an exercise in weight distribution: trailering - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-05-2016   #1
 
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an exercise in weight distribution: trailering

I had this issue with my setup. I had lower storage on my trailer and one time loaded too much weight behind the axle. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I was getting these random "shimmies" and then read about the importance of proper tongue weight.

Anyway - very cool video showing how important weight distribution is.


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Old 10-06-2016   #2
 
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It couldn't be more simply illustrated than that!!! Nice find.
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Old 10-06-2016   #3
 
cedar city, Utah
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Huh, just a little more weight in my tail in my twenties and I guess I could have actually danced a little better. Well, if I'm being honest, better means dance at all.

On a serious note, I had been told about tongue weight and trailer distribution and was successful for years. I loaded up our inflated, trailered raft on a trip this July as I would on the river, which included dry bags on a beaver tail in the back bay. I didn't compensate for not having a passenger in the bow (tried that once while driving but that's a different story) and within 5 minutes of interstate driving experienced a moderate shimmy. The difference in steering and control was impressive from just moving a few dry bags.

Now I just load the raft in stern first and have no problems. Most of the other weight is balanced nicely over the axle.
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Old 10-08-2016   #4
 
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While most of us know this concept, it is an excellent tutorial and reminder of how much it matters.

I encourage the OP to cross post this into the trailer threads as a safety reminder.

Thanks,
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Old 10-08-2016   #5
 
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It is an elegant example. I wonder how violent those shimmies get with a taller vehicle?
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Old 10-08-2016   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Frank View Post
While most of us know this concept, it is an excellent tutorial and reminder of how much it matters.

I encourage the OP to cross post this into the trailer threads as a safety reminder.

Thanks,
Wait...I thought this /was/ a trailering thread
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Old 10-09-2016   #7
 
Salida, Colorado
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First time trailering I was going 10-miles i had bad shimmies at 40-mph. If I drove carefully it wouldn't, but one time the shimmies came on so fast and was so violent it almost drug my jeep off the road. Scary!


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Old 10-09-2016   #8
 
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Excellent video. The danger increases three fold when your going down hill. As it goes sideways.......you have to gas it and hit the brakes as it's coming around.......gas it and hit the brakes as it's coming around.
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Old 10-09-2016   #9
 
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This is all interesting, but does anyone actually check tongue weight outside of anecdotally? I try an load the bulk of the weight over the axle then try and balance the load with a little additional weight in in the front. I try and load the tongue light enough that I can lift it with some force. Out of curiosity, the next time I load my trailer I am going to check the actual tongue weight. Here are a few ways to do it that seem pretty simple, https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-...ue-weight.aspx
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Old 10-09-2016   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriBri1 View Post
This is all interesting, but does anyone actually check tongue weight outside of anecdotally? I try an load the bulk of the weight over the axle then try and balance the load with a little additional weight in in the front. I try and load the tongue light enough that I can lift it with some force. Out of curiosity, the next time I load my trailer I am going to check the actual tongue weight. Here are a few ways to do it that seem pretty simple, https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-...ue-weight.aspx
This issue is not as much a function of the the independent tongue weight but rather the where the weight is distributed. Of course, any weight forward of the centerline of the axle will manifest itself onto the tongue in some fashion. In my case, my cooler can be loaded so that it is within inches of being forward or aft of the axle centerline - thus changing these dynamics. Figure my fully loaded cooler could be close to 300lbs and that weight position will make the difference in the balancing of my trailer.

But bottom line - I've never actually checked tongue weight. When I did encounter this shimmy issue in the beginning, I changed how I loaded the trailer and it went away.

That being said, someday I would really like to measure what my tongue weight it for a fully loaded trailer and...what my empty trailer and fully loaded trailer actually weighs.
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