How Much Tilt is OK?

Discussion in 'Tow Rigs and Trailers' started by TARider, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. TARider

    TARider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Concord
    Towing a 6x10 utility trailer behind the Jeep it's obviously not level. How much angle is ok before I move to a drop hitch?
     
  2. Hurley

    Hurley WTFab

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    Feb 22, 2008
    Location:
    Statesville
    welp.... let's see a picture.
     
  3. TARider

    TARider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Concord
    That would be helpful but would also require dragging the trailer up a hill to avoid driving across the wet yard to hook up.
    I was hoping there is a general "rule of thumb" like they should be within X degrees of level.
     
  4. fourwheelinj1

    fourwheelinj1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Its really mainly about tongue weight. You need approximately 10% of the load on the tongue to minimize fishtailing.
     
  5. TARider

    TARider Well-Known Member

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    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Concord
    Makes sense. I'll wait for some nicer weather, load the bike and see where I'm at.
     
  6. YotaOnRocks

    YotaOnRocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Location:
    Winston-Salem
    I tow a 5x10 behind my 07 2500 a lot. My truck is lifted on 37's and even with a 6" drop hitch it still is nowhere near level. I've had no problems with it. Here is an old picture of it behind the truck loaded. Without all the wood in the bed it is a little higher. IMG00235-20111006-1153.jpg
     
  7. Infamous1

    Infamous1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsboro
    I usually try to keep my trailers pretty level, if you think its too much angle then it is. It only takes one really good speed wobble or inability to stop in time to convince you.
     
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  8. OnlyOneDR

    OnlyOneDR Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    R
    Drop hitch ball mounts are fairly cheap. If the trailer isn't level, it is not distributing the weight properly between the trailer and the tow vehicle. While it cannot be perfect in every situation, it needs to be close enough.
     
  9. GCncsuHD

    GCncsuHD Charlie Daniels with a torque wrench

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Location:
    Salisbury/Statesville
    As mentioned, tongue weight is the real deciding factor, 10% load on the ball is a decent rule of thumb. The angle of the trailer is not very important unless it becomes a clearance issue, but keep in mind, the steeper the trailer is tilted back the more it transfers weight off the ball and more to the rear. A steeper tilted trailer will need more weight to the front to keep away the sway.

    I like to have mine near level when loaded, so unloaded the trailer has a slight upward tilt. Drop hitches are cheap relative to an accident.
     
  10. Blkvoodoo

    Blkvoodoo professionally useless Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Archer Lodge
    Most trailer axles have a positive camber \----/ built into them for load deflection, to allow the wheel to track flat as the load is applied. while tongue weight is a major factor, the camber of the axle can be an issue if the tongue angle is too great, now the camber becomes CASTER and TOE which can cause the wheels to want to steer the trailer depending on road surface and crown. a light loaded single axle trailer with a high ( or too low ) tongue angle will tend to wander, same trailer loaded heavy may not be as crazy because the axle deflection has lessened the camber/caster effect.

    high trailer angle X Short Wheel base X load may = tail wagging the dog.
     
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  11. 6BangBronk

    6BangBronk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Durham
    Excellent point. See if the axle has a slight bend in the very middle. If it does, there's your answer. If not, you should be good. But all the trailer axles I've seen (not home made) has this.
     
  12. krehel24

    krehel24 <- and it begins!!!......

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Locust NC
    I think the general rule is no more then 18.7 degrees plus or minus from 180 degrees once attached to the truck. I may be off I little one numbers..................:flipoff2: seriously I would try to keep it level so it doesn't bind on hills and such.
     
  13. BigBody79

    BigBody79 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    Lumberton
    I always try to go level. This is especially important on tandem axle trailers. Plus, level doesn't look hack.
     
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  14. BrianGreen

    BrianGreen SSG Brian Green

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Location:
    Kings Mountain
    Lesson learned - If you have a crazy drop hitch and the trailer starts wagging, the drop hitch dosent help any. Drop hitches add a lot of side to side movement of the ball.

    A couple years ago when I moved across the county, my only truck was my trail rig. Toyota on 35s with the reciever at frame height (2x3 tube welded between the frame rails with reciever in it), 12" drop hitch. Even with a level load and good distribution, I had sway issues.
     
  15. Jake.

    Jake. Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Location:
    Middlesex
    I usually add more tongue weight and it gets rid of the sway. Although I've never had a 12" drop hitch. We have a hydro tilt trailer I pull at work that weighs 4100lbs empty. I have to put quite a bit of load up front to keep it stable. Although with a 10k lb forklift the weight distribution isn't very even. If the lift is even a little bit too far off I can't pull past 60 mph. That tail will wag the shit out of the dog
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015

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