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Old 14 June 2015, 14:56   #1
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 50
SBS Trailer problems

Has anyone bought or got an SBS twin axle 3500 kgs trailer bought from South Coast Boat Trailers of Plymouth or the company SBS direct.
1 Have you noticed the trailer pointing down at the front end a lot causing the front axle tyres to squash more than the rear axle tyres when it's loaded?
2 Is South Coast Boat Trailers still in business as they refuse to answer my repeated phone calls / Emails and those of SBS.
I am trying to get my money back from them which is probably why they will not respond.
3 please get in touch if you have similar problems with your trailer as court action seems inevitable to try and sort out this mess and I just need to know the scale of this problem.
the trailer complies with its type approval except for the draw bar height which is too high.
My vehicles tow ball is a CE marked tow bar fitted by a proper tow bar fitting company. I have even cross checked the measurement with the tow bar manufactures Witter who have confirmed my tow bar is well within the limits as it is only 5 mm lower than the maximum allowed by Law.
The VCA enforcement section do not want to know so I am at a loss to know what to do for the best.
I just need a trailer to tow my 2 1/2 ton boat that is perfectly legal.
I know a sailing boat is on the back but I do still have a Marlin RIB that I cannot use through having a severely injured back . So if anyone wants to buy it with 24 hours on the clock of a Honda 150 HP , Galvanised trailer and fitted out with loads of brand new unused electronics.
Get in touch please. Regards .

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Old 14 June 2015, 15:18   #2
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Sounds like a setup problem to me, the axles either need moving forward or the weight backwards, got any photos?
I've had several SBS trailers, currently a 2600, no problem once they are set up properly, but that's something that needs doing once you have the boat on it.
Bit of an odd rambly post
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Old 14 June 2015, 16:02   #3
Country: UK - England
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Purely an adjustment issue. Boat trailers are infinitely adjustable.
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Old 14 June 2015, 20:48   #4
Country: UK - England
Town: South Coast
Boat name: Scooby Doo
Make: Arctic Blue 27
Length: 8m +
Engine: QSD 4.2 350 Diesel
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Without seeing a pic I can only offer my best guess, your post is not very clear.

I have an SBS trailer and it is excellent. From what I understand:
- The front of the trailer is too low.
- There is a disproportionate amount of weight on the front tyres.

Was the trailer designed or setup for the boat you now have on it?
What is your towing vehicle? (need for height and weight)

You will need to do a few things:
- Park the rig on flat ground. Measure from the ground to the back middle and front of the trailer. There shouldn't be a large difference, the trailer is designed to run parallel with the ground. If your tow ball is too low you will put more weight on the front wheels.
- You need to check your nose weight, I suggest roughly 80-90kg ish but can't say for sure without knowing what the tow vehicle is. The max nose weight will be stated in your cars manual. The link below tells you how to do this.

I could go on and on about moving axels and the boat fwd and aft but if you check the above points it would be a good start. Again it all depends if the trailer was designed for the boat. Generally if it looks wrong it probably is!

Have you called SBS trailers, they were very helpful when I spoke to them with lots of informed free advice.
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Old 15 June 2015, 00:40   #5
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Photographs are always a big help with this type of problem. It certainly sounds like an adjustment of the axle positions is required to balance the load?
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Old 15 June 2015, 01:59   #6
Country: UK - England
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I agree, sounds like set-up !. Post a picture of a side view of rig for meaningful advice. Should be easily sorted.
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Old 15 June 2015, 04:22   #7
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When the trailer is parked on level ground and the trailer is level using the main supporting frame as the level .
The tow bar coupling is about four inches higher than the tow ball coupling.
As it is a new trailer it has a type approval that sets out exactly where all the components should be set like the distance of the front axle from the tow hitch and the distance between the axles.
The nose weight is set at 75kgs which is the weight recommended in the trailer handbook. My Vehicle is a Mercedes ML 4x4 with a 3.2 ltd Diesel engine coupled to auto box which has more than enough power to tow the rig and stop it.
The draw bar on the vehicle is the correct height.
I cannot move the axles as everyone suggests as that would contravene the trailers type approval!!!
The only way I could get the correct nose weight was to move the boat backwards by about a foot and move the winch post back by the same amount so the boat overhangs the trailer now by one foot.
These new trailers do not let you alter anything without breaking its type approval in this instance inspected by the government body the VCA. It was them they who told me I was not allowed to alter anything at all other than the support posts and winch post. The supplier South West Boat Traikers were told what boat I wanted the trailer for. They were given its description along with full specifications and photos on different makes of trailers.
So to sum up.
I should have expected the trailer to have been set up straight away for my boat which it was not as the axles were 510 mm too far to the rear well outside its type approval and set up for a power boat with outboard engines. My boat has an inboard engine with the COG approx right in the middle of the boat. I had to move the axles as far forward as the type approval would allow me. Which is why I had to move the boat backwards instead of move the axles forward.
It would appear that this problem is worse on the 3400 kgs model trailer because SBS use wider main frame support metal box section than its smaller trailers. I have since noticed Indespension trailers who must be the largest boat trailer supplier in the country have got round the problem by fixing the tow bar coupling under neath the main frame chassis rails which then drops the tow bar coupling by at least five inches. That's the exact amount I need my trailer dropping to make the trailer sit level with the boat loaded and connected to my car.
I am sorry if my post seems rambling but I have learning difficulties and am now disabled and sometimes have trouble putting words down correctly in the right order so I am sorry for that.
Basically I now have a trailer that cost me nearly £4000 that I cannt use behind my vehicle despite ordering it correctly , paying for it instantly with cash, taking it back to the SBS factory twice!
Being told by SBS Over a month ago which is when ai returned the trailer to them that I would get a full refund which has not happened !!!
It is not a case of simply altering the balance.
How can that alter the ride height of the tow bar hitch ???
If the boat was put right at the front to get the right height then there would be too much nose weight on the draw bar.
I have owned many many different types of boats and makes of trailers during the last forty years of boating which were mostly ribs. this is a first .
I have owned an SBS trailer in the past and I too was over the moon with it which is why ai went for another one.
There is a company who specialise in making trailers for my boat down near where they are made.
They told me that they had bought several SBS trailers in the past that had also been made too high at the coupling height.
I am not on my own so just need to know anyone else who owns a 3500 kgs trailer with the same problems as ai have and how did they rectify the problem.
By the way SBS have just recently offered to alter the trailer so it would fit my vehicle BUT they wanted paying extra to do it!!!!
i did not really want my trailer chopping about and re welding ect without having it re galvanising so I said no.
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Old 15 June 2015, 04:29   #8
Country: UK - Wales
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We have 4 different trailers one of which is a 3500kg sbs.

Each trailer requires the tow hitch at a different height so having a height adjustable to hitch on the defender avoids any problems.
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Old 15 June 2015, 07:59   #9
Country: UK - England
Town: South Coast
Boat name: Scooby Doo
Make: Arctic Blue 27
Length: 8m +
Engine: QSD 4.2 350 Diesel
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 28
Sorry to hear about your problems. I agree with the comment above. I have a 3 axel 3500 (10m long) that I tow behind a Defender. It has an adjustable tow bar that I set so the trailer is parallel with the ground and it tows great. I know allot of people who operate the same trailer and have no problems (sorry I know this doesn't help you).

From what you say if you could find an adjustable height tow ball mount for your vehicle (I have no idea if one is available) this would solve all your problems.

These trailers are designed to be towed behind large vehicles, although your car is large so I'm a bit confused as to why the ball hitch is so low?
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Old 15 June 2015, 08:04   #10
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Take some pictures and upload them, that will help people on here help you !

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