trailer leaf springs

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trailer leaf springs

Postby steve wolverton » Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:59 pm

Hey Folks.

I hooked up the tear yesterday and pulled it around the yard a bit. Everything towed fine (10 mph and less) but the camper bounces quite a bit. My trailer is rated for 1200 pounds, and the camper/trailer weighs about 450 pounds. I need to remove a leaf. My spring pack has three leafs per side. I can remove the middle spring, or the bottom spring. Any suggestions as to which one, and why? I'm thinking the bottom spring is the stiffest (they appear to be the same thickness) because it's the shortest.

I'd really like to only do this once, messing with spring packs is a PITA w/o air tools. :(

Thanks,
Steve
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Postby Woody » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:06 pm

Try fully loading it like you were going campimg then test it.
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Postby steve wolverton » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:09 pm

Woody - 450 is roughly the loaded weight. It will never be more than 475. It will have another 300 pounds in it with Lisa & I, but we won't be in it during travel of course.

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Postby BrianB » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:11 pm

That's a mighty impressive weight. Many people's trailer frames alone weigh 450lbs.
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Postby Woody » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:16 pm

Well the reason I asked was because I built my trailer with 3500# straight axle with 1000# springs ( 1000# per side) and have minimal bounce. Maybe you need a stiffer spring package? Is the trailer boucing on the springs? I load down pretty good, but even empty it doesn't push down that easy
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Postby mexican tear » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:16 pm

My frame weighs more than your whole trailer.

:cry:

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Postby steve wolverton » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:17 pm

BrianB - Yup, it is. It's a small camper on a small trailer. I've gutted everything that wasn't essential, used 1/2 floors, 3/8" walls, and drilled holes in my cupboard covers before I covered them in fabric. I also removed the inside skin and covered my isulation w/fabric. That removed 22 pounds. I cut the bottom out of the cupboard area and replaced it with foam, that dropped 9 pounds. I shortened the tongue and removed the jackstand, another 35 pounds. It all ads up quick. I guess it's the backpacker in me. :)
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Postby steve wolverton » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:20 pm

Woody - I don't think stiffer is what I need. It's too stiff, the entire trailer (tires too) bounce off the ground on hard bumps. The springs don't compress very well. I think my camper is just too light for it. I can press down on the camper and barely make the trailer move.

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Postby Woody » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:26 pm

You might be right. Sounds like you built it light. Man my frame weighs 200# plus
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Postby Chuck Craven » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:29 pm

Hay a Holstein cow weighs from 2000 to 3500 lbs. You must have a heifer cow. :applause:
The estimate for my tear is 1800 lbs unloaded with the camping stuff.
But my truck will pull 3000lbs so I am not two warred about the weight.
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Postby steve wolverton » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:34 pm

Woody - Yep. My trailer weighs 230, or the camper weighs 230. I can't remember which. The other weighed 200 the last time we weighed (before paint/glass) Then we pulled another 30 pounds off the camper.

So...I'm gonna pull the bottom spring then...I guess. :thinking:

Chuck Craven - Lisa's sister saw a photo of our camper today and said it looks like a "cow egg." I guess it kinda does. :lol:

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Postby Woody » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:39 pm

I wouldn't drive fast with it, the trailer might start lifting off the highway pavement. Save money on tires though except for some tiny flat spots when it comes in for a landing when you slow down :lol:
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Postby ALAN GEDDES » Fri Jan 21, 2005 11:24 pm

I would remove lower spring and reduce air pressure as much as you can. Probably still going to bounce though. Check out the HF site and see which springs they have on their little four foot trailer.
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Postby Chuck Craven » Sat Jan 22, 2005 12:00 am

Just tell her that cow eggs are cheese delights.
We know here in the Wisconsin diary state. :beer:
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Postby angib » Sat Jan 22, 2005 7:28 am

Alan wrote:I would remove lower spring and reduce air pressure as much as you can.

Goodyear RV Tire Load/Inflation Chart (pdf) shows that, for one tire type, the maximum load reduces much slower than the tire pressure - so at 30% of max pressure, the permitted load is still 50%. This suggests that you can reduce tire pressures substantially to see if that improves the bouncing.

As most of the stability of a leaf spring comes from the top leaf that runs all the way from eye to eye, you could even try taking out the middle leaf, if removing the bottom one doesn't fully cure the bouncing.

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