Trailer weight distribution

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 15:16
ThreadID: 46351 Views:2368 Replies:6 FollowUps:9
This Thread has been Archived
My camper trailer has its spare wheel mounted on the drawbar. I am considering getting a wheel mounting fixture thingy from a 4x4 scrap yard and mounting it on the back of the camper to carry a second spare for the Pajero. I know I'll have to reinforce the rear door of the trailer, that's OK.

My concern is that I saw a leaflet on towing hints recently that said that most weight should be carried over the wheels. Does anyone know if putting the weight of a wheel on the back will make any noticeable difference to the handling? Presumably I'll have to change my normal loading pattern to keep the right weight on the drawbar.
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Sea-Dog - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 15:22

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 15:22
By design nature the CT's are hitch heavy when designed dry... then comes the tool boxes and stone deflectors and whatever else and most of this stuff loads the hitch weight even more.. In short I don't think there will be any noticable effect of moving the wheel to the rear...

I would be looking at making the wheel carrier mounted to the trailer chasis or something though rather than the tailgate!!

AnswerID: 245144

Follow Up By: Member - Greydemon (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 15:49

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 15:49
Ooops, must have explained myself poorly - not unusual. The trailer wheel is staying on the drawbar, its a second car spare that's going on the back (perhaps), I was concerned about the weight of a heavy wheel at each end affecting the handling.
FollowupID: 506239

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 16:44

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 16:44
I have dispensed with the extra spare. All my wheels are interchangeable and 2 spares for 6 wheels is enough. Cuts out 35kg of weight.
FollowupID: 506255

Follow Up By: Member - Greydemon (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 18:03

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 18:03
I would love to do that Willem. I bought 5 wheels (very very cheaply) from ebay hoping to do just that. Unfortunately the Pajero wheels are offset and won't fit on the trailer hubs. You will see on another string that I am now giving away three of the four wheels I have left!

Presumably there is something I can do to the trailer in the way of making the axle six inches longer but it all falls into the 'too hard basket'.

FollowupID: 506267

Follow Up By: Member-Granpa Joe - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 18:43

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 18:43
It isn't that expensive to exchange the axle on the trailer with a longer one to suit the offsett of the wheels that you have. I did this with my trailer through Carter Wesco in NSW and they looked after me.
FollowupID: 506278

Follow Up By: Member - Jerry C (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 22:24

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 22:24
Hi Nick,
Go for a walk through one of the trailer parts shops. ie Trailer Parts, they have axles of every size and from memory the prices wervery reasonable. I am just another browser, not connected with them.

Cheers, Jerry
FollowupID: 506329

Follow Up By: Member - Greydemon (WA) - Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 12:44

Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 12:44
Many Many thanks Granpa Joe and Jerry C.

I rang a trailer repairer and explained the problem and was amazed how cheap it is to have a new axle supplied and fitted. I'm going to take the trailer down on Saturday and might even get a few other jobs done while its there. I now will be set up as Willem suggests with two spare for six wheels which should be fine and a lot lighter.

Only one month before I head North, not quite time to start counting the sleeps but getting close!

FollowupID: 506397

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 14:43

Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 14:43
Good one, Greydemon

I recently bought a new axle for my 6x4 garden trailer @ $130, hubs and all. It was time to change as I started hearing a grinding noise in a wheel bearing. Pulled the outer bearing off and there was nothing wrong with it. However, the inner bearing was missing. The hub had run a goove on the stub axle. Dunno! It was a mates trailer and I swapped an old airconditioner for the it. Must have carted at least 300 tons of stuff over seven I'm just lucky. Anyway its fixed now.

Yep, I am heading north too on 4 July to the Warraweena National Gathering and after that some tracks through the Simspon and all places with sand!!!

FollowupID: 506421

Reply By: Axel [ the real one ] - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 16:32

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 16:32
The old rule of thumb still applies , 10% of total all up weight of trailer should be your ball/ hitch weight , ergo moving or adding an extra wheel/tire weight to the rear of most c/trailers will be beneficial to handling rather than detrimental as most trailers are hitch weight heavy.
AnswerID: 245156

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 01:10

Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 01:10
Totally agree Axel.

Not only is my spare trailer wheel mounted on the back of the trailer, but so is the outboard when taking the boat. Makes bugger all difference to "adverse" handling and I actually prefer it to extra weight on the drawbar.

I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 506344

Follow Up By: Member - Bucky (VIC) - Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 07:24

Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 07:24
I'll second that, 10% of the total weight on the tow hitch, and I use the bathroom scales to check the weight, too .
I also put anything real heavy as close to the tyres as I can. Because I can carry up to 10 Jerrycans, I can easily redistribute the weight, by filling a couple of jerry's for the front, or rear , or the lot depending where and what we are doing, at any time to give a better ride too.
Trial and error, but the 10%er is the most important thing, after getting there and home safely.

Cheers mate
FollowupID: 506350

Reply By: T-Ribby - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 17:20

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 17:20
I've just come home from a 4,000km trip around the red centre with a camper-trailer. I carried two spares, one upright on the towbar in front of the toolbox, and one inside at the rear of the camper up against the tailgate in a similar position to where you would hang your 2nd spare. The overall load was distributed to give approx 10% towball weight. Handling was excellent and I don't see any reason why yours shouldn't be the same.
AnswerID: 245170

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 20:13

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 20:13
A lot o f people make this sound difficult, I don't think it is.

My trailer follows like a faithful puppy. It does this at any speed and in any conditions. If you promise not to tell I will admit to 160km/h on the balck top and it has also been on some fire trails in the mountains crawling over big sandstone steps at less than walking pace.

When fully loaded I can just lift the coupling by hand. I guess it would be about 50kg to 80kg.

I suggest you load your trailer put your extra spare where you want it and see how heavy it is. If it is too light move the spare forward. until it is right.

It will soon let you know if the draw bar weight is too light.

AnswerID: 245216

Reply By: Member - eerfree(QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 22:17

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2007 at 22:17
I think you will find that they were talking about Caravans when they say keep the weight over the axle, which will effectively stop the chassis from bending in the middle. I do not think that you will have that problem with a trailer, I do agree that you should weld the carrier to the chassis not the door.

AnswerID: 245268

Reply By: Member - Brian (WA) - Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 11:00

Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 11:00
Hi. On my old camper I had the spare on the drawbar along with 4 jerry cans
and when I got an extra spare I put that on top of the other one. To try and even
it up I would load 2/3 20lt bottles of water near the back of the camper also had the battery at the back. Did many thousands of km like this with no trouble.
AnswerID: 245353

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (11)