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post #1 of 15 Old Feb 29th, 2008, 11:57 am Thread Starter
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Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

I am in the process of re-designing my trailer that I built a couple of years ago. I am questioning the need for "suspension" (springs).
I built my current trailer with independent torsion suspension but the lightest I could buy were 500 pound rating. After pulling it about 25000 miles I have come to the conclusion that any "spring rate" I have is in the tires.
Am I out to lunch thinking that a trailer with no springs would work?

Roy Jorawsky
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2002 K1200LT - "BackDraft" - Deceased
2008 HD Ultra Screaming Eagle

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post #2 of 15 Old Feb 29th, 2008, 12:31 pm
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

don't the springs help absorb the shock from bumps to help the tires. granted the tires carry the weight.

no i'm not an engineer.

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post #3 of 15 Old Feb 29th, 2008, 1:16 pm
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

perhaps an airbag system?

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post #4 of 15 Old Feb 29th, 2008, 2:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

don't the springs help absorb the shock from bumps to help the tires. granted the tires carry the weight.

Normally that would be the case, but ----- with the trailer loaded I wouldn't be looking at more than 300 pounds total weight. If you deduct the weight of the wheels, axle, springs (unsprung weight) you are left with +-200 pounds. Even using a single leaf on each side I doubt that there would be enough to flex a spring.
I'm not an engineer either -- that's why I thought I would check with the collective wisdom of this board, just in case I'm missing something very obvious

Roy Jorawsky
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post #5 of 15 Old Feb 29th, 2008, 4:42 pm
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

If at all possible I would design it with independent suspension. I think on a lighter trailer this would be better.

Garry

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post #6 of 15 Old Feb 29th, 2008, 7:33 pm
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

not a engineer by no means but when i built my coffin in 98 i pulled it for a few months with the springs and everything was fine but i wanted to lower the trailer so it would sit level when hooked to the bike so i made her a rigid pulled it to june jam approx 100-150 miles pulled terrable and cracked a few boards so i put the springs back in and have logged ????miles with no problemsI DO PACK THE WHEEL BEARINGS AT LEAST TWICE A YEAR
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post #7 of 15 Old Feb 29th, 2008, 7:56 pm
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

My #1 camping & touring buddy built a small trailer a few years ago with NO suspenion ..... YIKES !!
Lasted one year pulling that BOUNCING S.O.B. !!

Even with air pressure down to 18-22# ( Perfect pressure to spread tread contact patch evenly) Than damn trailer on silky smooth surfaces was fine, but get into rythemic ripples in the road way it bounced like a basketball constantly. If you cornered with any speed going into rough surfaced corners the trailer would skip sideways behind him.

Built another sub frame with light leaf springs, now all is fine and running @ same inflation pressure on tires.

JMHO. Scott

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post #8 of 15 Old Feb 29th, 2008, 8:44 pm
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

I used the leaf springs off the front of a snowmobile . They worked good . But that was around '81 , & the snow machines are a bit bigger now . So they may be a bit stiffer ...

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post #9 of 15 Old Feb 29th, 2008, 11:05 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

Thanks for the input guys .
Looks like I will go with the springs, best to be on the safe side and it adds very little more weight.

Roy Jorawsky
Deputy Chief - SFD
2002 K1200LT - "BackDraft" - Deceased
2008 HD Ultra Screaming Eagle

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post #10 of 15 Old Feb 29th, 2008, 11:32 pm
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Smile Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by jorawro
Thanks for the input guys .
Looks like I will go with the springs, best to be on the safe side and it adds very little more weight.
Don't know for sure what your design is, but on the two I have built through the years I used spring / shock assemblies from the rear of a motorcycle. Lots of sizes / weights / lengths / styles / types, to choose from.

Good Luck!

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post #11 of 15 Old Mar 1st, 2008, 12:01 am
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

Take a look here

http://www.synthx.com/articles/trailer-versatility.html

Garry

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post #12 of 15 Old Mar 1st, 2008, 6:46 am
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

Shocking.

Twin 250 lb. springs from Truckspring.com. Shocks from Scooterworks.com.

I'm switching out the garbage Chinese trailer tires for these UNSAFE AND DANGEROUS REMANUFACTURED Michelin 225mph aircraft tires from Desser.com next week.

I need a 'Busa.
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post #13 of 15 Old Mar 1st, 2008, 7:39 pm
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

+1 on suspension. Started trailering with a Smitty's - no suspension except the tires @15psi. On the way home on the first trip a guy pulled next to me at the pump and said he and his lady were placing bets on when the trailer would flip and ground us. Never knew it - riding a Beemer, natcherly. The Smitty's went in favor of our first Bushtec. No more bounce!

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post #14 of 15 Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 9:05 am
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

Roy,

I built a cargo trailer years ago without any suspension. It worked, but we used it for camping and broke many Coleman lantern globes before learning how to pack them. It bounced a lot. The guy I sold it to complained that it pulverized all of his pills on a 400 mile trip. When I built the Suitcase trailer(photo attached),I decided to use the independent torsion type half axles. This has worked out great for me. I got them from Southwest Wheel Co.

http://www.southwestwheel.com/store/...alf-axles.aspx

Hope that helps you out,

Ron
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post #15 of 15 Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 11:25 am Thread Starter
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Re: Building a Trailer - Suspension Question

Thanks Ron
I used the same torsion axles on my last build. I found them a little stiff as I didn't get anywhere near the load rating for them. I have decided to go with light single spring leafs this time --- will report back on the results

Roy Jorawsky
Deputy Chief - SFD
2002 K1200LT - "BackDraft" - Deceased
2008 HD Ultra Screaming Eagle

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