trailer pulling with 1800


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wingmanib02
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trailer pulling with 1800

Postby wingmanib02 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:42 pm



I'm almost finished building a tear drop trailer and have made a few test runs with it but I could use some weight and other info .I haven't actually weighed the whole thing but i'm estimating it weighs in around 650 pounds with a 40 pound tongue weight, at around 60 mph it feels a little light and was wondering if there is any weight limits I should be within or do you think it is from push back from wind or air lift. Also the trailer is 48 "and my mirriors are only 42" I can see almost everything except the turn signals which stick out 3" at the very end. Will I have to add more mirrior or am I good.I came up with 40 pounds for a tongue weight by going by the weight the saddle bags can carry.Or should I just go down to the local chippy office. Thanks for your advice.Chuck
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themainviking
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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby themainviking » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:59 am

That is a cool trailer, but much more than I would wish to pull behind a motorcycle. Personal choice. I like to be able to see over and around my trailer on a bike. It is not so important in a cage, as there is all that metal around to sort of protect me. I am not sure as to the legality of a trailer wider than your mirrors can see around, but a study of the highway traffic laws in your area should provide this information. It is my understanding that if it is legal where your vehicles are registered, then it is legal elsewhere, but I am sure there are some exceptions. Not a bad looking trailer though. The company, Micro Lite, that manufactured my little MoJo cargo trailer used to make some a lot like yours, but narrower. They were only three feet wide. Could sleep one comfortably, or two squeezed in side by side. They quit making them though, and I do not know why. One thing you may want on your trailer is electric brakes, if they are available for it.
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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby cihilb » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:11 pm

650lbs. is to much for the wing. Also, your estimate of 40# tongue weight may be OK if your standing still. Looking at the weight distribution, it seems that there is more weight on the front. The long tongue fools you as to the actual weight on the bike. If the trailer bounces, a lot of weight will be transferred to the tongue and then to the bike. Put a scale on the tongue and then rock the trailer front to back. I think you'll find out just how much weight will be on the bike.
There is a formula to determine the tongue length, according to the axle width.
I have a Bunkhouse, fully loaded about 450 lbs. I hit a hole in a parking lot with the rear bike tire (the trailer straddled the hole). When the bike came out of the hole, the upward force on the tongue, bent the trailer hitch, not the drawbar, but the actual hitch. My tongue weight was less than 35lbs, static.

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby PastoT » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:39 pm

Often lusted for a smallish teardrop trailer myself for longer trips, albeit yours seems a bit larger than my imagination. Static tongue weight is important from the start (I've heard #40 is common), to little and the sway will amplify and yank the back of a truck around much worse on a bike I'd imagine. Here's my 2 cents... At speed I'd wager your tongue weight will be less as the wind creates a leverage to the back; what may be ok at lesser speeds could easily become a swaying beast on the interstate! Again just my observation, I surely have no idea how to cure it vice limiting your highway speed (including headwind). I have a 5x8 ATV trailer with a mesh ramp that folds up verticly. If I'm towing it empty its light enough not bother my truck at slow speeds, the tongue weight just enough to work; but at about 55 the wind pushing on the raise verticle ramp eliminates the tongue weight entirely and it darn near bounces back and forth. Fortunately it only happens when the trailer its a good example of how wind speed can impact trailer tongue weight and its reaction.
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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby peppilepew » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:30 pm

Wind is going to be a factor. Stopping with any lean is going to push the back of the bike right from underneath you. Lighter small profile is much safer. Nice job though.

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby PastoT » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:10 pm

Just throwing this thought out there... as mentioned visibility may be an issue behind and around your trailer. I recently saw a wireless back up camera at an autoparts store that I bet would provide you better visual of what is behind you. I'm not sure what the operable range is between the camera and the monitor but if it works on an RV or large SUV it might work for you. The monitor wasn't any larger than a smart phone and the camera was small as well. :idea:
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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby BikerGuy » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:05 pm

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I have a custom made trailer made of steel. It's heavy and I was thinking about adding some sort of shock between the trailer frame and the bike's trailer hookup frame just for stability in the event of a wind gust....... I'm not sure that would be a good idea or not. I can load my trailer up for a month's traveling so it'll hold quite a lot.

Has anyone done that?? Is this safe to do? Thanks!
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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:58 pm

I'm not 100% sure I understand what you're trying to do. You want it to absorb lateral movement if a wind gust hits it?

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby themainviking » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:06 am

jmerklin wrote:I have a custom made trailer made of steel. It's heavy and I was thinking about adding some sort of shock between the trailer frame and the bike's trailer hookup frame just for stability in the event of a wind gust....... I'm not sure that would be a good idea or not. I can load my trailer up for a month's traveling so it'll hold quite a lot.

Has anyone done that?? Is this safe to do? Thanks!


I don't imagine there is anything UNsafe about doing it, but with a small trailer such as we pull behind motorcycles, I do not think you would achieve a whole lot. I have one of those shock type 'anti sway controls' on my 34' trailer, but that is because it is longer than the truck that tows it, and has a billboard sized side view to catch that wind you mentioned. The setup would add ten pounds to your hitch weight, which, on a motorcycle, could not be a good thing. If, as you say, your little trailer is heavy, I would think that by itself would help against the wind. I have two trailers for behind motorcycles, one being a tent trailer, which is heavier than the other, which is all aluminum. The light one occasionally blows around a bit, but the tent trailer has never moved an inch in even heavy wind gusts.
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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby harvey01 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:40 pm

jmerklin,

I also am not sure what you are doing but this commercially available trailer came to mind: http://tailwindtrailers.com/

Are you talking about something like that?
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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby BikerGuy » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:44 am

I want to stop it from swaying in the event of a gust of wind. Sorry. Couldn't think of the word in my original post.

WingAdmin wrote:I'm not 100% sure I understand what you're trying to do. You want it to absorb lateral movement if a wind gust hits it?

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby BikerGuy » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:48 am

No. I've never seen that. I'm trying to stop it from the possibility of swaying if a gust of wind hits it.... It's a heavy trailer that measures 7 foot from tongue to back of trailer, with an all steel box that measures 4 foot front to back, 3 foot wide and 20 inches tall. It's got 14 inch tires - bias ply which I'm considering changing to radials.

Thanks!

harvey01 wrote:jmerklin,

I also am not sure what you are doing but this commercially available trailer came to mind: http://tailwindtrailers.com/

Are you talking about something like that?

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby BikerGuy » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:55 am

I can see around and over it in my mirrors. It's only 3 foot wide. It looks bigger in the pictures. I have towed it and it tows fine, straight in line. I bought it from a guy who had it made and he towed it for a couple of years - or so he says... Who knows? I'm just trying to take a precaution that it won't blow all over the road in the event of a gust of wind. I'm planning to ride 3000 miles round trip in May and so it'll be packed quie well. Maybe not 650 pounds, but at least 400 pounds probably. We'll be riding from the plains through mountains.... That's why I thought of putting some kind of shock absorber horizontal to the ground between the trailer and the bike to control it if it sways.... But I wasn't sure how to go about it, what to put on there, or even if it's safe to do....

Thanks!

themainviking wrote:That is a cool trailer, but much more than I would wish to pull behind a motorcycle. Personal choice. I like to be able to see over and around my trailer on a bike. It is not so important in a cage, as there is all that metal around to sort of protect me. I am not sure as to the legality of a trailer wider than your mirrors can see around, but a study of the highway traffic laws in your area should provide this information. It is my understanding that if it is legal where your vehicles are registered, then it is legal elsewhere, but I am sure there are some exceptions. Not a bad looking trailer though. The company, Micro Lite, that manufactured my little MoJo cargo trailer used to make some a lot like yours, but narrower. They were only three feet wide. Could sleep one comfortably, or two squeezed in side by side. They quit making them though, and I do not know why. One thing you may want on your trailer is electric brakes, if they are available for it.

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby shadontt » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:13 am

This is an interesting read for me as I have never towed a trailer with any bike. I have towed plenty of trailers with cars and trucks though and the broad side surface area looks scary to me. Having lived out west and experienced "lane changes" due to cross winds and the real experience of having a trailer drive the tow vehicle....I can only advise caution while towing. You've already towed it and looking for a stabilizer system so I assume you know what I'm talking about from experience yourself. Good luck with your venture and keep us informed on your trip results! :D

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby themainviking » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:07 am

jmerklin wrote:I can see around and over it in my mirrors. It's only 3 foot wide. It looks bigger in the pictures. I have towed it and it tows fine, straight in line. I bought it from a guy who had it made and he towed it for a couple of years - or so he says... Who knows? I'm just trying to take a precaution that it won't blow all over the road in the event of a gust of wind. I'm planning to ride 3000 miles round trip in May and so it'll be packed quie well. Maybe not 650 pounds, but at least 400 pounds probably. We'll be riding from the plains through mountains.... That's why I thought of putting some kind of shock absorber horizontal to the ground between the trailer and the bike to control it if it sways.... But I wasn't sure how to go about it, what to put on there, or even if it's safe to do....

Thanks!

themainviking wrote:That is a cool trailer, but much more than I would wish to pull behind a motorcycle. Personal choice. I like to be able to see over and around my trailer on a bike. It is not so important in a cage, as there is all that metal around to sort of protect me. I am not sure as to the legality of a trailer wider than your mirrors can see around, but a study of the highway traffic laws in your area should provide this information. It is my understanding that if it is legal where your vehicles are registered, then it is legal elsewhere, but I am sure there are some exceptions. Not a bad looking trailer though. The company, Micro Lite, that manufactured my little MoJo cargo trailer used to make some a lot like yours, but narrower. They were only three feet wide. Could sleep one comfortably, or two squeezed in side by side. They quit making them though, and I do not know why. One thing you may want on your trailer is electric brakes, if they are available for it.


@jmerklin - The comment you replied to was in response to the original poster and his teardrop trailer. I posted another reply to your question, concerning sway control. You may have missed it, but if not, then have a great day. If you did miss it, you may wish to go up about six posts and read it - or not. I did answer your specific question to the best of my ability/knowledge.
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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:41 am

There are all kinds of physics at play when it comes to towing trailers. One of the more important ones when it comes to sway is the length of the tongue. When wind hits the side of the trailer, pushing it sideways, it is the ball (pivot point) on the motorcycle that keeps the trailer pointed forward. The trailer exerts a sideways force on the ball, and ultimately the rear wheel of the motorcycle. The motorcycle resists this sideways force, keeping the trailer pointed straight ahead. A strong enough gust of wind, and you will feel the back end of the motorcycle moving around a little bit as it resists the lateral forces exerted on it by the trailer tongue.

Lengthen the tongue, and you add leverage. The longer the tongue, the less leverage the trailer can exert on the ball/pivot, which means the less sideways force is exerted on the motorcycle. This is why you typically see very long tongues on motorcycle trailers.

Adding a shock to "absorb" the lateral forces on the ball pivot to me seems like a very bad idea. That pivot is solid and unmoving for a very good reason - to keep the trailer in line and tracking true with the motorcycle, steering it back in line should it be displaced. Adding a shock that allows some play means the trailer has that much more ability to steer away from the motorcycle's track, which means even more lateral force applied to the rear of the motorcycle. You already have very limited lateral friction on your rear wheel simply because you have a single tire with a relatively small contact patch. You don't want to use up even more of that friction by absorbing extra force applied to it by the trailer.

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby BikerGuy » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:03 pm

Thanks for the information. The measurement from the center of the ball socket to the trailer is 37.5 inches. Is that long enough? I'm not sure what the average length is for a motorcycle trailer from the ball to the main body.

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:13 pm

jmerklin wrote:Thanks for the information. The measurement from the center of the ball socket to the trailer is 37.5 inches. Is that long enough? I'm not sure what the average length is for a motorcycle trailer from the ball to the main body.


You need to measure from the ball socket to the trailer axle, and then measure the axle width. The ratio of tongue length to axle width should be between 1.5 and 2.0 (I would go for closer to 2.0 than 1.5).

Trailer Tongue Ratio Diagram
Trailer Tongue Ratio Diagram

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby BikerGuy » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:36 pm

It's 61.5 from coupler to center of axle, and 42 to center of tire to tire. This equals 1.46. So, to equal 2, I would have to extend the coupler to axle by 18.5 inches. Do I really need to do that?

Thanks for your help!

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby shadontt » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:33 pm

I guess my math is wrong. 42" (wheel center to wheel center) x 1.5 = 63" and your tongue L is 61.5" so you exceed the 1.5 ratio. 2.0 would require 84" - 61.5" = 22.5" more tongue length. This differs from your accounting. Who's correct? I'm interested because if I do decide to tow I'd probably build my own trailer. This has turned into a very informative thread!

I noticed a commercially built trailer that had a shock system on the tongue and hitch vertically which I assume is to absorb back and forward forces on the bike caused by road conditions like bumps or potholes. Anyone care to comment on this concept?

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby BikerGuy » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:24 pm

The admin isn't really asking for a ratio. He's saying that the width of the axle from center of tires should be multiplied by 1.5 to 2 times to calculate the length of the ball socket to trailer axle. So if you take my 42 inches and multiply it by 1.5, you'd get - 42x1.5 = 42+21 = 63. Being that my trailer length is 61.5, I'm a bit short. To be able to reach twice the width to calculate the length, you'd multiply 42x2 = 84 inches. That's what he's saying. :D

shadontt wrote:I guess my math is wrong. 42" (wheel center to wheel center) x 1.5 = 63" and your tongue L is 61.5" so you exceed the 1.5 ratio. 2.0 would require 84" - 61.5" = 22.5" more tongue length. This differs from your accounting. Who's correct? I'm interested because if I do decide to tow I'd probably build my own trailer. This has turned into a very informative thread!

I noticed a commercially built trailer that had a shock system on the tongue and hitch vertically which I assume is to absorb back and forward forces on the bike caused by road conditions like bumps or potholes. Anyone care to comment on this concept?

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby shadontt » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:53 pm

jmerklin wrote:The admin isn't really asking for a ratio. He's saying that the width of the axle from center of tires should be multiplied by 1.5 to 2 times to calculate the length of the ball socket to trailer axle. So if you take my 42 inches and multiply it by 1.5, you'd get - 42x1.5 = 42+21 = 63. Being that my trailer length is 61.5, I'm a bit short. To be able to reach twice the width to calculate the length, you'd multiply 42x2 = 84 inches. That's what he's saying. :D

shadontt wrote:I guess my math is wrong. 42" (wheel center to wheel center) x 1.5 = 63" and your tongue L is 61.5" so you exceed the 1.5 ratio. 2.0 would require 84" - 61.5" = 22.5" more tongue length. This differs from your accounting. Who's correct? I'm interested because if I do decide to tow I'd probably build my own trailer. This has turned into a very informative thread!

I noticed a commercially built trailer that had a shock system on the tongue and hitch vertically which I assume is to absorb back and forward forces on the bike caused by road conditions like bumps or potholes. Anyone care to comment on this concept?


I see where I was wrong now...looks like the question is how much to splice in to get in the preferred range 1.5 - 2.0?

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby themainviking » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:55 pm

Further to the anti sway system mentioned above. It would not work on a normal motorcycle trailer, as it needs an A frame to be mounted to and an ear on the ball hitch to mount the other end as per this quick drawing I threw together. The idea is that we are looking down from above the hitch on each trailer. As can be seen, with only a straight bar on the motorcycle trailer, it would only allow turning in one direction, and not very far, whereas with an A frame on a big trailer it would permit turning in both directions and would dampen sway.

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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:09 pm

themainviking wrote:Further to the anti sway system mentioned above. It would not work on a normal motorcycle trailer, as it needs an A frame to be mounted to and an ear on the ball hitch to mount the other end as per this quick drawing I threw together. The idea is that we are looking down from above the hitch on each trailer. As can be seen, with only a straight bar on the motorcycle trailer, it would only allow turning in one direction, and not very far, whereas with an A frame on a big trailer it would permit turning in both directions and would dampen sway.


I know what you're talking about, an anti-sway bar, I've seen them on large trailers (30 foot camper, race car trailer). One end mounts to the trailer A-frame, the other mounts to a smaller ball on the tow vehicle. The unit telescopes as the rig goes around turns. There is a friction adjustment that adjusts how much it resists telescoping. The tow vehicle can easily force the unit to telescope when going around corners, but it offers resistance to trailer sway by lowering the resonant frequency of the trailer.


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Re: trailer pulling with 1800

Postby FM-USA » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:37 pm

Seen this thread in the current newsletter.
I looked at that pix and knew right off something wasn't right...



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