Sway issues 2016 RT AWD and Travel Trailer
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Thread: Sway issues 2016 RT AWD and Travel Trailer

  1. #1
    Grasshopper
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    Sway issues 2016 RT AWD and Travel Trailer

    I have a 2016 Durango RT AWD Hemi with factory tow package. The Durango has 11,000 miles on it so everything is pretty new. We bought a 30' Forest River Salem Hyperlite 26HL TT that weighs 5,700lbs dry and we tow it with minimal equipment and very little to no water. We had the Blue Ox Sway Pro WD hitch put on at he dealer and also brake control. They set everything up but we only got a few miles from the dealer on the interstate and it was all over the place. We took it back and they made adjustments and we took it home. It still wasn't right but it was late so we just took back roads. When it swayed it felt like the steering wheel was fighting to compensate. When we were almost home we changed the steering setting from "Comfort" to "Normal" and lost the fighting sensation and I could not out the trailer into a sway even when trying at about 55mph. The next day we took it out for another run down. At 60mph and above it was pretty unstable so we made some adjustments to the WD bars (lowered tension, got worse, added tension and got a little better) but it did not rid us of the sway. I then noticed the trailer was tilted up more than it should be and knew it was because we took tongue weight off by adding tension to the bars. So I lowered the head down 1 whole (about 1.5 inches) and it seemed to be a little better, at least to the point I wasn't afraid to tow it. The next day we left out for a trip about a 160 miles south. We were doing ok until it got windy and the TT was swaying to the point I was only doing 50mph and it was still swaying pretty bad. I stopped and added more tension and that again helped some but not enough for me.

    When we got back from our trip we took the rig back to the dealer. They made several adjustments in tension and head height. It was pretty windy so it was a good day for them to work on it. They never got it to where they we comfortable with it so they installed a different WDH with a friction control attachment. Even after adjusting it a few times they weren't happy with the way it towed. It was loaded exactly the way we had taken it on the trip, which was basically towels, dishes, folding table and two chairs, hoses, etc. All but the dishes were in the front storage area. They thought it might be tongue heavy so the filled the holding tank with water (rear of trailer) and that didn't correct it. They did not want us to leave with the trailer so it is still there.

    Things that were considered were issues with the trailer but that was ruled out by straight hitch towing with an old F150 squatting in the back. No issues with sway. Steering control, eliminated by changing settings. Self leveling, no known way to change that. Tire pressure (all inflated properly). Wheel base being too short, possible using rule of thumb being 25' max with 120" wheel base.

    Now I'm considering adding Firestone Coil Rite Air helper springs to help minimize body roll. So after this long story, that is my main question. Does this sound like a logical avenue to try at this point?

    I have towed my 21 foot 3,500lb equipment trailer with my tractor and implements (about 3,000lbs), pallet of pavers or concrete blocks and never had sway issues but then again I don't drive the interstate with them. Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Grasshopper
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    Here's my setup with a 2014 RT AWD, 31 ft trailer and Blue Ox. I've towed it thousands of miles with no problems, so all hope isn't lost.

    Here's a pic of my setup. Before someone says something, the weight bars are not tightened up--I was just setting things up when I took this picture.





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    Durango Guru Citadel Brian's Avatar
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    To me that's a full size vehicle load. Having said that, either pull it full of water or completely empty! The water is going make the swaying much worse as you can't stop the water from moving around. Sway comes from not enough tongue weight, now because your pulling a massive billboard down the highway makes matters much worse. You said you towed your equipment around and no issue, there's not much side sqft to the equipment.
    2014 White Citadel 5.7 loaded except for DVD
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    Durango Jedi
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    Do we know what the tongue weight is?
    I think I'd start there as too little is the main cause of sway.
    Have we tried towing without the WDH?

  6. #5
    Durango Jedi
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    Also, sweet trailer!
    Love the floor plan. Congrats!

  7. #6
    Grasshopper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase300 View Post
    Do we know what the tongue weight is?
    I think I'd start there as too little is the main cause of sway.
    Have we tried towing without the WDH?
    Agreed. I'd head to the scales and weigh each axle and figure out the tongue weight.


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  8. #7
    Grasshopper
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtludwig View Post
    Here's my setup with a 2014 RT AWD, 31 ft trailer and Blue Ox. I've towed it thousands of miles with no problems, so all hope isn't lost.

    Here's a pic of my setup. Before someone says something, the weight bars are not tightened up--I was just setting things up when I took this picture.





    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Glad to know there is hope. Here is mine before several adjustments.
    Sway issues 2016 RT AWD and Travel Trailer-20170427_130409.jpg

  9. #8
    Super Moderator MJB8's Avatar
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    not enough tongue weight or ball is to high
    2013 RedLine R/T. 22" SRT REP, SRT Brembo 6/4 Calipers/Drilled & Slotted Rotors, 15% Tint, LEDS. 430N, Tow Package ,Sunroof. AFE CAI, Diablo Trinity, Hemifever Tune,180 TStat, Fastman 85mm TB w/backcut, Billet Technology's Catch Can, Corsa Cat back, RK Sports Ram Air Hood.

  10. #9
    Grasshopper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citadel Brian View Post
    To me that's a full size vehicle load. Having said that, either pull it full of water or completely empty! The water is going make the swaying much worse as you can't stop the water from moving around. Sway comes from not enough tongue weight, now because your pulling a massive billboard down the highway makes matters much worse. You said you towed your equipment around and no issue, there's not much side sqft to the equipment.
    There not being enough tongue weight is a definite possibility. It is a front bedroom plan so there isn't much weight up there. I could load down the front with some heavy weight to give that a try. I'm not a fan of traveling with the water. Being there are no baffles in the tank it just sloshes around and that can't be good for sway. I don't think it is an overall weight issue considering I've towed heavier trailers but I know there is a big difference with aerodynamics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chase300 View Post
    Do we know what the tongue weight is?
    I think I'd start there as too little is the main cause of sway.
    Have we tried towing without the WDH?
    I don't know how the dealer doesn't have a scale but no, we don't know the tongue weight yet. Definitely something that needs to be done. Yes we tried towing without any WD hitch and it was the same basically.


    Quote Originally Posted by jtludwig View Post
    Agreed. I'd head to the scales and weigh each axle and figure out the tongue weight.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I just need to find a scale near the dealer, they are about 45 minutes from where I live and they already burned almost a tank of fuel trying to figure it out, lol.

    I greatly appreciate the quick replies. Any opinion on the airbags, after I try the recommendations above?

  11. #10
    Grasshopper
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJB8 View Post
    not enough tongue weight or ball is to high
    Well, we have moved the hitch head several times for a total difference of about 5 inches and it didn't make the difference needed. I'm thinking tongue weight is more likely.

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