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Old 12-28-2004, 05:38 PM
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Question Car hauler trailer questions (???)

I am in the market to purchase a trailer for hauling my Malibu to longer distant car shows to eliminate some of the wear and tear on it and to transport it to some of the shops I have contacted and lined up to do some light restoration work to it, and since it would be less costly to have some of the stuff removed before they get it, the trailer would help save on costs in the long run.

Besides, I need a trailer to haul other stuff anyway- and borrowing a large truck or a trailer is getting old and showing me more and more there is a need for my own.

I have one in mind, and after a long drawn out search of finding nothing that would fit my needs locally, and they will deliver it for a very fair price.

Here are the specs as it sits: * = (things I want to upgrade)
2" Bulldog coupler.
2000# jack.*
83" X 18' diamond tread steel floor.*
5" channel frame with 3" channel crossmembers on 24" centers.*
Steel teardrop fenders.*
235/75/15 tires on chrome modular wheels.
Dual 3500# axles with brake on 1 axle.*
Dovetail design with extendable hideaway ramps.
Stake pockets.
Rub rail.
Flush mounted lights to DOT specifications.
Primed, painted and pinstriped to a limited choice of colors.

And the extras I want to add:
20' deck length (for only $50, why not?)
Spare tire mount.
Spare tire.
Breakaway kit.
7000# jack.
16" centers.
Diamond plate fenders.
Second 3500# brake.

And some stuff I personally want to add that they don't offer.
Electric winch.
Tool box.
Multiple tiedown points on all four sides.
Weight distributing hitch with friction sway control.


Is there anything I left off the lists that others are not about to be without on their trailers?
Is there any reason I shouldn't use the same tiedown method on this trailer than what I was using on a friends' 5-ton rollback truck?

And last but not least here is the trailer as shown for example on their website.
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Old 12-28-2004, 09:46 PM
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the roll back feature is nice too.....
its where you can lower the back end (raise the front) of the trailor and simply drive on to it with out the use of ramps.

for the money, i would look into some used trailors.

we bought ours for $950. its a 16' with two 5200 lb axles, two foot sides and a fold up gate.
its not a "car trailor" but its carried about five since we've had it without a problem...........

you know, IF money is a problem
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Old 12-28-2004, 10:15 PM
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Just my opinions...

I'd get heavier axles, if I were buying. You never know what you may need to haul.
7k minus the trailer weight, isn't much.
You can never have too much trailer, until you don't have enough truck to pull it.
That leads me to another option. Gooseneck trailers pull better than bumper trailers, and give you the extra storage above the neck.

I've looked at the rollback trailers. I don't like the ones that use the trailer brakes to slide the tandems. I saw one that had a winch system to move the axles. Looks like just one more thing to not work, when you need it. Instead, I'd vote for a 'tipper'. One of those that has a jack/cylinder/hoist at the front end to tilt the deck. Might handy for loading low slung vehicles.
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:08 AM
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I've been dragging a trailer cross country a couple times a year, so I like to think I know a thing or two about them. What do you intend to pull the trailer with? That would be my first question. In my opinion the 3500# axles will do just fine, if you are intending on using the trailer to haul just a car. That trailer can't weigh too much more than 1000#, that still gives you about 6k#'s of payload. The brakes on one axle only is a pretty common design. It's a to make the trailer a little cheaper, and add stability at the same time. If you go locking up all 4 wheels your fixin' for a jack-knife. My 38 footer came set up with brake on all 4 wheels, but the former owner had disconnected the rear axle for this reason, or at least that's what I assuming. My overkill trailer; http://community.webshots.com/photo/...32145035tDJLiM I like the fact that the trailer in your picture doesn't have a fixed side rail, at least you can open the doors on your car once it's on. The one I was using for a couple years had this, but then again it was built for hauling lawn equipment and the likes. Aa far as tie-down. all I'd think you'd need is a D-hook in every corner and you should be good. You didn't mention a price, how much do they want for one?
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Old 12-29-2004, 05:33 AM
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Frankenstang has some good points. You must already have your tow vehicle identified, and it must be able to legally handle the load you have identified for the main purpose of the trailer: haul your car. If it will not, then you might focus on a proper tow vehicle first. My experience is to list all the other things I would want to use the trailer for and then go from there.

On your list, a 7000# jack is over kill for a trailer limited to 7000#s max load. Since most tongue weights will not exceed 500#s, then a 2000# jack would be more than sufficient. The extra 2 feet will have a bigger impact on your maneuvering the trailer in the tight confines of car shows so I would weigh the benefits of how often you would need the two extra feet, vice carrying that extra weight around all the time it is not needed. This leads to the requirement for going to 16" centers on the cross members. I assume you are concerned about the plate floor covering drooping under load. I would ask to look at other customers trailers to see if this is required, because you are reducing your pay load for every pound you add to the trailer weight. If you feel you need more strength, then you could add longitudinal stringers under the car tread paths at a later date. ( I assume you have a welder)

Good luck. There is no such thing as a perfect trailer but you will find they are the handiest tool in your garage and it is impossible to have all the bells and whistles!!!

Trees
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Old 12-29-2004, 06:06 AM
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M & M...Although a trailer with all the bells and whistles is nice and it will look nice sitting in the driveway (which is where it will sit 99% of the time) I wqould save some money and go with something a little less elaborate. I paid $1400 for mine, extra wide, 18' w/ 2' dovetail, self storing ramps, and 1 axle set of brakes. I have taken it to Michigan and back, Almost Kentucky and back, and numerous times around a 100 mile radius of home. It sits most of the time. I am going to upgrade to better wheels and repaint (they don't put the best of paint on). Don't let a trailer company add the extra goodies on for you. They will soak you. Do all the upgrades yourself. One other thing to consider is that when you get it and the neighbors see it, they will want to borrow it. Then first one thing then another. Also the nicer it is...it will still be sitting outside in the weather unless you have a pole barn (huge) to park it in. I'm not trying to discourage you but I imagine you are talking a few thou for all that you want and you can make the upgrades yourself for a few hundred. And when you go to add a winch, DON'T get one of those at the travelling tool show or the cheaper one for around $100 at the car shows. Don't ask!!! Invest in a GOOD winch that will last, but make sure you can remove it, or build a lockable box over it so it will not end up stolen. Also measure for a toolbox before you go out and buy one. I bought one that would hold chains, come-a-long, etc. It was too big to fit between the jack and the trailer. Looks are decieving if you don't have it with you or if you forget to measure Anyways..that's my input on the subject. Good luck and post a pic of whatever you get. One thing also before I forget....fold up ramps are a little handier than self storing all for the fact that when you are backing the trailer with a pickup, you can see the ramps in the air, (folded up) but with self storing you lose sight of the trailer every now and then. Just a thought to consider.

Kevin
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Old 12-29-2004, 07:24 AM
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If I can respond to everything I read in the responses.

The tow vehicle is my Suburban with the hitch ratings of 800/8000 and it's already set up with a working brake controller.

I have towed a few trailers and already have a few $'s invested in the most necessary wiring adapters as mine has the 6-pin round connector.

The 7000# rated jack is from experience, the more it is rated for the more easily it turns, just doesn't move as far for each turn.

The added brakes for the second axle are easier to disconnect than to not have in the first place.
I can opt for the 5200 or 7000 pound rated axles also. I haven't bought anything yet so I can upgrade the axles to the 5200's, and that amounts to only $350 overall.

I will most likely use a Warn brand winch rated for 5000#'s, overkill- maybe, but for the price, yeah!

I am also looking at hauling uneven loads and the added crossmembers will heep it looking better longer while adding strength, unless I decide to save a few $'s and go with purchasing a couple sheets of 3/4 inch plywood for the added support in a removeable form. I have the neccesary equipment to flip this thing on it's side and weld in support braces if I do decide to go with the 24 inch centers.

I also plan on building removeable sides for light bulky hauling.

With EVERYTHING listed in the original post I am looking at $2605 delivered to my door from Texas, I have looked at a local builders equipment and it isn't as sturdy, but if I could get them to build to similar construction as the one I pictured I will go with them as their factory is only 50 miles from here, and they have a dealer only 6 miles away.

I have looked at several used trailers, and decided against fixing someone elses lazily motivated, unsafely constructed, "needs little to use", junk. The last trailer was used to haul a dirt track cadet car every weekend, I had seen it out almost every week as he only lives a few miles from here, and the price was below dirt cheap.
I called him up and he told me the tool boxes and the ends of the ramps needed some welding (NOT a problem)- WRONG, this thing would be better off having the 3 foot extensions to the dovetail cut off and done, the tool boxes were in the same shape.
The frame was well constructed, there was decking down the middle but with rotted and in need or replacement plywood, the same condition existed on the raised ramps but they were covered by aluminum that needed removed prior to replacing the rotted plywood under it.
It did have a good working 3000# Ramsey winch, but it needed all new wiring front to back, most of the lights were cracked or broken, and the brakes, THEY WERE NONEXISTANT, and he had NEVER had the trailer inspected- which is NECESSARY for a trailer with that weight rating. It also had cut down mobile home trailer axles with the ring rims.
He even dropped the price a full 20 percent while I was looking, but I still had to pass when I got to looking at the prices of the basics that it needed when I got home, he started out at $500, went to $400, and it needed just over $1000 in necessary equipment along with the many nonexistant manhours of fixing it up.

I am not worried about people asking if they can borrow it, some yes as repayment for borrowing their stuff over the years, and everyone else pay a fee or NO, pretty simple there. I plan on building the new garage MORE than big enough to store this inside along with all the other stuff I have planned for.

Most of the problem of finding a lot of the trailers for sale around here is, they are not inspected (PA requirement over a certain rating), and they don't satisfy my specific needs.
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Old 12-29-2004, 08:07 AM
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When I saw that picture, I thought that was my trailer. When you said coming from TX, I knew it was. Mine is just as you listed without any upgrades. I can say that the jack on mine is not hard at all to turn. I jack the trailer up attatched to my pickup with a load on it to lower the tale so the S-10 does not bottom out, and it works great. The heaviest thing I have hauled is an 84 GMC pickup, but the trailer pulled like a dream. My 5.3L GMC was grunting, but the trailer could not have been better.

I would not worry about the 16" centers, but that is just me. I saw no flex in the floor at all when loading the GMC on the trailer. As for car haulers, those trailers are built heavier than most that I looked at and was alot cheaper. I know it is going to kill you to know this, but I got mine for $1750 with tax and registration about 6 or 8 months ago. With steel prices going up, I am sure they are more now. I could ask what my home town guy is selling them for right now if you are interested. He might deliver it depending on where you are.

Chris
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Old 12-29-2004, 10:03 AM
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Go with the 20' trailer. When a trailer is too short, you can only move the piece so far to get the correct weight bias. Wrong weight bias/improper loading can lead to a very exciting ride. Read that as "Death Sway". Even with load control/sway bars!!! Been there, nearly puked on the Tshirt!

Check EBAY for similar trailers. I've seen them go for as cheap as $1400 for brand new.

As a business (M&M Customs) though, you would probably do better with an enclosed trailer. A little more professional. Also serves as additional storage!
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Old 12-29-2004, 06:31 PM
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I was given information on the local trailer building business, and I DO NOT LIKE their trailer construction of angle iron for the frame and crossmembers, nowhere as structurally capable as channel.

I had a snowmobile trailer that failed miserably, it is now a utility trailer for the garden tractor.

I doubt that if I go with one from Kaufman, that someone locally could save me the $395 door to door delivery on one of theirs.

I agree with the 20 foot over the 18 foot for the nominal addition of $50, and the subject of maneuverability was mentioned previously, realistically this is a non-issue as my tow vehicle is a 1988 GMC Suburban, just as maneuverable as the C-65 rollback I have borrowed on occasion.

I have looked hard at the tiltbed trailers and this one came up as a possibility, but then there is an amount of forethought into the fact that, YES it has hydraulic tilt UP, but what about when a load is on it?

I have searched quite hard online and have so far come up with very little in the way of open car haulers.

Mention was made of enclosed trailers, I like them but you are limited by walls and a roof. What if I want to haul a load that is larger than the confines of the enclosed, and the issue comes of loading it. I can fabricate a swinging boom crane that can simply bolt to the deck of the open trailer and use the winch to lift the load or make a swinging boom crane.
And with an open trailer I could also make a bolt-on (removeable) frame for walls and roof to turn it into an enclosed trailer if I wish, and have both options if I wish.

I have decided on upgrading to the 5200 pound rated axles, for the same reason as the length, for the reason of how much is too much and what is just right without being too little/too short/ or not capable of carrying the weight.

My main wants are:
Channel frame and crossmembers.
Steel floor and fenders I can stand on.
Ramps with extendable preferred over folding.
Outer perimiter tiedown points, with T-slots preferred over D-rings for the deck.
Room for small storage boxes and an enclosed winch in front of the deck.
Electric brakes equipped on both axles.
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Old 12-29-2004, 09:02 PM
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I got my trailer here in Texas, local mfgr. It is the cheap plank floored 16' car hauler with ramps. I paid extra for brakes(one axle) bulldog hitch and swing up jack. I wish it was an 18 when I have to haul big old cars but for the most part I have lived with it ok. It has made a couple round trips from Texas-Califonia.-Washington and back and I have pulled it a bunch around here. The last trip it hauled my 96 F-150 supercab 2000 miles home with no problems. 70-75 behind my 69 Ford crewcab with no problems. I wish I had a nice steel deck like the one you pictured but they cost 3 times what I paid for mine and are considerably heavier. (mine weighs over 1000#) If I had the money I would have the exact trailer you want. If you have to pull in the city much I would defineately get the brakes on both axles. And by all means pay extra for the swing up jack. Those welded in fixed ones ALWAYS end up bent over. Some one should be beat over the head with one of those cheap things for even putting them on a trailer.
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Old 12-29-2004, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TurboS10
but I got mine for $1750
Chris
you know i was going to mention that but couldn't remember if it was in Texas that i saw the ad.

small world
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Old 12-30-2004, 12:26 AM
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They grow trailers down in Texas, don't they! I seems like all the one I was looking at on ebay came from down there! Mobile home axles... What is it with those racers and those crummy cobbled trailer? I had a friend who was trying to sell me one for $200. What a pile! Just to rant, a friend of mine who lives in Detroit bought a car in LA. I volunteered to go out and get it for him. Another friend(the racer) had a trailer down in Yuma that he needed picked up. I figured I'd do it all in one trip. When I got down there to pick up the trailer I discovered it was home built too, and they had used car dolly spindles on it instead of axles. They were even 4-lug! Stupid thing was overloaded when it was empty! Uhhgg, I'll just leave it that! I think $2k is a little on the pricey side, but that my opinion.
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:18 AM
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In my opinion.
This thing will last a lifetime and be used more than you think now.

Get the winch. No matter what get the winch! Bigger than you think you will ever need. As soon as you need to push a car on you'll beg for a winch. Let alone the off chance you'll pick up that parts car out of a field and it needs a bit of extra help. Get the winch!!

Also get at least four welded in tie down points. You'll love having them. They make the whole job of strapping a car down so much safer its IMHO stupid not to have them.

While your at it buy a pair of axle straps and four good wratchet straps. Get a few cheap bungy cords to help hold down anything that might come open or loose.

A locking tool box just big enough to hold the winch, the straps and a few other things will be a big help also.

The extra brekes would be nice too since you can always disconect them if you don't like them and just keep them as backups for an emergency. Since they are more than likely electric just turn them down if they start to stick to much.

Remember this trailer will be used a lot and last a lifetime. Otherwise you would just rent one for cheaper.
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by frankenstang57
They grow trailers down in Texas, don't they! I seems like all the one I was looking at on ebay came from down there! Mobile home axles... What is it with those racers and those crummy cobbled trailer? I had a friend who was trying to sell me one for $200. What a pile! Just to rant, a friend of mine who lives in Detroit bought a car in LA. I volunteered to go out and get it for him. Another friend(the racer) had a trailer down in Yuma that he needed picked up. I figured I'd do it all in one trip. When I got down there to pick up the trailer I discovered it was home built too, and they had used car dolly spindles on it instead of axles. They were even 4-lug! Stupid thing was overloaded when it was empty! Uhhgg, I'll just leave it that! I think $2k is a little on the pricey side, but that my opinion.
We have them selling trailers on every corner down here but I think there are more made in Oklahoma. I got mine for $960, with the add ons. but that was before steel went up..
10-4 on the racers and their POS trailers. I used to race stock cars and some of those guys had one trailer house axle welded to some old frame that was bending over the axle, with welds that looked like something from the school for the blind.
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