Unstable Towing with our 1500

OC455

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To the OP, @rickshein what did you figure out was going on?

Inquiring minds want to know.
 

CalDad14

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My opinion, it’s to big and heavy to be pulled behind a 1/2 ton truck.
Others have different opinions about towing.
The frame, suspension and brakes aren’t built for that much additional load on the truck.
My first concern is brakes in any towing setup.
If the brakes were to fail on the trailer for any reason. Can the truck stop going down a 20 degree grade doing 60 MPH?
If you’ve ever worked on a 3/4 or 1 ton truck compared to a 1/2 ton there is a HUGE difference in brakes and suspension.
Weight distribution hitches help but it still doesn’t change the amount of weight behind the truck.
I thought the 1/2 ton Rams were only rated at 500lbs tongue weight?
I’ve watched way to many YouTube videos of towing mistakes to give an unbiased opinion..
I would never tow anything that weighed more then 3K behind a 1/2 ton pickup.
Just because they say it can do it doesn’t mean you should.
Good luck, I hope you get it sorted out.
The recommended tongue weight for a conventional hitch is 10 percent of the gross trailer weight. The maximum tongue weight for Class IV receiver hitch is limited to 1100 lb.
 

josephus

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I have a 2020 LongHorn and having the same problem towing a 7000# Jayco 30' camper. I was pulling it with a 2017 Chevy High Country and it is the best towing camper I have ever had. Someone stole my truck so a friend talked me into buying a Ram since I couldn't find a new Hi Country. I'm using the same Reece WDH but now it's pretty scary towing. 1st trip the trailer was swaying really bad. I called the camper dealer and he told me to turn off the anti skid , he had gotten a bulletin saying the anti skid would work against the anti skid on the trailer. I did it on my return trip from the beach and that cured the tail wagging but now I have another problem with the front feeling light and it's hard to handle at speeds of 68 to 70. 72 was much better. I just went back to the camper dealer and he re-adjusted the hitch but he noticed how soft the suspension was in the rear by just pushing down a little bit on the hitch. He suggested air suspension. The truck is just slightly down with nothing in the truck bed but the camper is level. I believe having rear coil spring suspension is the problem because they are too soft. Now I'm thinking about another Chevy since they have leaf rears. I love this truck but this may be the only option. I don't have much weight in the front of the camper.
 

crash68

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. I did it on my return trip from the beach and that cured the tail wagging but now I have another problem with the front feeling light and it's hard to handle at speeds of 68 to 70. 72 was much better. I just went back to the camper dealer and he re-adjusted the hitch but he noticed how soft the suspension was in the rear by just pushing down a little bit on the hitch.
You really need to check the adjustment of the WDH, find a CAT scale and weight the truck and trailer loaded as if your going camping, then drop the trailer and weigh just the truck. Without checking actual weights your camper dealer is just guessing on how to adjust the WDH.
 

Eric Troup

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Our travel trailer tail is wagging our RAM 1500 dog. Our configuration:
2021 RAM 1500 Limited (V8 Hemi w/air suspension)
Weights per the door frame sticker are:
GVWR: 7100 lb
GAWR front: 3900 lb
GAWR rear: 4100 lb
Max payload: 1359 lb
Max towing: 8159 lb
Gulf Stream Conquest Lite 238RK (length 27' 11", spec dry wt 4815, hitch wt 640)
Reese hitch 49911 - max gross wt/tongue wt: 6000/600
Tires on the TT (ST205/75R14) have been upgraded to Goodyear Endurance tires.
We had ourselves weighed on the first trip, and the weights were:
Front truck axle-3320, Rear truck axle-3960, Trailer axle(s)-4880. Actual hitch weight unknown.
The weight of the trailer is well within the capability of the RAM 1500 and the rating of the hitch appears to be correct (hitch weight is only slightly over). The hitch was installed and adjusted by our dealer. The trailer was not heavily loaded, and not in any strange way that would have changed the tongue weight much. However, at speeds approaching 55 mph, it starts to approach a white knuckle drive. It seems to sway and is overly sensitive/bouncy to uneven roads. The Reese hitch is supposed to have integrated sway control, but it doesn't feel like it.
After posting this same question to a Facebook Newbie RV group, the leading theory is that the air suspension, once its reengaged (jack mode disabled per the user manual) is conflicting with the weight distribution setup (
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).
For those of you out there with a 1500 Limited and a similar size travel trailer, what is your experience? Do you stick with the user manual setup? Do you drive with jack mode left on?
I have pulled a 2019 Keystone Cougar 29bhs with a 2020 Ram EcoDiesel Limited with the four corner Automatic Leveling Air Suspension. The only thing changed on the truck from stock was to upgrade to Load Range E tires.

I used a Curt TruTrack Weight Distribution System w/ Sway Control Trunnion - 10,000 lbs GTW, 1,000 lbs Item # C17500. This rig is heavier than the one you describe. Although the Cougar 29bhs weight and size are at the upper limit for the 1500 EcoDiesel, properly setup the rig does not sway at speed. Nonetheless, it is too heavy for the 1500 and a Ram 2500 is a more appropriate TV.

I also pull a 2021 Airstream International 27FB using the same Curt WDH. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pulls this 6000 lbs trailer easily without any sway at speed and is completely relaxing to drive. The EcoDiesel Air Suspension does an excellent job keeping everything level but it is important to turn off the Auto Leveling feature when setting up the WDH. If you do not, the auto leveling system will compensate for the hitch weight and level the truck before you can measure sag and setup the WDH to compensate. However, the WDH does not have to completely level the truck as the Air Suspension will do much of that work anyway. I use the CURT WDH primarily for effective sway control.

I see two possible problems causing your sway:

1. Actual hitch weight is too low. You must have 10-15% of the actual loaded trailer weight on the hitch. Two much weight at the rear of the trailer can cause sway to amplify and become dangerous.
2. Reese Hitch 49911 has minimum sway control - primarily via friction of the flat bars sliding over metal taps. Look at CURT tru-track. In addition to the friction bars, it has "spring-loaded ball bearings in the head that rest in detents, applying constant pressure to help trailer stay centered".

For your lighter trailer you could consider the Curt TruTrack Weight Distribution System w/ Sway Control Trunnion - 8,000 lbs GTW, 800 lbs TW Item # C17499

On a CAT Scale suggest you:
1. Weight your truck empty (Driver and full tank of Fuel). Record Steering Axle and Drive Axle Weights. Compare total to GVWR. The difference is your actual payload. Compare to door sticker. You probably have less actual pay load than the door sticker says.
2. Weigh your truck fully loaded with all people and cargo but no trailer. Leave the WDH hitch on the truck. Record Steering Axle and Drive Axle weights. Compare total to GVWR. The difference is your remaining Payload available for hitch weight.
3. Weigh your truck fully loaded with trailer in tow. Record Steering Axle, Drive Axle and Trailer Axle weights. Compare total weight of Steering + Drive Axle. The difference between total in Step 3 and total in step 2 is your actual hitch weight.

Good Luck!
 

Cactusmonkey

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Rickshein we have the exact same set up you do. 2021 Limited Hemi with air ride. We pull a 26.8 ft trailer that weighs 7700 pounds loaded. Last weekend took it to the Snake river to a park that does not have water. We filled the 80 gallon fresh water tank at the house and drove 100 miles. The truck was perfect in fact on a long straight I pulled at 65 mph which is fast for me. I like to pull between 55 and 62, depending on traffic. The only difference I see between your set up and ours is the WDH, we use the Equalizer. The truck has Goodrich tires and the trailer has Goodyear Endurance. We have pulled this trailer and others with 1/2 ton Fords and now the Ram. I feel that I have plenty of truck with this setup.
 

Firebird

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Rickshein we have the exact same set up you do. 2021 Limited Hemi with air ride. We pull a 26.8 ft trailer that weighs 7700 pounds loaded. Last weekend took it to the Snake river to a park that does not have water. We filled the 80 gallon fresh water tank at the house and drove 100 miles. The truck was perfect in fact on a long straight I pulled at 65 mph which is fast for me. I like to pull between 55 and 62, depending on traffic. The only difference I see between your set up and ours is the WDH, we use the Equalizer. The truck has Goodrich tires and the trailer has Goodyear Endurance. We have pulled this trailer and others with 1/2 ton Fords and now the Ram. I feel that I have plenty of truck with this setup.
I have the Equalizer WDH hitch also, it does an excellent job!
 

redraml

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This has been a very helpful thread as I am new to towing. I have a 2019 Laramie 3.92 axle with 5.7 eTorque, sunroof and skid plates. When I put my VIN into the RAM site, I got 1340 lbs payload and 11200 lbs tow. But when I weighed my truck today with my wife and 2 small dogs (about 350 lbs total) plus full tank of gas, I got 5940 lbs (3500 front, 2440 rear). So my actual payload must be around 1500 lbs! Has anyone found similar differences?

I am shopping for a TT in the 5000 lb to 6200 lb (dry) range, with a maximum hitch weight of 1000 lbs (around 12% of TT weight). This seems a good hitch weight to get my rear axle weight close to the front axle weight. I prefer not to use a WDH since I plan to go off road - is that reasonable?
 
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