Is it possible my neighbor just made a mistake?
Quote from Qwerty, February, 2011
"I still find plenty of new thins to screw up. The increasingly complex idiocy that I can create is proof positive that evolution is real."
If anything, I expect you're misquoting him. It's hard to believe that this day and age anyone could be so ignorant. No, it isn't, this is America, land of the self-esteemed ignorant, home of the narcissistic. (The members of this forum who live outside the U. S. of A. are trying really hard not to LOL.)
Instruction should vary according to the severity of the likely consequences of ignorance. Correction of misinformation should correspond to the likely consequences, political correctness be damned if the likely consequences are severe enough. Your neighbor disseminates misinformation that can easily be lethal to the practioner or any innocent on or near the road. Adamant correction is justified.
Tirebiter, that is an awesome trailer. The solution to your problem of hauling a variety of bikes is repostionable tire chocks. If you are handy, you can make these
much cheaper than you can buy them. With this kit
, you get a chock and all the hardware. Order extra hardware to move the kit to other positions.
I've made my own mounts, nuts welded to angle iron that attach permanently to the frame rails under the bed, in essence, creating additional crossmembers. Drop a bolt through the hole in a chock, through the hole in the floor, and hit it with an air ratchet. On or off in 60 seconds. My brother uses wing bolts--no tools necessary.
If you have 80 pounds of tongue weight on a 400 pound trailer you are kind of pushing the upper limit on tongue weight when empty. On such a small trailer, that is perfectly acceptable.
Add a TW with farkles and fluids, and 80 pounds of hitch weight will be about perfect. Measure tongue weight by blocking up a bathroom scale under the coupler when the trailer frame is level. Be sure to adjust your ball height when hooked to the tow vehicle so the frame is level when towing. It is not unusual to need to adjust ball height for changes in loaded trailer weight. Use a ball mount with a different rise or drop and/or use a ball with a different length shank, as needed. As long as your tongue weight is 10-20% of trailer weight and doesn't exceed hitch or tow vehicle capacities, having the frame level will provide more benefit than dorking with tongue weight.
A single-axle trailer tilted forward will gain tongue weight and force the wheels to move forward as well as up when hitting a bump, resulting in a harsh ride. The result can impart a jerky feel to the tow vehicle and even small, sharp bumps can force the tires off the pavement. Traction suffers when the tires do not touch the road. The trailer often will not track straight behind the tow vehicle when the tires are in the air and will yank the back end of the tow vehicle around when the tires hit the pavement again. Hit the brakes when the trailer is in the air and it will jacknife in 0.02 second. Also, the springs will not carry load as well, which could result in bottoming out.
A single axle trailer tilted back will lose tongue weight and also reduce spring capacity. The result is a tendency to feel constant drag in the tow vehicle, as if someone was playing with trailer brakes. Also, expect lots of sway, especially on off-camber surfaces and in crosswinds. The ride probably won't be especially jerky unless the springs bottom out, but the tow vehicle simply won't go straight.
A properly set up trailer will not be felt on the road under most circumstances. If you're getting jerked around or constantly correcting steering to keep going straight while towing, something isn't right. I added a piece of angle across the front of my trailer, and made it long enough to see the anber clearance lights mounted on the front in the mirrors. My minivan is a cargo version with no back windows and most of the time the only way I can tell the trailer is back there cruising down the highway is to look for those amber clearance lights.