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Author Topic: 4 down trailers or wagon style  (Read 6243 times)
Old Scool Bus
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« on: November 30, 2009, 07:56:55 AM »

Any disadvantages to pulling a wagon style trailer?  I seen a horse trailer built like this and thought that would eliminate all tongue weight.  But I've seen farmers pull hay wagons and they were all over the road.

I have a cool idea for a trailer some day and thought I'd start investigating now.
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 08:04:13 AM »

Definitely less tongue weight. But extremely difficult to back, especially with a long wheelbase vehicle such as a bus.  Jack
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 08:10:05 AM »

One way to do it would be to use a tongue dolly.  Then once you get where you want to maneuver the trailer, you could take the converter dolly off and then just reconnect the trailer directly to the bus.  The advantage to this is that you don't have the full tongue weight on the rear bus engine cradle bouncing down the highway-most all the tongue weight is on the converter dolly and then also being able to back the trailer when needed. Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 08:42:35 AM »

OSB We have a trailer at work that we call a wiggle wagon, It's just what you are thinking about the one thing that makes it cool is that when you need to back it up there is a air release that allows you to lock the front steer part . Now we don;t have any issues with it for short back ups . But might be something to look at FWIW  Andy
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 10:31:21 AM »

If the front axle steered like a car, then your trailer would be the same as flat towing a car.
If the front axle is like the hay wagon I had (straight with a single pivot in the middle), then you will have your 'wiggle wagon' while trying to approach highway speeds. Forget backing it up too, unless you are one of the few that have had years of practice on a farm . . . .


With the 'car type' front axle, you could use something like a 'power caster' to move it around when disconnected.  Cool

I'd suggest taking a good look at that horse trailer. No need to reinvent the wheel.
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2009, 11:03:10 AM »

Several years ago I had planned to write an article on towing big trailers with buses.  I gathered a lot of data, but never wrote the article.  I have quite a bit of that information posted here:  http://www.rvsafetysystems.com/Trailer%20Towing.htm.

On that page is a trailer that has spread axles and pulls very well according to the owner.  It has some sort of lever system that changes the front steering (caster?) that allows it to be backed.  It is a very costly trailer, but does the job well.  (BTW, it is a stacker trailer for boat and Jeep).

One of the issues that comes up with the dollies is whether they can withstand the loads when the bus goes through a dip and really tries to compress the dolly. 

I still like the concept of making a very low fifth wheel trailer like the photos of the commercial trucks in Europe.

Jim
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2009, 11:13:21 AM »

I love the idea of a fifth wheel hanging off the same level as the rear bumper welded to the vehicle's main frame, but that makes many of our existing trailers unuseable with it.

But to have a custom trailer with fifth wheel connection to the bus, and have that connection low, like they use for car carrier trailers, would make a very workable configuration.

I would be concerned about the potential bounce of a trailer with no load on the towing vehicle, especially at high speed, and what if the hitching mechanism broke loose - how would the trailer, or the bus, react?

My thoughts, from an ignorant's position.
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2009, 11:22:56 AM »

I think I once posted a question on this board to ask why drawbar-type trailers aren't commonly used behind buses, given the concerns about tongue weight. They are a common sight behind trucks here. I believe the 'single pivot' types are known as Turntable trailers, whilst the 'car axle' type are called Ackerman trailers. The Turntable types are in widespread use on the road, so I don't think they are inherently unstable - but perhaps the geometry and correct length of the drawbar is important, or maybe they use steering stablisers between truck and trailer similar to those available for caravans - which might also make reversing easier as well.

Jeremy

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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2009, 11:25:43 AM »

The point of a fifth wheel trailer is that the connection and pivot is over the rear axle of the towing vehicle.  You could do that with a bus but it would be pretty funky.  the trailer dolly things that support the tongue weight of a tag trailer are typically rate at around 3500 lbs of tongue weight - massive compared to what people usually tow.  There are dollys intended for use with fifth wheel trailers  around also, that let you pull a fifth wheel like a tag trailer - there the pin weights could easily get into the 4K lbs to 5K lbs range, since the trailers are designed to give a 20% to 25% pin weight when properly loaded out.

Not that I've done it in 35 years, but trying to pull a pivot axle farm wagon at speeds over 25 mph would scare the heck out of me.  A trailer with 4 wheels at the corners and kingpins, castor and a steering linkage would be a whole different ball-game - but impossible to back up without locking the steering and skidding the tires.



Brian
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009, 07:49:41 PM »

My wife and I both like to go fishing. I did not want to use the bus to back the boat into the water. I needed a trailer to haul both the boat and a vehicle to get the boat in the water. I also did not want to over load the frame on our eagle. I found a trailer built by Competive Trailer in California that has a steerable front axle. This trailer follows the bus very well you hardly know it is back there. The nice thing is it can be backed very easily. When I but the bus in reverse a relay operates a hydraulic motor that rotates the front axle and puts reverse caster in the axle. I have put the trailer in some very tight spots with little effort

good luck Wayne



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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2009, 08:09:21 PM »

Good Golly Miss Molly, That's sweet! Grin

What is the length and capacity?

Paul
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2009, 08:10:28 PM »

That has got to be the coolest trailer I've ever seen!!!
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Old Scool Bus
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2009, 08:14:25 PM »

That is Frickin SWEET!!!!!

That is what I plan to do someday but chopping up another bus that matches mine and doing it.  COOOOOL!!!!
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2009, 10:44:50 AM »

Dang rusty , Your in the wrong busness lol . and they say it can't be done . You the man
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2009, 11:04:15 AM »

Rotating the front axle to change the caster for backing - what a most excellent idea! The best of both worlds!

Dang, another project for the wish list.

What system is used for the trailer brakes?
Do all 3 axles have brakes?

More pictures of the front axle mechanism? That is a fantastic trailer. Thanks for sharing.
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