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Old 08-23-2005, 07:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: TX
Posts: 5

Is jerking on concrete highways, more or less, the nature of the 5th wheel beast? Asphalt is a dream. (My first 5th wheel.)

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Old 08-23-2005, 09:21 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,130
It's a posibility. There are a few things you can check before giving up on it.

First are you towing level. Check to see if the trailer is level when you are hooked up to it. Have you weighed the combination so you know how much weight is on the pin? It's easy, just hook up and go to a truck stop. Weigh the rig with the trailer having the trailer axles on one pad, the truck rear on another and the front tires on one as well. This will giove you weights of each axle seperately. After that move off of the pads unhook and weigh the truck alone. The pin weight should be about 10% to 20% of the overal weight of the trailer. To level the trailer out you can adjust the height of the hitch and or the pin box on the trailer.

If you are level you can try using a teflon disk to take up some of the slop in fit between the hitch and pin.

Finally you can invest in either an air hitch (pricey) or air pin box (less pricey) or Moryde pin box (also less pricey) to smooth out the ride.

In concrete highways there is usually some rocking as they aren't level accross the pads unless they have been smoothed out with grinders to smooth the overall surface.

Mike Nancy and the fuzzies
Fulltiming since June 2004
Volvo 660 MH tow vehicle
2005 MS 38RL
2007 Saturn Ion "toad"
2010 Gold Wing "piggyback"
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:10 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Anywhere & Everywhere
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Getting rid of the Jerks!

I started full timing with a Dodge 3500 w/automatic tranny. I later bought a 2003 Dodge 3500 w/6 sp manual tranny. While pulling the 5er with the automatic, never felt the cracks in the concrete highways. But when using the 6 sp truck, I noticed every crack in the highway. It felt like a small tug every time the trailer came over the crack. Felt very much like fishing with a tight line wrapped around your finger. Got a Trailer Saver TS3 which fits into the bed rails in the pickup box, easy change over. Now don't feel a thing. Have been to Nova Scotia and then to Alaska. The TS3 really handles the bumps very nicely. It is good to look in the rear view mirror and see the hitch pin float up and down. Sure saves the fifth wheel frame. The hitch is pricey but well worth the money.
Good Luck and travel safely
2000 Stalick International Low Profile, DT530, 6 sp Allison,
2007 Teton 36', MOR/Ryde IS Suspension, Disk Brakes
73s AA6WB, CQ @ 146.520 MHz
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Old 12-29-2005, 07:56 PM   #4
The Mad Norsky
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Bottineau ND
Posts: 41

Another thing which may help is loading down the front section of the fifth wheel a littler heavier.

If, for example, your water tanks are towards the front, try running with more water there.

If your fifth wheel is heavier rear than towards front, it will cause the jerking action you asked about.
Norsky, Doll, Logan & Rocky
2003 Chevy 3500 Duramax 4 X 4 Crew Cab
2003 Hitchhiker Discover America 33.5 Quad Glide
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Old 12-30-2005, 09:06 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 270
Towing level and having everything equally balanced in the 5thwheel will solve 99% of all towing complaints.
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