That is not a idle consideration. About 40 years ago my then wife and I
were relocating to a new QTH with all of our belongings packed into an
overloaded U-Haul trailer being towed by our car. At one point my wife
was driving at a conservative speed (well less than the speed limit) in
the right hand lane of a major highway ... three lanes in each direction
with a median between them. Suddenly the trailer started to violently
oscillate side to side, increasing in sideways travel with each swing.
Unfortunately my wife touched the brakes to try to slow down, which only
aggravated the situation. The trailer tossed us back and forth for what
seemed like an eternity, literally picked the rear of the car off the
ground a few times, and then deposited us on the median pointed the
direction from which we had just come. Luckily there were no other
vehicles around us at the time and nobody was injured ... and I'm amazed
to this day that the hitch held.
We had already driven for several hours at that same speed, and the
stretch of highway where all this happened was the smoothest stretch of
road you'd ever want to see. My car suspension was tight (I had beefed
it up with stiffer springs, etc) and the trailer had no defects. The
problem was strictly due to the combination of too much weight in the
wrong place in the trailer.
This is one of those situations where conservatism could save your life,
or more importantly that of someone else.
On 12/2/2010 6:14 PM, EZ Rhino wrote:
> One other thing I haven't heard mentioned yet. Putting a 2k pound tower that
> is 22' long (nested) on a typical 16' or 18' car hauler flatbed trailer means
> you've got several feet of tower sticking out the rear. This means the
> weight is not centered over the axles; in fact, it is too far over the rear
> end. Guess what happens when you start moving at freeway speeds? The
> trailer will sway, possibly violently, and can easily cause an accident. A
> certain amount of tongue weight needs to be maintained to prevent this.
> Putting the tower on the trailer with the base end toward the tow vehicle is
> important; more weight may be needed to get it right. A quick side trip to
> Home Despot for some 80 pound sacks of concrete to put on the front of the
> trailer can provide enough ballast to make it tow without swaying. The
> aforementioned boat trailer works nicely for towers because the axles are
> further to the rear to handle the rearward weight of boats.
> I hauled a buddy's US TOwer HDX572 on my trailer and it did sway a bit at
> about 60mph (or faster). We only had to move it about 10 miles, so we kept
> the speed down and it was fine.
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