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 > 14' narrow track bouncing when empty. porpoising

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rerod

Iowa

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Posted: 06/23/18 04:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello.

I found a 2000 14x7 kiefer "narrow track" enclosed trailer I made a excepted 3k offer on. Plans are to drive south a few hours on Thursday to look and buy it, but something has me concerned..

The owner said they replaced this trailer with a new aluma enclosed "because it tows better".. He said when the kiefer was towed empty or lightly loaded with their motor home bus, they had some bouncing which Iv heard people call "porpoising". How bad, or how much of the time it bounces I'm not sure.. But everyone inevitably has to tow empty and I would hate if the trailer bounced the entire time! He said it didn't bounce when loaded.

I remember one time towing my fully loaded 24' featherlite TH, I ran over some road that made it feel like we were jerking back and forth uncontrollably! It scared us but stopped after what seemed like forever but I thought the receiver might just tear off! That was the only time I experienced any bad towing and I don't want anything like that ever again.

What causes bouncing or porpoising with a short 14' enclosed with two 3500# torsion axles? Could it be that the 18 year old torsion axles are wore out even though it doesn't look to be riding low? Could it be as simple as tire pressure to high? Or ride attitude to low in front? I never needed a WD hitch with my 24' featherlite so I assumed I would not need one with this 14'.

Even though I really like this trailer mainly due to its narrow track design and one piece rounded roof. I'm not going to like driving so far for a trailer that bounces much of the way home, if that's the case. What do I do if it does bounce when I'm test pulling it?

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated..

Thanks!

[image]


1995 E350 6bt/nv4500, 2006 Featherlite 24' surv toyhauler, 2007 DRZ400s well farkled, 1985 Vmax stock, 1985 Vmax custom

demiles

Maryland

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Posted: 06/23/18 05:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bouncing and porpoising are two different things. A trailer can bounce (rebound) up and down on its suspension. Porpoising is the trailer pitching forward and aft on its axles like a see-saw. If the trailer is well used it’s suspension could be worn out so replacing may be a solution.


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MountainAirMan

Shenandoah Valley

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Posted: 06/23/18 05:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Does it have electric brakes?
If so, maybe they're dragging / grabbing.


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enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 06/23/18 07:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Photo shows trailer has the wheels what seems to be back on the trailer. It could be an issue with tongue weight.
When loading trailer, the weight needs to be toward the front to add tongue weight.
Attachment to the trailer may need drop to level the trailer. This should be measured after loading.


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rerod

Iowa

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Posted: 06/23/18 07:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

demiles wrote:

Bouncing and porpoising are two different things. A trailer can bounce (rebound) up and down on its suspension. Porpoising is the trailer pitching forward and aft on its axles like a see-saw. If the trailer is well used it’s suspension could be worn out so replacing may be a solution.


Thanks. I'm pretty sure it was only bouncing.

MountainAirMan wrote:

Does it have electric brakes?
If so, maybe they're dragging / grabbing.


Yes it has electric brakes but the owner doesn't think they are the problem.

enblethen wrote:

Photo shows trailer has the wheels what seems to be back on the trailer. It could be an issue with tongue weight.
When loading trailer, the weight needs to be toward the front to add tongue weight.
Attachment to the trailer may need drop to level the trailer. This should be measured after loading.


Thanks and yes, I hope stopping the bouncing is something simple. I plan on replacing the 15" wheels with 16" rims with radial tires.

I just talked to the owner. He said they transported some sewing machines in it and when they got to their destination, the machines had moved around and spools of thread had bounced off the machines.. They never felt any bouncing while pulling with their motor home. Just evidence of bouncing after arrival.

I told him I wasn't comfortable driving 2 1/2 hours to look and he agreed pull it back to his home in july which is only 1 hour away. I just hope I get a chance to look at it before someone swoops in and buy's it out from under me. Narrow track trailers with round one piece roofs are very rare.

Bipeflier

Centralia, MO

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Posted: 06/23/18 08:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What is the GVWR of the trailer? If it is 13,000# or so (6,000# axles) it will be very stiff empty or lightly loaded.


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rerod

Iowa

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Posted: 06/23/18 08:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bipeflier wrote:

What is the GVWR of the trailer? If it is 13,000# or so (6,000# axles) it will be very stiff empty or lightly loaded.


The owner couldn't remember. I believe it has 3500# axles since they only have 5 lug nuts.

jkwilson

Indiana

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Posted: 06/23/18 10:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’ve towed light trailers before that needed reduced air pressure in the tires when empty to keep them from bouncing. Picked up a boat trailer 5 hours away and pulled over three times to let air out until it got comfortable to tow.


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hawkeye-08

Northwest

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Posted: 06/28/18 11:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"Towed by motor home bus" might have something to do with it..

TugCE

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Posted: 06/30/18 05:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had a 24 foot enclosed car hauler that was used as a cargo hauler from new. My Brother purchased his son a car in FL so we put it in the "Car Hauler" strapped it down to the factory tie down points and off he went to PA.

When he got back to FL he said that the trailer rode like **** on the tip up North. All of a sudden a light bulb went off for me. With this being a Car Hauler there was a pretty good amount of trailer forward of where the car sat. This area would be for tools and supplies but with it empty, the tongue weight was way too light! The next trip with a car, I put a portable water tank all the way up front and filled it to add weight to the tongue and the trailer towed like a champ!

I've been towing all types of trailers since I started driving but I never even considered how the tongue weight was effected by having the car sitting back and over the axles. Luckily nothing happened on that first trip North, well besides my ego taking a big hit from making that mistake, so lesson learned!


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