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OutlawBiz

Why does my Ice Castle pull like a TANK?

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The jerking sounds like not enough tounge weight and is rocking back and forth on the single axel. Try adding some weight to the front. Also would make sure your tire pressure is max on both truck and trailer.

After reading through all these post from the beginning, I would have to agree with tongue weight. Try experimenting, by putting some extra weight in the front of your house and pull down the road. The trailer hitch should be level or slightly lower than the rear of the house. When braking, you want the hitch to push down on your receiver. If its sloped up, the push from the trailer will have a lifting effect.

I found that my 8x16 that I built a few years back with a v front pulled a lot better when I set my tire pressure about 10-15 lbs below the recommended psi, turned out my house was to light for max psi, the thing bounced around like a basketball, pulled horrible. I let a few lbs out at time and found that it pulled like a dream.

As far as voltage in the battery, that would have nothing to do with it, unless your cable is pulled. the only time that comes into effect is when you have a disconnect situation while pulling, and the break away brake cable is pulled, if the voltage is low your emergency brake wont apply, but would have nothing to do with normal pulling situations. It should however always be charged or replaced if its below 12v.

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Also that shorter wheel base of a Danali will tend to jerk more than a longer vehicle.

It's a crew cab pickup with 6.5' box...no shorter that 'most' pickups out there...

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oops I was thinking the danali was like a Tahoe.

Haha...yeah, my wife has the Yukon Denali (Tahoe size)...I have the Sierra Denali (pickup). Gotta love the 6.2L motors in these beasts! grin

An 'update' to my situation with the jerking/bucking...I went outside, grabbed my 8" drop hitch and it 'wiggles' about 1/4" every direction (play in the receiver). Stepped over to 2 of my co-workers pickups with a standard size hitches in them and they BOTH had the same amount of play in them as mine! So, there is no more or less slop/play in my 8" drop hitch than a 'standard' one. It is unbelievable to me just how much slop there is in these receiver hitches though! Just grab hold of yours (hitch wink ) and shake it around to see for yourself.

So...I am going to an alignment/tire/service shop at noon to have them take my setup for a test ride to see what they think the issue may be. I'm also researching receiver hitches with less 'slop/play' in them too.

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I was going to say shims too. My 16' boat tows like a dream behind my F150 and so has everything else that I've towed. However, my T-bar canoe rack wiggles around like crazy even with the ends tied down. I usually take wood shims and hammer them into the sides of the receiver to fill the gaps and take up the play. It makes a big difference.

After reading all of the posts here, I'm also a big believer that you don't have enough tongue weight. Either push more weight to the front of your castle or drop your hitch another inch or two. I would also double-verify that you are using the correct-sized ball. That could cause or amplify your problems.

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I would also double-verify that you are using the correct-sized ball. That could cause or amplify your problems.
Ooh, good idea. Also check that your coupler is tight. Sometimes those are not set right or someone monkeys with them. Tighten/losen the nut (though I would suspect it may be too lose) on the underside as needed. The piece that actually clamps onto the ball itself.

Simple things to check, but I agree it sounds like not enough tongue weight.

Ive seen it happen to guys with and anti-sways installed for big campers. They set it too aggressive (too little tongue weight) and they tow like a bucking bronco.

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Well guys...I may have the answer to my 'bucking/jerking' problem! I just got back from an alignment/tire/repair shop. Their technician took me & the truck/shack for a drive. At one point he actually rolled down his window and said "I need to get some air, I'm getting car sick from the jerking motion!" He also said "Good luck pulling this thing very far, you'll be nauseous by the time you get to the lake."

He looked EVERYTHING over from the hitch, coupler, axles, tires etc. HE said I have PLENTY of tongue weight. The trailer was actually riding a tad low in the front (off level) putting even more tongue weight. He did say the tires are toed in a bit more than he'd prefer...but there was no fixing that...that was a welding/design issue direct from Ice Castle. Basically the tires will wear faster than preferred. After our test drive he got out shaking his head and said he had NO IDEA what the problem is/was!?

We were just about to walk away from it and he spotted the problem (or so we think at least)! The nut on the ball was loose! Somehow the ball was not tightened to the hitch bar 100%. The trailer was slightly down-hill from the pickup causing it to 'pull' the ball backward a bit making it VERY obvious it was loose. On a flat surface an unhooked the ball appeared to be fine.

So, long story short, I need to tighten the nut on the ball and see if that fixes the bucking/jerking problem! I will do that this evening and report back. But, it makes sense...a loose ball would give the 'rocking/teetering' effect much liek a ball that was too small for the coupler.

I've attached a few pics so you all can see my setup. The last one shows the loose ball up close. Kind of tough to see in the photo, but it's got about a 1/16" gap when pulled tight. It's actually about 2x bigger gap than this pic shows when the shack is rally pulling back on the ball.

full-44389-50105-photo1.jpg

full-44389-50106-photo2.jpg

full-44389-50107-photo3_rev.jpg

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That's odd that you didn't feel that with your bumper hitch camper. Hope that takes care of it, nothing worse than not being able to find an issue and get it repaired.

Oh and if its been loose for awhile, it may be best to replace it. Just my 2c

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That's odd that you didn't feel that with your bumper hitch camper. Hope that takes care of it, nothing worse than not being able to find an issue and get it repaired.

Oh and if its been loose for awhile, it may be best to replace it. Just my 2c

When I pull my 30' travel trailer camper I have a larger Equalizer/stabilizer hitch system that I utilize (not this 2" setup).

It seems like hitches/balls typically get all rusty and become a complete b!tch to get loose/removed! The fact that this one managed to work itself loose kind of blows my mind! It even has a lock washer above the nut! Just goes to show that one should check the ball nut once-in-a-while I guess!

Once i pull it apart I will see if the hitch hole is elongated, ball threads worn or if they are ok & just snug it all up (again). If hole or threads are worn...I will replace both.

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Reese makes some receivers that are completely welded. I have a 0 drop triple ball that I can rotate around it is slick and I don't have slap. I do have a cushion hitch 2" drop that I use for towing my fish house prior to having this style I would see alot of slap as well. I am betting you found your problem now though. Be thankful you found it now. That could have been ugly heading down the road if something loosened up more.

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I do have a cushion hitch 2" drop that I use for towing my fish house prior to having this style

How do you liek the cushion hitch? You think it makes a significant difference or is it a "gimmick"?

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I drug around a 6.5x14 ic a few years ago and it towed horrible with the 3/4 ton diesel. Same truck or either diesel SUV's pull the 20ft dreamshak much better. I would compare pulling the ic to pulling the dump trailer with a load of shingles.

Its silly to me a trailer manufacturer would make a trailer 16-22ft long (total length) with just one axle.

This Spring pulled the ds with 2 snow machines, 2 portables, 4 guys with the dually and it pulled quite nice. Due to strong head winds and good snow storm first 4 hours the fuel mileage really suffered. No bucking around at all straight and smooth, air bags on truck on board compressor, good set up for towing.

Personally would rather pull flat or slightly angled front then v front. The v is on the wrong end if the trailer...

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How do you liek the cushion hitch? You think it makes a significant difference or is it a "gimmick"?

I really like it I don't feel they are a gimmick either. The cushion part where the pin goes through is a solid piece of metal not just sidewalls of a square tube. The slap that your are describing I do not notice with towing my fishhouse. Prior to this hitch which I have had along time now and with I smaller fishhouse every time you stop and took off you could feel the hitch wiggle. If for sure isn't a must have but it doesn't hurt I guess.

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How do you liek the cushion hitch? You think it makes a significant difference or is it a "gimmick"?

I would not go back to using non-cushioned hitch for my fish house. It eliminates a lot of the jerking when accelerating and stopping. I can guaranty it helps with wear and tear on the truck, definitely not a gimmick.

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Wow I've never even heard of a cushion hitch before this thread. Thanks for the heads up. I think they look interesting.

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