Towing - Feels jerky and heavy - Page 2 - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #21 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again everyone for your suggestions. A bit of follow up:

Stuck to 65 Mph (trailer tires are rated for a max of 75 Mph) but the truck seemed fairly happy at chug along at 65 somewhere between 2.5k and 3.5k RPM depending on if we were going up or down slight inclines. It kicked up to 4k RPM every once in a while. Traveled with about 1/3rd of a tank of fresh water which for reference sits a bit forward of the axle. Glad I took water and will need to take more next time since the area we stayed in has nothing near it and we'll be staying a couple days.

In slow speed situations (like leaving out neighborhood) it was definitely a bouncy affair, but once we got out onto the highway it felt a lot better. The trailer still feels "heavy" behind the truck, but I didn't have any white knuckle situations - the whole trip was teeth grinding mostly from just being nervous doing something for the first time. There was a decent wind all day on the way out of about 14+ mph which didn't help as big trucks went by, but not a lot of sway - just the suck in / push out feeling as they passed us which seems to be a normal thing. The trailer definitely rocked a bit up and down over some parts of the road, but settled down pretty quick once the bumps passed. Overall it went well - I'm still not comfortable but I'm getting there.

I'll be purchasing one of the hitch tighteners. There's definitely a lot of slop there, and I'm thinking about getting a scale for the tongue weight. I noticed the Equalizer system bars are rated for a max of 400 lbs tongue weight - which at 10% of trailer weight only gives me 70 pounds of wiggle room. The equalizer itself has a max of 4,000 lbs which I don't think I'd get to but who knows. Overall I wonder if they undersold the equalizer and should have sold me the larger 6,000 pound model.

I also measured before leaving and the front/back wheel wells were at 35 1/8" - so the truck was perfectly level.
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post #22 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 12:44 PM
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I'm going to be controversial for the hell of it. That trailer is basically nothing. You would have to actively try to screw it up. Heck, try it without the weight distribution. I tow a 26(30)ft 6000lb camper and it feels effortless around town. I tow a boat that weighs more than that with no trailer brakes.

My guess is that you are just sensitive to normal towing induced movements to the truck. Just keep driving and you will get used to it.
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post #23 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by netsyd View Post
I'll be purchasing one of the hitch tighteners. There's definitely a lot of slop there, and I'm thinking about getting a scale for the tongue weight. I noticed the Equalizer system bars are rated for a max of 400 lbs tongue weight - which at 10% of trailer weight only gives me 70 pounds of wiggle room. The equalizer itself has a max of 4,000 lbs which I don't think I'd get to but who knows. Overall I wonder if they undersold the equalizer and should have sold me the larger 6,000 pound model.
I would say the 6,000 would be much better for what you need, but seemingly your front end was close to optimal. It's not though leaving a lot of room for error. Given the small difference in cost it seems like they really cheaped out.
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post #24 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 01:24 PM
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Just want to comment about the suggestions of adding sleeves or something like that to take up slop in the receiver hitch. I don't know about you guys, but I remove my ball mount from the receiver when I am not using it. I see an incredible amount of people who do not and just leave the ball and mount in their receiver hitch all the time. The idea of sleeves or something to take up the slack is probably fine if you remove the mount every time you are done using it. However, if you are the type that leaves it in all the time, you could be setting yourself up for a situation where the mount gets stuck in the receiver and you can't get it out, especially if you live where they salt the roads in the winter.


My brother-in-law bought an older Chevy truck that had a mount and ball that had been left in the receiver hitch for who knows how long. He wanted to remove it so he wouldn't hit his shins on it when he was loading stuff in and out of the truck. He removed the pin and it wouldn't budge. He tried heating it up, using PB Blaster, and hitting it with a mallet and nothing would budge it. He attached it to a big tree with a chain and tried to pull it out. It broke the chain. He was never able to get it out. He lives in Ohio and the best we can figure is that salt from the winter roads made its way into the hitch and corroded the metal so badly that it essentially fused together. His Dad borrowed the truck and towed a trailer with it and didn't realize that my brother-in-law had never put the pin back in the hitch. But it was so fused together that it didn't seem to matter. That hitch isn't coming out of the receiver no matter what.


So if you put something in there to snug it up that is easily corroded and you leave it in all the time and drive on salted roads in the winter, then you might have that ball mount in your receiver hitch permanently. I would think that this could happen faster the less "slop" you have in the hitch. That's another reason that I remove mine when not in use. I have 2 mounts - one with a 2 5/8" ball and one with a 2" ball. Although I use the 2 5/8" most of the time, I do use the 2" one on occasion. It's much easier to swap out the mount into the receiver hitch rather than unscrew the ball and switch out the ball each time so I don't want one or the other to become a permanent fixture to my truck.
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post #25 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 02:08 PM
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I leave it in all the time. I would think with the galvanized shims, it will not get stuck. Not a problem with salt in Texas.

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post #26 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 02:43 PM
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First of all, that is a cool trailer. I was camping out and the guy next to me had one and I checked it out. Single axle trailers "bounce" more than dual axle though, that just just how it is. Make sure the tongue weight is good, the brake controller is properly adjusted, and carry on.
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post #27 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by diesel or bust View Post
Just want to comment about the suggestions of adding sleeves or something like that to take up slop in the receiver hitch. I don't know about you guys, but I remove my ball mount from the receiver when I am not using it. I see an incredible amount of people who do not and just leave the ball and mount in their receiver hitch all the time. The idea of sleeves or something to take up the slack is probably fine if you remove the mount every time you are done using it. However, if you are the type that leaves it in all the time, you could be setting yourself up for a situation where the mount gets stuck in the receiver and you can't get it out, especially if you live where they salt the roads in the winter.
I've been removing it. The equalizer hitch mount is stupidly big so it looks like the truck has a turtle head poking out (if you get my joke).

@FunctionOverForm - Thanks for the laugh, and you're probably right. I'm quite likely over thinking it due to my overly analytical nature. I'm the guy who measures twice, measures a third time, makes the cut and still screws it up. :)
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post #28 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 03:53 PM
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The worst feeling of al and you will get used to it, it when the passing trucks suck your truck/trailer toward them. Just double tightly grip the steering wheel and steer gradually, do not overreact. It can be a bad feeling.
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post #29 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 04:15 PM
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@michael - "making sure the coupler is adjusted to be snug on the ball helps with jerkyness" ---- Can you define this a little better? What should I be looking for?
You have to find out exactly what type of coupler you have....there should be an adjustment in the coupler to tighten things up. I had to do this recently on my bass boat trailer. I used this video to give me an idea of what to look for... It's a good idea to know how this all works and check it periodically /yearly.

This video is for a straight/basic coupler style...

The MFG of my trailer didn't use a lock nut on the adjustment and it came loose. I removed the nut and put my own locknut in it. It's been great ever since.
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post #30 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 04:21 PM
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This is OT, but speaking of jerky feeling, this reminds me of something I saw a couple of weeks ago.

A truck pulling an enclosed contractor's trailer was leaving the local strip mall, which had quite a dip at the road's gutter area. The type of thing where cars with low front ends have to enter slowly.

Well apparently the driver of the truck when connecting up forgot to fully raise the tongue jack, and it hit the pavement and disconnected the truck from the trailer. So the trailer was just sitting there at a 90 degree angle to the road in the middle of traffic right near a intersection with four lanes plus turn lanes. I can't imagine a worse situation for trying to hook up a trailer. The trailer was blocking one lane and the driver would need to block at least one more lane to get reconnected.
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post #31 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 04:44 PM
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This is OT, but speaking of jerky feeling, this reminds me of something I saw a couple of weeks ago.

A truck pulling an enclosed contractor's trailer was leaving the local strip mall, which had quite a dip at the road's gutter area. The type of thing where cars with low front ends have to enter slowly.

Well apparently the driver of the truck when connecting up forgot to fully raise the tongue jack, and it hit the pavement and disconnected the truck from the trailer. So the trailer was just sitting there at a 90 degree angle to the road in the middle of traffic right near a intersection with four lanes plus turn lanes. I can't imagine a worse situation for trying to hook up a trailer. The trailer was blocking one lane and the driver would need to block at least one more lane to get reconnected.
Lot of fun there.

I was riding a bicycle many years ago on a quiet Sunday afternoon. As I went though an intersection, the vehicle hauling a small utility trailer passed me. Wasn't a big dip, but it was enough of a dip to disconnect the trailer from the ball. Next thing I know, the vehicle is half a block down the road and the trailer is coasting passed me, drifted in front of me and rolled into the ditch. I left him to clean up his problem. Had I been 10 feet further along the road, or had my bluetooth earphones in like kids today so I didn't hear the ruckus, I would have not braked and would have been run over by the trailer.

Tell me again, what are those chains for?

More inline with the issues here, I think, what do you guys use to lubricate the ball on your hitch setups?

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post #32 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 04:48 PM
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More inline with the issues here, I think, what do you guys use to lubricate the ball on your hitch setups?
I've not really given it much thought, and just use some old bearing grease I have lying around from when I had a boat trailer.
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post #33 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 04:56 PM
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I've not really given it much thought, and just use some old bearing grease I have lying around from when I had a boat trailer.
Thanks. I store my hitch/ball wrapped in a towel under rear seat, have been trying to use lighter lubricants so I didn't make a mess in the cab of the truck. I may figure a way to put all of my hitch items in the bed of the truck and quit worrying about the dirty hitch ball. Will free up a little space under the seat as well, for me to fill up with some other tools.

I currently have a small tool pouch handing from one of my tie down points in the bed of the truck. I may try a similar setup, perhaps slightly larger tool pouch, on the other side of the bed with the hitch.

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post #34 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 05:00 PM
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Thanks. I store my hitch/ball wrapped in a towel under rear seat, have been trying to use lighter lubricants so I didn't make a mess in the cab of the truck. I may figure a way to put all of my hitch items in the bed of the truck and quit worrying about the dirty hitch ball. Will free up a little space under the seat as well, for me to fill up with some other tools.
For the mess I use a zip lock bag around the ball, and then the entire hitch assembly goes in a storage bin, with a few other parts (pins and such).
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post #35 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 05:05 PM
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I tow a boat that weighs more than that with no trailer brakes.
If you tow a boat the weights over 6k with no brakes, you're an idiot.

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post #36 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 05:14 PM
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For the mess I use a zip lock bag around the ball, and then the entire hitch assembly goes in a storage bin, with a few other parts (pins and such).
Amazing how many little parts, pins, etc. you can accumulate with time. Your ziplock and my tool pouch may be the solution I go with. I have had a storage bin in the bed on/off for a while, but I hate the space it takes up. If I get an unexpected load, I have to deal with it. I can toss the tool pouches on the floorboard of the rear seat in a pinch. Otherwise, I can have them hanging with a carbiner from my bull rings close to the tailgate, in easy reach. They don't slide around that way, always right there when I need them.

In regards to the various shims to reduce the slop in the receiver, a little grease or anti-seize might be a good protection to consider.

And down in Houston, the humidity and salt from Gulf alone would be almost as bad a couple of winters in the frigid north I would think.
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post #37 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 05:28 PM
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If you tow a boat the weights over 6k with no brakes, you're an idiot.
I find it a bit hard to believe that there's a boat trailer that will carry such a boat that doesn't have surge brakes.
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post #38 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 06:41 PM
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If you tow a boat the weights over 6k with no brakes, you're an idiot.
It weighs more than his trailer (I was not clear on what 'that' was). My boat & trailer is just under 3,500.

I went a very long time without even realizing the surge brakes didn't work any more on my boat. To the point where by the time I realized it, the system was completely rotted out. At that point, whatever, hardly noticed anyway. That's probably just because I drive sensibly when I am towing. Lots of distance. Slow stops.

I've actually been forced to panic stopped with the boat too. The colorado has very, very good brakes and an even better stability control system. Definitely (probably) would have jackknifed or hit the guy who pulled in front of me at the last minute without them.

I don't recommend anyone actually do what I do, only you know your risk tolerance, but rest assured, you're gonna be just fine with your setup.
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post #39 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 06:46 PM
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I've not really given it much thought, and just use some old bearing grease I have lying around from when I had a boat trailer.
Was using the Reese Hitch Ball Lube, expensive, but the Lucas Red N Tacky works well, however, neither one look good on your jeans! Have started tying a Walmart bag around my WD Hitch after unhooking.

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post #40 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 06:47 PM
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Not the same issue...but I never notice mine.

I'd try and level the trailer by raising the ball and move the bikes to the bed of the truck if you can.
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