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Trailer load question and air bag update

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Old 04-14-2008, 02:11 PM
TWG TWG is offline
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Trailer load question and air bag update

I have a 20' enclosed trailer with dual axles. I haul a small two seater sand rail in it. The rail prolly weighs about 1500lbs (if that) and most of the weight is in the back of the rail with the VW air-cooled motor. If I pull the rail into the trailer forwards, the front wheels go well past the trailer axles but the back of the rail (and the most weight) is at the back of the trailer. Does this matter? Should I back the rail in to put more weight towards the front of the trailer?

Also, I had posted on one of these threads that I got the Firestone airbags installed but had a leak. Well I took the given advice and found the leak. But when I tried to disconnect the air line at the bag, I couldn't get the collar to move and couldn't disconnect it. But, when I was done fidgeting with it, the leak stopped. I'm towing with the bags for the first time on Thursday. I'll keep a close eye on the pressure and see if they hold.
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:04 PM
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The best way to do it, especially in a completely unknown condition such as yours, would be to weigh the trailer with a full load in it. Then figure out the tounge weight. (if you don't know how to do that, it's been discussed or we can go over it again). Your tounge weight should be at least 10% of the total weight of the trailer. How the load is in there to give you that figure is irrelevant. But, since you have air bags, you could definately put it in there backwards and tow it and see how it works out for you.

I have a 23' toy hauler that I pull two race bikes in. Total weight of both bikes is right around 800 lbs and probably 90% of that 800 lbs sits behind the rear axle of the trailer...thus taking weight off the tounge. My trailer pulls better and the truck drives noticeably better with the bikes in instead of empty. Not a huge difference, nor nothing negative, just noticeable.
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:58 PM
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You should always have more weight to the front of the trailer. If you do not have 8-15% of the towed weight in tongue weight, you are an accident waiting to happen. The trailer will start to swing at higher speeds, and will if not controlled quickly, the "tail will, wag the dog". Saw this happen with a friend, put them right into the ditch.
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:04 PM
TWG TWG is offline
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I have been towing it for two years pulling the rail forward into the trailer without a problem. I'm just trying to figure out what is best now. When I first started towing this trailer two years ago, I was very naive and not prepared.

Although I've never had a problem, I have added weight dist bars, antisway bar and the air bags just to be safe. Figuring out the tongue weight will be next. I did get instructions on how to do that in another thread.

Thanks for the info.

Last edited by TWG; 04-14-2008 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:37 PM
TWG TWG is offline
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New air bag update. Seemed to ride worse with A.B.s?

I made my first trip with the air bags installed. I had them at 10psi when I hooked up the trailer. My rear end sagged 2 1/2 inches as usual. I then connected my WDBs which brought me up to about 1 1/4 inches of sag. This is how I have been towing for the last year or two. So I pumped up my air bags until the rear end was back to the no-load height. It took about 50 PSI to do this. Now this is where I can't figure out if my mind was playing tricks on me. I never really felt any significant bounce or sway before I had the bags. I just put them on to be safe. But I swear I was feeling more bounce and maybe a little more sway than before. But maybe I was just more aware of it cause I was paying attention to the bags. So I decreased the PSI to 45 and then to 40. The sag in the truck worsened but it seemed to tow better. Am I crazy?
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:41 PM
glc glc is offline
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No, you do have to find the sweet spot between ride, handling, and sag. Your WD setup is handling a lot of the extra load, you don't want to overinflate the bags.
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:59 PM
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At higher pressures you are feeling the tow vehicle tires bounce.
There is a sure sweet spot that feels good though and can only be found in trial and error.

If you raised the truck all the way to unloaded height you probably have too much air in the bags.
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:14 PM
TWG TWG is offline
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Thanks for the input.

Another thing I forgot to mention was that I noticed all 4 of my truck tires were 10 PSI low. I probably have a tech at one of my oil changes to thank for that. Who knows how long they have been low. This was also my first trip on new trailer tires.

So I had 1. new air bags, 2. new trailer tires and 3. different PSI in the truck tires. I guess I shouldn't be suprised I found so much difference in the ride.

I'll keep messing with the set up til I find the "sweet spot." I already noticed some difference just dropping 5 PSI in the air bags.

Thanks again for the input
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