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Wheelbase vs towing stability

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For a tow vehicle I’m looking at the Ford F-150 if I buy an Elite II.  I could get it with a 122” wheelbase or a 141” wheelbase.  I would prefer the shorter for the times I’m not towing for maneuvering in parking lots, etc.  I looked up wheelbase vs towing stability on the internet and what I got talked about the distance from the rear axle to the hitch, that longer gave a longer leverage arm and so was more unstable.  A blind man in the dark could see that.  My real question is will the shorter wheelbase give a noticeable decrease in towing stability?  I’m looking for the practical answer, not theoretically engineering answer, and I know the Oliver owner brain trust has this information, or at least a clue.  Please help this “unstable” soul.

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Thank goodness you asked for a practical answer 'cause I'm no engineer.  I believe that the longer wheel base will give you a better ride.  However, other than that I don't think that there will be any real difference in what you will feel when towing your Oliver.  The reason I say this is because I took off my Andersen weight distribution/anti sway hitch and I switched off the anti-sway feature on my 2017 F-150.  I then took my Elite II out for a drive and tried to make it sway - under what I would call fairly normal driving conditions (I didn't want to cause an accident for myself or others while conducting this experiment).  The results were that I could not even get the camper to do anything but follow the truck.  Sharp steering inputs caused the trailer to move right behind the truck.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Like Bill I'm no expert or engineer regarding these questions, but do have quite a bit of experience towing my with 2013 F150 and the Elite II. Allow me to add my wheelbase is 156" however. Lariat Super Crew with 6.5' bed. It is a long truck but its also worth pointing out it really is not that difficult to park either but it does require some practice and getting used to in order to be proficient in smaller parking lots. By comparison we can park our 2017 Subaru Outback effortlessly in an instant. The long and short of it is, I have no regrets what so ever with the length of this truck and if doing again would purchase the same configuration for a litany of reasons. The short beds simply put does not offer enough room IMHO to be usable enough for my needs, and the Super Crew cab is awesome with its additional room and fairly easy access.

 

Regarding stability Bills experiment is interesting and not what I would have thought. FWIW I do not have a WDH, nor anti sway bars and don't feel the need for either given my towing experience thus far with this truck and camper. Its worth noting I have had to perform emergency maneuvers on several occasions as well. In fact just a few days ago while driving back home from a trip to the southwest shortly after entering the Madison River Valley here in MT in the pitch dark of night a deer jumped right out in front of me forcing me to slam on the brakes with a quick avoidance steer only to find yet another deer this one laying dead in the middle of the road. I only had time to make a split second decision to straddle this deer rather than make a very wide swing around it. Thankfully it worked due to the high clearance of both truck and camper. Most travel trailers would not have been able to accomplish this without some damage most likely.

 

My advice, buy the truck you need and want, and forget about parking issues. You'll be fine.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

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Thanks for sharing your experience.  There is no reason for me to reinvent the wheel at every turn.  We’ve been driving around Europe for the past 17 months in a camper van that has a 159” wheelbase and is 250”, or 20’10” long.  The cars, roads, and parking lots/spaces are much smaller here than in the US so it’s been an issue and my skills at driving in close proximity to objects and using my side mirrors have improved greatly.  We’ll be returning to the US in December to start the shopping for a tow vehicle and caravan, aka travel trailer.  The Oliver is our current favorite but you can only learn so much online and need to see it.  Same with the truck, and I’ll need to drive and park it a few times.  We’ll be traveling full time in the US and Canada, including driving the ALCAN, for a few years since 3 years ago, before we started our World Tour, we sold our house, car, etc., and retired, so we are literally “homeless and unemployed”!  But not destitute.  :-)  It’s very liberating.

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Get the shorter wheelbase model. Unless you were going to tow a very large/ heavy trailer you will never see any stability difference. If you started talking about a short SUV, say 100” WB, that is a very different story.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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