View Full Version : fish tale

08-27-2004, 02:33 PM
I have a ford 2004 3/4 deisel with a 4 inch pipe from the turbo, it pulled my 3255 fine but I traded for a 3400 yeaterday and bringing it home I noticed it had a slight fish tale to the truck, the power was fine. I just wanted to ask u guys if overload springs would help, I have 10 ply tures and I carry 70# of air and It calls for 80 would this make a differance? Thanks, HELP

08-27-2004, 02:57 PM
I would suspect somthing else, maybe the hitch on the new trailer is set too low putting too much pin weight on the truck. Check the tires etc. on the trailer, if the truck pulled the old trailer ok it should pull the new one. A 5th wheel trailer should not make a truck "fish tail" unless there is something wrong.

08-27-2004, 03:49 PM
From what I understand the pin weight of the 3400 is light when compared to other big Montanas. I would definately weigh truck and trailer at the scales and determine the pin weight.

While I was on my last trip a camper that parked next to me had a long trailer and went to considerable cost to build a back porch to the trailer so he could put a heavy generator on it. But he could not keep the rig on the road due to a reduction in tongue weight. So he removed the porch and generator and put it in his truck bed. Not very happy about it.

All I am saying is you need to know what your weights are: Truck and truck and trailer.

I try to load my tires with pressure to the tire and rim assoc values for actual weight on the tires. The RV Handbook by Estes has these tables in the back. Make sure you load your tires to cold pressures.

Anyway that is a starting point.

NJ Hillbilly
08-28-2004, 06:27 AM
Putting 80 psi in th rear tires will help stiffen the sidewalls and reduce some of the sway in the rear. I would start there but I suspect there is more to the problem.
Does the trailer ride level or slightly nose high? Adjusting to level or slightly nose high will help with the problem.

I'd pack the trailer first then see how it pulls ( air the rear tires up anyway). They tend to handle differently when loaded so start there. The pinweight may be low when empty and packing will certainly add to it.


08-28-2004, 03:17 PM
As I understand it, the pin wt. should be about 20% of total trailer wt. for optimum towing. When I first saw the specs for the 3400RL, I wondered how it would tow with such a light pin wt. The 3400RL is the heaviest of the Montanas at 11,380# gross dry wt., yet it has the lightest pin wt. at 1770#. This results in a 16% pin wt. The following is a breakdown of 2004 Montana model's pin wt. %'s.
2955RL - 21%
2980RL - 23%
3255RL - 23%
3295RK - 22%
3380RL - 17%
3400RL - 16%
3575RL - 19%
3650RK - 18%
3670RL - 20%
3685FL - 21%

This info came directly from the 2004 brochure. If there has been any updates, I stand to be corrected. As others have stated, be sure the trailer is level when hooked to the truck. You might try partially filling the fresh water tank (if it is in the forward section) to increase the pin wt., and see if it makes a difference.

08-28-2004, 04:32 PM
I want to thank you fellows for your input, I will try is all and if not will trade for a 250 05. I pulled the trailer completely empty so maybe when I get it loaded it will do better after I put the 80 p0unds of air in the tires. I also found out that ford does not put sway rods on the back of the trucks with the tow package, it comes in the 2nd tow package, they will get you one way or another. I am going to have them put on just to see. I seem to have plenty of power with the 6.0 and the 4 inch pipe I ran fromthe turbo, I wand to put a K & N on it but they dont make it yet. The new 05 will pull 17,000 with heavy duty springs and brakes + heaver frame, love my newtrailer I just want to be safe, Thanks again. Jerry and Peg
250 Ford 6.0 with 4 inch tube 3400 Montana

William H. Collier
08-28-2004, 06:08 PM
mtman, as you can see by my sig I have the same truck as yours. I have not expierenced anything like you are suggesting. If you are fish tailing even when empty you have a problem. When empty you might experience some bucking, due to the light pin weight, but should not fish tail.

Montana Sky
08-28-2004, 09:56 PM
I have the 2500HD Chevy and do run 80psi in the tires all the way around while towing. I have not experienced any fish tailing while towing my 3400RL. Sounds like the kingpin needs some height adjustment. Enjoy your new coach.