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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Reading the other post, some good info. But, how exactly should you load the trailer? I picked up a car trailer for a good price last week. It's tandem axle, 3500 lb each, with brakes on the front axle. The tires are in great shape; I replaced the decking last weekend, gave it a coat of hammerite, replaced one light and one bulb and wired on a new plug; now I am ready for the maiden voyage this Saturday. It's just across town, and I could drive the jeep, but you know, new toy and all that. Plus I have a two hour voyage to Penrose in a couple weeks, and Moab in March, so... How do I load this thing? Where to position it on the trailer, so that I have the proper tongue weight? Is it just a matter of trial and error, seeing how it pulls in various positions? And for tying it down I was thinking one chain in back hooked in the corner of the trailer, over the axle tube, under the pinion, over the other side of the axle tube and hooked back to the opposite corner. Then in front using either ratchet straps or come alongs criss-crossed and hooked to the "C" on the axle tubes. Good plan, or no?

Max

82 CJ, some stuff stock, some stuff not
Have you hugged your Jeep today?
http://www.alpine14rs.org
 
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Well, the best way to measure tongue weight is with a tongue weight scale. Absent that, you'll have to improvise. Got a bathroom scale? Good. Take a sturdy piece of lumber, and 3 short pieces of 2x4. measure the lumber and find the center point. Take a bathroom scale, place it on one side...put a short piece of 2x4 on it. Take 2 short pieces of 2x4 and put them x' away from the scale (x being the length of the stout piece of lumber). Place the lumber between them, so as to span the gap. If you put the trailer tongue at the 1/2 way point between scale and the other end of the stout board, the scale will register 1/2 of the tongue weight (plus 1/2 the weight of the stout board, so zero out the scale with the stout board upon it). Now, figure out a rough guestimate of your total trailer weight...something like 5K maybe? So you want 10-15% tongue weight, so 500lbs as a minimum. Adjust the position of the jeep until the bathroom scale reads 250#s, and make a mark. Not sure if the scale goes up to 375 or not, so you might not be able to get up to 15%...but you get a real close idea. Then, hook up and attempt the tow. You can adjust fore or aft as needed.

As far as the strapping goes...here's my only problem with that plan. I like strapping to the axles, because it generally prevents problems with trying to take all the 'give' out of the springs. The only downside to your plan is that you're pulling down and back on the rear axle, and down on the front axle...when you go over a bump and the suspension on the jeep moves, the wheelbase is altered ever so slightly, right (axle moves fore/aft--that's why its got shackles...the perceived length of the leafs changes). So what is happening is your chain on the rear axle will be loosening and tightening...which generally leads to loosening...and then a chain is unhooked...and then bad things happen. I'm just anal-retentive about chaining things down, though. Here are a few sugestions.
1. Instead of just hooking the end of a chain in a chain pocket, always loop it through and hook it back on itself. it is less likely to come unhooked, and as an added bonus, you can loosen/tighten the chain in 1/2 link increments.
2. Use screw-type chainbinders instead of lever-type. More adjustment, and easier adjustment.
3. Try to attach the jeep so you've got equal forces acting on the axles. Obviously, you want to hold it down, but if possible, chain it so you're holding it steady, instead of just pulling back (a la your current idea for chaining the rear axle). If something did happen to your front attachment, the rear should be redundant. With your current setup, the rear will just want to pull the jeep backwards.
4. WATCH FOR BRAKELINES!! Don't ask me how I know that.
5. I'm not above slipping a padlock through the chains if I know I'm gonna be out of eyeshot of my load...prevents chains (and jeeps!!!) from walking off.
6. I don't know what you mean by "hooked to the C on the axletubes." So I can't help you there.

I Jeep, therefore I am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No bathroom scale, although I think I know where I can get one.

By the "C", I meant that part of the knuckle that is welded to the axle tube; not the steering knuckle but the piece that connects the steering knuckle to the axle via the balljoints.

I can't see anyway to strap it straight down; you have to go to the back of the trailer, don't you? I'm having trouble picturing this, I guess. The axles are unsprung weight, so lashed down and back in the rear and down and forward in the front they shouldn't move, should they? The jeep will pitch about a bit with bumps in the road, but will the anchor points move? If it matters, I do also have a shackle reversal, so everything flexes backwards.

Thankx, Max

82 CJ, some stuff stock, some stuff not
Have you hugged your Jeep today?
http://www.alpine14rs.org
 

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/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif Here's something to remember about chains and binders......or any load holding devices for that matter....* The flatter the chains are the less they will hold. In other words, the chains need to have as steep an angle on them as possible. If they go straight down to the deck, that's the best case scenario. My favorite way of chaining down is to use the CRUSH of the suspension, and not just the tires, so I chain to the frame. If you take Farmjeep's advice and chain for redundancy, you would want the rear chain to go more crosswise than rearward. I like to chain from the Jeep hitch down and slightly to the rear of the trailer on each side, then do the same in front off the front shackles. If you notice that renta-trailers have a bottom chain that does go almost straight down from the rear axle to the trailer attachment. I'm not a big fan of chaining down axles......too easy to bend them. Ford found that out. The auto haulers were bending the Ford car and truck axles on the way to the dealer. If you are going to make this a permanent trailer-Jeep combo, do like the army does and TAKE THE TIME to install some good attaching points on your jeep, then set up some good tie-down equipment that just fits. No sense beating up the Jeep and the Jeep parts every time you chain it down./wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif

CJDave
A moonguy-operated Jeep Skunkworks in the "Heartland".
 
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Dave,
Do you have any special advice about the chain tightening when chaining to the frame? They only reason I am opposed to it is because of problems I've had with chains loosening or coming unhooked because of spring flex when going over bumps...and this worries me a great deal on a Flexi-Jeep.

I Jeep, therefore I am.
 

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/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif once you get away from heavy equipment, chains are not all that desireable. If it wuz up to me, I would take a look at straps instead. In fact, I REALLY like the idea of having the strap "cages" for the four tires. The U-Haul auto transports have that system. The only problem is that they don't fit big tires very well. I had to reset the straps on the CJ 15 X 10 rubber about a dozen times in 2K miles. If you hauled the same Jeep all the time, you could set up FOUR strap cages, one for each tire with built in winders. THAT would be a nice way to go./wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif Squishy suspension IS more of a problem when chaining down from the frame, you just need to be sure that you are using a chain setup that can't get away if it loosens and tightens alternately./wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif Using a spring dampener in the chain is a good way to go./wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif

CJDave
A moonguy-operated Jeep Skunkworks in the "Heartland".
 
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i'm a little on the over kill side. i strap the front axle first, not to tight, then chain the front bumper. then i go to the back and strap the rear axle and tighten her down(she'll move back a little) then chain it down to the rear towhooks. the ratchet straps are the main "binders" while my chains are just for safety. i don't know what the ring is called but i use a ring at the end of the chains that opens up in the middle with a nut that has a left and right thread. this ring is better than a hook cuz it won't come undone.

taco
78cj7
 
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