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Pisces

Trailer Sway

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Pisces

Yesterday, we towed the Sportster home from its winter storage at the lake to take care of a few things before we put it back in the water. Driving home, we experienced quite a bit of trailer sway. At one point, my wife and I were concerned that we weren't going to be able to slow down and counteract it.

I towed this boat/trailer 12 hours from SC to MD last summer without one incident. I am chalking this up to not enough tongue weight (there is room to move the boat forward). My question is, is there any way to move the boat forward on the trailer once it's out of the water?

Pisces

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aneal000

All the more reason for T/A trailers!

To answer your question - it depends on the boat/trailer. But I think with the sporty you should be able to crank it forward with a little effort after adjust the wench. Worst case you could just do a sudden stop from about 15 mph... the boat WILL slide.

On a side note make sure you check the air pressure in your tires. If they are low they can cause the boat/triler to feel real funky behind you.

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edwin

second the vote for grabbing a footful of brakes...it needs to come forward.

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DC9669

Get a little speed and stomp on the brakes.

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Gordo

You are getting good advice. You do not have enough weight on your hitch. Rule of thumb is 10% on the hitch and 90% on the trailer axle ( of the total weight of the trailer and boat). I have seen roll overs caused by swaying/too little weight on the tow vehicle. I wince every time I pass a trailer that is "wandering" behind the tow vehicle. It's a real safety issue, so move that boat forward!!!!!!!

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aneal000
You are getting good advice.

Just wait till next week when he tells us his results....

post-44-1147709663_thumb.jpg

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1FootDan

Try a MasterLock adjustable hitch. By lowering the height lower the level, this might resovle your issue.Link I have it and used to own a Sportster (until last week...) and it worked great! Rockon.gif

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edgeski1

I'm also going to back up the tire pressure issue, check it out

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bigmacholdthefries

i'de be asking myself what's changed from last season to this season if it towed ok last time why all of a sudden has it started getting the death wobbles?

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RTS
i'de be asking myself what's changed from last season to this season if it towed ok last time why all of a sudden has it started getting the death wobbles?

Which would make tire pressure a prime suspect...

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gooddog

A bad rear shock on the tow vehicle can cause it also...

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jpk

I wouldn't be too keen on experimenting with how good your bow roller is at stopping the boat by slamming on the brakes, especially if you have to loosen the rear tie-downs to move the boat forward. I think it would be safer to just back the boat down the launch and reposition it. If you aren't near a launch, then I guess I understand.

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GoldschlagerVT
I wouldn't be too keen on experimenting with how good your bow roller is at stopping the boat by slamming on the brakes, especially if you have to loosen the rear tie-downs to move the boat forward. I think it would be safer to just back the boat down the launch and reposition it. If you aren't near a launch, then I guess I understand.

Aw come on.... what's the worst that could happen? Biggrin.gif:lol:

Edited by GoldschlagerVT

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BlastRlxi

Take it to your dealer or any mechanic that has a 5 ton hoist mounted high enough to lift the boat off the trailer and reposition it where you want it.

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Pisces
Which would make tire pressure a prime suspect...
I checked the tires last night. 45 PSI cold. They could stand to be higher, but I wouldn't call 45 PSI underinflated.
A bad rear shock on the tow vehicle can cause it also...
The tow vehicle, a 1996 Toyota 4Runner, has an almost new Old Man Emu suspension and new tires, properly inflated.

I really believe it's just sitting a few inches too far back on the trailer. With the trailer sitting level on the tongue jack, climbing onto the back of the boat/trailer makes the tongue very light. I even had the tongue jack lift off the ground.

I am a little hesitant to jam on the brakes in an attempt to move the boat forward. I may just drive it slowly back to the lake taking backroads, and make sure the next time I load it on the trailer it is as far forward as it can go (i.e. the front eye is against the bow roller).

Thanks for everyone's input.

Brian

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RTS
I really believe it's just sitting a few inches too far back on the trailer. With the trailer sitting level on the tongue jack, climbing onto the back of the boat/trailer makes the tongue very light. I even had the tongue jack lift off the ground.

If the tongue jack is coming off the ground when you climb in the boat, you are definitely too far back on your trailer.

I'd try to get to the ramp to make the adjustments vs. the "slam on the brakes" method, especially with dry bunks

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Shifters

I had a similar problem once...in a 4Runner pulling a runabout. Problem for me was that I had no idea what was going on, i was a newbie to the boat world, and thought it was normal. I got up to about 50 m.p.h. and the boat began swinging back and forth.

It got so bad that it started pulling the rear end of the 4runner back and forth until finally it swung the rear end of the 4runner completely around so that the boat was still moving forward and the car was moving backward in a "v" formation.

We went into the median and the boat caused the 4runner to roll over on its side. The driver window was looking straight at the ground. The only thing that kept us from rolling was the hitch.

Lessons learned very quickly:

1. Always make sure there is proper weight on the tongue;

2. If not, fix it or stop;

3. A 4runner is a dangerous car to pull a boat with because they are so light in the rear end; and

4. Those hitches are damn tough!

Oh the good ol days....

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Pisces
I had a similar problem once...in a 4Runner
I'm not sure if I feel better or worse. :unsure:

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Gordo

What is the max trailer weight for your 4Runner? Bet you are on (or over) the edge there :(

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NorCaliBu
The tow vehicle, a 1996 Toyota Runner, has an almost new Old Man Emu suspension and new tires, properly inflated.

Is your 4-runner lifted? And up on oversized tires? That could just make things even worse.

I would bank on load balance though. There is no way the tongue of my sporty's trailer would come off the ground as you described. Get that boat forward on the trailer (and don't do it by jamming on your brakes).

Edited by NorCaliBu

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catcando

I believe the max tow weight is 5000 or 5500 on the 4Runner. It's not the OME lift nor is it the 4Runner that is the issue. I basically have the same exact setup, 2000 4Runner with Performance Products Lift and Bilsteins 265/75R16 tires and tow a Sporster and snowmobiles. NEVER an issue with the vehicle or towing.

OK 1 issue, it won't pull 2 sleds and a covered trailer up some of the hills in VT at 80mph.

Like previously pointed out look at your weight distribution.

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