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Old 08-01-2015, 03:01 PM   #1
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Odd Camper Trailer

Here is a photo of a really odd looking camper trailer that we encountered in Waterton National Park last week. Looks like they may have come from Switzerland.


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Old 08-01-2015, 03:18 PM   #2
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Looks like a VW T5 is the tug, something else not sold in these parts cause of the chicken tax.
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Old 08-01-2015, 03:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
Here is a photo of a really odd looking camper trailer that we encountered in Waterton National Park last week. Looks like they may have come from Switzerland.
Interesting. A swiveling front axle. It appears that the geometry of the front axle is in line with the tow, and the front of the trailer simply swivels on a center point from the axle. The effect would be almost a "3 axle tow", except I'm assuming the carriage could also swivel on the tow's ball?
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Old 08-01-2015, 03:35 PM   #4
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And like those farm wagons, more of a challenge to back up. Loren
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Old 08-01-2015, 03:47 PM   #5
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And like those farm wagons, more of a challenge to back up. Loren
Right. Backing up would be a whole other experience. One advantage I see would be little to no tongue weight. It's carried by the front axle.
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:35 PM   #6
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cause of the chicken tax
What the heck is a chicken tax?
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:55 PM   #7
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:58 PM   #8
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Also,
Found this
Quote:
WASHINGTON -- In the background of the free-trade debate that has raged in Washington this summer, a sacred cow of U.S. auto and trade policy is under threat.

The 25 percent tariff imposed on imported pickups and commercial vans, known as the "chicken tax," stands to be significantly rolled back through big-ticket trade deals being hammered out with Pacific Rim nations and the European Union.
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:18 PM   #9
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On are last camping trip I saw pick up truck towing a large fifth wheel trailer with this kind of tows axle. I wonder how the well the trailers tow useing a extra axle like this?
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:50 PM   #10
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This type of trailer is called a "full trailer", just like a traditional horse-drawn wagon; conventional trailers are called "pony trailers" (because they have just one axle set and the front is carried on the tug like a horse racing buggy's front is carried on the horse) or in some cases a "semi-trailer".

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Interesting. A swiveling front axle. It appears that the geometry of the front axle is in line with the tow, and the front of the trailer simply swivels on a center point from the axle. The effect would be almost a "3 axle tow", except I'm assuming the carriage could also swivel on the tow's ball?
Yes, the connection to the tug is a normal ball, so it pivots there. This is just like an old horse-drawn wagon or the most basic version of a child's little red wagon.

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Originally Posted by Loren & Cathy View Post
And like those farm wagons, more of a challenge to back up. Loren
Yes, that's definitely one disadvantage.

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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
One advantage I see would be little to no tongue weight. It's carried by the front axle.
Yes, that's a reason to use it. It's also a bit of a disadvantage for rear-wheel-drive tugs, because there is no extra drive traction provided by tongue weight.

This sort of pivoting axle (or dolly, if it is a separate part) can work well, but if not done properly it can be unstable. It is also illegal in many places for a non-commercial rig. A vehicle towed on a pivoting-type dolly behind a motorhome is essentially the same thing, but a vehicle behind a motorhome is in some places a specific exception to the rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markvt View Post
On are last camping trip I saw pick up truck towing a large fifth wheel trailer with this kind of tows axle. I wonder how the well the trailers tow useing a extra axle like this?
This is not like the pivoting dolly - it can't turn relative to the truck. This essentially adds an extra axle to the truck, way too far from the drive axle, with lousy suspension. I think people using these should really just get a proper conventional trailer (instead of making a fifth-wheel into a poorly-designed conventional), or get a more suitable truck that doesn't need this junk.

When a dolly that turns (like the ones for towing a car being a motorhome) is used to add another semi-trailer behind the first trailer of a big rig, it's called an "A-train". When a non-pivoting dolly like the rig above is used for the same purpose, it's called a "B-train".
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