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Unread 09-10-2013, 09:22 PM   #61
chris87xj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uniblurb View Post
So if there's not enough tongue weight, at least 10%, is that what would cause the trailer to wag back/forth when going down hill?
Exactly.
Downhill isn't even necessary. If the balance is far enough out of whack it'll do it on flat land. With a trailer almost in good balance, the little bit of trailer push on a downhill can be enough to start the wagging oscillation. As can wind; higher speeds; applying the brakes; a quick manuever such as an evasive to avoid something in the road; rough expansion joints, or even merely changing lanes - particularly when there's a grade difference between them such as where a merge lane meets the highway. People get into problems when they've been cruising along fine just riding the edge of wagging and then suddenly one or two of these other things factors in and push things over the edge.

In cases of badly off-balance trailers, once the oscillation starts it can be impossible to stop and instead quickly get worse and worse until the trailer tries to pass the tow vehicle and they both end up on their side. Using the brakes of the towing vehicle and a trailer w/o brakes results in the same trailer push as a downhill grade does.

I'm not sure how much a donut spare weighs, but you're not looking for a whole lot to get in the comfort zone. Anything moved from the back of the XJ to the front of the trailer will decrease the load on the rear suspension thus increasing steerability and also improving trailer balance. I've run with too little weight on the front tires before too and don't like it at all. Every little bump makes it want to float and wander as the suspension bounces weight on and off the steering tires. I hate to ask but have to wonder what the weight bearing capacity of a donut spare is. I guess if need be it could be installed on the front axle where the load is significantly less in order to limp to a tire repair place.

Pulling a good load can be more difficult than many people realize but I think you're really close here to getting it dialed in, which makes all the difference.



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Unread 09-10-2013, 11:26 PM   #62
Uniblurb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
Exactly.
Downhill isn't even necessary. If the balance is far enough out of whack it'll do it on flat land. With a trailer almost in good balance, the little bit of trailer push on a downhill can be enough to start the wagging oscillation. As can wind; higher speeds; applying the brakes; a quick manuever such as an evasive to avoid something in the road; rough expansion joints, or even merely changing lanes - particularly when there's a grade difference between them such as where a merge lane meets the highway. People get into problems when they've been cruising along fine just riding the edge of wagging and then suddenly one or two of these other things factors in and push things over the edge.

In cases of badly off-balance trailers, once the oscillation starts it can be impossible to stop and instead quickly get worse and worse until the trailer tries to pass the tow vehicle and they both end up on their side. Using the brakes of the towing vehicle and a trailer w/o brakes results in the same trailer push as a downhill grade does.

I'm not sure how much a donut spare weighs, but you're not looking for a whole lot to get in the comfort zone. Anything moved from the back of the XJ to the front of the trailer will decrease the load on the rear suspension thus increasing steerability and also improving trailer balance. I've run with too little weight on the front tires before too and don't like it at all. Every little bump makes it want to float and wander as the suspension bounces weight on and off the steering tires. I hate to ask but have to wonder what the weight bearing capacity of a donut spare is. I guess if need be it could be installed on the front axle where the load is significantly less in order to limp to a tire repair place.

Pulling a good load can be more difficult than many people realize but I think you're really close here to getting it dialed in, which makes all the difference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfeyBxuIZOU

Thanks for all the good info Chris and as usual I'll pass it along to my son.

I've driven out to the west coast a couple times and know how those semi trucks can blow you all over the road. Let alone if you were hauling a trailer downhill and can just imagine one wagging.

I'll see if we can move the donut and anything else of weight in the back to the tongue. It's taken quite a bit of time, and moving stuff off/around, but believe we're getting it tweaked.

BTW, I saw somebody mention using a hitch sway bar to help control wagging. Did some searching and they seemed kind of pricey. Not sure if I'd have to the time to order one anyhow since he's hoping to leave by the end of the week or on the weekend.

Oh, and before he gets out of here he has a bunch of weights and other stuff to help me pack/load up while taking it down to the freight warehouse for shipping. Not ME >
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Unread 09-11-2013, 03:01 AM   #63
anony
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It appears your open trailer is more sensitive to load distribution. Starts out with a much lighter base weight and tw. (opposite from my enclosed TA the tw unladen is similar to some loaded trailers.)

Your trailer may have been built with the 60/40 rule and too heavy of items are in the rear of the trailer. Some specialty trailers didn't follow the 60/40 rule.

If you have a ~300 lb. scale you could place it under the tongue and load the trailer to get the TW up to where it should be.

If your looking for weight dist. gear. Places such as U-Haul usually sell and sometimes rent smaller items such as tow bars, weight dist. , etc.

Weight dist. hitch ... TW selection is from 600 lbs to 1000 lbs ..

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Curt-Round...Hitch/17385932

Weight distribution

http://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Weig...tribution.aspx

Sway control

http://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Weig...trol_Only.aspx
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Unread 09-11-2013, 08:31 AM   #64
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Thanks for all the info and links anony.

After working 3-4 hours in the 95 degree heat/humidity yesterday in moving items around, tarping it, strapping it down we're done with packing/unpacking and stick a fork in me. The exception is adding some additional weight to the tongue.

I saw the same sway bar hitch in your links and may check with uhaul if they have something similar to rent before I'll pay $260 + tax for a one way trip. He's planning on selling the trailer once he hits S. Cal since he'll have no use for it and to try to recover the money invested.

My son has a huge roll of shrink wrap and before he leaves he wants to wrap the whole load/trailer, even including going under the trailer and on top of the tarps/straps, to protect it more. Personally I think this is a bad idea and I'm going to try to talk him out of it. Since the items/tarps are right up against the inside rails you'll have to wrap in on the outside of the rails which is going to leave a 2-3" air gap on the front/sides. And the whole trailer will have a bigger image for the wind to catch and push the trailer around. Wonder what others think about this shrink wrap idea? Thanks!
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Unread 09-11-2013, 10:48 AM   #65
ECL
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I think shrink wrap, done this way, will just blow off after a while. No harm but probably not much help.
I know you don't to hear this now but when I did this, I did it "bathtub" style - laid the open tarp in the trailer, piled everything in, then folded the excess over the top, then strapped down. Had to put a second tarp over sections where the tarp fell "short".
The key is lots of straps and ropes to keep the tarp from fluttering in the breeze. A couple hours of fluttering and the tarp will be shredded. Trust me....
And take a few rolls of duct tape too.
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Unread 09-11-2013, 12:10 PM   #66
SuperSam
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http://www.harborfreight.com/trailer...kit-96462.html

I've been using this sway bar for a couple of years with great success on a lot of heavy loads. You just need access to a welder, or a ball hitch made for it to skip the welding for the smaller ball.
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Unread 09-11-2013, 12:45 PM   #67
Uniblurb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECL View Post
I think shrink wrap, done this way, will just blow off after a while. No harm but probably not much help.
I know you don't to hear this now but when I did this, I did it "bathtub" style - laid the open tarp in the trailer, piled everything in, then folded the excess over the top, then strapped down. Had to put a second tarp over sections where the tarp fell "short".
The key is lots of straps and ropes to keep the tarp from fluttering in the breeze. A couple hours of fluttering and the tarp will be shredded. Trust me....
And take a few rolls of duct tape too.
I think I've talked him out of the shrink wrap deal. Agree, it would probably just loosen up with wind/heat where it isn't right up against the tarps or stuck to the shrink wrap itself.

Yeah, we did it the same way where it's "bathtub" style. Have a large tarp under the load, pulled it up, then put a big tarp over the whole load clear down to the deck. We didn't use cheap tarps either and pretty pricey/thick mil ones with reinforced corners. Not sure if we'll be using any duct tape since I have every eyelet showing tied down with nylon rope in addition to all the straps on it.

Thanks for the input!
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Unread 09-11-2013, 12:46 PM   #68
anony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uniblurb View Post
Thanks for all the info and links anony.

Since the items/tarps are right up against the inside rails you'll have to wrap in on the outside of the rails which is going to leave a 2-3" air gap on the front/sides. And the whole trailer will have a bigger image for the wind to catch and push the trailer around. Wonder what others think about this shrink wrap idea? Thanks!
Plastic shrink wrap might work ok for a one-way trip ... I don't know if it would tear and blow off or not.

What you have in the pic looks ok, I can't see the material it appears to be stronger than a blue poly tarp. You could add a few more straps to help prevent tearing. For tie down applications, materials such as parachute cord, netting, fish net, twine, wood slats, etc. work ok to secure covers and some types of objects.

It appears from your pics you already have a fairly low profile, that shouldn't effect wind resistance too much.

If your worried about it you could try inserting some plywood, used sheet metal, etc. along the sides, between the loaded items and trailer sides.

Normally I use either canvas tarps such as found at Harbor Freight or PVC

and have a couple of PVC tarps from Northern Tool, more expensive but last longer than most poly vinyl tarps, have good wind and road debris resistance.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...9975_200329975

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...rial-pvc-tarps

There are heavy duty poly vinyl tarps manufactured for industrial use, over the road applications ..

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...1842_200611842
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Unread 09-11-2013, 12:54 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSam View Post
http://www.harborfreight.com/trailer...kit-96462.html

I've been using this sway bar for a couple of years with great success on a lot of heavy loads. You just need access to a welder, or a ball hitch made for it to skip the welding for the smaller ball.
Thanks for the link and that's more in our price range! I read every review and does seem like there's some install problems with the cheap screws they give you. Maybe that's why you mentioned a welder? I may have to search out the install instructions if we go for it.

Guess I really don't understand how it works with clutches/springs and does it extend the the tongue further back from the regular hitch while using a different ball?
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-Stalling ZJ? 12 things to check before replacing a sensor; the Dirty Dozen
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Unread 09-11-2013, 01:05 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anony View Post
Plastic shrink wrap might work ok for a one-way trip ... I don't know if it would tear and blow off or not.

What you have in the pic looks ok, I can't see the material it appears to be stronger than a blue poly tarp. You could add a few more straps to help prevent tearing.

If your worried about it you could try inserting some plywood along the sides, between the loaded items and trailer sides.

I use to have a small open trailer and added some wood slats along the sides using the square openings similar to those found on a pickup bed, and used canvas if needed as a cover.

I use either canvas tarps such as found at Harbor Freight or PVC

and have a couple of PVC tarps from Northern Tool, more expensive but last much longer than most poly vinyl tarps, have good wind and road debris resistance.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...9975_200329975

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...rial-pvc-tarps
Thanks again for the input! We just had some real severe thunder storms roll through with quite a bit of rain. This is another reason for not using the shrink wrap because wouldn't want to use it on wet straps or if the decking is wet underneath.

The load is so close/tight to the inside rail we could barely get the tarps or straps behind the top rail. So installing wood on the front/sides is now out of the equation.

Those look like some real good tarps in your links. We didn't spend anything close to that and used the below tarps from Lowes which are 10 mil thick. Probably considered middle grade.

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?...llow&cId=PDIO1
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-Stalling ZJ? 12 things to check before replacing a sensor; the Dirty Dozen
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Unread 09-11-2013, 01:11 PM   #71
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The way you got the trailer wrapped will be fine, no need for shrink wrap. Send him with a couple of rolls of Gorilla tape, NOT DUCT TAPE, to make repairs. Gorilla tape does lots better in the rain.

Any tarp issues will show up pretty early in the trip, along with any loose tie downs. That is why truckers stop and check stuff after the first 25, then 100 miles. Have him do the same.

After the test drive, he said that sway was no longer an issue, I wouldn't bother with the sway controller.
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Unread 09-11-2013, 03:20 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uniblurb View Post
Thanks again for the input! We just had some real severe thunder storms roll through with quite a bit of rain. This is another reason for not using the shrink wrap because wouldn't want to use it on wet straps or if the decking is wet underneath.

The load is so close/tight to the inside rail we could barely get the tarps or straps behind the top rail. So installing wood on the front/sides is now out of the equation.

Those look like some real good tarps in your links. We didn't spend anything close to that and used the below tarps from Lowes which are 10 mil thick. Probably considered middle grade.

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?...llow&cId=PDIO1
The middle grade / weight gray tarps usually work just fine, if properly secured. The lighter grade tarps have a tendency to tear in high wind.

The heavier industrial grade tarps last longer ... usually have heavier grommets, stronger materials, etc. and can be used for other things. I made an awning out of one of the PVC tarps ..... one side is cloth fibers, similar to upholstery .. the other side is water proofed, pvc.

Nylon cord/rope and 550 & 750 Parachute cord is what I use sometimes for additional securing of loads and tarps ... crisscrossing the tarp and load also good for off-road, tent camping, boot laces, etc. 550 parachute cord can be found for less than $10.00 for a 100 foot roll.

I prefer a good hemp rope and still have some one inch and larger, works well for for securing loads, can be used for pulling things, etc. was more common years ago ... It is not as affordable compared to the cost of similar strength nylon rope.
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Unread 09-11-2013, 05:33 PM   #73
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http://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Distr...ies/83660.html
http://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Distr...urt/17200.html
if you look at the pics in the reviews for the various models it will show you a basic setup. Pretty much it is just an adjustable clamp that changes how much force is required to pivot the trailer around the main ball hitch. The smaller ball is offset to allow the whole system to move without binding up. On the harborfreight kit this is the part that needs welding, or you can get one of these
http://www.etrailer.com/Ball-Mounts/Curt/D320.html

I actually welded the two plates together (HBRFT version only, others look like they're one single plate) and used some heavy U-bolts to secure it to the tongue so I could move it to different trailers. Or you can just drill all the way through and get some bolts for it.

Amazon also has various flavors of all the things you will need if you go that direction.
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Unread 09-12-2013, 02:05 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anony View Post
The middle grade / weight gray tarps usually work just fine, if properly secured. The lighter grade tarps have a tendency to tear in high wind.

The heavier industrial grade tarps last longer ... usually have heavier grommets, stronger materials, etc. and can be used for other things. I made an awning out of one of the PVC tarps ..... one side is cloth fibers, similar to upholstery .. the other side is water proofed, pvc.

Nylon cord/rope and 550 & 750 Parachute cord is what I use sometimes for additional securing of loads and tarps ... crisscrossing the tarp and load also good for off-road, tent camping, boot laces, etc. 550 parachute cord can be found for less than $10.00 for a 100 foot roll.

I prefer a good hemp rope and still have some one inch and larger, works well for for securing loads, can be used for pulling things, etc. was more common years ago ... It is not as affordable compared to the cost of similar strength nylon rope.
I've experimented with a whole lot of different kinds of tarps since I use firewood as the only heat source in our big ole house for 25+ years. Cut, split, burn about 7-8 cords a year and keep it constantly covered with tarps. You'll know if you bought poor quality tarps but it's not worth going with the best ones because the falling tree crap/heat/sun will break them down eventually.

We used to use hemp ropes at work and they're good ones. I haven't really used 550 parachute cord before, sounds like a good deal, and will need to look for some. Thanks!
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-Stalling ZJ? 12 things to check before replacing a sensor; the Dirty Dozen
-Crankshaft position sensor multimeter test. & video of testing.
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Unread 09-12-2013, 02:10 AM   #75
Uniblurb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSam View Post
http://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Distr...ies/83660.html
http://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Distr...urt/17200.html
if you look at the pics in the reviews for the various models it will show you a basic setup. Pretty much it is just an adjustable clamp that changes how much force is required to pivot the trailer around the main ball hitch. The smaller ball is offset to allow the whole system to move without binding up. On the harborfreight kit this is the part that needs welding, or you can get one of these
http://www.etrailer.com/Ball-Mounts/Curt/D320.html

I actually welded the two plates together (HBRFT version only, others look like they're one single plate) and used some heavy U-bolts to secure it to the tongue so I could move it to different trailers. Or you can just drill all the way through and get some bolts for it.

Amazon also has various flavors of all the things you will need if you go that direction.
Ahh, now I see how they work and know what you mean about using a welder for welding the tab on. Thanks for the info and links while this photo in one of them seemed to spell it out.

http://www.etrailer.com/Merchant2/gr...143_r1_800.jpg

BTW, I noticed in the above photo the trailer tongue is high because it's on a PU truck. Still there's no foot on the tongue jack. I wonder if it wouldn't be best to remove the foot off the tongue of my son's trailer since when fully cranked up the bottom of the foot is only about 2-3" from the ground? Sure wouldn't want it digging into the pavement if he hit a big bump. Also the crossed safety chains are only about 2" from the ground but guess you can't twist them too much since you need the length for tight turns.
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-Stalling ZJ? 12 things to check before replacing a sensor; the Dirty Dozen
-Crankshaft position sensor multimeter test. & video of testing.
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