How level should a trailer sit? and anchor point question? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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How level should a trailer sit? and anchor point question?

I need to use a drop ball on my jeep since it is lifted. Am I right in assuming that the trailer should sit dead level in an ideal world? And since this is not an ideal world, I have a 2" drop now and it seems that I would need around a total of 6 or 7" drop to make the trailer level. Do I need to buy another ball mount hitch with the larger drop or am I OK as is?

Also, The wheel chock and anchor points are not lining up on top of a steel frame rail. I am thinking of using deck screws to mount a 12" long 2x4 under the plywood top wherever I need a bolt. Then put the bolts through the 2 1/4" of plywood and 2x4 "flooring". That will give substantially more strength than just the plywood, but is that enough? How else do you mount an anchor point? e-tracks are not an option this year.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boilermaker View Post
I need to use a drop ball on my jeep since it is lifted. Am I right in assuming that the trailer should sit dead level in an ideal world? And since this is not an ideal world, I have a 2" drop now and it seems that I would need around a total of 6 or 7" drop to make the trailer level. Do I need to buy another ball mount hitch with the larger drop or am I OK as is?

Also, The wheel chock and anchor points are not lining up on top of a steel frame rail. I am thinking of using deck screws to mount a 12" long 2x4 under the plywood top wherever I need a bolt. Then put the bolts through the 2 1/4" of plywood and 2x4 "flooring". That will give substantially more strength than just the plywood, but is that enough? How else do you mount an anchor point? e-tracks are not an option this year.
Yes, you want it level and not "dolphining" the load rating on the trailer will be compromised. If its a dual axle, and loaded heavily, you will be putting all the load on the rear axle which could also be problematic(overload the weight rating on the tires or axle etc).

Your 2x4 solution should work. Use large fender washers.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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The trailer is a single axle harbor freight special. ~1200# capacity and will only have the weight of the decking and one bike on it now. The rest of the daily gear is going in the Jeep, and I know I am fine with that load rating in the Jeep/

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 01:31 PM
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Based on that, i would be more inclined to make sure it is level. Those arent the sturdiest frames ya know.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 01:33 PM
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As Kegger mentioned, as level as you can get it. Also, in case you did not know, the tongue weight should be only 10% of the loaded trailer weight. You can measure that with a bathroom scale.

On that note, I've seen people do some crazy packing and non level towing without any issues, but if you can be close to those guidelines, you will be safer and have a better experience.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 01:37 PM
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nose down just a c-hair, little more weight forward of the axle then rear of trailer axle.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 02:05 PM
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what mopar says, that sets the trailer up for the greatest stability when towing.

nose high as well load biasing to the rear of the trailer sets it up to start swaying at speed, not something thats enjoyable at all.

youll want the bike pretty close to the nost of the trailer

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 02:08 PM
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youll want the bike pretty close to the nost of the trailer
with a tandem?

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 02:11 PM
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tandem what? axle?

hes got a harborfreight trailer only 1 axle

as for the double axle trailers,I dont know their nuances in loading as i dont have any experience with one

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2weelpilot View Post
with a tandem?
with any trailer. tandem can just take more overall load, but you still want the weight as far forward as possible without overloading the vehicle towing it. this will make her stable.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 02:14 PM
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when i had my 2500 truck and towing my twin axle car trailer, i could put the car so far forward i dont think any weight was on the rear axle

had that puppy to 117mph thru the mountains in PA and that trailer never got out of whack even when i was full on the hooks trying not to hit things..

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoparBoyy View Post
when i had my 2500 truck and towing my twin axle car trailer, i could put the car so far forward i dont think any weight was on the rear axle

had that puppy to 117mph thru the mountains in PA and that trailer never got out of whack even when i was full on the hooks trying not to hit things..
the problem with giving advice like this in general, is that it may be fine for a class IV hitch and 2500, but someone towing with a class one hitch and a civic can easily over do it on the tongue weight and be dangerous.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 02:25 PM
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the problem with giving advice like this in general, is that it may be fine for a class IV hitch and 2500, but someone towing with a class one hitch and a civic can easily over do it on the tongue weight and be dangerous.
perhaps you should have viewed the post above the one you quoted

Quote:
tandem can just take more overall load, but you still want the weight as far forward as possible without overloading the vehicle towing it. this will make her stable.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoparBoyy View Post
perhaps you should have viewed the post above the one you quoted
I've read the post, but forgot about it b/c your subsequent one was more exciting.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 03:56 PM
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you want 10% of the combined trailer and load weight on the trailer ball.

Really hard to accomplish with a nose up attitude. I try to get it about 1" nose down, and I use a scale to adjust the bike forward or back to get the proper tongue weight.

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips. I'm looking at getting the adjustable drop ball, so I can use it on the next trailer I get down the road as well. I'm a single guy, so no bathroom scales around here. I figure I'll just set up the trailer and see if the tongue is about the same weight as a bag of concrete.

For now, I am just going to have the bike on the trailer, and nothing else. I am thinking about mounting some permanent storage to the trailer later on and offsetting the bike to the left side of the trailer. If I do that, should I still hope to have the center on weight down the centerline of the trailer, or does it matter if 65% of the weight is on the left tire and 35% is on the right. (Assume I am not overloading the trailer or each spring.)

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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 12:11 AM
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leaf springs, keep the trailer as balanced side to side as possible

-Jason
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