Towing A Trailer: Why Don't These Buggies Flip Over Backward?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by nicholastanguma, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma Supporter

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    I really like the idea of having a tow vehicle thematically complementary to the motorcycle that it's hauling to a weekend trackday. A vintage air cooled road race moto needs a vintage air cooled tow car!

    Buggies are short wheelbase vehicles; even those built on full length pans are still pretty short. And of course having engines at the rear of the vehicle also means huge weight bias toward the back. Yet clearly these buggies are towing some serious weight behind them.

    How are they able to do this without flipping over backward?


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    #1
  2. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

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    No doubt you would want to be sure to pack that trailer carefully and lightly.
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  3. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    those trailers are lighter than you imagine
    #3
  4. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior Supporter

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    Those trailer are not "serious weight". You could wheel any of them around like a wheelbarrow.
    #4
  5. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    What force do you think should be flipping them over backward?
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  6. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

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    In other words, the wife can't go. :D
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  7. Chotu

    Chotu Lifan x-pect

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    The hitch is right near the buggy axle. There’s no leverage to flip the buggy, even if the whole weight of the trailer was on the hitch. Which it isn’t. It’s on the trailer axles.
    #7
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  8. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma Supporter

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    Helpful, thank you.
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  9. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

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    Its not going to flip it but you can certainly put too much weight on that tongue by loading the trailer too heavily in front of the axle of the trailer.
    #9
  10. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma Supporter

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    Also helpful, thanks.
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  11. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    nah, she can go, but you have to let her ride up in the tow buggy with you.
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  12. Meriden

    Meriden Yea whatever

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    I am not sure of about flipping over, but I can speak to flipping around. Back in those teenage indestructable years two friends and I attempted to tow an Oldsmobile F85 with a Jeepster Commando 140 miles. A few miles from our destination we hit a patch of black ice, jackknifed, slid off the freeway, rolled down a hill and came to rest in a muddy pasture. That F85 flipped that Jeep around like a Jack Russell with a rat. That and a short stint as a long haul truck driver between college semesters convinced me that the idea is not to own a cute tow rig, but to have enough money to easily hire some other guy with a tow rig to haul it for you. These days I never pull anything much heavier than a single axle utility trailer. To each his own I guess.
    #12
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  13. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma Supporter

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    I asked my question on thesamba.com forum, and a fellow there told me a similar story about his own years of supposedly indestructable youth, although his jacknifing terror was actually experienced with a Manx buggy towing a VW Beetle. :rofl
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  14. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    towing is dangerous
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  15. HaveTwo

    HaveTwo Adventurer

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    It surprises me the number of people who don't think about what's going on, or take things slow. I mean, I love me a good trailer, preferably double axle, and have a couple miles with them loaded down heavier than I'd like. Weight distribution isn't a hard concept. And you only need one experience to cement the puckering. Heck, just watch me unload my tractor and see how far it lifts the back of the truck up. Makes me always question if I put it in 4WD. :uhoh

    Reminds me to check the brakes on the utility trailer that didn't seem to be working last time. I like them working when the load approaches my limit, otherwise the pucker factor gets high. Good thing I don't go on interstates with the trailer much. But for the most part, people are considerate of folks towing around where I live. North of the dividing line in the city is a bit different though. Don't always understand that I'm in a Tacoma, I'm giving it all she's got! :lol3
    #15
  16. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    Even cars like those must have a weight distribution that puts enough of its own weight on the front wheels in order to have enough friction between tires and road as to steer effectively.

    Please, read this:
    https://eyershitch.com/trailer-weight.html

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  17. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma Supporter

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    Extremely helpful, thank you.
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  18. car94

    car94 What's this Box for?

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    Canadian entrepreneur Lawrence Stross has devised a load-divider dolly "trailer" equipped with three air springs. It rigidly connects to a truck's Class-III hitch receiver, allowing the dolly to serve as an additional loaded axle with passive steering. Two air springs support the axle and shoulder some of the rear axle's burden. A third imparts a torque moment between the hitch receiver and the trailer to shift some payload burden to the front axle.
    Nifty device, Should be mandatory for everyone towing more than a half ton with a half ton P/U or worse cars and fiberglass POS former VW bugs.
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  19. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    As for flipping, it’s all about hitch height in relationship to the axle. This is pretty big in the farming world with tractors. That’s why you pull stumps and logs with the chain connected to the lower links of the three point hitch, never the upper link. But every year, people kill themselves, flipping a tractor because they attached the chain too high.

    https://ag-safety.extension.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/English-Task-Sheets-Group-6.pdf
    #19
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  20. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma Supporter

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    https://cldd.ca

    Interesting bit of kit, thanks for the heads up. Not sure how I'd rig this system to a buggy, as this system seems to work only with pickup trucks, but I suppose where there's a will there's a way.
    #20