestions as to how to tame the bouncing. I'm thinking new shocks? existing ones are 9 years old w/ 90k on them. Thanks in advance.
                    Your shocks at 90K miles are completely spent. Not sure how old your tires are but the LT tires and new shocks would help. Your weight distribution adjustment will need to be re-visited once the rig is loaded to trip ready weights. Load up the rig, weight it and go over the setup procedure for your hitch to see if the setup still makes sense.

                    I installed E rated Michelin Defenders on my half ton truck where they stiffened up the ride a bit. So I run them at 40psi empty and 45psi front and 50 psi rear for towing. Too much pressure on a heavier tire will result in crowning on a light weight truck and will reduce the tire contact patch. Many of us use pressure/load tables to air up tires.

                    Jim
                    Last edited by MidwestCamper; 02-22-2021, 01:21 PM.
                    2017 Imagine 2600RB
                    2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A good place to start on tire max pressure is to find the tire placard on the truck. That placard will tell you what size the original tires were and what they pressure to run safely at max payload for the truck.

                      Before I start changing parts, I would load the unit as intended for travel: find, read, and ensure comprehension of the WD hitch setup procedure; air up the tires to placard pressures; hook up and tow unit to a FLAT SAFE AREA where you can hook and unhook the unit along with taking measurements (level is always a plus, but relatively level is acceptable); then verify that the setting on the WD hitch are correct.

                      On my TT bumper pull unit, the way the dealer hooked it up i had too much tension in the bar chain setup which resulted in intermittent loss of traction on the rear tires (stoplight white stripes and rocky intersections). Upon getting everything in the unit, it was still too tight and I ended up going through the process and found that it was off a couple of links. Minor change in the setup of chain links resulted in a MAJOR differences in both ride and handling,
                      Tow Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                      Coach: 303RLS Pending Delivery week of March 1st.

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                      • #12
                        Being a newbee a several months ago, I had the same issue. I dialed in the hitch and the purposing went away. I would suggest the OP read the hitch manual and dial it in first before chasing tires and shocks.
                        John and Lori
                        2018 F150 XLT SCAB 2.7l
                        2021 Imagine 22MLE

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JHC View Post
                          Being a newbee a several months ago, I had the same issue. I dialed in the hitch and the purposing went away. I would suggest the OP read the hitch manual and dial it in first before chasing tires and shocks.
                          2nd that. Adjusting equipment you already have costs nothing. And it's something you will have to do with new shocks or tires.
                          Mike & Lisa
                          Central Florida
                          2021 Imagine 2970RL
                          1996 Chevy K3500 Crew SRW 7.4L Gas

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            All good points but the OPs shocks are worn out without any doubt. Replacing the rear shocks at a minimum would be cheap and will provide a positive result. Most shocks are good for about 30K with some higher quality monotube shocks good for about 50K miles. Hitch adjustment is critical. Replaced my C rated factory tires with LT Michelin Defenders and they helped as well.

                            Jim
                            2017 Imagine 2600RB
                            2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would agree with others, at least some new rear shocks. I would also add to upgrade from what they sale as OE equivalent. There should be a heavy duty option or ,if budget permits, adjustable shocks.
                              2021 Reflection 337RLS
                              2020 Chevy Silverado 3500

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