Trailer hunt

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Trailer hunt

Postby Uriah » Tue May 08, 2007 10:54 pm

I am working on an art car that will be ready for this years burn. Unfortunately it is not road legal so I need to find a flat bed trailer or car hauler. I live in Ventura County but I don't mind driving a distance if you know of one that isn't in this area.

Thanks for any help!
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Postby falk » Wed May 09, 2007 7:03 pm

Me too. Looking in SF Bay.

I'd try Craig's List. I haven't had a lot of luck meself, but maybe I'm being too picky.
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Postby benenergy » Wed May 09, 2007 7:15 pm

You might want to look for a tow dolly, which is just a two wheeled trailer that lifts up the front of the vehicle onto it. They're much less expensive, easier to store, and might even handle better.
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Postby Uriah » Thu May 10, 2007 8:38 am

I'm worried that a car dolly won't have the ground clearance in the rear that I need. I'll keep looking!
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Postby mdmf007 » Thu May 10, 2007 8:54 am

Deflate the front tires on a the car on the dolly, and that will help for ground departure on the rear end.
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Postby Thecatman » Sat May 12, 2007 9:55 pm

[quote="mdmf007"]Deflate the front tires on a the car on the dolly, and that will help for ground departure on the rear end.[/quote] Good idea but they will need an air compressor to reinflate them plus a power source for the compressor
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Postby Thecatman » Sat May 12, 2007 10:04 pm

You might try U-haul or Penske. They have auto tranpoters. I don't know what they would charge for a one week, round trip rental. Might be pricey but it's a place to start. They will want to know what type of vehicle is doing the towing and what is being towed. If you decorated for arguments sake say, a 1976 Ford Pinto :lol: tell them taht's what you'll be towing
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this vs that

Postby Rusted Iron » Sun May 13, 2007 4:33 pm

We have used both a car dolly and a flat bed trailer and they both have upsides and down.

The dolly isn't really designed for long distance transport. The straps loosen with each mile and occasionally come undone. (We added safety chains, just for that reason.) Old straps are more stretched out. They are often wider than the tow rig, so watch the roadside bike riders, etc.

At least here in California, as long as the back wheels touch the road, the car being towed has to be registered.

The trailer is heavier. At least ours is. A dedicated car carrier should be lighter.

What is your tow vehicle?
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Postby Uriah » Mon May 14, 2007 9:39 am

currently the vehicle being towed is a 1992 toyota 2wd pickup. We are planning on using a ford explorer to tow the trailer. I don't have specs on the explorer because it belongs to one of my travelling partners.
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Postby Token » Mon May 14, 2007 12:37 pm

I doubt the Ford Explorer can tow more than 4 or 5 thousand pounds.

You need a different tow vehicle. At a minimum a 3/4 ton truck, a full ton truck would be much better.
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some specs

Postby Rusted Iron » Mon May 14, 2007 6:52 pm

Just for really basic reference:

2006 model Ford Explorers can tow 7,300lbs, or 5,100lbs, depending on the model.

A 2006 Toyota Tacoma weighs just over 4000lbs. It's probably heavier than a 1992 model.

That would seem to put you in the ball park, but that's not counting the weight of the trailer that you're carrying, plus passengers and extra cargo. Those factors will affect acceloration, but most importantly, braking.

I've towed with and without trailer brakes. They really are helpful with heavy loads, but don't help if the load is too heavy for the tow vehicle--which I learned from experience.
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Postby Thecatman » Mon May 14, 2007 8:38 pm

Regardless of what kind of vehicle you use for the towing, four things you want to check or have checked by a good mechanic is first and foremsost, the towing vehicles brakes. To assist in braking, alot of trailers have a surge brake built into the drawbar, some have electric brakes (which the towing vehicle needs to be rigged for) and some don't have any brakes. Second of course, the towing vehicles coolant system. Third, if the towing vehicle has an automatic transmission, you might want a transmission cooler installed, if you don't have one. Fourth, tires. You might want to throw in a fresh oil change too. No matter where in California you come from, to get to BM you will cross the Sierra Nevada and will more than likely cross at least one pass that supasses 7,000 feet . If you come up 395 there are several. Plus going back down. You will be driving these routes in the middle of summer and this will take a toll on the towing vehicle , again, regardless of what kind of vehicle you use. If you have'nt done so already, check the BM website under preperation and click saftey. The N.H.P. gives some good suggestions
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Postby Token » Mon May 14, 2007 10:40 pm

Towing can be dangerous if you do not follow the rules.

In California, any trailer heavier than 2000 lb must have brakes.

The vehicle listed towing capacity is a sunny day, zero cargo, zero passengers, all optional towing packages installed etc. It is one of three critical values that must all be considered:

1. Tow Vehicle Cargo Capacity - This includes people, fuel, hitch, gear and Tongue Weight.
2. Tow Vehicle Towing Capacity.
3. Combined Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight.

With my truck, I run out of Cargo Capacity way before I run out of Towing Capacity. This is typical for most vehicles shy of a full ton truck.

Secondary considerations are:

a. Axle Weight Rating
b. Tire Rating
c. Tow Vehicle wheelbase

Any one of the above can cause unsafe conditions if recommendations are exceeded.

The crappy part of all this is the lack of information in the Tow Vehicle user manual on how to figure out what can be done and what is safe. Instead you must look at the door sticker for one piece of data, then in the glove box for the other two, look up the tire manufacturers tire pressure vs load ratings, then do some calculations similar to the 1040 IRS form ...

I personally would rent a box truck and car carrier package deal from Budget or Penske. Alternatively you can go to construction equipment rental companies and rent pretty big equipment carriers and trucks.
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Wed May 16, 2007 5:30 pm

Im looking for a light-duty trailer to haul bikes, PVC and billboard vinyl and some other assorted shit the 18 hours from Denver to BM. Harbor Freight's $300 trailers caught my eye. Is that price a red-flag for crappy quality? Are 10 inch tires road worthy? Any wise sage out there with an opinion on trailers?
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Postby Rusted Iron » Wed May 16, 2007 7:13 pm

A campmate of ours bought one, last year. He spent a couple of days assembling it and reinforcing it, but he was able to carry a lot of stuff. Nothing particulary heavy, though.
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Postby ibdave » Wed May 16, 2007 9:32 pm

Teo del Fuego wrote:Im looking for a light-duty trailer to haul bikes, PVC and billboard vinyl and some other assorted shit the 18 hours from Denver to BM. Harbor Freight's $300 trailers caught my eye. Is that price a red-flag for crappy quality? Are 10 inch tires road worthy? Any wise sage out there with an opinion on trailers?



just make sure you buy 1 spare tire
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Postby gyre » Wed May 16, 2007 10:51 pm

I recommend at least a 13 inch wheel.
See what you can get in true trailer tire sizes.
I would suggest shopping used.
I had my small one built because I couldn't find one to my liking.
I wanted lightness and a decent suspension.
I have towed mine with a Fiat Spider.

A one wheel trailer is a good way to go and cheap, but you need a very good one wheel setup.
They can't handle as much weight, but tow well.
Try to put the heavy stuff on the vehicle.
Buy real safety chains.
Put side turn signals and good running lights on the trailer.
Also dot diamondstripe tape.
I suggest locks too.

If you find a good flatbed car trailer, that can be a good base.
They are not usually very light.
Surge brakes are nice.

My small trailer is made from an older subaru rear end from a wagon.
Narrow but a great one piece setup.
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Postby gyre » Wed May 16, 2007 10:53 pm

Get good quality tiedowns and build connectors into your trailer too.
Modular construction is useful.
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Postby AntiM » Thu May 17, 2007 8:06 am

When you are towing, reduced speed is advisable.

If anyone needs an excellent custom built trailer, inexpensively, we have Big Bubba's manufacturing right here in Ogden. Don't require a down payment, you just walk in , tell them what you want, and it will be ready in a week or two. So if you're ever in Northern Utah ....
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Thu May 17, 2007 1:11 pm

thanks guys, tips appreciated
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Postby wedeliver » Thu May 17, 2007 1:36 pm

Those trailers work great. How much weight are you going to carry? I could not find a trailer with 10" tires, but with either 12" or 8".
"90154-1VGA. HEAVY DUTY 1175 LB. CAPACITY 48" x 96" FOLDABLE UTILITY TRAILER WITH 12" WHEELS" for $269.00 but if you have more then 1/2 ton of stuff to bring..

94564-0VGA. 1740 LB CAPACITY SUPER DUTY 48" x 96" UTILITY TRAILER WITH 12" FIVE LUG WHEELS AND TIRES for $399.99. 600 more pounds capacity.



Teo del Fuego wrote:Im looking for a light-duty trailer to haul bikes, PVC and billboard vinyl and some other assorted shit the 18 hours from Denver to BM. Harbor Freight's $300 trailers caught my eye. Is that price a red-flag for crappy quality? Are 10 inch tires road worthy? Any wise sage out there with an opinion on trailers?
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Thu May 17, 2007 1:57 pm

I guessed wrong on the tire size. I was interested in the first trailer you posted We Deliver. I have a 4 cylinder Subaru Outback Wagon, so I definitely aint pulling a lot of weight. Just need someplace to put the bulkier items.

So you think the 8" tires will be okay with say, 500 lb load?
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Postby unjonharley » Thu May 17, 2007 7:02 pm

I've been pulling one of those small trailers for years to BM.. Motor bike. gas, water and he rest of the camp.. Well over 1000 lb.. That over three mountain summits about 1000 miles
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Postby gyre » Thu May 17, 2007 7:15 pm

You do have to take much more care the smaller the tires are.
They also become far more sensitive to balance issues.
I have carried over a ton on high profile passenger tires on 13 inch rims.
My choices in dedicated trailer tires go up to high weight capacity tires in a name brand tire for a 13 inch.
I think I have three different weight ratings to choose from.
The trailer specific tires are supposed to track better.
Spec trailer tires are mostly made for capacity, but the better ones are supposed to be made for resistance to degradation in storage.
The tire rack had good prices.
Check around for weight ratings.
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Postby unjonharley » Fri May 18, 2007 6:35 am

Forgot to tell you about the tires.. Don't trust the factory tires..

My camp mate broke down (fuel pump) so I went on.. The tires cooled in the night cold.. So they were running low pressure.. Bang.. So I camped for the night,, The other van had the tools so I waited.. He called about noon and said it would be four days to get on the road again..

So i found a old 2x4, cut it up and made a jack stand.. After a lot of hours a guy showed up with the right jack.. Now I had the wheel in hand.. Next i hitch 30 miles for a new 6 py tire.. $22.00.. Then hitch back 30 mile.. Bumed another jack and started out in the dark.. 12 miles bang.. Called down the mountain to a friend.. I needed a jack and tire iron.. Went to sleep.. Later that night my friends wife showed up with food and tools.. He sent her so he could make it to work in the morning.. I, Back to sleep.. Morning, jack and remove the tire.. Used the home made jack stand under the toung.. 42 miles to a new $22.00 (6)ply tire and back.. Never leave without tools and get rid of those cheap tires to start with..

When my friends wife showed up, she took one look at me and said.. What the hell did you do to yourself?.. It's only a 10-12 hour drive from BM... So wait until home for a shower.. But add another day of (shit) and I looked pretty bad.. My hair was white from playa dust and uncombed.. And I was dirty from working a day on the other tire.. I must have looked a mess to a nonburner
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