CatBird

Trailer height and wind?

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Looking at having a trailer made, high enough to haul most brass cars. My tallest car is about 7'6" with the top up.

I am thinking about a 28foot bumper haul with a rear opening about 8' high. 8'6" inside. I am pulling with a 3500 GMC Diesel Dually. Possibly adding straight, as not in 'drop' axles so easily clear the inner fender wells more easily. Right now my gooseneck Featherlight (6'6" height opening) has 14" high fender wells. I cannot open the doors on my more modern cars.

However, this will give me a high profile and 28 foot long with a box that will be 8'6" and an additional 4" not having drop axles. I am wondering if wind will be a factor? Like passing a semi on the expressway? 

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Bill, wind won’t be an issue. Be sure to get 16 inch wheels, a V nose, and triple axle if possible. A weight distributing hitch is a must. 28 feet is perfect for most every application and gives you about five feet of free space up front. The extra axle is much more stable, and adds huge amounts of braking power. One you go to a triple you will never go back. My latest trailer has the large spread between the axles, the entire trailer and car are over the carriage.......tows like it’s not there. Also, with the Tripp set up you can safely tow at higher speeds, and tire failure is virtually non exsistant. My 34 foot V nose box........it’s huge, but I haul lots of extra stuff. Once use to a long set up, it’s easy to forget it’s there. Your trailer is NEVER built heavy enough. 

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All a V nose does is take away from interior space - it is a gimmick that only serves to appeal to trailer customers that don't know better.

 

A coffin front trailer with a Nosecone on it offers the most interior room and will save at least one mpg when towing.

 

Earlier this year I  started offering free enclosed car hauler design service in cooperation with the dealer I have used for several years.

 

A spread triple axle design is a very long turn radius - it creates a great deal of stress on the axles.

 

I opted for a tandem 7000 pound torsion axle design with (14) ply G rated tires.

 

My custom built 30 foot enclosed car hauler has an eight foot rear door clearance.

 

Jim

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)
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Bill and I tow VERY big cars.......I usually have ones that run from 6000 to 6500 pounds. I have hauled hundreds of thousands of miles, the triple spread gives much better stopping power, It is twice to three times as stable, and is much more stable loading and unloading cars than two axles close together. If there was an engineering issue with them they wouldn’t sell them. I routinely turn tight radius’s with my trailer. Yes the wheels slide and scuff.......,and it’s not an issue. Trailing a car is inherently dangerous, and heavy cars much more than the run of the mill post war stuff. And the legend about burning up tires simply isn’t true with the triple spread if you buy good tires......my Sailun’s currently have 55k on them p, front and rear axles tread is at 60 percent, center is at 80. Yes, they scrub, but I’ll safley get 80k out of them, in less than two years. Also, with the Tripp set up, you can safley use a single rear rear tire truck instead of a dually, although I would NEVER do that. Did 570 miles yesterday, have 930 to go today......l’m off!

 

PS- nose cones are always a good idea for both fuel and less wind loan on your transmission, slight rounding of the corners helps almost as much as a nose cone, and the V is almost as good. Fact is almost no one uses their trailer enough for an economical payback, as far as space, I disagree, I have a work bench and cabinets up front and the V gives me a tone of extra space in the shelving units for long and bulky items.

 

Jim......that’s a nice rig you have there........if I were usually hauling lighter stuff I think it would be very workman like..........if driving for a living I would still run the Tripp set up........maybe without the spread........Ed

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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The OP was looking for advice in selecting a tall enclosed trailer suitable for hauling “ most brass cars “ ......

 

Most brass cars do not weigh 6000 pounds - they are relatively lightweight but can be tall if they are a touring car transported with the top up.

 

I haul everything - literally .....

 

I custom build my enclosed car haulers to meet client demand.

 

My current trailer has an 8K cargo capacity.

 

My previous two trailers were triple axle.

 

I will NEVER tow a triple axle trailer again.

 

A 7K torsion axle in a tandem axle configuration is the ideal set up for a bumper pull trailer.

 

A gooseneck or fifth wheel enclosed trailer is suitable for a third axle.

 

Class 5 receiver hitches are rated at 10K - they are not suitable to handle the weight of a triple axle trailer unless it has 3.5K axles.

 

I tow with a one ton dually - I had a custom Class 6 receiver hitch built that attaches to the side of my Ford truck frame - it is rated at 17K.

 

Jim

 

 

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Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

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You can design a trailer with torsion axles that approximate a straight axle.

 

The main benefit - you will have more ground clearance which is critical at the back of the trailer.

 

Manufacturers build drop axle models as a standard to facilitate low angle rear trailer ramp door approach - in the real world you drag the rear end of the trailer when you enter & exit low driveways and roadways - usually you catch one corner.

 

This results in one corner being lifted - that leads to cracked welds - which leads to racking of the trailer sidewalls & roof - that causes the roof to tear and leak.

 

I spec torsion axle angle to approximate a near straight axle.

 

I recently pulled into a station to fuel that had a steep dip in the pump approach - when I was done fueling I carefully backed out .....

 

 

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Jim

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Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

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The other advantage is shorter interior wheel well boxes - but you have to spec that the boxes be cut to fit - otherwise they will use standard tall ones.

 

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Another consideration is frame construction - all of my custom enclosed car haulers have an 8 inch steel full perimeter frame - no outriggers - the sidewalls sit on the perimeter frame.

 

i also spec the ceiling - sidewall - floor framing members on 12” centers.

 

This provides maximum structural integrity - it also gives great snow load rating ( which is critical in some areas ).

 

I eliminate roof vents & install side vents - this takes care of roof leaks.

 

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Jim

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

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Jim, I agree with much of what you said. Bill has a bunch of cars, and it's likely he will put his heavy CCCA stuff in it also. I agree with the frame and twelve inch on center. As far as the Tripp set up, we can disagree. To each his own on some preferences. One thing I would not do is use the detachable ramps. I have seen ramp movement and failure too many times, including more than a million dollars of damage to a very expensive car when the ramps shifted. I have also seen "door ramp failure" on a new unit that was "extra" heavy duty. At the CCCA meet and Duesenberg Drivers Club meet last month, almost 80 percent of the people were using the Tripps. I think we can all agree you can never have enough safety margin towing a car with any "pick up" type of vehicle. Its amazing how poorly people operate near and around a truck and trailer on the highway. Most drivers just have no clue the issues a truck and trailer must contend with while going down the road. Trailering a car is a complicated issue that should not be taken lightly, and your comments show your experience of many years and miles of open road driving. Its amazing how many owners are afraid to drive their cars and will quickly "trailer" them around........you take a risk every time a car is loaded and unloaded from a trailer, and risk damage every time you tie it down..........we could go on for pages........ hope to meet you in person sometime if you ever end up hauling to any of the shows.......my best, Ed.

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I use commercial aluminum ramps made in the USA made by Discount Ramps in Wisconsin.

 

They are rated at 5000 pounds per axle.

 

They have flat plate ends - they are designed to lay flat & not slip.

 

It costs me about $1800 more to have cargo doors & ramps instead of a ramp door - it is more labor intensive to set up & break down - but I load and unload on uneven surfaces - a ramp door would last less than a year.

 

Aluminum ramps also give me more flexibility in cargo management.

 

Jim

 

 

 

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Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

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I have decided on a 28-foot vee, sloping nose, one-piece aluminum roof. Triple 7k torsion axles. 8' 6" inside height. 7,000-pound ramp door with extra springs to pull it up. 21k gross.


As Ed says, we have a lot of cars. My 1958 Cadillac Flower Car weighs in at about 6600 pounds. A 28 foot will hold enough for me, maybe an engine. I have a triple axle power tilt flatbed and I like the way it handles and as Ed said, it stops very well.

I use a 2016 GMC Diesel Dually (bought new) rated at 30,000 pounds pull. and 7500 pounds...... I have eclectic tastes.


I have also ordered a 5'wide ramp door in the side for our ATV or Golf cart, or??? 

 
I am getting the tires Ed suggested, the winch he uses. Hey, I like overkill. Traveler Jim also has some good ideas as well as trulyvintage and some other people here. Thanks!

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Be sure and get the ramp door extra heavy duty..........see you at Amelia in March?👍

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Triple 7K axles give you a 21K GVWR on your trailer.

 

When Vehicle Enforcement pulls you over - better have a CDL - log book - DOT number on your tow vehicle.

 

The limit is 16K on your trailer and 10K on your tow vehicle for a private individual for GVWR.

 

Exceed either - you are required to enter the scales - it doesn’t matter what your actual weight is.

 

Good Luck

 

Jim

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Federal DOT laws EXEMPT private occasional users for non commercial travel. I have NEVER stopped ant any scale or station. Have been stopped three times in 37 years, and let go all three times. I have good equiment, and maintain a daily log and inspection report along with vehicle and trailer maintenance records. I also carry a copy of the Federal DOT handbook. I carry more safety equipment and spares than almost anyone. They have all been polite, and no issues. The Mass State Police don't like my Maine trailer registration..........but I have them beat also. When ordering a new trailer you can get two vin tags stating the trailer as built, and also rated for anything LESS without issue. I have done it several times. My rig is all white with no stickers or identifying marks........look plain Jane and no one will bother you. I thought about going to a heaver 450 0r 550 series truck, but then DOT and all the rules will kick in, along with much more expensive insurance. 

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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A manufacturered trailer can only have one VIN tag issued - it is usually placed on the lower front driver side of an enclosed trailer - it can also be located on the tongue - it is on special adhesive paper that has “ Void “ imprinted on it if you attempt to remove the tag.

 

The maximum trailer GVWR as indicated on the manufacturer VIN tag is 16K

for non-commercial use.

 

Anything over that puts you in a commercial class.

 

The GVWR determines the class - not your use.

 

The maximum GVWR of a tow vehicle is 10K.

 

Anything over 10K on a vehicle registration - driver door GVWR tag

qualifies you as commercial.

 

Pull a 1000 pound trailer with a 10,001 or heavier pound truck - you are commercial.

Pull a 16, 001 or heavier trailer with a 6000 pound truck - you are commercial.

 

It is either/or - combined can not exceed 26K.

 

Tell an officer you are going to a judged event - that can also get you

a ticket - if you transport  for any type of compensation ( awards can be interpreted as compensation ) - you can be fined.

 

Vehcles registered as “ recreational vehicles “ on their registration are exempt thanks to decades of heavy lobby efforts.

 

Jim

 

 

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

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Jim....I agree with the awards or trophy concept. We only use the term vacation with dealing with them. We also don't open up the trailer for any reason. One hard case insisted I open it, and I refused. I gave him the plate number on my car in the trailer which he ran, and was thus satisfied.  If I were towing for a living I would do the DOT and the rest of the normal requirements. It's only fair to play by the same rules when making a living at it. Truth be told, most of the people I know with a one or two car trailer rigs have gotten out of the business because of all the headaches and rules. The money just isn't there unless you have a client base that can pay two to five dollars a mile. It's a difficult job with many unreasonable people who have unrealsitic expectations. I find 8 hours a day dragging a big car just about right before I stop. With the big east coast cities and traffic, 500 miles is usually more than enough to make me want to stop. The 1200 mile days are long past me now..........if it isn't fun, I refuse to do it anymore. 

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You can have a trailer built with triple 7K axles - have the manufacturer give it a GVWR of less than 16K.

 

You can tow a trailer with a GVWR of more than 16K with an RV and probably be ok - but if you are stopped you will be ticketed.

 

Example - your triple axle 7K trailer weighs 7K empty - you load it with 8K - it is rated at less 15K - you get a ticket.

 

If stopped - never say you are going to a swap meet or judged event or car show.

 

If stopped - never open up your trailer - tell them your insurance will not cover injury to non-family individuals.

 

If stopped - be courteous & cooperative but do not consent to a search.

 

If you are pulled over driving out of state - chances are it will be for no points violation(s) that are intended to generate revenue.

 

Jim

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Jim.....It’s always about the money. Recently I have been told the troopers are looking at tire load ratings and issuing tickets because the trailer weight exceeds the the tire carrying capability. Instant got ya with no way to get out of it. There will always be a new angle from each side. When towing open, I remove the plates so they can’t determine ownership even if they run the vin. I tow my own stuff 90 percent of the time, the other ten is usually a very close friend’s car. I have only moved one car for gain in the last twenty years, but have been accused of doing it for profit. 

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Jim and Ed,  does it help that every car I haul belongs to me? Can you put a sign that says "Non-Commercial" help? 

 

My dually weighs 8k. Not sure how that classes me as GVWR? The "recreational vehicles" would not apply to my cars, I guess. 

 

19 hours ago, Trulyvintage said:

If stopped - never say you are going to a swap meet or judged event or car show.

 

If stopped - never open up your trailer - tell them your insurance will not cover injury to non-family individuals.

 

If stopped - be courteous & cooperative but do not consent to a search.


Jim, why not taking your car to a swap meet, etc?

Can I refuse to a search? As above? Is the question that the trailer may look too heavy?

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Your GVWR of your tow vehicle should appear on the driver door & on your vehicle registration.

 

If you are going to or from anywhere where you could buy or sell - you could be construed as commercial even if your trailer is empty.

 

There is a fine line between investigative detention & unlawful detention,

 

Evidence can be planted to justify a stop and subsequent seizure of property.

 

Jim

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

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If they want to ticket you they will find a way. We always place our luggage in the back seat of the truck. When I travel with the Mrs. and dogs we also place their stuff “in the open” so they can see we are traveling together as a family unit. That helped in the three times I was stopped. I don’t have a problem with the dot part of it as I carry all the required stuff anyway. I just don’t want to deal with the scales. Today, even more RV’s have a toy hauler area in them. The line is getting more and more blurred every day. I am towing less and less each year now, and probably only do 20k or less starting this year, so my exposure is way down. Getting older probably also helps.....I don’t look like I drive for a living. Sooner or late it will be easier to comply than to try and avoid the hassle. I can’t wait to be chased down when I pass the Florida Agricultural Inspection station, the signs they post there are more militant than the scales. Several friends have commercial trucks converted into campers.........and they look like trucks. They carry all the paperwork with them, and they have camper plates. Now that’s pushing your luck. Another friend had letters placed on the back of his 48 foot fifth wheel hauler.........Private Non Commercial Recreational Use.........he hasn’t been stopped since he lettered the trailer, has had a few cars chase him down, see the lettering.........and just leave him on his way. 

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Bill, with the truck, trailer, and car being hauled belonging to you, you are clearly ok - If you indicate you are on vacation. Don’t speak of shows, Concours, ect........just on vacation with your car. With all matching registrations in you name there should be NO issues. Do carry all necessary safety equipment required by DOT, it’s good to have and gives them less to bitch about. I have a box behind the driver seat with a safety vest and hat, flash lights, electric flares, air pressure guage, trip log.......my version not dot, with daily inspection. I actually carry a spare new break away battery, and a bunch of other stuff, Twice they wanted to test by break away, I refused, opened the battery box, showed them the tape with the install date and inspection date I last did. Both times they saw how prepared I was and left me alone. One hard ass had to ticket me.....and did for one marker light bulb that was out. I told him it was working that morning. Which it was, and he said he believed me and handed me a 135 dollar ticket. Now all my lights are led, so no more issues there, I converted my old open trailer to LED, best thing I ever did. If you look well prepared, have the safety equipment, and are going the speed limit, you won’t have a target on your back.

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Appreciate your help. A few other things getting ready. My trailer will be finished in about a month or more.

*Tiedowns? What do you recommend? It comes with some "D Rings" (I think, four) welded to the frame.

 

*TPMs?

 

*A "Job Box" on the Tongue next to the Vee? I have one on my open trailer. I have spares, a winch, deep cycle battery (for the winch and electric jack). I am thinking about wiring the battery into the trailer harness to keep the battery charged, I run an opening in the box to run the cable from the winch. Might do similar in the new enclosed trailer. I don't want to be tripping over the winch.

 

*Battery impact wrench

 

Any other ideas?

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I like an in the floor spare and lots of 12 volt lights on the inside that work off the battery in the trailer for the winch, now they would be led’s. Electric jack is a nice touch. Sailun tires with mag wheels rated for 110 lbs air pressure.  I have 8 D rings. Four are  set up for 148 inch wheels cars, the others for a modern(50’s corvette). I would also get a modern trailer tracking unit wired into the trailer with a battery back up. They are very reasonable now and can help recover a stolen trailer with or without the car in it......kind of a trailer lowjack. The cost about ten bucks a month.......cheaper and faster recovery than insurance. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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