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Discussion Starter #1
I was towing a load of lumber this weekend with my '04 Prerunner. As I was getting up to speed on the interstate, the trailer decided to start weaving back and forth. I immediately slowed down and pulled off to the side. Once I got all the seat foam out of my ass, I took it slowly to the next exit. Keeping it below 40mph to my house, I didn't have any more problems. It was only when I went past around 45 that it started.

My question, what is causing this? And more importantly, how do I stop this from happening again???

The tires are properly inflated. The trailer is only a year old and is in good shape. There wasn't a hole lot of weight on the tounge. (Some of the boards were longer than the trailer.)
 

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The only thing you can do to stop your trailer from weaving back and forth is to get a heavier truck. The trailer weaving happens when the load your hauling out weighs the tow vehicle. And incase your wondering how right I am... I work for U-haul in Alaska.... I see this alot.
 

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JMacs2004 said:
I was towing a load of lumber this weekend with my '04 Prerunner. As I was getting up to speed on the interstate, the trailer decided to start weaving back and forth. I immediately slowed down and pulled off to the side. Once I got all the seat foam out of my ass, I took it slowly to the next exit. Keeping it below 40mph to my house, I didn't have any more problems. It was only when I went past around 45 that it started.

My question, what is causing this? And more importantly, how do I stop this from happening again???

The tires are properly inflated. The trailer is only a year old and is in good shape. There wasn't a hole lot of weight on the tounge. (Some of the boards were longer than the trailer.)
Vehicle weight can play a factor, but lack of tongue weight/too much tail weight, is a large contributing factor to what causes it..assuming all the trailer's "fixings" are correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It was only about 2000# of trailer and wood. So, I am hoping it was just the light tongue weight. I thought about that as I pulled off. But I really didn't feel like unloading and then reloading the wood there on the side of the interstate.

Thanks for the advice.
 

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There are only two things that cause trailer whip. Improper load distribution, and improper tongue height (trailer not level).
 

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It's definatley the lack of tongue weight. I've got a tiny little trailer that fully loaded weighs around 800lb and if I have everything at the back the truck sways like crazy and the trailer walks from one wheel to the other. This happened Saturday night so I pulled over, moved the heavy stuff to the front and it fixed it 100%. Your truck can easily handle that small trailer, properly loaded. .....Steve
 

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Gvus said:
The only thing you can do to stop your trailer from weaving back and forth is to get a heavier truck. The trailer weaving happens when the load your hauling out weighs the tow vehicle. And incase your wondering how right I am... I work for U-haul in Alaska.... I see this alot.

Not true. Its more related to tounge weight. Try moving the load foward more. I have built a few trailers and tow on a regular basis. I bet most of your weight was towards the rear of the trailer behind the axel. Could also be a poor alignment on the trailer, is it a real trailer or somthing that you put together out of leftover parts?

Chris

Chris
 

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SteveO said:
It's definatley the lack of tongue weight. I've got a tiny little trailer that fully loaded weighs around 800lb and if I have everything at the back the truck sways like crazy and the trailer walks from one wheel to the other. This happened Saturday night so I pulled over, moved the heavy stuff to the front and it fixed it 100%. Your truck can easily handle that small trailer, properly loaded. .....Steve
Thank you....Just as I stated..
 

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JMacs2004 said:
I was towing a load of lumber this weekend with my '04 Prerunner. As I was getting up to speed on the interstate, the trailer decided to start weaving back and forth. I immediately slowed down and pulled off to the side. Once I got all the seat foam out of my ass, I took it slowly to the next exit. Keeping it below 40mph to my house, I didn't have any more problems. It was only when I went past around 45 that it started.

My question, what is causing this? And more importantly, how do I stop this from happening again???

The tires are properly inflated. The trailer is only a year old and is in good shape. There wasn't a hole lot of weight on the tounge. (Some of the boards were longer than the trailer.)
THATS TYPICLE OF NOT ENOUGH TOUNGE WEIGHT
MOVE YOUR LOAD FORWARD!
WHEN TOWING A CAR ON A TRAILER MOVEING THE VEHICLE BY AS LITTLE AS 6" CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERANCE IN TRAILER WHIP
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll go with the tongue weight being the issue. I had a lot of 12' boards on a 10' trailer. It was easier to dangle them off the back than to rest them on the front wall of the trailer.

The trailer is one I purchased. Ran out of time to build the trailer I wanted. (And it probably would have weighed about 3 times as much.)

I am working on some motorcycle mounts for it. If any of you have sport bikes and are looking for a better mousetrap, I think I have a solution. As soon as it is built adn tested, I'll post some pics.
 

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A few years ago I got a new trailer for an old boat, I received several comments about the proper tongue weight. I ended up calling the trailer manufacturer. Tongue weight should be between 7 and 10 percent of the load, end of story. Of course you want the trailer level (proper drop on the ball mount), but tongue weight is CRITICAL to towing behavior.
 
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