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AlK

loading car on trailer

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Got a question on this. I have a car trailer(dual axle) with a weight distribution hitch. When loading the car, should I set the weight rails first and then load the car or vice-versa.

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Never made a difference to me, Al.

The whole point I have always tried to achieve is to make sure the complete unit is level front to back, so as to make sure there is plenty of weight on the front tires. I have also used the trailer jack to jack the tongue up high, once I know which link to hook to, which helps with locking the chains down(what my unit has).

Wayne

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My experience is the same as Wayne's.

Even with the trailer level, you should still try to keep weight distribution with a 60%/40% bias, keeping more weight on the front. This will also minimize sway and reaction to wind and passing big trucks.

But I keep the bars on prior to loading since I know where the settings are.

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# 1 I put the load leveler bars on before I load.

# 2 Drive the car forward until you feel it dip (that should indicate slightly more weight on the tongue than on the rear of the trailer) will be about 10-15% of total wight on the ball. You should be good to go.

# 3 When you tow, be aware of whether the trailer trys to steer the car or the car doesn't effectively steer it.

A. If the car steers the trailer fine, you are OK.

B. If the trailer steers the car it's to little tongue weight.

C. If the car ploughs it's too much weight on the ball.

Either B or C can get you in trouble fast.

B. The trailer can turn the car around with a slight direction change at 45

MPH or more.

C. The trailer can prevent you from turning when needed.

Either way, unless you develop a feel for your rigs balance and tongue weight BEFORE you get in trouble, you could learn it the hard way.

For the above reasons I believe strongly in load levelers, a stabilizer bar and

extreme caution in loading and trailering.

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Lets not overlook my pet peeve... Properly securing your load. I have seen many cars not secured properly or trailers not connected properly. A few years back on Hwy85 in WY a guy lost his trailer full of motorcycles. It came off and plowed thru several bikes on the road killing several people. When the police arrived they find his safety chains were white plastic painted silver. He stated if he lost a trailer he wanted to be able to get away from it. Last I heard the drived was doing time in WY for manslaughter.

Just this summer we spotted an idiot with a Civic on a trailer. The only thing keeping it there was the moron in the civic on the trailer holding the brake on. I witnessed a state patrol confront a lady at the gas station with a Scout on a trailer. She had a bungee cord on ea of the 4 wheels! She was pissed that he would not allow her to move until she properly secured it. Her argument was '"All 4 wheels are secured!" really????

It doesn't take much to do it properly and saving $100 and not having correct tie downs (should be rated 2x+ the weight of the load) is foolish.

I have heard too many times "nothing has ever happen before" This is no guarantee that nothing will happen. Be smart, protect your load and save lives. I have had the bolt in the ball break, but my safety chains caught the tongue and I slowly brought it to a controlled stop with very little damage. A few years back ('04 F-250 4dr 4x4, 18' flatbed with an Amphicar) we got blown off the road in a blizzard. We did a complete 520 deg turn and stuffed it backwards into the ditch. My load did not move (4 wheel over the tire web straps) and the only damage was where the trailer jack knifed into the bumper of the truck crushing the battery box and the bedside. I can almost taste the leather of the seats still! That was a fun trip across WY.

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I've never understood anyone ever figuring a vehicle was adequately secured if it wasn't chained to the trailer both front and rear and otherwise secured with ratcheting straps so as to pull the frame down to prevent it from bouncing and side walking (shifting) across the floor of a trailer. It takes a close to unconscious moron to not be able to feel a vehicle on a trailer bucking on the trailer and/or a load shifting. Ranks right up there with a car being too forward on a trailer and exceeding the tongue weight rating of the hitch or the tow vehicle which leads to bucking at the hitch if a road is not perfectly level and a very great likelihood of failure and a subsequent disconnect. Excessive tongue weight also leads to the tow vehicle being potentially uncontrollable from inadequate weight on the front suspension, plus the loss of adequate front braking on the tow vehicle. Towing a trailer with a 4,000 plus pound car on it is not for rank amateurs who are dumb enough to think they know what they are doing!

I personally use 2 chains each on the front and rear and 4 ratcheting straps rated for 2,000 lbs crisscrossed from a frame point on each side of the vehicle's frame to D-rings welded in the trailer floor. 2 on the front and 2 on the rear. A vehicle so secured absolutely will not buck or walk and sure as heck is not going to roll either forward or backward chained.

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Hear, hear Jim. my sentiments exactly. Crisscrossed chains on the axles and straps on the frame to keep it from bouncing. And people always laugh when I pull out the duct tape and wrap the end hooks on the straps to keep them in place when it does bounce over a BIG bump but it works. I know I've exceeded the safe towing capacity of my Chevy 1500 before (as evidenced by a permanently pinched drivers seat) but that's when I slow way down and keep even more distance from every car around me. A towing package, GOOD properly adjusted trailer brakes and keeping a safe distance has gotten many a big ol Buick and me home safely.

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Hear, hear Jim. my sentiments exactly. Crisscrossed chains on the axles and straps on the frame to keep it from bouncing. And people always laugh when I pull out the duct tape and wrap the end hooks on the straps to keep them in place when it does bounce over a BIG bump but it works. I know I've exceeded the safe towing capacity of my Chevy 1500 before (as evidenced by a permanently pinched drivers seat) but that's when I slow way down and keep even more distance from every car around me. A towing package, GOOD properly adjusted trailer brakes and keeping a safe distance has gotten many a big ol Buick and me home safely.

Never thought of the Duct tape idea and sure wouldn't laugh at you over it. I make it a practice to check the status of chains and tautness of straps every time I stop for fuel, food, etc. Usually find one or two straps that need to be tightened up a bit as they will indeed stretch from initial tightening. I generally replace straps after a couple of trips simply because I question their safety after having been well stretch a few times and inevitably reducing service life at capacity rating.

Keeping that safe distance if others will let you is indeed mandatory. I've gained a great deal of appreciation for guys that drive 18 wheelers in major metro area traffic. I don't know how many times I've been basically cut off by Idiots who have no idea about my not being able to stop on a dime when towing a car on a trailer. I've even had knuckle heads come real close to running into the side of the trailer when making a turn. It isn't as if it can't be seen day or night, because I have enough running lights on the side of the trailer along with reflective tape anyone should be able to tell there is an object in front of them.

There is also another often forgotten aspect about towing that is ignored by many and that is the condition of the trailer brakes and wheel bearings. Trailer brakes take one heck of a beating and deserve to be frequently checked for function and shoe wear. It's real easy to assume things are in good shape just because most of us don't make that many towing trips. I have yet to do a pre trip inspection of lights, brakes, break away brake activation system that I didn't find one or more deficiencies that needed attention.

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When I stop for fuel, I get out start the pump then walk around the rig checking all tires on the ground, then all tiedowns, then all lights. The tires on the car on the trailer are important too. If they get low or flat they will affect how the tiedowns fit. I then look over my load for loose anything. Doors come open, windows fall down etc.

I use the over the tire straps and they are just as safe if not safer than chains on the frame. I keep the wheels firmly on the deck while allowing the car suspension to work. This keeps the forces where they are designed to be. When you hit bumps the suspension of the car on the trailer will absorb them rather than transferring the full impact to the vehicles chassis which affects the trailers attitude. This can and has snapped chains and damaged vehicles. It's just my preferance not saying other ways are not good for you.

My trailer is maintained very well so my brake system is always ready to go. Things break but I never leave without knowing if they are broken or not.

Basically be aware of your load and your rig. Be smart and over do it rather than cut corners and we'll all be better off for it.

Here is a pic of me at 11,000' on Trail Ridge road here in Colorado....

post-31565-143138798761_thumb.jpg

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Very good advice here..., but I didn't see anyone mention crossing the trailer safety chains.

If this is done correctly and the trailer comes off the hitch, the tongue will be cradled by the safety chains and not hit the road.

I believe this is the law in most states.

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Very good advice here..., but I didn't see anyone mention crossing the trailer safety chains.

If this is done correctly and the trailer comes off the hitch, the tongue will be cradled by the safety chains and not hit the road.

I believe this is the law in most states.

Good advice, I more or less consider crossing of the break away chains a given and to go one step further, make sure the cable for activating the trailer brakes is of the correct length to actually engage the trailer brakes. And don't forget to check the battery for being fully charged. If your trailer wiring pigtail pulls out in a break away you better hope the trailer brakes come into immediate play.

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I have a lot of experience towing cars. For the most part, without incident, which is the way it should be. On a few occasions, I have had State Troopers pull along side and give my hitch a looking over and then drive off.

My bad experience was taking an enclosed trailer I had bought about a mile from my home back to my house. I apparently overlooked there were no safety chains. Apparently the prior owner needed them and just took them. After having lunch, I jumped in my rig and drove off to my friends house about 50 miles away. Inside the trailer was my 40 Chevy, all secured and good to go.

While on the New York Thruway, about one quarter of a mile from my exit (which was on an uphill grade), it hit my like the proverbial ton of bricks, I did not remember seeing chains. I stopped, checked, and realized my plight. No chains, and nothing in the the truck to use as a fix.

Keep in mind, I had tested the electric brakes before buying the trailer. Three of the four were good. Was going to my friends house to install new loaded backing plates on all four wheels.

I will stop here. Suffice it to say I made it. There was a Home Depot right off the exit ramp, where I bought chain and installed it before continuing.

Here is the catch. We all know to look things over before and during a trip, but will you just check what you see, and overlook what should be there that you do not see, like my missing chains?

As it turns out, I went through everything when doing the brakes and at that point realized my breakaway switch was not operable. Another lesson learned. If it's not perfect, make it so, or DON'T GO. I was very lucky.

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i got a 28 foot enclosed v nose car trailer how do i fit 2 cars in it?

Collect Crosleys, room to spare. If you collect the right model you could squeeze 3 in.

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