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How I resolved a "towing instability problem"...

  #16  
Old 09-16-2018, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DadVan View Post
... Based on your comments, I'll likely have the caster checked again when I rotate/rebalance the tires.
No problem, my wife was a middle school teacher and heard a lot of different ways to pronounce it.
There is a good write-up on the Excursion forum about steering wander issues of the 4x4 Excursion even when not towing.
Some were ready to sell the vehicle because the wander was so bad and that was not towing.
I've never had a 4x4, but I used to do my own alignments with a portable Bear alignment rack and caster can be touchy.
Front leafs just add to the complexity of front end handling.
I think your van, my old vans, class C and Excursion are all front coil suspensions.
 
  #17  
Old 09-19-2018, 07:52 AM
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I also went with an Air Deflector but it was for mileage and performance. I gained .5 mpg towing and you could feel the engine not working as hard because the air was now being pushed up and over the trailer! Worth every penny.
 
  #18  
Old 09-19-2018, 10:07 AM
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To add the air deflector I would have to first get a topper. Gee, honey, it's a proven solution. I read it on the Internet! Seriously, I had a topper on my last truck but not yet on this one. So this might be give me a bit more of a push to get one. However, my toy hauler is almost 13' tall so I'm not sure how much good the deflector would do.

On my Leer topper I used the roof rails to lift the topper off the truck and store the topper against the ceiling in the garage. After doing that a few times I noticed stress cracks radiating out from the ends of the rails. Not big cracks but enough to notice. As I recall my rack rails weren't rated for more than about 200 lbs (if that). I wonder how much weight the deflector produces at highway speed.
 
  #19  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:13 PM
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1 Excursion camper, first I note the V10-equipped Excursion, and compliment you. I love the 6.8L in the DadVan. 8^) While the "BAT wing" was purchased soley to solve my handing issue, I hope to reap at least some benefits as regards MPG. The preliminary test (65 miles) was too short to infer too much, but it *seemed* that I might see up to a 1 MPG gain at ~65MPG. 8^O
 
  #20  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:22 PM
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HRTKD, I see a lot of the wings on the cabs of trucks rather than on toppers. While acknowledging that the further back the better, there's still likely some benefit to a wing, particularly if you set it up with a greater tilt. I will tell you that there are a few "oddities" to the engineering/provisioning on the one I bought (which reminds me that I need to relay my observations to the OEM), likely due to being manufactured in Australia.
 
  #21  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:07 PM
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What is a good source of information on wing size and shape? I want to make one for my truck and fifthwheel just to keep the front cleaner.
 
  #22  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:22 PM
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brandon oma#692 et al, I deem that a darn good question, and one that I simply side-stepped by buying a manufactured solution with documented testing/results. However! Despite being in IT, I'm an extrovert, thus I actually approached/asked many people who had both factory and home-brew deflectors. What I learned was that none of them were able to find any solutioning tool, and therefore bought/made what they could. Some of the ingenious folk-built devices were adjustable in size or angle, or rebuilt after empirical use, but there was little consistancy in approach or engineering.
 
  #23  
Old 10-24-2018, 12:24 PM
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All,

I owe an update after (finally) getting the chance to run the truck/trailer "system" ~600 miles round trip; the executive summary thankfully remains "it works." Stability was great (I wasn't constantly correcting), and gas mileage improved ~.7MPG. The trip was W-to-E, then E-to-W, on I-70, going 65MPH when possible (rain at times impacted speed). All truck/trailer tires at recommended inflation, trailer loaded (cabinets, closet, fridge, and fresh water tank full), and running a full tank of (no-ethanol) gas. Bottom line, after all that time and money, I have indeed solved the issue, but it was none of the things one might initially think. Here's to now having more time camping than problem-solving!
 
  #24  
Old 10-24-2018, 02:22 PM
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I'm considering the airtabs but the $250 (including tax and shipping) has this modification a bit low on my priority list.
 


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