For all those towing trailers...

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Postby Rat Bastard » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:18 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:...


Nothin left of that rabbit but the turds, huh Capn'?
Read my posts with a grain of salt.
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Postby Karma » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:47 pm

I'll be pulling a trailer to Black Rock for the first time this year. Pretty excited about it. I have a 27' Toy hauler and the TV is a 2006 Chevy Silverado 2500hd.
I spent a little extra money on the hitch assembly after doing some research. I decided to purchase an Equal-i-zer Sway Control Hitch http://www.equalizerhitch.com/

Main reasons being it's pretty damn beefy, lots of good reviews all over the web, and a big one is that you can reverse without disconnecting anything. Alot of the weight distribution / anti sway hitches you can buy will not allow you to reverse without disconnecting the sway friction bar.
This hitch will let you reverse all day long (if your not in a rush to get anywhere ^_^ )

I've done two test runs with my new rig. One of them was to the desert outside of Barstow which required me to climb Cajon pass and descend on the way back. No problems whatsoever at speeds up 70 though I mainly kept between 55 and 65 if the road was straight and flat.
I did the pass at 50 up and 50 down using mostly gearing to control the descent

Got passed by a bunch of semi's. Never even felt them.

I'm also using the Prodigy brake controller. I had it installed since I'm kinda electrically inept.
Works great but one thing I discovered is dont let the installer set the braking power for you. Watch the little Vid disc you get or go to the website. Its pretty easy to set and once done correctly, it's hard to tell the trailer is back there in normal stop and go traffic. I have'nt had to try a panic stop yet but keeping an extra wide gap between you and the vehicle in front of you is definately the ticket for some peace of mind.

Make sure you also hook up that little breakaway brake cable (if your trailer is so equipped) to the TV. It automatically applies the trailer brakes if the trailer decides to go it alone.

Last but not least, get plenty of sleep before towing !!
Unlike the relaxing ride you can have in a car or truck alone, you are CONSTANTLY driving when towing. By this I mean youre always checking mirrors, watching speed, checking the trailer,watching the trans, oil and water gauges and a tad bit more tensed then normal driving. This perpetual state of EXTRA alert will tire you out more quickly then the average sunday drive.
I stop and stretch every 100 miles or so for 10 min and a smoke.

Works for me.
Hope this helps someone and see Y'all in BRC !!!!
Week and a half to go !!!
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:04 pm

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!
"Whaoomph! Whaomph! Burbbleburbblepattpattpattpatt... WHAAAAAaaoooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........!!!"
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Postby Karma » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:11 pm

Dually. Maybe someday 4 me.
^-^
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Postby gyre » Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:01 am

I don't think the tow vehicle mattered much in this case.
I wouldn't have gone over 30 mph myself.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:00 am

It's gotta be a Crew-Cab Dually... the long wheelbase helps a lot too! I have two of 'em! You can get 'em cheap because of the gas mileage... I only drive one if I need to carry or tow something, but once you use one you won't go back!
The tow vehicle makes a HUGE difference. Give me a 4-door dually with a ton or two of weight in the bed, and 60 MPH pulling an Aerostar loaded backwards, frontwards, sideways... no issues!

You don't have to be rich... one of these I dragged out of a field, dirt cheap, then bought a '76 Cadillac ultra cheap and dropped in the 500-inch motor from it, and had the rig that got my 2-ton camper and 4-ton trailer to BM 3 times and drove like a car. My last tow rigs were an F250 with one-ton springs (the original rear leafs out of it are the ones in the front suspension of my Land Yacht!!), air bags, gas shocks, all sorts of heavy-duty mods, before that a single-cab, single-wheel Chevy C30 1-ton with similar mods, and they didn't even compare to a totally stock 4-door dually!

You could go spend $50k on a new one, or just find a nice clean '80s model for cheaper than a small truck. I have less $$ in my NICE '86 GMC 4x4 crewcab dually than my girlfriend has in her 4x4 Ranger!
"Whaoomph! Whaomph! Burbbleburbblepattpattpattpatt... WHAAAAAaaoooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........!!!"
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Postby phoenix from the playa » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:15 pm

Good stuff on trailers. Please be advised on Pack Out! It's different. Less weight and more loose stuff. Sometimes we are not fully conscious when loading our trailers and forget the strategic realities of weight placement. Be advised more trailer related accidents occur on the way out of BRC.

Tie down your garbage BENEATH tarps or keep it inside your vehicle.

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Postby Isotopia » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:59 pm

I'm sure all of you dear readers know this but there might be one person slow to catch the boat.

If you tow a trailer in California. the MAXIMUM speed is 55 mph. That and you only drive in the two right most lanes (excluding merge lanes of course). The ticket is expensive and is - I believe - a two pointer if you get caught. The ticket isn't cheap either.
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Postby Key Man » Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:45 pm

This is a great thread. This year I'll try putting all the water containers (filled in Sparks) in the tow vehicle, not in the trailer. Makes a lot of sense. Lots of other very good ideas here too.
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Postby geoffgn » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:18 am

Nevada's towing speed is the same as for cars. No difference between the two unlike California. This is from the mouth of a State trooper
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Postby LisaLuckyOne » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:55 am

Every year I lose a little weight out there except for this year - somehow I managed to put on almost 10 pounds!

So yeah, I guess I am towing a trailer.

Off to the gym!
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Postby Mosin » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:50 am

Or you could go have some carne asada instead and make us chubby chasers happy in 09... ;)

Re. trailers, who saw the 3-4 carcases blown all over the shoulder of 447 on the drive out? Luckily most folks don't allow passengers back there (as per the law) so they might not all have been fatal...? I think the best rule of thumb is indeed SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.
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Postby gyre » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:20 am

The law varies on occupancy of trailers.
Some trailers have a safety structure and some don't.
You still don't want to roll around in one.
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Fri May 01, 2009 2:15 pm

Tow vehicle, 2003 Isuzu NPR cab over with 18' dry box. Not rated for GCVW But rated 12000lbs GVW. Licensed as a private vehicle(no T plate) in Oregon. It will be loaded to the max GVW.

Towing 8000lb GVW car trailer electric brakes on both axles.

I installed the hitch on the truck by welding to the framework of the step bumper and frame rails for the box. So you could say it was home built.

I am wondering if this set up would be considered legal in the eyes of the law or does the tow vehicle have to have a GCVW rating? Can anyone shed some light on this or am I just concerned about a nonexistent problem?

Thanks.
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When you pass the 4th "bridge out!" sign; the flaming death is all yours.-Knowmad-
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Postby Elliot » Sat May 02, 2009 12:05 pm

:D
Unlike the relaxing ride you can have in a car or truck alone, you are CONSTANTLY driving when towing. By this I mean youre always checking mirrors, watching speed, checking the trailer,watching the trans, oil and water gauges and a tad bit more tensed then normal driving. This perpetual state of EXTRA alert will tire you out more quickly then the average sunday drive.


This advice, which Karma wrote last August, is some of the best advice ever. If you are not getting tired pulling a trailer, you are not working hard enough at it to be safe.
I've driven 18-wheelers for a quarter century, and been involved in hiring and training of long-haul drivers. One of the scariest things I can hear a trucker tell me is that he never gets tired from driving. That means he is not constantly anticipating and preventing mishaps -- which is what you must do to avoid becoming one of those piles of splintered rubble in the ditch.
I don't mean to sound negative -- I just want everybody to get safely there and back.
:D
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue May 05, 2009 6:57 am

motskyroonmatick wrote:I installed the hitch on the truck by welding to the framework of the step bumper and frame rails for the box. So you could say it was home built.

I am wondering if this set up would be considered legal in the eyes of the law or does the tow vehicle have to have a GCVW rating? Can anyone shed some light on this or am I just concerned about a nonexistent problem?

Thanks.


I'm pretty certain that you're concerned about a non-existent problem!

Also, yes you do have more to think about when towing a trailer, I've done it for a living for 20+ years in all sizes from pickups to 105,500 pound 26-wheelers, but the amount of stress and weariness can be a lot more or a lot less depending on how well set up the rig is and how up to the job the tow vehicle is.
When considering a tow vehicle, get the longest wheelbase you can, with the shortest rear overhang. 4-door pickups are a lot more stable when towing than 2-doors. Short wheelbase motorhomes with long rear overhangs really SUCK as tow rigs, even with weight-distributing hitches.

Get a weight-distributing hitch!

If you have a camper on your truck, consider stretching your trailer tongue instead of using a hitch extension on the truck. I did! It tows way better, keeps hitch from being too far behind the truck's rear axle, and longer trailers tow straighter too. But do a REALLY beefy job of stretching the trailer tongue, that's a weak spot.

Avoid single-axle trailers. They wag a hell of a lot more.
"Whaoomph! Whaomph! Burbbleburbblepattpattpattpatt... WHAAAAAaaoooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........!!!"
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Tue May 05, 2009 12:58 pm

Thanks Captain Goddamit. Much appreciated.
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Postby EB » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:06 pm

Probably a good time to *bump* this one...
Irony. You're soaking in it.
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Postby trenton » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:15 am

[quote="frenchblue1"]Keep in mind that most 15 or 16 inch trailer tires are not rated for high speeds. I switched mine out to the Goodyear high speed radials rated for 99 mph. I shouldn't say "switched" I should say replaced after having 2 blow-outs going to Burning Man. The tread blows off taking the fender with it and it launches it against the RV breaking lights, fiberglass, etc. Notfun...
Make certain you check your air pressure at every stop because when it goes down by 20% your asking for a blow-out. I shouldn't say "asking" I should say being to lazy and/or excited to get to your destination that you neglect to do the things your grandpa taught you to do. :wink:[/quote]
Running car tires on a trailer is The Most dangerous thing you can do. Be prepared to replace you tires VERY SOON .
1 dont over load your trailer
2 dont run car tires
3 run slower
4 dont be a DUDE and follow mfg instructions
I have over 150k miles on my 24ft race trailer with zero problems Just saying Dont turn your trip into a bad trip
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Postby ygmir » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:30 am

I might add make sure your tires are properly inflated......tires don't usually fail from being "over" inflated, but, sure do from "under"........

on my car trailer, I run 10ply truck tires.......work good.

I'd agree with not running car tires, they're usually only 2 or 4 ply.......low load rating, soft sidewalls........
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Postby Elliot » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:36 am

:D
And while we are at it... wheel bearings. Unless you know for certain that the trailer wheel bearings are in good condition with plenty of grease and proper adjustment, have them overhauled.

Trailer wheel bearings are one of those things that are out of sight and out of mind, and get neglected for years -- and then go ka-blooie. This is quite common, and far worse than tire failure.

Be safe out there!
:D
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:10 am

Archantael wrote:
helitack wrote:...but it's a speed "limit", you don't have to/shouldn't go that speed if:
1. There is no posted minimum speed
2. You are not an experienced, and by experienced I mean someone who is a competent trailer tower which most people are not, towing changes vehicle handling in a big way.
3. Rule #2 means that most people have no business driving a car trailer combo at above 55 mph unless you can handle it, safely
4. You don't have to go the speed limit if you don't want to...


While you raise some valid points a little courtesy goes a long ways. If you're creeping up a scenic route in the mountains pulling a trailer and you end up with a line of cars behind you, pulling over to let them pass would be a prudent thing to do.

As for 447 pulling over is not an option. If I had my way about it if a vehicle is going so slow as to be a hazard to others and is blocking traffic, I'd like to see the NHP issue tickets. I'm sorry but driving a motor vehicle is a priviledge and responsibility, not a right. If you are not financially capable of operating a reasonable and safe vehicle, trailer, bus, whatever, park the damn thing until you can.

You said it, driving is a privilege, not a right, so you need to tolerate large vehicles and towing vehicles that cannot operate safely at high speeds!
Yes, pulling over to allow faster traffic to pass is proper and even required, but it is legal to tow a trailer and it isn't always safe to drive fast with one.
If 40 - 45, the speed we've been discussing, is what you consider a hazard and you're so impatient that you can't tolerate it, the problem is you.
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Postby unjonharley » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:51 am

My van pulling a properly loaded small trailer runs best at 54mph. If you can't live with out doing 55 behind me. You have the same problem as hundreds of others. Your an asshole. No I am not pulling over on a "steep" grade for you to pass. It's not going to take more than 5 min. to top the grade and fined a turn out. So what are you doing with that important 5 min I stole from you? Scream past me into an oncoming and killn yourself and family?
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:05 pm

Well now if it was YOU I was following, it'd be the smell I was offended by...
"Whaoomph! Whaomph! Burbbleburbblepattpattpattpatt... WHAAAAAaaoooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........!!!"
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:55 pm

..of course then there is the opposite problem - where one properly equipped rig (say my F350 pulling my car trailer) tries to pass and pull next to another properly equipped rig (say the Captain's pulling HIS boat car), both going the speed limit, so's to get a refill on their margarita....
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
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Postby unjonharley » Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:44 pm

dragonfly Jafe wrote:..of course then there is the opposite problem - where one properly equipped rig (say my F350 pulling my car trailer) tries to pass and pull next to another properly equipped rig (say the Captain's pulling HIS boat car), both going the speed limit, so's to get a refill on their margarita....


No problem.. The oncoming will understand a thirsty man. Just push the old Ford a little and flatten out that cam some more,,
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:35 pm

My first couple BM trips, I had a 100-gallon fuel tank in my trailer, and a pump and hose connected to the truck for "in-flight" refueling. I suppose something along those lines could be done for margarita dispensing, if you outfit your truck with something like the incoming line on the front of a fighter jet.
That would reduce the hostility of someone following me at 35 MPH on the 447 at night, when I'm afraid to drive my 22,000 pound truck/camper/trailer any faster because I don't want to hit a cow standing in the road.
"Whaoomph! Whaomph! Burbbleburbblepattpattpattpatt... WHAAAAAaaoooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........!!!"
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Postby Elliot » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:45 pm

: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
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Postby TomServo » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:56 am

ALWAYS make sure the rear axle is within 40 feet of the king pin! In california, anyways... also don't exceed 34,000 lbs on your drive axles and 34,000 lbs on your trailer tandems. Trolly brakes are NOT a toy! Do not use them to play baseball with your trailer!
anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

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Postby TomServo » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:58 am

ALWAYS make sure the rear axle is within 40 feet of the king pin! In california, anyways... also don't exceed 34,000 lbs on your drive axles and 34,000 lbs on your trailer tandems. Trolly brakes are NOT a toy! Do not use them to play baseball with your trailer!
anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

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