Tower novice - Car badly affected - help please... - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-26-2013, 07:06 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
It looks to me like there are no brakes on the trailer- in my opinion, that's too much trailer for that particular car to be towing without them. Pulling is one thing- stopping is something different...
I agree.

I saw the tire sidewall photos, and knew this was coming...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
He's got P-metrics on the darn thing- and radials to boot. Way too flabby for this trailer....and 50 psi might blow those puppies off the rims; 32's probably their limit.

ST's would dramatically improve handling, as noted in my earlier post.
Of course they're radials; it's the 21st century.

Yes, they're P-metric, and if old enough might have a 32 psi inflation limit. Maximum capacity may require 35 psi, and up to 44 psi may be allowed and might help handling... all assuming they are Standard Load. They may indeed be overloaded; a pair of P-metric tires with load index 79 (the 79S on the end of the size) are good for up to 1700 pounds or so of axle load.

Special Trailer tires may not help handling at all, especially without a working suspension.

None of this is very relevant to the question, as these tires are unlikely to make the ride jolting. It's likely the dead suspension rubber.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:08 PM   #30
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Did a quick check on the spreadsheet I did a few years back for the range of motion of the axle for my boler. Dexter specs typically run about 2" between no load and full load, with another inch for shock load throughout the range of 22.5 up to 45 down. Flexride approaches that range as you approach their recommended 24 degree down. I'm seeing maybe 1/2" in the picture. Torsion arms look to be pointing up, but I'm not familiar with the Trillilum 1300
I agree with the tires needing to be ST, don't agree with the tongue weight since it was not measured at the ball. The wagon looks to be sitting low in the rear as in over loaded. Be nice to see a comparison picture with no trailer.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:21 PM   #31
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... don't agree with the tongue weight since it was not measured at the ball.
If the jockey wheel goes on the fixed jack and that's a foot back from the ball, with the axle nine feet back from the ball, the actual tongue weight would be 8/9x105 = 93 kg or 205 lb... still higher than required, but maybe not excessive for the car. I don't know the car or hitch tongue weight rating.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:40 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Special Trailer tires may not help handling at all, especially without a working suspension.

None of this is very relevant to the question, as these tires are unlikely to make the ride jolting. It's likely the dead suspension rubber.
Trouble here is we don't know anything about the suspension and not much more about the ride. Not sure what you base your diagnosis on since the only information so far posted by the O.P. is this description of what goes on:
Quote:
Basically, our car (1995 Mercedes E320 Wagon) is badly shaken by the trailer every time the trailer goes over a road imperfection.
After his latest test drive he goes on to say:
Quote:
I test driven the lot this am and..... well: Disappointing. I notice a difference in the intensity of the shake but not much really.
Those symptoms don't point to a failed axle, unless perhaps for those of the it's-old-so-it-must-be-the-culprit crowd. Unless I missed some other info that leads to your conclusions, Brian, I continue to suggest that the best course is to correct other obvious deficiencies before throwing that baby out with the bathwater.
.

Someone earlier suggested taking the tires in for balancing, since out-of-balance tires can create those symptoms. I second this motion, but again strongly recommend that the P-metric tires be replaced with ST's, which are better designed for the job. As everyone in the Towing Universe (perhaps excepting Brian) agrees, "modern" P-tires are unsuitable for use on trailers. 'Nother link... and another. As if it matters!

And before the "get LT's" crowd weighs in, I think it unlikely that any are available in a size that would fit this trailer.

Francesca
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:57 PM   #33
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As someone who has towed a lot of trailers with a number of Mercedes models, I recommend getting that tongue weight down first. See if anything can be eliminated or moved back first. Once you've done what you can do in that department, load up your camping gear towards the rear. As suggested, you should take the weight at the hitch, and with the hitch at the same level that it is when towing.

For a trailer of that weight, I'd shoot for a MAX of 10% TW. Mercedes (the Germans, not the US branch) usually recommend something between 5-6% TW. Of course, don't tow at very high speeds with a lot TW. You shouldn't be towing any faster than 60-65 MPH, anyway.

Also, the trailer WILL bounce the car to a certain degree. That's just part of towing with a car or small truck/SUV. I doesn't necessarily indicate a problem.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:36 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
First off, remove the knives, not only for your tire safety but as well as for anyone behind you. Take wooden shims or use tape, but a knife blade on the highway becomes a dangerous projectile. Here is a linkk for the proper tool etrailer.com - Hitch Accessories Products hitch rattle

That was just for the half mile covered this morning at 30 mph.
If wouldn't have even considered going anywhere with that extremely temp fix!!
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:49 PM   #35
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Geeeee I'm overwhelmed really!! You guys are very generous and knowledgable!

I've got to keep track of all the recommendations though.

Tires: I need Trailer tires it seems. The max pressure of my current passenger car trailer is 35psi. Someone (forgive me for not naming you) mentioned the fact that the size I need might not be available! Wooops.... what would be the alternative then?

Brakes: Planning on fitting them. But right now.... I'd rather spend the money where first required. The S124 have very good brakes but I would not go to some areas where steep roads are too common. I was hoping to do a couple of season first. We'll see....

Speed: I normally stick to the speed limit. 65mph (105 kmh) would be my max for safety, mpg and comfort.

Tongue weight: First, I'm going to take the battery and propane tank off.
Just to try.

Stabilizers: Are you saying that I should remove them?

More to come on the axle diagnosis......

Am I missing anything?

Cheers again :-)

Franck
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:55 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
OK, so I get some egg on my face this time, I was sure that the tongue weight was going to be on the low side

I re-read your original post. I took the term "badly shaken" to mean that when you went over some bumps it was as though a giant hand reached down, grabbed your rear bumper, and bounced the rear of your tug up and down. Is that what you meant by "badly shaken"?

Also, a tire pressure of 32psi seems low to me. Mine are inflated to 50psi which is the manufacturers recommendation.
Exactly! For each bump: Front wheel... smooth..... rear wheel .... very very smooth ..... trailer wheel..... BLOODY AWFUL!!
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:19 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by franck2cv View Post
Geeeee I'm overwhelmed really!! You guys are very generous and knowledgable!

I've got to keep track of all the recommendations though.

Tires: I need Trailer tires it seems. The max pressure of my current passenger car trailer is 35psi. Someone (forgive me for not naming you) mentioned the fact that the size I need might not be available! Wooops.... what would be the alternative then?

Brakes: Planning on fitting them. But right now.... I'd rather spend the money where first required. The S124 have very good brakes but I would not go to some areas where steep roads are too common. I was hoping to do a couple of season first. We'll see....

Speed: I normally stick to the speed limit. 65mph (105 kmh) would be my max for safety, mpg and comfort.

Tongue weight: First, I'm going to take the battery and propane tank off.
Just to try.

Stabilizers: Are you saying that I should remove them?

More to come on the axle diagnosis......

Am I missing anything?

Cheers again :-)

Franck
I'll field a few of those...if you're still up for it!

-Tires:
My comment about size availability had to do with LT tires- a longstanding contentious subject at this Forum...pay it no mind!
Trailer tires (ST's) are readily available for your trailer.

- Brakes (Stand by to get yelled at):
Quote:
I'd rather spend the money where first required.
That would be here, young man!
(If you'll permit me to speak like the Mother that I am, and also as someone with a similar-in-mass-to-yours setup .)

My trailer brakes literally saved a life on a dry, flat stretch of road. Going about thirty-five, I didn't see a stop sign until the last minute, slammed on the brakes, and slid almost into the intersection just as a pickup was entering it from my right.
Since the brakes on my trailer locked up, I lost a bit of tread that day...but I did NOT lose my beloved Granddaughter, sitting in the passenger seat and directly in the path of that truck had I been unable to stop.

Please reprioritize brakes!

Francesca

P.S.
As long as we're yelling at you:

That propane regulator needs a cover!

F.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:33 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by mcbrew View Post
As someone who has towed a lot of trailers with a number of Mercedes models, I recommend getting that tongue weight down first.
...
For a trailer of that weight, I'd shoot for a MAX of 10% TW. Mercedes (the Germans, not the US branch) usually recommend something between 5-6% TW. Of course, don't tow at very high speeds with a lot TW.
Glad to see your input on this thread Jessie. I'm especially interested in this thread because we've been debating adding a hitch to Carol Ann's next generation E320 wagon to tow our Trillium 4500. Charlie her Mechanic says they don't think twice about towing with that car across the big pond.

Shall I assume that is a typo highlighted above and you meant a low TW?

I only see one Trillium 1300 reported in Trailer Weights in the Real World for Frank to compare to. It had a tongue weight of 240 Lbs. and total weight of 1840.

Frank, please reconsider you priorities on trailer brakes. They are one of the few tools you will have to contol trailer sway.

While I'm waiting for the results of your friendly bounce test, I'll try to track down some pictures here of some other Trillium 1300 axles to compare yours too.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:36 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by franck2cv View Post
Geeeee I'm overwhelmed really!! You guys are very generous and knowledgable!

I've got to keep track of all the recommendations though.

Tongue weight: First, I'm going to take the battery and propane tank off.
Just to try.

Franck
Franck before you do that I would weight the tongue again. As others have said 240 seems pretty high for your trailer completely empty. My 16 weighs that on the tongue loaded up & it has a bathroom ahead of the axle. If you did not do so already with the trailer hitched to the car measure from the ground up to the bottom on the trailers coupler. Unhook & put the tongue on the scale making sure the bottom of the coupler is at the same height it was when attached to the car. If its so much as an 1" lower when you weight it that can result in a higher tongue weight than what it is on the car. To be honest it looks to me like the trailer is still not level & a bit high at the tongue, which makes the high weight you have indicated even stranger. Perhaps it's just the photo But it also looks like you are getting a fair bit of sag at the back end of the car so not sure it can take much if any more weight to get the trailer level or slightly down at the tongue. Hummmm
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:50 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
And before the "get LT's" crowd weighs in, I think it unlikely that any are available in a size that would fit this trailer.
I agree. Clearly, he needs to move down to 12" for an LT tire, but up to 14" or preferably 15" would work as well if they could be found in low enough profile. Of course, the better idea would be a 13" or 14" lower-profile tire in commercial or euro-metric extra load.

But seriously, the obvious choice if tires are ever needed is the smallest 13" ST tire available in a reputable brand. Good luck with the last part...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Trouble here is we don't know anything about the suspension and not much more about the ride.
...
Those symptoms don't point to a failed axle, unless perhaps for those of the it's-old-so-it-must-be-the-culprit crowd.
Quite to the contrary:
  • As Roy explained, the lack of suspension movement from unloaded to carrying the full weight of the trailer strongly suggests failed rubber.
  • The ride descriptions are all consistent with a lack of suspension compliance, and all are inconsistent with inadequate tire sidewall stiffness for control.
My observations are, of course, only a working theory requiring confirmation.

I have made no assumptions based on age. I would prefer that old axles be maintained and repaired rather than scrapped - especially one like this which already has brake flanges, but it is looking unlikely that repair will be feasible. Economically, of course, it would make little sense to spend the money to replace every replaceable component of an axle this old, as would be required to add the brakes which Francesca has widely recommended, even if there are several years of life left in the axle's rubber.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:58 PM   #41
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Just a comment:
I suspect that the relatively long rear overhang of the station wagon is exacerbating the effects of the roughness of the trailer's ride.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:09 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by franck2cv View Post
Tires: I need Trailer tires it seems. The max pressure of my current passenger car [tire] is 35psi. Someone (forgive me for not naming you) mentioned the fact that the size I need might not be available! Wooops.... what would be the alternative then?
The same size as the current tires, or the same size as the original tires, is no longer likely to be readily available in an ST tire, at least in common brands. The smallest ST tires for 13" wheels are likely to be ST175/80R13 or ST185/80R13 (ST175/80D13 or ST185/80D13 if you insist on technology older than the trailer). These usually fit, although some members here have had problems with unusually restrictive wheel wells on some trailers.

The fit will be easier when the axle is replaced, if that is required.
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