Major tow jerk

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Four Angels, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. bldmtnrider

    bldmtnrider Member

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    Supermomof4

    First, what do you mean by jerking? Is there an audible clunk associated and somewhat random or is it more of a vibration. Can you feel it in the tow vehicle? What does it feel like (pulling you back, sideways, or just a random impact)? Is there any correlation with an event in the road such as a pothole or seam in the cement?

    I don't think there is such a thing as too light of a trailer so you could probably rule that out.

    I would start with the ball and make sure that is tight in the hitch? From the info we have so far that sounds like the most probably cause because as you increase speed the wind resistance on the trailer will index the shaft of the ball in the hitch, BUT, if you were to turn or brake you should hear at least 1 "clunk" again as it indexes to a new location in the hole.

    It probably isn't a tongue weight issue as if you are too light on the tongue it will get worse as you go faster and can get down right scary as you approach 60mph. In my experience they don't tend to smooth out as you go faster. However, if you are too light on the tongue and have a loose ball you would definitely hear something.

    An out of balance wheel or flat spot will cause a vibration but usually isn't noticeable at lower speeds and unless it was really bad you probably wouldn't notice it in the Tow Vehicle. There could be mechanical damage to a shock or spring but that should remain pretty constant over the speed range and correlate with hitting a pothole or imperfection in the road.

    Did you find out if you have trailer brakes?
     
  2. Four Angels

    Four Angels New Member

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    Thanks again for all your replies. Had my DH read over all of them. If mother nature is kind to us tomorrow, he'll investigate some of your suggestions.

    He believes we have the correct ball and said he'll check on the break issue . One thing that makes a lot of sense are the tires being old. Prior owners hadn't used the camper for about 6+ years and it stayed, covered, outside. Tires look good and we were told they were"newer" but we're guessing this may be an issue.

    The "jerk" feels like the entire truck is being pulled back.

    Stay tuned for more updates......
     
  3. BIGTOM

    BIGTOM Member

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    If tires are 6 years old, they need replacing.
     
  4. BIGTOM

    BIGTOM Member

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    Tires are not real expensive, I replace mine every 3 years. I hate to changone one the side of the road.
     
  5. tsc

    tsc Member

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  6. blondedriver

    blondedriver Member

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    I agree check for proper ball size. Check the ball is fully tightened. Check if there is free play on the tow bar going into the receiver. also double check the pup that all of the connections to the frame and suspension is tight.

    I could also see the tires having a flat spot if they sat on the ground for several years. so if every thing checks out well go to your tire shop and get them replaced. Yes the age can be a issue but I would be willing to bet the camper weight has been on the tires for several years causing damage to the tire
     
  7. bldmtnrider

    bldmtnrider Member

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    Is it a constant pull or is it more of a random resistance? If it is a random resistance, does it have a consistent feel (bump...bump...bump...bump) that gets closer together as you go faster, or is it random (bump.........bump.bump..bump........bump)?

    If it is relatively constant and and is pulling the truck back I would look over the easy stuff first (ball, visual tire inspection) and then take a hard look at the brakes. You could have a busted piece of pad that is bouncing around inside the drum that is randomly caught between the pad and drum causing some wheel resistance.

    I still don't think it is the tires. They can give you a rough ride but I can't think of a scenario where they would feel like they are pulling you back. It does sound like they need replacing, but I would get to the root cause of your jerking first.
     
  8. JustRelax

    JustRelax Well-Known Member

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    It's not that the trailer is too light - it may be as others have said that the tongue weight is not balanced properly. It sounds that you don't have enough weight on the tongue and it's lifting on you during acceleration. If everything is tight and correct (I assume it is as you were ok with your previous trailer and the ball will most likely be the same) then you may need to put more weight at the front of the trailer to properly balance the load.

    Edit - this can be as simple as taking a heavy object you haul near the back of the camper and put near the front instead. If you don't haul much of anything in the PUP then take a loaded cooler out of the TV and put on the floor near the front of the PUP as a couple of suggestions. You may also be able to add a second propane tank on the front to increase tongue weight as an alternative to putting things in the PUP.
     
  9. Four Angels

    Four Angels New Member

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    Just put new tires on the pup and will take it for a spin next week. DH said the tires were really bad so he believes this should fix our "jerk". We can still pay with tounge weight but he's checked all your suggestions and believes the tires were a major contributor to our problems.

    Thanks again for all your suggestions and enjoy the rest of the camping season!
     

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