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Author Topic:   Trailering: Sway problems
dwaldron posted 09-06-2002 02:23 PM ET (US)   Profile for dwaldron   Send Email to dwaldron  
I moved my boat today and it was swaying a lot and all different speeds. Recently I adjusted the trailer so the boat would sit farther forward. Also I think my shocks are bad. Can this be the cause? Anybody have any comments on trailer sway?
kingfish posted 09-06-2002 03:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Typically or at least most frequently trailer sway is caused by having too little tongue weight. I don't know if your trailer swayed before you adjusted your trailer, or how you adjusted your trailer, but a general rule of thumb is to estimate the gross weight of the boat and trailer (or better yet, weigh it), then position the boat and/or axle(s) so that 5% to 10% of that weight is bearing on your ball hitch. And generally speaking, the lighter your combination is, the higher percentage of weight to bear on the hitch.


JFM posted 09-06-2002 03:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Does your trailer have radial car tires? Most trailer mfgs. recomend bias ply side walls or trailer radials.
Just another thought.
Regards, Jay
gnr posted 09-06-2002 03:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for gnr  Send Email to gnr     
If the ball on your truck is significantly higher then the trailer axle your trailer will be more prone to sway. The boat I recently purchased had the tongue weight set so that the previous owner could easily move it around his yard by hand. Putting a 7 1/4 drop down hitch in the receiver of my Ford truck offset this enough so that I did not notice much sway under 75mph on the thousand mile trip home. Those bad shocks definitely aren't helping.
dwaldron posted 09-06-2002 04:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for dwaldron  Send Email to dwaldron     
Thanks for the input. When I first got the boat it sat farther back on the trailer, very little tongue weight. I did not nitice to much sway. I have sinced moved the boat forward adding tongue weight. The tongue is still very easy to lift. (17' boat, 239 lb. motor, Holschaw trailer) Also, I do have new passenger radial tires on the trailer. They were on for the first towing. Will they add to the sway? I will move the boat farther forward to see what that does.
dwaldron posted 09-06-2002 05:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for dwaldron  Send Email to dwaldron     
I have been doing a little web surfing on the topic of trailer sway. Passenger tires are not reccommended for trailer because of the soft sidewalls. I will have to talk to the place that sold the tires to me; they knew I wanted trailer tires but sold me radial passenger tires .


WSTEFFENS posted 09-07-2002 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for WSTEFFENS  Send Email to WSTEFFENS     
Look here on the forum under trailer & tire section of the reference section. The Subject of tires is well covered!
jimh posted 09-07-2002 05:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It would be helpful to know more information:

--What is the total trailer weight?

--What is the tongue weight?

--Is the towing vehicle hitch height adjusted to match the trailer hitch height when the trailer frame is level?

Hobie1981 posted 09-07-2002 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hobie1981  Send Email to Hobie1981     
Dwaldron: Replacement shocks can be found at local NAPA auto parts store. Monroe makes them for them. P/N is 555002. It's listed as an RV shock. I bought mine this past spring for $22 each.

Tell your jobber to call Monroe if 555002 is not listed in his catalog.

You'll need a mtg kit for each shoch also.

Hobie with a Holsclaw..

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