H26 Trailer Issues

Fred

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Sep 27, 2008
472
Hunter 33.5 Little Current, Ontario, CA
I have a stock H26 galvanized trailer with an extending tongue for my 1996 H26. I find that when towing, the trailer bounces and seems to go into a resonance above 90kph. (50mph). I have had the wheels balanced in the past and it didn't really go away. The same resonance occurs when the trailer is unloaded but just with a bit less energy. I noticed that there seems to be some (1/2 - 3/4 inch?) up/down play in the tongue extension and am considering thru-bolting the extension since I never use it nor can I since PO removed the flexible brake line piece.

The boat is normally strapped down tight on to the front bumper stop with the winch strap and I place a 2 inch strap over the stern to keep it bouncing or shifting on the trailer.

Does anyone else have these issues or have they bolted the extension tongue?

Just noticed this year that the inside edge of the leading tires are badly worn. The tires are six years old and probably have seen 10 - 15k kms in total. Is this normal. The tires on the trailing axle look almost new.
 
Dec 2, 2003
622
Hunter 260 winnipeg, Manitoba
Trailer balance off(load - fore/aft), trailer not level-adjust hitch height, front axle bent, front axle overloaded or incorrect toe in, bow of boat secured/strapped to trailer? -all in addition to earlier points!

Is there a good commercial trailer shop nearby? They could likely identify the most likely issues fairly quickly.
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,892
-na -NA Anywhere USA
@twalker H260
Many good points as well. Often those who ask questions, we ask additional questions trying to determine what actually had happened to give a better response. A good example is twalker H260 for those good additional comments. Thank you sir
 
Sep 24, 2018
1,475
O'Day 25 Chicago
-A couple of theories come to mind for the uneven tire wear:
-The axle flexes or is bent.
-The trailer wasn't level putting more or less weight on the front tires. Trailers with two or more axles aren't the most gracious when it comes to turning. Some of the tires do an awkward slide while making a turn.​
-A 2" strap can make a significant difference. 1" straps don't do much in this scenario
-Try moving the boat forward on the trailer. Even a 1/2" can make a difference. Even if it looks like it's touching the bow support I would still try to pull it with the winch. You may get a small amount of movement
 
Jun 2, 2004
649
Hunter 23.5 Calgary, Canada
-Try moving the boat forward on the trailer. Even a 1/2" can make a difference. Even if it looks like it's touching the bow support I would still try to pull it with the winch. You may get a small amount of movement
It took me many years to realize that when I pull my H23.5 forward using the winch, the whole winch ladder assembly and tongue was being bent towards the bow and the boat wasn't moving at all!
Of course, that doesn't apply if the boat is floating freely.
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,008
Hunter 26 Charleston
Do you do the "bump" when you load the trailer? It is probably not a good idea with dry pads. Once the boat is loaded get on a flat surface and get up to about 3 mph and slam on the breaks. The boat should snug up against the bow stop. Then tighten everything up, strap it all down and hit the road.
 
Sep 24, 2018
1,475
O'Day 25 Chicago
It took me many years to realize that when I pull my H23.5 forward using the winch, the whole winch ladder assembly and tongue was being bent towards the bow and the boat wasn't moving at all!
Of course, that doesn't apply if the boat is floating freely.
I ran a chain from the the top of the bow support to the trailer tongue to prevent it from bending, breaking, etc
 

Fred

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Sep 27, 2008
472
Hunter 33.5 Little Current, Ontario, CA
Thanks for the input. The boat is currently in the water so I can't check tongue weight etc. I did force some aluminum gutter nails into the gap of the tongue extender bar, on both ends and installed a SS strap clamp around them (to prevent them falling on the road if they wiggled loosed). The (unloaded) trailer was certainly a lot less noisy when I drove it to the summer storage location (~ 50 kms away). I have replaced the front tires (BTW my tires are 6-ply radials) and the (unloaded) trailer seemed quite smooth for now. I plan to trailer the boat later in the summer so will report back at that point (i.e. tongue weight). Yes, I do the bump after loading the boat to move it forward the final few inches. I also have a heavy duty two inch strap over the transom to hold it down and forward. Although I leave the outboard on while trailering I also have a bag of sand under the front V-berth.
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,959
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
You are always going to have one axle that is more loaded up than the other(s) and the more axles you have the more it will affect (usually negatively) the tongue weight. Inside only wear on tread is not usually a function of inflation, but toe-out, specifically, the axle is either bent or bending. Since there isn't a lot of adjustment that can be done (read: none) your choices are probably limited to changing tires, or getting a new axle.
 

Jim26m

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Apr 3, 2019
579
Macgregor 26M Mobile AL
Just to throw one more ingredient in the stew; are your axles leaf spring or torsion? If leaf spring, do they have the equalizer link, or are they two independent leaf axle setups?

You mentioned vertical play in the coupler. Was there any horizontal play?

Add me to the "check the tongue weight crowd". I think the rule of thumb is about 10% of towed weight - as a guide.

I have a single axle, so I haven't been lost in the "one axle tears up tires while the other doesn't" quagmire. As @Project_Mayhem said above, when you do a tight turn with two axles, it really works the tires. I've seen several turns that looked like they were going to roll the tire off the rim.

You'd probably have to find an old school alignment guy to determine if you have alignment or frame issues, unless it's way off. You could measure axle center to center on both sides and compare that. If you have a long straight edge, you can put it along both wheels and measure the distances to each of the four rim points on each side and compare. You could tell if something was really screwed up. Just throwing out a few things I might try.
 
Last edited:
Jan 19, 2010
10,008
Hunter 26 Charleston
...
I think the rule of thumb is about 10% of towed weight - as a guide.
If I remember correctly @Crazy Dave Condon says 200 pounds on the tongue.
.... You could measure axle center to center on both sides and compare that. If you have a long straight edge, you can put it along both wheels and measure the distances to each of the four hub points on each side and compare. You could tell if something was really screwed up. Just throwing out a few things I might try.
It does not sound like a typical alignment problem but if you want to be sure, measure an "X" between the axles. If the two lines are different lengths, then you have an alignment problem.
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Aug 1, 2011
3,959
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
If the inside of the tire is the only tread showing significant wear, it's not an axle to axle, or an axle to frame alignment issue.
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,959
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
Actually, I stand corrected. It's not toe in as previously stated, it's camber. It has little or nothing to do with the axle alignment if both wheels are wearing excessively on the inside, and suggests, that the axle is overloaded, unlikely in this scenario, or bent, which is likely in this instance.

Camber angle is the angle made by the wheels of a vehicle; specifically, it is the angle between the vertical axis of the wheels used for steering and the vertical axis of the vehicle when viewed from the front or rear. It is used in the design of steering and suspension. If the top of the wheel is farther out than the bottom (that is, away from the axle), it is called positive camber; if the bottom of the wheel is farther out than the top, it is called negative camber.
 
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Dec 2, 2003
622
Hunter 260 winnipeg, Manitoba
You are correct that camber would be the issue for inner tire wear - excessive toe in or out would accelerate that wear. Bent or overloaded axle would be my thought as well. too much weight forward could lead to this but given the factory trailer setup the tongue weight likely would have to be excessive.

Camber can be roughly checked placing a straight edge vertically on the tire rim or just inside the lip if dented and then using a level with plumb vial to measure angle from plumb. (Trailer parked on level ground). On most trailers this should be vertical. Compare to rear axle.

Tongue weight should “normally” be in the 10-15% range. - for the 26 and 260 that should likely be in the 500 - 750 lb range. (Empty boat - approx 3000lbs, trailer is near 900 add water tank(s), gas, outboard and gear you are likely in the 5-6000lb range.

Does your tow vehicle have enough hitch capacity and rear axle capacity?

What is your tow vehicle?

Water tanks filling/emptying can be used to assist trimming load fore and aft.
 
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Fred

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Sep 27, 2008
472
Hunter 33.5 Little Current, Ontario, CA
Tow vehicle is a GMC Yukon so should have plenty of capacity. I have a significant drop-down hitch (7 inch?) to make the trailer as level as possible. The trailer has leaf springs with some type of a linkage between the leafs. There was play in the tongue extension in both the vertical and horizontal axis which I have now blocked out as previously described.
 

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Dec 2, 2003
622
Hunter 260 winnipeg, Manitoba
The stock 26 trailer seems to be missing a roller/support under the bow that is present on the 260. At speed I could see the bow being lifted and then dropping causing some of your bounce.

Perhaps Dave can say why the roller was added on the 260 trailer.

I doubt the tongue is the issue - ours has the same set up. It also wouldn’t likely be the cause of you front axle tires wearing more rapidly.

Can you have someone ride in the back of the Yukon, get up to bounce speed and see of the boat is moving vertically in relation to the trailer?

Roller may have been added just to deal with the weight of the bow tank but I suspect there may be more to it than that.

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