The dreaded "Popcorn Effect" - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-07-2003, 11:29 AM   #1
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The dreaded "Popcorn Effect"

I had originally posted this as a thread way down another topic, and, having not gotten any responses yet, thought I'd move it to where maybe a few more people would notice it...

When we had a boler 13 in the 80s, ours would bounce so badly that the cushions ended up all over the camper. Occasionally cabinet doors would pop open and dump everything. When you pulled in, you had some major straightening up to do.

So, how common is this? Is this characteristic of the 13' units? Let's here from some of you 13 and 16 owners -- do things stay put in your unit while towing, or do you suffer from the "popcorn effect"?
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Old 02-07-2003, 11:37 AM   #2
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Paul

Paul ... trailer bounce is more a function of wheel base, length of trailer a-frame, and highway expansion cracks than it is towing a tiny trailer.

Even my good friend with a 30 foot Jayco experienced this phenomenom on certain roads.

Now, I'm no engineer, so don't expect any technical explanation, but for what reason, certain tow vehicle/trailer combos, running on certain highways with certain highway expansion cracks, can develop a simple harmonic motion, and bounce up and down vigerously.

The solution is easy ...

1. Don't run down the roads that cause you problems again! (Hey, don't laugh. My friend winters in Texas ... and cutting off a corner on the trip on Highway 69 in Oklahoma, always bounces him around. He now runs into Tulsa and turns left).

2. Change the dynamics of your set-up. Try using a longer ballmount in your receiver .... they make long and short ones. If that fails, and your trailer tongue weight allows it, try adding a 12-inch extension between your drawbar and ball mount. By altering the length of the distance between all of the axles, you can often reduce or eliminate the problem all together.
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Old 02-07-2003, 11:56 AM   #3
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Popcorn!

Hello Paul, I have a 13'Boler 1976,and I have almost zero bounce. Now this is not because I did anything smart ,or that I knew what I was doing when I purchased ''Tweetie'' 4yrs ago, its all luck and no judgement, on my part.However ,I do remember the chap that sold the unit mentioning that this was a''deluxe unit'' 'cos it had some sort of suspension or shocks,it sounded good and did contribute to my buying it and indeed proved to be true.
I pull with 1998 Ford Windstar and The trailer is completely level when being towed.and I am not aware of it being there. Hope this is the sort of input you wanted.
I do remember postings of reports that even pop cans were dented during trip so I know you are not alone .
Good Luck!:wave
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Old 02-07-2003, 02:00 PM   #4
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>>some sort of suspension or shocks,<<
so do you think this was an add on? sure would be nice if we could do that. I know my curtains kept falling in the floor. crawl under that trailer Pippa and tell what you see.
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Old 02-08-2003, 12:05 AM   #5
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smiling is optional

[quote]crawl under that trailer Pippa and tell what you see. [quote]

Yeah Pippa, but make sure someone takes a picture of you doing it so we have a twin of Jana's pic :yep :nope :shg ....the guys really seemed to like it.
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Old 02-08-2003, 07:07 AM   #6
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Hi
My Boler is 17ft.I have no bounce at all. In fact we leave salt and pepper' suger and powdered creme in basket on table.The basket sits on one of those rubber mats that kinda sticks.The only thing I watch for is when I open fridge.I do it very slowly to make sure nothing falls out.:wave
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Old 02-08-2003, 09:24 AM   #7
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Re: To Paul

Several years ago, I noticed this phenomenon on a section of Interstate 70 east of Burlington, Colorado. Extreme heat had actually caused the highway sections to curl up near the expansion joints. I tried varying my speed to no avail and the fenders of my boat trailer soon joined the assemblage of bits and pieces of other vehicles that had passed that way. Paul, you must be correct in thinking that it has more to do with wheelbase. I have a Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 that is so short that it does the same thing but the ride is smoother with the trailer. Changing the length of the hitch sounds like a good idea but would only work if the distance between expansion joints were the same on every stretch of highway. I think your friend had the best idea. Just don't go that way.
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Old 02-08-2003, 11:29 AM   #8
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Pippa down under!

[quote]Orginally posted by Karen M

[quote]crawl under that trailer Pippa and tell what you see.
Quote:

Yeah Pippa, but make sure someone takes a picture of you doing it so we have a twin of Jana's pic :yep :nope :shg ....the guys really seemed to like it.
Now listen here, I've been under that trailer so often but I never have ''Paperazzi'' following me! I just like looking under there:shg .I have not paid attention to the suspension but when he comes out of storage ,back under I go and I'll report to you in spring. I am denied access for the winter..I have noticed however that the fresh water tank is clad in plywood and does not seem to have rotted so far! I also check for any major rust or welding joints coming apart.There is a dent in the axle as though someone put a jack under it instead of using the frame!! Tut!Tut!:nope
I am planning on having a welder reinforce some of the more vulnerable points this year.Last year I had the wheel bearings replaced and new tires. I removed the top bunk painted the inside again(i refresh the paint each year by choice )and made 3 draws.
My most aggravating issue is the sagging door which causes no real problem but looks ugh! It will probably remain that way as although I know the hinges are are the main culprit but I cannot tackle this.

Tweeties interior is beoootiful and I will get some pics to you when I get a scanner .I get butterflies in my tummy thinking about seeing him again !!!!:wub
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Old 02-09-2003, 10:10 AM   #9
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Shock kit

I recently saw a bolt up kit to mount shock absorbers on dexter axles with flanges that bolt up to the axle. How effective it is? no clue. I would presume that the rubber packed torsion axles bounce up and down pretty much the same as steel spring axles on cars without shocks. any how, I am going to fabricate the flanges that fit on the dexter axle, (I wasn't real impressed with their kit) purchase a couple shocks, and see how my 5th wheel does, and will let anybody interested know the results. Paul
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Old 02-10-2003, 02:56 PM   #10
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Shocking

Paul,
Get a look at the Part number on the shock in that kit and get one exactly like it. Collapsed length and extended length must exceed the travel of your axle. Bad things happen when the axle bottoms out in the shock and you don't want the axle hanging on the shock mounts either.
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