Trailer and Tow Vehicle Forum

RWD cars for towing

by ChrisH » 21 Aug 2017, 21:41

Thanks Ian for the advice. Much appreciated. I recall last year considering moving the swinging arm forward but decided not to as it would then hit the next cross beam. Thinking about it though it should not matter as the arm does not need to swing downward towards the front of the trailer. Only to the rear. My only other concern is it might then expose the main side bars of the trailer to the boat when approaching the trailer. Right now you will safely hit the rollers before anything else. But I will take a close look at this. I'm not sure about load on the axles. I think I mentioned lowering the jockey wheel to release the weight on the rear axle so I could lift the hitch by hand and get a feel for how much hitch weight there was. Given a big chunk of the engine is still behind the axles I am sure there is still plenty of weight on both. The towball height is an interesting thought too. I think the trailer looks pretty flat when hitched up, so as you say perhaps quite a neutural setup. Can t quite get my head around how such a massive lump of iron in the engine bay can be cancelled out by the relative lightweight hull of the boat in front of the axles.
Is there any problem with butting the axles too far back in terms of stability?

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by ChrisH » 21 Aug 2017, 21:48

Pic from our stop over this morning coming home from holiday. Hitched up but engine not running so I think the suspension would raise a little higher when underway. Hitch looks a little raised but not sure if it's an optical illusion. I'll take some more pics when I take the boat back to its berth in Southampton.Image

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by Ianfs » 22 Aug 2017, 11:48

Hitched up but engine not running so I think the suspension would raise a little higher when underway


Funnily enough that looks OK as it is, albeit the rear of the car is a tad low. If anything, sounds as if you have air suspension, when that kicks in it'll transfer some of the bow weight to the rear by tipping it backwards.

I recall last year considering moving the swinging arm forward but decided not to as it would then hit the next cross beam. Thinking about it though it should not matter as the arm does not need to swing downward towards the front of the trailer. Only to the rear


Ummm, not strictly true. If you ever need to make a recovery or a launch for that matter without the whole trailer submersed, as you may have found out since but when your bow hits the first set of rollers (that's the rear most rollers actually) on the rear swinging arm the beam of the arm will tilt forward, then as the boat is driven on to the further rollers, which by this time should be sticking up, the whole swinging arm flattens. On a launch if the rear beam of the arm was stopped from moving forward the boat would enter the water at a steep angle.
However if you look at the picture I've posted of the boat in the barn coming off the trailer, the swinging arm has positioned the rollers correctly, however the beam hasn't moved much. Consequently I think you would only need to move the arm a little to achieve your goal.

My only other concern is it might then expose the main side bars of the trailer to the boat when approaching the trailer. Right now you will safely hit the rollers before anything else


Agreed, that would be a scratch waiting to happen, but as I said, you may only need to move the arm a couple of inches.

However, I was surprised at how heavy the bow of my boat is when I took it off its trailer a couple of years ago and it's only a lightweight bowrider. The stern block support was virtually under the engine, but the weight at the bow was awesome. In fact I started off with a scaffold pole to hold the bow off the trailer and had to add a length of 4x2 because it was bending too much.

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by ChrisH » 22 Aug 2017, 22:46

Thanks Ian this is really helpful. I need to take a closer look when I next go to the boat to see what I can do with the swinging arm. If I recall rightly I might only have about an inch of play but can't be sure. Bit maybe even that will help.

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by Ianfs » 27 Aug 2017, 18:43

Let us know how you get on. :)
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