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RSBILLEDWARDS

Increasing Towable Weight

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The hitch is only part of the reason for a max tow weight: motor, transmission, axles, brakes, frame, tires...

Be safe-- stay below the max.

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Ok guys the TRAILER TOAD arrived today. I must say it is a real piece of equipment. I am unable to find fault in its assembly, welding or the overall finish. Attention to detail, aside from five missing pieces of assembly hardware (nuts and a couple washers) appears to be a well thought out towing aid. It's construction is heavy, 1/2 and 5/8ths plate steel and plenty of well placed gussets. The axel is a reinforced short torsion axel. The center bearing and housing are heavy duty and is 5 bolt pivot. Axel movement is substantial, close to 30 degrees from the looks of it. It came with a 3 foot handle used to push it around and shipping weight was near 700 pounds. Lastly it is powder coated a silver and black hammer tone finish including the chains with a spare tire artfully mounted on top with a weather cover.

I tend to revert to common sense around mechanical things. This coach powered by the same components installed in the big rigs hauling as Gary indicated, 80,000 thousand pounds. This includes the rear end, axels, transmission and the engine. The brakes with the help of the engine Jake are good, are they great I do question this but with a brake system and a caliper service with current technology pads, pretty good. The chassis I suspect lighter than the semi and therefore a potential weak spot. Tires, in this instance there is little additional vertical hitch weight being applied to the back of the coach and so little tire wear from that point of view.

The real question here, are the trailer brakes adequate to stop their part of the load? In my opinion, a resounding no!! The next project, improve the trailer braking ability by retrofitting 12 inch disc brakes to the FEATHERLITE trailer. The last part of this project is adapting the M&G braking system to the trailer. I have spoken to them and yes it is possible and not difficult. It requires a master cylinder sized to the rest of the system, a small air tank as the reserve source for the actuation of the braking system in case the trailer decided to leave the coach. I expect this to cost about $3,500.

Last on the lists of weak spots... would be the driver and his skill level, experience, and miles driven. This maybe the weakest link for the majority of coach operators. How many folks have CDLs, how many of us should have a CDL driving one of these behemoths and the trailer behind. I think this is a big limiting factor on towable weight limitations and do not disagree. This forum exercise has made me think of and aware of, positions not thought of previously.

Thanks for all the input,

Bill

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The rigs built for 80,000 have twin screws to pull the load and likely lower gears.

It looks to be a relatively safe way to haul more.

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Bill

Thanks for the update. Will the trailer toad have hydraulic brakes also?

Keep us posted on the proformance.

Gary

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Gary,

No, I did consider doing this as a very worthy idea. It turns out to be pretty impractical, one, space is very limited, and two, expense very high for 700 pounds. Three, there is no good place to install a master cylinder, an air tank would not be needed as it is mounted in such away as to be integral with the coach and very unlikely it would be disconnected. Syncing the brakes with the trailer and the additional components from M&G make it an awkward addition.

It turns out this toad does not need the DMI hitch as it is mounted rigidly to the coach. There is no pivot joint at the coach. It is a complete extension of the hitch and the pivot point, trailer ball, is on the tail end of the toad. There is however a joint/hinge between the mounting point and the axel assembly that allows the toad to bend or flex with dips and bellies in the road so it does not support any weight from the coach as it travels down the road. Seems difficult to describe, hope I am clear. I will take some pictures and then someone can help me post them.

I am not so sure I would do all of this were it not for the having the ability and the shop equipment to accomplish this without paying someone else. It would cost to much to play this hard.

Bill

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