For all those towing trailers...

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Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:13 am

Elliot wrote::D
As a matter of friendly advice to younger people (most burners being younger than I am), I'll mention that I long since learned to accept the speed of the vehicle in front of me as "prevailing road conditions". Benefits include lower blood pressure, longer life expectancy etc.
:D


Those super slow busses and truck and trailer's I passed on the 447 way back from BRC last year did indeed raise my blood pressure and lower my life expectancy. They were good clean passes. Generally I don't pass many vehicles but few go so slow out here in defaultia as some of the sketchy and overloaded vehicles that leave BRC.

The person attempting to turn around the rental truck with the pull behind generator in the middle of a corner was super scary. I was glad I had my brake controller set to initially brake hard on that one.

I'll never leave monday night again. I must have seen at least a half dozen spots where vehicles left the road and then there were the guys that ran in to the herd of cattle. Ouch! That left a mark!
It was a very dangerous drive that night.

For all of you who are new to the event. Do not overestimate your ability to drive safely as you exodus. A week of partying in the heat and routine sleep deprivation take it's tole. Driving is a complex task and you want all your faculties at 100% before you head out.
I would advise against traveling at night when leaving the event. Just get another nights sleep and leave when you wake up in the morning. I bring a tent just for that last night so that all I have to do in the morning is tear it down, have a quick breakfast, do a walk around of the vehicle and head out. This year I will use that tent. I really pressed my luck last year.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:14 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:Equal-i-zer hitch and Prodigy brake controller: both are excellent, and are what I run too.
I'm towing my 8500-pound BM trailer with a motorhome this year, which will be nice when I get there, but I'll miss the 4-door one-ton "dually"/camper for driving, it actually DIDN'T feel any different with a heavy trailer! No stress at all. And that was WITHOUT a weight-distributing hitch!


Some of you heard, but I never made it to BRC in that motorhome towing my trailer. It was a fairly short wheelbase Class A with the usual long rear overhang virtually all motorhomes have. I knew it wouldn't be ideal but I had the equalizing-hitch spring bars cranked as far as they would go, and my trailer's tongue is stretched extra long (done for other reasons but it does make it tow straighter). I ended up having a catastrophic failure with the RV, but prior to that it handled so badly I was about drop the trailer at a friend's place in Oregon and go home for my 4-door truck anyway.

The RV had the exact same one-ton Chevy chassis under it my truck has, and similar weight. The only functional difference was the RV had a little less wheelbase and a lot more rear overhang. The truck/camper handles like the trailer wasn't there.
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Postby Bling » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:26 am

We'll be towing an RV we built, using our Yukon--from WI. We have an Equal-i-zer Sway Control Hitch http://www.equalizerhitch.com/, a brake controller, AND a wind deflector, since the thing is quite a bit like towing a wall (it's 9'2"). The hitch and deflector both help reduce sway and wind effects from passing trucks. I'm petrified of a blow-out, though, since the trailer is so tall and only has 2 tires. Thanks for all of the tire-checking tips! I've cut & pasted them into our planning document so we can be religious about tire pressure, etc. on the (LOOONNNGG) road.

I'd show y'all the trailer but can't figure out how to post a photo!
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Postby ygmir » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:41 am

post your pic on photobucket or flickr or one of those sites, then use the "Img" link on the posting page..........


single axles on large trailers scare me........
or, can you run duals?
How much does the trailer weigh?
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Postby Bling » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:03 am

Oh, so Facebook would work?
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Postby ygmir » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:05 am

I don't know.
you'd have to try.
but, you "link" to the photo, from here.

so, enter the URL between the "IMG" things........and, usually, the end of the address needs to be "JPG, IMG, GIF" or something like that.

I'm not supre techy, so, someone else might be able to offer more specifics.
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Postby Bling » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:10 am

Okay, if this works, here's our trailer: [img]http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5188741&id=729867176[/img]
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Postby ygmir » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:11 am

Image
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Postby Elorrum » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:12 am

motskyroonmatick wrote:I bring a tent just for that last night so that all I have to do in the morning is tear it down, have a quick breakfast, do a walk around of the vehicle and head out.


This sounds like a good trick. I've brought this tent (Black Diamond megamid, no floor, just a center pole and stake it out,) to set up for Saturday eve, but the last two years' Saturdays have been so windy, that packing was Sunday morning anyway (have to work on Monday). I did try to drive out after the burn two years ago. I don't drink, but I was not o.k. to drive as I was almost falling asleep on the road... A BAD AND DANGEROUS DECISION!!! I ended up sleeping in a rest stop, and didn't save any time at all on the trip. I'll try for the little tent again this year, and I'll get started packing early Saturday before the winds start. I'd also like it for my first arrival night sleeping... front seat sleeping in a jam packed full car is no good, and I just haven't had the gas to set up my regular tent, when I get in around 3:00.
Image
This is my backup shelter and I keep it in the car, about the size of a small loaf of bread packed up, weighs 4 lbs. If you raise up the pole, it can work as shade as well.
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Postby ygmir » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:14 am

Bling wrote:Okay, if this works, here's our trailer: Image


very cool trailer.......very cool indeed.

right click on image on facebook
select "copy image location"
click "Img"
paste (cntrl v)
click "Img' again
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Postby Bling » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:14 am

Thanks, Ygmir! Must be nice to practically be at ground zero. At least you don't need to take 2 weeks off for a week of Burning Man. :D
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Postby ygmir » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:16 am

welcome.

yeah, it's only about 6 hours to drive there (pulling all my gear, slowly, trailer and all)

but, I'm there early, and, late, so........ends up 2 weeks anyway.
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Postby Bling » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:36 am

Oh! I forgot to mention the best thing I learned from another listserv with folks who build vehicles like ours. It's not as important what your vehicle can TOW as [b]WHAT IT CAN STOP.[/b] If you're on a hill and need to come to a safe stop, and the trailer weighs more than the car, or your brakes aren't up to the task, you can run into real problems.

We'd actually been planning on keeping our Gypsy wagon to a weight that could have been pulled by my Acura MDX (about 2500 lbs.) That info about stopping made it clear that this was unrealistic, so we ended up trading our other car to get the Yukon, which has the towing power--and the STOPPING power to pull it more safely. And, it ended up weighing 4,300 lbs., so it's just as well we did. ;-)
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Postby Tiahaar » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:57 pm

Hey Bling, first, awesome camper trailer! Very artistic.

Second though, 4300 lbs? Yes you are right to be concerned about the single axle trailer. Please reassure us here that you've got a 5200lb rated heavy duty axle on there. Since you mention you have a brake controller you must have electric brakes, very good!

Third, check that you have LT rated heavy duty trailer specific tires good for at least 3000lbs each (load range E, F, G, or even H), have a spare(s), and drive safe, hope to see that wonderful creation on the playa this year!
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Postby pinemom » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:49 am

And Please...take them wheels off and check your BEARING'S!!!!!

Another one of the top five reasons trailers flip on 447! Froze up bearings, or worse exploding bearings!

Which I believe its the first thing that causes the second thing.

Not very hard considering what lives it saves!
We will be doing our campers bearings this yr. We went out last yr without even checking them after the campers purchase...we were living very dangerously by that decision. And were very blessed that NOTHING did happen!

The equipment trailer we got and rebuilt from the ground up, one side was fine the other already half the ball bearings were squirted out when I pulled the cap, and of course square! not nice and round....

So yes, we did all four wheels!
The trailer can haul up to and over 8000...very important!

Everyone...including seasoned veterans...get your Bearings checked!!!!!
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Postby Bling » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:28 am

Heh heh heh. 5200 lb. axel? Actually, thinking that we were aiming for 2500 lbs., we had a 3000 lb. axel and teeny little 14" tires. We took it out ONCE that way, and, oddly, the trailer brakes weren't working. So, as soon as we came back, it went to the trailer shop. Why weren't the trailer brakes working? Because the axel sliced the brake lines. Why did the axel slice the brake lines? Because the springs were fully compressed. Hmmm. Best weigh that puppy and see what she turned out to be...

We ended up replacing the axel, tires, springs, and brakes! Basically everything under the platform is new. (They suggested getting a new trailer to put underneath, but the construction made that...challenging). We also had a blacksmith friend straighten out the frame (it had BOWED under the weight) and weld steel supports all the way from the hitch end back to the axel. She's pretty steady now, but BOUNCED when we drove--so we replaced the Yukon's shocks, too. We still get a bit of bounce on some roads--all ideas welcome.

Tires are close to brand new, so the bearings should be fine, but we'll pack 'em anyway--and we DO have to check whether the tires are rated for highways. We've never taken her more than 2 hours from home--but ALWAYS on highways, and with just 2 trailer tires, a blowout could be catastrophic. With the weight-distributing hitch, the whole car could flip...

If we had her to build again, we'd use 4 tires, but that ship has sailed.
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Postby Bling » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:29 am

Oops--forgot to mention that the new axel is rated for 6,000 lbs. Just in case.
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Postby ibdave » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:11 am

pinemom wrote:And Please...take them wheels off and check your BEARING'S!!!!!

Another one of the top five reasons trailers flip on 447! Froze up bearings, or worse exploding bearings!


I have been taking my trailer for 12 years. I pack my bearings each year and the only time it hits the road is for BM..During last years prep, the bearings needed replacement, so I replaced both bearing sets.

We all OVERLOAD or trailers.. So take pinemom's words to heart.. :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Postby pinemom » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:20 am

~ Smooch ~
IBDave!
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Postby ygmir » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:46 am

ibdave wrote:
pinemom wrote:And Please...take them wheels off and check your BEARING'S!!!!!

Another one of the top five reasons trailers flip on 447! Froze up bearings, or worse exploding bearings!


I have been taking my trailer for 12 years. I pack my bearings each year and the only time it hits the road is for BM..During last years prep, the bearings needed replacement, so I replaced both bearing sets.

We all OVERLOAD or trailers.. So take pinemom's words to heart.. :shock: :shock: :shock:


I've heard you're quite the "bearing packer"..........
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:11 am

It's a really good idea to get a heavy enough trailer to haul your stuff without putting it overweight! The worst thing I regularly see is those little hardware-store trailers, usually sold in kit form, often with skinny and/or small-diameter tires, loaded with anything other than a load of dry leaves.
If you come to BM with a small-wheel trailer, at least do whatever it takes to bolt some real 14" or 15" wheels and tires onto it. The tiny wheels will be spinning way too fast at freeway speeds, and on an extended trip under a heavy load, your bearings will be getting really hot. That's not good.
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Postby mdmf007 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:18 am

Also when buying replacement wheel bearings and your given the choice between the 12.00$ and the 30.00$ dollar bearing, buy the 30.00. Theres a reason it costs twice as much.
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Postby Bling » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:27 am

Good to know. I suppose that's per-tire?
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Postby Tiahaar » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:01 pm

Bling sounds like you have the trailer well fortified, most excellent. Besides we all like to give out tips to those who use them!

I once had a single axle camper trailer...bounced like crazy on those stupid concrete hiways with the huge expansion gaps some states build. Next trailer was not much bigger but had walking tandem axles and was much smoother.

Likely the trailer itself doesn't have shocks now right? (most don't) Your welder friend could add some hangers and put some on, that would help dampen the bounce too.
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Postby Bling » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:04 pm

Don't know if the trailer has shocks. :shock: Good question! Our welder friend is always up for making some extra cash. We'll check.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:26 pm

After having to replace a friend’s trailer bearings on the side of a busy Denver Interstate, and having to search for hours and finding the parts house last minute (really… like 4:55 on a Saturday afternoon), I can tell you that I now carry at least one set of inner and outer bearings for my own trailer. Still in the clear plastic package along with a tub of grease in the emergency kit. Oh... and a bearing puller, too.

I would advise having such a kit along with inspecting/servicing your bearings before Burning Man.

And I like your Gypsy trailer. Very cool. For a long time I wanted to build one and heat it with a small pot-belly woodstove. Seemed cozy and fun.
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Postby TomServo » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:31 pm

motskyroonmatick wrote:
Elliot wrote::D
As a matter of friendly advice to younger people (most burners being younger than I am), I'll mention that I long since learned to accept the speed of the vehicle in front of me as "prevailing road conditions". Benefits include lower blood pressure, longer life expectancy etc.
:D


Those super slow busses and truck and trailer's I passed on the 447 way back from BRC last year did indeed raise my blood pressure and lower my life expectancy. They were good clean passes. Generally I don't pass many vehicles but few go so slow out here in defaultia as some of the sketchy and overloaded vehicles that leave BRC.

The person attempting to turn around the rental truck with the pull behind generator in the middle of a corner was super scary. I was glad I had my brake controller set to initially brake hard on that one.

I'll never leave monday night again. I must have seen at least a half dozen spots where vehicles left the road and then there were the guys that ran in to the herd of cattle. Ouch! That left a mark!
It was a very dangerous drive that night.

For all of you who are new to the event. Do not overestimate your ability to drive safely as you exodus. A week of partying in the heat and routine sleep deprivation take it's tole. Driving is a complex task and you want all your faculties at 100% before you head out.
I would advise against traveling at night when leaving the event. Just get another nights sleep and leave when you wake up in the morning. I bring a tent just for that last night so that all I have to do in the morning is tear it down, have a quick breakfast, do a walk around of the vehicle and head out. This year I will use that tent. I really pressed my luck last year.



Were the tractor trailers traveling @ the posted speed limit? I've driven a loaded combo to BRC, and only a couple hills made the truck slow down. If they were going the speed limit, what's the problem? Running 5mph over, on that stretch, at that particular time, is inviting a ticket.
I always tell people to drive like it's their job. The Black Rock Desert will still be their, when were all dead and gone. What's the rush?

And, I agree. Leave with your head 100%!
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..
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Postby Bling » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:33 pm

Thanks, LeChatNoir. We actually do have a small woodstove inside it, but since actually using it would compromise the integrity of the roof, which is more-or-less waterproof (there is this one teensy leak...), we haven't hooked it up, and we have a small propane heater for when it drops below 30°. It's made of steel SIPs, so there's 3.5" of insulation all the way around. She's pretty sweet inside--here are some more photos if you're interested. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=1 ... cbe8ff5545
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:42 pm

Ohhh… pressed tin ceiling! Nice inside, too. That reminds me...

Another word of advice… bring the older linens for the Black Rock Desert. Whatever you bring will never quite be the same again. You will forever be reminded of the playa when you shake it, move it… heck even sort of brush by it.

The talc-like dust gets everywhere. I consider it a condiment at this point.
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Postby Bling » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:45 pm

We pretty much only use the older ones for camping anyway, but we should take the quilts out of there. My sweetie's great grandma (I think) made them. And we could take down the bed curtains, since we're planning on keeping the doors closed and putting furnace filters inside the windows to keep out SOME of the dust... (maybe).

Found the tin on Craigslist and painted it--$50 for enough to do the whole ceiling!
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