Trailer sway? Need help - BBQ Central

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Old 02-04-2008, 07:20 PM   #1
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Trailer sway? Need help

Anyone have experience fixing trailer sway? I think my pit is to heavy in the back. It is a single axel but I don't think the weight is distributed even. Small BBQ pit was added onthe back and I also added a spare tire, and small generator mounted in the front. It only happens when I get on the freeway around 55 mph or higher. I have a small slideshow with a few pics. I have read about a trailer sway bar I can attach but will it work?

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Old 02-04-2008, 08:00 PM   #2
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I'm not a trailer guy, but (always a but) the hitch weight should be 15% of the total weight. Your mods are causing the problem. Maybe adding more weight to someplace forward of the axle till you hit 15% would help. Watch you don't go too far on the total wt.
Moving the axle seems like a major costly job, or maybe a good trailer guy would say "no sweat". Cook him some killer pork.
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Old 02-04-2008, 08:01 PM   #3
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Answered you over on some other place..but I try again here. Think the sway bar will help. Biggest factor in the equation is the length of the wheel base of the towing vehicle. You get a long wheel based tow vehicle it will solve the problemo from the ground up. Used to try and pull a tent camper with a Ford Bronco..it would beat you to death at anywhere over 55. Moved over to a one ton Ford hippy Van and a 28' hardshell bumper pull trailer...you could pull it at a hundred and it never make a bobble. Tell Mama you need a new MH..that will pull it like a champ.

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Old 02-04-2008, 09:49 PM   #4
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Ron...

These are a few factors that "I" know of that can create possible
trailer sway.

Reasons for sway caused by a trailer:

Tongue weight is too little OR too much
Your center of gravity might very well be too high
Tongue length is too short for the over-all wheelbase
Trailer suspension is too soft...common problem with
added weight
Trailer frame is too flexible.... this last one is the most common
cause once extra weight is added

And reasons of sway that can be caused from your tow vehicle:

Wheelbase is too short
Rear overhang is too long
Rear suspension is too soft.... weak springs
Rear-end weight is too much...vehicle overloaded
Rear cornering stiffness is too low... lack of a good swaybar

Also under inflated or worn tires can create the same problems,
even broken cords in the tires...especially if they are bias-plied

A sway bar can help, but it's just a band-aid.... find the problem
and remedy it, instead of trying to cover it up

just my $.02

I've got a few miles towing things under my belt
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey_Joe
Ron...

These are a few factors that "I" know of that can create possible
trailer sway.

Reasons for sway caused by a trailer:

Tongue weight is too little OR too much
Your center of gravity might very well be too high
Tongue length is too short for the over-all wheelbase
Trailer suspension is too soft...common problem with
added weight
Trailer frame is too flexible.... this last one is the most common
cause once extra weight is added

And reasons of sway that can be caused from your tow vehicle:

Wheelbase is too short
Rear overhang is too long
Rear suspension is too soft.... weak springs
Rear-end weight is too much...vehicle overloaded
Rear cornering stiffness is too low... lack of a good swaybar

Also under inflated or worn tires can create the same problems,
even broken cords in the tires...especially if they are bias-plied

A sway bar can help, but it's just a band-aid.... find the problem
and remedy it, instead of trying to cover it up

just my $.02

I've got a few miles towing things under my belt
Good info. You are a trailer guy!
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:23 PM   #6
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Seems everyone I ask mentions the Tounge weight. I will try some weight distribution this weekend and see what happens. I also plan to take better photos for reference. Thanks so much for all the useful info!
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rag
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey_Joe
I've got a few miles towing things under my belt
Good info. You are a trailer guy!
+1

All I knew about was the tongue-length part, but I didn't think it was safe to say anything about that here.

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Old 04-26-2008, 07:38 AM   #8
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I had never noticed if it swayed too much before adding the small pit to the back. I can say I have repositioned the all the wood and all my cast iron pots to the front, as well as the coolers of meat and drinks when traveling. Just last week I went on a 3 1/2 hour trip to cook for a work outing 110 people, and we did not have any sway issues. I am almost certain is is a weight issue in the rear, but since repositioning the load, it seems to be much better. My goal was to just drive the speed limit to not cause an accident on the Houston freeways, and it appears it has been solved. Thanks for all your help and I will definatley know where to come for help in the future.
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