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Old 04-08-2016, 02:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Therein lies the problem. But I also wonder about that somewhat intangible aspect that various folks, including myself, have mentioned. That, with the WDH, the trailer and tug feel much more "as one". I'd be curious if that feeling still existed with a different balance system without the WDH.

Ron
Definitely not an easy solution, that's for sure, or someone would have figured it out by now. I know I certainly don't have the answer. Not sure that feeling of the two unit being one could still exist, or not. Certainly with less hitch weight there would be less forces downward on the hitch, even when hitting bumps and dips.
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:36 PM   #12
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Someone on the forum said that trailers in Europe are designed differently to allow for lower tongue weights - anyone know more about that? That document has this summary section that is very interesting:


Optimising towing stability (summary)
Tow vehicle behaviour is now well understood, both in theory and practice. A long-wheelbase tow vehicle with short rear overhang, and one that weighs more than the trailer, is more stable than one that lacks such attributes.
Reducing caravan perimeter mass and particularly end-weight mass is vital.
It makes sense to house the spare wheel(s) below the chassis and in front of or just behind the axle. Batteries should be located centrally between the axles. Ideally water tanks should be wide but not long, and located as centrally as possible.
Friction devices smooth minor snaking and reduce settling time. Trials show that such (Coulomb friction) devices have no effect on forces beyond that however. Elastic energy held within such devices may suddenly be released when such devices are overwhelmed and ‘fed into the system’.
Lateral sidewall stiffness of all tyres assists.
The major factor of all however is speed.


This seems to argue for the use of ST tires as sidewall stiffness is supposed to be one of their strong points. Also in terms of water tanks Reace seems to be trying to do the same thing this suggests. At least it is that way on our 17. It definitely seems to recommend against putting any extra weight on the read bumper, and keeping speeds lower.
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:47 PM   #13
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Someone on the forum said that trailers in Europe are designed differently to allow for lower tongue weights - anyone know more about that?
They are designed for lower polar moment of inertia, which just means that the mass is kept closer to the middle of the trailer, so if you imagine the trailer on a turntable, it takes less force to start it spinning or to stop it. This is done largely by not piling propane tanks, batteries, and boxes of equipment on the tongue, and by not piling spare tires, racks full of bikes, and boxes full of more gear on the rear bumper. Propane (or butane) tanks are routinely up front, but they're typically tucked up against or right into the body, rather than nearly on the coupler.

Euro trailers also have the axle located closer to the middle of the trailer. For an illustration, the Escape 15' has an axle position more typical of European practice, while the Escape 17' has a more rear-set axle resulting in higher tongue weight (if the heavy components were are all placed the same way, which they're not in these two models).

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This seems to argue for the use of ST tires as sidewall stiffness is supposed to be one of their strong points. Also in terms of water tanks Reace seems to be trying to do the same thing this suggests. At least it is that way on our 17.
And yet there are no ST tires in Europe. They use Euro-metric tires, the same as a small van.
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:54 PM   #14
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Euro trailers also have the axle located closer to the middle of the trailer..
Thanks. This part is interesting, as in the paper itself it lists an axle further to the rear contributing to helping prevent sway, unless I read that part wrong?
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:58 PM   #15
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I believe the writer is Australian, and is referencing European designs as well in his overall analysis of best safety practices, both in engineering and driver behavior.
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:59 PM   #16
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Thanks. This part is interesting, as in the paper itself it lists an axle further to the rear contributing to helping prevent sway, unless I read that part wrong?
No, you read that correctly. It's better for stability to have the centre of mass (balance point) further forward of the axle, but that increases the tongue weight. Life is a series of compromises, and in the case of European travel trailers the tongue weight must be kept relatively low to match the hitch capacity of the tow vehicles. The other aspects of the design (such as keeping heavy stuff away from the ends) must be sufficient to make the trailer stable with this axle position.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:08 PM   #17
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I believe the writer is Australian, and is referencing European designs as well in his overall analysis of best safety practices, both in engineering and driver behavior.
Yes, the Australian situation is interesting. They recognize and use a mix of European and North American designs and equipment. It's almost the ideal situation, with well-designed trailers and without the restriction to the highly regulated choice of equipment; for instance, they routinely use North American brakes (not limited to the surge systems), but get properly structured Euro hitches. A lot of them take trailers off-road, so they have worked out how to do that effectively... which includes towing relatively large trailers with moderate sizes of SUVs safely and without resorting to WD systems (which are unworkable off-road).
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Old 04-08-2016, 06:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
... but get properly structured Euro hitches.
.
Brian what is different about European hitches?
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:12 AM   #19
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Brian what is different about European hitches?
Typical European hitches (receivers) replace the rear bumper bar, and are very solidly attached into the vehicle structure at the bumper attachment points, as well as often extending into the frame rails. Many SUVs and pickup trucks are now done this way from the factory, even here in North America, but other vehicles here often have the hitch attached to various points which may or may not be suitable for this purpose. In between are those (such as my van) which have properly planned mounting points for the hitch, but packaging of the receiver into the available space can be awkward because the hitch is competing with the bumper.

I have looked at the hitches available here for my Mazda3 (for a utility trailer, not a travel trailer), and although I may go ahead and put one on, I would certainly rather have the Euro style. From Australia, I could even get one that mounts in the bumper replacement method, but has a square receiver that works with the ball mounts we use here.
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