Friday, November 22, 2019

The trailer is back to original configuration (mostly)

The proof of concept which led to the modifications:

Extend the tongue of the Aluma 638 Trailer by two feet to: Prevent trailer hitting corner of URRV when backing it up in tight terrain; add room for the carrier rack for the TW200 Dualsport to be mounted in front of the trailer's cargo area.

This allowed me to bring along, during Glamping Trips, both one of the Ural Sidecar Rigs and the Yamaha TW200 Dualsport.  

More info/pics here:  LINK

This worked for a while but then I noticed "flexing" where there'd not been any before.  Not a good thing usually for a trailer.

Found cracks on the longitudinal aluminum support beam onto which the trailer's tongue is attached.  So I had it reinforced by a local welder.

More info/pics here: LINK

The extra reinforcing seemed to work, however, during my recent trip, I noticed that the weld joining the extra two feet of aluminum to the trailer's tongue had cracked apart.

I consulted with the welder who'd done the work, he said he'd fix it for free if I brought the trailer to him.  Trouble is I was near home and he's in Hotchkiss, CO close to the western border of the state!

Further thought and discussion, he agreed I should be able to separate the two foot extension and remove the aluminum "bars" which held the coupler assembly to the original mounting point of said assembly together:

I was at a campsite but with my tools was able to take things apart and put things back together the way the tongue was....repositioning the support wheel and spare tire mount.

 No more flex.  I think my options now are:

1.  Longer trailer, or similar sized one but made of Steel.

2.  Install front hitch on the URRV and mount the HF moto carrier rack onto it.

3.  Decide whether I really need to bring two motorcycles with me on camping trips.


RichardM said...

Option 4: Build a new steel frame under the existing aluminum trailer. From back to tongue. A lot of parts could be reused and a good opportunity to learn to weld.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for the suggestion RichardM, however I thought one wasn't supposed to bond steel and aluminum together?

RichardM said...

Not welding them together but make a steel trailer frame, move the hitch, springs and axles to the new frame then bolt the old trailer deck (and aluminum frame) to the new steel frame.

CCjon said...

Is that a shorter than normal trailer tongue? You should not be having issues backing and hitting the trailer with the RV unless the tongue is short or has been shortened.

Do you have a back-up camera on the RV so you can see when backing up?

Steel or aluminum both will have issues if a long tongue is attached, the leverage force applied to all of the welds with each additional inch of tongue length will be amplified. Did the welder recommend adding diagonal side bracing to the longer tongue when he extended it? Like what the original tongue has. A single longer tongue as in the photos seems is not that strong, as you are finding.

redlegsrides said...

CCjon, the second picture shows the original length of tongue.....the first one includes the 2 ft extension.

As you probably know, short trailers are very prone to turning when backing up and I've found a spot on the corner of the RV where the forward "wall" of the cargo area had impacted it, resulting in a dent on the wall of the cargo area and a slight dent on the rv's corner. This is what started the train of thought of extending the tongue.

Yep, got a backup camera, no way I would be able to back up the trailer without it as I can't see the trailer from the RV's driver seat.

Good point re even steel not being strong enough when the right leverage forces are applied repeatedly as one moves down the road. The welder didn't recommend and I didn't ask for additional diagonal bracing.

Like I said, it was worth a shot. Now everything basically back to original config as I examine the "requirements" based on gained experience.

The real question being, do I really need to bring along a Ural AND the TW200? Another option is to put a front hitch and connect the TW200's moto rack onto it....just not sure I want to do that. Again, what are the requirements?

Easiest would be to go to a 10' long trailer, but really, is there a need?

CCjon said...

A carrier on the front is easy to mount and dismount, takes up less room when stored, removes any stress on the trailer and tongue, cost is not ridiculous. Weld a receiver hitch on the front with several good strong tie-down hoops... you don't want the bike flopping back and forth.

The problem with a ten or twelve foot trailer is, where do you store it when not in use?

Now whether you need both bike and rig is your decision. Am sure you could find the need for both IF you have them both with you. Since you already own both, won't cost anymore to take both, would it?

redlegsrides said...

To answer your questions CCjon:

yep, I agree re your statements re the front hitch....some issues are headlights and blinkers possibly blocked so you have to mount external lights where they're visible. It's still in the running as a possible option but first have to decide whether I need (not want) to bring two motorcycles along.

A 10 ft trailer is only 2 ft longer than present trailer which is stored with the RV at the outdoor storage yard as my HOA prohibits keeping one's RV at home. Bastards. Never will I buy another house with an HOA.

Cost of bringing two motorcycles vs one is simply a slight less MPG result.

gregrodzenko said...

Decide whether I really need to bring two motorcycles with me on camping trips.

Sure, and include Martha's scooter as mentioned in your Oct. 7, 2016 entry. You're driving a 24' RV with a trailer. Adding a Yamaha 200 in terms of weight and volume to the overall setup is minor.

Install front hitch on the URRV and mount the HF moto carrier rack onto it.

it's an option with some details to work through - airflow to the engine? My thought is, front hitch if no sidecar. But if you're already hauling the trailer. Yamaha on the trailer is more straightforward?

Longer trailer, or similar sized one but made of Steel.

There have been two trailer experiments - while they seemed reasonable, both have had problems. if you want to try something else to build up the existing trailer, maybe look at some numbers for the load and the load extended across how long a length of metal?
Then consider the specs. on sizes of metal for tongues, metal thickness, and quality (vs. price) to get an accurate picture of the situation.

Your skills and equipment? hire the skills and equipment?

Vs. 10' trailer of aluminum or steel.

IMHO, if you're already at a 24' RV and an 8' trailer, a 10' trailer would be "almost" unnoticeable?