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garrymny

Trailer sway

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Thanks just put two new tires on and I don't even Know if they are radials! My neighbor down the road is a tire man and I just leave the bad ones and he calls me next day with news ones on. Convenient. I will check and see. Load range C is what he out on I did notice that last night.

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Believe you have two problems with your setup both of which are safety issues. 1. With a capacity of 3400lbs you are likely overloaded when everything in the boat is added up-boat, motors, fuel, tackle, life jackets, coolers, rod holders, down riggers and electronics.  The GAWR of 4474 is trailer load capacity plus the trailer weight so if you weigh trailer you should not go over that.  With 4 load range C tires your tires should more than cover the GAWR.  2. Not enough tongue weight which can cause sway which can cause you to loose control.  Not an uncommon issue with a trolling boat as many add on’s go on the rear of the boat like kickers and downriggers which move load balance to rear lessening tongue weight.  There is some adjustment on boat trailers to correct tongue weight.  With problem 1 overload you either remove weight or replace trailer.  Seems like somebody put this boat on an under sized trailer at some point so replacing trailer the likely fix.  Looks like you travel on Thruway and expressways so you really need a properly sized trailer.  Maybe you can find a reasonably priced trailer this fall.

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Not to pile on but to give a recent observation from someone else. I know someone with 27' CC. New boat and new trailer. Via some screw ups with the dealer and him not doing some of his own dilligence the trailer did not have a sufficient load rating. His initial symptom was blowing out a bearing and finding another ready to go. Keep in mind this was a new trailer and he was only going an hour each way and the trailer was only for winter storage as he had the boat in a rack at the marina. The trailer bearings went at the end of season 1. He had perhaps 3 hours of road travel.

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I see many problems from too small of a trailer, to improper balance and hitch height. While you can make multiple adjustments to improve the situation, you’d be best served making those adjustments on a more appropriately capacity and size matched trailer.

 

Start by loading the boat up with a full tank of gas and all the gear you normally trail. Take it to a certified public weigh station near you. Weigh the trailer two ways - first with the tires and tongue on the scale to determine the weight, and the second is with the tires off and only the hitch (or front jack-stand) on the scale.

 

This will help you understand the current setup capacity and balance. The total weight should not go over about 75-80% of your trailer’s rated capacity. This means you need, for example, an 8000 lb trailer for 6000lb of loaded and gassed up boat. This capacity overhead allows extra capacity to handle the pounding of rough roads and the windage loads of a tall boat with windshield and stand-up canvas system.

 

It’s my belief that when you weigh the fully loaded boat and check the trailer capacity you’ll find you are well beyond the 75-80% of the trailer’s rated full capacity. If not, then there’s a lot of adjustments to be made including possible a new hitch to level the trailer tongue, repositioning of the winch stand and boat on the trailer to get rollers directly under the transom, and repositioning of the axles under the trailer to adjust balance and achieve a 12-15% (combined boat and trailer) tongue weight at the hitch.

 

 

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I have towed a bunch of trailers and I can tell you right now your biggest problem is your tongue is light and your truck hitch is to high you can see the trailer is not making your truck squat at all and it should. I would do 2 things get a hitch that is lower and move the winch tower about 10 inches forward to start with . I would not tow it any more like that it looks dangerous. I have seen people crash because of trailers just like that. People don't understand how dangerous it is to tow a trailer that has bad weight balance and light tongue weight is the worst. It can actually pick the back of the truck up so much in on a curve that it pushed you off the road or in to on coming traffic.

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It looks like the easiest quick fix might be to just turn over your receiver I can't tell for sure but it looks you have the receiver in with the curve going up take the ball off turn it over in over so it has drop not rise and put the ball back on that will help a bunch. I would still look in to moving the boat forward too.

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You are correct. I used the same ball and hitch that I used for the Nissan. It had to be turned over with the ball higher to level the tongue. With this F150, it made the tongue too high. So, I got a new hitch and ball because I could not get the old ball off to reverse it. This lowered the tongue 3 or 4 inches. I also moved the winch forward 4 inches and these two things made a big difference. I have no more sway so far and it even feels"heavier" when I drive. Thanks for all the responses. I will weigh the boat and trailer to see where I am at for capacity. But at least the sway seems to be solved.

It looks like the easiest quick fix might be to just turn over your receiver I can't tell for sure but it looks you have the receiver in with the curve going up take the ball off turn it over in over so it has drop not rise and put the ball back on that will help a bunch. I would still look in to moving the boat forward too.

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@garymny, I just got through reading through all this and there is a lot of good advice that shouldn't be taken lightly. The last thing you want is an accident. Loss of control or a trailer failure can destroy your boat, trailer and vehicle. It can also cause serious injury or even death to you, your passengers and possibly other travelers. Just like being aware and mitigating all the dangers that can occour while on the water, it is equally important on the road. You can be driving down the road nice and smooth with everything seemingly fine and then all hell can break loose. Reading everything you can about trailer safety and taking measures to maximize safety as well as frequently inspecting tires (including pressure) bearings (including lube and checking for heat and play), and structural integrity of trailer and it's components (including boat support, axle and axle suspension components).

 

With a dual axle trailer like you have, which I assume also has a brake system, having it level is very important so that the weight is distributed evenly on all four tires. And keeping the brake system in good condition is also important.

 

Being at or over the weight limit of the trailer is very dangerous. If you are close, it might be a good idea to carry some of your heavier gear like loaded coolers in the vehicle. The structure of the trailer and suspension components are designed to handle the rated load. If you are at or above that rating it is only a matter of time till something fails. On some of our roads, it will take a beating and the springs only absorb so much of the shock and vibration. You can develop metal fatigue causing cracks which can cause major failure of the structure. You don't want an axle to break out from under your trailer at 60 mph on the highway. It is also best to make sure the boat is rigidly held down to the trailer. If it isn't and it bounces on it's supports, it can cause undue stress and possible damage to the hull and trailer components. Also keep in mind that stress failure can happen even when you keep below maximum limits.

Edited by muskiedreams

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One thing I didn't see mentioned here (may have missed it) is wheel base. Is your new truck a shorter wheel base? That can have a huge effect on sway! That coupled with all else mentioned can make the difference. I looked at your pics and while trailer looks slightly small, if weight rating is appropriate, and you moved the stantion forward to increase tongue, and lowered the hitch, you should be ok. In pic I saw, looked like your rear rollers were very close to transom. My 22ft Chawk has been like that thru 3 trailers. And I have driven it 10k miles. The only time I had sway issues was w my short wheel 91 K5 Blazer. With that truck, before I increased tongue, she would sway any time I reached 60. lol

Edited by hntnfsh00
typo

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Longer wheel base with this truck. I think moving the boat forward and lowering the hitch ball fixed the sway. I will investigate the weight issue further. Bearings and tires are good, as are the brakes.

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Good luck with it garrymny ....hope it all works out well and safely:smile:

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