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Old 10-08-2004, 06:48 PM
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Flatbed trailer - what length?

I'm thinking about buying a flatdeck trailer for hauling cars around. What would you say is a good length for the trailer deck? 16' trailers seem to be a bit cheaper, but maybe I need an 18'? What are you guys using? I want to be able to haul pretty big cars. It has to be able to hold my 64 oldsmobile jetstar 88. This isn't a small car. Would it fit on a 16' deck?
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dh

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Old 10-08-2004, 07:43 PM
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Most car hauler flat bed trailers that have the rear section that is angled down a bit (dovetail) are 22 feet long (tongue and all). You might consider a dovetail trailer if you have a car that is low. The dovetail decreases the angle of the ramps allowing the car to clear the back of the trailer as it rolls onto the ramps..

Vince
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:19 PM
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We have a 16' with the dovetail, or beavertail ramp ends, and the open center for less trailer weight.

It works very well with the SBC Mustang race car, and handled the '79 Lincoln I just scrapped OK.

But, if I were to buy another one, I would go with the 18' to have more room for a bigger (deeper) toolbox instead of the shallow one that we have now.
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Old 10-08-2004, 10:33 PM
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Re: Flatbed trailer - what length?

Quote:
Originally posted by dh79
16' trailers seem to be a bit cheaper, but maybe I need an 18'? What are you guys using? I want to be able to haul pretty big cars. It has to be able to hold my 64 oldsmobile jetstar 88.

I have a 16 footer.........and it works for me BUT you should go ahead and get the 18 footer.......at least.

The 1964 Olds is a big car. With the 18 footer ( or even a 20 ) you can move the car forward/backward to get the tonque weight right.

I have the larger 2 and 5/8 ball also.........



All I haul are the 40 Ford or my 32 Ford.............see my avatar.



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Old 10-10-2004, 03:30 PM
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18' with a 2' dovetail.
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Old 10-10-2004, 06:52 PM
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Deuce... That trailer looks long enough. You didn't need to shorten the car. OUCH
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Old 10-10-2004, 07:39 PM
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Trailer lenght

It took a little bit to upload the picture to my gallery, but you can see my truck and 14 foot flat bed trailer in there. I don't have a dove tail, just two 6 foot ramps to toss in the truck in the box after loading. It seems to work well enough for me, but if I were to buy another trailer, I'd get at least an 18' with a dove tail.
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Old 10-10-2004, 08:24 PM
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Great, thanks for the replies. I'm going to keep my eyes open for a good 18'. I'd definately like a dovetail, but it's going to kinda depend on what I can fit in my budget.
Since we're on the subject of trailers, anybody have a preference between electric or hydraulic surge brakes?
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Old 10-10-2004, 09:27 PM
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I can't say for sure on either. The trailer has electric brakes, but I still haven't bought the setup for the truck. It costs around $125 installed so maybe I should get it.... Soon.
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Old 10-10-2004, 09:48 PM
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Pick your posion on brakes.
Electric give you much better control but require a controller in any vehicle you use to tow.
With surge (hydraulic) brakes, you don't have the ability to control them but you can drop the trailer on anything that has a tow ball and you still have brakes. For a big trailer - like an RV - electric is the clear winner. For smaller trailers, it's much more of a toss up. If you tow on snow and ice, go with the electric. If you do general towing and want convience, go with surge. I have surge on the boat trailer and electric on the flatbed. I give electric a slight edge but wouldn't consider changing a trailer from one to the other.
As far as size, I've carried a '90 Deville and a '56 Studebaker 4 door on my 16' but it is totally flat with longer ramps. I wouldn't want a 16' if part of it was the dovetail.
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Old 10-11-2004, 12:14 AM
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Since I am into the bigger cars such as my 74 coupe deville, I am looking at getting an 18 or 20.
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Old 10-11-2004, 03:21 PM
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I had a quite a long one when I towed mine across the country. 20 or 22' I believe. Used a 2" ball.

K
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Old 10-11-2004, 07:37 PM
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Pick one that suits your intended usage but do remember that the longer they are, the harder they are to manuver in tight places (unless you have a GMC Qudrasteer)
If you have a choice, the 2 5/16" ball is better simply because it gives you a greater safety margin. With a large car loaded, you could be up around the rated capacity for some 2" balls. My trailer may be a bit heaver than average but it tips the scales right at 2000 pounds.
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:03 PM
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16' flatbed, 2 5/16 ball, electric brakes, no dovetail because I have a steep driveway the back edge barely clears as it sits now. The advantage to electric brakes is no one else usually has a controller so you tell them they cant borrow your trailer because its illegal to tow a tandem axle trailer without brakes. It saves on abuse from inexperienced driver tearing up your equipment . Largest vehicle I towed on it was a 72 Chevy 1/2ton long bed truck. I decided to add side rails for strength before I do that again. I have to say I would be more comfortable with an 18'.
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Old 10-13-2004, 01:25 AM
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2-manytoyz,
I know the feeling. The license plate on my trailer is mounted on a hinge because it was getting bent up every time I pulled in the driveway. Now it just swings back out of the way.
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