Is my trailer too big?

Is my trailer too big?

This is a discussion on Is my trailer too big? within the F150 Ecoboost Towing forums, part of the F150 Ecoboost Forum category; Brought home my first travel trailer yesterday, Monday, driving I-10 west bound MM70 to MM7. Relatively hilly....for Florida. Wife and I, 330# together, luggage about ...

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Thread: Is my trailer too big?

  1. #1
    Ecoboost Regular cajunfla's Avatar

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    Is my trailer too big?

    Brought home my first travel trailer yesterday, Monday, driving I-10 west bound MM70 to MM7. Relatively hilly....for Florida. Wife and I, 330# together, luggage about 100#.

    Here is the concern. Truck felt really light in front end, steering required constant input. Nerve-wracking to say the least. Never "saw" any trailer sway. Is it the trailer swaying?

    Trailer is 27' 11", UVW of 5497, GVWR of 6995, hitch weight of 515. All those according to manufacturers web site specifications. There may have been some fresh water in the tank left over from delivery inspection.

    Truck is 2018 F150, SCrew, 4500 miles on it, 4x2, 2.7, 3.55 rear, 145" wheelbase. 6360 GVWR, 7700 Towing capacity, 1710 Max Payload, Trailer Sway control, and RV dealer added WDH. Transmission shifted from 10 on downhills to 7 on some uphills. Never went over 70mph. Steering seemed to improve when speed down to 45 or less.

    Did I buy too much trailer?
    2018 Guard (WTH kinda name is that for a color) * F-150 XLT S/Crew 2.7 * 3.55 rear * Trailer Tow Package * 18" Hankook's * Pro Backup Assist * Tailgate Step * Running Boards * Fog Lights * stubby antenna * full BedRug * Gator Tonneau * windows tinted dark as legal in Florida *

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    Gold Supporting Member snakebitten's Avatar
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    I highly doubt that the first attempt to setup the WDH was "on the money"

    It's like setting up a custom suspension and dialing it in.

    Also, in my opinion, Load E tires and upgraded rear shocks contribute to that "comfort behind the wheel" feeling considerably.

    The front end shouldn't feel light if it isn't light. That Wdh is supposed to put the needed weight back up there.

    But you need that back end to feel stout too. Stiffer sidewalls and shocks that properly damp those first few inches of travel. The oem shocks are very soft initially

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    2018 KingRanch Kingsville Edition- Gen2 3.5 - Runs SO good on Factory tunes. Simply amazing. Good Job Ford

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    Ecoboost Regular cajunfla's Avatar

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    Thanks for the input. I know the dealer adjusted the WDH after it failed their eyeball test when trailer was first hooked up. No fender well measurements were taken, just eyeballed it. Guess I need to find a level hard surface to take measurements. My trailer is parked in an open storage lot just up the road.
    2018 Guard (WTH kinda name is that for a color) * F-150 XLT S/Crew 2.7 * 3.55 rear * Trailer Tow Package * 18" Hankook's * Pro Backup Assist * Tailgate Step * Running Boards * Fog Lights * stubby antenna * full BedRug * Gator Tonneau * windows tinted dark as legal in Florida *

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    Gold Supporting Member snakebitten's Avatar
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    Yea, take that tape measure with you.
    Patiently "do the math"

    I don't want to overpromise, because you'll never get that setup to be "it's like it's not even back there" lol

    But I'm positive that you can get that sweet truck to haul that trailer with increased confidence from behind the wheel. It's incredibly satisfying to experience the improvements as you make the changes. Find that balance.

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    cajunfla likes this.
    2018 KingRanch Kingsville Edition- Gen2 3.5 - Runs SO good on Factory tunes. Simply amazing. Good Job Ford

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    Eco-Beast mass-hole's Avatar

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    Is my trailer too big?

    You also gotta remember that you probably had 1-2 propane tanks and batteries sitting near the tongue of the trailer that were not figured into that tongue weight. I bet you are looking at much closer to 650+ lbs empty tongue weight and 5800 lbs UVW. Maybe even 750. Those batteries are heavy mf'ers. When you are loaded up for camping, I would not be surprised if you are pushing 800 lbs or more on the tongue.

    What weight are your WDH spring bars rated for? What brand? I would think you would want 1000 lb WDH bars for that trailer. I run 1000 lb bars on my 5500 lb GVWR trailer because I suspect I am up near 700+ lbs tongue weight once I am ready to camp. I pack a lot of our gear in the front of the trailer.

    That shouldnt be too much trailer though. Its only slightly bigger than mine length wise and I have 0 issues.

    Readjust the WDH once you the get the trailer stocked. We have stuff that we always keep in the trailer like cookware, camp chairs, table, tools etc. Depending on where your water tank is, you may need to adjust when that is full. Mine sits between the axles but the black and grey water tanks are forward of the axles so my tongue will actually get heavier on my way home from camping.

    Also, i agree on the shock recommendation above. I think Bilstein 5100’s should be a manditory upgrade in all F150’s, not just ones that tow
    Last edited by mass-hole; 04-23-2019 at 08:24 AM.
    2014 Lariat Screw, 157", Max Tow, 502A - Gearhead Tuned, AFE CAC, CRP Manifolds, RX Catch Can, Bilstein 5100, AirLift RideControl, 275/60R20 Wrangler Duratracs

    2006 Jeep Liberty CRD(diesel) - GDE Tune, Straight piped, AFE filter, GTB2060 custom build turbo, 2.5" Lift, ARB bumper, 4.10's, Detroit Truetracs F/R

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    Ecoboost Master Envious's Avatar

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    What are your tire PSI at? Do you have E rated tires? I know a lot of guys switch to the E rated tires and it helps towing a lot.
    2013 FX4 - Black Betty
    Boostking Tuned

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    Ecoboost Sr Member {tpc}'s Avatar

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    Probably not. You will need to weight the trailer for accurate measurements however. To me it sounds like the wdh isn't adjusted correctly for your current setup. Sometimes dealers try to "guess" where it needs to be after you add in gear, which as a new trailer owner, you likely have none. If this is your first time towing, get used to adding some steering input...it shouldn't be as you described but it isn't going away completely either. I do not know what kind of hitch they gave you, but if its the one that most people get, it probably came with 1 friction anti-sway unit. You can add one to the other side, which I have done to mine. It was due to a different vehicle, however it helped enough to keep me from spending $100's of dollars on a new hitch.

    Getting back to weights, I doubt your hitch weight is 515. That weight is usually determined prior to adding accessories in the trailer, propane tanks, battery. Got a microwave? TV? All of that may or may not be an accessory. I would bet your closer to 600 , maybe a bit over even. I doubt anywhere near 515.

    So when you finished PDI and they showed you how to hook up the WDH, they probably didn't explain it more than "let 2 links dangle for now, when you put gear in it, maybe 3 links" or something like that. Really what you need to do, is take the trailer to nice level ground. Maybe that is in front of your house, maybe down the street, maybe a parking lot. Doesn't have to be perfect, pretty close should suffice. Now unhook the trailer completely. Have your wife, luggage whatever you might bring in the bed etc with you. With the trailer unhooked, measure from the middle of the wheel well to the ground, on both sides. Now hook up the trailer, attach the WDH bars like they told you to and remeasure the wheel wells. Goal here is to return to the same spot as you started, so if its 38" unhooked and your measuring 39" you need to tighten up another link on the WDH bars. If you do that, and its 37.5", I would leave it there and try it like that. Heck even if its 37" I would probably try it and see how it feels.

    Point being that if its higher than before, its making your truck "nose light" and that may make the steering feel too easy and require a lot of input.

    Now if you have to tighten it a lot more links making those bars really bend, then they didn't do something right and I would bring it back there. There are adjustments like hitch height and ball angle that also have an effect on things. They might charge you for adjustment, so if you can, load that sucker up like you were camping and bring it there. If you don't they might look inside, see you have no gear and tell you it doesn't make sense to adjust it like that. I would argue differently but that's me and i've been told before that I didn't have any gear when in fact it was loaded the way we travel, so I made them do it anyways. Not everyone packs their house into their trailer to go camping.

    All of that said, take all of this with a grain of salt and do you own research on the internet. I give no warranty to my thoughts lol. Lots of info out there to help you figure this out. If you can hit the cat scales and weigh everything, that will help you figure this out too, and if you might be deficient in payload, or at least tell you how much you can have in the bed of the truck.
    2018 Magnetic F150 XLT SuperCrew 2.7l Ecoboost/302A

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    Ecoboost Sr Member {tpc}'s Avatar

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    Oh i always air the tires up to max rating or just under (so no warning lights) when towing. Same for the trailer tires, maybe 2-3 PSI under max. Also make sure you have truck in tow mode too. Helps with shifting on hills up as well as engine braking I believe on the way down.
    2018 Magnetic F150 XLT SuperCrew 2.7l Ecoboost/302A

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    Ecoboost Pro DNA Dan's Avatar

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    Having to correct the steering constantly is a sign that there's too much weight on the rear axle and not enough up front. A simple test is to put some tape on your fenders, measure the distance to the ground from the tape. Then do the same thing with the trailer coupled to the truck without your WDH under tension. These measurements tell you the resting, and fully loaded effect the trailer has on your truck. Finally take a third measurement with the tension added to the WDH. A properly setup WDH should bring the front end at least halfway back to the stock height with no trailer on it. The rear may still sag a bit, this is normal, but what you want is enough tension on the WDH so that the front end comes back down towards resting height.

    Trailer is probably okay, but being that heavy to start with, I would be careful not to overload it. You could reach max payload before you know it. Something I did on my truck is swapped out the 30 gallon propane tanks for the 20 gallon tanks. This will lighten your tongue weight and give you a little more leeway on payload, especially if you have two batteries and a tool box up on the hitch. I just fill every time I go camping. There's no need to drive with 60 gallons on propane on the tongue.

    Not sure what hitch you have, but I would highly recommend the 10K Equalizer hitch. It's very easy to adjust and put the spring bars on.
    Last edited by DNA Dan; 04-23-2019 at 08:26 AM.
    2012 SCREW Eco FX4 Tuxedo Black, Fully loaded, Max Tow, 3.73 rear.
    ARE Z-Series topper w/Yakima rack, Bilstein 5100's, StopTech Sport brakes, BFG T/A KO2 on stock rims, RXP Catch can w/UPR check valves, FR Gen 2 Radiator, Saudi Trans cooler, CR Performance Engineering exhaust manifolds, Firestone Air bags.

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    Ecoboost Veteran tvsjr's Avatar

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    Without a scale, you're really just guessing... it would be well worth your time to go scale it and spend the time to get it right, then save those settings for later - especially if you intend to pull this frequently.

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