[TowerTalk] Building a Tower Trailer

Dino Darling dino at k6rix.com
Tue Jun 27 14:58:38 EDT 2006

The rule is 10% to 15% of the weight of the trailer on the tongue.

If you are building a special purpose trailer, like a tower trailer, 
with a fixed and predictable load, this is easy to do.  Build the 
trailer, but don't weld on the suspension components yet.  Weigh the 
entire trailer (for small trailers, 3 quality scales work fine; one 
under each wheel and one under the TONGUE!).  If the trailer weighs 
500 lbs, you want 50 to 75 lbs on the tongue.  You accomplish this by 
sliding the axle forward or backward.  For a small trailer, go for the 15%!

If you are building a flat bed trailer that could have a number of 
different loads, I'd shoot for 12% for the raw trailer and make sure 
you load it properly!

For lateral issues with center of gravity, you can either use a wider 
axle or lower the height of the tower being mounted.  I have never 
gotten our club trailer up on one wheel and I tow it at 85MPH all the 
time!  Normal speed is 60MPH however...but sometimes I'm not paying 
too much attention to speed.  This trailer has never oscillated!

Aluminum trailers are not cost effective!  Those boys are expensive 
and you better get a real good paint job!

A far as brakes go, here in California, if your trailer weighs more 
than 1500#, you need brakes!  I recommend electric brakes (and 
Tekonsha Brake Controllers) if it is YOUR trailer.  If different 
vehicles are going to tow your trailer, surge hydraulic actuated 
brakes should be used as not every vehicle will be equipped with an 
electric brake controller.  Keep it under 1500# and you don't have to 
worry about brakes!

Here is a manufacturer of a scale I've used to build trailers.  This 
section has hints about trailer design and use also...

See here for more info from the CA DMV... (since Kelly lives in CA!)


At 10:37 AM 6/27/2006, JC Smith wrote:

>Your CG problem was more likely the CG too far back as opposed to too high
>(although that's not good either).  More weight on the hitch usually
>prevents the oscillation.

(This reply has been properly edited to only include the subject at 
hand.  All other headers, footers, etc, have been duly eliminated)

Dino - K6RIX
dino at k6rix.com 

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