Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

All these posts about towing always gets me thinkin....

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Pookster, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2000
    Posts:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NYC, NY, USA
    Maybe its just me noticing that we all agree that the k5 aint the greatest beast for towing. But I always see smaller vehicles tow similiar loads, and looking quite efforless I might add. i've seen Isuzus, x5's, and Jeep Cherokee v8's tow, and Ive never seen them complain. And none of them (IIRC)0 have any longer wheel bases. So, what am I missing here?
     
  2. TrcksR4ME

    TrcksR4ME 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Posts:
    2,482
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA 98103
    I was thinking the same thing, see Cherokees and Grand Cherokees, mini vans, etc towing pretty large trailers...what problem does a Blazer have that they don't /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  3. scrappyk5

    scrappyk5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Posts:
    2,099
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    virginia
    i towed my s15 home from uwharrie last year with my k5. i
    did great as long as i didnt go any faster than 60mph. that
    was with a tow dollie. it might be a weight issue. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  4. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2000
    Posts:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NYC, NY, USA
    I had that same problem. slower speeds were significantly more controllable than the higher speeds. I cant figure out if its the bump steer that makes it act funny, but after doing some research on these anti sway/weight distributing hitches, it might just be the ticket.

    The only common factor I can think of is that we are on a short wheelbase- solid front axle combination. Even the overhang is a culprit!.

    I couldnt sleep last night.. thinking about the kinda hairy towing I've been doing. I believe the problem originates at the tongue weight area. As the trailer hits bumps and what not, the toungue weight gets loaded and unloaded, which, compreses or tries to lift the hitch up and down. Unfortunately, if there is a bump before, the front of the truck goes bouncing up, the rear of the truck angles down (from the bump) forcing the tongue to go down as well.

    Then, as the rear tires hit the bump, it compresses the rear suspension, and then releases it, again, taking the tongue weight, and trying to force it up (all 500 lbs of it). Then, as it reaches the trailer wheels, it then forces the toungue down again, compressing the trucks suspension.

    All this motion seems to be less controllable on a shorter wheel base. Im thinking its like a fulcrum , thats heavily biased toward one side. (And Im also thinking thats why 5th wheel trailers dont worry about things like this- they have no fulcrum point cause the weight is directly over the rear axle!)

    This front axle weight changes over and over causes some amount of bump steer, especially for those of us who have lifts.

    im thinking the best possible solutions are:

    Super stiff springs all around- Well , that could work, but your kidneys may not work after that.

    Super stiff shocks- Maybe Rancho 9000-'s, the extra dampning may help.

    A really good Weight distribution/ Anti sway setup.

    I almost think a weight distribution would help the most, by tying the truck and the trailer into a single level plane. Everything should try to move as one plane, and it seems like a lot of members have nothing but good things to say about them. The new style anti sways look promising too.

    Anyone else have any thoughts? I havent had my coffee yet, but I think I will do the weight distributing/anti sway combo first, and let you all know..
     
  5. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2000
    Posts:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NYC, NY, USA
    hum, forgot something- doesnt cherokee's have sold front axles? Maybe their whole suspension is just somewhat more civilized.
     
  6. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    7,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Atlanta
    If the K5 is stock and your using a weigh distributing hitch and a good sway control....NO problem. The problem is lifted truck soft suspension especial with a shakle flip. It fubars EVERYTHING. Tounge hight is wrong. more leverage from the wrong angle on the tow vehicle. Etc.

    I know from experiance because I about roll at 70mph with 3500lb of trailer. The trailer go upset and started swaying and loading and unloading the trucks suspension. I knew I was done for and out of shear luck when I go to the point of "I can not get this thing under control, I'm going to lock it down to try to loose as much speed as I can before It rolls". There was no question it was all over and the thought in my mind is "I hope my roll cage hold up". I looked in my review and the trailer was going sideways on one wheel. When it was coming back around the the other direction is When I locked it down. The trailer had just loaded up the tounge weight and the trailers spare that was mounted on the tounge was dragging the pavement.
    There was a easy 300ft of marks from that trailer going sideways and shoving the rear tires on the tuck side ways before I locked it up. Thank god nobody was around me because I was taking up the shoulder, my lane and the lean to the left of me.

    What I did to fix it was add two leafs to the rear spring pack. THe trailer was totaly screwed up and had to have a new frame built for it. I rased it 3 inches in the process, added 24 inches between the tounge and axle. Now it has better manners but I'm still leary of towing with that truck.
     
  7. toy4fun

    toy4fun 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Posts:
    220
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Helper, UT.
    I think the weight distributing hitch is the way to go I built my Blazer to tow and wheel a little (502 big block, 3/4ton axles, 6" spring lift 36" tires) I tow my LandCruiser to Moab 262 miles one-way it tows fine even with no weight distributing hitch. I think the trick is disturbing the weight on the trailer. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif

    I built the trailer for the LandCruiser and it tows fine but I put a full size truck on there one time and pulled it to far up and I could not even keep it on the road at about 45 mph. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    Also a tandem axle tow a lot better then a single axle, and good trailer brakes. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  8. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2000
    Posts:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NYC, NY, USA
    Yeah grim, I have read your post at least 2 dozen times. It is always frightning, and I always worry about having the same problem.

    My setup is: 87, 350, 208, 700R4. Echobit Lift with stock springs, and a 4" spring lift in the front, with sway bar disconnects. Gabriel VST shocks all around.

    My trailer is a 1800lb wood decked, tadem axle, 16ft dovetail, with brakes on all 4 wheels. I use a Tekonsha Prodigy controller.

    The car I carry is a 3100 lb Mustang.

    I've tried various toungue weight by moving the car back and forth, and even to put the direction of the car so that most of the weight is over the axle. However, against common belief, it seems that I must put on significantly greater weight on the tongue in order to keep the load stable.

    So now, Im thinking back to what you were saying about soft springs- Maybe airbags in the back in addition to everything else?
     
  9. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Posts:
    17,669
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    IL, USA
    I have the Tekonsha Prodigy too. What a product eh?
     
  10. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Posts:
    17,669
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    IL, USA
    I have the Tekonsha Prodigy too. What a product eh?

    All those idiots pulling ANYTHING at all with a vehicle with no frame are an accident waiting to happen. Just because some other idiot tows with a Jeep Cheorokee doesn't mean you've got to be that stupid.
     
  11. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2000
    Posts:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NYC, NY, USA
    [ QUOTE ]
    I have the Tekonsha Prodigy too. What a product eh?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Heh... I cant tell if that was sarcastic, or your simply making fun of the canadians who made em! /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif

    Acutally, as far as brake controllers go, I just went by what people said on the RV forums, and they really love the prodigy. Though, I will say something funny- My brake lights are the same lights as my hazard lights- So if you say in an emergency decide to put on your hazards with a trailer in tow, the trailer will acutally brake with the pulse of the brake light!!!

    On a side note about the stupidity- I dont think having a frame/no frame is of paramount importance. These new unibodied vehicles are pushing the same weight that our full frames are, and their suspension is light years ahead. And Im sure the fact that we lift our vehicles and change everything else, were making our own lives worse!
     
  12. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    7,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Atlanta
    [ QUOTE ]
    Yeah grim, I have read your post at least 2 dozen times. It is always frightning, and I always worry about having the same problem.

    My setup is: 87, 350, 208, 700R4. Echobit Lift with stock springs, and a 4" spring lift in the front, with sway bar disconnects. Gabriel VST shocks all around.

    My trailer is a 1800lb wood decked, tadem axle, 16ft dovetail, with brakes on all 4 wheels. I use a Tekonsha Prodigy controller.

    The car I carry is a 3100 lb Mustang.

    I've tried various toungue weight by moving the car back and forth, and even to put the direction of the car so that most of the weight is over the axle. However, against common belief, it seems that I must put on significantly greater weight on the tongue in order to keep the load stable.

    So now, Im thinking back to what you were saying about soft springs- Maybe airbags in the back in addition to everything else?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    More Tounge weight is where it's at. That was part of my problem and a big reason the trailer was redesigned to add 24 inches. That 24 inches was a basket on the front that added weight.

    Keep the tounge weight up and if it sages the rear of the truck then go with a equalizing hitch. Equalizing hitch shifts the load on the tow vehicle to all four wheels. See part of the problem is weight on the trailer hitch takes weight off the front wheels. The Equalizing hitch put it back.

    Honestly the extra spring rate made my truck drive so much better on the street. It should have hindered off road performance but the Detroit makes such a difference that It hasn't hindered me at all. The thing I'm still trying to figure out is with the extra spring rate my RTI increased by 75 points on the exact same ramp. Still have not figure that out. Everything I did should have made it worse...go figure.
     

Share This Page