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Car trailer requirements ?

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I own a '75 Buick leSabre and I'm looking for for a car trailer that is appropriate/capable of hauling this/similar cars. What length/weight trailer would be adequate ? Thanks

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I own a '75 Buick leSabre and I'm looking for for a car trailer that is appropriate/capable of hauling this/similar cars. What length/weight trailer would be adequate ? Thanks

An adequate trailer for '60s and '70s land barges makes for a fun search. I chose a '33 foot (tongue to rear) all steel trailer with slide out ramps some seven or eight years ago and haven't regretted that choice for one minute, though I do wish the axles had been placed about a foot forward. Mine was made by Diamond C Trailers and is much like the current models shown at Deluxe Steel Floor Car Hauler | 12CHS - 18' x 83" | Diamond C It does not appear they are any longer offering one of the length of my trailer. Their trailers pull well and are not something one has to fight even with a 5000+ lb car sitting on it. I do recommend additional "D" rings being welded into the floor for more convenient securing of the vehicle.

The main disadvantage of the all steel trailer is the weight which may affect licensing fees and most certainly comes into play with the maximum towing rating of the intended towing vehicle. I've picked up cars from one side of the country to the other and going over mountain ranges using either an 8 cylinder Ford F-150 or E-150 van with towing packages to give you a general idea of a towing vehicle more than adequate for the car and trailer weight.

Jim

Edited by Jim_Edwards
clarification (see edit history)

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An adequate trailer for '60s and '70s land barges makes for a fun search. I chose a '33 foot (tongue to rear) all steel trailer with slide out ramps some seven or eight years ago and haven't regretted that choice for one minute, though I do wish the axles had been placed about a foot forward. Mine was made by Diamond C Trailers and is much like the current models shown at Deluxe Steel Floor Car Hauler | 12CHS - 18' x 83" | Diamond C It does not appear they are any longer offering one of the length of my trailer. Their trailers pull well and are not something one has to fight even with a 5000+ lb car sitting on it. I do recommend additional "D" rings being welded into the floor for more convenient securing of the vehicle.

The main disadvantage of the all steel trailer is the weight which may affect licensing fees and most certainly comes into play with the maximum towing rating of the intended towing vehicle. I've picked up cars from one side of the country to the other and going over mountain ranges using either an 8 cylinder Ford F-150 or E-150 van with towing packages to give you a general idea of a towing vehicle more than adequate for the car and trailer weight.

Jim

Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Jim.

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i have a steel 18' open trailer with 7000 pound total weight rating... trailer alone weighs 2000 lbs. hauled a number of cads from the 60's and also my '73 suburban 4x4 with no problem except the tires... i got the 5 lug ford pattern and the 205/15 radials... suggest the heavier 8 lug axles and 16" (or larger) tires. also suggest 4 wheel brakes.

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:) I have a 20 ft. inclosed belongs to my nepew. I have pulled it several times from NY to VA. NC.and states in between. I used a Chev. 1500 silverado with a 350 v8 and a Dodge ram with a 318. eather truck will do the job, BUT they are working and sucking gas like a alcoholic at a free beer party.I hauled my 65 Buick my 72 Chevelle and a 63 Caddy convertable. Where I to buy a new trl. and money no problem ha.ha. (immagine that) it would be at least a 22 ft. featherlite or equivalent and a duel wheel 3/4 ton trk. preferably a Silverado. Must have electric brakes a eq hitch with load level bars a anti sway brake and adjustable air bags in the truck coils. Like I said, IF money was no object. I can dream cant I??:D

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Do you want a fully enclosed trailer or just a flatbed? What's your tow vehicle? I've got an 18 ft Hudson flatbed equipment trailer. 10,000 gross, the empty trailer weighs 1,950 and has electric brakes on all four wheels. I've had several crewcab duallies on this trailer, including one that I pulled from Grand Rapids, MI to the Washington DC area with no problems. My tow vehicle is a 1999 Chevy crewcab dually. This trailer cost me $2,000 brand new and the only drawback is that it has a high bed and steep ramps. I had to build wooden ramp extensions to load most cars, otherwise they scrape on the edge of the trailer when loading.

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Not knowing anything about what your tow vehicle may be, it is difficult to answer specifiics. So I'll just offer some general comments from my 20 years of towing expierience. 1- Nobody complains about too much room. MINIMUM of 24ft. floor space. 2- You want the 102 in. axles, currently the widest allowed by law I believe. 3- I like the ramp door so I don't have to "aim" at individual ramps. 4- A 4ft. drivers side escape door is very beneficial. 5- 7,000 lbs. rated axles. 6- Double or tripple axle.I've had both. The triple gives a broader space to distribute the load, but the tires "scrub" worse than a double when making sharp turns. 7- Tag along or Gooseneck. Again, I've had both and like the pull of the gooseneck better. The tongue weight of the load is over the tow vehicle axle where it should be. 8- Electric brakes on all axles is a must.

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As you see there will be lots of opinions so you just have to pick what suits your application and personal needs.

Here's one not mentioned yet. I use a heavy duty 16' trailer (Big Tex Brand) for everything including a 66 Electra which is as long as the 60s caddys.

I like the maneuverability of the 16' trailer vs an 18 or 20 and even the big cars wheelbase doesn't cause a me problem. Sure the tail end may hang over a bit on the biggest boats but that has never been a problem.

My trailer is rated at 7000lb with two 3500lb axles with brakes at each wheel. I've borrowed 18 trailers before and the extra two feet made a big difference when you get in a tight area so thats why I went with the 16. I like to keep as a compact a rig as possible but thats just me.

Having said that, not all 7000# trailers are built the same. The weight rating references the capacity of the axles and not necessarily the frame and deck construction. I've seen some brands of trailers rated at 7000lb that I wouldn't consider hauling a 4000-5000lb car on. Just too chincy so you really have to educate yourself on trailer contruction before buying one. What ever length you buy make sure it is a well construction unit.

You'll also want to watch the fender height if the fenders are not of the fold down or removeable type. If the fender is permanent and your door won't clear it, you need to carry a small jack to raise the car enough to get in and out when the car is on the trailer. not a big deal but you should be aware of it.

If your're looking at an enclosed trailer, a 20 footer would be the absolute min but I'd go with a 24 considering a car that size so you have some wiggle room.

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I like the maneuverability of the 16' trailer vs an 18 or 20 and even the big cars wheelbase doesn't cause a me problem. Sure the tail end may hang over a bit on the biggest boats but that has never been a problem.

...the extra two feet made a big difference when you get in a tight area so thats why I went with the 16. I like to keep as a compact a rig as possible but thats just me.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather the trailer extended past the back bumper of the car being towed. I'd rather tap the back bumper of the trailer than the load if I misjudge distances.

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on my 18' the car overhangs if it is positioned for not much tongue weight. if it had the axles 2 feet forward it would help.

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I one got a ticket from the Pa. State Police for having the rear end of a car hang out past the deck of a 16 foot trailer !

He claimed this was not allowed in Pa. Too long a load & blocking the clear view of the trailer's tail lights. The car was firmly secured with both wheel & chassis ratchet straps !

The officer did not like this situation one bit and at first wanted me to let my rig sit by the side of the road until I could hire a flatbed to tow the big car!

Finally he let me go with a big safety violation ticket !

Be sure to check all the trailer towing laws in the areas you wish to tow in.

I use a 91 Chevrolet 454 SS truck to tow my boat & car toys !

Don't ask about fuel economy.

This truck will pull-out tree stumps.

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I one got a ticket from the Pa. State Police for having the rear end of a car hang out past the deck of a 16 foot trailer !

He claimed this was not allowed in Pa. Too long a load & blocking the clear view of the trailer's tail lights.

Not quite. Did you ask to see the written law? See PA law below. I've never had a car overhang more than 2 feet which is well within the law and no flag is needed. I've towed 1000s of miles in various eastern states and did not have a problem.

4924. Limitations on length of projecting loads. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

(a) General rule.--Subject to the provisions of this subchapter limiting the length of vehicles and loads, the load upon any vehicle or the load upon the front vehicle of a combination of vehicles shall not extend more than three feet beyond the foremost part of the vehicle, and the load upon any vehicle operated alone or the load, other than a nondivisible load, upon the rear vehicle of a combination shall not extend more than six feet beyond the rear of the bed or body of such vehicle. <o:p></o:p>

(B) Red flags and lights.--If the load on any vehicle extends more than four feet beyond the rear of the vehicle, a red flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square shall be displayed at the end of the load. During hours of darkness, a red light shall be displayed in the same position in lieu of the flag or cloth.<o:p></o:p>

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Still got the ticket for the car hanging back past the rear deck of the trailer ~

Did you ever try to argue a traffic safety violation point with a state cop on the side ofthe road ?

You can never win those arguments !

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I don't advise arguing with a law enforcement officer (unless you happen to be a law enforcement retiree like me) but, you can win in court with the judge when the officer has incorrectly charged you with a violation...

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The last few feet of this trailer in question was tapered down in a beaver tail configuration for easy loading.

With the large car I had loaded on there it did indeed look odd as the rear of the car was 8-10 inches lower than the rest of this car.

The overhang past the rear wheels of the car was a bit over 3 & 1/2 feet.

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I don't advise arguing with a law enforcement officer (unless you happen to be a law enforcement retiree like me) but, you can win in court with the judge when the officer has incorrectly charged you with a violation...
Still got the ticket for the car hanging back past the rear deck of the trailer ~

Did you ever try to argue a traffic safety violation point with a state cop on the side ofthe road ?

You can never win those arguments !

You are both right ;)

Unfortunately for most of us - we don't have the time or resources to

return hundreds of miles for a court date to argue a traffic citation

in front of a judge :cool:

So, be aware of the traffic laws of the states you are traveling thru

and accept that certain states generate revenue from passing motorists

by issuing traffic citations to them hoping those drivers will not return to contest them :)

Jim

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

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Jim,

If you can't return to court and the officer has incorrectly charged you with something, you can complain to his or her agency. Often when a citation is obviously issued in error the agency's internal affairs unit will direct that it be recalled or dismissed. Very few agencies actually encourage illegitimate citations. Some certainly encourage each and every legitimate one that they can, but few agencies are really corrupt. If you don't intend to contest the charge in court, you risk nothing filing a complaint with the agency. Law Enforcement Officers are human. Then can make mistakes. Like every profession, some people in it, should not be in it, due to incompetence or some other reason. Most agencies do their best to fix anything that those individuals screw up.

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I don't know about you, but I'd rather the trailer extended past the back bumper of the car being towed. I'd rather tap the back bumper of the trailer than the load if I misjudge distances.

I'm with you Joe. Any car hanging off the back of a trailer in my mind is a real NO, NO. Actually anything hanging off the back of a trailer is not exactly a good idea in my mind regardless of any state laws about such.

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some courts will allow you to declare your position by letter instead of you having to show up in court. overhanging the rear of a trailer is allowed in most cases... just as long as it is within the limits allowed. I have had no problem in arizona and california... and look at some of the 'big rigs'....

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Jim,

If you can't return to court and the officer has incorrectly charged you with something, you can complain to his or her agency. Often when a citation is obviously issued in error the agency's internal affairs unit will direct that it be recalled or dismissed. Very few agencies actually encourage illegitimate citations. Some certainly encourage each and every legitimate one that they can, but few agencies are really corrupt. If you don't intend to contest the charge in court, you risk nothing filing a complaint with the agency. Law Enforcement Officers are human. Then can make mistakes. Like every profession, some people in it, should not be in it, due to incompetence or some other reason. Most agencies do their best to fix anything that those individuals screw up.

Matthew,

Sorry but your view is very limited & prejudicial towards law enforcement.

I was stopped last year in Pennsylvania by (2) local law enforcement officers

in separate vehicles observing interstate traffic from a median.

I was towing an empty trailer.

I was directed to a nearby truck stop for a 'safety inspection'.

I spent 1.5 hours in full view of the truck stop patrons while my truck

was searched for drugs - simply because the officer(s) believed I was

hauling drugs.

Then I received a 10 minute 'safety inspection' and was issued (3) citations

totalling about $900.

I immediately went to the local court (in an new strip mall with a new office

and two secretaries for one magistrate) where I posted bond.

5 weeks later I returned 500 miles for my 'court date'.

I waited 2.5 hours - no officers ever appeared.

The 'charges' were dismissed.

As soon as the judge took off his robe - I gave him a piece of my mind. :mad:

I did not leave the court until a minute entry was recorded & I received

a written copy that the charges were dismissed and I had received

my bond money back.

The reality of the world we live in is that revenue to operate local

government comes partly from citations written to motorists who

sometimes cannot appear in court.

I traveled over 1000 miles and spent (3) days of my time fighting

citations issued from an illegal stop resulting in an unlawful investigative

detention.

Jim :cool:

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

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If you look closely at what I typed, I used words such as most and few. I realize that the world is not perfect and sometimes government is corrupt at many different levels.

I am happy to tell you that neither local municipal law enforcement, nor State Troopers, or even Sheriff's Deputies in North Carolina have any incentive to think about "revenue" from traffic enforcement. In my state, Law Enforcement earns no revenue from citations issued. All criminal fines and fees in NC go to the Schools which are operated by the County. So, Officers here don't care about revenue. NC Law Enforcement Agencies can't receive ANY revenue from law enforcement traffic citations, it all goes to the County Schools.

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