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Old 06-06-2018, 06:55 AM   #1
rrindler
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Bullet Towing Issues

We bought a used 2014 Bullet 272BHS travel trailer and from time to time the trailer seems to want to jerk from side to side. It will happen 2 or 3 times on a one hour trip for no apparent reason. I am pulling it with a 2013 F150 capable of towing 9200 lbs and I am using an Equal-I-zer hitch system. I have a bike rake on the back carrying 4 bikes but it also happens when I don't have bikes on it. Same with carrying fresh water. It happens when I have fresh water in the tank and when its empty. I usually have the firewood and other items in the bed of the truck. We have had other truck and campers in the past and never had this problem. We bought the current camper and truck at the same time so not sure if its the truck, camper or hitch system. I replaced the shocks on the truck and the mechanic recommended TL tires in the P tires that came with it. Anyone experience this before or have any thoughts or ideas. Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:57 AM   #2
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Do you check the torque bolts at the head; need to be at 65lbs. Trailer level or slightly nose down. Do you have enough tongue weight are just a few thoughts.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:47 AM   #3
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I looked up your trailer specs and I have the same model but a passport. At a little over 31 feet long. Was pulling it with a f150 and it did a pretty good job after some stiffing up. New Bilsteins 5100, and load range e tires aired to 65lbs when towing. The tires that come on the trailer although rated for the max load leave very little reserve if you load the trailer to max. I Replaced the tires with a d range. The F150 also had the trailer tow package but max tow was 7800lbs. I pull the trailer now with an E4 and a F250 and it tows really well. The truck you have can do it but at almost 30 feet that`s a lot of sail and you will get movement from time to time if the conditions are right. There will be other alone that will give you good advise and know way more than me. You have a good rv, an a great hitch and a capable truck.
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:33 AM   #4
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Occasional wobble/rattle while towing? Is there any indication of where it may be coming from? Do you have any "sequence that causes it"? Anything particular about the sound or feel?

Some guesses that may or may not be "even close" to the cause:

1. Is the trailer ball tight and secure?
2. What size coupler pin are you using? Is the receiver or hitch pin hole elongated?
3. Are the weight distribution bar brackets tight on the trailer A-frame?
4. Have you checked/regreased the wheel bearings on the trailer?
5. Are the spring shackles/bolts secure and not worn? OEM shackles have a tendency to wear the holes and elongate them.
6. Is the hitch head secure on the shank with the bolt holding the washers behind the head tight?
7. Are the trailer axle U bolts properly seated on the axle index pin and are they properly torqued?

As I said, the above are only WAG's. With no explanations other than what you posted, most anything would be a guess.
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:48 AM   #5
travelin texans
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Tire pressures in both truck & trailer. Trailer tires should be max as per the sidewall (or close to it) & rear of truck the same.
Also don't see any mention of a sway bar with the equalizer hitch. Some the new fangled WDH have the sway built in, but some don't, not familiar with yours.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:43 AM   #6
flybouy
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LT tires would make a difference as the P rated tires have more flex to soften the ride.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:52 AM   #7
rrindler
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Thanks for all the input. There doesn't seem to be any sequence that causes the trailer to jerk and it will correct itself. It feels like there is a big gust of wind hitting the camper for a split second then stopping. It happens on calm and windy days. It has never happened when passing a semi or other vehicles. It seems completely random. I will check the list JRTJH recommended and double check the air pressure and load rating on the tires on the truck and camper. The sway bar is built into the equal-i-zer hitch system. Again Thanks for all the input. I appreciate it.
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrindler View Post
...It has never happened when passing a semi or other vehicles. It seems completely random...
Does it happen as another vehicle passes you? My rig will get "pushed around" a bit when being passed by another, and I have WDH with sway bar.

Good luck with the diagnosis.
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Old 06-06-2018, 04:19 PM   #9
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Bent axle? I had a bent axle on my old Pasport and once I replaced the axle it towed better. I did not have the random swaying your are experiencing, but the trailer was generally more stable once the axle was replaced. I suggest this because your swaying is random; it could be the combination of the bent axle and particular road conditions at those random spots cause you to observe the swaying, then it disappears when the road conditions change back. Since you can't see the road conditions (subtle variations not visible) that could be triggering the swaying when the bent axle hits those conditions. Just a WAG.
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:24 PM   #10
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You've been given some good suggestions. Particularly checking the ball; I've had one installed that was about to fall off when I found it 60 miles after installation; it caused some erratic movement. Receiver on the truck. Is it solid? Check every bolt and nut of the hitch/receiver. ANY of them not being torqued correctly can let the part suddenly shift under stress. Another thought would be axle/alignment. I once had a single axle BBQ trailer, about 4000 lbs. as I recall, it was custom built. Driving down the highway the trailer always wanted to pull to one side and after a while would just "jump" back to center and start again. The axle wasn't centered as I recall. This wasn't random though, it repeated constantly.

Your situation sounds like a loose or broken component.
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