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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 08-13-2007
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xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about
Be VERY careful with sway bars & weight distribution hitch rigs when using surge brakes. I am alive today by sheer luck when a 'by the book' weight distro setup defeated my trailer brakes. Down hill in a light rain almost did me in.
Those contraptions work fine on electric brakes but are very questionable on surge brakes.
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Old 08-13-2007
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We have a heavy "Performance" trailer out of Florida under our Chrysler 26. Boat and trailer together weigh about 7500 lbs. We bought the trailer used with Carlisle tires and the sway was really bad. I thought we might loose it several times on a two hour trip. I moved the boat forward a foot which did help a little. We dumped the old Carlisle's for BF Goodrich commercial truck tires and keep 38 psi in them. The difference in trailer v truck/car tires is the sidewall. Trailer tires are made with thick side walls and crappy tread and that goes for just about all of them. The idea (manufacturers) was that they needed to be strong in the sides and the tread didn't matter because the tires would die of old age and cracking before enough miles were put on to wear them down. The tread didn't need to tout handling since, well, who would know unless they rode in the trailer. BF Goodrich commercial tires are very thick and heavy and track great! I love them. Go to a tire store and put your hands inside them and compare to non commercial. There will be a dramatic difference. My opinion is - commercial truck tires beat trailer tires. We still get a very slight sway on occasion at high speeds 65-70 but I suspect it is because we don't have proper anti-sway equipment.
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Old 08-13-2007
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You might also want to look at the springs and make sure one of them is not broken! I have some issues with an equipment trailer, and an RV travel trailer that both had broken springs.

Tires will also cause sway, especially if one of the tires has a broken inner cord. ST trailer tires are also not as good as an LT - light truck tire!
Unfortunetly with 15" rims, LT tires with wt carrying capacity do not exist as much as 16" LT tires. I in fact, got rid of my 225-75-15 trailer tires on my equipment trailer, and went with a 215-85-16 10 ply/LR E and the trailer rides better empty than I have ever felt it ride. Especially empty!

A hwy style rib tire will handle the best typically if you go with an LT tire. Otherwise, Dico builds good trailer tire, I have Coopers on three of my trailers, Dico on the fourth!

marty
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The only way to know how much tongue weight you have is to weigh the loaded trailer and then weigh the tongue. I have seen recommendations from 5 to 15% of the total trailer weight. Take it to a truck stop scale, drop the boat and weigh the truck, pick up the boat and weigh it again. See if you can get all the axles on different scale pads

Our new to use "stink potter" and trailer weighs about 5k and the tongue weight at the tow height is about 75 pounds. Just over 1%. This tows like a dream, we have to look back and make sure it is still there. I can pick up the tongue about an inch, then it gets real heavy.

I do not recommend a 1% tongue weight. If anybody lives nearby I have a trailer tongue scale.

The sidewalls on a trailer tire are different than a regular tire. When you turn a dual axle trailer sharply the tires will slide sideways and put a real strain on the sidewalls. Go to an empty parking lot and make a sharp turn and watch in your mirror.

Xort is right about the WD and sway bars. I don't think you could put it on a boat trailer anyway.

When you check the springs, one or more might be cracked in the middle, right over the axle. Might be hard to see.

I was just checking around and "C" rated tires are 2150 pounds max each. 4 x 2150 = 8600. "D" tires are 2540. 4 x 2540 = 10160

36' and dual axles with that much weight might be the problem. I recommend weighing the trailer loaded before going any further. You might just need to add an axle to the trailer.
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Old 08-14-2007
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I agree with Atlanta, a third axle might make a world of difference on a rig that big. It would most certainly track better. If you do consider getting away from Trailer tires make sure you get a good brand of commercial tire. LT tires still tend to blow out when they get hot. Remember the Ford Exploder blow outs a few years back? They were LT's. Commercial tires are built for abuse and are darn near bullet proof.
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Old 08-14-2007
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I've got a resolution this morning. CHECK THIS OUT!

I went outside to look at my season-old tires. I found weathered and cracked FIRESTONE tires in their place... ALL LT tow rating designation. Someone at chatfield swapped me tires when I was parked at the marina. What a scumbag person that must have been. Both rims were black, so I didn't notice it, but these have more grease on them.

I've replaced them with ShipShape Master tows rated at "D", and guess what? POOF! The sway is gone!
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Old 08-14-2007
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Hope you added locking lug nuts.
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that turning and sliding is called "scrubbing" or dry turns. They kill tires.

My GMC K2500 Manual says the Diesels should be loaded thus: 10% to 15% at the tongue, not to exceed XX LBS ( I already forgot the max). Anyhow, this got me to thinking, what does the ford and the Hummer say? I went out and one says 5-10% and the other says up to 15%. I guess it would be important to review your operators manual before towing, but 15% would be a smart figure to use if you don't have one.
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yep, haha locking lugs FTW
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Lancer, I still think you should take it to a scale next time you are out. Only costs $10 here and well worth it.

D rated total 10160 and you are towing a 36' trailer, 8500-9500#. and $155k boat. I would prefer the peace of mind knowing what the actual weight is and I would add the extra axle for safety.

You are very lucky the loaner tires didn't blow and cause who knows what damage.
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