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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm new to posting at Outbackers, but have read the forum for many months. My family has been into trailer camping for almost four years now, and we recently traded up to an Outback 25RS-S last summer--we had the "normal" issues with anything new, but we love this trailer and the family memories are great.

We took about a dozen trips last summer, and towing was a breeze. I just pulled our trailer out of storage to prepare for the season, and while towing our Outback home, I experienced a horrendous shudder in the rear end of our Expedition tow vehicle at speeds between 45-55 mph. I checked all tire pressure before I started to tow, and everything was in the range, +/- one psi. What I find odd is that the shudder happens only at that speed.

We recently had some work done on the rear end of our Expedition--it made a whining noise, at, you guessed it, 45-55 mph. The dealer replaced the pinion gear, bearings, cup and differential bearings. The noise went away, and without the trailer attached, the Expedition drives fine.

We were set to take our first trip of the season tomorrow, but I'm reluctant to do so given the condition. Has anyone had a similar experience? Any other items you think I can check? In the morning, I may jack up each side of the Outback and check the wheels for free-spin, lug torque, etc. I appreciate any help you can provide--my kids are devistated that we need to postpone our first run of the season.

Jim
 

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Sorry to hear you can't make your trip. I'm no mechanic, but I wonder if it is a tire out of balance. Maybe putting a load on it exacerbates it. Or maybe the gearset wasn't set up just right. I've read they need to be set up very precisely.

Hopefully some others will have some better input.

Keep us posted

Mike
 

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Hello Jim
My guess is its not the camper, its the TV. More than likely its a tire out of round. Like camping said, the added weight. But remember this is only a guess, Try rotating the tires. Good luck and keep us posted.
Wood
 

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Hmmmm I'd check:

Balance of the tires

Weight distribution in the TT (make sure its not got a bunch of heavy stuff on one side) and security of the slide out

Condition of the TT wheel bearings (Are they due a re-pack?)

Set-up of the WD Hitch.

If none of those thing fix it, I'd head back to Ford! I too tow with an Expedition and it makes a great TV but I have not had any problems with the rear end yet either.

Good Luck and post whatever fixes it so we can all learn.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All,

Thanks for your suggestions. I've spent a good part of the day working on the TT and the TV, and I think I've found the solution. I sat in the trailer while my wife drove down the road. If she was ever going to kill me--that was the time!

Anyway, the trailer clearly had a wheel out of balance. The next challenge, is trying to find a place that will balance the tires on a TT. I tried Michelin, Firestone and Goodyear stores in my town. All said they would not do it. I ended up at our local WalMart. Say what you will about WalMart, but they took care of me. One of their techs wheeled a floor jack out into the parking lot and spent over 2 hours with me as we took each wheel off one-by-one and balanced them.

I could not believe how badly out of balance each wheel was. Each took MULTIPLE weights inside and outside to get them in balance. When I drove down the road, the shudder was gone!!!!!

I anyone has any feedback on how often and where they get their TT wheels balanced, I'd love to hear. Looks like we'll still get to get two nights camping on our first trip of the season! All the best,

JimMc
 

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Did any of the tire centers tell you why they wouldn't balance the wheels? I buy all my tires for a local guy in town. He always beats the big boys, and will mount and balance anything I bring him. I admit, I would put the trailer on jack stands, and bring him the wheels instead of the whole trailer, but I know he would do it for me no problem.

Maybe some letters to the owners of the tirestores in town will help change their mind. I know that if someone refused my business once, (I wouldn't expect them to balance the tires for free, unless I bought the tires there) they would not get a second chance. I am extremely loyal to business men who treat me right., and painfully disloyal to someone who gives me nothing but grief.

Tim
 

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Tim...
I am the same way. Loyal to the good guys, and don't mind telling people about the bad guys. Shame on the bad guys! If you bad guys messed with me...you'll remember me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Tim,

The local tire shops didn't want the liability of taking the tires off the trailer. If I brought them the tires, they would take my money to balance them, no problem. The challenge is, how do you jack up the trailer!?

Wal Mart loaned me their large 5 ton floor jack so I could take the tires off myself in the parking lot, and wheel them into the shop 1-by-1.

This also made me realize that I am not equipped to change a tire while on the road--the jack in my Expedition does not have enough height to lift the trailer off the ground enough for the wheels to clear. Not to mention that on the passenger side of my trialer, the gas line runs smack down the middle of the I-Beam frame on that side--this made it a real trick to find a flat spot to jack it up!

Jim
 

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Sorry, sometimes I forget that not everybody has a high lift floor jack and jack stands at their house.

Tim
 

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I am very concerned that the tires needed as much weight as you describe, especially after a season without the problem. I would be concerned about tread separation as the root cause of the need for a lot of weight, unless the rims are bent. Good tires should not need a lot of weight! (1-2 oz usually)
Just my 2 cents....

Outbackgeorgia
 

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Thanks for the post and the follow up. Its something I'll watch for.
 

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Jim, I'm sure all of your wheels needed balancing as the rest of ours probably do. I Don't think Outback balances any of their wheels. I wonder if your initial problem was flat spotted tires from storage. These are as you know bias-ply tires and don't hold their shape as well as a radial tire does. I had an older Ford pick-up with bias-ply tires, this truck would actually hop down the road until the tires were up to temp. This was also compounded by colder wheather. Just a thought. Glad to here your good now and enjoy your trip! Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Brian,

I think you're right on the money. The flat spots, combined with the tires being out of balance. It was a bit concerning, because our previous trailer (Coleman Caravan) had the same Duro tires, and we never had this issue.

In any case, it's all better. Thanks to everyone for your help!

v/r

Jim
 

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While we are on the subject of tires, has anyone switched to radials on their Outbacks?

Tim
 
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