towing a 17foot ... swaying and rocking .... - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-02-2007, 08:04 PM   #29
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But the consternation of the passenger side sway monitor is enough to prevent me from waiting and [b]swift action is required.
There is a 6th dimension time-space vortex located somewhere near the forward-right passenger seat. My partner and I have both experienced it. While everything appears normal from the left side driver's position, the same person in the right side, experiencing the same physical forces, experiences magnified feelings of impending doom!
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:43 PM   #30
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Hi Herb.

I am jumping into this conversation really late, but yes, welcome to the Boler 1700 sway club. I am pulling with a Honda Odyssey, no weight distribution hitch or sway bar. When I go in excess of 110km/h, I have been caught with the sways, and yes, a gentle squeeze of the electric brake stabilizes. It is more prone to doing it when the front water tank is empty and when I only have 1 propane tank on the front. Gets triggered by a crosswind, or an erratic move on the wheel.

I have been debating on whether I should go with weight distribution hitch and/or a sway bar, but I don't want to pony up 300 to 400 bucks just yet. So long as I stay under 110km/hr, the unit pulls really quite well with no surprises. Based on my experiences with the unit, there is no way I will put a bike rack on the back of the trailer. I presume they did a very good job of balancing it out....maybe too good. How good? On one weekend of dry camping, I started with a full fresh water tank, and ended with transferring it mostly into black water and gray water. And with only 1 propane tank, I had no problem lifting the trailer by the hitch with my bare hands. This makes for wobbliness for sure at high speed.

If you are interesting in weighing the unit when you head out, I found that the guys running the Alberta Transportation weigh scales on Highway 2 are actually very friendly. They let me weigh each set of axles on my rig with their scales.

Kevin.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:45 AM   #31
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When I owned a 17ft Boler i used a weight distribution hitch.I also travel less than posted speed limit.I had sway once.It was due to improper load distribution inside trailer.My hitch weight was heavy as i had 2 --6 volt batteries and 2--Propane tanks on front.

I think good tires--proper load distribution---and slowing down will make a big difference.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:12 AM   #32
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Side-to-side weight distribution is definitely a factor in roll oscillations. I suspect that front-to-back distribution has something to do with yaw stability, although if this trailer has problems with balance changes then other models must have much more (see the other current topic on tank locations...).

Despite the inevitable protests of the leaf-spring fans out there, I think the suspension is fundamentally flawed, although it doesn't cause me problems. Yes, it's the same as every other leaf-spring trailer axle out there, but none of them would be acceptable in automotive use, and I think this one has the springs too close together (compared to the trailer width and tire track) as well. If anyone has changed the geometry, by lowering the front spring mounts and raising the rears, I would be interested to hear the results.

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While everything appears normal from the left side driver's position, the same person in the right side, experiencing the same physical forces, experiences magnified feelings of impending doom!
This is quite true, and not limited to trailer towing. I think it has to do with the lack of control, and the lack of correlated sensory inputs. It is disturbing because you can't do anything about it, and any movement is confusing because it is out of context of the feelings through the steering wheel.

Now I need to get out to the Boler and pack for my trip... so I may not be able to check in for a while. Maybe I'll have some inspired idea on the road.
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:07 PM   #33
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Kevin, I believe you have a somewhat classic problem of being too light in front, esp when coming back from a trip (bad time to be that way because you may be tired and tempted to hurry). You can confirm this by weighing the trailer in 'return' condition and also in 'setting out' condition and then calculating your tongue weight.

Were I you, I would find a way to transfer some of the trailer weight to the front, like maybe relocating the spare to under the tongue.

Once you get a good TW, then you might also look into either a friction anti-sway control or even a WDH with anti-sway, like an Equalizer or Dual-Cam.

Keep in mind that whenever a condition exists where sway is occurring, the sway will be worse as the speed gets higher. One wants to be traveling a bit lower than a noted sway speed because if a truck or high wind happens, bad sway might be instantly induced.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:57 PM   #34
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When I owned a 17ft Boler i used a weight distribution hitch.
What kind of weight distributing hitch would be a good choice for a light trailer (<2400lb dry, <200lb tongue)? Would it be enough just to get a hitch with an adjustable ball?
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:34 AM   #35
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What kind of weight distributing hitch would be a good choice for a light trailer (<2400lb dry, <200lb tongue)? Would it be enough just to get a hitch with an adjustable ball?
I really don't think you would need a Weight Distribution Hitch as your hitch weight and trailer is light.
I would check your vehicale tow ratings in your manual and go from there.
What i had when i did use a WDH was a very heavy trailer and with a very heavy tonque weight.This is the type i used.
http://www.drawtite-hitches.com/WD/dt_round_bar.html
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:25 AM   #36
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I really don't think you would need a Weight Distribution Hitch as your hitch weight and trailer is light.
I would check your vehicale tow ratings in your manual and go from there.
The reason I'm asking is I have the same problem as the original poster. I've tried rearranging loads. My subaru Forester should be able to manage this trailer. On smooth roads, it's fine. I can even pass a slower car at 65-70, within reason.

On pavements where there are seams or rough spots, it sets up some kind of up and down/side to side ocillation that shakes my teeth loose. It's like short sharp jerks and bumps. It doesn't feel dangerous, but it's sure unpleasant. Feels like my car has no shocks.

Maybe masking it is the way to go?
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:50 PM   #37
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This is just educated speculation, but follow along if you are interested...
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On pavements where there are seams or rough spots, it sets up some kind of up and down/side to side ocillation that shakes my teeth loose. It's like short sharp jerks and bumps. It doesn't feel dangerous, but it's sure unpleasant. Feels like my car has no shocks.
This sounds like perhaps the actual load on the tongue, which varies from moment to moment as everything moves and bounces, is going negative - the trailer which normally pushes down with 200 lb of force averages 200 lb, but sometimes is pulling up (and other times pushing down with much more force). The slight free play in the hitch coupling would allow jarring jerks.

A WDH would press the trailer's coupler down on the ball, perhaps eliminating this effect if it is happening. To do that, it would force the trailer axle, which already carries a higher than typical fraction of the trailer's weight, to carry even more of it. It would also reduce load on the car's rear axle... which again is not taking a big share now, and would thus have even less traction with which to control the trailer.

This sounds like yet another way to use a WDH to mask the real problem... but it might work.

I suspect that European towing rigs avoid this problem - if it really is this no-tongue-weight thing - with their friction-type sway controls, which actually clamp onto the tow ball, presumably eliminating free play. That doesn't work for most of our hitch setups, because the balls are bolted in and would work loose with a Euro-style friction coupler... not that those couplers are really available here or would readily fit our trailers.
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