axle placement help

Ask questions about Harbor Freight trailers, or questions about building your own...

Postby angib » Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:30 am

I'm aware that the fancy spreadsheet on my trailer balance page hasn't really helped many people, as it's too complex. So I've added some rules of thumb on axle position, which are:

- 40% of body length (38" for a 8ft) is a reasonable compromise value.

- Use 45% (43" for a 8ft) if a tongue box is fitted, if the galley is light or no galley is fitted, and/or a minimum hitch weight is wanted.

- Use 35% (34" for a 8ft) if the galley is heavy, the tongue is long, and/or a heavier hitch weight is wanted.

For comparison, I believe these are the values for utility trailers:
- Harbor Freight and Red Trailers: 44% (42" in 8ft)
- Tractor Supply: 39% (37" in 8ft)

Andrew
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Postby kiacker » Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:41 am

Howdy All!

I'm new to the forum and just in the planning stages for building a tear. I was also struggling with where to place the axles since I wanted to keep the tongue weight as light as possible for my little car (she was built for speed & looks, not towing capacity!). I realize that the wheels may affect the placement of the tear's doors, but will live with that.

Andrew, your spreadsheet for trailer balance helped me a lot! I've used it in trying to figure out tongue weights for a loaded versus empty trailer. I had settled on a axle placement of 42" from the rear (probably a Harbor Freight trailer for a 4'x8' tear) but was concerned that it was too far forward until I read your post. I'm planning on a tongue box with a battery and a very simple galley. From the spreadsheet I ended up with an empty trailer tongue weight of 68 lbs. Is that too light? I plan on loading the trailer with approximately 150 - 200 lbs. more of gear and can place it accordingly to balance the trailer. This changed the tongue weight to around 120 lbs. Reasonable? Or too light? Am I going to be OK with 42"? I just don't have the past experience of towing a trailer to help me out here.

Can't wait to get started on my first tear! Will be sure to post pictures of my build once I get started since I see that is a requirement here! :R
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axle placement

Postby KA » Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:56 am

Hi Andrew,
This additional info plus your spreadsheet have helped me a lot! I think I'm ready to make that decision now. :worship: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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Postby madjack » Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:57 am

Lisa, welcome to the board...and the pic thing is definitely mandatory ;) ...the 68#s your refer to gives you, (under the 10% minimum rule) a build of 680#s(that is in the ball park of doable)...by adding the tongue box and having the additional weight to play around with you should be fine...having too much tongue weight(up to a point) is not nearly as bad as too little...the main problem with too much weight is vehicle limitations and how it affects bracking and handling of the tow vehicle...under 10% can make the the trailer squirelly and dangerous to tow...you do have a pretty good range between that 10 to 20% range...
madjack 8)
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Postby peggyearlchris » Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:15 pm

:) welcome lisa. thanks for all the input guys and girls :applause: :applause: 8) Peg
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Postby kiacker » Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:30 pm

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: Thanks for the help!!!
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Postby Juneaudave » Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:38 pm

On the Dexter axle with the trailing arms, is the measurement to the center of the wheel or to the center of the pivot? Know what I mean?
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Postby CHUCKLEHEAD69 » Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:19 pm

dave i would think the center of the wheel. thats where it would be pivoting. but if im wrong someone here will let me know :lol:
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Postby angib » Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:40 pm

CHUCKLEHEAD69 wrote:dave i would think the center of the wheel. thats where it would be pivoting. but if im wrong someone here will let me know :lol:

Hey - I'll even let you know when I think you are right, which I think you are on this one! :thumbsup:

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Postby hammer & tongs » Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:18 am

I'm rather with Jack on this one..
I just go with what "looks good" to me, while retaining hitch weight bias.
There are so many variables..battery box up front, or full accessory trunk/chest.
Some folks will surely be copying the L'il Guy sport model that has empty frame on front..to carry an ATV. Running with or without the ATV can alter plans...or getting a heavier/lighter replacement ATV.

BTW: Congrats L'il Guy, on a brilliant design idea (I assume it was yours). Even without the ATV, it can be a great way for a big game hunter to " bring home the bacon " ( or venison).
Just remember to wrap it in a tarp..road splash, you know !...LOL
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