Adv. & Disadv. for a long draw bar on trailer

Submitted: Friday, Apr 09, 2004 at 19:27
ThreadID: 11955 Views:6611 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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Just wondering as some models I have seen have been so short that you can only just get the doors on a troopie while others seem extremely long.
I figure it must affect how the trailer tracks the towing vehicle while turning and high speed stability.
Any ideas.
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Reply By: ianmc - Friday, Apr 09, 2004 at 21:22

Friday, Apr 09, 2004 at 21:22
From my experience the longer tow bar helps tracking & is much easier to reverse.
Obviously it may give you more storage/bolt-on space on the draw bar too.
The longer bar may flex if its not stiffened correctly.
AnswerID: 53814

Reply By: Member - Royce- Saturday, Apr 10, 2004 at 00:12

Saturday, Apr 10, 2004 at 00:12
A longer drawbar make backing way easier. You can see the trailer as you go around corners and jack-knifing is less of an issue as the body of the trailer is more likely to miss the vehicle body. Stability is not effected from my experience, however longer drawbars are on the tandems that I own rather than the box trailers.
AnswerID: 53826

Reply By: Member - Karl - Saturday, Apr 10, 2004 at 11:05

Saturday, Apr 10, 2004 at 11:05
Also the longer draw bar gives you better off road ability espescially when entering/exiting difficult terain etc - the longer the bar the better departure/entry angle etc.

AnswerID: 53838

Follow Up By: Member - Brett H (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 11, 2004 at 08:53

Sunday, Apr 11, 2004 at 08:53
Would the ideal maximum length of the drawbar to the axle on the trailer need to be the same or less than the wheelbase of the towing vehicle.
This would reduce the possibility of hanging up the trailer when going over rises or hills etc. ?????
FollowupID: 315532

Follow Up By: sean - Monday, Apr 12, 2004 at 07:29

Monday, Apr 12, 2004 at 07:29

I think you are correct.

Recently I pondered ' the ideal length of drawbar' and could not come up with the answer (insufficient mathematical ability).

If the drawbar is too long, then the trailer will cut corners and 'hang up' as you say. I think same or less than the wheel base as you say is in the ball park.

It is to do with the relationship of the wheelbase, the rear overhang and the drawbar so the the trailer tracks inside the vehicle sweep on turns.

Does anyone know the formula.


FollowupID: 315587

Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Monday, Apr 12, 2004 at 07:02

Monday, Apr 12, 2004 at 07:02
Wouldn't a longer draw bar reduce ramp over angle and increase the chance of getting hung up??

A longer bar is more comfortable over broken ground, the trailer can be on good ground while the car goes through, then the car is through when the trailer hits the obstruction.

I have never felt an issue with high speed stability regardless of draw bar length, the only instability I've felt was with badly built or badly loaded trailers.

Our canoe trailer at work has a long drawbar (obviously) and it rides really well, it has been all over Fraser Island, up into various lakes, but it does bottom out over large humps, so you can't place anything on the drawbar, ours is just open all the way to the "box". This trailer was designed for this job however and has pretty beefy stell in the draw bar, so that it won't flex.
AnswerID: 53914

Follow Up By: Slammin - Monday, Apr 12, 2004 at 21:52

Monday, Apr 12, 2004 at 21:52
I see what you mean but if the drawbar isn't excessive then I think I can see what they mean but it gets a bit tricky as ramp over would be enhance by a bit longer bar because a short bar means that the trailer would be lifting and diving following the fluctuations of the vehicle more excessively whereas the longer drawbar has less up and down available I think, oh s--t Ive confused myself again

I thought by posting this would get a definate yes or no with a maybe thrown in for good measure.

I think I'll get my sons matchbox cars out and try some experiments.
FollowupID: 315625

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