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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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I will be building a teardrop camper to pull behind my '95 GL1500 and I'm deciding on a trailer frame to use. One that I'm considering has a tongue height of around 12".



For those of you who have trailer hitches installed, would you respond with the height of the top of the hitch ball and the brand of the hitch? Pics would help if you have one.



Thanks.
 

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Just one of the guys
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Most any trailer hitch I have seen comes out at about the same height, normally set up for 13 inches from the ground to the trailer coupler. You will have to buy a draw bar insert with the correct amount of rise or drop to match the height for your trailer coupler. Once you get the trailer put together set it level, put it behind the bike and see what you need for a draw bar then head to the store to get the proper draw bar.

The hitch I have at this time is one I built to add to the trike so it would do you no good. There are a couple of popular ones around. http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/86/628 They are not cheap so i would look to EBay and the for sale section to see about getting a good used one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Thanks Doug, I appreciate the response. From what I've read, it's adviseable to have the hitch on the bike slightly lower than the tongue on the trailer. Has this been your experience?
 

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Mine is 12 to ball center, so yeah 13" at the ball top is spot on -- that's what my little trailer wors with. Had to change the tongue/coupler for the Leesure-Lite (2.25" up) to hit their tongue.

I have an older (no longer available) Kury receiver style hitch that gets the receiver mouth alighed well with the centerline of the rear axle. CSome of the plate hitches leave the draw force (and trailer pushing) below centerline... (maybe we could have an oil/tire/Pledge discussion on that!)

As far as the tongue lower/higher thing... The ideal would be spot-on level so that forces from the trailer are in-line PUSH and inline PULL -- having the tongue lower or higher takes a bit of the push/pull and translates to downward compression and lift. Depending on what wheel alignment you set into your trailer - those can ge all silly having the toung too far off, since you're only talking abotu a few degrees anyway.

I think the bit you have written about "From what I've read, it's adviseable to have the hitch on the bike slightly lower than the tongue on the trailer", is a sceond choice when compromises need to be made. This likely comes from the live-axle camber settings as well as tongue-loading. Live axles are often set to positive camber, which would increase toe-in with a high tongue which could make a 'wagging" trailer worse (the toe out/tongue low scuffing would increase drag helping to attenuate the 'wag' where the toe in could actually augment tire lift as the tires 'tripped'). Also, the tongue lower(/v/higher) would tend to load the tongue heavier (moreso with a taller COG), and there again - given the choice between tongue weights, it's better and more stable to err on the side of a slightly heavier tongue weight...

Long story short - if it's your design -- shoot for a level tongue pulling at the centerline of the rear axle to minimize the "feel" (and other behavior issues)
 

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I've seen one bike hauling a trailer where the front was higher.
I followed the guy for a while and noticed on wind gusts his rig went into a slight sway. Apparently the air got trapped under the trailer and was lifting it.

I would highly suggest a slight downward tilt. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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Thanks Satan and FM, both reasons for an even or slightly higher tongue make sense. I would think that any force that tends to lift the rear end of the bike is not a good thing.
 

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"IF" you're stuck with a trailer that's high in the front you can install an air dam. It'll look and act just like them daRn things on the front of race cars.
It creates a little vacuum behind that thing helping to hold the trailer down.

I've seen that black lawn edging on some, not to shabby looking.

:thumbsup:
 
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