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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering where I should post a question regarding trailering my boat.

My boat used to fishtail when getting up above 50MPH towing it down the highway (scarey). I had a Marina take a look at it. They moved the axel's back to add more tongue weight. This corrected the swaying. However, now the boat puts quite a heavy load on my rear end.

The trailer no longer sways back and forth. It now bounces the rear end up and down pretty good when going over bumps.

I was wondering if a rear suspension upgrade would fix this. If so, what should I do and where should I have it done?

Thanks,

Gerb.
 

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My 1st thought is that the axles were moved too far back, putting too much weight on your hicth. Tongue weight should be 10-15% of the boat weight.
 

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That is correct DY. 10 percent is ideal.

Also look at moving the bow stanchion. (where the winch is). You may be able to do that yourself.

Mini
 

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QUOTE(John Maniaci @ Aug 6 2004, 09:17 PM)That is correct DY. 10 percent is ideal.

Also look at moving the bow stanchion. (where the winch is). You may be able to do that yourself.

Mini
Great idea Mini! I hadn't thougth of that. Moving it back will definitely lessen the load on the vehicle.
 

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If anyone knows, Mini would know, He's probably logged more miles on the road towing a boat than everyone on this entire site combined! A true professional...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
1.)The marina moved the axels back 6 inches. Shorelandr's guide said you add 10-15 pounds of tongue weight per inch. They added 90 pounds at the most if this is correct.

2.)I still haven't found anyone capable of measuring tongue weight for me. I'd like to know what tongue weight I am carrying before making further adjustments.

3.)I'm towing a 5,300 pound load with a 2004 chevy trailblazer. Probably not everyones first choice in towing vehicles but its what I got. I'm right at the vehicles published limits.

4.)Thank you so much for your help

Gerb
 

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QUOTE(Gerbermultit00l @ Aug 7 2004, 10:12 AM)1.)The marina moved the axels back 6 inches. Shorelandr's guide said you add 10-15 pounds of tongue weight per inch. They added 90 pounds at the most if this is correct.

2.)I still haven't found anyone capable of measuring tongue weight for me. I'd like to know what tongue weight I am carrying before making further adjustments.

3.)I'm towing a 5,300 pound load with a 2004 chevy trailblazer. Probably not everyones first choice in towing vehicles but its what I got. I'm right at the vehicles published limits.

4.)Thank you so much for your help

Gerb

For a 5,300 lb tow a Trailblazer sure doesn't sound ideal. Although I wouldn't think that would make the rear of the trailer bounce. Still, my Explorer has a hell of a time with about 4,000 lbs!

Good luck and welcome.
 

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You can measure tongue weight with a bathroom scale. Just make sure it is at the same height (put it on a sturdy chair or some other support). 5300 pound trailer should have about 500 - 600 pounds of tongue weight. You wont be able to use a chair, but a metal railing might work.

Yes you are really taxing that Trailblazer, but depending on how far you tow it shouldnt be too bad.

Thanx BoatChic


Mini
 

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QUOTE(John Maniaci @ Aug 8 2004, 01:16 PM)You can measure tongue weight with a bathroom scale. Just make sure it is at the same height (put it on a sturdy chair or some other support). 5300 pound trailer should have about 500 - 600 pounds of tongue weight. You wont be able to use a chair, but a metal railing might work.

Yes you are really taxing that Trailblazer, but depending on how far you tow it shouldnt be too bad.

Thanx BoatChic


Mini
You must own 1 heck of a bathroom scale, Mini!
 

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DY!

I think that this is what Mini was talking about.

http://www.rverscorner.com/articles/tongueweight.html

Yeah I know... It's an RV sight but it will work for boat trailers too.


Gerbermultit001: I hope that the link helps you out with #3.

I would also look at how level the trailer sits. Too tongue high or low will cause handling problems. I have found that slightly tongue low works well. Once your tongue weigh is correct you may have to change the amount of drop or rise that your hitch has to complete the setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Man, you guys (and gals?) are great. Thanks for all the input.

Campari,
Just a slight clarification based on your last comment. The rear of the trailer does not bounce, its the weight at the tongue causing the rear end of my towing vehicle to bounce a little more than I would like after I hit bumps. This is most prominent over 40MPH. I tow my brother-in-laws rig around once in a while. His boat and trailer weight about 3700 pounds fully loaded up with gear and fuel. The Trailblazer tows that without a problem. His rig only makes the rear end of my vehicle sag down between 1 and 2 inches. My rig makes it sag 3 or more.

Mini,
I thought about using a bathroom scale to measure the tongue weight but didn't think one would hold up to 600 pounds. Guess I'll look again. Excellent call though. If my bathroom scale won't do it I'm sure I could find another scale that will. I'll give that a try this week.

I wouldn't be as concerned about towing the boat around the surface streets. However, my folks live along the shoreline of lake Michigan and I was hoping to drag it over there on occasions. I plan on storing the boat indoors over there during the winter too. So, I'll have to get it over there and back somehow.

The trailblazer takes a little while to get up to speed towing that sucker behind it but it does OK. It's no F250 Supercab or anything though. The trailer and vehicle sit level so that's not too much of a problem.

Maybe a beefier shock would help absorb some of that bounce? They are under $100 a set.

Again, thanks for your input everyone.

Gerb...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dooohhhhh.

I should have just followed the [email protected] link. I see exactly how to do this now that I've seen it.

Thanks again...

Gerb
 

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QUOTE(BoatChic @ Aug 6 2004, 10:08 PM)If anyone knows, Mini would know, He's probably logged more miles on the road towing a boat than everyone on this entire site combined!
off road too.........
 

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QUOTE(Boater2be @ Aug 8 2004, 08:30 PM)
DY!

I have found that slightly tongue low works well.
Yeah, me too. But it doesn't have anything to do with trailering a boat! Ha Ha!!!

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I was waiting to see how long it would take this thread to go to pot


Gerb
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok,

Every guide I've seen says that you should leave between 6 to 8 percent of a trailers total weight on the tongue. I'm at 390 pounds of tongue weight with a 5000 pound load. I'm right at about 8%. So tongue weight seems correct. However, this drops the rear end of my vehicle a little too much for good handling on the highway. The a$$ end bounces just a little too much.

The question is: Do I upgrade the springs on my vehicle to help alleviate suspension sag or try a weight distributing hitch. Or is their something else?

Opinions?

Gerb
 

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I had a weight distributing hitch on my enclosed snowmobile trailer and currently on my camper. They work well. I don't remember ever seeing one on a boat trailer. It should work but. Both of my trailers had electric brakes. If you have surge brakes the load leveling bars may impede the travel of the master cylinder causing your trailer brakes not to work as well.

If you opt to change the suspension I would look into air bags to assist the springs rather then installing stiffer springs or shims. By adding air bags you can adjust for the load when towing without degrading ride quality when not towing.

I heard 9% to 11% but it sounds like your close enough.
 
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