stvaughn

Buying a hauler, advice appreciated

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i would appreciate advice on what I need to consider in a car hauler. I am considering either a single car or possibly a two car hauler. I may want to consider enough height to carry a brass era car. I have a 2016 Chevrolet 2500 Crew Cab 6 1/2’ box Duramax truck to pull it and lots of experience pulling travel trailer and fifth wheel campers. 

Thanks for your suggestions, 

Steve

 

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Not enough truck for a 48’ two car hauler!  And I believe a stacker won’t work with the taller “brass” era vehicles.  Also the truck is not adequate for a regular height stacker anyway

Robert

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Posted (edited)

Robert, good points but I'm wondering where you came up with 48' for a two car hauler.  Everything is dependent upon what two cars he's planning on, but I've often hauled two small cars (even two Model Ts) in my 24' enclosed trailer (a tight fit, but it can be done) and my 24' trailer has a set of cabinets in the front that takes up some space.  My total net available interior length is 22' 2".  I run a Dodge RAM 2500HD with a Cummins diesel.  I haul mostly horseless carriages and my rear door opening is 90" (can't fit everything but it does fit most!).  Steve

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Edited by Steve Hammatt (see edit history)
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Steve:

I really don't know what he will be hauling as one of the options given was a two car trailer.  Virtually all two car trailers I have seen are 48's and are towed with 4500's 0r 5500's.  For my cars I would definitely need the 48.( 61 and 62 Impalas)

I have an ATC 24, with cabinets and "standard" height  towed with a 3500 so I am very impressed you squeezed two T's into yours!  How did you attach them to the D rings ?

I hope Mr Vaughn checks the towing regs in the states he is hauling in as Maryland won't be too kind to him with a stacker or longer than a 24 with a 3/4 ton pickup and no class A license.

Robert

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Posted (edited)

You need a Dually to tow a 48 foot fifth or goose neck. We use a GMC 3500. Be sure the trailer has triple axels with 8 lug wheels, and 8K rated brake magnets. The 7k and 8K axles and brakes are the same, just the magnets are different. The Duramax and Alison are the trick setup in my humble opinion, and I have owned five new Ford F-350 Powerstroke trucks over the years. 

 

PS- in my humble opinion this is way too much truck and trailer for 98 percent of the people. We have 41 foot on the floor, and seven above the bed. The unit has a 82inch door.....need to be higher for big brass....to be very safe at maximum load, I would prefer a 450 or 550, but we don’t often have two big cars and a bunch of cargo at the same time. This rig WILL eat up your truck if pushed hauling heavy. We have hauled two large Pierce V-12 sedans and some other parts at one time. Brakes are marginal at best under max load. Also notice the brush guard.....it’s very heavy duty.......it’s taken three deer over the years, and we didn’t lose the radiator or condenser. The plastic and light buckets took the brunt. I would recommend a heavy brush guard for every rig.......lots of deer, coyote, and bear in the roads today. If you find a moose........all bets are off.

 

 

 

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

My tag......34 foot triple spread. Fantastic rig, my favorite I have ever owned. Nothing better. I will never sell this rig.

 

PS- your truck and trailer are NEVER heavy enough, never. The tag trailer with one heavy car (6400) and the tripps makes stopping a breeze. I will NEVER own another trailer that doesn’t have the triple axel and spread set up.....never, ever.

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Ok, you’ve convinced me I don’t need a two car trailer. I don’t want to buy a new truck. So for a single how much door height do I need for a brass car?  Torsion axles or spring, equalizer or spread axle, 15 or 16” tires, 5.2 axles or 7k derated? Other considerations?  

Edited by stvaughn
Spell (see edit history)

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I would obtain all the dimensions of your cars.  You must find the proper trailer for that type of car.  Torsion axles of course and spread axle 16 inch tires in my opinion.  I am a fan of aluminum trailers for several reasons but in your case it becomes another reason and that is your truck might not have the capacities for the GVW trailer you need but an aluminum one might make it.  After you learn your vehicles and learn your trailer's specs then check that the truck has the payload and towing requirements you need.  I have a 9,900 GVW 24 foot trailer due to the car requirements and wouldn't attempt long hauling with a 3/4 ton vehicle.

Robert

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What is the tow capacity of your vehicle ?
 
That - is the starting point.
 
Figure that out - deduct the curb weight of the vehicle you plan to haul - take whatever is left over - multiply that by 80% - that is empty weight of the trailer you can pull.
 
Example:
 
Tow vehicle capacity - 10,000 pounds
Towed vehicle curb weight - 4000 pounds
Net tow capacity - 6000 pounds 
Multiply by 80% - 4800 pounds
 
The empty curb weight of your trailer
ideally should not exceed 4800 pounds.
 
Buy a new trailer instead of a used one.
 
Unless you know the history and use.
.
 
Jim
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Jim I concur with the “formula” and to continue it take the hypothetical necessary GVW trailer and multiply by 12% for vehicle payload capacity weight. Your fine example would be 1,200 pounds.  Hmm. Could be more than his 3/4 depending on how it was configured by GM.  But if minor local flat towing I would be ok as just marginal with equalizer and sway bars

Robert

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Like to live on the edge......buy a small truck and light weight trailer. Like the living and enjoying yourself? Buy the best truck and trailer set up you can afford. Run the best tires, and best brakes you can fine. Inspect and service the vehicle and trailer very, very often. At best hauling a car in a trailer is a tricky business, and at worst very dangerous to you and the people around you. I would say more than 60 percent of the towing set ups I see are fair to poor, and many are asinine and dangerous. Stay safe.

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57 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Like to live on the edge......buy a small truck and light weight trailer. Like the living and enjoying yourself? Buy the best truck and trailer set up you can afford. Run the best tires, and best brakes you can fine. Inspect and service the vehicle and trailer very, very often. At best hauling a car in a trailer is a tricky business, and at worst very dangerous to you and the people around you. I would say more than 60 percent of the towing set ups I see are fair to poor, and many are asinine and dangerous. Stay safe.

That’s the reason I asked questions above. Still would like answers, please. 

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What’s your tow vehicle............list the numbers please, and what is thr heaviest car you own? And the heaviest you will ever pull? Do you often carry extra parts and luggage? There is no one answer fit all. I recommend buying the largest and heaviest trailer you think you will ever need. I like to never exceed 80 percent of max rating for my heaviest car I won. It’s nice to have the extra numbers in reserve in the event you get a dot or other issue. With a truck and trailer st max capacity they car be scary even if the numbers are “ok”.

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Specific recommendations 

 

Torsion axles 

 

8 lug brake drums with axles spaced for 16 inch tires

 

7.5 x 16 ST tires w/ 14 ply rating

 

Extended trailer tongue

 

Top - sides - floor framing 12” OC

 

Full perimeter tube frame

 

.040 aluminum exterior sidewall  screwed to each framing member

 

Floor & ceiling screwed to each framing member

 

No roof vents - sidewall vents

 

LED interior lighting up the Wazoo

 

 

Jim

 

 

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

Like to live on the edge......buy a small truck and light weight trailer. Like the living and enjoying yourself? Buy the best truck and trailer set up you can afford. Run the best tires, and best brakes you can fine. Inspect and service the vehicle and trailer very, very often. At best hauling a car in a trailer is a tricky business, and at worst very dangerous to you and the people around you. I would say more than 60 percent of the towing set ups I see are fair to poor, and many are asinine and dangerous. Stay safe.

 

Well said Ed and I concur based on my I-95 and I-70 adventures.  Most of the "problem" rigs I see are actually 3/4 ton rigs that should be one ton or larger!  A local trailer dealer is trying to sell a 28 foot nine foot high triple axle trailer seemingly without success as it takes a class A or B license in Maryland plus a CDL physical. Another dealer now has two ATC nine foot high trailers in inventory for a couple of years and haven't moved I suspect for the above reasons.

Robert

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6 hours ago, Trulyvintage said:

Specific recommendations 

 

Torsion axles 

 

8 lug brake drums with axles spaced for 16 inch tires

 

7.5 x 16 ST tires w/ 14 ply rating

 

Extended trailer tongue

 

Top - sides - floor framing 12” OC

 

Full perimeter tube frame

 

.040 aluminum exterior sidewall  screwed to each framing member

 

Floor & ceiling screwed to each framing member

 

No roof vents - sidewall vents

 

LED interior lighting up the Wazoo

 

 

Jim

 

 

Thanks Jim, that’s the kind of information I need. Glad you mentioned exterior screwed to every framing member because one of their  “selling points” is minimal screws and glad you reminded me to delete roof vent. Also would like to know if the trailer should be 8 or 8.5’ wide and would an escape door on the left side be desirable?

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Posted (edited)

I have a 24 ft trailer.  When I bought the trailer, the "standard" axles on the trailer were 3,500 pound axles.  I could not find any trailers with heavier axles so I had one built with 5,500 pound axles.  Never tow anything at max weight, but I like the margin of safety of having the heaver axles and bigger brakes on both axles.  Dealers in the are were actually selling trailers with brakes on one axle only at the time.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, stvaughn said:

Thanks Jim, that’s the kind of information I need. Glad you mentioned exterior screwed to every framing member because one of their  “selling points” is minimal screws and glad you reminded me to delete roof vent. Also would like to know if the trailer should be 8 or 8.5’ wide and would an escape door on the left side be desirable?

 

8.5' wide is far better - may not seem a big deal, but thextra 3" on each side are a significant benefit, at least to me when any of my cars (see below) are in the trailer.

My escape door is a major benefit, and I had mine built extra long and extra high to accomodate all of my cars - also had it built "AWNING" style, raising on struts - requires less side clearance and some rain protection as well.

 

I specified a pair of 6K axles with 8-Lug wheels - wish I had considered spacing the torsion axles as Ed noted, and might have gone to triple axles for stability. It is also extra tall to allow Brass-Era cars with the top in place.

Now have upggraded to Load Range "G" tires.

 

I have 4 overhead lights, 4 lower sidewall lights, and strip LED lighting in the floor where any tie-downs are located - never again to hold a flashlight in my teeth while locking down a car in the dark. 

 

I also had mine built with a raised floor to ensure a 4" wheelbox height. My 1954 Cadillac door opens over the wheelbox and the driver-side escape door - a major convenience. My first trailer was 8' by 20', a pair of 3500 axles, and no escape door. Thankfully, there was a front lower hatch door or I could never have tied down our 1970 Cadillac convertible - by the way , it had almost no side-to-side clearance, I had to leave the top down to exit the car, and now realize how minimal my range of safety may have been way back then (I was within spec, but not by much!), and that trailer has a steel diamondplate floor and the old Dexter Star-pattern 4-lug wheels.

 

Safety is the Number 1 concern!

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)

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Thanks for those tips Marty. A couple of more questions. What height is required for a brass car and is E-track a useful option for tying down the tires instead of cross tying with ratchet straps and D-rings? 

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Posted (edited)

I agree 100% with Marty regarding the 8.5' wide trailer and an escape door. Another advantage to the 8.5' wide trailer is the increased clearance between the interior wheel wells. It might like sound like much but if the vehicles you intend to tow have a wide axle track you will appreciate the extra clearance. These two items will also help when it comes time to sell the trailer.

 

Speaking of axle track if the vehicles you intend to tow have same or similar axle tracks you might consider E-Track for tie down of the the vehicle in addition to traditional "D" Rings. E-Track and four sets of straps and/or wheel baskets are SO MUCH easier and secure than "D" rings and cross straps IMHO. If you decide to go with E-Track you have two options. Recessed in the trailer floor or on top of the trailer floor. Recessed E-Track has to be done when the trailer is built and may or may not be more expensive than surface mount E-Track. Surface mount E-Track can get slippery when it is wet. In either case it is VERY important that the E-Track be bolted or welded to the frame cross-members in the trailer floor. I had the trailer dealer add surface mount E-Track to my trailer after it was built. I specified Stainless Steel hardware bolted to the frame cross-members and 14+ years later that hardware show NO signs of rust. If you decide to go with just "D" rings for tie down be absolutely sure the manufacturer  anchors all the "D" rings to the frame of the trailer.  Believe it or not, there are still a very few trailer makers that  do not do this.

 

I also agree with Marty and others that lighting for a trailer is very important. If the trailer you are considering has wood walls I strongly suggest you paint them White after using a good primer. White trailer walls make a HUGE difference when it comes to light inside the trailer. My trailer started with 2 round ceiling lights from the factory. A few years ago I installed 4, 20' strips of LED lights on the ceiling of the trailer with each set on one light switch (for about $30). These strips do not draw all that much power from the trailer battery. (see photo below). Speaking of lighting years ago I installed ramp door lights on the back of my trailer and connected them to a multi purpose remote control (see photo below). These lights make load/unloading vehicles in the dark much easier and also help illuminate when backing up my trailer in the dark.

 

Since I mentioned backing up you might consider a camera on the rear of you trailer at some point (see photo below). I found an excellent wireless camera that has served me well for years and helped me see directly behind my trailer when backing up. Regarding backing up you might also consider adding a back-up beeper to the rear of your trailer. I have one that is used on construction equipment wired to a switch. A few years ago I was backing up at a gas station when a woman walked behind my trailer. Even with the beeper WAILING she continued walking. Had it not been for the camera I would have hit her. I can only surmise this woman was hearing impaired since my back-up beeper is over 100+ decibels. 

 

I have included some photos of some of my trailer mods. When it comes to spare tires you should always carry a minimum of two spare tires. As you can see from my photos I have them mounted to the rear walls (anchored into the vertical steel wall studs). That helps with weight distribution and keeps them out of the way until they are needed. FYI, the yellow device next to the spare tire in the one photo is a "Trailer Aid" used for changing flat trailer tires. Some guys use pieces of wood for changing flats. This devices makes changing tires E-A-S-Y, is MUCH lighter than wood and easier to use and it is not that expensive. Another item worth consider in a good winch. As you can see my winch is mounted so it can be removed when necessary. Using a winch to load and unload a vehicle is considered by some people to be safer than driving a vehicle into/out of a trailer. Winches also make is much easier to poisition the vehicle in the trailer IMHO.

 

If I could do something differently, I would NOT have located my trailer battery in the front of the trailer. I would have located it in the rear of the trailer behind the wheel wells. Putting a trailer battery in the front of the trailer adds 50-60+ pounds of tongue weight that could easily be avoided by locating it in the rear.

 

BTW, swimming pool noodles are a good way to cushion  areas when car doors might come into contact with trailer walls (see photo below). 

 

Sorry for the long post but I hope this helps.

 

Charlie

 

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Trailer_Winch_1.jpg

Trailer_Winch_2.jpg

Trailer Wireless Camera 1.jpg

Trailer Light Mods #3.jpg

Edited by charlier (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Charlie has several great thoughts in his (above) post, and I agree. Since I frequently travel cross-country I generally carry at least 3 or 4 spare tires - never can tell when you'll be able to help a fellow traveller who has changed a flat, or where the tire which has lost a belt has also taken out the other tire on that side. I also carry at least one or two unmounted spare tires in the nose of my wedged & tapered trailer. I carry my tires, tools, and spare parts in the front. Extra tongue weight seems less an issue since I always use an equalizer hitch, and alway maintain at least a 60/40% forward weight distribution - that way there is virtually no trailer sway, even during evasive maneuvers. This assures front bias, even when towing empty.

 

I have two roof vents which crank open, but are capped by Air-Maxx boxes so the vents can remain open while in storage as well as when heading down the highway. I also have six (6) pairs of D-ring tie-downs anchored in the floor to accomodate varied size cars, since I didn't think of E-track when I special-ordered the trailer from Forest River in Elkhart, Indiana.

 

The electric tongue jack and winch are indispensible, powered by the spare 12-Volt battery (again, front interior-mounted), which recharges whenever the tow vehicle is running. 

 

My trailer is all-aluminum, including the chassis.

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)

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Thanks everyone for all the information. My goal is to buy the right trailer the first time and your suggestions will make that decision easier. 

 

Steve

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And I keep one of these in my truck to change tires along with an extra battery & socket to finish the job quickly

 

.  It is an invaluable SAFETY tool to get a tire on and off quickly on the side of the road. 

 

Image result for dewalt 20 volt impact wrench

 

Also I agree with the comment to keep at least 2 spare tires.  Always.

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28 minutes ago, Larry Schramm said:

And I keep one of these in my truck to change tires along with an extra battery & socket to finish the job quickly

 

.  It is an invaluable SAFETY tool to get a tire on and off quickly on the side of the road. 

 

Image result for dewalt 20 volt impact wrench

 

Also I agree with the comment to keep at least 2 spare tires.  Always.

 

Wish i'D HAD ONE OF THOSE ON OUR RETURN TRIP FROM KINGSTON LAST WEEK  (oops hit Caps lock 😖)

Need to look at buying one, plus spare batteries, 6-point deep-well sockets for trucks and multiple trailers

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52 minutes ago, Marty Roth said:

 

Wish i'D HAD ONE OF THOSE ON OUR RETURN TRIP FROM KINGSTON LAST WEEK  (oops hit Caps lock 😖)

Need to look at buying one, plus spare batteries, 6-point deep-well sockets for trucks and multiple trailers

 

I can change a tire in about 5 - 10 minutes start to finish.  Minimizes the time you are a target on the side of the road for those people that will not move over or slow down.

 

If you buy impact sockets, be sure that the socket will fit into the cavity on aluminum wheels...easily on AND off. 

 

If not, you will need to buy a standard socket and keep it for the trailer wheels. 

 

Ask me how I know.

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