Sign in to follow this  
R W Burgess

Trailer Towing Safety Seminar????

Recommended Posts

Also make sure you have a means of getting the trailer off the ground to change the tire. I have a 3 1/2 ton floor jack anchored down in the trailer. The jack or pull up blocks should be weight rated for both the trailer and its contents. Have adequate orange cones, signs something to alert approaching traffic.

A friend and I were coming home from the Hagerstown meet and he had a flat. His trailer design had the spare in the floor under the car. We had to unload his 39 Caddy to get the tire out. Not fun on an interstate with vehicles flying by at 80 plus. He now has one spare that is easily accessible.

Also when hooking up with someone trailering to a meet have a set of walkie talkies. These can help you get in and out of lanes, discuss directions and you both can keep a look out for the wackos that seem to have a magnetic pull toward trailers and their tow mules. Plus the wife's can chit chat about how much they love car shows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Benefits of AACA Membership.

I'm guessing that there was no way in your friend's case to get the trailer down to the next exit, but usually with just a flat, you should be able to get to the next exit, if not all the way to a service plaza, easily on three wheels/tires albeit at a much reduced speed.

We make sure that the wheel size and bolt pattern on the truck are the same as that on the truck, so the spare on the truck will work. We have found that the 16.5-inch wheels/tires have given us hardly any problems. One spare has been more than adequate for the eight wheels on the ground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not even close to a exit unfortunately. Sometimes if a tire separates it will take the other tire out. You would really have to be careful driving on a flat especially fully loaded. I always carry 3 spares.

It is sometimes difficult matching the truck wheel bolt pattern to a trailer and usually the class ratings (weight allowance) is different.

Thought some tire shops will repair a trailer tire with a plug be careful. A repair to close to the edge (within 1") of the tire is not allowed as they typically don't hold up and can fly apart at speed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Ron Green</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Also make sure you have a means of getting the trailer off the ground to change the tire. I have a 3 1/2 ton floor jack anchored down in the trailer. The jack or pull up blocks should be weight rated for both the trailer and its contents. Have adequate orange cones, signs something to alert approaching traffic. </div></div>

Ron, when you say "pull up blocks" are you referring to pieces of wood that you simply drive the trailer's good tire up onto which raises the flat tire off the ground?

A friend of mine told me that method is the easiest and safest way to change a trailer flat tire.

Obviously the wood must be strong enough and wide enough to provide a stable surface for the trailer and it's contents.

The wood is also lighter than a HD Floor jack and has multiple other uses.

I have used this wood to support my ramp door when the ground was uneven any number of times. Also used it to provide support for the hitch jack on soggy ground.

I have my trailer spare tire mounted on an inside wall of the trailer next to the curbside door right above the winch/interior light battery.

This way I do not have any access problems getting to the spare when needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Either wood or they make a block you pull up onto. I also use wood however the jack comes in handy for changing tires on the truck.

I use a jack to level the trailer if we are sleeping in it as I recently put a removable living space in the front. A few times a year we are in the middle of nowhere. Don't jack the trailer to high especially if it falls off the blocks and the wife is sound asleep. smirk.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't get an opinion from the "New Forum", so I'll ask here.

I usually tow with a Motorhome and think I'm pretty good at it. I tow either an enclosed car hauler or an open aluminum car trailer (my preferrred choice).

Now I would like to be able to tow either with other than the motorhome and I'm selling my extened cab pickup and want a Tahoe or Yukon with a short wheel base that will fit in my garage.

I've been told that a short wheel base is a nightmare to tow with. So, what do the experts think??????

Anybody have an opinion? And rational.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found that the longer wheelbase tow vehicles tow much better. Also, the heavier the tow vehicle the better. I had an F-250 short bed, extended cab that towed fair, traded it in on an extended cab, long bed F-350 and there is a world of difference . I'm sold on the longer, heavier tow rig!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul, I did answer in the New Forum. Here's my response below....very similar to Bob's! smile.gif

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Where is everybody?

OK Paul, I'm no expert by any means, but here's what I do know. The longer the wheelbase, the better the tow vehicle will handle.

I've seen and heard many people say a Tahoe tows just fine. It probably depends on how heavy the loaded trailer is. Since I'm sure you've had many miles of towing experience, you and I both realize that the weight moving qualities of the stabilizer bars make a world of difference in how your vehicle handles and stops.

Now, let's hear it from the real experts!

Wayne </div></div>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll put my .02 in...I towed for 10 years with a full size Ford Bronco, trailer tow package, 351 automatic. I can't say I ever had a "real" problem. Obviously, this is a very short wheelbase vehicle.

My trailer is a 22' enclosed.

In 2005, the Bronco found a new home as I wanted to get one of the last year Excursions. Agreed, this is based on a Super Duty, compared to a F150 series...much more engine 400 V10 compared to 351 V8.

The biggest difference is the amount of "correction" needed with the WD hitch. I still use the WD hitch, but do not need anywhere near the same amount of assistance.

Braking is another area that is much better...a bigger vehicle is equipped with bigger brakes.

Wheelbase too helps keep things going straight with less steering wheel correction. I still use sway control on the highways.

One big help to any towing vehicle is the Roadmaster Active Suspension set-up. I installed this on the Excursion and wow what a difference. Unloaded...better cornering...a bit more control...but it did not harm the ride quality. Towing is much improved too. The RAS is a bolt-on coil spring that mounts in line above your rear leafs.

Back on topic...a "nightmare" to tow with a Tahoe? I can;t speak for that...but I'd bet a Suburban...if that would fit in your garage would be better. My stubby little Bronco took my trailer everywhere for a decade...but I am much more comfortable with the bigger rig.

One other note...a shorter wheelbase can make the tail wag the dog more than a longer wheelbase vehicle would allow.

A friend of mine said it best....the most important vehicle you own is behind you, the second most important is towing it....don't skimp on safety.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">A friend of mine said it best....the most important vehicle you own is behind you, the second most important is towing it....<span style="color: #FF0000"><span style="font-weight: bold">don't skimp on safety</span></span>. </div></div>

Great answer, Matt!

Thanks!

Wayne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a friend who spun a Tahoe/trailer combination going down a steep hill. He parked the Tahoe and went back to using a longer-wheelbase tow vehicle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is what I posted under the "Do I need Stabilizer Bars" question...

From my experience, it depends on exactly what you are towing on the trailer and it depends on what you are towing it with.

For example, I can pull my enclosed trailer with a Model A Phaeton in it in heavy winds behind a full size long wheel base pickup without an anti-sway bar without any problem. If I want to pull that same combination any distance with my 2003 Chevy Tahoe, I have to use an anti-sway bar.

A Suburban would be better than a Tahoe, but this vehicle has to double as an everyday driver for my wife and she can't seem to handle parking a Suburban.

For me, The Tahoe works fine with a weight distribuiting hitch and an anti-sway bar. It is scary without the anti-sway bar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 20 ft, enclosed car trailer (~ 5200-5400 lbs loaded) that I tow with a Toyota 4Runner (body on frame SUV).

The 4Runner came standard with a weight distributing hitch and I added sway control.

The combination of the WD hitch & sway control make the 4Runner a competent tow vehicle even though it has a somwehat short wheelbase.

I use a Prodigy brake controller which does an excellent job handling the braking duties.

I agree with other's here that a longer wheelbase tow vehicle may be a better choice for towing longer, heavier trailers.

One thing I have noticed in my travels is that there appears to be a fairly large number of longer wheel base trucks towing trailers that are not using the proper

equipment (ie WD hitch & sway control) and/or are not loaded properly.

Wish I had money for each one of these "big trucks" that I have seen on the roads that is sagging and swaying under the load of the trailers they are towing.

I simply give them PLENTY of room because they are an accident waiting to happen that I want to avoid being involved in.

FYI, I have always been told by every single person who tows that having the trailer brakes set properly and keeping them maintained is VERY IMPORTANT.

Having a tow vehicle with good brakes is important but one should not rely on the tow vehicle brakes for stopping the trailer on a daily basis.

That is what the trailer brakes are there for. Tow vehicle brakes should be able to handle stopping the trailer (in the event of a trailer brake failure) but that is all.

BTW, when I am towing I get interesting reactions from professional truck drivers when they see my rig at turnpike plazas, etc.

When I tell them I seldom feel a thing when I am passed by a tractor trailer they are amazed.

They seemed shocked when I tell them I have encountered 40 mph cross-winds and have felt nothing more than a very gentle "nudge".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to tow the same 24' trailer / car combination with a Suburban and it was dangerous. Not enough power, to short of wheelbase and inadequate braking. Towing was beating the Suburban to death. Same trailer car behind a 4 door pickup and you don't even know it is there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Charlie, can you take a picture of your hitch equipment? I'm not sure some of us know exactly you have on the tow vehicle.

Thanks,

Wayne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: R W Burgess</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hey Charlie, can you take a picture of your hitch equipment? I'm not sure some of us know exactly you have on the tow vehicle.

Thanks,

Wayne </div></div>

Wayne, I do not have any photos of my hitch setup at this time.

When I have an opportunity to take a picture, I will but it might be a while.

Until then, the following link shows the setup I have.

http://www.reese-hitches.com/products/Strait_Line_Weight_Distribution_Trunnion_Bar_Kitwith_Hitch_Bar,66084

The weight distributing hitch on the 4Runner came standard with the V8 model I purchased.

This receiver is bolted to numerous places on the undercarriage/frame with some fairly beefy bolts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reese_hitch.jpg

That picture is fine, Charlie. I'd never seen a sway system like that. It's completely different from the old style Reese that I have.

Wayne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: R W Burgess</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

That picture is fine, Charlie. I'd never seen a sway system like that. It's completely different from the old style Reese that I have.

Wayne </div></div>

I think I have seen some of the older style Reese systems that you are talking about.

The design I have also handles very sharp turns and dips in road surfaces. That can come in handy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Paul Dobbin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I didn't get an opinion from the "New Forum", so I'll ask here.

I usually tow with a Motorhome and think I'm pretty good at it. I tow either an enclosed car hauler or an open aluminum car trailer (my preferrred choice).

Now I would like to be able to tow either with other than the motorhome and I'm selling my extened cab pickup and want a Tahoe or Yukon with a short wheel base that will fit in my garage.

I've been told that a short wheel base is a nightmare to tow with. So, what do the experts think??????

Anybody have an opinion? And rational.

</div></div>

Paul, I towed full sized '59 and '63 Buicks on an 18' open aluminum trailer behind a short wheelbase '03 Yukon and while it did it without any problems, I was never real comfortable with it. I got the tail wagging the dog feeling with it. Always felt like the trailer wanted to pull the back end of the truck around on curves. Seemed to be more pronounced on urban highways at highway speed where curves tend to be sharper than those out on the open road. I switched last year to a Chev 2500 HD gas crew cab pickup and I feel much more confident with this setup. More power, better brakes and more stable. Just my thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom,

I think those big cars and their weight would push anything

around with a short wheel base. My heaviest is the 35 Buick and it only weights about 3700. That's got to be a ton less than what you pull.

I know that longer tows better but I only tow to National Tours and the rest of the year I'd like to keep the tow vehicle inside. My Silverado is 2 1/2 feet longer than my wife's old Caddy Fleetwood.(last of the big boats) It tows fine but gets filthy living outside.

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this