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Old 07-20-2016, 10:22 PM   #155
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Take your time to read this thesis before you do a bunch of experimenting.

Basically, it's all been done before and the theory is clear and well understood. The operative principles of trailer sway elimination are:
- keep your loads close to the center of the trailer
- keep your tongue weight in a reasonable range
- keep your speed down.

But, you seem to be bent on pushing the envelope on all three fronts. Good luck with that. If I was your wife I'd whack you over the head with the bicycles until you stopped.
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:15 AM   #156
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For me, to read the through and understand all the data, provided in the testing at the web links in several posts above, is difficult to understand.

For those like me, just skip over to pages 58 and 59 to read "11.1 Practical Advice". It's easy to understand and only takes a minute or two to read.


My thoughts to cazual6:
Why risk your family. Get that hitch removed from your trailer so that you will not be tempted again.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:06 PM   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteck View Post
Cazual, great progress so far.

Just hope you understand that sway control should not be used to compensate for any inherent instability. It just does not work that way.

The goal is to design/setup for maximum native stability. The sway control is a damping device if sway were to occur.
Understood. I already know what works. I'm just trying to see what else I can do. Maybe what I want can't be done.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:19 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
For me, to read the through and understand all the data, provided in the testing at the web links in several posts above, is difficult to understand.

For those like me, just skip over to pages 58 and 59 to read "11.1 Practical Advice". It's easy to understand and only takes a minute or two to read.


My thoughts to cazual6:
Why risk your family. Get that hitch removed from your trailer so that you will not be tempted again.
When I do my test run, it'll just be me on a lonely road somewhere. I already know what works. I'm just trying to see what else will work with my setup.

The hitch works. One bike for sure with no sway control. Already done it. I'm adding more and other things as well.

Where this works or not, I'm not telling anyone to do it. I'm just sharing my findings. I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do and appreciate any advice to make it as safe as possible. Telling me it can not be done because they have done it on my exact same set up is one thing. To theorize what makes sense is another. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

But I'm gonna attempt to do what I want do. I just want to hear any other tips. I added the second sway control. I'm getting anchor points for the mount side to side support. I have shortened the shank to get it as close as possible.

I am listening and very appreciative of all the advice.

I just want to do it as safely as possible.

Like I said in the end, maybe it will be just one bike even after all this effort. It will be a learning experience for me and I will share my actual results.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:24 PM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumineer View Post
Take your time to read this thesis before you do a bunch of experimenting.

Basically, it's all been done before and the theory is clear and well understood. The operative principles of trailer sway elimination are:
- keep your loads close to the center of the trailer
- keep your tongue weight in a reasonable range
- keep your speed down.

But, you seem to be bent on pushing the envelope on all three fronts. Good luck with that. If I was your wife I'd whack you over the head with the bicycles until you stopped.
Read to the section you told me. I'll be on a cruise end of the month, I'll read the rest there. I won't be doing any road test for at least three weeks. I'm still waiting for parts I ordered from the anchor points. I Ordered six different setups to see which one works.

Thank you.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:26 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
For the outer limits of what happens when a large load -- well beyond the Airstream design parameters -- is added behind the rear bumper, please see this thread about a recent roll-over accident in Quebec:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...ec-153984.html

Given that the Airstream design parameters are for a Fiamma bike rack only . . .

I'm on it. Thanks for sticking around.
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:28 PM   #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
Understood. I already know what works. I'm just trying to see what else I can do. Maybe what I want can't be done.
You might be surprised to hear I was able to successfully use a bike rack off the back of a 23D. With a tandem and a toddler bike.

IMO, putting bikes there is doable, in moderation. And you absolutely must have enough counterweight loaded near the hitch to ensure 10-15% weight at hitch distribution.

You can achieve stability so long as you have that.

Durability of the shell/setup is a whole other question in my mind.
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:23 AM   #162
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More bad advice.

You cannot stabilize an unstable trailer by adding counterbalance to excessive weight on the back. If sway begins with overweight too far out front and rear, it will be even more difficult to control.

If you have done this, you were not successful, you were lucky. This is a really bad idea, your Airstream Owners Manual warns against it.
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:17 AM   #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumineer View Post
Take your time to read this thesis before you do a bunch of experimenting.

Basically, it's all been done before and the theory is clear and well understood. The operative principles of trailer sway elimination are:
- keep your loads close to the center of the trailer
- keep your tongue weight in a reasonable range
- keep your speed down.

But, you seem to be bent on pushing the envelope on all three fronts. Good luck with that. If I was your wife I'd whack you over the head with the bicycles until you stopped.
I disagree that the OP is pushing the envelope on those 3.

Because the OP has not weighed his HW - there is still no direct evidence that his HW is low, other than presumptions of same by others on here based on his sway issue, which could've been due to many other factors.

I would bet that the HW was within 10-15% - even with the bikes on back, once he does weigh it, since the LP tanks & WD/SC hitch alone would counteract it, & AS allows some bikes carried on the rear.

He has stated that he kept his speed down, & a bike rack & 2-4 bikes are allowed per his AS manual (I don't recall if it said 2, 3 or 4 bikes).

While useful to some extent, this Grad School Thesis paper involves some significant differences from USA/N.American trailers & tow vehicle & their WD/SC hitches.

1st, is that our WD hitches aren't used in the UK/Euro area, because they were outlawed in most of the area back in the 1960's in a protectionist move by their major trailer chassis maker when they were approached by a US WD hitch maker/inventor suggesting that they strengthen their frames to be able to use WD hitches & build bigger/better trailers (search for the story if you're interested. Therefore....

2nd - All UK/Euro trailers are (still) built smaller, lighter & narrower, than are most US/NA trailers - so they have different dynamics than those here. And more significantly ....

3rd - All UK/Euro trailers - including the ones in this paper's study - are towed on a bare ball & using other types of less effective sway control than we use here in the US/NA.

However, there was a similar & more detailed study done for US-DOT in the late 1960's or early 70's on the subject & other matters relevant to towing, which I've seen on the net. Unfortunately, that bookmark & pdf download is on my old "dead" laptop, so I'll leave that to your own devices to find it (it may have involved CanAm's Andy T's Dad IIRC).
.

Also, what pteck is saying above, is to use counter-weighting at the front of the trailer to maintain the the HW at 10-15% ot GTW - NOT as a dynamic counterbalance as dkottom took his comment.

While it makes sense to do that if you're rear weight inside or outside the trailer box/frame (e.g.: rear bathrooms, queen & king size beds with storage under them, all that stuff we put in our trailers' "trunk"/storage area back there) is causing it to be less that 10-15% - the better solution is to keep the rear weight less than where counter-weighting is needed.

In many cases, the addition of big LP tanks, battery boxes, power jacks, WD/SC hitches, etc. to the A-frames, tends to put the HW at more than 10-15% - so counter-weighting at the rear isn't necessarily a bad idea, bringing the HW back within 10-15%, & perhaps helping with the TV's HW & Rear Axle Wt. limits.

In our case, our factory dry 2680# & 275" HW 1960 Avion T20 (dry/empty/no options I assume) - went to 542# (per my Sherline), due to the addition of 2x 30# LP tanks, Tekonsha RF Brake Controller mounted on a 15"x18"x3/32" steel plate (for clearance), & the 160# Hensley Cub + the change from the factory 20 gal aluminum pressure fresh water tank to a 27-30 gal. poly tank, pump & battery/box at the front of the trailer/dinette. So clearly putting +/- 200# at the rear of my trailer will still leave me at 342# & within 10-15% HW (assuming a 100% counter-weight effect).

So there are cases where counter-weighting will work to a positive benefit.
.

AS & all of the other trailer mfgrs. are "breaking the rules" laid out by the writer of the thesis above, by placing bathrooms & tanks, storage bins & trunks etc., beds & furniture etc., at the far rear of their trailers - as well as making trailers with huge long rear overhangs.

So to assume it's inherently dangerous to add a properly designed for trailer use & appropriately secured/stabilized bike rack at a position on the rear of the trailer, which is loaded within the limits of the rack & trailer's mfgr's. documentation for same - is just not correct.

Many of you wouldn't give a second thought to adding a non-mfgr. or non-mfgr.-recommended aftermarket item to your cars or trucks, but some here will call foul for using a non-AS or non-AS-recommended bike rack - even when the OP has stated that he has or will attend to all of the weight & stabilization parameters of the AS.

AS has a vested interest in only recommending their racks & accessories, called profit - as well as the cost/time limitations on testing each & every rack or accessory available out there. Instead, the recommend theirs & 1 or 2 others (maybe), & the owner is left to match the parameters of those items design.

For example, Porsche has a whole line of their accessories for the Cayenne which we are looking at for our TV, but that doesn't mean that I can't safely use my Yakima Swing Daddy bike rack on it's hitch, nor other non-Porsche roof rack mounted bike, ski, surfboard racks or cargo boxes on its roof either.

If your AS is under warranty & you want to play it safe, then by all means make your choice to only use AS products, but don't assume that other products can also be safely used. If an AS/Fiamma hitch is allowed to carry 2, 3 or 4 bikes per AS, then another type/brand can likewise safely do so, as long as it is properly mounted & stabilized to perform in the same way.

I wonder how many AS buyers out there would suddenly dump their current favorite WD/SC hitch, if AS/Thor were to suddenly strike a deal with Hensley &/or PP to ONLY recommend that hitch for use on their trailers? Would we suddenly have a whole new crop of Hensley/PP devotees? .... or would we see most folks sticking with other hitch choices? I suspect the latter.

So don't unjustly harrang the OP for using another bike rack, but instead just offer the parameters to to make it safe, because there is nothing inherently unsafe about using another non-AS bike rack to carry the same number of bikes.

If anything, perhaps the AS/Fiamma bike racks are not all that great nor strongly made, because at least one photo erlier in this thread showed that the AS recommended Fiamma bike rack BROKE & FAILED while carrying bikes! And yet that is completely ignored by the disciples of them for some reason.
.

Lastly, as to the dynamic loading & whether counter-balancing weights would be effective or now in damping any natural sway - there are high rise building around which are using dynamic counter-balance systems to dampen, counteract & eliminate seismic (earthquake) movement.

While that sort of computerized dynamic system is beyond application to our trailers, it is likewise not absolutely correct to say that there can be no counter-balancing effect at all by careful placement of what is stowed inside, on top of & outside/behind our trailers.

Pilots also have to do weight & balance calculations & adjust loads & placement accordingly, in order to keep their aircraft in balance & controllable in 3-axes. Certainly we can do so in 2-axes.

Most of you out there do strategically place cargo in your trailers, without them becoming a Lucy "Long Long Trailer" disaster, so this should be no different if done properly.

Keep Cool in the Heat & Cheers!
Tom
///////
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Old 07-22-2016, 12:36 PM   #164
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Well said, Doug, once again.

One is reminded of the Mr. Magoo cartoons, as most folks do not seem to appreciate all the nuances of this overloading/sway issue, as reviewed extensively in this and other threads.

pteck, the Quebec Roll-over thread linked in Post #154 here, once again, is worth a read.





Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
More bad advice.

You cannot stabilize an unstable trailer by adding counterbalance to excessive weight on the back. If sway begins with overweight too far out front and rear, it will be even more difficult to control.

If you have done this, you were not successful, you were lucky. This is a really bad idea, your Airstream Owners Manual warns against it.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:02 PM   #165
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All designs are a compromise. The engineer pushes the configuration and specifications to achieve the best result for the customer's requirements and budget. What is left over is safety margin. When you start using it, you reduce the safety of your rig.

Counter weight is a poor approach, as in a dynamic event it adds moment forces that must be controlled. Some is required, to get the gear aboard, but it needs to stay as close to the axles as possible. Using counterbalance weight to solve either a bumper or a tongue overweight condition uses up a lot of safety margin.

C6 you say you know what works. Suspect that you need to test your configuration with a tire failure, strong variable wind conditions, and an emergency lane change. Actually, please do not. Leave the bikes at home or buy a truck and put them in the bed.

It is hard to believe that anyone, that believes the thoughts in your signature tag lines are valid, would continue with this effort.

Please, reconsider your analysis. Pat
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Old 07-22-2016, 03:38 PM   #166
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I tightened the screw about a quarter turn. The handle I tighten about as tight as I can get it. I think the instructions say until the threads disappear.
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:58 PM   #167
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Hate to be negative but I worry that the famous last words of a recipient on the next "Darwin Awards" show may be, "I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do."
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:37 AM   #168
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Tom, it's becoming harder to be optimistic about this thread, but as I said in the beginning, I'm gonna appreciate the good, the bad and the ugly advices because to me, it just means they care.

When you said everyone does some sort of balance to counterweight the balance, why is my attempt any different. When we load our AS or TV we keep in our mind how the weight is distributed, I'm doing the same thing. My weight is gonna be heavier in the back, so I will put more weight in the front, and advices from other add an equipment to help if not enough, hench swaybar, cutting the bike shank to bring it closer, tie down sway control.

I was watching the military channel about a RoRo boat, and guess what, they also deal with weight distribution to make it balance and have additional equipment to help it remain balance should it not become balance or if outside forces such as waves, wind etc.

I will be going on a cruise, same thing the ship has to balance the fuel and load throughout the ship.

As for scenario such as a tire blow out, alien invasion, the infinite possibilities, etc anyone of any failure can cause a catastrophic event regardless of setup.

Just because it works doesn't mean I'm lucky. With that kind of mentally, driving to work and coming home, just because you made it that day doesn't mean your lucky.

I already know the negatives, it has been expressed here. That is why I am asking for advice to making it as safe as possible.

Please consider what you say before you post. I appreciate the few of you have stuck with me.
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