Trailer bounce.
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Trailer bounce.

  1. #1
    Senior Member blefever's Avatar
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    Default Trailer bounce.

    I have a 19 foot jet boat on a single axle trailer. It sits on bunks and has no support at the bow, just the arm that hinges up to meet the bow eye. The trailer flexes a lot so the boat is bouncing up and down a lot, more then I like. I normally tow 400mi to Havasu or the upper river and that is a long way to bounce the boat down the highway. I'm concerned about stress cracks.

    Will a tandem axle trailer be better? A lot better or just some better?

    I don't want to tie down the front of the boat because it will then want to break the boat in half.

    Anybody else experience this? Did you switch to tandem axle and fix the problem?

    Thanks in advance.
    "Improve your sex life......buy a boat"

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  3. #2
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    How much tongue weight do you have?

  4. #3
    kenny nunez
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    Default trailer bounce

    One thing to look at, are the spring leaves rusted? I have seen some that were actually rusted solid. Needless to say they were not springs any more. They are not expensive or you can take them apart and have them sand blasted then pack them with grease.

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    Senior Member ol guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blefever View Post
    I have a 19 foot jet boat on a single axle trailer. It sits on bunks and has no support at the bow, just the arm that hinges up to meet the bow eye. The trailer flexes a lot so the boat is bouncing up and down a lot, more then I like. I normally tow 400mi to Havasu or the upper river and that is a long way to bounce the boat down the highway. I'm concerned about stress cracks.

    Will a tandem axle trailer be better? A lot better or just some better?

    I don't want to tie down the front of the boat because it will then want to break the boat in half.

    Anybody else experience this? Did you switch to tandem axle and fix the problem?

    Thanks in advance.
    my son has the same problem with a very light southwind 18'foot v-bottom jet. as we speak it is siting on a tandem axle trailer. We need to push the trailer down to the ball for towing. I suggested that we move the boat forward 2 inches on the trailer and if the problem still exists ad a shock to the bow to relieve the bounce. Now with a 19' boat on a single axle trailer you may want to add tongue weight to add alittle tongue weight to help the bounce issue. I hope this makes sense to you but if you have very little tongue weight the boat will want to bounce and possible create a stress crack possibility. One more thing to think about is where is your'e center of gravity as the boat sits on the trailer. You could have a problem with the trailer wanting to pop-off the hitch for lack of pressure on the hitch. Boat location has alot to do with how a boat travels down the road. If it is a light weight boat you may want to try the easy test of just moving the boat forward on the trailer. Good Luck. Mark

  7. #5
    Senior Member blefever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Till View Post
    How much tongue weight do you have?
    I really don't think tongue weight is a factor because with the trailer disconnected and just on the tongue jack, if you push down on the front of the boat it bounces a lot. It's the trailer flexing.
    "Improve your sex life......buy a boat"

  8. #6
    Senior Member blefever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenny nunez View Post
    One thing to look at, are the spring leaves rusted? I have seen some that were actually rusted solid. Needless to say they were not springs any more. They are not expensive or you can take them apart and have them sand blasted then pack them with grease.
    Thanks, I'll check out the springs, but it looks to me like its just the trailer flexing. That's why I think a tandem axle trailer will be better but was hoping someone with a like boat on a tandem trailer could tell me if they have the same flex.
    "Improve your sex life......buy a boat"

  9. #7
    Senior Member blefever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ol guy View Post
    my son has the same problem with a very light southwind 18'foot v-bottom jet. as we speak it is siting on a tandem axle trailer. We need to push the trailer down to the ball for towing. I suggested that we move the boat forward 2 inches on the trailer and if the problem still exists ad a shock to the bow to relieve the bounce. Now with a 19' boat on a single axle trailer you may want to add tongue weight to add alittle tongue weight to help the bounce issue. I hope this makes sense to you but if you have very little tongue weight the boat will want to bounce and possible create a stress crack possibility. One more thing to think about is where is your'e center of gravity as the boat sits on the trailer. You could have a problem with the trailer wanting to pop-off the hitch for lack of pressure on the hitch. Boat location has alot to do with how a boat travels down the road. If it is a light weight boat you may want to try the easy test of just moving the boat forward on the trailer. Good Luck. Mark
    The boat is on the original trailer from the factory, so I'm guessing that it was set up proper. I do have a fair amount of tongue weight, 75-100 pounds is my guess. Thanks
    "Improve your sex life......buy a boat"

  10. #8
    Senior Member californiadreamin's Avatar
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    When I brought my new boat home, the boat wasn't pulled all the way up to the front pad where the winch is, had a ton of flex in the trailer and bounce in the boat. After I was able to get it in the water to test and pulled it up to the pad where its supposed to be when putting it back on the trailer, 90% of the flex wasn't there and much better ride. My 18' jet on a single axle trailer towed nice. It had good tongue weight. That trailer also has the pad and winch set up rather than the tie bar, can't recall what to call that thing. Maybe add a pad for the bow near the front eyelet?

  11. #9
    Senior Member Sleek Freak's Avatar
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    how long are your bunks?

  12. #10
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    I'll toss out a few thoughts in addition to those already posted.
    You ask if a tandem trailer would help reduce trailer bounce, and I will say yes, by quite a bit.
    Tandem wheels allow the tires to step over bumps better. One goes up or down and the other is still in contact with the road.
    In regard to the tandem question, have you noticed other single axel trailers on the road, most tend to bounce.
    Stiff springs or stiff tires make it worse.

    If the trailer flexes a lot, get under the trailer and look at weld locations for a broken or rusted weld.
    If you think your trailer flexes, consider adding reinforcement in critical areas. A lot of boat trailers were built fairly light and do flex.
    If the boat bounces when you put your hand on the nose of the boats, get under the trailer and using a 3X5 note card (stiff paper) run the card between the bunks and the bottom of the boat to see if there are any gaps. It will tell you how the boat is sitting on the bunks.
    Check your trailer hitch in the receiver, to see how much vertical movement it has. I shimmed mine to reduce the movement, and it did help.

    As a suggestion, consider using a rubber tie down and attaching it to the bow eye. (it should be fairly snug) It will keep a tension on the nose and still not be solid.
    The rubber tie down isn't very pretty or professional looking, but I use one on mine and believe it helps.

    Good luck with resolving the problem.

  13. #11
    Senior Member tigertooth's Avatar
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    Your frame is flexing. Tandem axles wont fix that. I know its not the left coast thing to do but the smart people in the midwest put a bow stand and winch on their trailers to combat that problem plus you dont have to submerge the trailer to the bumper of the truck to get it loaded. That is very helpful when boating on water that is too cold for short pants and flip flops.

  14. #12
    Senior Member Mr. Travels's Avatar
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  15. #13
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    mine bounces a bit. ive never worried about it. The farthest i tow it is from needles to parker. With the occasional phoenix trip

    My bow doesnt seem to sit on the bow bunk. its a little bit away from it. if i take a ratchet strap and strap it down to where it touches. it is much more stable

  16. #14
    83 Crusader - 468 BBC SNiC's Avatar
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    I too had considerable hull bounce due to trailer flex, (single axle) especially when going over "certain" interstate bridges with dips in each section which amplified the bounce. I added a winch to secure and pull the nose of the boat slightly down (maybe 1-2 inch angle below the pull eye) I only put lite tension on the winch strap to allow the nose to move up and down with the flex when need be, and this totally stopped my repetitive bouncing issue.

    The winch also makes loading a breeze, especially if you are alone
    Last edited by SNiC; 04-08-2016 at 07:26 AM.



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