cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Towing Frontier on Dolly

Onyrlef
Explorer
Explorer
So for some context, Towing with a 2016 Jayco Alante 31L, 5spd V10,
GVWR 18k GCWR 23k. Tires are new and PSI set to Michelin tables.

Towing a 2012 Nissan Frontier on a Demco Kar Kaddy SS with steer axle. Total length ~50'.

300 mi. trip on relatively flat terrain from DFW to Chatham, La. in T/H

Cat Scale weights showed dingy is at the dolly rated 4800lbs, GCWR is just below 23k.

Problem is the trip was a nightmare, the coach was wandering badly as if there was not enough weight on the steer axle even though the steer axle Cat Scale weight was unchanged from a previous weigh. Big Rigs wouldn't move the rear of the coach but heaved the front severly, and yes I have trac bar and safe steer and ordinarily barely notice big rigs overtaking. At speeds above 60 mph. it got really difficult to control.

I've driven trucks with excessive tongue weight which behaved like this but a loaded dolly only exerts a ~100 lb. relatively negligible weight down on the hitch.

I know there's a cause but I'm at a loss. The dinghy didn't fishtail or otherwise behave erratically.

Maybe someone else has experienced a similar issue?
11 REPLIES 11

rjstractor
Nomad
Nomad
That's a head-scratcher. Have you thought about towing four-down since you already are using a driveshaft disconnect?
2017 VW Golf Alltrack
2000 Ford F250 7.3

Onyrlef
Explorer
Explorer
rjstractor wrote:
The first thing that stands out to me is that it's unusual to tow a pickup using a dolly. Are you using a driveshaft disconnect to load the Frontier on the dolly the conventional way, or are you towing it backwards? If your towing it backwards that might be the issue, since the back end of a pickup is much lighter than the front.



Drive shaft disconnect.

rjstractor
Nomad
Nomad
The first thing that stands out to me is that it's unusual to tow a pickup using a dolly. Are you using a driveshaft disconnect to load the Frontier on the dolly the conventional way, or are you towing it backwards? If your towing it backwards that might be the issue, since the back end of a pickup is much lighter than the front.
2017 VW Golf Alltrack
2000 Ford F250 7.3

Onyrlef
Explorer
Explorer
Ivylog wrote:
I would rent (borrow) a non steering dolly and see how it behaves. You are correct on how you inflate your tires.




Thanks Ivylog, that had occurred to me in puzxling this out. On the Demco SS there's a pin to lock the steering out for towing the dolly when empty. I'd then have to leave the vehicle steering unlocked. Think I'll try that.

Ivylog
Explorer III
Explorer III
I would rent (borrow) a non steering dolly and see how it behaves. You are correct on how you inflate your tires.
This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Sold 04 Dynasty to our son after 14 great years.
Upgraded with a 08 HR Navigator 45’...

Onyrlef
Explorer
Explorer
JRscooby wrote:
Have you put MH back on highway without toad?
Think you might have worn or binding parts in front end. The new toad pointed out issue


Yes, it handled perfectly both before and after the toad experience.

Onyrlef
Explorer
Explorer
GoRVing_SD wrote:
The condition that you describe sounds like "tail wagging the dog". The Toad is pushed and the rear of the RV sideway on the axle which causes the front end to point out of track, thus the correction. Normally the TracBar will solve this issue and locks the axle to the chassis. You stated you have a TracBar so this shouldn't be an issue. Perhaps check the connections on the TracBar to make sure they haven't come loose? Your sway bars have no bearing on the issue.

Initially I had a similar issue (without the Toad) and it was mostly caused by alignment of the font end. Perhaps a place to start?


Thanks, I will check the trac bar connections. Without the toad however the coach tracs true with zero steering issues, furthermore the steering was wild even when not being overtaken by a big rig, only wilder when his bow wave blew the front end over and then sucked it back as he cleared. It had occurred to me the weight of the toad and the length may have been swinging me around as you say "tail wagging the dog" but I couldn't detect any fishtailing in the camera and the wheels on the dolly were tracking straight.

GoRVing_SD
Explorer
Explorer
The condition that you describe sounds like "tail wagging the dog". The Toad is pushed and the rear of the RV sideway on the axle which causes the front end to point out of track, thus the correction. Normally the TracBar will solve this issue and locks the axle to the chassis. You stated you have a TracBar so this shouldn't be an issue. Perhaps check the connections on the TracBar to make sure they haven't come loose? Your sway bars have no bearing on the issue.

Initially I had a similar issue (without the Toad) and it was mostly caused by alignment of the font end. Perhaps a place to start?

Onyrlef
Explorer
Explorer
eHoefler wrote:
Inflate your tires to the max pressure on the side wall of the tire


Thanks but tires are inflated to the psi recommended in the Michelin Tables for my Cat Scale axle weights. The max pressure on the tire sidewall is irrelevant unless the tires are supporting the max allowable axle loads. Besides, an over inflated steer tire isn't going to reduce the tendency of the front end to wander, I suspect it will increase it. However if you have information otherwise I'm certainly open to it.

eHoefler
Explorer II
Explorer II
Inflate your tires to the max pressure on the side wall of the tire
2021 Ram Limited, 3500, Crew Cab, 1075FTPD of Torque!, Max Tow, Long bed, 4 x 4, Dually,
2006 40' Landmark Mt. Rushmore

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
Have you put MH back on highway without toad?
Think you might have worn or binding parts in front end. The new toad pointed out issue