Trailer is fishtailing on the highway...HELP! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 54 Old 02-27-2010, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Trailer is fishtailing on the highway...HELP!

I recently bought a 99 Featherlite and brought it home.. It is a great trailer and works just fine on the backroads, but the other day I went down the interstate and if I got above 50 MPH, it would start fishtailing on the road!! It scared me to death.. Any advice on what it might be?? Thanks in advance...
P/S.. The sale was as is.. so taking it back is not an option...
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post #2 of 54 Old 02-27-2010, 07:58 AM
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There are tons of reasons that would cause fishtailing.

♦ Unequal tire pressure
♦ A suspension problem with the trailer
♦ A suspension problem with the truck (too much tongue weight/bad shocks)
♦ Bad alignment with your truck
♦ Previous accident with the trailer - missalignment of the axles
♦ Unequal tire sizes on the trailer (you need all 4 to match)

I'm sure I missed a few but those would be the first things I would check.

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post #3 of 54 Old 02-27-2010, 08:00 AM
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I would definitely be contacting the maker of the trailer and find out what they say about it...and if you can, get it to a shop and have it looked over.

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post #4 of 54 Old 02-27-2010, 08:28 AM
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What size and kind of vehicle as you using to haul it, and how is your hitch constructed?

Does the trailer sit absolutely level on the hitch, or is it front or back heavy?

Do you use anti-sway bars or hitch stabilizer bars?
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post #5 of 54 Old 02-27-2010, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iridehorses View Post
There are tons of reasons that would cause fishtailing.

♦ Unequal tire pressure
♦ A suspension problem with the trailer
♦ A suspension problem with the truck (too much tongue weight/bad shocks)
♦ Bad alignment with your truck
♦ Previous accident with the trailer - missalignment of the axles
♦ Unequal tire sizes on the trailer (you need all 4 to match)

I'm sure I missed a few but those would be the first things I would check.
Oh gosh!!! Thank you... I'm really new at this so I really appreciate any advice!!!
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post #6 of 54 Old 02-27-2010, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MIEventer View Post
I would definitely be contacting the maker of the trailer and find out what they say about it...and if you can, get it to a shop and have it looked over.
I probably will do that, cause I don't want anything happening to my babies!! Thanks
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post #7 of 54 Old 02-27-2010, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maura View Post
What size and kind of vehicle as you using to haul it, and how is your hitch constructed?

Does the trailer sit absolutely level on the hitch, or is it front or back heavy?

Do you use anti-sway bars or hitch stabilizer bars?
I have a 2008 Nissan Frontier Nismo.. its suppose to haul 10,000 pounds(the trailer is about 3,500 pounds)... And it has a reese hitch.. I guess its level.. I may have to check for sure. As far as sway bars go, I don't think it does have them, how do I tell. I'm new at this trailer thing I always had a friend take me places.... Thank you for your help!
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post #8 of 54 Old 02-27-2010, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, you know, I hink one of the tires was a little low that day.. I remember someone pointing that out to me.... Would that cause that???
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post #9 of 54 Old 02-27-2010, 08:47 AM
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That the trailer is level is pretty critical. How big is the trailer and what type is it - straight load or slant load? 2 horse or larger? When you have horses on the trailer, you want 60% of the weight in front of the trailer axle. If the trailer is unevenly or badly loaded, it can definitely cause fishtailing.

Is there anyone locally with experinece with horse trailers and hauling (preferably someone who's hauled horses - hauling a boat or a camper is not the same thing) you can get to take a look at it and trouble shoot it with you?

Could you post a photo of the rig?

I personally always used hitch stabilizer bars. However, I'm reluctant to recommend spending money on new equipment when the problem may have an easier fix.
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post #10 of 54 Old 02-27-2010, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maura View Post
That the trailer is level is pretty critical. How big is the trailer and what type is it - straight load or slant load? 2 horse or larger? When you have horses on the trailer, you want 60% of the weight in front of the trailer axle. If the trailer is unevenly or badly loaded, it can definitely cause fishtailing.

Is there anyone locally with experinece with horse trailers and hauling (preferably someone who's hauled horses - hauling a boat or a camper is not the same thing) you can get to take a look at it and trouble shoot it with you?

Could you post a photo of the rig?

I personally always used hitch stabilizer bars. However, I'm reluctant to recommend spending money on new equipment when the problem may have an easier fix.
I will get a picture this morning and post it.... Thank you
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