Wave-like motion when towing with my Pilot - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-20-2017, 07:33 PM   #1
LJY
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Wave-like motion when towing with my Pilot

So, I picked up my 21 and Dennis installed my Andersen WDH on my Honda Pilot. There was no lack of power when towing. The car and trailer starts to take off as soon as I take my foot off the brakes. However, in the local drive to Cultus Lake, I experience a lot of front to back or back to front wave-like motion. Since it's my first time towing a trailer, I don't know if it's normal?? or is there an issue with the WDH setup?

We tried to put everything of weight over the 2 trailer axles, but the tow was a bit scary from Sumas to Cultus Lake already...

Help?
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LJY View Post
So, I picked up my 21 and Dennis installed my Andersen WDH on my Honda Pilot. There was no lack of power when towing. The car and trailer starts to take off as soon as I take my foot off the brakes. However, in the local drive to Cultus Lake, I experience a lot of front to back or back to front wave-like motion. Since it's my first time towing a trailer, I don't know if it's normal??
That's a good description; I would call it pitch oscillation, and some call it "bucking".

If it is occurring continually, it sounds like inadequate damping in the Pilot's rear suspension, meaning that better shocks might help.
If it is only triggered by bumps in the road... welcome to tandem-axle trailer towing. When the trailer's leading axle hits a bump it pitches the trailer nose-up, then when the trailer's trailing axle hits the same bump it pitches the trailer nose-down. If the combination of axle spacing, speed, and characteristics of the vehicle all combine in an unfortunate way, it can be annoying.

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... or is there an issue with the WDH setup?
The WDH fundamentally does not exist to stop this, and doesn't cause it... but the WDH is a big system of springs so it changes the frequency of motions such as this one. The right adjustment of a WDH for its intended purpose might not be the best for pitching, but that doesn't mean the WDH adjustment is wrong.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:45 PM   #3
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I had that for a while at first and then it seemed to stop without doing anything. Don't know if it was the road or what. Could have been something that I noticed at first that I no longer notice, just being new to towing then, but could be something else. We have a WDH and it was on.

Have you been to a scale to check weights and get the tongue weight to 10-15%? Need to do that. Coming out of the factory, people often do not have the tongue weight they need and have been known to have problems going home in some cases. You may need weight up front, not just over the axles.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:46 PM   #4
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That's a good description; I would call it pitch oscillation, and some call it "bucking".
.
Or porpoising. Our single axle 17 and Tacoma combination used to do it when I didn't have the WDH attached but very minimally with the WDH on and properly adjusted.
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:02 PM   #5
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The comment about tandem axle towing is correct. We get a bit (very little) of porpoising sometimes when the combination of the road and speed are right. Although its primary purpose is anti-sway and weight distribution, we do notice it's less of a problem with our Andersen hitch.

When we encounter it, sometimes slowing down a bit will also make it go away.

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Old 05-20-2017, 09:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
That's a good description; I would call it pitch oscillation, and some call it "bucking".

If it is occurring continually, it sounds like inadequate damping in the Pilot's rear suspension, meaning that better shocks might help.
You may want to consider overload springs to dampen the motion. Also make sure 60% of the weight in the trailer is forward of the wheels. Too much weight in the rear can contribute to the pitch oscillation.

https://www.etrailer.com/susp-2015_Honda_Pilot.htm
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:21 PM   #7
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Some roads seem to have the perfect dip depth and frequency to induce porpoising too.
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Old 05-21-2017, 05:02 AM   #8
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Some roads seem to have the perfect dip depth and frequency to induce porpoising too.
I have noted it sometimes when going over bridges, perhaps due to a sudden change in road composition. I have, however, read "complaints" in the past that the rear suspension Honda uses on the Odyssey and Pilot is a bit mushy. I think Brian may have hit the nail on the head with his assessment of the cause and potential corrective measure.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:08 AM   #9
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This may sound odd, but I rearranged my stuff to ADD hitch weight. Put heavy non dirty stinky stuff under the dinette ..... helped alot
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Old 05-21-2017, 11:15 AM   #10
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where are the tanks in 21?

Do you guys know where the tanks are located in our 21? Maybe I can use some fluids to test out different weight distribution..

Can I show up on the highway scale station in Canada or USA to do a weighing ? or is this something to be done at home?
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