HOW TO HANDLE - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-21-2009, 03:54 PM   #29
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Pavement loading is also a factor -- I noticed that some are adjustable in length -- Notice that because the trailer has more than one axle and the load is pretty much balanced on those axles, there is actually very little tongue weight (except the weight of the tongue).

BTW, that proportional leverage effect can be powerful -- After a near-serious sway incident with my Dodge truck and Scamp, one thing I did was shorten the overhang on the truck (moved the receiver hitch two inches forward and moved the ball mount two inches forward by drilling a new set of pin holes in the bar -- Those four inches made a lot of difference, both in less sway (when I tried to induce it with steering) and improved backing.

Of course, folks who put on a longer ball mount for clearance purposes are going in the wrong direction...

I'd be careful about trying to get too much tongue weight because that could also lead to instability problems -- There's an upper limit in that 10-15%!
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:23 PM   #30
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And here I always thought that gravel trailers have long tongues because of pavement loading.

But what are the aerodynamic effects of an unladen gravel trailer?
I know with some dumptruck/trailer combos the reason that the tongue is so long on the pup (which gets pulled behind a gravel truck) is so that the driver can jackknife the trailer 90 degrees or a bit more, then they can dump the contents of the truck without unhooking. At least this is what I saw lots when I did roadwork many years ago.

Is that the European or African gravel trailer.
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:49 PM   #31
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I'm sure that dumping a gravel truck will cause more than just a flesh wound.



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I know with some dumptruck/trailer combos the reason that the tongue is so long on the pup (which gets pulled behind a gravel truck) is so that the driver can jackknife the trailer 90 degrees or a bit more, then they can dump the contents of the truck without unhooking. At least this is what I saw lots when I did roadwork many years ago.

Is that the European or African gravel trailer.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:25 AM   #32
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There are a lot of advantages to a long tongue in terms of handling (forward and backwards) and sway -- The disadvantages come in overall length problems, parking, site fit, city driving, etc.

I often wonder why they are so common in states like Calif, WA, OR and ID and not often seen Back East -- I have no idea of the Canadian distribution.

BTW, as pointed out to me in a PM, we have been talking about tongue length without defining it -- I personally view it as the coupler to axle length, but it's also correct to view it as coupler to Center of Mass (usually somewhat forward of the axle) -- Some may view it as coupler to trailer body, but that's not good for much, IMHO, in terms of handling, proportions, etc.

Overhang is the ball to TV rear axle, which is very short on 5W/goose-neck hitches and why they function so well.

PS I remember from my days in a former life living in Florida (Tampa area) that one did NOT mess around with gravel trucks on the road -- They were always in a hurry, trying to get in one more payload during the workday and carried a lot of mass, even when empty -- People would pull out in front of them and get seriously hurt! Doubly true when pulling a trailer, of course!

The Northern reaches of Dale Mabry highway, where there was a lot of traffic on the then two-lane parts was esp dangerous in late afternoon, with tired truck drivers trying get one more load down from further North and Moms picking up the kids after school.
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