Advice Please - Luggage Trailer




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  1. #1
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    Default Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    I'm sure there are quite a few guys on this forum who have been there, done that or at least thought about it.

    I have a 7ft Challenger luggage trailer with nose cone that is primarily used as a place to store overflow stuff from my garage. If it was meant to be a storage unit it wouldn't have been made with wheels so once in a while I empty it and re-pack it with camping gear and head out to various game reserves, game farms and some out of the way places. 80% of the time we're driving on tar but do travel on gravel once we closer to our destination. It has 13" wheels, so I guess that is good.

    My problem is this......
    Although the trailer tracks perfectly behind the Jeep in the lateral plane, the bouncing of this trailer even on tar makes for an unpleasant trip. We seldom arrive at our destination with unbroken eggs, stuff packed on top ends up at the bottom and everything is badly shaken up.
    My normal tar driving speed is 110km/hr, so it is not from speeding and the trailer is certainly not overloaded.

    I could possibly play around with tyre pressures which will help, but I was wondering if somehow installing a pair of shocks would solve the problem. Mounting brackets would have to be made and I assume this could become reasonably technical with angles, placement etc.

    Has anyone added shocks to a normal luggage trailer, did it solve a lot of the bouncing problem, how involved was the process and was it worth it?

    Any advice, suggestions will be much appreciated.
    2011 JK Wrangler Rubicon 3.8

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyP View Post
    I'm sure there are quite a few guys on this forum who have been there, done that or at least thought about it.

    I have a 7ft Challenger luggage trailer with nose cone that is primarily used as a place to store overflow stuff from my garage. If it was meant to be a storage unit it wouldn't have been made with wheels so once in a while I empty it and re-pack it with camping gear and head out to various game reserves, game farms and some out of the way places. 80% of the time we're driving on tar but do travel on gravel once we closer to our destination. It has 13" wheels, so I guess that is good.

    My problem is this......
    Although the trailer tracks perfectly behind the Jeep in the lateral plane, the bouncing of this trailer even on tar makes for an unpleasant trip. We seldom arrive at our destination with unbroken eggs, stuff packed on top ends up at the bottom and everything is badly shaken up.
    My normal tar driving speed is 110km/hr, so it is not from speeding and the trailer is certainly not overloaded.

    I could possibly play around with tyre pressures which will help, but I was wondering if somehow installing a pair of shocks would solve the problem. Mounting brackets would have to be made and I assume this could become reasonably technical with angles, placement etc.

    Has anyone added shocks to a normal luggage trailer, did it solve a lot of the bouncing problem, how involved was the process and was it worth it?

    Any advice, suggestions will be much appreciated.
    I think that since your problem seems to be absorption, maybe try to really load the trailer - by that I mean, give it some real load. You will notice that the trailer will behave much better when laden. And alternative would be to add tie downs and strap your load with bunjee cords or straps - this will ensure that the movement of your gear is restrained. This is what works for me with my 5 footer

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    Simple question, does your trailer run level when hooked to your Jeep?

    Adjusting the tow ball position to let trailer run level also affects how the spring packs work. Also has an affect on how it interacts with your vehicle.

    If trailer normally has very little weight perhaps remove one of the blades to allow for a softer spring rating. Thus less bounce and more absorption of road conditions.

    My opinion you have a suspension too stiff for your application.

    Shocks help dampen bounce does not sound like your issue.

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    I did exactly what you are asking about.

    But found that one needs to do a bit more to overcome the problem of broken, well broken just about everything after a bad dirt road.

    First I changed the wheel size to 15"
    I did this for two reasons, 1. so the trailer runs level with the vehicle.
    2. I fitted the same rims and tyers as my vehicle, I now had spare wheels that was interchangeable. Worked well till I sold my Hilux and my new vehicle now has 16" tyers. So there goes that one.

    It was better but only by a small margin. Next was shocks.

    Adding shocks didn't make that big of a difference, what made a difference was changing the rear end of the spring to shackles, like on a vehicle. That spring that just sits on the trailer chassis is no good, well for me it wasn't, it bounces around and makes a noise. Like in pic 1, I'm sure that is what you have got.

    Picture 2 is of the shackles fitted. This made a huge difference and the trailer could be used once again, but still not 100's as I soon found out.

    My last trip down the Transkei I wasn't loaded very heavy and ran the tyre pressures at 2 bar, I normally run 2 on the road and when I hit the dirt I drop them down. I was to lazy to drop the pressure when I got onto the dirt, kids wanted to get to the beach ...
    When I got to the cottage I found that I had charcoal powder instead of charcoal, broken long life milk cartons and all the bedding was covered in milk and black charcoal dust, yes swambo was ecstatic !! oh and add some orange juice and Fanta into the mix too.

    Long story short, the trip home I ran 0.8 bar, sounds very low but it is mud tyres with a stronger side wall, 31", and at every stop I felt the tyres, they were cold. Towed beautifully and not even a broken egg.

    Change the rear of the springs to shackles and drop your tyre pressure, I think tyre pressure was the secret all along.
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    Last edited by Chris8d; 2018/08/06 at 08:58 AM.

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    Is that the 750kg trailer with the 8 blade spring pack ?
    Kobus

    HDJ81 VX

  9. #6
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    Default Re: Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    Thanks guys, this is all great information and gives me ideas to work on.
    Kobus, it is the 750 kg trailer, but it only has 4 blades (I think) I'll check in the morning
    2011 JK Wrangler Rubicon 3.8

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    If the trailer or vehicle stands for extended periods, the wheels develop flat spots which can add to bounciness of the ride.

    When storing, place the trailer on some support to lift the wheels off the ground.

    Tyre pressure has been dealt with in preceding posts.

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    Challenger trailers has very short and stiff leave springs. Some models's springs is so short you cant even see them from the side as its hidden behind the wheel. Mine did the same, and it has almost no suspension function. replace them and move the shackles to accommodate the 5 leaf longer Venter Springs. Believe me, it will be much better
    Last edited by Bostokkelos; 2018/08/07 at 01:49 PM.

  12. #9
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    Default Re: Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    It has the 4 leaf springs.
    I store it on stands and remove wheels more for a security issue as it sits outside under an afdak, so no issue there.
    Bostokkelos, you are 100% correct. I have often wondered why they use such short springs, they almost seem like an after thought.
    Tomorrow's a public holiday so a good time for me to crawl under there and see what my options are in this regard.

    Thanks for all the input from all of you, I recon if I did a bit of everything in your responses I'd have a magical riding trailer with no more broken eggs
    2011 JK Wrangler Rubicon 3.8

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    Short spring blades have little space for movement so regardless of rating they are hard and jumpy. Dropping the tyre pressure will help......a lot... but the best you can do is to fit a longer spring pack of suitable rating. Second best thing you can do is to fit a set of shocks, not as difficult as you might think.

    Look at Burquip's site, they have everything on there, your springs and axle on a 750 trailer are usually rated at 900 to 1000kg. I like front mount with slipper rather than shackle at the rear as the shackle is a bit wallowy for me but that's personal choice.

    Remember first line of defence on dirt is lower tyre pressure
    Henk
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  14. #11
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    Default Re: Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    If you are loading relatively close to the 750kg GVM and yoru tyre pressures arent far from 2 bar, then I would say start looking at the mods. Everything mentioned here is good. I would go with the longer springs and shackles, that will smooth out the ride plenty. You can also look at fitting a rubber axle, but this is a tad more expensive and will lower the body a bit, but that you can over come by putting in a lift of sorts. The rubber axle tows a lot softer than leaf springs

  15. #12
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    Default Re: Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    I have a problem with rubber axles, in my experience it is a case of when they fail rather than if they fail. If the road is very bumpy and the wheels bounce a lot the rubber gets very hot due to the energy being absorbed and this leads to premature failure. I have replaced enough of them to see the pattern
    Henk
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  17. #13
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    Default Re: Advice Please - Luggage Trailer

    Thanks Henk, I have ordered new springs from Burquip as you suggested.

    On the rubber axle thing, quite a few years ago there were many instances of one of the brands of offroad caravans (can't recall which one) that used rubber axles that suffered major axle failure leaving these vans stranded out in the bush.
    2011 JK Wrangler Rubicon 3.8

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