Towing tent trailer problem?

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by MikeM, May 20, 2002.

  1. MikeM

    MikeM New Member

    My wife and I recently purchased our first tent trailer (Flagstaff model 625D) and everything seems OK, but I'm wondering if there's a problem while towing. As we are first-timers, please forgive any ignorance displayed!

    The GVWR of our trailer is apx 3000 lbs, and that's within the tow capacity of our '95 Ford Explorer (or so we thought and were told). When hitched, the trailer pulls noticeably down on the back of our Explorer and now we're wondering if we got too heavy a trailer(?). Is this something that's normal and we shouldn't worry about? If its not normal, are there any suggestions as to how to correct this pulldown (other than getting another tow vehicle, which is something we can't afford right now)? Or is the problem not the trailer but our Explorer and is there something we can modify it with to correct this pulldown? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Butch

    Butch New Member

    Towing tent trailer problem?

    Not knowing what your tounge weight is, it's rather hard to diagnose a problem. However, "if" the tongue weight is causing a handling problem, this can easily be cured by the addition of a small load equalizing hitch system. Though I can't imagine this is the case. Have you weighed the tongue??? This is easily done with bathroom scales if you suspect the weight is less than 900 lbs.
     
  3. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Towing tent trailer problem?

    agree with Butch on checking the tongue weight. Does the Explorer sag with just the trailer or have you loaded your trailer with all your personal stuff?? Placement of all your belongings are critical. How far does your rear bumper drop? Air shocks would probably solve the problem. Be sure and check the air pressure in rear tires. probably want to go with max pressure. Welcome to the wonderful world of camping. Igorance is only if you don't ask and try to learn.

    Chelse L. Nash
    fulltimer03@yahoo.com
     
  4. Les Adams

    Les Adams New Member

    Towing tent trailer problem?

    Generally speaking, when tongue weights exceed #300 a weight distribution is used...

    In that the Explorer has a reasonably soft suspension, the #300 positioned aft of the rear bumper is providing a pretty good fulcrum and making the rear end of the Explorer squat down excessively...

    You can either install air bags or a weight distribution hitch to restore the Explorer to a level condition... I would definitely do one or the other as handling will definitely be effected with the rear of the Explorer squatting excessively and "lifting" the front end of the vehicle...

    I would tend to lean toward the W/D hitch as a light duty W/D hitch will probably be cheaper than air bags and it will enable you to install a friction type anti sway bar on the hitch which will result in additional towing stability...

    Best Regards,
    Les

    2000 Ford F-250 Super Duty, XLT SuperCab, 4X4 Off Road, SWB, V10/3:73LS/4R100 towing 1999 Skyline 27' Nomad, Model 2700, Pullrite Hitch, Jordan Ultima 2020 brake controller
     
  5. MikeM

    MikeM New Member

    Towing tent trailer problem?

    Thanks for the suggestions. If I'm reading the manuel correctly, the weight of the tongue is 372 lbs. We did have a weight-distributing hitch installed when we got the trailer, so it may be the Explorer's own suspension causing the problem(?). We didn't load down the Explorer or the trailer with a bunch of stuff, in fact I first noticed the pulldown when both were empty.

    Again, a dumb question: one mentioned air shocks, another mentioned air bags for the Explorer. Are they both the same thing and if not, which would be better?
     
  6. Will Daniels

    Will Daniels New Member

    Towing tent trailer problem?

    I had a trailer similar to yours that I sold to a guy with a 6cyl.Cherokee,and when he hitched up it was within 1" of level.Sounds like you could use some Bilsteins or Air shocks in that Explorer.If that does not work a W/D hitch sure would.Dont load that front storage compartment with a lot of junk.I towed mine with a F-150 with heavy duty shocks,no W/D or even a sway control-did not need it because of such a low profile-make sure you have a good brake controller and properly adjusted.
     
  7. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Towing tent trailer problem?

    Mike, air shocks and bags are not the same. Serve the same purpose. The air shocks should be your cheapest route and I think they will do what you need. Either one will install on your rear suspension and will have a schrader valve like your tires to air up. Most locate the valve around the rear tag area. Again, how far does your rear drop on the Explorer when hitched. Had to add explorer to above sentence, got in trouble working on a lady's car one time drove it and when I came back she asked me what was wrong and I told her HER rear end was bad!! Learned to add car, truck or whatever.

    Chelse L. Nash
    fulltimer03@yahoo.com
     
  8. Cliff

    Cliff New Member

    Towing tent trailer problem?

    It doesn't sound like you have that WDH cranked down enough, that thing should level the trailer and the Explorer! I've read many thread's about this on the forum at Popup Times message boards, and had been planning on getting one of these myself! You might check in over there, numerous pop-up campers with similar equipment will be able to give you some of their inside tips.
    http://www.popuptimes.com/forum/default.asp


    *C*

    Chaos reigns within. Reflect, repent, and reboot.
    Order shall return.


    www.gonecamping.net
     

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