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RE: Heavy tongue weight - change from PP 3P?

Longest life (best performance in braking & handling) WILL be with correct tire pressure. Not otherwise. The RV world is full of those who think screwing around with tire pressure is how to fix a problem. Tire pressure is ONLY related to its load. (Use a CAT scale; tire manufacturers load & pressure table and INSIDE vehicle manufacturers RANGE). Get it dead-nuts then test. I run my ‘04 CTD at 50-psi all around. (As above). Took two sets of tires to cover 250k (MICHELIN). Still don’t like handling/steering then the WDH needs verification (Three Pass Scale Method). Better shocks (replace at 40-60k with KONI or BILSTEIN). R&R anti-roll bar bushings with poly inserts. SUPER STEER Rear Trac Bar (3/4-1T) cures tail wagging. Most (almost all) pickup owners don’t get it that THE TRUCK causes loss of control accidents at a higher rate than do the trailers attached. Keeping PROPERLY inflated rear tires on the ground is the whole game. Tires TOO HARD are NOT a good idea. Pressure is a “fixed” value. .
BackOfThePack 04/27/21 11:30am Towing
RE: Oklahoma Turnpike info

Is Highway 35 south of Oklahoma a turnpike? If so, what is the name? A route we're exploring is from Salina to Denton but things have changed in Oklahoma city since my last trip through the area. Thanks all.... Once out of KS, no tolls to Denton.
BackOfThePack 04/27/21 11:02am Roads and Routes
RE: I need a FAST route MA to Atlanta GA

Look at this. I-90 to I-84 to I-81 to I-77 to I-85. All good not much traffic roads and miss all of the I-95 drama. Heavy traffic no matter what route once near Hagerstown, MD. But, as a truck driver this is the route I’d be using.
BackOfThePack 04/27/21 11:00am Roads and Routes
RE: Okay How many RV'ers here use CB-Radio's?

As soon as I figure out where to mount an antenna without drilling a hole in the side of my Class C, I'll install a CB for an upcoming road trip. I just ordered a hood mount that I think will work well. I won't use the CB all the time, but am looking forward to having it for long freeway drives. Sooooo... got my antenna and CB hooked up for my long 2000 mile trip. Turned out to not be worth it, few truck drivers were talking at all, I asked for a radio check a few times just to be sure it was working since I so rarely heard anyone else. The one time I heard someone report an accident ahead, I already knew about it from Google Maps. Oh well, it was worth the experiment, but now I think I'll just keep the CB in a storage compartment along with a mag-mount antenna in case I ever get stranded where there's no cell service. Most of the chatter on AM-19 will be pre-dawn until about 1100 local. If not in a metro area (see map: Mega-Regions of the USA) understand that truckers have already done the hard work of the day: get to the receiver AND THEN to the next shipper. The last few hours of the day don’t/won’t elicit much pass-the-time-of-day talk. In every part of the USA it’s the local bulk haulers who dominate AM-19. Guys home every night and weekends. Trying to get their several loads DONE. Once they’re off -air at 1500 or so, expect quiet. An Rv’er who starts driving at 0930 and continues past 1600 has slotted himself into the hours PAST what is generally busiest. In the Mega Region map (population density) there’s exception to the above as regional delivery is also prominent. Guys also looking to be home nightly, or several nights per week before the weekend. Tend to hail friends and others. 70-mph speed limits PLUS big trucks difficult to get a good ground plane are natural discouragement to drivers. One, can’t run 70, and, Two, hard to get a CB system worth beans in a plastic truck. 2000-mile trip quiet? Late morning departure and driving over the weekend are almost a guarantee of hearing little the farther one gets from the US Northeast. Not all talk is on AM-19. I’ve run a scanner constantly searching the rest of the Elrvrn Meter band and “found” plenty in some regions NOT on 19. It’s a tool without a replacement while on-road. Commercial Carriers Road Atlas and a Garmin big truck spec GPS are what I use. WAZE and Google maps are only useful for knowing where NOT to go. Unless you believe that running up into a crowd on the road you’d avoid while walking is a good idea. (Trapped, with no exit). I’ll be on my way around those problems. Good luck .
BackOfThePack 04/27/21 10:49am RV Lifestyle
RE: NEED ADVICE ON NEW TT AND TOWING

Heavier suspension won’t add anything. The problem with a trailer this size is its shape. A squared edge box is no fun in crosswinds. It’s weight doesn’t matter. 4,000-lbs or 10,000-lbs it’d still have the same sail area. My trailer is 35’. My truck a good match ONLY when it’s fully loaded so that FF/RR spring compliance accepts WDH loading well. Long wheelbase, high COG, narrow tires, ARE NOT aspects of a good tow vehicle. That pickup cited is — like mine — overpowered for the job. I use and strongly advocate the use of a Hensley patent hitch (that brand name or the improved patent Pro Pride brand). Eliminating sway (SUDDEN crosswinds) has no peer. Anyone starts citing “weight” or payload really hasn’t a clue of what factors matter. WDH solved the problem circa 1966. STEERING & BRAKING are what matter, overwhelmingly. The toughest part about a long trailer is in maneuvering it on & off highway. If a new experience, it takes time to “know” what will work, and what won’t. An even LONGER wheelbase pickup just makes steering & handling worse, not better. OP, the well-intentioned newbies with 10-20 years tend not to know much. Haven’t any experience but with badly hitched rigs composed of badly designed vehicles, and never investigate causes versus analyzing what’s really wrong. Then makes things worse with “a bigger tow vehicle”. That pickup is more than enough. The details of RIGHT hitch rigging are what remain. Don’t exceed axle/tire limits is how it’s contained. It’ll then be the BETTER TV than a 1T. Slow up a sharp grade? So what? So is every heavy vehicle. Being able to stop and steer well is BEST hitch rigging ON THE DOWNSLOPE. That’s where most vehicle loss of control accidents occur (wind gusts & slippery surface). The rig acts best under slight positive acceleration where the WDH has spread the FORCE exerted by the trailer tongue LEVER end OVER both vehicles. Compliant-suspension vehicles (trailer would need DEXTER TOR FLEX as upgrade) have it over stiffly sprung short wheel travel vehicles. MORE spring capacity is the exact wrong direction of things important.
BackOfThePack 04/20/21 10:38am Towing
RE: Air Flow Deflectors

The days trip plan trumps aero aids (any spending to save). It’s basic as to all stops planned, travel speed below the crowd on cruise control, and maximum vehicle separation while traveling. Zero idling. “Trip plan” is a term used by truck drivers to account for all the days details — the how to — to maximize hours available at the best rate of speed (where speed is governed). With RVs otherwise identical, your aero aids and my better trip plan will cause me to “win” the MPG game on a daily basis. Once one understands how little time over the course of a full day one actually spends at cruise speed, the pieces fall into place. I’m hardly against an aero rig, I spec’d both TV & TT for longest life with highest reliability at lowest cost of operation. Aero (plus a high compression engined TV) is central. But it has to be built-in at vehicle specification to be truly effective. Average Speed (Engine Hours vs Odometer Miles) is related to Average MPG, directly. The aero wall is at 60-mph. No one gets better MPG above this. The rate of increase rises so rapidly above 65-mph that most big trucks are governed at 65-67/mph. “Time saved” no longer works past this (traffic volume and driver stress). The RV lane in all this (Interstste) is from 62-64/mph. Not faster. No lane changes. No accel/decel events of any note. CONTROL of pre-planned stops and off-road minutes (driving, too) is major changes in AVERAGE mph & mpg. Which is the game. I drove Chicago to Fort Worth in a rental identical to my sons car. He likes to run 70+. I eased along at 64-mph. His lower mpg meant he lost enough time for extra fuel that — on a trip just over 1,000-miles — his DRIVING time savings would have been 40-minutes (assuming he controlled time at pre-planned stops as well as I do. He doesn’t). He’d have burned 2/3 an extra tank of fuel to have done the same work. And likely arrived no earlier (is the point). As a transport-rated ex-military pilot he certainly understands all this. So, you retired guys and budget-pinching Rvers pay attention: chasing pennies at a remote fuel stop WILL COST MORE. Risk, time and stress. Save money during your commuter daily miles and it underwrites travel. Ten years ago when fuel was $4 and higher I figured out how to save enough annually in my daily driving to pay for 5,000-miles of “free” vacation fuel. You can too. Keep records of all gallons used and watch out for Average MPH. If yours is below 27-MPH as an average you’re a poor driver and abusive operator. Apply a common sense attitude BEFORE you try spending money to save money. Keep records and apply some discipline in ALL driving. I think I understand and agree with most of your post. I don't understand the part you said " If yours is below 27-MPH as an average you’re a poor driver and abusive operator." That has me confused. Most of what you are saying is to just plan you trip in advance, get on the highway, set the cruse control, and avoid starts /stops / idling etc. That all makes sense. But, don't travel to much below the crowd speed. You are a hazard to traffic when everyone has to change lanes to go around you. There are limits to this of course. If everyone is going 80 I'm not suggesting you should go 80! But, 65-70 is good towing speed on the interstate. If you want to go slower then that find a nice back road. One that is listed for 55-60 and enjoy the scenery. That is fun too and I often do that. Average MPH = All Miles divided by Engine Hours. The legal Interstate speed is a RANGE and usually from 45-70/mph. Traveling 60-62/mph is hardly a problem. One watches mirrors and dies his best to get traffic around. The “danger” comes from those with ZERO regard for others. “Too fast for conditions” isn’t about weather, first, it’s about TRAFFIC VOLUME. Thoroughly illegal to use the left lane as a travel lane as a higher speed IS NOT a defense for screwing things up for others. How many here understand that it is illegal to block entry to the passing lane? YOU will be at fault, or overturned in the median, for such disregard. Multiple vehicles in the left lane is a recent phenomenon (didn’t exist before late 1990s), AND DO NOT HAVE R.O.W. in any situation. “Passing” is one at a time. Only the right lane is for travell, and ONLY the travel lane has Right-Of-Way. (Make your pass SHORT in duration; get on the throttle). I’m coming up on someone slow my left turn signal comes on when I see a gap. That’s a sign to other drivers illegally in the passing lane. I’m not asking permission. If one wants Fuel Economy, then that’s with (ideally) ZERO lane changes, ZERO braking or acceleration events (use terrain). If I can run 700-miles without passing anyone outside the city in a big truck at 62-mph, then can anyone. It’s not impossible to find those below 60, but they’re rare once away from metros. (Thry catch you by surprise, then you ain’t doing your job). A combination RV is pretty much the worst handling/braking vehicle on the highway. “Stupid” is the guy in the left lane COMPLETELY surrounded with no way out of his dunderhead driving. (Tell us about your “skill”, we might need the laugh). The game is to maintain the very greatest distance between self and others all day long. It’s not hard, it just needs new habits. Great rear view mirrors. Safety & Fuel Economy track each other. The former always pre-empty the latter when it comes up. Steady & Smooth. Year around. Solo or towing. An air deflector may or may not show a difference. But until one has comprehensive records (cents-per-mile), “proving it” is quite another thing. Average MPH below 27 is abuse. It’s not hard (again) to have better regard for the engine. Some new habits. The difference is right there on the annual fuel expenditure line. And even more so on the vehicle longevity calculation. Engines have a maximum life in terms of gallons used as one way of tracking life. Miles aren’t as important. “Spend to Save” world best in initial vehicle specification. Much harder later to recoup costs with magic gadgets. Those that work ONLY at aero-difficult speeds are LEAST likely to pay for themselves as time spent at steady-state cruise is so low. Do the numbers. See for yourself. .
BackOfThePack 04/20/21 10:11am Travel Trailers
RE: WD Hitch or not?

You did not say if your truck has airbags that automatically keep the truck level (airing up when trailer is dropped on hitch). If it levels itself then you do not need a WD hitch to help level. If you are within the weight limit then you do not need a WD hitch. The Ram manual is not talking about weights with using WD hitch unless it specifically states weights using a WD hitch. A WD hitch will typically give a smoother ride and prevent the dolphin effect. A more comfy ride. If your 7,000 gross weight trailer is loaded out to 7,000 lbs then your tongue weight should be 10-15% of that, 700-1,200 lbs or so. This is well under the rated 1,800 lbs your truck is designed for, so again, no you do not need a WD hitch necessarily. WD hitch would be for other benefits, not for tongue weight. Put that hitched “level” TV on the scale. Thrn drop trailer and re-weigh. The weight on the Steer Axle WILL NOT be the same. Airbags (aftermarket, not air suspension) actually make handling worse. Air suspension adds some complication to hitching. The system needs to be de-activated until scale numbers are set. And then checked again once activated (mainly via driving tests). It’s NOT weight. It’s amelioration of FORCE. Owners manuals go with the J2807 set of lies to sell pickups and exclude BETTER passenger vehicles from towing (most aren’t tested and given a random low number). It’s only advice. Just not very good advice any more. Done right, steering control is (as we used to say back in the dim dark 1960s) “fingertip”.
BackOfThePack 04/15/21 09:33am Towing
RE: WD Hitch or not?

Belt & Suspenders approach is: 1) Hensley patent hitch (dialed in) 2) TUSON electronic trailer-mounted anti-sway (activates brakes; faster in operation than OEM TV-based systems). 3). Trailer ANTILOCK disc brakes are the only contender with the Pro Pride or Hensley hitch as to what should come first. 4). TT independent suspension (improved roll center height and widened track) is a not distant addition to those others. “Tripping Hazards” like camber changes upset almost as many trailers as sudden crosswinds in some areas. Think of the VARIETY of ways TV & TV can be out of alignment in a vertical or horizontal plane. And then add other problems occurring at the same moment. No such thing as too much wheel travel for a trailer. INDEPENDENT movement. Travel trailer wrecks are over in 1.5-seconds. Straight axle, sloppy steering 4WD it’s over before driver ever knows there’s a problem. (“Legal speed” may have been no defense to other factors in play) None of this is a skill problem (“oh, I’m a good driver”. Hell, Mario Andretti couldn’t counter a rear wheel slide). Good habits start with BEST hitch rigging. And conservative driving. Which has all but disappeared among RVers. Scale numbers set fire pressures and hitch rigging. Are a huge help in analyzing new problems that come along. Are a baseline for any RVers records. Grab your son and a friend a make a day or weekend out of it. I’ve quoted it three dozen times, but look instead for contributor “Ron Gratz” 2010 post on the THREE PASS SCALE METHOD (its not by that name, exactly). Analyzing your hitch rigging is some arithmetic (we ain’t talkin trig). Once you get it , it’s forever simple.
BackOfThePack 04/15/21 09:15am Towing
RE: WD Hitch or not?

“Weight” isn’t the problem (sure, don’t overload components). Understand that Tongue Weight IS NOT a constant, it’s only a placeholder number. The trailer tongue is ONE END of a lever extending to the trailer axle center. On-road, that force (mass) changes with every foot of travel. It can increase or decrease by hundreds, even thousands of pounds. The reason for a WDH is in the name: spread that FORCE over three sets of axles. Loss of Steering Control is the game. The TOTAL AMOUNT of rubber contacting the ground under your Drive Axle tires is what’s at stake. That trailer gets frisky and wants to pass you (sway; or oscillation: rotation), it’ll yank those rear TV tires free in a heartbeat. The trailer tongue weight problem hasn’t existed in almost sixty years. Was solved. What WAS NOT solved (until 25-years ago) was in eliminating trailer- tow vehicle misalignment UNDER POSITIVE THROTTLE (the only stable state of a vehicle is when moving). That’s with a Hensley patent hitch. Loss of control accidents are about steering control being lost. Bad rig dynamics and poor operator decisions. THE PROBLEM REMAINING IS ADVERSE WINDS. (Why comparisons to a low construction trailer are meaningless). It’s the trailer SAIL AREA. Worst trailer: high COG (slide outs) on narrow track leaf springs in non-aero square box design. Worst tow vehicle: high COG (4WD pickup) with straight axles and long hitch overhang. This is the worst POSSIBLE tow combination. WDH is there to reduce component breakage and soften that big **** hammer coming down. “Anti-sway” (integrated) dampens SOME of the trailer side-slip tendencies. “Sway-Eliminating” uses leverage for both TW force management AND stopping the trailer from ever getting out of alignment in the first place. (Cheap, at 2X the price). The Tow Vehicle , the Trailer; AND THE HITCH RIGGING are EQUALLY weighted in performance once spec is set. The RIGGING ideal is TW divided 1/3-1/3-1/3 to Steer, Drive and Trailer Axles. Short version is that the Steer Axle weighs the same with or without the trailer hitched (done right). This keeps steering with the same feel AND DECREASES BRAKING DISTANCE. If your combination vehicle DOES NOT stop faster than the solo truck with the same load, you got work to do. (Trailer MUST be dead level after hitching). Trailer drums ain’t worth much, so YOU MUST be able to get as much from them as you can before they fade irreparably. A WDH solves TW. Since 1965. (SAE, Bundorf) More importantly, it retains STOCK steering control or feel, AND it improves towing braking distances PAST some resistance to adverse winds putting you upside down in the ditch. Vehicle “payload” doesn’t exist as a category. Any vehicle. This is not a weight problem in any sense, it is a matter of FORCES acting against both vehicles.
BackOfThePack 04/15/21 08:51am Towing
RE: Adding Hitch for Bike carrier on rear??

Besides the strength problems of a rear receiver rack, I don’t see the TAIL LIGHT MODIFICATIONS NEEDED BY EVERY SINGLE ONE. The motorcycle one is worst. Bubba, you NEED a second set of tail lamps mounted ABOVE the scooter. At roofline would be good. As to someone with an Excusion, put them on the roof. Or get a toy hauler. Bikes ain’t a requirement, but safety IS. The weight out back worsens the polar moment of inertia. Against trailer tires and against the worst designed tow vehicle of the past 25-years. Bad mojo all around. Trailer TW isn’t the issue (static measure placeholder), it’s the on-road dynamics of a combination vehicle. Camber change, wind gust, tire problem. Don’t make a bad thing worse.
BackOfThePack 04/15/21 08:19am Travel Trailers
RE: Air Flow Deflectors

The days trip plan trumps aero aids (any spending to save). It’s basic as to all stops planned, travel speed below the crowd on cruise control, and maximum vehicle separation while traveling. Zero idling. “Trip plan” is a term used by truck drivers to account for all the days details — the how to — to maximize hours available at the best rate of speed (where speed is governed). With RVs otherwise identical, your aero aids and my better trip plan will cause me to “win” the MPG game on a daily basis. Once one understands how little time over the course of a full day one actually spends at cruise speed, the pieces fall into place. I’m hardly against an aero rig, I spec’d both TV & TT for longest life with highest reliability at lowest cost of operation. Aero (plus a high compression engined TV) is central. But it has to be built-in at vehicle specification to be truly effective. Average Speed (Engine Hours vs Odometer Miles) is related to Average MPG, directly. The aero wall is at 60-mph. No one gets better MPG above this. The rate of increase rises so rapidly above 65-mph that most big trucks are governed at 65-67/mph. “Time saved” no longer works past this (traffic volume and driver stress). The RV lane in all this (Interstste) is from 62-64/mph. Not faster. No lane changes. No accel/decel events of any note. CONTROL of pre-planned stops and off-road minutes (driving, too) is major changes in AVERAGE mph & mpg. Which is the game. I drove Chicago to Fort Worth in a rental identical to my sons car. He likes to run 70+. I eased along at 64-mph. His lower mpg meant he lost enough time for extra fuel that — on a trip just over 1,000-miles — his DRIVING time savings would have been 40-minutes (assuming he controlled time at pre-planned stops as well as I do. He doesn’t). He’d have burned 2/3 an extra tank of fuel to have done the same work. And likely arrived no earlier (is the point). As a transport-rated ex-military pilot he certainly understands all this. So, you retired guys and budget-pinching Rvers pay attention: chasing pennies at a remote fuel stop WILL COST MORE. Risk, time and stress. Save money during your commuter daily miles and it underwrites travel. Ten years ago when fuel was $4 and higher I figured out how to save enough annually in my daily driving to pay for 5,000-miles of “free” vacation fuel. You can too. Keep records of all gallons used and watch out for Average MPH. If yours is below 27-MPH as an average you’re a poor driver and abusive operator. Apply a common sense attitude BEFORE you try spending money to save money. Keep records and apply some discipline in ALL driving.
BackOfThePack 04/15/21 07:56am Travel Trailers
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