Trailer rocks when towing over uneven road surface- time for new springs or? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-11-2015, 03:20 PM   #1
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Name: Cathie
Trailer: New owner of a 73 Hunter compact ll
California
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Trailer rocks when towing over uneven road surface- time for new springs or?

Just returned from my first outing with the Compact II. First time out so there is a learning curve.
Number 1- don't forget pot and pans. Hard to have coffee without hot water.
Number 2- a few questions on towing. I have read many posts and can't find the answer to the rocking trailer when the road gets uneven. I noticed a slight amount of sway ... too light on the tongue I remedied that. Pull over and pack stuff under the front table. But ...the trailer rocks side to side when the road is uneven. I see in the wheel well that sometime ago, the po had the wheel on one side rub the FG in the wheel well.

Is this just old springs? they are leaf springs, or unbalanced packing- left to right. the Fridge is on the right side and I have removed the water tank (it had something growing in it and it leaked) I have only towed utility trailers and a 5th wheel different beast.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:38 PM   #2
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Any reliable spring shop will be able to beef up your springs or replace them if they are in bad shape . Make sure that the trailer is pulling level or slightly lower on the front end .
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:53 PM   #3
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If the trailer's a-rockin'... what are they doing back there? Just kidding.

I guess it's a question of just how much rocking you are seeing. I mean, springs are just doing their job when you hit bumps and the trailer goes up and down a little. A stiffer leaf spring can make the trailer rise and fall more abruptly, but that may not be what you want either. If the trailer is moving around like jello, though, I suppose new springs and/or some shock absorbers would help.
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Old 11-11-2015, 04:05 PM   #4
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Are your tires properly inflated. I would make sure they are inflated to the maximum pressure they will take and see what that does to the rocking situation.
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Old 11-11-2015, 04:45 PM   #5
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1999 Casita 17' SD
Ohio
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Shock absorbs would help but trailer makers don't bother.

I wouldn't jump in and replace the springs because springs are supposed to well spring.

It's the shocks that are missing.

Casita owners have a shock kit available from Generator Security, Casita Add-ons.. The Perfect Casita by Orbital Machine Works and they work great on our 1999 17' SD

Joe
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:26 PM   #6
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Check the spring shackles and bushings. You may have some side to side play.
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:54 PM   #7
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I'm with Clif, check the shackles and bushings. It's possible at sometime in the past the springs were replaced, but the shackles and bushings should have been replaced at the same time. Maybe they're worn out.


AND, look to see if you have the same number of springs on both sides. I can't tell you how many times I've seen where folks have removed a (length) of spring to level something! Normally it's an old motor vehicle, but still it's easy to do and folks do it!
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:10 AM   #8
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These are all on my to do list! count # of springs left and rt. I did confirm tire pressure, but i don't think the tires are actually trailer tires. i know they are " newer" but the spare is an original 1973. I'll read up on appropriate tires and start with a matching set. gonna remove the wheels to refinish the rims and learn how to repack bearings. Hopefully in the forum it will explain shackles and bushings. sounds kind of racy but when the title is 'the trailer is rockin...what do you expect.
thanks for options, i'll keep posting the results. and will certainly ask more silly questions
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:15 AM   #9
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the tongue weight was a bit light. that may have contributed. First trip of significant distamce to experience issues. guess i need a trip in the near future... just to check things out ��
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:41 AM   #10
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How fast were you towing Cathie?
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:54 AM   #11
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A check of the weight side to side might be in order.
If the springs are the same rate (inches of deflection per pound of losd) then a bounce from the road would move one side more than the other causing the rocking problem.
Differing spring rates or load will do it.



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Old 11-12-2015, 09:16 AM   #12
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On the above, the bushings are in the ends of the springs and the shackles, or U-bolts, are the 4 things on the right. The bolts through the bushings can also be worn, allowing excess movement. There are also shackles, 1 or 2, as seen to the left in the left hand image, wrapped around the longer springs in the stack. These keep the springs lined up so that they work as a unit. All of these should be in place with no play other than the pivoting of the spring bushings on the mounting bolts. Any significant side to side movement or excess up and down movement in the bushings could be the source of your swaying.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:45 AM   #13
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Trailer: 2017 Escape 17B
SW Virginia
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The OMW shock kits are specific to Casitas with torsion axles, but Dexter sells an inexpensive shock kit that works with spring suspensions. I have them on my Bigfoot.

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Old 11-12-2015, 09:59 AM   #14
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Name: RogerDat
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Stiff tire sidewalls help prevent sway. Any slop or extra space in the places the springs attach to the axle or attach to the frame or the individual leafs of the springs attach to each other can create a sloppy ride.


Worst I ever experienced was the pin that locates the spring on the axle broke. Axle would slide back on the spring on that side no matter how tight the shackles were. Rear wheels where going down the road with the axle cocked at an angle from the one side sliding back.


Without shocks trailers bounce around a lot more until they get pretty heavy loads in them. Springs are typically designed for loaded trailer weight, empty trailer goes over bumps boing - boing - boing. Think we have all seen the empty utility trailer going down the road like it was riding on a drunken pogo stick. (people still know what a pogo stick is right?)
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