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Old 05-12-2022, 03:33 PM   #1
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Death Wobble?

New to the class A world, always had a TT. We've taken several trips of varying distance to get some OJT.
We wanted to become more comfortable driving the MH before looking into a TOAD. We are now beginning to look for the right vehicle for us.
I know that there is a ton of info here, including links to detailed guides by model year of what can be flat towed.
Now I am hearing about issues with "death wobble". The guides I'm looking at don't address the issue at all. I guess what I am asking here is are there potential TOADS on these guides that are prone to the DW issue? Again, newb class A owner. Im thinking that I am looking at a guide that says a vehicle CAN be flat towed but maybe should not be?
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Old 05-12-2022, 06:21 PM   #2
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That is a tough question to answer. For example, certain models and years of the Jeep Cherokee had reports of death wobble. Supposedly it was fixed with the 2019 model year by a design change. Prior to that certain models could have a special wire harness modification to solve the problem. That being said, many people towed Jeep Cherokees and never experienced the DW. I think your best bet is to narrow down what model and year you are interested in and then do an extensive online search for towing problems with that model.

There are a few other things to keep in mind. Obviously don't select a vehicle that weighs too much for your RV. Less obvious is that the tow bar should be level (usually +/- 3 inches) when connected to the RV. If the hitch on the RV is 30" off the ground and the tow pins on the front of the car are 10" off the ground, you would have a problem. You could use a drop hitch on the RV but it would have to at least 17" in this example. My Winnebago owners manual recommends not to use a drop hitch of more than 4". A drop hitch puts a lot of stress on the RV hitch. Towing a car with 4 wheels on the ground may not be as bad as towing a trailer because there isn't much tongue weight with a TOAD.
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Old 05-12-2022, 07:31 PM   #3
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I've been at this a long time and the "death wobble" is new to me!
When I have had bad trailer experience, it has been from loading the trailer wrong. If any trailer has too much wieght behind the center, it can do some really wierd things that one might want to call a death wobblebut in cars, Ifind that less prone to happen---unless you throw a generator in the wrongspot, etc.
Overall, I would not worry that too much as lots of folks do some pretty crazy things and we will go with you not being one!!

Toad shopping has gotten far toughter as many now use some form of electronic transmission and that maklessetting them to travel four down much more difficult.
A 98 Ford Escort with standard trans. is great but finding one in good shape is a killer by now! Constant velocity transmission (CVS)? No way!
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Old 05-12-2022, 07:41 PM   #4
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I don't know the full context of what you are hearing / reading about "death wobble" but it may be less about flat-towing as a practice and more about what is being towed. The death-wobble term is common in the jeep community as it is a problem that can appear when lift kits, tire mods, suspension mods are not properly set up for highway speeds. So, I can see where a problematic jeep could exhibit the death wobble while being towed - but it would likely do so if being driven as well. If you are towing an unmodified jeep wrangler you will have no problems. If you are towing a modified jeep wrangler that has been done correctly you will have no problems. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-13-2022, 07:09 AM   #5
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2nd the notion on how hard it is to find a new vehicle that an be flat towed. The one thing we did not consider when moving from a TT to a Class A was that our 2018 CRV could not be flat towed!
So, not only is finding any vehicle hard, but the limited ones that can be flat towed make it that much harder.
We started wanting a Bronco - but no one will get one of those for a year or two.
Then went to Jeeps - but I will do my best to never step into a Jeep dealer again. They act like they are doing you a favor and I can't picture spending $50K on a vehicle I don't really want - Wrangler or Cherokee Trailhawk.
The caveat is that I want to do basically a straight trade for my F150 - not give them my truck and an extra $20K.
Have settled on hoping to find an Escape Hybrid that should work out pretty close to where we need to be. Plus, 40 MPG wouldn't be bad right now.
There are used vehicles we could default too, but we're kind of new car people.
Good luck - would like to hear about the vehicles you are considering.
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Old 05-16-2022, 04:13 AM   #6
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That "death wobble" problem was occurring back when electric power steering first began being used, and has been solved by mfgrs.

The FMCA flat towing guide lists all vehicles that may qualify, BUT, the final authority for each specific vehicle is its owners manual, recreational towing section. I have known some flat towing guides to be incorrect for a certain model.
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Old 05-18-2022, 04:30 PM   #7
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You may want to look at a ford ranger 4x4. We have a 2019 that has the ability to set the truck into flat tow without disconnecting wires. We have the MG braking system and blue ox tow bar.

Truck tows straight and easy
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Old 05-18-2022, 05:17 PM   #8
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Death Wobble is a term used mostly by owners of Jeeps to describe a vibration of the front wheels when ruts or similar objects are hit while driving at mid to high speeds (45-60 for example). This is supposed to be an issue for solid front ends and for Jeeps (and other similar vehicles) that have been modified, but also occurs in non-modified Jeeps and, perhaps, other similar vehicles. From what I have read the solution is simple. Slow down and stop, then start again.

My understanding is that it was solved by Jeep engineers in 2019 with a redesign of the front end.

Having said all of that I am currently on my 4th Jeep and have never experienced Death Wobble, and I towed 2 of those Jeeps all over. I am expecting to tow my current (4th) Jeep all over and don't expect to experience DW with it either. It seems to be one of those things that is very rare and occurs under unusual circumstances, but has generated enough noise to make it seem common. Yet I have never met a Jeep owner who has experienced it. And I am not worried about using or towing my current Jeep.


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Old 05-18-2022, 06:15 PM   #9
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I'm surprised by some of the comments here but first, unless I've missed it what do you have for a Class A. That's always great information when you're asking question on the forum since those with similar models can speak of their own experiences. As for the "death wobble" I first experience this on my 2018 Winnebago 38W Forza and our recently acquired 2017 Lincoln MKX FWD. First time was up exiting Ft. Benning Uchee Creek CG. Took a tight turn a the lights going up hill and I had no idea what the heck was happening. The MH was shaking violently even after I slowed to almost a stop. Pulled over and my buddy following in his class A saw the car start the entire episode. We checked everything on the Blue Ox setup found nothing. Continued on our trip went slower around corners though it did do it once or twice before we got home it seemed slowing down control it some. Posted on IRV2 forum got a bunch with similar issues not just on the same lincoln but several other types of cars including Jeep. I took the Blue Ox apart when I got home and lubed it. Adjusted the electronic adaptive steering to a softer response. Next trip out thought it was all behind me until I was on the last turn to our house. Got home, adjusted tire pressure, called Lincoln and tired one or two other things but in the end I crawled around corners. Fast forward to my 2016 Tiffin Phaeton 44OH that has a tag axle. First trip out same corner started the wobble. Got out made sure the tow bar arms were locked which is all I could think and took off on a 4,000 RT to NE from our home base in Florida. Slight issue once or twice but road nicely. My point its an issue don't believe the naysayers. Most that I've read and agree with its related to this adaptive steering at least on the lincolns. Jeep is a different story, claim was the fixed it in a redesign. I can't disagree since I've not looked at it in a while. Should you be concerned sure. Is every Lincoln towed four down have issues I'm sure not but I know at least 4-5 personally that I've communicated with to help each zero in on the issue. Most don't have issues. It could be the tow setup, the MH, the car, etc... but don't assume the car your buying or have that you towing will have the issue. One good point that someone already made. Do not tow over your wait limit.
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Old 05-18-2022, 06:33 PM   #10
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When we had a Class A we flat towed a Ford Focus and it tracked perfectly. At first I was considering an older air cooled VW Beetle, after towing it behind my pick up truck I quickly changed my mind. The only way to keep it stable was to put at least 150 lbs of ballast in the front trunk.

The Focus tracked well because the transmission and engine is over the steering wheels, that weight will allow to center the wheels quickly once you go straight.

Get a FWD car to tow behind you and you will not have any problems/
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Old 05-22-2022, 09:32 PM   #11
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Death Wobble is not an issue with Honda CRVs (can flat tow through 2014 model year). We are just breaking in our 2nd Honda (2013) and it flat tows great! Our 2002 Honda CRV was a toad for 20 years! No problems!

Chevy Equinox was choice #2 and few reports if any of death wobble on those.
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Old 05-23-2022, 09:26 AM   #12
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I have towed a Ford focus 2015 and it did fine and now I'm telling a Malibu 2018 Malibu and it tows fine and you just have to get a certain model Malibu without the front radiator things in there that keeps you from towing it otherwise it's been pretty good
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