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Old 07-22-2014   #11
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,031
Even after you get this figured out behave like a pilot.

Do a walk around before every flight.

Look over that ball and hitch like you didn't want to think about a fatality accident the rest of your life.
Chains aren't just for show.

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Old 07-22-2014   #12
Brigham city, Utah
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 21
When was the last time you packed your bearings. This could cause a tire wobble, eventually leading to the whole wheel coming off. If you trailer alot or your axles get wet this should be done near every year.

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Old 07-22-2014   #13
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,442
Though I doubt this is the problem and more tongue weight is your answer......

A friend of mine bought a double axle trailer that swayed like everything, no matter if it was empty or had lots of tongue weight. When I examined it I found the pivot points between the front and rear springs had rusted and were frozen in place. We ended up replacing them and putting in bolts with grease fitting on the ends.
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Old 07-22-2014   #14
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,656
I'd also guess tongue weight - the typical rule of thumb is 10% tongue weight. If your trailer and rig weigh a grand than you should be picking up about a hundred pounds on the tongue...

That said I have two motor boat trailers that have very little tongue weight ~ 30 lbs each for ~1k lb rigs and they don't wobble. I've even loaded one rear heavy on accident with negative tongue weight and it was fine. I actually heard that in the hitch; every time I hit a bump the hitch (receiver) would clank up and down. I stopped, took it off to check the ball and the boat tipped over backward. So I reloaded correctly and took off. I think in these cases the wheels are much farther back on the trailer creating a much longer distance from wheel to hitch. This makes them much easier to back and presumably much more stable when loaded poorly. Moral: you may want to think about length of your trailer... if balancing fails (which I doubt) you may think of extending the tongue if possible. That will depend on trailer design, but if you're running a converted sled trailer or something I'd bet a longer tongue would help in several ways.

oh, and loading trailers tongue heavy can also cause wobbling... but I don't think you could do that with a raft and trailer, but be careful if your loading really heavy things at some point. That was probably all covered in Shutzies link, but I didn't check it out.
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
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Old 07-22-2014   #15
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
side note about bearings.

After our first Grand Canyon trip, as we motored out of Las Vegas and 4 hours into the desert the bearing gave out on our trailer. We rolled into a gas station and the friendly owner agreed he just might have a new one just for us. After we pulled the wheel and the pieces of the bearing fell out, he got cranky, told us to get our piece of s%^$ off his property and even started hooking his tow truck to our truck. The thing is, that damn trailer probably weighed a couple of tons, and without a bearing moving it at all was probably fatal to the axle, wheel, or whatever. In any case, calmer minds prevailed (I started filming and told the putz my brother was an attorney) we limped the rig off his property and I spent a miserable day in the shade of the trailer while the others ran back into Vegas to find a bearing.

Moral is; if you trailer, your trailer needs a repair kit as well, to include a bearing, grease, spare light bulbs and so on. Or, you can eventually have a similar adventure to mine. Sucky way to end a GC trip.
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Old 07-22-2014   #16
mrett's Avatar
Lincoln City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 96

Google :Hitch accessories , anti rattle etc.

I had the same issue with my travel trailer, drift boat, raft trailer. These devices take the slack or slop out of the stinger, receiver, pin combination.

The device, we purchased had 3 bolts on the bottom side and works very well. Mission accomplished!!

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Old 07-22-2014   #17
Sembob's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 484
Caverdan may be on to something. If it has leafs check to make sure none are broken. Happened to me once and caused lots of sway at higher speeds. Also weakened suspension will do the same.


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