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NorCaliBu

Single Axle Trailer

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NorCaliBu

How close to level does my trailer need to be? And where do I measure it from?

I just got a new truck (shameless bragging :) ) and it is quite a bit taller than the truck I used to tow with. I have been trying to figure out if I need a 4" drop, 5" drop, or 6"drop.

Obviously the downside of the tongue being high is the prop guard will drag easily. Any serious downsides to the tongue being a little low?

(just trying to contribute to meaningful dialog ;) )

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Slider

You are a little better off tongue low then high. The only real down side to a little low is tongue weight, but if you have a new truck doubtless you bought a HD.

Joe

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SacRiverRat

Level to slight nose low is better than nose high - what do you care anyway, you only tow yours like 1/2 mile or something right? Biggrin.gif

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SacRiverRat

[Troy hi-5's Joe]

Nice consistent response - will make good search material later :)

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RoverOn

Michael:

What kind of truck...6" seems like a lot...

I have an Excursion and only run a 4"drop...but I wonder if the dual axle 23' trailer is a little taller....

Dave

Edited by RoverOn

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Slider

I run a 6" lifted Chev 2500HD and have to use a 7" drop on a 04 Extreme Tandem.

Joe

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NorCaliBu

Ram Quad Cab 4X4. Stock sneakers are ~30" tall. Receiver is mounted right up under the step-bumper, it's fanny seems a little high and my little Sporty barely moves it at all (if at all). I have a ~7.5 drop for my FJ40 Landcruiser but that's too much.

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stewart

Tongue weight, or the downward force of your trailer on the hitch of the vehicle, should be 5 - 15% of the fully loaded boat weight for proper balance of the load. Tongue weight and the locking lever together hold the trailer down on the car. One trailer manufacturer we consulted said they found 7% to be an optimum figure for their trailers. Don't forget to check the maximum tongue and tow weights for your vehicle/hitch.

That said, Exreme trailers especially tandems with surge brakes like to be towed level to slightly above level (not much). We have had our share of Extremes hooked up and all of theones that were lower than level at the tongue like to lock up at every occasion.

I vote for level.

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NorCaliBu

$60 for that actually isn't that bad. A solid one is gonna hit me for $30. I wonder what shipping would be on that. It can't be light.

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NorCaliBu
I vote for level.

Good info Stewart, thanks. I have the "mechanical" version of surge brakes (not sure what they call them). The forward pressure applies the brakes kinda-thing.

As far as "finding level"....just measure from the frame tubes down to the ground anywhere along the trailer?

Edited by NorCaliBu

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Slider
I vote for level.

Good info Stewart, thanks. I have the "mechanical" version of surge brakes (not sure what they call them). The forward pressure applies the brakes kinda-thing.

As far as "finding level"....just measure from the frame tubes down to the ground anywhere along the trailer?

That is correct. Check your ht at the tongue and at the frame rail at the rear of the trailer before it dips for the prop cage. Make them match. Measure from the ground to the bottom of your reciever hitch tube, the difference should be the amount of drop on your hitch.

Joe

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NorCaliBu
- what do you care anyway, you only tow yours like 1/2 mile or something right?  Biggrin.gif

Yeah, so? Actually we're doing 3 1/2 hours to McClure in a month and 1/2.

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whiteVLX

Michael,

I use a 4" drop on my 2500 LB Ram QC 4x4 and my trailer sits perfectly level. I'm running 265/75 tires not the std 245/75 for 2001.

Steve

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NorCaliBu
I use a 4" drop on my 2500 LB Ram QC 4x4 and my trailer sits perfectly level. I'm running 265/75 tires not the std 245/75 for 2001.

Thanks. The only thing I don't know right now is the tire size. I'm in the Bay Area for work until Sunday night and I don't drive it as my everyday vehicle (it eats too much Shocking.gif ). I'll figure it out, I just thought I would start a couple of useful threads since I had participated in the shinanigans (sp?) earlier. :)

Man, you are the king, three consecutive posts in one thread to say next to nothing. I just can't compete with that. :)

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Wkerat

I did not read each post so I am sorry if I am being repetative, but why don't you just buy a new reciever? If you are 4 inches low, buy a 4 inch drop reciever and flip it over so you get a t inch rise. It may not look amazing, but it works and is safe.

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stewart
Level to slight nose low is better than nose high - what do you care anyway, you only tow yours like 1/2 mile or something right?  Biggrin.gif

Thats right.

Michael,

Some of Stewart's info was based on Extreme TANDEM trailers. If you don't believe Troy or me then call your trailer manufacturer. Perfectly "Level" is not correct as far as I've ever been told.

I never said perfectly level. You can generally go an inch one way or another. Some people like a little lower on the tongue and others higher. Tongue weight is the determing factor. Just going slighlty lower than level can greatly increase your tongue weight and cause to fishtail and possibly lose control. Too high on the tongue and you get a similar effect, though not as dramatic.

Many trailer maufacturers recommend 5-15% tongue wieght on a fully loaded boat (gas tank full, etc.) and many in the industry like 5-7% tongue weight which would suggest a higher tongue height.

Personally, on an Extreme, level is about right. Like I mentioned before there is an issue on the surge brakes. So if your below level they may lock up pre-maturely.

On any other trailer, I've always been just slightly higher than level at the tongue.

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Malibudude

Stewart and Troy are in the same mindset as I am about the trailer height. There isn't and exact science however on this issue.

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BillFooter

I really can't see how running with the trailer high or low (within several inches) will make any difference in tongue weight. The tongue weight will be the same, and surge brakes will activate during a stop.

The only issue I can see is if tongue angle is severe, during an emergency stop the trailer could try to lift the rear of the tow vehicle or push the rear downward.

Bill

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WakeAndSno
I really can't see how running with the trailer high or low (within several inches) will make any difference in tongue weight.  The tongue weight will be the same, and surge brakes will activate during a stop.

  The only issue I can see is if tongue angle is severe, during an emergency stop the trailer could try to lift the rear of the tow vehicle or push the rear downward.

Bill

If you are past the balance point the tongue weight will increase...

JZ

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stewart

Also there is a difference between DD and VD. The DD's have more weight forward, so if you slightly lower it could mean a lot vs. a VD weight in rear a lower tongue may not be that bad, except for the surge brake isssue on Extreme tandem axles..

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BillFooter
I really can't see how running with the trailer high or low (within several inches) will make any difference in tongue weight.  The tongue weight will be the same, and surge brakes will activate during a stop.

  The only issue I can see is if tongue angle is severe, during an emergency stop the trailer could try to lift the rear of the tow vehicle or push the rear downward.

Bill

If you are past the balance point the tongue weight will increase...

JZ

I really don't think the tongue weight will change if the tongue is 2" off of the ground or 20" off of the ground. The axle is the pivot point on the trailer that will determine tongue weight. To change tongue weight the axle will have to move forward or rearward. Any math wizards here that can tell me if that is right or wrong?

Bill

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SacRiverRat

It should change some - since the distance from the pivot point (axle) and toung is changing as you lift or drop the toung - visualize the 1/2 circle that the tounge is on as it pivots around the axle. The ground (gravity) stays flat

To stretch a point to make a point - if lifted the toung far enough that it was vertical, there would be no weight on the toung, and all the weight on the wheels (though not physically possible becuase you'd hit the prop cage etc.. but you get the point)

With that said, I don't believe it would be significant weight change +/- 2 inches

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WakeAndSno
I really don't think the tongue weight will change if the tongue is 2" off of the ground or 20" off of the ground.  The axle is the pivot point on the trailer that will determine tongue weight.  To change tongue weight the axle will have to move forward or rearward.  Any math wizards here that can tell me if that is right or wrong?

Well, basic logic here: get on a teeter-totter/ see-saw with someone of equal mass on the opposite side. As soon as you shift off the balance and lower one side, it will go to the ground. Something to do with force vectors shifting around the fulcrum (in our case the axel).
With that said, I don't believe it would be significant weight change +/- 2 inches

I agree, it won't make a huge difference

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dlb

For all the experts here there is quite the discussion. It is bordering on the level of a physics lesson. Biggrin.gif

The answer is level + or - a little bit.

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