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Old 01-13-2020, 06:04 AM   #1
bobnelms
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Bumpy Interstates

Hi all,

I have a 2016 Keystone Cougar 5th wheel -- 37 ft long. I pull it with a F350 dually.

We just got back from a trip to the Florida Keys, and am just about ready to call it quits with my 5th wheel and dually. The jars, bumps, etc. are so bad that it ruins the whole trip. On the last leg of our journey, we actually lost a window! It is routine to find cough cushions all over the place. When we open up our cabinets, we have to watch out because things will fall out due to the jarring.

And the ride in the truck is no better. I'm sick of getting jarred out of my seat! My wife gets headaches all the time because her neck gets effected.

I'm ready to consider a class A, since I've heard their ride is much smoother.

But before I do, here's my question: Have any of you been able to modify the suspension of your 5th wheels and trucks to alleviate these severe vibrations?

Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:13 AM   #2
chuckster57
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There are lots of things you can do to lessen the harsh ride. When the fiver is hooked up, how close to the overload springs is the truck suspension? There are several pin boxes with either rubber or air cushioning, and you can even get an air ride hitch.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:24 AM   #3
Roscommon48
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trailer you can go with the I/S system for about $7K that may help a little. Get a different hitch will probably help too.



as for the truck, it is a truck and you, like me, have the same equipment. Rule of them out there is if you don't want it to drive like a truck get a car. sorry but it is what it is. My wife loves our F350 but it does jump around at times.


Here is a quick search:
https://www.google.com/search?client...eckD1wQ4dUDCAo



sorry you left the keys, today key west is going to be in the mid 80s,
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:45 AM   #4
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Does OP really need a DRW truck for his Cougar? This is one reason I wanted a SRW truck. I also got lucky that my 5er didn't warrant a DRW. OP may want to check the shocks on the trailer. I had to replace mine with new ones. I just don't like how they mount them at all but it is what it is. Does the tires on your trailer require 110 PSI of air? a hard tire will differently ride like a rock.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:15 AM   #5
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Shocks on a trailer??? Only the most expensive, luxury models have that equipment. I don't know of any "entry level" (cheap) or "mid level" (nicely equipped) trailers with shock absorbers installed as OEM. Even some "top line" (expensive) trailers don't have them....

As for "trading up to a motorhome"... I've got a friend with a 1.5 million dollar motorhome. It's in the shop right now (at the factory) for repairs after his recent trip on I-70 through Colorado. And, for "equal opportunity" it's no better through Arizona, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan or Wisconsin* on any of the interstate highways, so buying a motorhome won't improve your comfort level, not to mention how much lighter it'll make your back pocket.....

* You can fill in the name of nearly any other state if you want to be included in that list.... Ain't none any better when it comes to "the good old days" when roads were quality constructed and properly maintained....
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:42 AM   #6
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Best ride is to EYW on Delta or American Airlines. Hilton and Hyatt Residence Club Key West, Sunset Harbor (they will pick you up at the airport).
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:21 AM   #7
bobnelms
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Thanks for all the replies, but here's the thing.....

I don't know much about suspension systems, but I do know that I've travelled the same bumpy roads in my sedan with almost no discomfort at all. And I've talked to enough Class A owners to know that their rides are comfortable and smooth.

Can anyone point me to a resource, or to the type of "shops" I'd have to go to to upgrade the suspension systems?

I'm an engineer by profession, so I should be able to understand the issues involved IF someone can point me to the right resource.

BTW, I do know that my dually is overkill, but 1) I bought it with upgrading the RV in mind (bigger and heavier) and 2) you can't beat the stability and feeling of safety with it.

Thanks all
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobnelms View Post
Thanks for all the replies, but here's the thing.....

I don't know much about suspension systems, but I do know that I've travelled the same bumpy roads in my sedan with almost no discomfort at all. And I've talked to enough Class A owners to know that their rides are comfortable and smooth.

Can anyone point me to a resource, or to the type of "shops" I'd have to go to to upgrade the suspension systems?

I'm an engineer by profession, so I should be able to understand the issues involved IF someone can point me to the right resource.

BTW, I do know that my dually is overkill, but 1) I bought it with upgrading the RV in mind (bigger and heavier) and 2) you can't beat the stability and feeling of safety with it.

Thanks all
As an engineer you should realize that no matter what you do to a truck and trailer you can never match the ride of a big class A. The heavy, long wheel base, large heavy tires and typical air ride suspension of basically a bus.

My post on the airline and hotel was tongue in cheek but here's the truth in it. You can fly there, stay in a nice hotel for a week, and possibly not exceed a month or two's payment on a "nice" class A.

If you want to stay in your camper than what I would suggest beyond the advice given here, is to talk with folks at the campground there and ask what they have done, what's helped, and what was a waste of money. They have traveled over the same road to get there and relate what they're experiences were. Seeing a hitch and how it's made, seeing what they have done might give you some good insights.

Good luck in your quest.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:47 AM   #9
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I think the "simple and unsophisticated answer to why" is this:

Ride comfort is a result of suspension travel and damping.

Suspension travel and damping are a result of tire sidewall flex, spring movement and shock absorber damping.

In a car, 28-34 PSI allows increased tire sidewall flex.
Long leaf springs or tall coil springs allow for more spring travel which absorbs "jolts".
Shock absorbers dampen (cushion) much of the remaining "jolt" sensation and the result is "smooth riding over bumps:

In a truck, 80 PSI and thicker ply sidewalls do not allow as much sidewall flex.
Shorter/heavier leaf springs, undampened overload springs and stiffer coil springs cause more "jolt sensation" and less suspension travel.
Shock absorbers dampen as much "jolt" sensation as they can, but the required payload capacity in HD trucks causes a necessary "road feel".

Most HD trucks that I've driven or rode in do feel "rough on bumpy roads" when empty or when lightly loaded. That same truck, when loaded to capacity, rides much smoother over the same road.

Now, given your "dually with high tire pressure, light tongue/pin weight trailer and "barely perceptible load configuration"... It's no surprise that you are feeling every bump in the road...

As for things you can do, first weigh your rig, find a tire chart and adjust your tire pressure to the "true load" not the "door post sticker recommendation"..
Next, consider Bilstein shocks and/or/and supplemental air bags
Third, go ahead and get that bigger trailer, load up your dually to "near capacity" and enjoy a more comfortable ride (if you slow down on bumpy roads).

Alternative: As flybouy said, find a travel agent, book your flights and pray for clear skies with no thunderstorms along the route....
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:52 PM   #10
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I think you might want to look into doing some easy mods as have been mentioned on the truck to see if that won't calm it down. I had just visited with a neighbor here in the park about 2 weeks ago saying he used to have a problem similar to what you describe and said he made a great improvement by replacing the 5th wheel hitch. I'm sorry but I do not recall the brand he said he bought but said his original had a lot of pushing/pulling, banging etc. That may be of benefit as well.

As far as getting a "nice" class A...I would think about that if I were you. When I retired I was dead set on a "nice" class A; about 429k if I recall and we were getting very serious about it. The problem is the same as you will probably face; that's a lot of "stranded" investment to sit around 6-8 mos. a year. Unlike a trailer where you worry about a few things because it sits idle, that big class A has about a million things that can go wrong, need to be exercised, lubed etc. non stop - driving or not. The drivetrain can't just run out 4-5k miles a year and then be put to bed "until next go round". Nope. For us, the more I thought about it really seriously the more I realized that with something like that you need to be rolling all the time and utilize what you have....we would not have done that. On top of that we would have had to buy something appropriate to tow behind it; everything I own is full size, heavy and just unwarranted in a situation like that.

I will also add that over the last 2-3 years I have talked to 3 folks that use the same storage facility as we do that had nice class As and then showed up with a 5th wheel. I asked them what happened; to a man they all said they were too much trouble. So I would think pretty hard about that change and maybe take the time to mod the truck (maybe trailer) to get it right. It would be terrible to take a bath on the existing trailer, buy that class A, decide it wasn't your cup of tea, sell it and take another, bigger bath. You would be all cleaned, but primarily of cash. Good luck.

Note; what kind of suspension is on your trailer. I have the MorRyde and swear by it.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:34 PM   #11
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Danny makes some excellent points on the clasa A's. Diesels were born to run and tolerate setting well unless properly mothballed. Oil seals dry out, lubricants drain off of internal engine and drivetrain parts allowing corrosion, etc.

If full timing, take into account the necessary time and money for maintenance as you will be residing elsewhere while it's in the shop. If you do your own maintenance like brakes, bearings, change tires etc. chances are you can't or won't have the equipment or expertise to do that on a big diesel pusher. Some some more things to consider.
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Old 01-13-2020, 02:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobnelms View Post
Thanks for all the replies, but here's the thing.....

I don't know much about suspension systems, but I do know that I've travelled the same bumpy roads in my sedan with almost no discomfort at all. And I've talked to enough Class A owners to know that their rides are comfortable and smooth.

Can anyone point me to a resource, or to the type of "shops" I'd have to go to to upgrade the suspension systems?

I'm an engineer by profession, so I should be able to understand the issues involved IF someone can point me to the right resource.

BTW, I do know that my dually is overkill, but 1) I bought it with upgrading the RV in mind (bigger and heavier) and 2) you can't beat the stability and feeling of safety with it.

Thanks all
So I have to ask, did you have the trucks rear tires inflated to the load they were carrying based on the inflation table. You most likely do not need much more the 40-50 psi in the rear tires. Chris

Here is 40 PSI and 50 PSI ratings for four tires in dual configuration.
40 PSI 1768 x 4 = 7072
50 PSI 2064 x 4 = 8256
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:12 PM   #13
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Unless you can afford a diesel pusher, don't go with a gas class A. I used to have a 1997 33 foot SeaBreeze on a GM chassis...basically a "bread truck" chassis. Rode terribly and handled like a wet noodle. And then there's the rattling of everything that's in the cabinets because of our bumpy roads. Me and DW could barely have a conversation because of all the noise.

I love our fifth wheel configuration. We sit much closer, and it's quiet in the truck...nothing rattling. Combo handles great. Truck can be serviced anywhere. Not so with a class a...gas or diesel.

Dial in your setup. As mentioned previously, adjust tire air pressure. Bilsteen shocks. The best upgrade I did was a Reese 5th Airborn Pinbox. Completely eliminated chucking and bucking.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:46 AM   #14
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3 years ago 30.000 miles latter installed Dexter EZ flex suspension that helped a lot . I think the biggest improvement was the Anderson ulitment king pin hitch elimaneted the hammering and sloppy fit of a conversational jaw hitch .
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:44 PM   #15
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Work on your existing rig.
Trailer -Dexter ez ride or Morryde equalizers , pin box change to something with flex ( roto flex, morryde or an air ride), tire pressure set to max load.
Truck- sulastic shackles, air bags adjusted to get you just onto the overloads, better shocks, tire pressure set to max load.

Trailer changes helped a lot ( I did dexter equalizers and moryde flex pin box)
Sulastic shackles helped with empty ride, shocks and tire pressure helped as well.
Things that worked for me.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:55 PM   #16
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You could get a Kelderman air ride system. Not cheap but they ride like a dream.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:33 AM   #17
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Work on your existing rig.
Trailer -Dexter ez ride or Morryde equalizers , pin box change to something with flex ( roto flex, morryde or an air ride), tire pressure set to max load.
Truck- sulastic shackles, air bags adjusted to get you just onto the overloads, better shocks, tire pressure set to max load.

Trailer changes helped a lot ( I did dexter equalizers and moryde flex pin box)
Sulastic shackles helped with empty ride, shocks and tire pressure helped as well.
Things that worked for me.
"Truck- sulastic shackles, air bags adjusted to get you just onto the overloads, better shocks, tire pressure set to max load."

Trucks rear tires should be set to actual load, not max load. Your statement is misleading at best. Most duallies require 65 PSI in the tires for the trucks RGAWR load, these have a Max sidewall inflation of 80 PSI.

Some people in error inflate the rear tires on duallies to Max sidewall.

The OP has not returned to tell us the inflation he had in his rear tires(I will look again for it, however)
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:48 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by bobnelms View Post
Hi all,

I have a 2016 Keystone Cougar 5th wheel -- 37 ft long. I pull it with a F350 dually.

We just got back from a trip to the Florida Keys, and am just about ready to call it quits with my 5th wheel and dually. The jars, bumps, etc. are so bad that it ruins the whole trip. On the last leg of our journey, we actually lost a window! It is routine to find cough cushions all over the place. When we open up our cabinets, we have to watch out because things will fall out due to the jarring.

And the ride in the truck is no better. I'm sick of getting jarred out of my seat! My wife gets headaches all the time because her neck gets effected.

I'm ready to consider a class A, since I've heard their ride is much smoother.

But before I do, here's my question: Have any of you been able to modify the suspension of your 5th wheels and trucks to alleviate these severe vibrations?

Thanks!
Bob, keep your setup as it's a good combo. I just replaced the 5th wheel assy. with the Hensley TrailerSaver BD5 (F for Ford) on my similar setup.
It replaced the potentially deadly Reese/Ford OEM 5th wheel that came as an option on the F350 (but that story is for a separate post)

Just did a 900 mile run from MA to SC which included many infamous bumpy stretches on 684, 287, NJTP......295 around Richmond is a great road, it's just the bridges that bounce your head off your ceiling and make you wonder if the trailer is going to detach!

Anyway backed into our winter site in SC, entered the Alpine apprehensively and found that nothing moved! I was impressed.

I would bet if you did the same plus fine tune your trailer suspension & tires you'll never want to part with your units.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brentw View Post
Work on your existing rig.
Trailer -Dexter ez ride or Morryde equalizers , pin box change to something with flex ( roto flex, morryde or an air ride), tire pressure set to max load.
Truck- sulastic shackles, air bags adjusted to get you just onto the overloads, better shocks, tire pressure set to max load.

Trailer changes helped a lot ( I did dexter equalizers and moryde flex pin box)
Sulastic shackles helped with empty ride, shocks and tire pressure helped as well.
Things that worked for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoking View Post
"Truck- sulastic shackles, air bags adjusted to get you just onto the overloads, better shocks, tire pressure set to max load."

Trucks rear tires should be set to actual load, not max load. Your statement is misleading at best. Most duallies require 65 PSI in the tires for the trucks RGAWR load, these have a Max sidewall inflation of 80 PSI.

Some people in error inflate the rear tires on duallies to Max sidewall.

The OP has not returned to tell us the inflation he had in his rear tires(I will look again for it, however)
Running the Rear tires at 80 psi, is like having Flintstone Tires on your Dually!

The OP has not stated the year or model of his Cougar 5er, depending on loaded rear axle weight he could likely run as low as 55 psi in his rear tires.

ON EDIT: Just looked at the Keystone site likely has a 338RLK with a 12,490# GVWR. I tow a 32' Copper Canyon and it weighs at 12,500# and a 2,700# pin, currently run about 60 psi. I have not scaled hooked up yet, but will do it in the not too distance future.
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:30 AM   #20
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I can't believe you people suggesting running underinflated tires. How dangerous is that? Well let me tell you. Underinflated tires run hotter than they are supposed to and for another thing most RVers never tow in the winter when the temps are cold. So some are suggesting underinflated tires during hot temps. Then you fret if the tires on the trailer are 5 pounds under 110 PSI and find some need to carry a air compressor. There are things you can do to make the truck ride better but under inflating tires isn't one of them. My sticker in the door says 65 front 80 rear. I guess that's a suggestion. So some believe one sticker and disregard the other. Go figure.
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