I just bought a boat with trailer today and have a quick question:
The tongue weight is so light it doesn't rest on the ground when it is not attached to the truck. In other words, I have to control the weight of the tongue as I raise it up until the back is resting on the ground and the tongue is in the air (it looks like it is doing a wheelie in my yard). I suppose I could put a rock on it or something to keep it down, but I would be afraid it could slip, flip up and do some damage.
The simple answer is to move the axle back but here is the weird part: it towed great on the highway! No sway. Nothing. I didn't even know it was back there. I am nervous about moving the axle since I have seen others on the board with swaying issues, etc.
The other way might be to move the boat forward, but it seems like it is as far forward as it should go. The last roller is already off the back of the boat and moving it forward doesn't seem like an option.
Could I just add enough weight to keep the tongue down when it isn't attached to my truck? Any ideas on how I could do that? Since I got home at 11pm, I haven't figured out how many pounds it would take to make the trailer stay down, but I don't think it would be much more than 20 pounds.
just because it didn't sway this time doesn't mean it won't. Upset it the right way and its going to wipe the tow vehicle off the road... Might take a certain road surface, speed, or wind, but it WILL happen.
Pics would be helpful, but it sounds like your axle should go back. If the boat isn't hanging over the back of the trailer a little, and it sounds like it isn't, I suspect you might have a very poor trailer->boat match unfortunately.
I had a BIG boat on the wrong trailer the did not have any tongue weight pulling it with too small a truck that almost got away from me. Scared me pretty good when 8000 pounds starts swaying and picking up the rear tires of the truck. Thank God I have enough sense to not hit the brakes and ride it down. It will sway and get away from you. The sad part is it won't happen until you are at speed.
Its not a big deal to just move the axles back. Get the boat off the trailer and just loosen the u bolts and get them back about a foot. It aint rocket science.
Or if you have to leave the boat on the trailer and jack the trailer up to get the weight off the axle and them move it back.
You dont say what boat or how heavy it is. Or what your tow rig is. Those are nice details to include when asking questions like this. I have seen people with improperly balanced trailers having a heck of a time pulling their boat/trailer up steep ramps. When they try to yank the boat out of the water , momentum really lifts on the rear of the tow vehicle. With a wet, sandy, mossy, steep ramp, you can end up stuck as the rear tires spin. That along with the safety issue of less rear tire traction while towing, as already stated.........
86 THUNDERCRAFT LEGACY 18 FT MERCRUISER 4.3 2 BBL 185 HP ALPHA 1 GET IN, SIT DOWN, SHUT UP, HOLD ON !!! TOW RIG 01 CHEVY SILVERADO STD CAB LONG BOX 4X4 5.3 Z71
GO NAVY!!! USS MERRILL DD 976- SPRUANCE CLASS DESTROYER- ONBOARD 81-85 INTERIOR COMMUNICATION ELECTRICIAN PO 3RD CLASS- TEST SHIP FOR THE TOMAHAWK CRUISE MISSILE. NAS KEFLAVIK ICELAND 86-87
Thank you all for the input. I guess I will just move the axle back a few inches. To answer the above question: The boat is a 15 foot Starcraft Jet. The hull weighs 400lbs, the motor is probably around 200lbs, plus the trailer (maybe 400 lbs). I am towing it with a Nissan Xterra. The X is capable of towing 5000lbs with 500lbs on the tongue.