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Trailer purchase question


pyasher

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I am considering purchasing a car trailer so when I retire next year I can haul my cars and others (purchases) around. I was considering an open aluminum trailer. Any recommendations on a brand of trailer? Should I purchase an enclosed or open trailer? I do not want to pay more than $7,000 for a trailer. Your opinions appreciated!

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This is not an easy question to answer.

A lot of it depends on what you plan on doing with the trailer (Local or long distance shows), what you are going to be hauling (brass/nickel/ prewar-post war), and most important what you are going to use as a tow vehicle.

I started out with an enclosed trailer and eventually added an open trailer so now I have both. Usually ends up taking the old truck in the enclosed trailer and the open trailer for towing everything else like parts cars, kids cars, parts, and the list goes on that I do not want to put in the enclosed trailer.

Just some of my thoughts and experience. I know I am not the only one in this position.

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Thanks for the reply Larry and Nick,

I am located in Columbus Ohio and have a 67 Corvette, 73 Alfa Spider and a 72 Chevelle Wagon. My current truck is a 01 S-10 but I plan to purchase a F-150. I mostly drive my cars but would like to attend local auctions and travel out west to purchase cars, get them running good - etc and sell them. The cars I am interested in are 60s and early 70s. I do not want to buy the wrong trailer - I have in the past built shops that were too small and not tall enough. Will a 1/2 ton truck pull an enclosed trailer safely? Is there much of a difference in gas millage with a closed trailer? The enclosed trailer in Phoenix looks pretty nice!

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I am considering purchasing a car trailer so when I retire next year I can haul my cars and others (purchases) around. I was considering an open aluminum trailer. Any recommendations on a brand of trailer? Should I purchase an enclosed or open trailer? I do not want to pay more than $7,000 for a trailer. Your opinions appreciated!

Buy a new trailer ...

I am having one built now - it will be ready in a couple weeks.

Give me a call - I will give you a recommendation ....

Jim

(260) 804-6695

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I have a 24' enclosed trailer and a 24' open trailer - they are basically identical as far as axles, tie downs, etc. - except one is enclsoed obviously. Both have their particulars pros and cons. If I go to a local show and no threat of rain, I use the open trailer. I use the enclosed for shows that require longer trip or over night stay.

If I could only have one, it would be the enclosed. Great for weather protection and security overnight.

Bob

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Buy a new trailer ...

I am having one built now - it will be ready in a couple weeks.

Give me a call - I will give you a recommendation ....

Jim

(260) 804-6695

This is a VERY EXCELLENT piece of advice.

Both of my trailers were new.

On many trailers they only have 3500 pound axles and some with brakes on one axle only.

I looked at used trailers prior to buying my trailers and the common thread was they all seemed to need brakes, tires, rewiring, and the list goes on.

I put 5,000 pound axles on my enclosed trailer and brakes on both axles.

I am some what of a safety person and I know if you can not stop it, you are immediately in trouble. Some states require brakes on both axles, but not all.

Also get a very good brake controller for your truck.

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You won't be happy pulling a 24 ft enclosed trailer with an F150, and it won't be very safe either. I have owned several ( and currently own one) 24ft enclosed trailers. I currently haul a corvette or a 31 Cadillac sedan, which is a heavy old chunk of iron. I went through several gas F250's and Chevy 2500's through the years, and they did an acceptable, but not stellar job. Several years ago I bought a 2002 F350 diesel 4X4 dually with the 7.3 engine. I am here to tell you there is NO comparison. The pulling power of the diesel is unreal. It ACCELERATES UP steep hills if you want to. It cracks me up on the interstate. With a big hill/mountain ahead, you see the cars behind you jump over into the passing lane way back. They just KNOW you will be slowing down.:) When you hold 70-75 going up the hill, you see them back there on your corner looking at their speedometer - it just doesn't compute. I don't advocate pulling that fast, just trying to highlight the capabilities of these trucks in an amusing way. Again, a gas F250/2500 would be working hard, and an F150 would probably be looking for a new transmission soon. Before you think "big bucks" for a diesel dually, I bought mine for $15,000 from the original owner with 74,000 miles on it. It now has about 96,000 miles on it. The key is that these 7.3L diesel engines have a super reputation. They were built for Ford by International. Over 300,000 miles is very common, and I personally know of several that are still doing fine at over 400,000. The dual rear wheels make a HUGE difference as far as stability/sway control is concerned in high winds or when being passed by tractor/trailers. I used a sway control on my F250/2500's, and still do on the F350, but I do see a vast improvement in this regard.

On the enclosed trailer, be sure to get an "escape door" on the driver's side. This makes egress from your car MUCH easier, as the door of the hauled vehicle can extend partially through the open escape door when you are trying to get out of the car. An electric winch is a great thing to have in the trailer when hauling or driving antique cars around. HOW would I know THAT?;) Hope this gives you some ideas. Be safe.

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Thanks for all the advice guys.

Sounds like I should buy a new enclosed trailer and make sure it has brakes on both axles.

Also sounds like I would need a F 250 to pull a 24' trailer.

What about a 20' box - still need a 3/4 ton truck?

Jim I will give you a call - thanks...

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Thanks for all the advice guys.

Sounds like I should buy a new enclosed trailer and make sure it has brakes on both axles.

Also sounds like I would need a F 250 to pull a 24' trailer.

What about a 20' box - still need a 3/4 ton truck?

Jim I will give you a call - thanks...

You will want the 24 ft and appreciate the extra room for loading, unloading, and tying down, etc.

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If you only have a set amount to spend, spend more of it on a larger truck and less on the trailer. We currently run 2 Dodge Cummins diesels and absolutely love them. 14 mpg pulling a 24' enclosed trailer with a heavy antique car aboard.

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If you only have a set amount to spend, spend more of it on a larger truck and less on the trailer. We currently run 2 Dodge Cummins diesels and absolutely love them. 14 mpg pulling a 24' enclosed trailer with a heavy antique car aboard.

I think I need to rethink my strategy, I was going to buy a truck and use it for my primary transportation. Now I may just have a truck dedicated to hauling and drive a car. I have a 2001 S 10 setting in the driveway - purchased new with only 100K on it - we only use it when we need a truck - daily driver is a 2015 Outback...

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We towed with an F150 stick shift, a 6 cylinder even, for many years when we couldn't afford anything bigger. It can be done but we never felt safe when pulling an enclosed trailer with a car aboard. Sort of a tail wagging the dog situation.

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I think I need to rethink my strategy, I was going to buy a truck and use it for my primary transportation. Now I may just have a truck dedicated to hauling and drive a car. I have a 2001 S 10 setting in the driveway - purchased new with only 100K on it - we only use it when we need a truck - daily driver is a 2015 Outback...

Don't know where you live or how urban a setting but around here there's about as many daily driver PU's as cars. Lots of guys buy crew or extended cab trucks because they are daily drivers..............Bob

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We live in the country and my intention was to drive a crew cab F-150 - not a F-250 - not with dual rear wheels. I need to go drive one and consider all the pros and cons. Thanks for the input...

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Don't know where you live or how urban a setting but around here there's about as many daily driver PU's as cars. Lots of guys buy crew or extended cab trucks because they are daily drivers..............Bob

That's what I've got.

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Towing every day in all types of weather ....

A half ton p/u truck is not a suitable tow vehicle for a car hauler trailer

Personally I believe a one ton dually is the ticket because it affords a stable heavy tow platform

But - depending on how far you need to drive I suppopse a 3/4 ton p/u truck would do the job

My new trailer is from Colony Cargo Trailers - Tim or Barry are both great to deal with

@ http://www.colonycargo.com/

I was seriously considering a Husky Trailer - they are in Florida ...

But - I got close to buying & the salesman I was dealing with just blew me off & did not return my phone calls ....

That is an ongoing issue with them - poor customer service

Jim

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I used to use a Ford F150 extra cab 2wd to pull a 16ft car hauler and a 40 hp tractor with front loader. Notice I say USED to use a Ford F150, trans went out after a dozen or so 100 mile trips. You cant beat the Power-strokes for power and endurance.

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My new trailer is from Colony Cargo Trailers - Tim or Barry are both great to deal with

@ http://www.colonycargo.com/

Jim

Jim I visited the site and they have a 20' trailer for less than $6,000. I was under the impression you had to spend way more than that to get a good trailer. It does however have brakes on both axles and 5,000 pound axles...

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You will want the 24 ft and appreciate the extra room for loading, unloading, and tying down, etc.

Heed Larry's advice. You need some room in front of the car, (and to a lesser degree behind it also) to give you some room to lay down and connect the tie downs and for the other inevitable items like tools, chairs, your overnight bags, spare tires ( if not mounted on external brackets) etc. I would urge you to consider a used 24ft trailer purchased from a private owner. Keep checking craigslist, etc. They usually don't last long, but you can find them. They may have already had winches, extra tie downs, etc installed. Let the original buyer eat the initial depreciation, and also avoid paying sales tax.

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I have towed all over the USA. Good equipment is cheap. Always go with the best you can afford. If you haul the big iron, you need to go with the best, or your life is in danger, and it's very easy to wreck you car. I have been suffering LOTS of tire failure the last two years. I used engineering and a few bucks to solve the problem. It just arrived yesterday. This rig tows like a dream with the triple wide spread set up. My 2000 F 350 power stroke I bought new has only 80 k on the clock. The trailer is 36 foot V nose. It is BIG! Has an extra foot of height. I wish I bought this 5 years ago!

post-31625-143143059939_thumb.jpg

post-31625-143143059942_thumb.jpg

post-31625-143143059944_thumb.jpg

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And like Larry, I also have a good open trailer. It seems once you have one you cant live without it. Remember not to over load the trailer or tow vehicle. Be safe! Ed

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I have towed all over the USA. Good equipment is cheap. Always go with the best you can afford. If you haul the big iron, you need to go with the best, or your life is in danger, and it's very easy to wreck you car. I have been suffering LOTS of tire failure the last two years. I used engineering and a few bucks to solve the problem. It just arrived yesterday. This rig tows like a dream with the triple wide spread set up. My 2000 F 350 power stroke I bought new has only 80 k on the clock. The trailer is 36 foot V nose. It is BIG! Has an extra foot of height. I wish I bought this 5 years ago!

Your wife called ...

She says you HAVE to sell me your F350 ....

Seriously though - contact me if you ever decide to sell it ...

Jim

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I have towed all over the USA. Good equipment is cheap. Always go with the best you can afford. If you haul the big iron, you need to go with the best, or your life is in danger, and it's very easy to wreck you car. I have been suffering LOTS of tire failure the last two years. I used engineering and a few bucks to solve the problem. It just arrived yesterday. This rig tows like a dream with the triple wide spread set up. My 2000 F 350 power stroke I bought new has only 80 k on the clock. The trailer is 36 foot V nose. It is BIG! Has an extra foot of height. I wish I bought this 5 years ago!

Nice looking trailer, who built it? I'm sure the spread axels with distribute the load across the tires much better. Seems the tires would scrub badly when turning. I couldn't imagine pulling a tag trailer that big. I pull a 36' goose nexk behind a 2008 F450. I had been pulling with a F350 for years, i really like the 450, feels really safe.

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I have towed all over the USA. Good equipment is cheap. Always go with the best you can afford. If you haul the big iron, you need to go with the best, or your life is in danger, and it's very easy to wreck you car. I have been suffering LOTS of tire failure the last two years. I used engineering and a few bucks to solve the problem. It just arrived yesterday. This rig tows like a dream with the triple wide spread set up. My 2000 F 350 power stroke I bought new has only 80 k on the clock. The trailer is 36 foot V nose. It is BIG! Has an extra foot of height. I wish I bought this 5 years ago!

I am assuming you have towed through Maryland before thus are properly commercially licensed the truck properly commercially licensed :)

Nice rig wish I could legally have one in Maryland

Robert

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Yes I drive through maryland , but I do not leave the federal highway system, thus I am exempt from the state rules as long as I do not exit the highway. Read the federal dot rules, thay are clear you do NOT need a dot number, medical card, or cdl, nor commercial plates. You must be legal in your state. The federal law trumps the state regs. That doesn't mean that you won't get a hassle, but I have a copy of the law in the trailer with the registration.

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Yes I drive through maryland , but I do not leave the federal highway system, thus I am exempt from the state rules as long as I do not exit the highway. Read the federal dot rules, thay are clear you do NOT need a dot number, medical card, or cdl, nor commercial plates. You must be legal in your state. The federal law trumps the state regs. That doesn't mean that you won't get a hassle, but I have a copy of the law in the trailer with the registration.

You guys are so knowledgeable. This is great information.

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[h=2]

<!-- END dot-regulations-sidebar-panel-listing --> <!-- ********* REGULATION TOPICS LIST END ******* -->

<!-- END dot-regulations-sidebar-panes-->

<!-- END "dot-regulations-sidebar" class="dot-regulations-sidebar" --> [h=1]Part 390

FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY REGULATIONS; GENERAL[/h]<!-- top navigation controls --> < 389 | 391 > dot-print-icon.jpg

<!--end dot-regulations-prev-next-part--> <!-- end top navigation controls --> <!--Start Tabs Here hide the tabs by checking to see if guidence is set -->

<!-- content shown on section tab --> [h=3]§ 390.3: General applicability.[/h]<ext-xref refid="74" href="20130823">Link to an amendment published at 78 FR 52652, Aug. 23, 2013.</ext-xref> <ext-xref refid="22" href="20140805">Link to a correction published at 78 FR 63100, Oct. 23, 2013.</ext-xref>

(a) The rules in subchapter B of this chapter are applicable to all employers, employees, and commercial motor vehicles, which transport property or passengers in interstate commerce.

(B) The rules in part 383, Commercial Driver's License Standards; Requirements and Penalties, are applicable to every person who operates a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in § 383.5 of this subchapter, in interstate or intrastate commerce and to all employers of such persons.

© The rules in part 387, Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers, are applicable to motor carriers as provided in § 387.3 or § 387.27 of this subchapter.

(d) Additional requirements. Nothing in subchapter B of this chapter shall be construed to prohibit an employer from requring and enforcing more stringent requirements relating to safety of operation and employee safety and health.

(e) Knowledge of and compliance with the regulations. (1) Every employer shall be knowledgeable of and comply with all regulations contained in this subchapter which are applicable to that motor carrier's operations.

(2) Every driver and employee shall be instructed regarding, and shall comply with, all applicable regulations contained in this subchapter.

(3) All motor vehicle equipment and accessories required by this subchapter shall be maintained in compliance with all applicable performance and design criteria set forth in this subchapter.

(f) Exceptions. Unless otherwise specifically provided, the rules in this subchapter do not apply to—

(1) All school bus operations as defined in § 390.5, except for the provisions of §§ 391.15(e) and (f), 392.80, and 392.82 of this chapter.

(2) Transportation performed by the Federal government, a State, or any political subdivision of a State, or an agency established under a compact between States that has been approved by the Congress of the United States;

(3) The occasional transportation of personal property by individuals not for compensation nor in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise;

(4) The transportation of human corpses or sick and injured persons;

(5) The operation of fire trucks and rescue vehicles while involved in emergency and related operations;

[/h]

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390.3.F(3) Clearly states federal exemption for private use. Do NOT state you are going to a car show.....you can win prize money or a trophy. Just state you are on vacation with your car. No problem. This section refers to DOT requirements using the federal highway system. I will post some more info soon. The basic concept is federal DOT rules all apply to interstate commerce. Ed

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[h=3]§ 390.3: General applicability.[/h]<ext-xref refid="74" href="20130823">Link to an amendment published at 78 FR 52652, Aug. 23, 2013.</ext-xref> <ext-xref refid="22" href="20140805">Link to a correction published at 78 FR 63100, Oct. 23, 2013.</ext-xref>

(a) The rules in subchapter B of this chapter are applicable to all employers, employees, and commercial motor vehicles, which transport property or passengers in interstate commerce.

(B) The rules in part 383, Commercial Driver's License Standards; Requirements and Penalties, are applicable to every person who operates a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in § 383.5 of this subchapter, in interstate or intrastate commerce and to all employers of such persons.

Again, here are the general rules to the federal DOT program. If you are in business, or working for a business, or for gain.......you need to meet all the rules and regs. This is why you can drive a Tractor Trailer with air brakes and a gvw of over 26,000 if it is a motor home. Thus length of vehicle, weight of vehicle, style or type of vehicle do not matter to private use, it is interstate commerce that invokes all the DOT rules.

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Yes, and yes. Just ordered my Maine plate for the trailer. Mass cost, 450 per year registration, 900 per year exsize tax, 75 per year inspection. Maine was 220 total for 10 years. That's 1600 per year in this crummy state, or 22 dollars in Maine. I'm getting out of this place........it's just one example on how local government in the northeast is treating the people. Sad commentary on what this wonderful nation has come to. Now........back to cars and trailers!

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Part of my trailer routine is.........put a piece of masking tape on top of the break away battery that says charged day/month, and I keep a trailer inspection sheet in the truck that I use to mark fuel and toll expense, but I also jot down check air pressure in trailer tires, check lights, check brakes. It has helped quite a bit. I leave an air pressure gauge clipped to the board. I think they see an honest attempt to upkeep the rig and they tend to lose interest. I figure in the last 1000,000 miles towing I was stopped 6 times, two for truck and trailer inspection, the others were due to light issues......which now I have indicator lights on the drivers side of the trailer that let me see that stop lights and running lights are on.. Just two small led that can be seen by the drivers mirror. They work great and I hope it will cut down on the pull overs for lighting issues.

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The car in the trailer is not a car it is cargo. They have no right to look, inspect, or inquire what is in the box. The trooper in Vermont was over aggressive and asked to see my registration on the car, when I figured I would be on my way sooner and was going to show him the reg, he saw the high end car and just gave up. He complimented me on my good equipment and sent me on my way. I play them how I feel them. In Conniciut I told him to go pound sand with his attitude. I was on the side of the road for an hour. I just turned on a video and watched it , and his blood started to boil. When he realized I was in no hurry he gave up. I try to be polite and positive, and answer reasonable questions. Another hint.....leave luggage where they can see it, it goes a long way that your on vacation. When the wife is in the car they almost never ask any questions, with three or four guys in the crew cab they play ten thousand questions.

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I'll have to go with '31 caddy's # 9 post !!!!!

So me X2

pyasher, your avatar does not give your location, (as our dear moderator Mr. Earl has recommended) so I can only say, take a trip to Douglas Ga., and within 50 miles of the place, during our trip we toured 8 different trailer manufacturing plants. NOT dealers, but where I could walk down the line and talk to the welders.............

We wound up with a 24' enclosed from Arizing Ind. in Hazelhurst, Ga.

Then I put in the 76" square escape door myself.

My only regret was not going for the extra height and the thicker sheet metal. Should have got the 18ga instead of the 22ga side sheets.

But she tows straight and makes one heck of a garage.

See attachedpost-70733-143143062611_thumb.jpg

Mike in colorado

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