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Tow Vehicle


machittome
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It will depend on how heavy a car you're towing. I wouldn't tow a 5500 - 6000 lb. full size Packard or Cadillac from the 30's with it. What is the "big V-8" in the Explorer? To tow a car like I listed above, you need at least a 400 ci engine, if not a 454 or 460. I think to get the best answer here, you need to tell us what kind of car are you towing.

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In order to ensure stability and thus safety, you need a longer-wheelbase vehicle than an Explorer, and probably a heavier one as well. It's amazing how many trailer accident stories I've heard over the years, and all of them involve people trying to tow with too small a tow vehicle. I've towed with a long-bed standard-cab 1/2-ton pickup, and even that was marginal towing a 4,000-pound car and 2,000-pound open trailer. My current long-bed extended-cab 3/4-ton pickup makes it a breeze, towing the same car in a 3,500-pound enclosed trailer.

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We did a one time trip with our 1999 Explorer, SOHC 4.0 V-6, to pick up our 1929 Chandler. Put it on a U-Haul open trailer and brought it home from Nebraska to California. The drivetrain handled mountains and anything else we threw at it. The only issue we had was the rear suspension was not up to the weight, even with the towing package.

This was a one time trip though. I would not use ours as a regular tow rig. One of these days I will replace it with a slighty larger truck with a Hybrid drive train. Just waiting for the car companies to get on board with my dream. After all disesl electric locomotives have been pulling trains for a long time now why not a truck!? crazy.gif

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Stude is right about the torsion bar setup. I just bought a new GMC 1/2 ton extended cab with a short bed, just like the 2000 Chevy I had. Couldn't pass up the GM incentives! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Anyway, mine with the "big" small block pulls my 28 foot enclosed trailer with a 396 chevelle at speeds over 70 miles per hour with no problem...fuel milage, 10 mpg. This was from Virginia to Upstate New York back in the summer, plenty of hills. I wish I could have bought the lower rear gear, but I had to buy what was on the lot. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

8196new_gmc-med.JPG

Still waiting on Wide Whites to go with the chrome wheels. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

Wayne

PS, forgot to mention the tomcat in the background has been neutered and now is blind in one eye. He's called "Lucky"!

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Glad you asked Sky, The Northern Neck Region is having our big annual car show tomorrow in Warsaw, Virginia. What you don't see is the boxes of trash bags, 4 folding tables, and other assorted items for the show under the torneau.

I'm MCing this year. I have special clothing for this job. I'll be sure to post a couple of pictures proving I was on duty. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Wayne

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Here is our trailer and tow vehicle. A 2004 Turbo Diesel Dodge Ram 4-Door 4X4. Six speed standard transmission, gray leather interior and lots of extras. It hauls our 32' Vintage car trailer/camper like it is not even back there. The trailer is mostly for the Legends race car and all the stuff that goes with that.

These photos were taken in N.H. right before Christmas when we delivered a 2004 Jeep Liberty to Bill's daughter. It was two degrees above zero and there was four inches of snow on the ground.

334463-Vintageinsnow500.JPG

334463-MongoinNH2500.JPG

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Nice truck and Caddy. Very pretty paint job on the truck.

Thanks on our trailer. It really does have an 8' X 12' camper in the front. 3/4 closet above an apartment size fridge/freezer, two burner stove with a microwave oven above it and a single bowl sink beside it and storage cabinets below. A dinette that folds down into a double bed and a couch that folds into a single bed. There are storage cabinets above the dinette and couch in the front of the trailer. And to the left of the entrance door is the coolest bathroom. It is actually a shower stall with a moulded in sink and a toilet. The shower head feeds off of the faucet in the sink. It also has a fan/AC unit and a propane heater.

We got tired of paying between $50 and $120 for motel rooms after races almost every weekend. And we figure we can stay in it when the Falcon Sprint is ready to go to AACA shows.

Here is a photo of Bill attaching the tie-downs to the Liberty. No, I did not run over him. grin.gif

334507-LoadingLiberty2.JPG

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This will be my first post to this forum, and I'll probably draw flak with it. I pull a 24-foot closed trailer with a Volkswagen Touareg V-8. This car is rated by the maker to pull 7700 pounds, and I have done it regularly for over 25,000 miles. My typical load is a one-cylinder Model K Cadillac together with either a two-cylinder Model F Buick or a 1913 Ford roadster. The car scarcely feels the trailer. I can go any speed any sane person would want, and more besides, but I generally keep it to 65 on Interstates.

The Touareg has four-wheel independent suspension, a six-speed automatic with sport mode, low range and Tiptronic, a 40-valve (that's five valves per cylinder) 4.3 liter (about 260 cubic inches) engine and gets between 11 and 13 mpg on premium with the trailer. There is no trailer sway, but I can briefly feel the bow wave of an 18-wheeler if he decides to pass me. When I'm not pulling a trailer, the Touareg feels like a European sports sedan, not at all like a truck (I hate trucks!).

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I use a 99 GMC 3/4 ton Suburban with a 454 to tow a closed 24 foot car trailer. It pulls okay, downshifts out of cruise too quickly, but pulls okay. Problem is stopping, as it has basically NO BRAKES. I've complained to GM many times about the Hydroboost power brakes on this vehicle, and they say it is normal, but I repeat NO BRAKES. It stops best with the trailer in tow, because of the trailer brakes, but the wheels all go into lockup on the Suburban and skid anyway with the anti-locks clucking. Lousy vehicle I do not recommend...gonna be a Ford or Dodge next time, and very soon. Had a 351 Ford before this that wouldn't pull. Overall the old 1979 460 Ford was best overall and at 8 mpg topped the Suburban which will get 7.3 to 7.8 pulling the closed trailer. Those are the full and empty trailer reads. But it will get 14 without the trailer while the 79 Ford pickup got 10 on a good day. The 351 Ford pickup wouldn't pull or stop. So there are my experiences. I tow Buicks, weighing 3500-4500 pounds and the trailer is a standard Haulmark. I've towed the trailer about 60,000 miles with cars, furniture, a car and furniture, car parts, and it is starting to show some wear now.

Mr. Kinker I've looked at a couple of those camper/car trailers and they told me you couldn't sleep and cook in the camper if the car was in the trailer, had to back it out for fear of gasoline explosion, and there were not satisfactory seals around the door and I guess the walls. What has been your experience with that?

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Dynaflash8,

We were not told that at all. Admittedly I haven't cooked much in it, mostly I use the microwave for frozen dinners at the track, but I have cooked with no problems when I used the propane stove. I make sure and run the exhaust fan above the burners. And we sleep in it pretty much every weekend with not only the race car and it's fuel cell in the cargo area but also a large race bottle full of fuel. Now it might be different with a car with an un-pressurized fuel tank. But none of our cars have that.

After we load the race car, if it is not raining, we open the roof vents and the windows and roll down the road to let the heat out from the engine since it stays hot for quite awhile.

The camper area has all the sensors/alarms for fire, smoke and carbon monoxide.

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I wanted to bring my 71 Chevy Impala Convertible to the muffler shop on a Sat morning before they closed. I own 6 vehicles with a trailer hitch on them, To my dismay, only the 32 ford roadster was around that day. It got it there at about 20 MPH. Needles to say, I picked it up with a car trailer when it was done) It sure turned heads though!

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I am planning on towing my 1951 35-foot Royal Spartanette "toybox" trailer with my 1977 Lincoln Continental Town Car. The '77 TC has only 17,000 miles on it.

The trailer will weigh in at about 10,000 lbs with the Mark II convertible inside. The TC will get a heavy duty trans-cooler and oil cooler. The 460 will be beefed to increase its hp and torque. The trans will get a shift kit to change the shift points for towing. The rear will get air shocks just to keep the car level. The trailer's three air-bagged axles have individual ride height valves which allows me to adjust the tongue weight to the desired weight.

I decided to use this vehicle because it has all the attributes of an F-250 without the discomfort of a truck ride. The axle bearings are the same size as is the frame thickness. With it's significantly lower center of gravity and massive weight (4,950) it is the ideal tow truck.

Envision a triple black TC cruising doen the road with a silver torpedo behind it.

Original concept drawing

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Almost ready for a test drive

340096_312_full.jpg

Full story

Continental Collection

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Dear Barry,There is NO question that this will be a laugh.gif OUTSTANDING laugh.gif looking unit going down the road.You mention HP and Torque updates to the 460, cam?intake? headers?Aftermarket ignition?Maybe additional clutchs in the trans?DEEPER aluminum trans pan?Whatever you have to do to increase the volume of trans fluid.Do you plan to eliminate the lock up convertor?I GOTTA believe the biggest issue in a project like this is KEEPING the transmission fluid at a REASONABLE temperature.Good luck diz smile.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I GOTTA believe the biggest issue in a project like this is KEEPING the transmission fluid at a REASONABLE temperature.</div></div>

That is the general concensus. The oil temperature, I believe, is critical too.

One of the biggest attributes of the trailer I've built is it's very low rolling resistance. The three 8,000 lb axles are fitted with Dexter's Nev-R-Lube sealed bearing system. At 10,000 lbs the bearings are severly underutilized. Unlike traditional trailer axle bearings, the inner and outer are packaged in a precision jig and have no distance between them. The bearings are so finely ground as to being close to perpetual motion. You have to use wheels with no offset so that the center of the tire lines up directly with the center of the bearing. At speed the gryroscopic effect of the tire spinning makes the bearings even more efficient, or so I'm told.

The tires are Goodyear RST that run on 110 lbs of pressure and each tire has a pressure and temperature sensor that will notify me of any abnormality.

The body is significantly more aerodynamic than your standard white box 32-foot trailer so my horsepower requirements are lowered by all the related factors I've mentioned.

On the level floor of my shop I can easily move the trailer with one hand. Note in the picture that there is no tongue jack. It is not necessary as the air suspension offsets the 16' of front cantilever. It's really quite amazing.

The trailer has 24,000 lbs of disk brake stopping power actuated by a 1600 psi hydraulic pump. The brakes in the Lincoln will never be taxed as the trailer has enough stopping power to halt the entire package even if the Lincoln lost its brakes.

I hope to finish it this winter.

340096_313_full.jpg

Continental Collection

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Incredible project shocked.gif From the looks of the construction, it's A1. I am not convinced about your tow vehicle. As you stated the trailer will weigh in loaded at 10,000 lbs(it will probably be closer to 12k).Ideal trailer tongue weight should be between 10 to 13% of the trailer total weight. I don't see how a 77 Lincoln could handle 1200 lbs of tongue weight. You will grossly put that vehicle over the GCVW. On first look, the Lincoln chassis might look the part,but there is no way that chassis could handle that kind of abuse.The welds on the suspension brackets,the rear axle shafts,bearings etc won't hold up well when a good cross wind blows that trailer around. Are you going to make your own trailer hitch? It seems that the trailer tongue is quite high for a Lincoln.Whats your plan to control trailer sway?

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You've missed the point about the individual ride height valves for each axle. I can adjust from a negative tongue weight to a positive at whatever is ideal for the load. Each axle's set of air bags is rated for 8,000 lbs. By adjusting the front set of air bags to a setting higher than that of the middle or back, the weight is effectively shifted rearward. The front axle acts as a fulcrum and levers up the nose of the trailer. I can stand on the tongue and it won't touch the ground. I weigh 275 lbs.

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I can easily monitor the tongue weight with a bathroom scale.

All of the suspension problems go away as the car (frame included) is carrying very little weight or even stress. The Town Car just become a means for forward locomotion.

Your tongue height comment is quite observant. I will offset that somewhat by installing larger diameter, limousine duty tires on 16-inch polished aluminum rims matching the trailer. I believe I can pick up 4" that way and the rest will have to be made up for in the receiver adapter. I used a service body company for the hitch on my F-450. I will have them fit the Lincoln with a very strong custom made receiver. They believe a stock adapter will take up the rest of the height difference.

I'm not sure what type of sway you are talking about. The trailer wheelbase is the maximum 102" eliminating "boxcar" sway. I'm sure I'll use some type of anti-sway device but I'm going to test it without so that a system doesn't mask a deficiency in alignment. I was very careful when I located the axles on the new frame. The Dexter AirFlex system has an adjustment device on each axle for dialing in proper tracking.

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What I was trying to say is you NEED that 10 to 13% tongue weight. If you don't have that tongue weight at the pivot point. The trailer (which out weighs the car) will steer car. Your set up makes common sense but the laws of physics will say other wise. That much trailer will lift the back of the car off the ground on a heavy bump without the proper tongue weight and proper tongue weight will be around 1200 lbs. Way over what the Lincoln can handle. Think about it, the camper company's would love to build there campers the way you did. You would no longer need to have a big truck to tow their trailers.Anyone with a large car could tow a large trailer.The only thing stopping them is physics.

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Barry, I'm leaning towards South_par on the towing vehicle. I don't know anything about an F-250, but I would certainly want a dual wheel rear axle on a tow vehicle pulling anything that big. You may be able to pull it empty, but loaded with the needed accessories would terrify me, even on a dry road. Keep us posted next year as you near completion.

Wayne

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I helped set up a 12.000lb trailer for a friend with a 2002 Ford 450 dually. I put about 2000 lbs on the toung and then sent some of it to the front wheels by way of a load leveler hitch. The truck was perfectly level when I got finished.

It rode well and had good steering all the way across the country.

When we hit a bump, the whole truck went down, rather than the back end.

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