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Old 09-03-2009, 03:04 PM   #1
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Washboard roads

One thing I did to my Casita was to put shocks on because i could be driving four hours or more on washboard/rock roads.
I think the shocks worked... but probably the thing that helped the most was the large diameter tires (30" about) and taking them down to about 15psi and driving slow.

But I was wondering, would the tandem axles on the 19 smooth out rough roads some?

Just askin
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:07 PM   #2
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Re: Washboard roads

I'd like to know the answer to the tandem axle question from someone who knows too. Because I'm THINKING it would make the ride worse with twice as many tires to hit the ruts and pot holes over a single axle trailer. Hummmm.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:20 PM   #3
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Re: Washboard roads


Keath and I have had many discussions on this topic. He wanted a 19' with one axle, but the market demands two. Twice as many tires to replace, twice as many wheel bearings to pack, more drag - friction ( I'm told ), more brake pads to replace.
My sister in law insisted on dual axles on her 16'. I gather she figured if she got a flat tire, she wouldn't have to stop and fix it. Lot's of luck getting all that aluminum siding replaced.......
And, I think it was Reace that said you have to do a walk around often. If a tire goes flat, you won't notice, but the tire will beat itself to death.

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Old 09-03-2009, 11:12 PM   #4
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Re: Washboard roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo

Keath and I have had many discussions on this topic. He wanted a 19' with one axle, but the market demands two. Twice as many tires to replace, twice as many wheel bearings to pack, more drag - friction ( I'm told ), more brake pads to replace.
My sister in law insisted on dual axles on her 16'. I gather she figured if she got a flat tire, she wouldn't have to stop and fix it. Lot's of luck getting all that aluminum siding replaced.......
And, I think it was Reace that said you have to do a walk around often. If a tire goes flat, you won't notice, but the tire will beat itself to death.

baglo
you bring up some good points but they beg the question.
Tire wear and the dangers of dual axles notwithstanding:

Do dual axles increase the effects of washboard roads? decrease it? have no effect?
Donna thinks they should make it worse.
I cannot refute that.
I am a mechanical engineer and find it really difficult to figure this out thereby depending on anecdotal experience of users or some physics I am missing (which is a heck of a lot since I broke 65)

Ron
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:38 PM   #5
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Re: Washboard roads


Too many variables. I've always found that it's best to drive at speed over washboard when you can. The slower you go the worse it gets. The problem is maintaining control on curves. You can then add shock absorbers or not, distance between the hills and valleys, and whether you have a passenger screaming at you to slow down or not. I once had the tent-trailer come up along-side the Subaru in a corner. So, I slowed down after I got it back where it belonged. So, you also have to define what is a rough ride.

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Old 09-03-2009, 11:54 PM   #6
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Re: Washboard roads

Hi: ronsmith... I can't speak for dual axles as the 5.0 isn't equipped with them. Just thinkin' tho. Due to the completely independant torsion tubes the only movement will be the tires& arms. I believe the object of the dual axles is for stability& weight distribution over the 19' length.
I know my pickup has a tendency to dance sideways due to the rear solid axle and conventional susp. None of the vehicles I have owned with torsion susp. ever did!!!
I think the 19' Escape will do the wash board with ease but you'll still have to take your laundry to the coin op!!!
The only thing I ever see our trailer doing as it follows along is a slight bounce in the tires. Alf
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:05 AM   #7
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Re: Washboard roads

ESCAPE ARTIST!
I love these handles some of you have come up with... yesterday I read a post from someone calling them self Texescapee/
Getting into the Escape scene too late to get a good handle.

I really tried to measure bounce in my Casita scientifically.
I had an accelerometer but it broke.
I tied a plum bob to the AC and filmed it but could not discern anything.
Finally I got an old shop indicator and took out the spring and packed it full of grease and fixed it to the frame to measure the dog bone movement on the axle.
Drove it over a two by four at different speeds, different tire pressures, and with/without shocks attached.
All I am (somehat) convinced of is the flatter tires roll over things easier and the shocks are good for tough hits like a pot hole.
That's all.

Gpaglo

Mythbusters had an episode where they confirmed that a car (big Buick) ran smoother over washboard roads at 40mph that it did at 20mph.
I know that I can do that with my truck too although the rigid rear axle sometimes launches me into an uncontrollable side slip... especially on curves.
But I will not do that ever with my Casita because I cant be sure that the trailer tires are in sync with the truck tires and no need in popping more rivets than necessary

But back to the original question:
I was watching one tandem axle trailer move over a rough rocky road faster than anyone else and it "appeared" that the two axles shared a bump. Floating over it.
Not sure.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:13 PM   #8
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Re: Washboard roads

--the problem with driving at speed is although smoother, when you hit the big one, ie one that compresses your suspension, you loose control. I've done it several times and have so far been "lucky". By lucky I mean controlled luck , I only do this when no other visible traffic. Good thing about gravel is you can see someone coming, (thier cloud of dust) and slow to an appropriate fully controlled speed speed.
--The issue with the trailer would be it is for general purpose....if you always travelled on gravel you could soften the suspension and give it more travel and long soft shocks. the problem with soft shock long travel suspension is it will tend to wonder on hard pavement.
--many modern shocks have either pre-set adjustments or variable oil or air pressure. So just changing to shocks brings a whole new set of challenges to dial in the ride.
--You may find that if you just add some weight over the wheel area of the trailer so that the suspension works it may improve the ride for the wash board area. I use sand or water can be discarged.
--note: you can buy commercial water bags for back of pick up boxes. we sometimes used these in heavy duty trucks when we are not carrying any weight inorder to get some feel of suspension. Value is you just release the water when you put a load in.



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Old 09-05-2009, 03:32 PM   #9
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Re: Washboard roads

--forgot to add, the bouncing trailer may unweight your hitch thus loosing grip on your rear wheels causing rear wheel spin and loss of control.

--I don't like the idea of lowering tire pressure even minor amounts can cause increased tire temp and danger of rapid air loss from breaking the bead seal or sidewall damage that may not be easily detected. I can see staying within normal tire pressure range as some use higher pressure to help with mileage.
--Again for specialty use.. if majority of driving is on gravel then look at specialty tires, larger diameter softer sidewall.
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Old 09-05-2009, 05:35 PM   #10
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Re: Washboard roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by skaha
--I don't like the idea of lowering tire pressure even minor amounts can cause increased tire temp and danger of rapid air loss from breaking the bead seal or sidewall damage that may not be easily detected.
It's not really and idea, its a mandate.
We have some of the toughest longest rock roads in the nation built of 6" rock, knife shale, and washboards.
If we were talking about highway speeds I would agree with you but at 20 mph that doesn't enter into it.
The physical reasons for lowering the pressure is to increase the footprint so that the psi on a sharp rock is less and to decrease the shock on my riveted trailer.
Every rancher out here does the same thing.
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