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Old 06-21-2012, 07:11 PM   #1
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Question Tires /Trailer Sway

Ok I just REALLY looked at my hitch and it is a Draw-Tite weight distribution hitch rated up to 8,000...that's what happens when you get busy fixing fender skirts and flower boxes .....My truck is a 1997 2500 Diesel Chevy Silverado in excellent condition, with a bunch of new stuff including tires. It also has an after market Air Lift air springs (that of course I don't know anything about and as I read the brochure it mentions about checking the pressure weekly, which I have not done )

I am getting ready to go on my second trip ever in less than a week, a round trip of just over 1,000 miles and will carry close to 25 gallons of water = 208.75 lbs so and I am going to put everything I put into the rig (2004 T- 1950) in a clothes basket and weight it so I can evenly distribute weight through the trailer to balance the water.

However my concern is the tires and some trailer sway. The tires are Mission tires and probably original...my rig was built late 2004 and was in great condition when I bought it...it looked like it was hardly used. The tires LOOK good. However when coming back from my shake down cruise at the MI Sunline Meet & Greet it seemed to me the trailer had some sway? I don't recall it being windy but it may have been? So my questions at this point are:

1. Should I add a sway product to my weight distribution hitch like this?
2. What tire pressure is best?
3. Does the Air-Lift support the tires as it supports weight?
2. Should I be seriously concerned about one or more tires failing on a long trip?

Thank you!!
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apackoftwo View Post
0: (2004 T- 1950)
You've got a 2005 T-1950, not a 2004.

Quote:
Originally Posted by apackoftwo View Post
1. Should I add a sway product to my weight distribution hitch like this?
I personally think sway control is always a good idea, because you never know what situations will arise. As I recall, it was quite breezy that afternoon we left Gateway, so there's an example of weather conditions that can't be controlled. I didn't think you had weight distribution though, because at Gateway you just had a weight carrying setup? You can certainly add sway control and not have weight distribution though, people do it with smaller cars and pop ups all the time. They just take your regular ball mount and weld this plate to it that allows the little sway control ball to mount to it.

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2. What tire pressure is best?
Max on the sidewall. Since you should have ST205/75/R15C tires, that would be 50 PSI.

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3. Does the Air-Lift support the tires as it supports weight?
Not sure what you mean here. The truck tires still carry the same weight regardless, the bags just help pick the truck up more, essentially adding more space between the top of the tires in the back and the top of the wheelwell. With yours, you can probably lift it above the un-hitched height, but if it had a heavy fifth wheel on there, it would take most of the pressure just to return it to close to un-hitched height. All those bags do is help level out the truck/trailer. It doesn't do a whole lot for redistributing the weight. Even though I have a gauge inside, I look down at them almost every day, but I rarely ever have to add anything to them. When the truck was sitting, they'd go flat over 6 months or so after being left at 20 PSI, but otherwise they don't change. I haven't made any adjustments since getting back from Gateway and returning them to where they were before, and all is well, they haven't moved.

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4. Should I be seriously concerned about one or more tires failing on a long trip?
It's up to you. The Mission tires have not had a good reputation on the forum here and have a high chance of blowing out. For what it's worth though, a lot of trailer tires do this regardless of the brand, it just seems like these original Missions were more common. If JohnB were here, he'd say the best line of defense if you keep those around would be to keep them religiously aired up to the max, which should be 50 PSI. The most common reason for trailer tires failing seems to be when they are run at less than the max PSI and they heat up more than normal, causing it to blow.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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You've got a 2005 T-1950, not a 2004.

Gee I always get confused because it was built in Aug. of 2004...Thanks for correction. I have a 2005 T-1950

Quote:
I personally think sway control is always a good idea, because you never know what situations will arise. As I recall, it was quite breezy that afternoon we left Gateway, so there's an example of weather conditions that can't be controlled. I didn't think you had weight distribution though, because at Gateway you just had a weight carrying setup? You can certainly add sway control and not have weight distribution though, people do it with smaller cars and pop ups all the time. They just take your regular ball mount and weld this plate to it that allows the little sway control ball to mount to it.
Ok I couldn't remember for sure but it was breezy!

I went and looked at the hitch again and the Hitch Type is Weight Distributing. Here is the exact hitch I have:
Draw-Tite 75033


Now to decide for sway control between friction or dual cams...I found an interesting thread on an Airstream site about both and the year of your truck here when deciding between the two
BTW I looked at my online brochure and I could not find the tongue weight of my rig.... Do you know the tongue weight or where I find the info for mine?

Quote:
Max on the sidewall. Since you should have ST205/75/R15C tires, that would be 50 PSI.
Ok my tires are low I am sure... Can't that cause trailer sway too?


Quote:
It's up to you. The Mission tires have not had a good reputation on the forum here and have a high chance of blowing out. For what it's worth though, a lot of trailer tires do this regardless of the brand, it just seems like these original Missions were more common. If JohnB were here, he'd say the best line of defense if you keep those around would be to keep them religiously aired up to the max, which should be 50 PSI. The most common reason for trailer tires failing seems to be when they are run at less than the max PSI and they heat up more than normal, causing it to blow.
I definitely will make sure they are the correct PSI before leaving and then monitor however I think new tires may be in order before anymore long trips..like Texas

Now another question is: What kind of tire? Truck or trailer?
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apackoftwo View Post
...
I went and looked at the hitch again and the Hitch Type is Weight Distributing. Here is the exact hitch I have:
Draw-Tite 75033 ...
That is part of the package but a full weight distribution hitch also has some bars that cause some of the weight on the hitch to be transfered to the front of the tow vehicle so it doesn't push the back end down and take weight off the wheels that steer the vehicle.

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Old 06-22-2012, 12:31 PM   #5
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Correct, as Gene said, you are missing a lot of components.

What you have now, with a ball on it of course:



This is a weight distribution hitch (no sway control pictured):



This is a weight distribution hitch with friction sway control:



This is a weight distribution hitch with (no friction sway control) dual cam sway control:

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Old 06-22-2012, 01:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for the quick replies...... I am the third owner of the truck. the man I purchased it from had a fifth wheel so obviously he did not need the extra parts.

However I think with my set up..2500 Diesel and just a 19.5 ft TT I am not sure I need it anyways...


Quote:
This is a weight distribution hitch (no sway control pictured):



This is a weight distribution hitch with friction sway control:



This is a weight distribution hitch with (no friction sway control) dual cam sway control:

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Old 06-22-2012, 01:23 PM   #7
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Yeah, you probably don't. I think you could benefit from a friction sway control though, just as some cheap insurance in case you get in a situation with some semi trucks sometime.

I forgot to mention earlier, the reason the hitch on your truck says weight distribution is because that's a weight spec sticker. There's probably both weight carrying and weight distribution numbers on that sticker, and it means those weights are the max the truck/hitch can tow with each of those systems. In weight carrying mode, it generally can't tow as much as with the weight distribution equipment. For each mode, there should be two numbers there, the max trailer weight and the max trailer tongue weight.
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:19 PM   #8
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Jon,

Do I have to remove the friction sway control bar when I back up? I was talking to the hitch lady and she said its easy, a couple of pins but it seems like a hassle ANYTIME you want to back up??

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Yeah, you probably don't. I think you could benefit from a friction sway control though, just as some cheap insurance in case you get in a situation with some semi trucks sometime.

I forgot to mention earlier, the reason the hitch on your truck says weight distribution is because that's a weight spec sticker. There's probably both weight carrying and weight distribution numbers on that sticker, and it means those weights are the max the truck/hitch can tow with each of those systems. In weight carrying mode, it generally can't tow as much as with the weight distribution equipment. For each mode, there should be two numbers there, the max trailer weight and the max trailer tongue weight.
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:56 PM   #9
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I believe you do have to remove the friction sway control, when you back up. The dual cam setup above does not require removal for backing up. Do you have a power tongue jack?


As far as the tires go... If they are the original tires, That means that they could be 8 or more years old. Trailer tires, no matter the brand, have a useful life expectancy of 5 years max. They may "Look" perfect on the outside, but you cannot see what's going on inside. When we bought our Sunline fifth wheel in February, it had 4 year old trailer tires on it. I wasn't willing to take the risk of damaging the trailer and our Sunny now has new tires on it!

Since your tires were run with low pressure, they are even more susceptible to catastrophic failure. Please be careful!
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:09 PM   #10
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I believe you do have to remove the friction sway control, when you back up. The dual cam setup above does not require removal for backing up. Do you have a power tongue jack?


As far as the tires go... If they are the original tires, That means that they could be 8 or more years old. Trailer tires, no matter the brand, have a useful life expectancy of 5 years max. They may "Look" perfect on the outside, but you cannot see what's going on inside. When we bought our Sunline fifth wheel in February, it had 4 year old trailer tires on it. I wasn't willing to take the risk of damaging the trailer and our Sunny now has new tires on it!

Since your tires were run with low pressure, they are even more susceptible to catastrophic failure. Please be careful!
They are the original tires, reading the DOT (on the inside of the tire so I had to crawl under her) 2304= 23rd week of 2004 if I am reading this correctly


You are right I probably should replace them. The guy at the RV parts counter said to look for soft spots on the sidewalls and if there aren't any they were probably ok. I checked them and I could feel no soft spots but I am going on a 1,000 round trip...I just hate to spend more money right now as my pocket book is getting down to "spare change" with all the $$ I have spend getting her ready although its true I did spend some on making her cute



So it looks like I will be tire shopping tomorrow... Any suggestions on tire Brand or model?
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:54 PM   #11
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You don't have to remove a friction sway to back up, but it is very good practice. It's just two clips that holds it on, so just loosen the tension lever, pull those two pins, and off it goes. The reason they say you should take it off is if the trailer gets away on you (easier with a small trailer like yours) and turns too tight one way or another before the point of where it could jacknife, the slider bar from the friction sway could get caught up and bent. Theoretically you could do this by turning too tight when you go forward too, but I guess it's just less likely that it would happen then.

Tire wise, the club seems to be very divided with what they recommend. Some believe in ST trailer tires and some believe in LT light truck tires. I personally like the Goodyear Marathon ST tire, just because I've always had good luck with them, but all trailer tire brands have their issues. But DON'T go to the RV dealer for tires- they probably can't get the freshest tires around and will be more expensive. Just go to a regular tire store. They can all get LT or ST tires and they should all be able to do the work for you, aka pull them from the trailer, do the swap, and re-install. Make sure to ask for or at least look at the date codes on the new tires to make sure they get you pretty fresh tires. Within the last six months is good.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:51 AM   #12
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Thanks Jon, I did a bunch of research last night and Maxxi tires got very good reviews from all kinds of RVers. (along with Greenball- Towmaster) So I just ordered these
M8008 ST Radial


I decided to bump up to the 8 ply which is rated Class D load from the original Mission tires rates Class C load. I asked for a guarantee that the tires were made this year and I will check when I bring my rig in

I feel much better about my trip now

Quote:
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You don't have to remove a friction sway to back up, but it is very good practice. It's just two clips that holds it on, so just loosen the tension lever, pull those two pins, and off it goes. The reason they say you should take it off is if the trailer gets away on you (easier with a small trailer like yours) and turns too tight one way or another before the point of where it could jacknife, the slider bar from the friction sway could get caught up and bent. Theoretically you could do this by turning too tight when you go forward too, but I guess it's just less likely that it would happen then.

Tire wise, the club seems to be very divided with what they recommend. Some believe in ST trailer tires and some believe in LT light truck tires. I personally like the Goodyear Marathon ST tire, just because I've always had good luck with them, but all trailer tire brands have their issues. But DON'T go to the RV dealer for tires- they probably can't get the freshest tires around and will be more expensive. Just go to a regular tire store. They can all get LT or ST tires and they should all be able to do the work for you, aka pull them from the trailer, do the swap, and re-install. Make sure to ask for or at least look at the date codes on the new tires to make sure they get you pretty fresh tires. Within the last six months is good.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:31 PM   #13
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Joan,

My 2363 has a GVWR of 5500# which is the same as your 1950. It came with load range B Maxxis tires. (1430# per tire times 4 = 5720# weight capacity) I wonder if going to D range tires is too big of a jump. ( D is 2150# times 4 = 8600# capacity) My tires are 205 75R 14 with a 5.5 inch rim width. The only Maxxis tire in load range D that I see is a 15 inch rim, is that what you have?
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:54 PM   #14
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Yes...the tires are 205/75R15 Mission tires, orginal according to the date I had to crawl underneath the trailer to find. Apparently by law manufactures are not required to put the date stamp on both sides.

Here is the load range brochure from Maxxi

If that's to big of a jump I need to know by 5:00pm!


Quote:
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Joan,

My 2363 has a GVWR of 5500# which is the same as your 1950. It came with load range B Maxxis tires. (1430# per tire times 4 = 5720# weight caphttp://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=105267acity) I wonder if going to D range tires is too big of a jump. ( D is 2150# times 4 = 8600# capacity) My tires are 205 75R 14 with a 5.5 inch rim width. The only Maxxis tire in load range D that I see is a 15 inch rim, is that what you have?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 205:75:R15.jpg (70.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 6 ply Range C.jpg (73.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Fixed Fender Done2.jpg (98.0 KB, 1 views)
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:41 PM   #15
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Just my opinion but I think load range C (4 x 1820#) with a total load capacity of 7280# will be more than ample for a GVWR of 5500# on the trailer. (even 3 x 1820 = 5460!) It is also easier to find a place to inflate a C to the required 50# pressure than the 65# for the D range tire and a ST tire with the thicker sidewall needs to be at full rated pressure. Underinflation will kill the tire quickly.
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:44 PM   #16
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Another thought, what does the sticker on the trailer show for required tire?
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:51 PM   #17
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Another thought, what does the sticker on the trailer show for required tire?
Gene, at some point after your trailer was built, it might have been for the 2005 model year when they changed frame manufacturers, they changed everything to 15" load range C wheels/tires. It used to be where the smaller trailers, usually 2475 and smaller, had the 14", and then above that was 15", but they combined them later on.

So as far as I know, the '05+ Sunline non-slides (and the 195SR/257SR) all had 205/75/R15Cs, and then the '05+ Sunline Slide Rooms (minus those two) all had 225/75/R15Ds.
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:51 PM   #18
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Thanks Jon, that is interesting to know.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:53 PM   #19
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Just my opinion but I think load range C (4 x 1820#) with a total load capacity of 7280# will be more than ample for a GVWR of 5500# on the trailer. (even 3 x 1820 = 5460!)
Well opinions are like belly buttons.. we all have one
But I am soliciting opinions by asking questions.

(My sticker is ST205/75R15C) This topic popped up on many of the forums I came across when researching the Brand of tire to purchase and it seems to me very similar to the ST or LT discussion, opinions do vary. Some folks like to have "tire to spare" some don't

Quote:
It is also easier to find a place to inflate a C to the required 50# pressure than the 65# for the D range tire
I am sorry but I am not sure what you mean here? Why wouldn't an air compressor have the ability to fill your tire with 50# of air and not 65# of air? Obviously I am misunderstanding. Please explain...
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:09 PM   #20
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I am sorry but I am not sure what you mean here? Why wouldn't an air compressor have the ability to fill your tire with 50# of air and not 65# of air? Obviously I am misunderstanding. Please explain...
While I've never had to use a compressor at a gas station, I can't imagine 65 vs. 50 would be a problem. However, when you get above 80 or so, that does go into a territory where the average small air compressor can't handle. Most semi tires (22.5") run about 110 PSI, and only select compressors can go that high.

The other issue is if your rims are rated for that pressure. There's a stamping on the inside of the rim (hidden by the tire) that shows the pressure the rim can handle. I can't remember if these rims were able to handle 65 PSI or not, but Pat & Cindy (EMAM) I thought put D's on their 2499. You could ask them if they had to get new rims or not.
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Where to buy--- and get trailer tires installed. Mark Repairs and Maintenance 6 08-24-2008 11:21 PM
replacement of trailer tires landsailer Sunline Travel Trailers 7 04-06-2007 09:47 PM


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