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Slight Wobble When Towing


Sedders
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Hi All.

I am quite new to caravanning and have noticed my caravan has a slight wobble when towing.

The towing car is a Volvo XC90 and the caravan is a new Swift Challenger Sport

 

I don't know whether this has any relevance but the first time I towed the caravan was with a brand new towbar, recently fitted on my car. I noticed a horrible grinding noise so pulled over. I then read on this forum that the black paint needs to be rubbed off the tow ball with sand paper before towing, which I then did. That resolved the grinding noise straight away.

 

The problem I'm having is the wobbling between 50-60 mph. I read that if you tow without removing the paint first, the pads in the AL-KO stabiliser can become contaminated. Could contaminated pads be whats causing the wobble? I haven't put to much weight in the front of the van or the back and I'm sure it's evenly spread.

 

Any help would be really appreciated?

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Could be caravan tyre pressures or loading of the van or car rear tyre pressures.

 

 

:welcome::rolleyes:

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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You should have a go at cleaning the pads with brake cleaner fluid and see how it performs,

 

Can you be sure the van is correctly loaded because that may be the true cause, the stabiliser is only there to reduce the problem.

 

The pads will not cause a wobble just reduce it?

 

A properly loaded van should not need a stabiliser. ;)

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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Thanks for all your replies.

 

I can't be 100% certain the van is loaded correctly but I dont have anything to heavy in it. Only normal stuff like wastemaster, aquaroll, a couple of fold away chairs, gas bottle, some clothes, kids scooters, hitch lock. The awning we use is a Kampa Rally Air 390 Pro and that is in the boot of the car.

 

I just checked the tyre pressures and they are both at 55 psi. They should be 65 but I doubt that could be it.

 

When the van is hitched, I did notice it's slightly nose down at the front. I think this is because the tow bars on XC90's are quite low so dont know whether that could be causing the wobble??

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55 instead of 65. Try the right pressures and see what it feels like. 10 psi is a lot. Mind you 65 is even bigger - my Sorento is 1/2 that.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Just to clarify, caravan tyre pressures are currently at 55 psi and car tyre pressures are correct at 32 psi.

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Thanks for all your replies.

 

I can't be 100% certain the van is loaded correctly but I dont have anything to heavy in it. Only normal stuff like wastemaster, aquaroll, a couple of fold away chairs, gas bottle, some clothes, kids scooters, hitch lock. The awning we use is a Kampa Rally Air 390 Pro and that is in the boot of the car.

 

I just checked the tyre pressures and they are both at 55 psi. They should be 65 but I doubt that could be it.

 

When the van is hitched, I did notice it's slightly nose down at the front. I think this is because the tow bars on XC90's are quite low so dont know whether that could be causing the wobble??

I think most vans tow better with more weight than less.

VOLVO s60 se towing a Swift Azzura

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If the tyre pressures are 10 psi lower than recommended,then I would think it would make a big difference.

Would definitely inflate to recommended psi

nissan xtrail tekna 173 . ....SERIES 2 UNICORN VALENCIA 2013

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I think all vans wobble a bit, is the van slightly nose down when you load it?

 

Nose up or nose down, neither of those two conditions should cause a 'wobble' if everything else, such as tyre pressures, noseweight, etc. , are set correctly.

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You should increase your car tyre pressures to the "full load" pressures for towing.

check your noseweight and keep the caravan load over the axle not in the rear

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Wrong tyre pressures and not knowing your total load or its distribution are both worrying. I am concerned that your 'slight wobble' will end up as a disaster if you don't correct them. 10 psi lack of pressure will lead to tyre overheating and blow outs.

 

You are doing exactly the right thing by asking for advice. Towing does have some rules, not all of which are laws, and you do need to follow them to keep the laws of physics at bay!

Edited by BFM

Enjoy every minute of every day. It doesn't last nearly as long as you'd like, and there's no guarantee of coming this way again.

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As mentioned get your van tyres upto correct pressure of 65. My Adria needs same tyre pressure and only once without realising it I did tow with them at 50 something when we first got it and was not as steady as i now realise it usually is. AS said 10psi is a lot

 

Also check your nose weight. The XC90 I believe has a max of 90kg (check tow var has same) and so you should be aiming for somewhere between 80/90kg I would suggest on that set up. If you don;t have a lot in van you may be well under that which could also cause stability issues

 

Tyre pressures on car and can make a noteable difference to towing experience though yes

Unless you've tried it, you simply won't understand. .....

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could be car-tyres!

 

Ok, so i fited two new tyres (Uniroyal RainSport 3) to the back of my E class before we went on holiday this summer - i was flat-out at 55mph - NO WAY would or could i go faster - tried everything while we were away, but was still all over the place - got back, put my Winter wheels (yes, it's a Merc, i don't move in the winter without them!) onto the back of the car, and took it out - ahhhh, bliss, back to a stable rig. - i had a stable-tow with both winter and summer wheels before the change. ...

 

So, two tyres, same as i had fitted before, have been ordered. ...

Al.

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Please do the simple free stuff first however like tyre pressures correct and nose weight correct. Worry about other stuff if you are still unstable after that

Unless you've tried it, you simply won't understand. .....

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I just checked the tyre pressures and they are both at 55 psi. They should be 65 but I doubt that could be it.

Is that 65 the pressure marked on the tyre or the pressure specified in the caravan handbook?

Roughing it . . but in comfort . .

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When you say the van wobbles, what do you mean? Is it going up and down, side to side, rocking or what. It might just be a normal movement of the van. you did say you hadnt been towing for long. i have allways been lead to believe, a slightly nose down van is best.

kia sedona, Avondale frystar 55
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What age is your XC90? Which engine? Most have self-levelling suspension at the back. I've had to change the SL rear shocks on mine as one was leaking and causing that side of the car to bounce. (2007 car on about 136k at the time).

With my long single-axle Lunar Quasar, I find that I need to load it so that the van's noseweight is at the max for the car, 90kg usually with the XC. If it's much lighter the van isn't as stable.

 

It's also best when the car is heavy with 5 people in, awning in the boot and bikes on top! Then 60mph on cruise is fine in most conditions, but mpg suffers.

2012 Lunar Quasar 546 towed by a 2008 Volvo XC90 D5.

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Cheers for all the advice.

 

The wobble is left to right and the car is a 2009 2. 4 diesel XC90 model.

 

I have inflated the caravan tyres to the correct 65 psi and its amazing how much harder they become with the missing 10 psi. I will check the nose weight over the weekend and then take her out for a spin. I also cleaned the AL-KO stabilizer pads with white spirit so hopefully all will be fine.

 

My gut feeling is it will be the incorrect tyre pressures causing the wobble, we shall see.

 

Thanks guys. ..(and gals if any)

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Although our S80 was a 2003 when we were having issues we took it back to the dealership and it was discovered that there was a fault with the rear suspension. Luckily it was still under warranty so not cost issues. It resolved the issue although priort to that we had a very bad snake on the M5.

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Cheers for all the advice. The wobble is left to right and the car is a 2009 2. 4 diesel XC90 model. I have inflated the caravan tyres to the correct 65 psi and its amazing how much harder they become with the missing 10 psi. I will check the nose weight over the weekend and then take her out for a spin. I also cleaned the AL-KO stabilizer pads with white spirit so hopefully all will be fine. My gut feeling is it will be the incorrect tyre pressures causing the wobble, we shall see. Thanks guys. ..(and gals if any)

White spirit is not recommended as it is slightly oily. Use brake cleaner (not brake fluid) or an electrical degreaser.

Brian

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White spirit is not recommended as it is slightly oily. Use brake cleaner (not brake fluid) or an electrical degreaser.

Brian

I use this one http://www. toolstation. com/shop/Automotive/Lubricants+Sprays/Brake+Cleaner+400ml/d60/sd2795/p17879

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On your tow bar there is a sticker which tells you the max weight to be put on the hitch, load to near the max weight.

Honda CRV 2009 & Bailey Pageant Bordeaux S7, 2008

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