Trailer's Got the Jim Jams: HELP! - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-05-2010   #1
 
SimpleMan's Avatar
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Trailer's Got the Jim Jams: HELP!

First run out last week with my new/old raft trailer. I had some trouble with the trailer doing a little of the back and forth sway. It helped to re-load without the cooler and weight aft of the axle, tried that first. Then as I got closer to home the jim jams got to the point where I couldn't get above 55 mph. Any ideas about what causes this? How about other trailer tips to keep this from happening? Does pressure in the boat effect this? Do I need some bars added to the rear axle? Scrap the trailer?

Thanks in advance for your knowledge. I knowthere's someone else who has solved this already...

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Old 04-05-2010   #2
 
mountains, Colorado
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Did you check the tire pressure?
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Old 04-05-2010   #3
 
Missoula, Montana
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The axle could be out of alignment. Or your tongue could be bent. If you can have someone drive it around while you drive behind it while taking a good look at what's going on you should be able to figure it out. If it is really lightweight then the air getting up under your raft could be causing it. Got a pic of the trailer?
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Old 04-05-2010   #4
 
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C. Springs, Colorado
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I would first suspect that you don't have enough tongue weight on the trailer. Check it by lifting up on the front of the trailer. You should have at least 100 lbs of longue weight or it will sway. Is it a double axle trailer? If so the suspension bolts might be rusty and the trailer suspension might not be moving as it is designed to move.
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Old 04-05-2010   #5
 
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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Tongue Weight Eh?

Interesting you say that Caverdan. Cuz there is so little weight on that tongue that if you go back and put a foot under it you can push it up a centimeter and make it meet the inside of the trailer tongue receiver thing. It kind of clicks in and out of the "seated" position on the ball. Perhaps loading the boat backwards with the cooler in the front bay would put some downward pressure on the tongue.

Trailer is super heavy duty steel Marco, but it does have a big "wow" in the deck like it was loaded unevenly and warped. I drove behind it before I bought it, empty, and even on the highway at 80 it was straight as an arrow. The Jim Jams only come into play with the boat on it. And it got steadily worse between Loma and FoCo.

The only thing I can think that would change throughout the voyage is the pressure in the boat. It was a little droopy when I got home, and I wonder if that was somehow creating a feedback type of loop making the first bounce feed the second and so forth.

Tire pressure is good.

Keep 'em coming guys. We're gonna get to the bottom of this. I love the buzz.

Got so bad on my Monday shuttle that the trailer was actually airborn at one point, pulling my entire Tacoma back and forth like a feather. Bouncing. Holy sh*& right? That was cause I loaded it with the trailer in the boat, aft of the axle. I will have nightmares about that moment for years. Got worse as I tried to slow down for some physics related reason.

One other variable. Truck is midsize; Tacoma. Trailer is full size, about two tire widths wider than my truck. Can this cause the jim jams?
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Old 04-05-2010   #6
 
Blue Shiver, CO, Colorado
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tongue weight...for sure
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Old 04-05-2010   #7
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denver, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smittyvwbus View Post
tongue weight...for sure

bingo

i was gonna say tire pressure too, but after you said that about the trailer being tail heavy... i would lay $20 that if you put the loaded cooler near the front of the trailer that would solve the problem.
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Old 04-05-2010   #8
 
Avon, Colorado
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100% tongue weight...just load a bunch of crap in the front bay (as all have said). I bought a trailer 2 years ago....first trip was as you stated...from then on all was good with a bunch of weight up front.
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Old 04-05-2010   #9
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Durango, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimpleMan View Post
Got so bad on my Monday shuttle that the trailer was actually airborn at one point, pulling my entire Tacoma back and forth like a feather. Bouncing. Holy sh*& right? That was cause I loaded it with the trailer in the boat, aft of the axle. I will have nightmares about that moment for years. Got worse as I tried to slow down for some physics related reason.
Also, in case it does happen again, you should always speed up out of a fishtail- not slow down. The back of the trailer is trying to go faster than the front, so if you slow down, it compounds the problem.
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Old 04-05-2010   #10
 
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Another vote for tongue wight being the obvious culprit.

U-haul trailers say in big letters to load 60% of the weight forward of the axle. That is why.
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