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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry, this is a lengthy post...but I really need some expert feedback here.

We recently purchased a used 5th wheel toy hauler and I have some questions about towing. I'm not new to towing long trailers but I'm new to 5th wheel towing and towing that much weight on a consistent basis.

I haven't weighed the camper yet but the sticker says dry weight is right around 14,000lbs and about 2,800lbs pin weight.

I want to get some expert opinions when towing with my stock 2008 Silverado 3500 DRW and what to expect. I realize this is a heavy and long RV and just want to be sure what I'm feeling going down the road is normal due to the weight of the RV.

When I purchased my truck a number of years back, someone had already installed a B&W turnover ball goose neck hitch, of which I've never used. Prior to purchasing the RV I researched B&W's website and found they offered the 5th wheel companion hitch that compliments the B&W goose neck receiver. I bought the companion hitch and installed it per the instructions setting the pivot arms at the recommended "Standard" setting.

We purchased the RV, hooked up to the new hitch and headed home. Driving down Interstate I-83 from Harrisburg to York the camper seemed to "buck" when we drove over bumps, dips in the road, bridges, etc. It felt like someone was holding you at the waist and pushing/pulling you forward a little....was not a real pleasant experience. Best I can describe it is if you ride with someone that is on the gas then off the gas...on the gas then off the gas...with no real smooth transitions.

Anyways, we brought the rig home and parked it. I purchased Bilstein HD shocks and installed them on the truck. At 115k on the truck the shocks were completely gone. I could easily compress them and they didn't even return to extended form.

Took the RV for ride with the new shocks installed and it seemed to improve the "bucking" experience but still noticed some.
I do realize the camper, especially when loaded up, will be twice as heavy as the truck and expect to "feel" it back there, just want to be sure this is normal.

I do want to point out that if the road is smooth it trailers very well. There is very minimal to no bucking present.

I'm guessing this is all normal and I just want to get some feedback from some experienced haulers. I have very young kids and I want to be sure my family is safe and that I'm not a danger on the road.

Alright, with all that said...what does everyone think? In my opinion, it almost feels like something could be loose in the rear of the truck but have no clue what it could be. I don't see any evidence of the axle housing moving, broken leaf springs, or a broken center pin in the leaf stack. Could it be the bushing in the leaf springs?
 

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I have no idea but maybe you need airbags to help support all that weight?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good idea, but I'd like to see if there is truly a problem before I start adding upgrades to the truck. The "bucking" is more a push/pull rather than an up/down motion.

Could definitely be an option though.
 

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I also use the Companion and never feel what you are describing. Take a close look at your pin box, double check the tightness of all bolts. Also have someone observe the trailer and hitch vs truck while driving in the conditions you mention and see if there is some movement with the hitch.Also look at the bed of your truck to see if the hitch has dented (for lack of better term) the bed. They look like they're flat, but they are not. Companion has an add on bracing that fits on the bottom of the legs to spread the load on the bed. Do you use one of those plastic 5th wheel lubricator plates, made of hard plastic between your trailer and hitch? If not, try adding one of those and see if the slightly decreased distance between trailer pin and the face of the hitch make any difference. Mine has about 1/8 inch total vertical clearance when hitched.
 

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The motion between the truck and trailer at the hitch can be up/down and/or back/forth. Either can be felt in the cab. The back/forth is known as 'chucking' and you'll normally feel it when starting from stop or slowing rapidly. Ideally there should be no back/forth movement between the hitch and the trailer, but if there is it means there's some slack in the connection somewhere. Could be at the pinbox, the mount of the hitch in the bed of the truck, the connection between the hitch base and head, etc. The up/down you'll feel as the truck rear wheels go over a bump/dip. The truck rear suspension has to accommodate the movement, but with the heavy pin weight it's too stiff to do a good job.
The 'band aid' is to get a pinbox and/or hitch with some cushioning feature such as air bags or shocks. There's a variety of them out there to choose from. From what I've seen there aren't many (any?) that will deal with both motions effectively, even though there advertising claims to to just that. You can pretty easily tell by just looking at one of them whether it will work best up/down or back/forth
 

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I had a 2008 drw hauling about the same wait as you. I was at the weight limit of the truck and trailer loaded..And it does chuck you due to that weight.Air bags will cushion it a bit.
You can also get a air ryde for the pin box aswell.
I ended up getting rid of of my dually and got a 18 srw 3500
Tows more than my 18 and definitely is a big difference in better towing with bags and air pin box
 

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I see there hasnt been any responses to this thread in some time and was wondering how things are going for you.

Not all of the chucking is from movement in the connection point. Yes, some is and you can not get rid of it. You can reduce what you feel by changing to an air ride pin box.

What I mean by all of it not being from the movement is you also have to look at your 5er and the truck. Fully loaded like your going on a trip, look at it and the truck and make sure they are level. If the 5er is nose up or nose down this will significally increase the chucking that you feel.
 
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