Another AT style trailer

DBS311

Adventurer
#1
I went up to the 4wheelparts grand opening in Temecula, CA for a free tow strap and Hitch-Toys had a trailer on display. Looked ok, but there were some things I would want different if I spent that much on a trailer. I like the Adventure Trailers suspension set up much better. The guys from Hitch-Toys say they can make it any way you want, but I have a feeling that after a while they will only offer 1 or 2 trailer styles. You simply can't keep the price point low if you custom build each one. Their website is www.hitch-toys.com so check it out.
 
#2
I wanted that free tow strap too! I got the coupon in da mail.

But I figured it would cost me $20 bucks in gas to get the free tow strap.......all the while just polluting our air driving up there....only to be an el cheapo trying to get somthin fer nothin!

So I passed.

So for now.....I just keep praying the other guy on the trail has one. ....oops!
 

flyingwil

Supporting Sponsor - Sierra Expeditions
#3
Interesting.... From the pictures looks lik it does not feature independent suspension like AT's, though.
 

ntsqd

Heretic Car Camper
#7
Rezarf <>< said:
very cool design for the hinged lid... looks like it opens from either side.
At first I thot so too. Then I realized that the gas strut arrangement may not be so happy with a left side opening. Would be interesting to try it & see how it behaves.

I like the simple robustness of the live axle & leaves, but dislike the influence one tire has on the other - which is an argument against any live axle.
 

cruiseroutfit

Supporting Sponsor: Cruiser Outfitters
#8
ntsqd said:
At first I thot so too. Then I realized that the gas strut arrangement may not be so happy with a left side opening. Would be interesting to try it & see how it behaves...
But one could build a 4 stut system, that opened from both sides :cool:
 
#9
ntsqd said:
At first I thot so too. Then I realized that the gas strut arrangement may not be so happy with a left side opening. Would be interesting to try it & see how it behaves.

I like the simple robustness of the live axle & leaves, but dislike the influence one tire has on the other - which is an argument against any live axle.
After viewing how an air-bag suspension works ON THE HIGHWAY, It's my humble opinion that this style of suspension has issues as well, it needs a sway-bar to stabilize it to make it perform as well as the old leave and live axle does, so it's a choice of compromises. Do you really need the flexability that the air-bags give you when 90% of the time your rolling down the highway or complicate it by adding more weight of the sway-bar. Then do you add disconnects for those flexy moments. Just something I've observed after following an AT for 2,000 over varying highway and terrain. They have issue as well. not bad but not perfect....but what is w/o some more weight/expense. So in MY estimation the leaves/live axle work very well for both scenarios I place it in. On and off road. The K.I.S.S. analogy work for me. But I know there are strong opinions to the contray here and no doubt I am about to hear them. But what's a forum for? It for a discussion of options and opinions/considered or not.
 

ntsqd

Heretic Car Camper
#10
I mentally played around with how the struts might be placed so as to allow either side opening. I'm not sure why the struts are always laid over like they are. Seems like moving the mount points to vertical at the trailer centerline would allow either side to open equally. Would likely require a shorter strut [EDIT: with a softer spring rate]. Only thing I wonder about is why they are consistantly laid over. I'm thinking that didn't happen by accident, but I'm not sure whether it was a rising/falling rate thing or the first guy just did it that way and everyone else blindly follwed.

Dampers I can see being an absolute requirment with air springs in particular though any independent should have them. I'm wondering what you saw that lead you to they're also needing a swaybar. The sole experience that I've had so far with an independently sprung trailer is with rubber torsions. It tracked exceptionally well when I was driving Hwy 41 into Yosemite like a road racer & does not appear to need a swaybar. In no way could I expect air springs to behave the same way. Would be nice, but I can't start out expecting it.

FWIW A long stroke trailer suspension makes no sense to me at all. This isn't the Baja 1000 and they outlawed trailers in those races shortly after the first one was entered (& finished!) in something like 1970 Even frisky driving still doesn't need the kind of travel that the tow rig might want.
As the stroke gets shorter the spring & damping rates go up. Since there isn't an occupant comfort issue involved this isn't necessarily bad. The trailer need only have enough travel to adequately smooth out the ride enough so that things don't get beat up and the eggs stay whole.

Leaf springs didn't happen on trailers simply b/c they're cheap. Might have started out that way, but eventually the design of the springs resulted in no need for dampers due to their own internal friction providing enough damping for their short travel range.
Now when we take these carefully evolved springs and change the judgement criteria they fall short. That isn't good or bad, it's just that the change in our needs vs. what the design intent of the springs is needs to be recognized.
That is to say that you can't berate any IFS system for needing other bits b/c the leaf system doesn't have those. They do, it's just not obvious.
 
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#11
Points well made.
The phenomena I speak to, is swaying and then tracking out of the lane. It happened with the air-bags filled or let down to set the body on the suspension frame. The angle of the shocks do little to dampen the action of the A-arm at this angle (great at more open angles). But just the irregularities of a two-lane road would toss the trailer around the lane and at speed (at the speed limit or above) the trailer would lean and then track out of the lane. Unless you drove very smoothly and made turns with great precision, it wanted to leave it's intended track.
IMHO, my leave spring trailer, with very long CJ-7 springs (52") and air-shocks is much easier to trailer down the road. It holds the road everybit as well as my Jeep that pulls it.
It seemed to me that the load of both trailers were very close to the same as both only had a roof-top-tent on top and both carry about the same stuff. Only difference being is the AT is about 1700lbs and mine 13-1500.
 

Martyn

Supporting Sponsor, Overland Certified OC0018
#12
RunninRubicon said:
Points well made.
The phenomena I speak to, is swaying and then tracking out of the lane. It happened with the air-bags filled or let down to set the body on the suspension frame. The angle of the shocks do little to dampen the action of the A-arm at this angle (great at more open angles). But just the irregularities of a two-lane road would toss the trailer around the lane and at speed (at the speed limit or above) the trailer would lean and then track out of the lane. Unless you drove very smoothly and made turns with great precision, it wanted to leave it's intended track.
IMHO, my leave spring trailer, with very long CJ-7 springs (52") and air-shocks is much easier to trailer down the road. It holds the road everybit as well as my Jeep that pulls it.
It seemed to me that the load of both trailers were very close to the same as both only had a roof-top-tent on top and both carry about the same stuff. Only difference being is the AT is about 1700lbs and mine 13-1500.
What you describe is very unusual behavior for an Adventure Trailer. We’ve towed these trailers at speed on the road for thousands and thousands of miles and have had very positive results.

I’m sure you must have seen swaying and tracking problems but my initial feeling is that you pin pointed the resultant effect but maybe not the cause. As you say the problem occurred with the air bags inflated or deflated, so that would seem to rule out the suspension.

It’s always hard to in point these problems from a distance but my immediate reaction would be to look at tongue weight as a percentage of total weight and the tires. In the past problems like this have occurred due to a light tongue weight and tires that have a soft side wall construction.

Excessive trailer movement due to irregularities in the road surface can be amplified by lack of tongue weight and side wall construction, and also by over inflated airbags and incorrectly set shock absorbers. The Rancho 9000 shocks work best set to 9.

Remedying these problems should solve the issues. If the owner has any on going problems please have them contact us so we can resolve them with him.
 
#13
Martyn said:
What you describe is very unusual behavior for an Adventure Trailer. We’ve towed these trailers at speed on the road for thousands and thousands of miles and have had very positive results.

I’m sure you must have seen swaying and tracking problems but my initial feeling is that you pin pointed the resultant effect but maybe not the cause. As you say the problem occurred with the air bags inflated or deflated, so that would seem to rule out the suspension.

It’s always hard to in point these problems from a distance but my immediate reaction would be to look at tongue weight as a percentage of total weight and the tires. In the past problems like this have occurred due to a light tongue weight and tires that have a soft side wall construction.

Excessive trailer movement due to irregularities in the road surface can be amplified by lack of tongue weight and side wall construction, and also by over inflated airbags and incorrectly set shock absorbers. The Rancho 9000 shocks work best set to 9.

Remedying these problems should solve the issues. If the owner has any on going problems please have them contact us so we can resolve them with him.
Thank you Martyn, If we see this action continuing after assessing the weight distribution, and tire-pressures, we will indeed consult you for correction. We both appreciate your product concern and follow-up. It's great to have our ear available to evaluate our own short-comings.
 

Martyn

Supporting Sponsor, Overland Certified OC0018
#14
RunninRubicon said:
It's great to have our ear available to evaluate our own short-comings.
It has nothing to do with short comings. I'm just fortunate to have driven thousands of miles on and off road towing trailers. I also get to test drive and deliver scores of trailers, so if there is a problem that re occurs I'm able to address it immediately.

So far there have been no reoccurring problems or a theme of problems indicating a design problem or flaw. There have been some individual issues with trailers and most of them have revolved around, over or under inflated air bags, tires with less than stiff side walls, loose lug nuts, ball couplers coming uncoupled, leaking Schrader air valves, and other small annoying time consuming items.

Nothing magical going on at this end, just repetition and familiarity.

I'm in total agreement with you when you say "But what's a forum for? It's for a discussion of options and opinions/considered or not."

There are lots of ways to solve the same problem. Some are better than others, but not every solution will satisfy every person. If we can listen to all sides our own opinions may change, or we may see the problem from an angle we hadn't thought of.

By the way I like your trailer, and thanks for bringing it all the way up to Pyramid Lake. Very cool home made unit.




Being open minded leads to progress.
 
#15
I appreciate the dialog. This is a great medium in which to share and learn.

You have made some very interesting points, many well considered.

Thank you for your opinion of my trailer.
Like your ATs, it is a work in progress. But for the most part, it does all I dare ask of it, follows wherever I lead. It avails a warm dry place to lay my head, a meal in which to fit my hunger, a cool drink to quench my thirst, a fire to lite my way at night and even opens doors to friendships both far and near.

Few things things in life are so sweet.