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harvey b

Pros,Cons for trailer types?

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Hi there,i am looking at buying a enclosed trailer for moving my cars around in,am looking at a 24 foot trailer,anyone have any advice as to what is a better type,am looking at a frame hitch,or a 5th wheel type,is one better than the other,as for stability or control,am only going to use it maybe 2 or 3 times a year,will be used for storage the rest of the time,also what type of hitch should i get,torsion bar or trunion?,i have jist started to look at trailers and am unsure exactly what i need,just looking for some advice.want at least a 24 foot body to ensure i have enough room.am planning to haul it with a 2007 Dodge 4x4 1/2 ton,5.7 motor,was told it will have enough power,only planning to tow a couple of times a year?.Thanks Harvey b

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Hi there,i am looking at buying a enclosed trailer for moving my cars around in,am looking at a 24 foot trailer,anyone have any advice as to what is a better type,am looking at a frame hitch,or a 5th wheel type,is one better than the other,as for stability or control,am only going to use it maybe 2 or 3 times a year,will be used for storage the rest of the time,also what type of hitch should i get,torsion bar or trunion?,i have jist started to look at trailers and am unsure exactly what i need,just looking for some advice.want at least a 24 foot body to ensure i have enough room.am planning to haul it with a 2007 Dodge 4x4 1/2 ton,5.7 motor,was told it will have enough power,only planning to tow a couple of times a year?.Thanks Harvey b

Start with the basics ...

Your tow vehicle has a tow rating - decipher it by the VIN number

thru a Dodge dealer or online

Subtract the weight of any trailer from that figure and multiply

the difference by 80% - that is your SAFE estimated payload

Combine the two and compare them to your vehicle rated tow capacity

Does it EXCEED your plans for a 24 ft. enclosed trailer?

Need storage?

Use the trailer when you are not towing

Bumper pull is your best choice - especially since you have

a half ton tow vehicle

Trunnion bar distribution system - Blue OX brand

Jim

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harvey b: I will just state my experience. I pulled a conventional [tag along] trailer for 16 years. I have been pulling a gooseneck for 4 years now. I like the gooseneck. It is a smoother pull and much more stable. However I don't have a gripe with either one. I will say if you go gooseneck [not 5th wheel] I love the B&W turnover ball. When not in use the entire truck bed is available unlike the 5th wheel "saddle" which occupies a good amount of bed space. Tag along, gooseneck, or 5th wheel is all simply a matter of personal preference.

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As Larry stated there has been a lot of discussion on trailers of late. Everybody has a different opinion on truck and trailers and associated equipment but be sure to read all the paperwork on everything. Your truck should be ok however it will be at its limit if hauling a heavy vehicle especially up a large hill. I use a 5.7 with a Vortech and on occasion have issues. A 10,000 pound rated hitch with load bars and a sway bar are an absolute must. According to my hitch paperwork the entire assembly is only rated 5,000 pounds without the load bars. A maintenance free roof and floor with a limited warranty are also good to have.

I just had a new 24' built and took delivery last Friday. My old 24' Haulmark had approximately 55,000 miles on it however I switched to a Car Mate which is a decent trailer, but certainly not quite as good as a Featherlight, Wells Cargo, etc. But cost wise a good quality trailer. The only thing I may have changed was to have it build at 26'. Go with the 102" wide and 10K rated axles plus side air vents. I don't have the auxiliary side door that many use as I haul to many different vehicles. I have found that a winch (cordless) does the job for loading the big stuff. If you go with a winch make sure that there is a battery float charger in line which will charge both the small brake away battery and the larger winch battery while traveling. This eliminates the need for constantly having to remove the batteries for charging.

A cabinet for storing all your tie-downs (10K rated), tools, etc is a must which will also prevent everything from flying around and damaging the car in the event of a quick stop or worst case an accident. Two new spare tires already mounted up and bolted (don't need these flying around either) inside of the trailer is a good item to have along with a floor jack (use your shops) security bolted to the floor / wall, plus a large 4-way for the lug nuts. If you are hauling different type vehicles you may want to consider having EZ track installed front to rear. An electric crank (can be operated manually) for the hitch is helpful and they have come way down in price along with the rear trailer supports that allow you to load and unload a vehicle while your truck is unhooked. These prevent the trailer's front end from lifting. A decent plug in air compressor with a 30' cord comes in handy for topping off the air in the tires and eliminates having to wiggle into a small service station for air. You can connect the compressor to the larger winch battery (make adaptors) or the trucks cigarette lighter.

There are a lot of options, take your time in choosing. Hope this helps.

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10,000 pound rated axles :confused:

That means at least (2) axles which means the trailer is rated

at 20,000 pounds minimum.

No way a half ton truck is rated to pull a 20,000 pound trailer :cool:

Furthermore, if the combined GVWR of the tow vehicle & trailer

exceeds 26,000 pounds - you are required by law to have a

CDL license to operate it on the road unless the tow vehicle

is registered as a recreational vehicle in your state ;)

Remember folks, 26,001 pounds rated equipment and above

requires a CDL license to operate regardless of the actual

load you are carrying ......

The exception is if your tow vehicle is registered as a

'recreational vehicle' ....

Jim

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.........Remember folks, 26,001 pounds rated equipment and above

requires a CDL license to operate regardless of the actual

load you are carrying ......

The exception is if your tow vehicle is registered as a

'recreational vehicle' ....

Jim

Jim, I think we had a discussion about the CDL licensing here in the past. The general experience was that no-one ever stops at a truck scaling station with a car trailer, so we had not heard of anyone getting stopped, weighed, and ticketed for a CDL offense.

I'm looking at a trailer with 10,000 axles now too, not for the load capacity, but for the 8 lug 16 wheels, so I can get away from my previous 15 inch may-, no make that, will-pops. :mad: I'm getting tired of changing trailer tires beside the Interstate, although I'm getting quite good at it.

Wayne

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10,000 pound rated axles :confused:

That means at least (2) axles which means the trailer is rated

at 20,000 pounds minimum.

No way a half ton truck is rated to pull a 20,000 pound trailer :cool:

Furthermore, if the combined GVWR of the tow vehicle & trailer

exceeds 26,000 pounds - you are required by law to have a

CDL license to operate it on the road unless the tow vehicle

is registered as a recreational vehicle in your state ;)

Remember folks, 26,001 pounds rated equipment and above

requires a CDL license to operate regardless of the actual

load you are carrying ......

The exception is if your tow vehicle is registered as a

'recreational vehicle' ....

Jim

Relax, it is a 10,000 pound rated trailer (actually they are 9,990) in lieu of a 7,500 pound rated trailer. The axles are rated 5,000 pounds (x2). My mistake. Small 24' trailer is "not for hire" and for "recreational private use". Wave as you go by the weigh stations.

My 55 will be heading to New Bern in a 26,000 pound rated (or more) trailer that you do need a CDL license, log book, stop at weigh stations, etc. "Commercial"

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Jim, I think we had a discussion about the CDL licensing here in the past. The general experience was that no-one ever stops at a truck scaling station with a car trailer, so we had not heard of anyone getting stopped, weighed, and ticketed for a CDL offense.

I'm looking at a trailer with 10,000 axles now too, not for the load capacity, but for the 8 lug 16 wheels, so I can get away from my previous 15 inch may-, no make that, will-pops. :mad: I'm getting tired of changing trailer tires beside the Interstate, although I'm getting quite good at it.

Wayne

Wayne,

Vehicle enforcement has several ways of evaluating a tow vehicle.

They usually look at the VIN sticker on the driver door for

the GVWR.

Regarding a trailer .......

They can go by the manufacturer VIN or they can estimate

GVWR by making an educated guess at the axle rating by looking

at the vsize of the axle tube & bolt pattern/tire size.

With the promotion of Prepass, state agencies are focusing

more on smaller haulers.

Debate aside, the most lucrative source of revenue and the easiest

to nail a driver on is weight violation.

Again, if your tow vehicle is registered as a 'tow vehicle' you

do not have to stop at weigh stations as a general rule of thumb.

However, any weighmaster can signal you in for a discretionary

inspection at anytime .....

Wyoming, for example can have you stop at scales that are

set up all over the atate if your GVWR combined exceeds

8000 pounds - even if you are a recreational vehicle.

I travel a lot of states & I speak from experience here :cool:

Regarding tires I advocate and operate with 10 ply load range

E 7.00R x 15LT tires on 15 x 6 on 5.5 center aluminum rims.

I change out tires every 30,000 miles & generally pay $100

a tire on average.

I just put tires on in Fargo, SD last week.

My experience is that a 7.00 x 15 radial has less sidewall flex

and a higher & narrower profile.

I keep my tires at 80 p.s.i.

Jim

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

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Hi there,thanks for the replies,i live in eastern canada,there isnt a lot of trailer dealers up here,unless i want to travel 1000 miles or so.another question i have is how to tell a good trailer from a cheaply made one,they all look great when they are new and shiny?,is a one peice side panel better then the multi-peice panels,the rear ramp door,what to look for there,axles and wiring what should i look at?,I do have champagne tastes with a beer budget,i can live with some shortcomings however.I just want good value for my money.is there anything i should avoid on a trailer,seems to be a few here that have been imported from florida area that were used to move stuff here,now they are selling them to recover their costs,these are 2010 models,different makes,but similar to what i want,any tips are welcome. thanks Harvey b

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.................... I am only going to use it maybe 2 or 3 times a year,will be used for storage the rest of the time..........,Harvey b

Harvey, I'd say that if you're only using it 2 or 3 times a year, you do not have to be too picky.

I'd be more interested in how easy it is to load and unload if you're using it mostly for storage. Be aware that idle tires do not like sunlight and will age really quickly.

Wayne

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Check how the frame is made (tube steel verses angle iron), welds, steel gauge, number of supports, etc. Some maunfactures no longer use a cross support in the tongue area, some use 100% angle iron in lieu of tube steel underneath where you can't see it, etc. (more bounce & sway while towing / harder on the welds)

The price difference for a better built trailer can be as little as $400 to $600. A brand name trailer that was decent a few years ago doesn't guarantee that they still make a quality product. Also check out the thickness of the interior wood, flooring, etc.

California car covers have cheap tire covers that last approximately 3 years and help protect your tires in storage. Here is a link http://www.calcarcover.com/search.aspx

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I like the "beaver tail" to decrease loading angle. Also, the ramp door is one thing I love. I have found Haulmark to be a good trailer for the money. I have had no luck with Carlisle tires. The beauty of ordering a trailer is you can get it built to your exact specifications if that is an option for you.

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Friar, Just reading the paragraph 1 of that article, I have a disagreement.

Open trailers most certainly get better fuel milage than closed trailers do....1 to 3 mpg, depending on your tow vehicle. Wind resistance alone makes a big difference in highway trailering.

Good points!? Loved the detachable winch mounting system. Lots of other good pointers in the article.

Of personal note, I am also looking at a used race car trailer which has 16 wheels and heavy axles. The down side is that this trailer is 30 foot long, wider swing radius, takes up more room for parking storage, and it has no left "side door".

BUT, it has a keyless type remote for the built in winch. Hey, I don't need a door. I can stand beside the vehicle and winch it in (and out, as long as there is a grade)

Wayne

Edited by R W Burgess
added text (see edit history)

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Wayne: you've still got to get in to put the car in gear after winching. {unless you tow with it in neutral which I don't think you do} I know people who don't have the "escape" door and they pull the car in over to one side or the other to have room to get in. It's still a tight fit though. Anyway, I've never heard of anyone complaining about too much room.

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I have the detachable winch which is mounted onto a trailer hitch receiver (down through the trailer floor), in fact you can remove it from the trailer and put it on the trucks hitch receiver and use it. The wireless control is great.

I loaded a large car last evening using the winch and centered it in the trailer by walking / steering it in with the drivers window down. There was approximately 4 " on each side from the wheel wells. There is still room to squeeze through on the side (no jeans or belts only jogging pants) and put the car in reverse and pull the emergency brake if you prefer to tow that way. Screwing permanent pieces of wood to the floor also helps to chock the vehicle plus mark the area once you establish the best location for tongue weight. Putting the car over all the way to one side will unbalance the load.

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.......{unless you tow with it in neutral which I don't think you do}......

Well, I never have towed in neutral, but then again, if one would expect the the parking brake and the engine left in gear could prevent a vehicle from moving in an accident, that would be asking a lot I'd say.

The straps and tie downs are what you are depending on to protect your beauty. ;)

Wayne

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Wayne,

The source for my opinion that open trailers get less mileage than enclosed is testimony from actual car carriers. The spaces between vehicles create pockets for wind resistance. Their quoted mileage is 4-5 MPG whereas enclosed trailer versions has MPG rates of about 7-8. Perhaps this isn't a fair comparison in that the private auto collector is just one car tall and the bulk of the car/trailer is blocked by the tow vehicle. An enclosed trailer maybe taller than the open version with a car on it thus have more drag, but doesn't have the air gaps/pockets down the side. The MPG numbers could be debated, but the other reasons for an enclosed version remain.

Chris

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Wayne,

The source for my opinion that open trailers get less mileage than enclosed is testimony from actual car carriers. The spaces between vehicles create pockets for wind resistance. Their quoted mileage is 4-5 MPG whereas enclosed trailer versions has MPG rates of about 7-8.

Now, we're talking about a different animal Chris.

I don't want to ruffle any feathers here, but my experience has been that new truckers just getting in the business begin with open trailers and older road tractors. (They are less expensive.) On the same note, the guy who can afford a newer (as most are) enclosed trailer will also have a very new or late model tractor which gets much better fuel mileage.

True, Open Car Transport Trailers are very tall when decked two high with cars. They also have a lot of open areas (main framing) that does produce a lot of wind resistance. Close coupled Box trailers with very wind resistnat tractors surely flow through the wind easier. So, in this case less fuel efficient tractors with more wind resistance trailers would what? Burn more fuel? :)

The MPG numbers could be debated, but the other reasons for an enclosed version remain.

Chris

Everything can be debated Chris. Your own experience is what counts, I guess.

Wayne

PS, forgot to mention that my '05 GMC pulling a flat trailer with the '56 Chevy I'm sure you guys saw, got between 10 and 11 miles per gallon on the 1600 mile trip each way. It's lucky to get 8 with my box trailer.

Edited by R W Burgess
added info (see edit history)

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There is a lot of talk about mileage. No talk on the front shape of the closed trailer; flat front, v-front or sloped front. Many dealers say no difference.

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We own a v-nose trailer. I have seen several different versions of these.

The V is rather severe on our trailer and is actually built over the tongue of the trailer and the tongue is longer than a standard front. As well as a V it is also a slope at the top. It was built this way mainly because we have raised the roof height to handle taller vehicles. I pull with a pick-up that has a solid cap, no windows, and also a Turbo Wing on the cap roof at the rear. I believe in trying to be as aero- dynamic as possible.

We do like the extra space in the nose of the trailer. Does it make a huge difference in fuel usage? Yet to be seen. When my Willys fire engine is in the trailer we have a full load. The tow vehicle is working hard but does do the job. I don't expect great mileage.

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Hi Guys,

Our trailer has a "Wedged and Sloped" nose, and is more efficient at slicing through the air than our older wedged-only, or its predecessor blunt-front with only a radiused top. The problem is that we do not get much better mileage for 3 reasons.

1. The new trailer has 16 inch wheels and 235/85R-16 radial tires with load range "E" on 8-lug wheels with the hope that tow vehicle and trailer can each provide a second spare tire to the other (if ever needed). The trailer stands taller than before, increasing wind resistance.

2. The trailer floor is built higher on the frame, so that the internal boxes over the trailer tires are only 5 inches from the floor. This was designed so that the doors of '50s and '60s cars in the trailer could be opened over the wheelbox, and not slammed into it, aiding ingress/egress, and saving paint. This also makes the use of the Driver-Side access door much easier. Unfortunately this modification also raises the overall height of the trailer, increasing wind resistance.

3. We had the trailer built with an extra foot of internal height to allow Brass-Era cars to be loaded with the top in place, and not have to fold down. With nearly 8 feet of internal clearance, obviously the top of the trailer stands even taller, increasing wind resistance even more.

The "old" trailer had a maximum height of 8 feet from the ground.

The "new" trailer, with its Maxx-Air boxes over the roof vents stands nearly 11 feet tall, and is also 1/2 foot wider. As such, we are cutting a much bigger hole through the atmosphere, so even though the shape of the new trailer is much more efficient, I'm dealing in "apples and oranges".

Am I better-off with the new trailer? You-Betcha!

I've got more inside-storage space in the wedge-shaped nose.

I have the trailer-spare and truck-2nd-spare tires mounted vertically on the wedge walls for easy access without losing valuable floor space.

I will probably not damage the windshield of a taller brass-era car, turning it into a rare "curved windshield" model.

I can get in and out of my cars (yes, I know all of your arguments, but I still prefer to drive in and out of the trailer).

So, I've had flat-front, "V"-front , and "Wedge/Slope"-front trailers.

Better Mileage? A little bit.

Less side-wind buffeting? A little bit.

Worth having? If you are buying a new trailer anyway, the convenience is worth the extra price, at least in my opinion.

I've had my early years where everything was controlled by the cost of raising a family on a tight budget. While far from worry-free, I've learned that spending a few more bucks "up-front" can minimize future disappointment.

By the way, the extra bucks spent on additional lighting in the floor under the cars' axles, in the side walls of the trailer, in the ceiling of the trailer (and off-center, as well) is money well-spent. Also consider multiple locations for floor tie-down points.

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