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Old 01-24-2012, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,920,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Not true. A light trailer can break loose just as easily, if not more easily than a heavy one.
Disagreed. One always has more control towing a lighter thing as opposed to a heavier one, particularly going downhill. Especially if you've got a relatively very heavy thing in front (the truck) and a much lighter thing in back (small boat).

Your jackknifed "semi with empty trailer" analogy does not apply. That situation consists of a relatively heavy, large thing in back (the full size empty semi trailer) compared to a small, relatively light thing in front (the cab). There's no comparison between this and a half-ton truck pulling a bass boat.

You're not the only one with towing experience, man. I've been towing motorcycle and boat trailers since before I was allowed to have a driver's license.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:57 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,139,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
Disagreed. One always has more control towing a lighter thing as opposed to a heavier one, particularly going downhill. Especially if you've got a relatively very heavy thing in front (the truck) and a much lighter thing in back (small boat).

Your jackknifed "semi with empty trailer" analogy does not apply. That situation consists of a relatively heavy, large thing in back (the full size empty semi trailer) compared to a small, relatively light thing in front (the cab). There's no comparison between this and a half-ton truck pulling a bass boat.

You're not the only one with towing experience, man. I've been towing motorcycle and boat trailers since before I was allowed to have a driver's license.
A lighter trailer may be easier to control on dry roads when the truck is much heavier--that much I will grant you. On slick roads, though, weight on wheels is just as important on a trailer as it is on a regular vehicle. On slick roads, light trailers are very "squirrelly." A heavier trailer (either a "pull" type or "gooseneck") will also put more weight on the rear wheels of the towing vehicle, which will improve its traction over a trailer that puts little tongue weight on the towing vehicle. That is every bit as true for a pickup towing a small trailer as it is for a semi-tractor pulling an empty trailer.

And I have towed everything from light trailers like your motorcycle and boat trailers to livestock trailers weighing over 20,000 pounds--both on slick mountain roads. Given a choice, I'll take the heavy trailer with properly equipped and adjusted trailer brakes every time. The only limiting factor with the heavier trailer is having a truck with sufficient traction to pull it uphill. In all but the worst conditions, today's 3/4 or 1-ton 4WD's with rear limited-slip or locking differentials are more than up to the task. As with any mountain driving, especially in winter conditions, it is driver experience that is crucial.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:08 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 19,314,282 times
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A yes ... I must say, one of the nastier surprises I've dealt with was coming up on a jackknifed pickup / trailered boat making my decent (thankfully, not towing anything) down Carson Pass in a blizzard. There are reasons for the 30 MPH limit the highway patrol puts up under such conditions.
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