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Author Topic: New Project "Trailer Toad"  (Read 3363 times)

HueyPilotVN

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New Project "Trailer Toad"
« on: September 20, 2015, 01:25:42 AM »

Now some of you guys know that I like to do projects, (it keeps me out of trouble)

I have a new project.  After upgrading my tires to handle the load of my Stacker, I started to wonder about the load on the rear of my DP from the tongue weight of the trailer. I have already reinforced the receiver with gussets and extra steel welded in place.

Monday I am going up to Braham, MN to visit a plant that builds the “Trailer Toad”.

http://www.trailertoad.com/id79.html

The Trailer Toad is a device that goes between the coach and the Stacker trailer to carry the tongue weight on another axle and set of tires.  However, after talking with the owner of the company that makes them we are going to modify mine in several ways.

First, I am getting larger hubs to mount 16 inch eight lug wheels and tires instead of the normal 15 inch wheels.

I am going to use the same wheels and Goodyear G-614 tires as the stacker uses.  This will make me feel more confident about the weight issue.

Second it will allow me to use a common spare and therefore eliminate the spare that is normally carried on top of the trailer toad axle.

In addition to using a common spare, this will allow me to customize the top of the trailer toad to provide a mounting surface to securely mount two large strong plastic tanks.

The tanks are 100 gallons each and are approximately 48’ by 24’ by 24’.

These tanks will normally be empty when towing the stacker.

After arriving at Quartzsite or any other boon docking site and unhooking the trailer toad, these tanks that are on the trailer toad can be pulled by the Jeep Commander or any normal vehicle with a receiver hitch to dump the black water and resupply the potable water.

The black water tank will have the macerator pump for an intake device and the fresh water tank will have a water pump for transferring water to an RV. 

This will eliminate the need to take the coach to the dump station and water fill site.

Several people do this with smaller tanks but this setup will allow me to do it with one trip.

The weight will not be an issue because the axle is rated for much more weight and I will normally be carrying only one filled tank at a time.

The black water tank full to the dump site and the potable water tank full when returning to the RV.

It should carry about 600 to 700 pounds of liquid each way.

I will have to  make sure to not unhook the trailer toad with any water in the tanks because it will be tippy like a unicycle.

Here are a few pictures of the normal trailer toad.  The one picture shows a trailer toad with a tool box mounted on it.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2015, 02:07:32 AM by HueyPilotVN »
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

Alfa38User

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2015, 07:35:46 AM »
Does using that "trailer toad" count as triple towing? (Thinking of travel in those states that forbid it!!) Also thinking overall length limits, you must be pretty long with just the trailer as it is now!!
« Last Edit: September 20, 2015, 07:39:30 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

rebelsun

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2015, 09:12:59 AM »
It looks like the dolly that's used to connect a B Train on a Tractor Trailer unit, on a smaller scale.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2015, 09:16:33 AM by rebelsun »
Riding the Highway through Hell in our 2000 Chevy 3500 Gulfstream Class C, with a
Honda Shadow AERO motorcycle and trailer in tow.
From: Boston, Ma.
Retired and living in Palm Bay, Fl.

rebelsun

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2015, 09:23:21 AM »
Or you could do this......
Riding the Highway through Hell in our 2000 Chevy 3500 Gulfstream Class C, with a
Honda Shadow AERO motorcycle and trailer in tow.
From: Boston, Ma.
Retired and living in Palm Bay, Fl.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2015, 09:26:58 AM »
Quote
Does using that "trailer toad" count as triple towing?

Generally, no. It is typically considered part of the hitch.  It essentially converts the conventional trailer to a wagon, i.e. having front and rear axles, instead of rear only.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Kevin Means

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2015, 10:07:23 AM »
Intetsting Bill. I love the idea of using it to also carry some extra holding tanks - and the common tire. I was also wondering about the additional length though. I remember when we were talking at Quartzsite, and you said you were already too long for California (Not that that's a reasonable yardstick). Remember... too long and you'll have to pay registration in two states. ;)

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2015, 01:13:58 PM »
Does using that "trailer toad" count as triple towing? (Thinking of travel in those states that forbid it!!) Also thinking overall length limits, you must be pretty long with just the trailer as it is now!!

I was going to respond in a similar way to Gary's response.  It is more like towing a wagon with the weight on the front and the rear axles.

The length issue is more of a concern.  I am already 75 feet long and the trailer toad will add about 3 more feet.  Of even more concern to me is the visability factor. 

It may draw the attention of a LEO that might then wonder about the length because of the added axle.

Kevin, I register most all of my vehicles in Arizona and my drivers license is from Arizona.

I am not sure how visually acceptable the tanks will be.  If the prototype works from a practical standpoint I may design a cover or enclosure for the tanks in the future.

I am still working on the design for mounting the two tanks.  I will use as much seperation as possible to help prevent cross contamination of the fresh water tank.

The intakes will be on opposite sides of the t toad. 

I will locate the 3 inch slide valve on the roadside, (left side) to match the common standard for dump stations.

I am going to tap the 12 volt charge line in the extension wires that connect the Bargman plugs for the power for the pump and the macerator.

I also need to design a storage place for the dump hose, water pump, and macerator with it's hose.

All suggestions and comments are welcome. 

Payment in form of free dumping at Q.

It now looks like I may have retired from a career building fixed and mobile surgery facilities to operating a "Sewer Sucking Service"
« Last Edit: September 20, 2015, 03:31:33 PM by HueyPilotVN »
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

mypursuit

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2015, 04:38:55 PM »
Great idea.  However, I envision lots of hitch movement on the Jeep with 100 gals of
liquid onboard.  How about a pair of detachable spring steel "wheelie" bars on the back
with 8/10 inch caster type wheels.  Might provide some stability.  Doug
1997 Georgie Boy Pursuit     2008 Ford Focus
P-30 / 454 Chevy w/ Stan's Headers, ceramic plug wires, cold air intake and K-N Air cleaner
Home Port Whidbey Island Washington
U.S. Navy 1970 - 1990
"Truth is the hardest thing you'll find, because you can't change it in the slightest way. " J. Paycheck

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2015, 04:47:59 PM »
Thanks for the input.  I think that there will be a learning curve for this thing.  I hope that the weight of the ttoad will minimize the effect of the water weight but we will see. Baffles or making sure the tank is full might help but removable wheelie bars might be a good idea anyway fo moving it around by itself.
 
I will know alot more about it after visiting the plant tomorrow or Tuesday.  I will find out how they handle moving it around when detached, it may already have something to stabilize it already.

I will take some pictures then.
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2015, 06:30:12 PM »
Here is an update on the trailer toad project.

Several thing have happened that are influencing my decision on the trailer toad.  The modifications regarding the axle hub upgrade, the wheel upgrade, the G 614 tires, and the platform and tanks have pushed the cost up to between 5 and 6 thousand dollars.

While investigating the wheel specs I discovered that the chrome wheels that I already have on the stacker are not rated for the pressure or weight that the Goodyears G 614 tires require.

So my first step needs to be replacing all of the wheels on the Stacker with stronger wheels.  Between the wheels and the extra tires I will need it comes to almost $2.000.

I was also a little concerned about the fact that extra axle might call attention to the fact that my rig is over length.

I also plan on doing a solar install at Q next month so I am going to do this in steps if I in fact do choose to use the trailer toad.

The wheels on the stacker are in good shape but they are not rated for 120 psi. 

If anyone needs wheels and spares I will probably end up just giving them away rather than carry them in the stacker unless I wait till Q to change them.

I thought about waiting and getting the new wheels installed at Lake Havasu near Quartzsite.

I have 6 chrome wheels with center caps, (16 inch 8 x 6 1/2 lugs) and two white wheels with new tires for spares.  They are the slightly smaller tires that I was using before I upgraded to the Goodyears.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 06:42:10 PM by HueyPilotVN »
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

blw2

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2015, 09:49:19 AM »
Generally, no. It is typically considered part of the hitch.  It essentially converts the conventional trailer to a wagon, i.e. having front and rear axles, instead of rear only.

But with the tanks it may look more like a trailer than a hitch....

Interesting idea though to increase the utility of the thing....

It makes me think of the I Love Lucy episode.... I believe they had a similar contraption.

One more thought...
I noticed WDH between the dolly and the trailers in the pictures.... so this could include antisway control there....any antisway between the dolly and the MH?
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Charlie 5320

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2015, 10:55:24 AM »
One of my buddies has one of those, and he swears by it. He has a heavy enclosed car trailer with a lot of tongue weight. Too much for his MH alone. He has been using it for at least 15 years.   
2003 National Dolphin 5320
496  8.1  Workhorse

98 Damon Daybreak 3130
GM Vortech 454  4L80E
SOLD

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2015, 12:50:13 PM »
Brad,

The tt connects like a tag axle that is mounted behind the coach.  There is a tube directly into the receiver hitch and two stabilizer links that connect to a welded on attachment.  See the pictures below.  There are large pins that can be removed to allow some movement when backing up.  The two pins are located farther back on the tt.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 12:52:04 PM by HueyPilotVN »
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2015, 05:07:28 PM »
Update:

I ordered the trailer toad.  The modifications include changing the 5 lug 15 inch wheel hubs for 8 lug X 6 1/2 inch hubs for 16 inch wheels, raising the fenders to clear the 31.7 inch Goodyear G 614 tires, and building and mounting a flat plate on top of the trailer toad where the spare tire normally mounts.

I also ordered nine aluminum wheels to replace all my stacker wheels, (6) and the two trailer toad wheels, and a spare.  I also ordered 3 new goodyear
G 614 tires.  Now all the tires and wheels will be common to each other.

I have done some research on poly water tanks.  I am going to use two 100 gallon tanks.  The dimensions are 48' x 24' x 12 each.  My plan as of now is to mount them on the centerline above the trailer toad with the 48' dimension running the same axis as the road and the 24' axis being vertical.  This orientation will use half of the 48' x 48' base..  I will put them together but I will put the discharge and input fittings for the black water tank at the rear of the trailer toad on the left side (roadside) and the input and output for the potable fresh water tank on the front right side (curbside).  This will match the common setup for a dump station of the discharge on the left side. 

I had considered seperating the two tanks by placing them on a 48' square base with 24 inches between them but I have deceided to have storage on both sides of the tanks.

After working out all the wiring and plumbing and making sure that eveything works correctly I will surround the tanks with a 48' x 48' x 30' diamond plate enclosure.  The curbside interior between the fresh water tank and the outer wall will be 12 inches of storage for the water pump, hoses, and any other "Fresh water related items".

A similar storage area on the "Black water" side will hold the sewer hose, macerator, and contaminated 3/4 inch hose.

This should help minimize cross contamination by seperating the item as well as the seperation of the inputs.

As this is a work in progress I welcome any input as to ideas.

edit:  I just revisited the website for the water tanks.         

http://www.plastic-mart.com/product/11164/trionic-100gallon-rv-waste-holding-tank

   They are actually 42' x 24' x24' so I have to redesign the storage idea.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 05:37:07 PM by HueyPilotVN »
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2015, 12:36:03 AM »
newest update:

I will pick up the trailer toad a week from tomorrow at the plant in northern Minnesota.

After much thought and discussions with others I have elected to not mount any tanks on the trailer toad.  The cost to fabricate a sturdy 48 inch square platform alone was going to add $700 to the cost.  The two tanks were $437 each plus tax and shipping and the water pump, plumbing, fitting, and wiring would have pushed the cost of the modification to over $2,000 easily.

Common sense won out and I figured it would be much cheaper to just drive the coach to the dump site.

Another factor was that it looked like I would not be able to open the rear access door to the diesel engine without disconnecting the trailer toad.  Therefore no checking the oil or other things easily while on a trip.

I am going to have them make up an extension drawbar to allow me to use the Jeep Commander's receiver to spot the Stacker.  The receiver hitch is about 5 inches higher on the Jeep than the coach.  They will weld up a bar with an offset with a receiver to match the height of the trailer toad drawbar.

Giving up the idea of making an industrial size "Blue Boy" will give me an extra 2 or 3 thousand for the two solar projects at Q.

I will take lots of pictures next week during the setup at the plant.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 12:38:24 AM by HueyPilotVN »
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2015, 06:52:08 PM »
-Update:

Yesterday I got the nine new aluminum wheels and the three new Goodyear G 614 tires from Discount Tire.  Matt from thier corporate gave me a terrific price and they shipped them to a store near me in Rogers, MN.  The only hiccup was that someone is shipping forgot yo include the center caps.  They will ship them to Lake Havasu and install them out there in a weeks or two.

Here is a few pictures of the new wheels and I will post next about the trailer toad.

There was a lucky guy getting trailer tires at the Discount Tire store and he took home 6 chrome wheels with center caps, and two white wheels with new spares that had never been on the ground.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 07:22:50 PM by HueyPilotVN »
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2015, 07:01:54 PM »
Update:

I went up to Braham, MN last night and was at the plant this morning to get the Trailer Toad setup and installed.

Here are several pictures.  The first is in the plant having the bigger hubs, wheels and tires added.   They also modified the fenders to raise them about 2 inches and radius the edges.

Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2015, 07:06:45 PM »
Here are some pictures of the TToad attached.  The weight equalizer hitch is attached to the back or the Ttoad and the draw bar attaches to the receiver of the MH.  The height was set at 12 inches both at the tounge and at the rear of the Stacker
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2015, 07:12:04 PM »
We added a 2 inch square piece of steel tubing to raise the fenders.  I also had to extend the cable for the breakaway safetry cable for the electric brakes.

I am going to store the spare in the Stacker instead of on top to the ttoad.  I will be out of the weather and and less likely to grow legs.

The two red handles are locking pins for when you want to back up.  They lock the swivel and make backing up possible.

« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 07:42:37 PM by HueyPilotVN »
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

Charlie 5320

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2015, 10:24:59 PM »
That's slick looking. Did it change the ride higth of the rig?
2003 National Dolphin 5320
496  8.1  Workhorse

98 Damon Daybreak 3130
GM Vortech 454  4L80E
SOLD

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2015, 12:04:35 AM »
No, it removed the weight off the rear of the DP.  The Stacker trailer is now a Stacker Wagon.  It took a few trial and error settings to get the weight distributing hitch set up correctly.  The Stacker now has four axles instead of three.  Maybe too soon to really know but the ride seems much smoother with less bouncing.  I still need to get the stabilizer bars connected between the DP and the front of the Trailer Toad.  I now notice a slight shift in the tracking of the Stacker after a slow 90 degree turn.  Left turns seem to make the rear of the Stacker track more to the right and then the Stacker returns to exactly centered after a right turn.  They tell me that the stabilizer bars will prevent this because a very small shift in the alignment of the front drawbar can move the rear of the stacker a few inches.  It does seem to straighten out after a while.  I am used to having the same view down either side of the Stacker in my side mirrors.  Same amount of side showing,

Here is picture of the stabilizer bars


« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 12:22:22 AM by HueyPilotVN »
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2015, 12:57:05 AM »
I forgot to mention that the Trailer toad has the same "Torsion" axle as the Stacker.  It has an internal spring.

Here is a picture of one that was sitting near mine in the plant.

Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

Lou Schneider

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2015, 01:16:13 PM »
Very nice, Bill!

Is it my imagination, or are they using an axle bearing assembly for the pivot?  The casting and bolt pattern look like what you'd find on a truck wheel.

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2015, 02:01:17 PM »
Lou,

I am pretty sure that is what the pivot is made with.  The smaller version has a 5 lug spindle.

The front of the Trailer toad is locked into the receiver with a solid drawbar and two stabilizer bars connected to the frame of the DP, (which I still have to weld in place).  That makes the front of the ttoad act like a tag axle.

The axle pivots to allow for nice smooth tight turns going forward.  The two red handles are for locking pins that are lowered into the assembly to prevent any pivoting when backing up.  They are left in the up and unlocked position when going down the road.

There is a long T handle that attaches to the rear for moving it around when disconnected.  You have to put your weight on the handle and then you can move it if you are a gorilla.

There is also a kick stand in the back to support it when unhooked.

The bargman connection is extended with a short extension shown in the picture.

I am not experiencing any change in being able to dodge curbs in parking lots.  I think that the pivoting helps keep the turning radius about the same as before.

There are also two shocks mounted on the front.  You can see the left one in the third picture.  They are for cushioning the turning action of the axle.

Here are a couple of close up pictures.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 02:21:24 PM by HueyPilotVN »
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

HueyPilotVN

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2015, 02:34:14 PM »
I am going to send a link to this thread to Jok, the owner of Trailer Toad LLC.

I have been very happy with the manner in which he conducts business.  He has spent time on the phone with me thru many calls during this process.  He has been very accomodating as we worked thru the possible changes or modifications and he was very fair and honest in his pricing for the changes.

Some businesses do not respond well to requests for changes or new features in their product.  This is certainly not the case with Jok.  Many of his customers are racers that transport their race cars in Stackers as does Jok.

Mike, the fellow that worked with me much of the day yesterday installing and setting up the TToad also went above and beyond what I consider normal customer service.

He made sure that everything was perfect and even fixed a few of my old parts that were bent.

I highly recommend this company and I am glad that I got this product.  I already feel safer pulling the Stacker.
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

blw2

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2015, 03:40:03 PM »
So this thing sits square and rigid to the MH?
Do the tires skid when turning?  Surely not, but it sorta looks like it's hard attached to the coach....

I was thinking about you and your stacker the other day.  I saw a freightliner motorhome thing bumper towing a stacker trailer about the size of yours
except it had two axles only that were spaced very far apart..... similar to your front and rear if your middle axle wasn't there..... and no, it wasn't designed for it either, you could tell by the fenders

Anyway, looks like a nice upgrade and really great company to buy from....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

trailertoad1

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Re: New Project "Trailer Toad"
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2015, 08:10:02 AM »
blw2,
The Trailer Toad is not rigid to the coach. It has a front cross-member that is rigid to the hitch. The rest of the Toad is hinged vertically so you can go over bumps and through dips without transferring the weight to the coach frame.
As for anti-sway, the axle pivots and the two Monroe steering stabilizers prevent sway. Adding another form of ant-sway is not recommended because that friction will prevent or limit the "steering" of the Toad as it follows the coach.

Thanks for the detailed posts Bill, wish I would have been at the fab shop to meet you.

Jok

 

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