1500 trailer & stability


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hap2
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1500 trailer & stability

Postby hap2 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:47 pm



I'm going on a 600 mi trip with 'my' 1500. It's got 122,000 mi on it.
Just a couple of questions:

Will a trailer (3' High X 3' W X 4' Long) help with stability? And how so?

Just had the oil & brakes changed. What else shud I check?

Thank you



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hap2
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1500 trailer & stability

Postby hap2 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:50 pm

I'm going on a 600 mi trip with 'my' 1500. It's got 122,000 mi on it.
Just a couple of questions:

Will a trailer (3' High X 3' W X 4' Long) help with stability? And how so?

Just had the oil & brakes changed. What else shud I check?

Thank you

bustedwing
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Re: 1500 trailer & stability

Postby bustedwing » Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:23 pm

If the timing belts have not been changed you are taking a risk. Otherwise, the normal check the tires, top off the fluids, make sure the brakes are good. But 600 miles isn't really a big deal. The trailer stability depends on your hitch. If you have the swivel hitch then it can rock side to side easier. If you have a ball hitch then you have to watch turns. But it is a small trailer so just watchwhen you pull into gas stations.
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Re: 1500 trailer & stability

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:02 pm

I've never had a problem with turns with the ball hitch - I can certainly lean my bike over in turns, and I can do so until things start dragging on the ground, but I never do that with the trailer behind me. I basically just ride a bit slower and more carefully with the trailer, and like busted said, be really careful when making slow turns in constricted areas like gas stations. It's easy to forget that it's back there. Also try not to go anywhere that you need to back up. If you do end up needing to back up, it's probably just as easy to unhitch, turn around, then rehitch (at least it is with my trailer).

I don't know that it helps any with stability - it does cause the back end to bob up and down a bit over bumps.

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Re: 1500 trailer & stability

Postby dingdong » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:51 am

My 1500 with ball hitch will lay on the crash guards without straining the hitch. Accidentally tried this recently. :oops: Also Backing up with a trailer is just like backing up in a 4 wheeler. Try it a couple of times and you won't "not" park in a spot because you have to use reverse. I remember, before I learned this, passing up parking areas while touring Yellowstone because I was afraid I couldn't get out. As for a trailer adding stability, I don't think so.
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redial
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Re: 1500 trailer & stability

Postby redial » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:00 am

Everything!

As long as the loaded trailer does not exceed the weight of the towing vehicle, you should not know it is there after a while. Just remember, stopping takes a lot longer. Does the trailer have brakes? Make sure the tyres are correctly inflated, including the trailer. My car trailer, with 2.5 tonnes all up, needs the tyres pumped up to around 50psi, whereas I was putting only 35 psi, and found that the tyres got too hot and blew.

You have to load the trailer so that the tongue weight is no more than about 10% of the total weight of the trailer, even to the extent of getting your bathroom scales and putting it on a set of bricks at the towing height, and then weighing the weight on the drawbar. You may have to juggle your load around to get it right, for fore and aft weight.

Now, side to side weight also needs to be balanced. Make sure you stow your gold bars evenly, and not put them all on one side. The same goes for your heavy tools like trolley jacks. Make sure you have a wheel brace and jack for the trailer.

Make sure your lighting works the way it should. Running, stop, and turn lights are important so that following motorists do not have to guess what you are about to do. If your trailer needs a number plate, make sure it is illuminated so that the speeding cameras know where to send the infringement notice. Carry your licence, rego, and insurance (copies?) with you, and dont forget to tell your passenger to keep their butt on the seat, and dont wriggle especially going around corners.

Keep smiling, and have a great trip. Let us know how you get on.
Len in Kapunda

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hap2
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Re: 1500 trailer & stability

Postby hap2 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:24 am

Thank u for the reply with all the info.

The trailer's only 3' high X 3' wide X 4' long, so it's not easy to make it heavy than the 1500 pulling it. You're right, tho, after a while, I don't even know it's there. No, the trailer doesn't have brakes & I do make sure the air's up to what it says on the tire.

I DO have problem figuring out what 10% of the total weight of the trailer is. Is that 10% of the trailer loaded? Say the trailer is 300 lbs loaded, does that mean only 30 lbs goes at the very front center of the trailer. I hope I can put more weight in front of the axle. I HAVE just loading up the small trailer best I can & just going.

Thanks again Len...from Alberta, Canada (of course)

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Re: 1500 trailer & stability

Postby BigBro » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:54 am

The 10% of the total trailer weight is measured at the point it attaches to your tow vehicle.

If you have a total trailer weight sitting on the scales of 300lbs, then if you placed a scale under the attachment point of the trailer for the motorcycle( coupling, ball, Hitch socket, etc) then that scale should measure 30-35lbs of weight with the trailer sitting at the attitude it would be if attached to the tow vehicle. I used a variance because with such a small amount of weight you have the small amount of error in the scale and any delta for the towing attitude etc.

You would then shift the weight around in the trailer front to back to get that 30-35lbs of weight at the tongue.

Less than 10% is worse than a little more, from my experience.

ymmv

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Re: 1500 trailer & stability

Postby twostrokes48 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:53 pm

The tongue weight is rather important...I've never been that critical to use a scale and have traveled 1000's of miles pulling a trailer. I load it up trying to work on an even balance between front and rear of axle. when I'm finished, I always have a couple heave objects in there that can be moved one way or the other to get a good guess at about 30lbs of tongue weight and have never had a problem.

As far as stability is concerned....well, I lost it in a rain storm a last year on the way from TX to Canada...I went into a skid and mentally had made the decision we were going down as I had passed the point of no return on the lean and still sliding...The hitch evidently went into a bind and slowed the fall to a point I was able to give it one good jerk back upright about the time the slick pavement caught traction and I managed to bring it to a stop. Thank goodness we stopped right in front of a motel....as I was in no shape to drive any further. Once I stopped shaking, we checked in for the rest of the day and night. So yes, I would say under certain circumstances it helps with stability.

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redial
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Re: 1500 trailer & stability

Postby redial » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:11 pm

I trust the underclothes washing facility was ok? It sounds as though you would have needed a full-service facility after that adventure. I am glad that you were safe, and only shook up. Shock does strange things, so it was a good idea to rest before proceeding again. Keep smiling.
Len in Kapunda

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Re: 1500 trailer & stability

Postby tom84std » Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:32 am

We put about 20k on this rig 2001-2005. The only time I ever noticed any instability was on an elevated two-lane highway with a strong angular headwind. Whenever a truck going the opposite direction would pass, the blast of air caused such a violent buffet the whole rig would fishtail wildly. That was a butt puckering nerve frazzling afternoon. When loaded I would always grab and lift the tongue before I hitched it to the bike. If I could feel a good 20-30 pounds of weight on the front end, I knew it was good. Other than that one afternoon it pulled perfectly and never gave me a bit of trouble.


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dingdong
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Re: 1500 trailer & stability

Postby dingdong » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:09 am

Might be the angle of the pic but the tongue on that trailer looks to be really short. That may be the reason for the fishtailing on the bridge.
Tom

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Re: 1500 trailer & stability

Postby tom84std » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:13 pm

Lessons learned Dingdong. That was the first bike-towed trailer I'd ever built. I looked at another one on a similar trip and noticed it had at least twice the tongue length. I just KNEW that thing had to be a lot easier to pull that way. Now the new girlfriend wants me to build another*. You can bet if I do it'll also have a longer tongue.





* Women always want to carry the whole dammed house ya know.

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Re: 1500 trailer & stability

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:41 pm

More than likely that the tongue length is the issue, but having too much weight on the tongue (i.e. too much heavy stuff loaded forward of the trailer axle) can also cause fishtailing. I find that the envelope is quite small to get good handling - I use a luggage scale to make sure my tongue weight is as close to 30 lbs as I can get it, and that gets me the best handling.




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