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Author Topic:   Trailer Sway
Ghart321
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 17
posted September 04, 2005 10:22 AM  
Have a 22 foot tandem axle (mobil home axles) car trailer with a "heavy duty" tire rack and observation deck. The front is heavy, but the trailer is long enough to move the car back and forth about 2 foot. Tire recommended pressure is 70psi (inflated to 60psi right now) The problem is that the trailer starts to sway at about 45-50 mph even after trying to load the car in several different locations. Any suggestions?

rocket36
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 209
posted September 04, 2005 04:02 PM  
some mobile home axles and springs are not very good ard a prone to flexing creating steer. the first thing you need to check is that you have sufficient ball weight. 10-15% of the trailer/load's total weight needs to be on the hitch. optimum is 12%. ensure your hitch reciever, ball, hitch, wheels, tires & tow vehicle are load rated for what you are trying to haul.
check that the axles are actually straight/square under the trailer.
check that the lug nuts are tight and the wheels, tires & bearings are all in good condition.
chances are your problem is something simple like load placement. check that first.

[This message has been edited by rocket36 (edited September 05, 2005).]

IowaFuzzy1
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 136
posted September 04, 2005 10:32 PM  
We had that problem with our old trailer,we put a set of equalizer bars on it and that solved the problem.Trailer house axels tend to have excess play in the spring shakles which lets the axels "walk" alittle which can also cause the problem that you're having.

Ghart321
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 17
posted September 04, 2005 11:56 PM  
What does a equalizer bar consist of? Where can I get one if it is something I can't make?

Thanks

rocket36
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 209
posted September 05, 2005 05:09 AM  
equalizer bars are also known as load levelling bars. these are basically spring steel bars that fit between a mount on the hitch on the tow vehicle and a pair of mounts that are placed on the draw bar of the trailer creating a lever effect to level the ride height of the tow vehicle and trailer. these are far better than air ride suspensions (shocks/bags) for leveling the ride as they distribute the weight back onto the front wheels of your tow vehicle rather than just raising the rear. this can reduce sway by making the tow vehicle more stable by reducing excessive load from the rear tires and behind the rear wheels while also increasing the load to the front tires and correcting steering/suspension geometry problems that occur when the front is nearly off the ground.
an even better system is the sway control bars that are designed to limit trailer sway.
you first need to identify what is actually causing your problem (just like a race car handling problem) before you can rectify it.
for more help search the net for hayman-reese, the manufacturer of some of the best towing systems you can buy, there is a good tech section.

we had a successful family business designing, engineering & manufacturing custom trailers of all discriptions, for many years. we were also an agent for hayman-reese during that time.

[This message has been edited by rocket36 (edited September 05, 2005).]

rrrrick
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 192
posted September 06, 2005 11:29 AM  
here is what will help.
http://www.reese-hitches.com/hi_pef_trunnion_bar_wd.htm

All the suggestions are right, could be anyone of em, or a combintion of them.

Tongue weight is the first thing I would check, my buddies normally great towing trailer turned ugly when we moved the car 3 feet further back then usual.

jay116
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 428
posted September 06, 2005 05:22 PM  
Also, Check the ball height. A level trailer pulls better. If the ball is too high or too low, it throws the tounge weight out of whack. You may also want to adjust tire pressures on the trailer. I had the same problem with my basically home-built trailer, and ran slightly less pressures in the front tires to make it track better. I have since moved the axels back. Check also, to make sure the axels are "square". Dave

ryan
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 776
posted September 08, 2005 07:13 PM  
We run 45 lbs in our mobile home tires. Ours used to sway real bad when we got it because they welded them up crooked to begin with so we re-did them and I've got up to 65mph on the gravel until I looked down and seen how fast I was going and said oh ****.

[This message has been edited by ryan (edited September 08, 2005).]

Ghart321
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 17
posted September 10, 2005 08:57 PM  
Found a hitch at a garage sale like the one in Rrrrick's link for $100. Also moved the car forward on the trailer a little. Took it for a ride .....straight as an arrow at 55 mph. We will see the next time I have it on the freeway. Thanks all for you help and suggestions.

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