Axel placement

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Axel placement

Postby Chris C » Wed May 25, 2005 5:25 pm

I'm on the "starting end" of this teardrop building project. One of my concerns is to not exceed the tongue weight limit for my Honda Accord, which is 100#. Has anyone built their frame and tear, stocked it "ready to roll" and then adjusted the axel forward and rearward to acheive the desired tongue weight? Is that even a feasible approach? :thinking:
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Re: Axel placement

Postby angib » Wed May 25, 2005 6:06 pm

Chris C wrote:I'm on the "starting end" of this teardrop building project. One of my concerns is to not exceed the tongue weight limit for my Honda Accord, which is 100#. Has anyone built their frame and tear, stocked it "ready to roll" and then adjusted the axel forward and rearward to acheive the desired tongue weight? Is that even a feasible approach? :thinking:

The occasional person here has said they've moved their axle - indeed Arne said just that yesterday (Widening existing trailer)

Quite a few boat trailers have adjustable axles so that they can be balanced - typically the axle is welded to two angles each side and U-bolts are used to clamp the angles to the rectangular tube frame rails. My family towed a 16ft boat on such a trailer all over Europe.

The U-bolt system wouldn't be very neat on a teardrop, but you could use a couple of angles back-to-back and bolt them together once you've finalised the balance.

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Postby Chris C » Wed May 25, 2005 7:26 pm

I'm sure lots of people have moved their axels. I'm not suggesting an adjustable axel. But rather than trying to calculate or guesstimate the proper positioning for the axel before construction is completed, I'm just wondering if finding the near perfect spot after construction and welding it in that position would be a more sensible approach. :thinking: .
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Postby SteveH » Wed May 25, 2005 10:24 pm

I'm just wondering if finding the near perfect spot after construction and welding it in that position would be a more sensible approach.


Chris,

That wouldn't be to hard to do. Build your tear on the frame supported by a jack stand in each corner. When it is mostly complete, use two floor jacks with triangle shaped blocks to lift the frame where the axle would be and weigh the tongue. Move the jacks and blocks back and forth until you get the tongue weight you want.
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Postby Chris C » Wed May 25, 2005 11:01 pm

Steve, I understand the process, and know it could be done fairly easily. My question is.............is there anyone out there who has actually done it. My reason for asking is two-fold. First, of course, is my concern about tongue weight. But second, I'm wondering if someone ran into a problem, such as.......finding the proper placement actually required moving the axel so far forward it impeded the door? Call me a worry-wart, but I like to have my ducks all in a row before I start a project. :thinking:
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Postby SteveH » Thu May 26, 2005 6:59 am

finding the proper placement actually required moving the axel so far forward it impeded the door?


Chris,

I can't answer your question about if it has ever happened. However, I don't believe it will happen if you somewhat adhere to time proven teardrop designs. My own experience was I placed the axle where I thought it should go based on designs that I was modifying to make my design, and the tongue weight came out just right. I did construct my frame with the capability of moving the axle 2" either foward or back, but did not need to use it.

If you want to see how I did it, there are pictures in my galley.
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Postby IraRat » Thu May 26, 2005 7:15 am

Chris C wrote:.......finding the proper placement actually required moving the axel so far forward it impeded the door? :


Bingo, Chris. You asked the million dollar question.

What plans are you using? And do you expect to be towing for very long trips?
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Postby Chris C » Thu May 26, 2005 9:00 am

Thanks Steve. Very reassuring, and that's what I need at this point. I haven't purchased plans.........still not compltetely set on which way to go on choice yet. Don't even know how far I'll be traveling, IraRat, because I haven't camped in a trailer before. I have my trailer frame, but haven't modified it to 5' wide yet, so I'm still dreaming and asking a lot of dumb questions. I'm sure patience will be needed by all. But everyone has really been nice about answering them.
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Postby s4son » Thu May 26, 2005 9:08 am

Since we are on the topic. Can the tongue weight be changed by changing the length of the tongue? Do I win the dumbest question of the day award? If not, I can keep asking.

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Postby angib » Thu May 26, 2005 11:29 am

Scott wrote:Can the tongue weight be changed by changing the length of the tongue?

Yes, but not by much. Adding a foot to the tongue of a typical trailer would change a tongue weight that was originally 10% of the trailer's weight to a little less than 9%. And a foot is a big increase in tongue length!

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Postby Ron Dickey » Thu May 26, 2005 11:41 am

Now this is something I do not understand. Every where but everywhere they show the trailer being made first and at the end changing the placement of the axel and langthening the tung.

Wouldn't it be better to build the body first then you will know weight distrabution and where the trailer needs more support ? :?

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Postby s4son » Thu May 26, 2005 11:51 am

Your are correct, an additional foot is quite a bit. Thanks Andrew for the information.

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moveable axel

Postby eamarquardt » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:25 am

I took a piece of flat stock and welded three nuts to it. It will slip inside the rect. tube from the end of the trailer and then I can drill holes and insert bolts through the angle, through the rect. tube rail, and into the strap nuts. Will be able to finish the trailer, load it up to towing config. and get the exact balance I want, piece of cake.

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Postby asianflava » Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:15 am

Ron Dickey wrote:Now this is something I do not understand. Every where but everywhere they show the trailer being made first and at the end changing the placement of the axel and langthening the tung.

Wouldn't it be better to build the body first then you will know weight distrabution and where the trailer needs more support ? :?

Ron D.


I built the body before I built the frame. I did it this way for 2 reasons, first, it took up less space; second, I could get further along with minimal capital investment. In other words, if I decided to abort the project, I could do it before I sunk too much money into it.

I did the scientific approach to deciding my axle placement. By placing the fenders on the side and seeing what looked good. Due to the size of my fenders, I only had about a 8in range before they would either interfere with the door or fall off the back end. I put the axle as far aft as I could.
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Postby Gage » Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:27 am

Damn Rocky, you mean to tell me it took you 2 years to come up with that answer? :thinking:
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