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Small trailer help #7406448 01/16/19 07:45 PM
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hookemhorns Offline OP
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I have a small 5x8 trailer we use on our ranch to pull behind four wheeler or keep and it works great. However pulling behind truck to town over 50mph it begins to walk and bounce all over the road. It doesnít matter if it has weight or is empty. Can anyone help or let me know why it does this or what to do. hanks.


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Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7406452 01/16/19 07:49 PM
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Top Jimmy Offline
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Could be where the weight is on the trailer. Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jk9H5AB4lM

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Re: Small trailer help [Re: Top Jimmy] #7406553 01/16/19 09:43 PM
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hookemhorns Offline OP
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that is a good video but weight has not had any impact good or bad


God is deep but he is not complicated.
Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7406582 01/16/19 10:30 PM
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I'd have the tires balanced and check the trueness of the axle. Also, if it has springs, are any of them broken?


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Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7406641 01/16/19 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by hookemhorns
that is a good video but weight has not had any impact good or bad


It's not necessarily the weight, but the displacement of that weight. If there's not enough tongue weight, it will get squirrelly on you. You can see if that's the case by putting a bag of quik-crete on the trailer near the tongue. If that settles it, then you know your tongue weight is off. Then it's just a matter of moving the axle back a little bit to increase it.

Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7406654 01/16/19 11:57 PM
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BigPig Offline
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Thatís the joy of a single axle trailer. Improper tongue height really has a negative affect on single axle trailers with leaf springs.


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Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7406683 01/17/19 12:30 AM
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Keep the weight more forward. Also the height of the tongue is important. We had some sway once, and found out we had a tire losing air. Aired it up and sway went away til we could patch/plug the tire. Lots of things can cause sway, so you have to isolate the issues. Most of the time it's a weight distribution issue.



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Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7407117 01/17/19 03:00 PM
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Texas Dan Offline
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Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. I have a small 4X8 trailer that I use the same way. Chad is spot on.

Drop the tire pressure and put things near the front of the trailer when pulling just a few things. These small trailers are notorious for not tracking well with nothing in them. More tongue weight will improve tracking and high tire pressure is not needed when you're not carrying a load.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 01/17/19 03:04 PM.

Dan,

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Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7407380 01/17/19 09:31 PM
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When you hook it up is the trailer angled up towards the tow vehicle? It shouldn't be. Also like others have said weight needs to be distributed correctly, if light load put weight over tongue/front part of trailer. If you can lengthen the tongue it may help also.


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Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7409638 01/20/19 08:46 PM
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Tongue height affects camber, which affects toe-in if the trailer isn't sitting level. Make sure the trailer is fairly level. If the trailer has been overloaded, the axle could be sprung. This generally screws up the camber too. If the trailer has been jackknifed pretty hard, the toe-in and camber can be off. A good tape measure and a friend can check the alignment. Also a good trailer shop can check it and usually fix it without replacing the axle.

Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7410108 01/21/19 04:19 AM
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I had a 5x12 doing some bouncing and whatnot. It was really only used to put out stands and feeders and whatnot.

Whenever the tire would go low, I'd shoot about 15 or 20 squirts of slime into the tire. Never thought much about it.

When it started bouncing, I took it to the tire shop and they pulled off the tire and removed about pound of hardened slime that had kind of solidified around the wheel.

Cleaned up the wheel and put a couple of new used tires on it and no more issues.


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Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7410129 01/21/19 04:39 AM
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Agree w leveling the trailer, and weight distribution.

Disagree on tire pressure. Run trailer tires at recommended pressure, always. They dont need to flex like vehicle tires. Low pressure creates flex, creates heat. Heat hardens and kills tires.

Re: Small trailer help [Re: Phlash] #7410313 01/21/19 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Phlash
Tongue height affects camber, which affects toe-in if the trailer isn't sitting level. Make sure the trailer is fairly level. If the trailer has been overloaded, the axle could be sprung. This generally screws up the camber too. If the trailer has been jackknifed pretty hard, the toe-in and camber can be off. A good tape measure and a friend can check the alignment. Also a good trailer shop can check it and usually fix it without replacing the axle.



Camber and Toe are not adjustable on a solid axle. Iím pretty sure you mean caster


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Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7410824 01/21/19 08:31 PM
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Camber of a solid axle can be changed by the bending of the axle, the caster can be changed by shims at the spring to axle contact and toe in can be changed by bending the axle. So, all these adjustments can be changed. The best thing would be to take it to an alignment that works with trailers and have them to check it out. Adjustments aren't that hard to make if you are equipped to work on solid axles.


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Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7410839 01/21/19 08:37 PM
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They make shims for both Toe and Camber adjustment.... thatís correct. How many forum members do you think have ever done that to a small single axle trailer. Iím betting zero.

I stand by my original statement. Not adjustable. Most 3500lb and under axles the hub is permantly affixed to the axle and not serviceable without a torch or saw.


Originally Posted By: Chunky Monkey
Never been to a camping world. I prefer Dick's to be honest.
Re: Small trailer help [Re: Quick Shoot Again] #7410882 01/21/19 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Phlash
Tongue height affects camber, which affects toe-in if the trailer isn't sitting level. Make sure the trailer is fairly level. If the trailer has been overloaded, the axle could be sprung. This generally screws up the camber too. If the trailer has been jackknifed pretty hard, the toe-in and camber can be off. A good tape measure and a friend can check the alignment. Also a good trailer shop can check it and usually fix it without replacing the axle.

Originally Posted by Quick Shoot Again
Camber of a solid axle can be changed by the bending of the axle, the caster can be changed by shims at the spring to axle contact and toe in can be changed by bending the axle. So, all these adjustments can be changed. The best thing would be to take it to an alignment that works with trailers and have them to check it out. Adjustments aren't that hard to make if you are equipped to work on solid axles.


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Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7410895 01/21/19 09:29 PM
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No caster/camber on a straight trailer axle. Always run trailer tires at max rated air pressure. Sounds like this trailer may have springs too heavy/strong for the trailer. Weight distribution is critical on a single axle trailer.

Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7411187 01/22/19 01:22 AM
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Trailer axles have all three vectors and all three can be adjusted, some with shims as previously said for caster. Camber is pre-set into a factory axle for a midrange load. The heavier the load, the more the axle flexes, which affects the camber. If a trailer has been overloaded, the camber can be reset by bending it upwards in the center (within reason) with an alignment press. The toe-in is usually set close to zero, but within 1/2 degree is good for a trailer. It can be pressed (bent) into the trailer axle too. I've had this done on a good boat trailer after hitting a big pothole in a construction zone and blew a tire. Go have it checked by an alignment shop that does trailers. The shop may have you put a normal midrange load on it so they can set the trailer up for your needs. As said above, good tire pressure, load placement and tongue height are important.

Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7411297 01/22/19 03:45 AM
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Have built 100's of trailers, repaired to many to count. Straightened many an axle without a torch or saw, use hydraulics and jigs. Have used a torch for a quick fix when needed though.

Re: Small trailer help [Re: hookemhorns] #7411877 01/22/19 07:42 PM
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My suggestion to drop the tire pressure to make the trailer less bouncy was meant to apply when hauling little or no load.

Putting everything up front (increasing tongue weight) made the biggest difference when I first encountered the problem with my small, 4x6 trailer carrying only a few items.


Dan,

Spring, Texas
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