Are springs necessary?

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Are springs necessary?

Postby Bobby » Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:42 pm

On a trailer with a dry weight of less than 500# can you just air down the tires to 18/20 psi and eliminate the springs?
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Postby Woody » Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:08 pm

You need some kind of suspension under it. It would vibrate apart or damage or pound the trailer and the contents to death. Low tire pressure I don't think would be enough to soften the ride and keep things together. I have seen my trailer with suspension at times bounce on the road due to a pothole or washboard gravel road and without the damping effect of suspension, I dont think it would have faired or the contents so well without it.
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Postby JunkMan » Tue Jun 21, 2005 7:40 pm

A trailer without springs would bounce all over the road, even with the tires aired down. I have even had trouble with lightweight trailers that have stiff springs (1500#) bouncing around when empty.
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Postby angib » Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:04 pm

JunkMan wrote:I have even had trouble with lightweight trailers that have stiff springs (1500#) bouncing around when empty.

I'd question whether empty trailers with pumped-up tires really have any suspension at all - from the way they jump around on bumps, I suggest the evidence says not.

Suspension that's way too strong (eg, 3000 lb springs under a 1000 lb trailer) may sound very macho and it won't ever break - but the rest of the trailer eventually will, from the pounding it gets through the rock-hard springs.

Bigger is not better.... :thumbdown:
Just big enough is the clever (though difficult) way. :thumbsup:

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Postby Cutterpup » Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:28 pm

Small trailers, i.e. cement mixers, hot dog vendors, that weigh less than 500 lbs usually do not have springs or even lights. However they are not to be towed faster than 30 mph. When someone does they bouce all over the place. Even a teardrop trailer is larger and most are heavier.



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Postby Arne » Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:59 pm

Reminds me of my trip back yesterday from ADK tear up 2005. Around the lake george area an suv pulling a 21 ft(?) boat (very good sized boat) swerved from the right lane across the 2 left lanes, flipped over, the boat slid off the trailer, etc..... very messy looking.

Towing a tear is one thing, towing a boat that probably weighs in at 3 tons is another.....

oh, do not even consider not using suspension for all the reasons mentioned in the above notes. This has been discussed before and the consensus was you do need suspension.....

On a side note, I have a tear that weighs about 800-900 pounds, built on a h/f 1800# trailer.... It does not budge the suspension when I rock it..... Upon my return from VA, I noticed one of the fenders was tilted. I had reversed the axle to on top of the springs and notched the frame. I have at least 2" of clearance... and the u bolts were hitting the frame. So, while I can rock it, some bumps along the way, used up the 2" of clearance..... bottom line, if I had no suspension, I doubt I could have towed it 10 miles before being shaken to bits...
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Postby Nitetimes » Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:25 pm

I have a 52" X 6' trailer that I tow my quad on, it has no suspension at all. When I am hauling it empty or with less than about 500lbs. on it I usually run about 15lbs of air in the tires. I just ran for about five hiours on Tues. with 15 lbs in the tires at an average speed of 80mph and the tires never got warm.
i would not however recommend running a TD without some sort of suspension. You have to keep in mind that the quad has shocks so it doesn't bother it that the trailer has no springs but you will eventually shake a TD apart with no suspension.
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Postby IraRat » Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:22 pm

What's a quad? 4-wheel something?
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Postby asianflava » Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:58 pm

This is a Quad:
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Postby darockrider » Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:09 pm

Bobby,

My first teardrop had no suspension at all, totally rigid axle. I experienced no problems what so ever with the ride, or structural impact to the trailer. The total weight was about 400lbs loaded to travel and I ran approx 12~14lbs of tire pressure in 5.30-12 inch trailer tires. I towwed it approx 5000 miles in all types of conditions and had no problems what so ever. By the way I tow with a 1985 HONDA GOLDWING motorcycle so handling problems are apparent! I can also tell you that I have since coverted this trailer to a torsionflex axle set-up, 660lbs max, and changed the tire size to 5.70 by 8inch. The tires size decrease was to offset the increase in trailer height from the axle swap. The new set-up probably does tow a little better but I believe this has as much to do with the increase in tire pressure which makes for less rolling resistance especially when getting the thing to start rolling initially. It is a little more forgiving when the road is really rough but under normal straight down the smooth black top not much change. I would have no issues at all with building another rigid axle teardrop assuming the weight was under about 500lbs max. I have seen many bouncy trailer behind motorcycles and in my opinion tire pressure is to blame in most cases or sprung suspensions with too large a rating. I also towed a small cargo trailer which weighed about 100~125 lbs loaded. You could drive for ever with a flat tires and not notice it! As long as the bead stayed seated on the rim most trailer tires have no problems running with no or low tire pressure as long as the total weight doesn't totally flatten the sidewall! Would the tire manufacturer recommend this sort of operation...............probably not but I was very fussy with checking the tire temperature on my trailer when running low pressure. I found that even in very hot driving conditions the trailer tires were cooler to the touch than the rear tire on my bike. In most case this meant they were hardly warm at all.

I am not sure if my experience is typical as I am sure very few have actually gone from rigid suspension to a sprung one with the same trailer. By the way I only changed the axle set-up as my teardrop was rearended by a small car in traffic and the drawbar was bent. I was adding a larger draw bar and I had removed the teardrop body from the frame and the torflex axlews were on sale cheap and I thought why not!

hope this is useful or at least interesting

cheerio

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Postby doug hodder » Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:10 pm

I need to respring my tear. It weighed in without cooler at 1100#. I only have 1500# of springs total under it. I was unable to attend seminars in Minden due to back pain so maybe someone out there can fill me in on their opinion on what spring package I should be running. Is there some rule of thumb as to what I ought to use? The local trailer manufacturer mentioned that I have a lot of weight that is continously sitting on the springs, ie...it's never lighter. He thought that I would need a heavier spring and then maybe a small shock package to minimize the bounce back. I want to be able to tow at freeway speeds. That's what did mine in on the way to Minden. I 80 is pretty rough in spots and I was well over 75 mph for a good portion of the trip... I plan on talking to the fabricator at the local shop on tues. am...any help in the meantime would be appreciated, so hopefully I won't sound too stupid!!! Thanks in advance. Doug Hodder
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Postby Woody » Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:29 pm

Doug,
When I had my new 3500# axle and new spring setup made. The guy asked me if I knew the approx. weight of the trailer. I had told him that it weighed between 1100-1400 lbs dependant upon gear being hauled. He suggested that I go with 1000 lb per side springs. It rides with out the bounce you hear metioned. It appears to be the right combo for my setup. I would asked around still to get other people takes on it
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