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Author Topic:   170 TRAILER RIGGING
bigjohn1 posted 10-17-2004 09:21 AM ET (US)   Profile for bigjohn1   Send Email to bigjohn1  
Had the opportunity today to closely inspect my trailer frame and everything else under my new boat. Much to my surprise, I found about half of the bolts loose (minus the lug nuts) and even the bunks were not properly spaced for my hull. The wind has been howling all week and the ocean is too rough to got out so my son and I slipped the boat in the water and tied her off so we could go over the trailer. Had to move both bunks 3 inches equally to one side so the hull would be properly centered.
Interestingly, the boat was perfectly centered the first time I launched her so it looks like they both shifted at some point on the road when towing after that first outing.

My 2005 170 shipped from the factory with an EZ-Loader vice the swing-tongue Karavan I thought would come with it. That doesn't really bother me though as I find so many of the trailers these days to be cheaply constructed. The one item that was disappointing was that I found my tongue weight to be over 350 pounds so I knew that needed fixing. Also, when the boat was sitting on the trailer, almost 12" of bunk is sticking out past the transom so I knew the boat was way too far forward on the trailer causing the high tongue weight. Trouble is, on my trailer you cannot move the winch and its support arm aft at all - it was as far aft as it could go. I had to take it off, install it backwards, then re-attach the winch to allow the whole arm thing to slide aft.

Everthing is back together and the boat sits where it should be. My tongue weight is much lighter at only about
150 pounds but since I only live three blocks from the marina and do only low speed towing at >35MPH, I'm not going to worry about getting it exact. The moral I learned from this ordeal is to trust but verify when it comes to the trailer. That trailer came from the factory assembled and the new 170 was sitting on it inside the shipping container. I was at the dealership when they cracked open the container door for the first time so I know the dealer did not assemble the trailer as I had thought would be the case. Sure, the dealer should have gone over everything I think but one would assume a factory-assembled trailer would be correctly set up and all fastners tightened to factory specs. Be cautious out there, look and ensure everything is tight and don't assume.
Big John

Moe posted 10-17-2004 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
John, there are many good pictures of what a 170 should look like on an EZLoader trailer here:


bigjohn1 posted 10-28-2004 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Thanks Moe but I'm still stumped here. After pouring over the various pics in that link and seeing how Tabasco and those other boats are sitting on their EZ-Loaders, I can say my boat does not sit like theirs. For one, my winch and the arm it bolts to were positioned as far aft as possible and there was still about 12" of bunk sticking out beyond the transom after the boat was loaded properly. To add to the confusion, I looked at how the axle is bolted to the trailer frame. It looks as if there are three or perhaps four sets of holes one can use to bolt the axle into position. My axle is already installed in the forward-most set of mounting holes. If my high school geometry skills are not totally dead, the forward-most holes will provide for the lightest tongue weight - or do I have that backwards? Its almost as if my trailer is one size larger...

For now, to reduce my tongue weight I have taken the winch mount arm off and installed it backwards. This allowed me to slide it aft 6-8 more inches and, in turn, have the boat sit 6-8" farther aft on the trailer. I know this is not the correct way though and that arm should be installed so it angles forward - not aft. If the axle is already bolted as far forward as possible, how in the heck can I reduce tongue weight AND have the winch and support arm properly installed so it angles forward for safety.

You guys with 170's and EZ-Loaders chime in here and tell me how yours is set up and what kind of approximate tongue weights you have.....thanks a million.
Big John

kingfish posted 10-28-2004 09:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
1. While a little more might be preferable, it would seem to me that 150# of tongue weight would be adequate in your case. Certainly close enough to test it before major reconstruction efforts begin.
2. It's not clear to me how the axle movement is limited by predrilled holes rather than being infinitely adjustable, I can tell you this: moving the axle *back* will *increase* tongue weight.
Barney posted 10-31-2004 12:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
John, Take some measurements of your trailer and post them here, length and width, also bunk length and I'll check them against my trailer. Jim

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