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4x4 trailer - independent suspension

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4x4 trailer - independent suspension

Postby Clem » 03 Jul 2013 10:55

Guys, I am currently looking around for a lightweight 4x4 trailer for the Patrol. One of the options that has come up is a second-hand aluminium trailer built by Humbaur in Germany (see: http://www.humbaur.com/Highest-quality- ... .html?&L=1). It is a proper 4x4 trailer and is one of a very small number that were imported into South Africa, the original plan apparently having been to build local replicas. Anyway, this specific trailer has been on a lot of journeys without trouble. One of the interesting features is that it has independent suspension. Is the independent suspension an advantage or disadvantage? I do not like off road cars with anything other than live axles but a trailer may be a different proposition. Also not sure how I will be able to change the hubs to meet the towing vehicle wheel setup but that is another issue altogether.

Any thoughts?
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Re: 4x4 trailer - independent suspension

Postby Peter Connan » 03 Jul 2013 17:53

As usual, I do

And as far as I am concerned, there are a number of possible advantages, but whether or not they are realized or whether problems are introduced is entirely down to the execution.
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Re: 4x4 trailer - independent suspension

Postby Clem » 03 Jul 2013 18:15

Peter Connan wrote:As usual, I do


For which I am grateful. :-)

Peter Connan wrote:And as far as I am concerned, there are a number of possible advantages, but whether or not they are realized or whether problems are introduced is entirely down to the execution.


Thank you.
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Re: 4x4 trailer - independent suspension

Postby Jorrie » 03 Jul 2013 18:47

Clem wrote:Guys, I am currently looking around for a lightweight 4x4 trailer for the Patrol. One of the options that has come up is a second-hand aluminium trailer built by Humbaur in Germany (see: http://www.humbaur.com/Highest-quality- ... .html?&L=1). It is a proper 4x4 trailer and is one of a very small number that were imported into South Africa, the original plan apparently having been to build local replicas. Anyway, this specific trailer has been on a lot of journeys without trouble. One of the interesting features is that it has independent suspension. Is the independent suspension an advantage or disadvantage? I do not like off road cars with anything other than live axles but a trailer may be a different proposition. Also not sure how I will be able to change the hubs to meet the towing vehicle wheel setup but that is another issue altogether.

Any thoughts?


Having lived there for a while, the matter of quality is in the eye of the beholder. Don't stare yourself blind at foreign "quality". Often the marketing is better than the quality and support available.
Why not look at the local offerings? There are numerous trailers of excellent quality locally available, both new and second-hand.
Rather do an intensive study of the local products that is available and then make your desicion. At least the support should be easier. QQQ

My favourite is the Wildebeest Kalfie. The maufacturer is in Pretoria and will come to the party when you need it. See http://www.wildebeestoffroad.co.za/#!kalfie/cn06
They will even customize it for you, if you so require. You can even specify the suspension, track width and rim and tyre size.

Another option is to look at the Jurgens trailers, XT 75, XT 120, XT 140 and XT 160 in various configuations.

These are but a few of the local options available. :wink:
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Re: 4x4 trailer - independent suspension

Postby Tinus lotz » 03 Jul 2013 19:35

Those alu trailers fall apart if it is the same as the tuli ones wont go to africa in it but that is just my opinion
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Re: 4x4 trailer - independent suspension

Postby Clem » 03 Jul 2013 20:02

Jorrie, I am looking at this because the price is half of what a new Alustar or Aluglide is and it's fitted out to an appropriate degree for my needs. The only other alternative local market option for me that I have been able to identify seems to be the Buzzard Industries Bushpig. Why? Because the dry weight is 238kg. I require that the fully laden weight of the whole unit come in at under 500kg. Why? Because I have to handle it on my own and I have a deep dislike of hauling heavy things. The other advantage of this specific trailer is that it has a low profile. Trailers with high profiles sometimes turn turtle when you least expect it - on occasion taking the towing vehicle with them. I have traditionally had a "thing" against trailers but with Edward (all our cars have names and that is the appellation of the 'trol) it is more of an option than it was before and even I am forced to recognise that sometimes they are very practical.

And yes, sometimes the Germans also do make junk, like in the case of.....errmm, errmm, errmm.... *?*?*? Ah, yes. The Trabant. :-)


Tinus, I do hope you are wrong. This particular unit has been used for many years by a hard core overlander and is still in very good shape, so hopefully it is the exception to the concern you raise. Hopefully. :-)
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Re: 4x4 trailer - independent suspension

Postby Jorrie » 03 Jul 2013 20:11

Clem

I appreciate your requirement and trust that you will find the right solution. :thumbup:
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Re: 4x4 trailer - independent suspension

Postby Clem » 03 Jul 2013 20:39

Jorrie wrote:Clem

I appreciate your requirement and trust that you will find the right solution. :thumbup:


Dankie Jorrie. With all the input and encouragement I get here, I am sure that I will.
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Re: 4x4 trailer - independent suspension

Postby Peter Connan » 04 Jul 2013 06:50

With alumiminium, the same problem exists.

Most local aluminium products are assembled with a glue strip and rivets, and those just don't last. I have not seen these particular trailers, and the website is not much help, but if it were fully seal welded, I reckon it would probably stay together. On the other hand, there are glue processe that are even better than welding, such as the process used by Lotus to glue their chassis together. Those just don't fall apart, ever.

Having said all that, Aluminium is the metal most susceptable to fatigue failure, so going on the fact that this trailer has already worked very hard, I would put in some extra effort checking it out. Perhaps even to the extent of doing Liquid Penetrant Examinations of the structural joints/corners. The other disadvantage with alimunium is that it is much more difficult to affect a field repair, as you are highly unlikely to find somebody who can weld it in the stix.

I have recently gone through the exercise of designing my own trailer, and for very similar reasons (although I have eventually been much more lenient on myself as regards weight)
One of the major possible advantages of independent suspension is that the centre of gravity can be kept much lower.

Many of the local trailers and particularly caravans use the Rubax independent suspension. In general it is fairly trouble-free, in fact I think it is probably more reliable than the leaf springs fitted to any other trailer. The problem is that when it breaks, it is fairly catastrophic, and not really field-repairable (it is usually the swing arm that breaks at it's connection to the chassis), whereas with a leaf spring all you need is a couple of planks and some ratchet straps and you are sort-of mobile again.

PM me your E-mail address, and I will e-mail you my design. It is not what you are looking for, but it might just provoke some thought?
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Re: 4x4 trailer - independent suspension

Postby Clem » 04 Jul 2013 08:20

Thank you Peter. I will send you my e-mail address off line. I will be sure to check it out properly. The work hardening of aluminium is one of the reasons I have been surprised at the building of aluminium chassis motor vehicles. One imagines that the technology has moved on over the years.

For what it is worth, Humbaur is Europe's largest trailer manufacturer. Their output apparently exceeds 30,000 units per annum. Now whether that is indicative of quality or price or an appropriate intersection of the two, is unknown to me. But at least it is not something made by some fly by night.
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