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Old     (fbroen)      Join Date: Apr 2002       06-16-2003, 12:03 PM Reply   
Is anyone using shock absorbing hitches such as the one manufactured by Schuck in the picture below? I guess they are supposed to absorb "minor or major tongue thrust shocks."

Just curious since I can't get the trailer's actuator to behave on acceleration (extends / bottoms out with very little shock absorbtion, but stops smooth).

Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       06-17-2003, 1:26 AM Reply   
have you tried replacing the shock that is part of the master cylinder for your trailer brakes?? I havent tried the ball mount your showing but have thought about it myself, anyone?? What are the ratings on it?
Old    6more            06-17-2003, 5:50 AM Reply   
Make sure the fluid level is correct in the master cylinder. But I believe the trailer and actuator are probably working as they are suppose to. I think you misunderstand the purpose of the actuator. It isn't a shock absorber at all, it simply causes the brakes to be applied when the actuator is depressed. This occurs when the rig slows down and the trailer compresses the actuator. This is why you get the smooth stop. There is no function or shock absorbing action in any way when the tongue expands and the actuator is released.

When you start out forward when the actuator has been depressed, the actuator will naturally extend before the trailer starts moving. Once the actuator extends fully, all that energy that your tow vehicle has produced is suddenly transferred to a stationary trailer. There isn't anyway to prevent a big clank and jerk unless you start VERY slowly and wait for the actuator to extend before trying to get the rig moving. The less energy you create with your rig (ie forward motion) the smaller the clank and jerk will be.

A shock absorbing hitch will help this transition of energy from the actuator to the stationary trailer, but it is still going to be a sudden action. Going slow is the best way to save your hitch, trailer, and transmission.

(Message edited by 6more on June 17, 2003)
Old     (fbroen)      Join Date: Apr 2002       06-17-2003, 6:52 AM Reply   
Here is the link with the ratings (they have few different models).

I have replaced the shock, have also replaced the entire actuator / swing away tongue, bled the lines and the fluid level is good. It is still impssible to start w/o a jerk, no matter how slow the take off.

According to a lot of the folks in this thread though, there are actuators out there that actually do work without the dreaded jerk:
Old     (csquared)      Join Date: Jan 2002       06-17-2003, 10:02 AM Reply   
The shock absorbing hitches work pretty well. They really help on bumpy roads and are moderately good for stop and go traffic. You'll still feel it, it's just not as harsh.

As Brian said, check the fluid level. Low fluid may cause the actuator to extend too fast under accelration.

Brian is correct that the actuator itself is not a shock absorber, but most do contain some sort of shock absorbing system which varies depending on the brand of actuator. The Attwood actuator actually has a shock inside of it and the Tie Down Engineering actuator uses the brake fluid and a damper to dampen the speed of compression and extension of the actuator. When the brake fluid gets low, it starts to clunk, but will still stop fine. If the brake fluid is full, check your actuator for a shock. If it has rusted or lost a seal, it may start clunking. A correctly functioning actuator shouldn't be so harsh that you can feel a big clunk everytime you start.

(Message edited by csquared on June 17, 2003)


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