Here we go... - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-27-2006, 07:50 AM   #1
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Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 604
My journey out to Saskatchewan was a success - thanks to Larry & Jim for the great trailer, a very clean 1977 Triple E Surfside 14. The tow home was done in 50 Km head and cross-winds, but the Forester and the trailer did not even notice. What they did notice was the worn cement on the Trans-Canada, especially from Portage to Winnipeg. We were towing at a conservative 90 Km/Hr, and the rig was locking into a harmonic in the worn cement that was brutal. How to eliminate this? Is this a reflection of my shortish tug (Subaru Forester), a shorter trailer (14), or just bad roads? Maybe trailer balance - it was empty, and there is a substancial plywood box on the front frame, although the battery has been moved under the front bunk. Can someone point me to a link on figuring out hitch weight? Thanks to people on the forum for their good advice, especially Brenda. It's in the driveway now, waiting for me to figure out all of the systems (factory manuals were included!). And so it begins.

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Old 03-27-2006, 07:57 AM   #2
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Trailer: 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel Dlx / 2001 Ford Ranger 4x4
Posts: 1,125

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Old 03-27-2006, 10:34 AM   #3
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Kathy & Doug Roach's Avatar
Trailer: 81 Trillium 5500 (Pearl)
Posts: 145
I can relate. We get into that harmonic when traveling the cement highways in South Carolina. We have a trillium 5500 and pull with a Dodge Dakota. We now know where those roads are and batten the hatches and start laughing when we get there.
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:47 AM   #4
Brenda Novakovski's Avatar
Trailer: 1987 Bigfoot 20 ft 5th Wheel and 1995 Bigfoot 2500 Shortbox Truck Camper and 1972 Compact Jr ('CJ') and 1974 Boler ('BB')
Posts: 82
Congratulations Cam!

Happy to hear about your Surf - I know you'll enjoy it!

You'll have to head west again and join us at Prairie Bolerama in Maple Creek, SK middle of July.

Take care,

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Old 03-27-2006, 10:47 AM   #5
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Byron Kinnaman's Avatar
Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Posts: 5,859
Ran into that in a rental car in Kentucky. It actually made the suspension ring. Boing, boing, boing, down the road we went. It was so bad we stopped once to make sure there wasn't something seriously wrong with the car.
Yup, all you can do is laugh.
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:55 PM   #6
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 5,000
In one of the posts to his topic What does my Fiber Stream Weigh?, Clue: NOT what the Manufacturer advertizes!, Frederick describes the optimal trailer and tongue weight calculation method using a commerical truck scale.

To just weigh the tongue, for our little trailers a bathroom scale works fine: get a jackstand or stabilizer stand set up to hold the trailer tongue at the right level when placed right under the coupler where the ball goes, lower the coupler on to it, subtract whatever the stand weighs, and you have a tongue weight. I did this (carefully) with my 17' Boler (about 300 lb tongue weight) so it should not be a problem with a lighter Surfside 14. It's tempting to just put the scale under the tongue jack, but if you do that remember that it's closer to the axle than the coupler, so it will read more weight than the hitch will actually carry: weigh at the jack and do the leverage math or just weigh at the coupler.

I've seen tractor-trailer rigs (that is, 18-wheel semis) bouncing severely on concrete roads in which the slabs have shifted causing regularly patterned bumps. If this really is a resonant oscillation problem, changing speed seems like the practical solution(up or down, but down seems safer...).

Personally, I doubt the lack of load in the trailer is the problem, since the maximum cargo load in the trailer is likely less than half the unloaded weight of the trailer. Loading up the back of a front-wheel drive van makes a proportionately similar change in the load on the rear axle, and the vans handle it okay. Of course, van suspensions are better...

1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
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