Sway Control

CJBNorth

Member
I am new to the forum, but thought it may be good to use, to ask a question. I have a North Trail 26LRSS and pull it with either my 1/2 ton pick up or Chevy Suburban. The Suburban definitely does a better job, but yet I was told by the dealership this particular model was easily pulled by a 1/2 ton truck. The power is not the issue, it is the sway. I have never pulled a trailer which is so sensitive to wind, cars "drafting" behind you, or when larger vehicles pass on the highway. Between 65 and 70 the movement if very noticeable and this trailer is not a pleasure to pull. Love the trailer, hate getting to where we need to go.

I have tried several things to address the issue, adding a heavier duty tire to my truck, decreased or added tongue weight, ran with full tanks. It is still an issue. I have since read about other owners having the same issues. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks,

CJ
 

cookie

Administrator
Staff member
Hello CJ and welcome to this great forum. Lots of great information here.
One thing that you did not mention is if you are using an equalizer hitch and anti-sway bars.
If not I think it's one thing you should seriously consider.
Hopefully someone using the same or similar trailer and tow vehicle will chime in with their experience.
Oh, and one more thing, your trailer tires are rated for 65 mph.

Peace
Dave
 

Doublegranch

Mountain Region Director-Retired
I have a 21FBS NorthTrail and never an issue of sway. I use an equalizer hitch and sway bar and if it's adjusted correctly you will never know the North Trail is behind you. I started pulling mine with an 11 2500 Ran and moved up to a 3500 16 Ram since I will be upgrading to a 5th wheel next year. If you have just a ball hitch only, you are around 6900 lbs and you will get sway without a proper hitch. I don't think your tires will have anything to do with the sway, it's all in the hitch set up. Good luck. Did your dealer not sell you an equalizer hitch with the North Trail?
 

CaptnJohn

Active Member
Equalizer ~~trade name~~ now has sway control built into their torsion bar system. Bought a new system in September and works better than anything ever used in the past. Sad to have bought it as I may buy a new 5th wheel this week. Only used the system twice! If all goes as planned it will end up on Craigslist unless I hear of someone that wants it.
 

Silverado23

Iowa Chapter Leaders
When properly adjusted, I rarely ever had any issues with sway pulling my NT 31BDSS with my 1/2 ton Silverado. I have since upgraded to a 3/4 ton NT 32BUDS and still use the same equalizer hitch.
 

CJBNorth

Member
Thanks all for some of the feed back. This is the hitch I bought with the trailer, recommended by the dealer, Blue Ox SwayPro Weight Distribution w/ Sway Control - Clamp On - Trunnion - 8,000 lb GTW, 750 lb TW. I used to pull a 1972 28 ft. Holiday Rambler, for our deer camp. Never knew how much it weighed, but it sat behind the truck and you never knew it was there until you had to stop. Maybe it is the hitch assembly. I have adjusted every thing else.
 

JanAndBill

Well-known member
I am new to the forum, but thought it may be good to use, to ask a question. I have a North Trail 26LRSS and pull it with either my 1/2 ton pick up or Chevy Suburban. The Suburban definitely does a better job, but yet I was told by the dealership this particular model was easily pulled by a 1/2 ton truck. The power is not the issue, it is the sway. I have never pulled a trailer which is so sensitive to wind, cars "drafting" behind you, or when larger vehicles pass on the highway. Between 65 and 70 the movement if very noticeable and this trailer is not a pleasure to pull. Love the trailer, hate getting to where we need to go.

I have tried several things to address the issue, adding a heavier duty tire to my truck, decreased or added tongue weight, ran with full tanks. It is still an issue. I have since read about other owners having the same issues. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks,

CJ


I don't see where you mentioned what year your vehicles are. Could it be possible that one or the other other might be new enough that it has sway control built in and the other doesn't?
 

TravelTiger

Founding Texas-West Chapter Leaders-Retired
The Suburban probably doesn't have the wheelbase length to offset the "tail wagging the dog."

61b997e87239e0aed7b3ea83aa73d2e4.jpg



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

CaptnJohn

Active Member
GMC had a 130" wheelbase ~ same as Suburban. In those days we had the 'add on' sway control bar. Towed a 29' trailer cross country and many other trips. One thing I did was open rear port window and starboard front window. Seemed to recover quicker if a semi passed doing 70 MPH while pulling at the legal 55 or 60. That was in the 70s...
 

weekender01

Well-known member
The Suburban probably doesn't have the wheelbase length to offset the "tail wagging the dog."

61b997e87239e0aed7b3ea83aa73d2e4.jpg



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Not sure how old this chart is, but if you go by this chart then most people should not be able to tow anything longer than 35' - 36'. I am not sure about the bluie ox hitch, but Equalizer is supposed to be one of the best. Do note that some set ups of trailers and vehicles just have more sway than others. Not sure why, but it happens.
 

JohnD

Moved on to the next thing...
Perhaps the WD setup you have is not adjusted correctly for the new trailer, even though you are still using the same tow vehicles that you did for your old trailer.

I had the DrawTite WD setup with a Reese sway bar on my two previous bumper pull trailers and through three different trucks, and each combination required the setup to be adjusted completely different.

You may want to take your truck and trailer to a dealer or trailer hitch shop and have them install and adjust it right.
 

Bob&Patty

Founders of SoCal Chapter
Does your TT set level when hitched up or sit nose high?? The ball has to be level when the trailer is level. Ball too high....tale wagging.
 

CJBNorth

Member
Thanks Bob, interestingly enough I have set the height at different levels, and yes, to high makes it worse. To low, not as bad. The problem still exists, the very first time after I left the dealer it had the issue and they set it at level and hooked it up for me the first time. I will keep messing with it, I personally think the axles sit to far forward on the trailer.

- - - Updated - - -

Thanks John, I think bringing it back is the right move, they set it all up to begin with.

- - - Updated - - -

Thanks CaptnJohn, The wheel base on the Suburban is big enough, it definitely has something to do with how it is hooked up and/or weight distribution. My brother looked at it, he pulls trailers for a living and is convinced the trailer axles need to be moved back. I think it is going back to the dealer. They set it all up for me the first time maybe they can figure it out

- - - Updated - - -

Thanks all for the insight. Will keep working on it and see if it can be resolved.
 

CaptnJohn

Active Member
The WD hitch does what it supposed to ~~ distributes weight forward and rearward. A past TT was too light in the nose. By accident I found 80# in the nose eliminated sway. It even had the old style sway control bar. I told trailer builder and he either added or lengthened the and that helped without the weight. This was a builder of commercial trailers for contractors, not RVs.
Thanks Bob, interestingly enough I have set the height at different levels, and yes, to high makes it worse. To low, not as bad. The problem still exists, the very first time after I left the dealer it had the issue and they set it at level and hooked it up for me the first time. I will keep messing with it, I personally think the axles sit to far forward on the trailer.

- - - Updated - - -

Thanks John, I think bringing it back is the right move, they set it all up to begin with.

- - - Updated - - -

Thanks CaptnJohn, The wheel base on the Suburban is big enough, it definitely has something to do with how it is hooked up and/or weight distribution. My brother looked at it, he pulls trailers for a living and is convinced the trailer axles need to be moved back. I think it is going back to the dealer. They set it all up for me the first time maybe they can figure it out

- - - Updated - - -

Thanks all for the insight. Will keep working on it and see if it can be resolved.
 

JohnD

Moved on to the next thing...
I don't think the axles need to be moved . . . I'm sure they are right where the designers wanted them!

The North Trails have the axles spread farther apart from each other, which should help eliminate sway.

Our previous Trail Runner had the axles close together, which increased sway, not too mention the rear kitchen, which made it very rear end heavy.

NewCamperTruck-P9110306.jpg Newtruck&trailer-IMG_20140829_090639644.jpg SunCityRV-IMG_20150122_173556536.jpg

Even with the sway bars and WD setup, anything over 65 MPH that thing would start swaying like crazy!

Of course, as mentioned earlier in this thread, the tires are only rated up to 65 MPH, so it is definately not advised to go any faster than that without having tire blowouts.

If you have a business near you that only installs trailer hitches . . . take your truck and trailer to them instead of your trailer dealership and have them adjust your setup and then have them show you how to hook it all up correctly when you want to tow.

There is a right way and a wrong way to hitch those up . . . have them show you the right way!

And since you have two trucks . . . each one will hitch up differently than the other.

I always tried to hitch up with a full tank of gas so that when I was leveling the truck and trailer for the WD setup it had the maximum weight already in the truck.
 

Treyz71

Member
Have you adjusted the angle of the hitch head? We had an Outback 32BHDS Travel Trailer and the E2 Friction Sway hitch setup. The hitch head setup used washers to adjust the angle of the head and the dealer installed 4 washers to begin with. I would get some sway when passing tractor trailers on the highway, so I began adjusting. At the end of my efforts, the simple addition of one more washer to increase the downward angle of the hitch head totally fixed the issue. I found the recommendation to add washers once I finally read the manual for my hitch setup.
 

clark261

Member
If you notice that your trailer sways to one side more than the other, tighten the screw on that side a quarter turn or until no more swaying occurs.
 
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