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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2014 FX4 SC 3.5/3.5 and I'm towing a 28' Travel Trailer (9000 lbs/tongue weight of approx. 850 lbs). The truck has "Sway Control" built in. I put weight distribution bars on the hitch assembly. The truck and trailer "looked" very even. (see photo below)
When I got out on the road, it began to bounce as if it were a slow bucking horse, or more like a dolphin. It felt very unsafe. I am planning a trip from Ohio to Alabama this summer but do not feel safe with this condition. It was enough to scare me and I am glad I did not have anyone in the vehicle with me!
Can anyone tell me if there is a remedy for thus dolphin-like bounce? I may not have provided enough TV and TT info, so please don't hesitate to ask!
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Off the bat your hitch weight seems low, should be at least 10%, 12% would be a little better imo


Black Sheep of the Family
 

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I have a 2014 FX4 SC 3.5/3.5 and I'm towing a 28' Travel Trailer (9000 lbs/tongue weight of approx. 850 lbs). The truck has "Sway Control" built in. I put weight distribution bars on the hitch assembly. The truck and trailer "looked" very even. (see photo below)
When I got out on the road, it began to bounce as if it were a slow bucking horse, or more like a dolphin. It felt very unsafe. I am planning a trip from Ohio to Alabama this summer but do not feel safe with this condition. It was enough to scare me and I am glad I did not have anyone in the vehicle with me!
Can anyone tell me if there is a remedy for thus dolphin-like bounce? I may not have provided enough TV and TT info, so please don't hesitate to ask!
View attachment 9773
Your truck looks to me to be squatting a bit more than I would like. I would suggest Roadmaster Active Suspension (RAS) for the rear suspension. You will need some type of sway control in your hitch too. I am using an Andersen No Sway WD hitch. This set up is much more stable than when I was pulling with a spring bar hitch, friction sway control, and no RAS.
 

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I agree with both previous posts. First you want your true hitch weight to be between 10-15%, preferably 12%. This is the tongue weight without the weight distribution hitch hooked up. Second, you need a good hitch with sway control. I use an Equal-i-zer four point friction hitch. I would not rely on the trucks sway control.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your input. I actually just hooked up TT for the first time for just a test run, and didn't even consider cargo distribution! My water tanks are empty and most "wintering" cargo was in the rear. Your assessment is probably very accurate. I'll try the balancing act on the next pull.
 

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Yeah when I saw this last night, it seemed to me that first off, there's probably too much weight toward the rear of the trailer. Once that porpoise rhythm begins, it's all but impossible to stop, and gets gradually more and more unsafe.

In addition to what the other guys here have recommended, I would also consider Air Lift Suspension bags. They have a kit that they call "ultimate" that has a progressive jounce bumper INSIDE the bags, so that they can be run flat in an emergency situation if need be.

Nice truck!



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Air up your tires or move to an LT tire. Adjust your hitch because like others have said, it looks like your truck is sagging in the rear. Make sure that your WDH is rated for the tongue weight and total weight of your trailer. Definitely need a sway control system on the trailer cause the truck's system is not that good. All 1/2 tons with "porpoise" because they have a softer suspension than a larger truck would. Air bags or RAS will help this motion.
 

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Also, the truck sway control is a safety feature like abs. It doesn't kick in until sway happens. An anti sway hitch helps prevent sway from occurring in the first place. Hope this makes sense


Black Sheep of the Family
 

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Air pressure in the real/front tires can make a difference. I always kept 75lbs in the rear and 70 in the front while towing. Might be something to try. Mine were rated up to 80lbs though.
 

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Agree that your tongue weight seems a little low but...

I have experienced what I think that you are describing on certain concrete poured highways. The high spots at the joint between each poured segment starts a bounce and it hits a harmonic and can make you almost feel sick. Then you hit a stretch of asphalt and the rise is smooth as can be.

Only solution to that problem that I know is to slow down. I had some luck getting all of the water out of my fresh holding tank but not a cure. Tried different hitch spring tensions and i have weighed my trailer to verify tongue weight was correct (14%).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
UPDATE: Adjust WD bars and porposing all but stopped! I discovered a series of inconsistencies (and misstated promises) in the weight restrictions for the F-150 and have to either 1.) Trade in F-150 (less than 1200 miles) or 2.)Get a lighter TT
I am currently investigating both, but absolutely frustrated that dealer REPEATEDLY told me the truck would pull 10,000# without a problem (but that's another story!) I do know that the 9500# TT is too much trailer for the 2014 F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 Automatic with 3.5 gear
 

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UPDATE: Adjust WD bars and porposing all but stopped! I discovered a series of inconsistencies (and misstated promises) in the weight restrictions for the F-150 and have to either 1.) Trade in F-150 (less than 1200 miles) or 2.)Get a lighter TT
I am currently investigating both, but absolutely frustrated that dealer REPEATEDLY told me the truck would pull 10,000# without a problem (but that's another story!) I do know that the 9500# TT is too much trailer for the 2014 F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 Automatic with 3.5 gear
I can understand the "salesman said" part from both the auto and trailer sales staff. I don't know of any inconsistencies in the Ford towing chart. You match your truck specs to the chart. The chart tells you how much you can pull. You never said if you purchased the max tow option or max payload option. There are a LOT of variables with towing and all of them could lead to going over one of the trucks advertised limits. I would not personally try to pull a 9500# box with mine having similar specs as your truck. Not because I don't think it would do it, but because I want a leisurely vacation.

We have all seen the Toy pulling the space shuttle. I am pretty sure that truck isn't rated to pull the weight, but it still works. I am also sure a similarly equipped Eco would pull the same payload. I wouldn't recommend either.
 
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Agree that your tongue weight seems a little low but...

I have experienced what I think that you are describing on certain concrete poured highways. The high spots at the joint between each poured segment starts a bounce and it hits a harmonic and can make you almost feel sick. Then you hit a stretch of asphalt and the rise is smooth as can be.

Only solution to that problem that I know is to slow down. I had some luck getting all of the water out of my fresh holding tank but not a cure. Tried different hitch spring tensions and i have weighed my trailer to verify tongue weight was correct (14%).
Every trip I take to the UP I get this on those Northern Wisconsin poured concrete highways.

SPPD
 

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Do air rides or shock upgrades help at all with the poured concrete induced bounce? I'm gearing up for a pull to the Black Hills, then Yellowstone in June and would upgrade if I knew it would make a difference...
 

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Jim,

When you get the porpoising is it when going over divides on the highway or does it happen at certain speeds? Dialing in the hitch is the hard part, but with a tongue weight of 900lbs I would imagine you would be okay. One thing you may want to look into is either Timbren SES or Firestone Ride-rite airbags, they both cost under 300 if your willing to install yourself. These will NOT increase the payload, but the Timbren's will allow you to engage the bump stop (overloads) sooner which will not allow you to drop all the way to the axle essential and bounce back up when you go over uneven roads. With the airbags it's the same concept, it's really getting rid of the travel distance in your suspension when under load. Most guys hauling slide-in truck campers and even travel trailers have these, something worth trying before giving in.
 

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I live in northeast Wisconsin and definitely know what you mean. Some spots are so bad my dads 350 does it empty
Yes indeed! When we get north of Milwaukee I always joke to my wife that we better pull over to get some cheese and if I can borrow one of her bras because my man books are gonna Take a beating. Lol

SPPD
 

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There are F150 EcoBoost combinations that will pull your TT with ease.I have the Max Tow 2wd Screw that is rated for 11500 lbs and that is the number all of the advertising for the EcoBeast gives. It's the small print disclaimer that says on a properly equipped truck. IT sounds like your salesman has that number as his baseline for all of his customers.My TT salesman quoted 11500 lbs when I told him F150 EB would be my tow vehicle. In my case that number is correct, but very few have that rating. I hope it all works out for you.

UPDATE: Adjust WD bars and porposing all but stopped! I discovered a series of inconsistencies (and misstated promises) in the weight restrictions for the F-150 and have to either 1.) Trade in F-150 (less than 1200 miles) or 2.)Get a lighter TT
I am currently investigating both, but absolutely frustrated that dealer REPEATEDLY told me the truck would pull 10,000# without a problem (but that's another story!) I do know that the 9500# TT is too much trailer for the 2014 F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 Automatic with 3.5 gear
 
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Hi Jim,

Your truck looks like it is 145" wheelbase so the literature says it is good for 9,600lbs and your trailer does not look that big. When you say that your trailer is 9,500lbs, is that the dry weight or the gross weight (GVWR)? The GVWR for TT's includes the cargo weight, which includes the weight of your water tanks when full. Water is roughly 8lbs per gallon and depending on how big your tanks are, that can be alot of +/- weight. As long as you are not towing with your tanks full and overloading the trailer with cargo, you should not even be close to the 9,500# mark if that is GVWR of your trailer. I also don't know what WHD hitch you have, but many hitch systems have different "sized" spring or torsion bars for the weight of the trailer. Is it possible that your spring bars are not properly sized for your trailer? I have been looking at this very heavily since we just purchased a new 8,900 lb dry weight TT and need a truck to tow it when it gets delivered next month. Before you make any decisions to trade your truck in, I would encourage you to take your trailer to a "CAT" scale and see not only how much it weighs "camping ready", but also to see if your WDH is putting enough (distributing) tongue weight to your front axle. I believe that there are a few threads that explain in detail how to do this, but let us know if you need any advice. I know that SPPD and quite a few others have lots of knowledge in this department and I am sure that you could get your truck set up properly without having to trade it in. Others have mentioned the air bags or the RAS, which I have heard great things about, and they are not necessary but it is extra peace of mind and an added help for safety/security and handling when towing on long trips where the landscape and road conditions can change from point A to point B. They can make a huge difference in the way a tow vehicle handles all that tongue weight.
Good luck.
 

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To me when I click on your pic and zoom in a bit, your WD hitch setup looks like it's not setup right. The angle of the chains should be perpendicular with the bars and the bars should be parallel with the ground. Looks like you have them on the first link?

When you set the bars, did you use the tongue jack to lift up the rear of the truck after you latched the hitch? This lets you get more tension on the bars and transfers more weight back to the front axle and some back on the trailer axles.

Here is a pic of my trailer with my old F150. Notice how the chains and bars are set. This brought my rear end back to it's unloaded height.

Good luck!

Mitch

 
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