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Towing expert please advise, new ford with the shakes!

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  • Towing expert please advise, new ford with the shakes!

    My old pickup was done in by an oak tree falling on it so I need to use my 2018 Expedition for towing my old Trailer BP (perfect condition).
    On the way to the hitch place the Ford was vibrating pulling the empty BP but I thought having the hitch aligned with the trailer would fix the problem. No ,even with the WDH and perfect alignment the Ford shakes when towing an EMPTY trailer. Took it with trailer attached to the Ford dealer and they had no ideas. I tried a friends BP and same results. I went on-line and there were several older angry ford threads on vibration with towing but Ford150 yet the Expedition is pretty much the same engine and body.
    Does anyone have any clues? The tires are goodand balanced on trailer, bearings have been repacked and replaced recently. Where I took it for hitch work they been in business for 30 years and used to build trailers. They have no clue.
    What to do? The Expedition drives fine without the trailer but I'm at a loss what to do. It's strong enough certainly to tow an empty tailer. I won't try it with horses it shakes to badly.

    I was surprised to find all the threads on Ford 150 forums. I guess I'll never buy another Ford but I can't buy a new truck as I hardly even trailer anymore....


  • #2
    Is it the truck or trailer? I had vibration issues and it ended up being the tires on the horse trailer. The belting on the tires had failed, so the tires weren't round anymore. I was lucky I didn't have a blow out.


    • #3
      Since it doesn't shake without the trailer, I'd be inclined to say it's something with the trailer... except you tested that with a different trailer that doesn't shake its tow vehicle, and yours had the vibration.

      Does it seem to come from an engine struggling? Can you tow your trailer with a friend's vehicle to do a sorta "double blind" study on that part of it?
      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


      • #4
        I would take it with the trailer in to a Ford dealership that is a high volume seller of their trucks. Your vehicle is a 2018, have them check it out. Have you had the bearings, wiring and brakes checked on the trailer very recently? Your brakes could be sticking. Also, check the tightness of the lugs on the trailer and make sure they are all tight.


        • #5
          Wheel alignment on the Expedition?


          • Original Poster

            The trailer is fine and I tried it with a friends trailer and the same issue so it the Expedition not the trailer.
            Took it to dealer today with trailer and they had no clue, very nice but useless. I even had someone else drive the combo and I drove behind in my car to check for any wheel wobbles and it drove straight and braked straight.


            • #7
              As I posted in the other thread, get it to the dealer mechanic right away. In a 2018 it is probably still under warranty if it is a manufacture problem. But driving around with the problem could void the warranty, so get it in asap. Good luck!


              • #8
                Try running it hitched to trailer but no electrical connection ---might have a short in the electric connector that is triggering trailer brake irregularly.

                Last edited by banmharcach; Oct. 30, 2019, 03:01 AM.


                • #9
                  Have a tire person inspect the trailer tires! When my truck was vibrating while towing (especially noticeable at highway speed), it turned out one of my tires was on the verge of a blow out. The tire guy explained that the inner bindings on the tire fail and the tire becomes slightly egg shaped. The trailer is only 2 years old and has low miles so I was shocked! He replaced the tire and it hauls perfectly now.


                  • #10
                    Yeah don't "try" anything. Unless you are a certified Ford mechanic who knows how the warranty works.

                    Do. Not. Do Anything. That could void the warranty. This is NOT a DIY project.

                    Originally posted by walkers60 View Post
                    The trailer is fine and I tried it with a friends trailer and the same issue so it the Expedition not the trailer.
                    Took it to dealer today with trailer and they had no clue, very nice but useless. I even had someone else drive the combo and I drove behind in my car to check for any wheel wobbles and it drove straight and braked straight.
                    Find out about taking it to another dealer for a second opinion. Or call this one back and talk more about what you are experiencing.

                    If you can replicate the issue, video what is going on, from inside or outside the vehicle. As best you can.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
                      . . .

                      If you can replicate the issue, video what is going on, from inside or outside the vehicle. As best you can.
                      I was going to recommend trying to get one of the mechanics to do a test drive with the OP driving, so they cal feel it themselves. Then they might have a better idea of what to look for.

                      Also, check the ball on your hitch. There isn't a big difference in a 1 7/8" ball and a 2" ball - but if the receiver needs a 2" ball, and you've got a 1 7/8", there is a remote chance that might cause an issue.

                      The hitch itself, now if that is loose (where it is attached to the vehicle), that could definitely cause shaking. But I'm assuming the dealership already checked that thoroughly.
                      ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by walkers60 View Post
                        The trailer is fine and I tried it with a friends trailer and the same issue so it the Expedition not the trailer.
                        did you try the friends tow vehicle to pull your trailer ?

                        I as others suggested would take the tires off the trailer to inspect the tread and the wheels to make sure a wheel is not bent or the tread has not separated form the casing

                        Also IF this trailer has torsion axles a very close inspection of the attachment point should be made to makes sure the rubber bushing has not begun to deteriorate (I have not heard of any)

                        All else fails, do you have another tree to park under?


                        • Original Poster

                          Good idea on having another truck pull the trailer, now I have to find one.


                          • #14
                            This issue sounds very familiar. I would get it back to Ford right away while you still have the warranty. I think there was a well documented bug with towing on the newer trucks.
                            "Do what you can't do"


                            • #15
                              I think the idea of towing without the electrical plugged in is a good idea. I had an issue with a trailer once where the brakes were getting triggered intermittently. With mine it turned out the that trailer was mis-wired with the turn signal swapped with the brakes. Since yours does it with another trailer as well, there may be an issue with the wiring to your external plug - maybe a exposed piece somewhere occasionally shorting out.


                              • #16
                                Do I understand correctly that you've tried two different dealerships, the one you mentioned in your OP and the one you mentioned in post #6, or did you go to the same dealership twice? Either way, super frustrating. Do you have a dealer nearby that does a high volume of truck sales, as RubyTuesday suggested?
                                If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great


                                • #17
                                  I just remembered where I heard it. A woman I used to board with bought a new Expedition and had the same shaking problem. The problem was with the Expedition. I can't remember what it was, but I do know the dealership fixed it and it is a known problem. Find another dealership and don't let them BS you.
                                  "Do what you can't do"


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thanks everyone, I towed a huge hay trailer with the Expedition and it pulled it just fine, no vibration. Friend towed my BP up to 60MPH and no shakes so its not the tires on the trailer or the expedition.
                                    This is a true mystery. Maybe related to weight yet the bP is empty aluminum 2horse so not that much heavier than the 20foot hay trailer.


                                    • #19
                                      Could be tongue weight on the hitch. Not the total weight of the trailer, but the weight it pushes downward on the hitch. Horse trailers often have a heavy tongue weight - even aluminum ones. You will want to take a look at the suspension in your towing rig. Does the trailer sink the suspension significantly? If so, the trailer is too tongue heavy for your suspension and you may consider helper springs or airbags.

                                      You'll also want to make sure your hitch is the right height for your load. Too high or low and you can throw off the balance of the whole mess and cause problems like you describe.

                                      Hitch Stabilizers can also help.


                                      • #20
                                        Yup! My husband, who has hauled for 50 YEARS, just hauled my aluminum stock trailer with two horses again this summer, with his 2015 Ford F150. Well within weight limits! He is a knowledgeable hauler, uses stabilizers, etc. Omgosh, he was so nervous with the feeling of the trailer wagging the truck. He mentioned it to a tech guru, who hauls a bigger boat with same year, etc, truck. Turns out, in his research, Ford's efforts to make the F 150 a family 'car ride', the suspension, etc, is not conducive to actual truck work, like hauling. Never said if it was unsafe, but it sure puts my husband on edge. Hubby would like to move to an F250, but not in the budget. He's going to adjust chains, etc, to see if that helps.