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Towing an enclosed 7x16 enclosed trailer and notice the trailer sways on the highway and can't figure out why. Could it be the ladders on top? 7k dual axle. Currently weight 5500 lbs. Any ideas?
Hi: ParallaxReign... "Swing n sway" is great if you're on the dance floor with your sweetheart... but not on the "Hwy"!!! Until you get a good anti sway hitch... 60mph's is it!!!
Dieseldragon North shore of Lake Erie.
 

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2016 Ram 1500 Eco
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Towing an enclosed 7x16 enclosed trailer and notice the trailer sways on the highway and can't figure out why. Could it be the ladders on top? 7k dual axle. Currently weight 5500 lbs. Any ideas?
Towing an enclosed 7x16 enclosed trailer and notice the trailer sways on the highway and can't figure out why. Could it be the ladders on top? 7k dual axle. Currently weight 5500 lbs. Any ideas?
Invest in a good air bag add on. I went with airlifts 5000 lb air bag kit and their on board air compressor system. I tow a bumper pull camper weighing in about 8800 lbs with no swaying. I have the auto level compressor. The problem was the coil springs have too much give to them.
 

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2021 Ram 2500 Tradesman Crew Cab 6.7 L Turbo Cummins 3.73
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All I know is this, with no WDH, hold on mama, we're all gonna die!(thank God at least I had electric brakes that stopped the "sway of death")

With a WDH, cruise with confidence. I'll never tow without one again. That was a long time ago, back before I knew Jack Shit.
 

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WDH's only mask a problem; they work but they don't fix the root issue

Trailer sway is always because their isn't enough weight on the tongue/front of the trailer (move weight / lower the hitch) or drive slower, those be the choices.
 

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WDH's only mask a problem; they work but they don't fix the root issue

Trailer sway is always because their isn't enough weight on the tongue/front of the trailer (move weight / lower the hitch) or drive slower, those be the choices.
Air bags mask the problem not wd hitchs. Sway is caused by multiple things and tongue weight is just one of them. But even with 15% tongue weight which is the max you want for a bumper pull sway can happen. Wd hitchs actually work to fix the physics that cause sway in the first place.
 

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Air bags mask the problem not wd hitchs. Sway is caused by multiple things and tongue weight is just one of them. But even with 15% tongue weight which is the max you want for a bumper pull sway can happen. Wd hitchs actually work to fix the physics that cause sway in the first place.
Agreed. One of the issues is that the tongue weight can be correct, but the removal of weight from the front axle causes the truck to be unstable and minimal forces can affect the side to side movement.
 

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Insufficient tongue weight is the main cause of sway and oscillating sway. But a WDH does not mask the problem its a tool used to fix it among other things. A WDH primarily transfers weight forward from drive axle to steer axle but it also transfers weight off the tongue back to the trailer axle. This can be demonstrated on a CAT scale and seen by comparing weight slips before and after. In some cases you can fix a tongue weigh issue too light too heavy simply by shifting weight in the trailer other times you cannot. I think steiny93 is referring to anti sway features that now come with most WDHs. Many people grossly under utilise a WDH but benefit from the anti sway feature which tries to stop sway before it starts.

Air bags when used for heavy towing are best used to compliment the WDH IE finish airing them up after weight distribution has been adjusted and finalised set. If you put high psi on the bags before setting the WDH the bags are being used to resist the WDH's weight transfer. The bags help DAMPEN, support and control the rear suspension. IE it won't woller and have suspension deflection so the suspension handles curves groves rough terrain much better. They also help with ride comfort and to achieve the stance or rake desired. Done right a WDH combined with axle to frame bags are the optimum setup.
 

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2020 Ram 4x2 Eco Gen III, Laramie crew, air susp. DSA rear end, barn door tail gate
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several points of concern here, tow set up, CG or center of gravity of trailer, load dispersal upon trailer, too much weight on tongue will squash the rear springs, moon shot the front end.... too much weight over the rear end of the trailer will cause havoc, so, spread your load out, as someone stated before, 10 to 12% maybe 15% of your load over the tongue or aka "Ball weight", then park a huge amount of weight over your trailer axles, and lighten up on the rear end of the trailer.... one other thing, with coil springs on the rear of your pick-up, acquire a pair of air bags and insert them in your springs, this will certainly help in load bearing on the rear end of the truck, it'll stiff'n it up a bit and assist with rear end ride height... also with the air bag inserts, it will also create better braking, especially on the front end of the truck, helps eliminate nose dive when braking....
 

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2019 RAM 1500 Tradesman 4X2 EcoDiesel
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After 40+ years an Auto/Lt truck tech I fail to see why gears would have any effect on trailer sway. Do you use a WD hitch? I personally wouldn't do a sway without a WD hitch.
I confess I have been too lazy to set up the WDH that came with my ca 5,000# trailer, but I connect the anti-sway bar so it won't drag on the pavement. Are you saying the anti-sway used alone could be a problem? I do plan to set up the WDH for a ca 8,000 mile trip in a few months--but I've said that before.
 

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This is a post I did on another forum but it fits perfectly here.

89729


Yeah OP's picture would be an unsafe mess to drive. Squirrely handling higher center of gravity to more easily roll and less stopping power as the unloaded front brakes want to slide.

Just weight redistribution inside the trailer plus air bags would do wonders and depending on trailer weight & length and or an inability to redistribute load a WDH.

10 percent of gross trailer weight is normally sufficient for that type trailer at 65 mph.

So even a 10k trailer would only have to be 1,000 pound tongue weight which is manageable with the 4th gen 1500 platform. (And within the 1,150 max receiver rating)

Naturally more weight in the bed and cab starts to really tax the limits of the 1500 platform. Obviously GVW gross vehicle weight but more importantly axle capacities and their weight distribution as you want to replace the unloaded steer weight. Also CVWR combined vehicle weight to stay within the combined braking system ratings. Naturally you also have to select appropriate motor power and gearing to pull it.

All this is seen, so weight redistribution IE proper setup can be done at the CAT scale. Not necessary for a light load but OP's load is quickest fixed and optimised for safety & stress free driving by using a CAT scale. CAT has a free app with info & GPS directions. Last a factory TBC trailer brake controller is a great safety feature useful in helping you slow or stop and will immediately stop dangerous oscillating sway should you ever experience it. Below is some links OP may find useful.

09'-18' RAM 1500 — Timber Grove Enterprises, LLC

4" Drop/Rise Weight Distribution Hitch

Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch - 2-5/16" Ball - 12,000lb - w/o Shank (33093)

These pics were of a 3/4 ton but it shows his vehicle weights, what it was with trailer, and after applying weight distribution. He put 240 pounds back on his steer axle to mostly replace his unloaded steer axle weight. Took 340 pounds off his drive axle and returned 80 pounds to the trailer axle. This set his tongue weight to 760 pounds. Add that to the trailer axle weight number and he has 6,060 for a gross trailer weight. Divide the 760 by the 6060 and his tongue weight is an ideal 12.5%. No white knuckles at 10 & 2 this is now two fingers driveable.

89730
 

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WDH's only mask a problem; they work but they don't fix the root issue

Trailer sway is always because their isn't enough weight on the tongue/front of the trailer (move weight / lower the hitch) or drive slower, those be the choices.
100% correct.

Move weight forward.

I saw a Pick up complete with snow plow loaded on to the trailer by reversing it on to the trailer. .
Saw it just as we were exiting the highway for gas etc. Commented to my wife that that was loaded all wrong and an accident waiting to happen. It’s called the pendulum effect.

Thirty minutes later, big back up. Tow vehicle, trailer and load strewn all over the highway.
 

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My error my brain fart my "senior moment." Most of the time we are trying to reduce the tongue weight. That's what I somehow got turned around in my head and why I gave example of reducing the tongue weight via WDH.

OP has to increase his tongue weight one way or another. Move weight in the trailer forward. Put weight on the tongue. Remove weight from behind the trailer axles to get in that ideal zone of 10 to 15%. The only thing the WDH would do for this is if it had sway control then it resists allowing it to start which while it helps is only masking the problem as Steiny said.
 

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I'd take it to the scales and figure out the loads and then go from there. I can't tell from the info if your weight is too far forward or too far rear on the trailer as both can cause sway. If you have too much tongue weight it'll unload the rear tow vehicle axle and too much tongue weight will unload the tow vehicle front axle.

in either case, the tongue weight is only related to lateral pivoting on the hitch ball in corrective actions taken on the pivot point, because of what it does to the weight distribution on all the axles and therefore the balance. technically sway is the corrective action taken when the tow vehicle is maneuvered by the trailer. so long as the trailer and the tow vehicle have an opposing force at the ball, the trailer shouldn't sway... a dog tracking truck, tire inflations, skewed trailer/wagon axles change those variables though. We can throttle up to pull out of a trailer leading the tow vehicle situation or added trailer brake bias to drag the tow vehicle.... in both cases the tv and trailer and pulling against the ball and it straightens out.
 

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Hi: All... Sounds to me like the perfect case of the "Tail wagging the dog". That's why I love my 5th. wh. "No sway"!!!
Dieseldragon North shore of Lake Erie.
 

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2019 RAM 1500 Tradesman 4X2 EcoDiesel
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If you have too much tongue weight it'll unload the rear tow vehicle axle and too much tongue weight will unload the tow vehicle front axle.
I think you meant too LITTLE tongue weight would unload the rear TV axle, but it would actually take negative tongue weight to do that.
 

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2019 Ram 2500 mega cab. Silver, night edition.
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Towing an enclosed 7x16 enclosed trailer and notice the trailer sways on the highway and can't figure out why. Could it be the ladders on top? 7k dual axle. Currently weight 5500 lbs. Any ideas?
You sure that weight is accurate? Have you had it weighed. How much payload are you carrying. You could be overweight and not know it. That’s why I asked earlier what model you had. My 17 Laramie could only tow 7,000 lbs max. My trailer weighed 5500 lbs. dry. Adding all my camping gear and family. It was not fun towing it. I even had airbags and a weight distribution hitch. I had to pump up
My airbags up to 65 psi just to get it back to level. Just a thought.
 
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