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-   -   Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring (http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/questions-answers-154/10161001-trailers-torsion-bar-suspension-vs-leaf-spring.html)

TxToby 11-26-2010 02:19 PM

Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 

A friend of mine just purchased a 4x10 ft cargo trailer that has 3500lb leaf springs. The first day it bounced so bad that it tore the wall mounts out, broke the battery box that was screwed to the floor and flung most of his gear around.

I am trying to buy a trailer to haul my planes to the field. It seems that 95% on the market come with leaf spring suspension. How do I get around the bouncy ride issue? Torsion bar suspension is at least a $400 add on.


2nd: I'm looking to puchase a used 10 ft cargo trailer. I have looked on RCU/FG, Ebay, Craigslist, etc Are there other websites that have great deals on used trailers?

jay2000dakota 11-26-2010 03:15 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
It sounds like the shocks are gone on that trailer. Have you checked the weight distribution because that will cuase trailers to bounce around. I don't think torsion bars are going to help the problem.

Himat 11-26-2010 03:41 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Leaf spring or torsion spring, any trailer that is designed as a rugged load hauler will bounce when empty or lightly loaded. You don't need a 3500lb capacity to carry modell airplanes (or fullsize either).The problem is to find a trailer with space, but a low load rating. Don't know the US market, in european countries it's possible as people also need trailers for small car's. A solution could be to get a trailer and "de rate" it by fiting springs from one with a lower load carrying capacity. Easiest done with leaf springs. Just check if it is possible to do leagally.

scale only 4 me 11-26-2010 04:46 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Well I actually have a Torsion spring trailer, my second, there is no compaison to the Leaf trailer, the torsion is much smoother loaded or empty

and BTW
Leaf spring trailers don't typically have Skocks,, they're not built like trucks, they're built like trailers

da Rock 11-26-2010 05:07 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
One thing you can often do with leaf springs, is pull leaves to tune the suspension. Heck, back in the day highschool boys did it in their backyards. Of course, their father or uncle often showed 'em how to do it safely.

Ask at the trailer dealers if they won't do it when you buy from them, or what they'd charge if you bought used from elsewhere.

Kimhoff 11-26-2010 06:25 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Yep.  Start pulling leaf's out of the springs.  I wouldn't be suprised if you can't remove all but the main and the next one up.  This is very easy to do.

TxToby 11-26-2010 11:25 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Thanks! I want to buy one with torsion bar suspension but if it's leafs... then I'll strip em down and probably add weight if needed.

I found a 6x10ft cargo trailer today that I almost bought but luckily measured. It wont fit through the garage door. Looks like I'm going to have build a custom trailer to keep the roof low, footprint narrow, wheel wells inset, torsion bars, rear dual doors, heavy ply side walls, lights, and a partridge and a pear tree for Christmas!! lol

Sheesh... it might be easier just to strap it to the roof mount and yank the stabs off

BountyHunter51 11-27-2010 07:27 AM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
I have owned a 6x10 with leaf springs. Mine pulled very well, but was bouncy when empty or lightly loaded. Now that I've been looking at cargo trailers again, the torsion suspensions are more appealing than springs. Load rating will make a big difference in how the trailer rides and lighter load rating is better for RC use.
Another thing to consider is going with a V-nose. The extra space is nice and it 'should' cut the wind better. My former cargo trailer had the standard nose and was like dragging a parachute at highway speeds, thus cutting into fuel mileage considerably. Local hauling is a non-issue, but a trip of a hundred miles or so starts to add up.
I hope this helps. Cheers! BH

scale only 4 me 11-27-2010 08:28 AM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 

Quote:

ORIGINAL: TxToby

Thanks! I want to buy one with torsion bar suspension but if it's leafs... then I'll strip em down and probably add weight if needed.

I found a 6x10ft cargo trailer today that I almost bought but luckily measured. It wont fit through the garage door. Looks like I'm going to have build a custom trailer to keep the roof low, footprint narrow, wheel wells inset, torsion bars, rear dual doors, heavy ply side walls, lights, and a partridge and a pear tree for Christmas!! lol

Sheesh... it might be easier just to strap it to the roof mount and yank the stabs off
Just about all of the small single axle trailers will come with Leaf,, that is just because most guys buying that size are looking for a bargain, so cutting $4-$500 off the price makes a big difference.
Once you get into dual axle set up the torsion suspension is more the Norm. To find a small single axle w/torsion, it would have had been custom ordered that way.

Mine is a 7x16 v-nose and it rides like a Cadillac, but it weighs close to 2,500 lbs dry, having a 2500hd truck I hardly know it's back there,,, but I only get 10mpg,, there are always trade offs

Most of those features you're looking for would be found in a custom Low Hauler model
good luck

Lnewqban 11-27-2010 08:57 AM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Quote:

ORIGINAL: TxToby

2nd: I'm looking to puchase a used 10 ft cargo trailer. I have looked on RCU/FG, Ebay, Craigslist, etc Are there other websites that have great deals on used trailers?
Have you checked these sites?

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&r...=&oq=&gs_rfai=

If you want torsion suspension, you may need to find newer trailers for small/light boats or motorcycles and either build a box over it or adapt the suspension to a used big box trailer (~10 x 5).

The strength of any suspension depends on the rating, not on the type.
Hence, be careful when selecting one for your application.

The rubber torsion suspension is lately used to prevent the problems associated to rusting of leaf springs in trailers for sea water applications.
The common type is usually the axle hub behind the spindle is made square.
The main axle itself is also square, but larger.
Rubber inserts are placed between each square edge of the spindle stub & between the axle inner square corners.

The beauty of rubber based suspensions is that they combine spring and shock absorber effects in one element: the rubber.

Edwin 11-27-2010 09:00 AM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
I went the opposite direction most go with trailers. I built a small one (10'x 4'x3') on a harbor freight frame. Total weight behind my honda civic is less than 500lbs fully loaded ready to go flying. Milage drops to 27 mpg. Still better than my F350 deisel 4x4 dually. I can easily man handle that trailer into its parking spot. The leaf springs are rated at 1000lbs and is a little rough but my cradles secure the planes and wings good enough. I just have to be careful how I pack it. I can get two 1/4 scale sized cubs or three .60 sized planes in it.
Edwin

Ralph White 11-27-2010 10:02 AM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Edwin, How about some pictures of the 4' 3" x 10' trailer you built? Sounds like what we are thinking of doing.

Ralph White

LesUyeda 11-27-2010 10:23 AM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Lnewqban

Just out of curiosity, how in the heck do you change tires in that thing? I can see being fully loaded, on the highway, and get a flat:-((((((((

At least, with torsion bar suspension, you can adjust the ride to suite the load (or at least on the old one's that I was familiar with, you could).

Les

rcflyingnut 11-27-2010 06:18 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
I would love to have the money to buy a trailer for the planes, but that will have to wait[:o].

Like others have said; find a good trailer and pull leafs out if you have to. Actually did it with a trailer years ago.

There was also a RCU member that sold his trailer several months ago. It was a converted pop up travel trailer. Looked pretty cool and a great idea. Looked like he stripped everything down to the walls and one of the ends was a work bench. Tried to find the add so I could put a link to it, but couldn't find it. Usually you can find an older pop up trailer real cheap. Just a thought.

Edwin 11-27-2010 06:52 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Heres my aircraft carrier. The truck is in the back ground.
Edwin

Ralph White 11-27-2010 07:20 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Looks good Edwin. Thanks for the picture.
Ralph White

Rcpilot 11-27-2010 07:34 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Yup, the Harbor Freight trailer is the way to go for a cheap and light duty plane hauler. Couple guys at our field have purchased them and boxed them in just as Edwin did with his. One guy hauls 100cc - 150cc planes around behind his Subaru Outback.

Here's the trailer. It bolts together. I'd bolt it together and then weld the joints, but that's just me.

http://www.harborfreight.com/950-lb-...res-42709.html

Lnewqban 11-27-2010 10:12 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
And shipment is free during this weekend!!:)

Mk23socom 11-28-2010 11:04 AM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Imust be spoiled! Iam taking a trip into town today to "visit" my local Harbor Freight Tools store.. its a big boy candy store!!

Edwin 11-28-2010 11:19 AM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
If I were to do it again, I would make it 5' wide and 11' long. Mine currently opens as a clam shell which isnt too bad now. But when I get older, it might be a problem. I installed some lift springs on it but grossly underestimated what I needed. But the lid only weighs around the 46lb mark so its not that bad. I've been towing this trailer for 4 years now and had the transmission checked twice, no problems. The original axle was damaged about a year into using it, I have no idea how it happened. Both wheels were pigeon towed in about 5deg. You could see I hit something but I never felt a jolt in the car. The original axle was pretty light weight, some U channel stuff. I bought a new axle rated at 1000lbs that is much beefier. Like I said, if I were to do it again, I would like to do a torsion suspension. On pavement the leafs are not too bad, its the gravel roads that can be a problem. But if you slow down a bit, all is good.
Edwin

TxToby 11-28-2010 01:37 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
I like the price on the Harbor freight trailer frame. Edwin did an awesome job building his! That would work well for me if I was only going to my local field and not tri-state IMAC & fun flys.

The challenge I have is I’m transporting a 40%, 35% and all the support gear. We go to Joe Nall every year (Texas to South Carolina) at 75-85mph (85-90mph as we get closer :). I dare say the wheels and bearings would be smoking!

A friend found a great deal on a 7’x 10 ft V-Nose cargo trailer, lowered to 78” so it will fit in the garage, torsion suspension, shorter axle + tuck the wheels under /inset into the trailer (saves about 1 ½ feet in width , 3/8th thick wall siding,etc… and electric breaks for $2,250 +all custom upgrades (about $500).

Just like buying cars, the difference between the 5x10 and 6x10 was only $150 bucks. From a 6x10 to a 7x10 it was only about $200. 2 ft is a major difference and tucking the wheels in barely made the footprint wider than the 5x10 with standard tires. Now I’m kicking myself!- my budget going was $1500-1800!

scale only 4 me 11-30-2010 10:23 AM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
I had one of those HF folding trailers too, Pulled dirt bikes and camping gear out to the desert with it, never had a problem, a lot more weight that a couple 30% planes and a plywood box

You be suprised, a lot depends on how much weight is on those bearings. If you're running them at max trailer load all the time, you'll want to service them often,, and keep an eye on things check the temp at gas stops. We went on a camping trip around the great lakes (1200 miles) this summer and towed my 14' aluminum boat, with a bunch of gear in it. I'd say the trailer was at full load. It held up fine. It just has those 8" wheels.

I recomend putting Bearing Buddies on so you can add grease easy, you'll have very few problems if you do. I had those on a boat trailer. I put over 20k miles on those bearings, never had a problem because I kept up with the maintance. Believe me, the middle of the CA desert is no place you want to break down.

good luck

flygilmore 12-02-2010 09:36 AM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
I also built my own trailer. Started off with a 4x8 frame and cut off the sides and added a foot to the width making it 5' wide. I then welded 1" square tubing to make my structure and sheeted it in with luan and sheet metal screws. I have a big side door that I can get my planes in/out of and a nice wing rack that will hold 6 wings. In all, I only spent $200 for a nice trailer that will carry two 50cc planes and a couple smaller .60 size as well. It has leaf springs but driving with some sense, I have not had issues with bouncing badly.

teebox11 12-03-2010 09:44 PM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Get torsion and ADD shocks, add a sway bar. The trailer mnf. will do it cheap. Trailer floats like a cloud.

moodier 12-04-2010 04:53 AM

RE: Trailers Torsion bar suspension VS Leaf spring
 
Hi;Just another thought!HAve seen people buy used tent trailer' especially if the canvas is shot go pretty cheap and are deep enough for most models then when you get there can raise the top and have a protected spot too.Have seen them for couple hundred dollars and although they have smaller tires they are meant for highway speeds!Just another thought!Good Luck!


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