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Old September 20th, 2006, 07:32 AM   #1
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Default Please school me on trailers ....

I know this sounds pretty basic, but I've never owned a trailer and I need some info.

I'd like to buy a trailer to haul my TJ and potentially a larger trail rig like a WJ or CJ8. I'm not planning to get a full sized Ford Bogger or anything. I'd also like to use the trailer for quads and sleds, plus the occassional use for moving, etc.

I have a 'burban to tug it, and I'll get a brake controller installed, but what should be looking for on the trailer itself.

I'm assuming it should be a double axle, but I don't know. Metal deck or wood?

Where should I look, and what should I expect to spend?

TIA
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Old September 20th, 2006, 08:05 AM   #2
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http://yellowpages.superpages.com/su...e=MI&zip=48164


I WENT THERE I GOT MY 18' CAR HULLER NEW FOR $1350 WITH A WOOD FLOOR AND NEW TIRES. IT WAS A SCRATCH & DENT ( THE FENDERS GOT DAMMAGED IN SHIPPING ) NOTHING A 3BL HAMMER AND A CAN OF PAINT COULD NOT FIX.

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Old September 20th, 2006, 08:11 AM   #3
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The deck is up to you... and it also varies in price. At minimum I would look a a 7,000 lb load rated trailer. Both axles should have trailer brakes. Since you plan on hauling over 3,500lbs. You will need a "break-a-way kit", and a good set of tires. This is a good guide line anything more is a bonus, but more expensive.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 08:18 AM   #4
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I also second the wood deck I have seen more than one metal deck rust out (how often would you crawl underneath and power wash it?) and a wood deck just needs some Thompsons from time to time.

Get one that is low I doubt you want one with the tires completely under the deck (like alot of the heavy equipment haulers) because it puts your COG up too high. And the ramps that you need to get it up (the truck) are alot more level and you will have a easier time if you don't have a running truck at the end of the day

I would prefer one that had fixed pivoting ramps as well the detachable ones are kind of a hassle in my opinion.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #5
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There's also aluminum deck trailers too. Cuts weight down a bit for mileage and braking, and doesn't rust.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 08:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lothos
There's also aluminum deck trailers too. Cuts weight down a bit for mileage and braking, and doesn't rust.
Would be nice especially for a lighter vehicle like a jeep but certainly more expensive then a steel one.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 08:45 AM   #7
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JUST A HEADS UP ONCE YOU GET IT GO TO A EMPTY PARKING LOT AND SPENT SOME TIME LEARNING HOW TO DRIVE WITH IT ON THE BACK. I BOLTED 2 SNOW PLOW WIPS ON THE BACK CORNERS SO I CAN SEE THEM AND SPENT SOME TIME WITH 5 OR 6 FIVE GALLON BUCKETS PLAYING WITH SOME TIGHT SPOTS.


IT IS BETTER TO MUSH A BUCKET THEN SOMEONES CAR
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Old September 20th, 2006, 08:47 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info. This is helpful.

I'm assuming I'm not going to find a tilt model for sleds, so I can just drive off the side and drive up the ramps, right?

I'm also assuming that its a fairly simple fix to add some 18" side walls to the front for containment and light-duty tie downs....
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Old September 20th, 2006, 09:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roll-bar Bob
JUST A HEADS UP ONCE YOU GET IT GO TO A EMPTY PARKING LOT AND SPENT SOME TIME LEARNING HOW TO DRIVE WITH IT ON THE BACK. I BOLTED 2 SNOW PLOW WIPS ON THE BACK CORNERS SO I CAN SEE THEM AND SPENT SOME TIME WITH 5 OR 6 FIVE GALLON BUCKETS PLAYING WITH SOME TIGHT SPOTS.


IT IS BETTER TO MUSH A BUCKET THEN SOMEONES CAR
LOL, yeah, thanks.

Its not that I don't know how to drive or manuever a trailer, its that I have never owned one. I've hauled the sleds up on a two place tilt for years, and hauled my folks boat around too. I have never hauled another truck/jeep/etc though. I suppose I need to get used to the extra weight.

I live right by Fenton HS. I see people out there all the time for CDL training. I'll have to head out there ...
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Old September 20th, 2006, 09:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bj house
Would be nice especially for a lighter vehicle like a jeep but certainly more expensive then a steel one.

Oh yes, almost double in price. I think its worth it if you're planning long term though and would use it alot. For a 2 vehicle hauler you could also look at the triple axle trailers. Some have smaller tires and thus lower overall trailer height making sled use without ramps easier.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 09:21 AM   #11
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Just Some Food For Thought
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Old September 20th, 2006, 09:40 AM   #12
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One thing not mentioned yet... Might be getting the cart before the horse… is to get it loaded correctly.

I have always used the 10% rule A.K.A. The tongue weight should be 10% of the gross trailer weight (trailer + load) Others will speak of it as the 60-40 rule in either case it is the same rule stated 2 different ways

Stated as the 60-40 rule is that 60% of the weight should be in front of the trailer tires and 40% should be behind the tires....

I am not very good in math so I have know idea what 60% of 6500 pounds is but I can figure out what 10% is in my head.

EXAMPLE:
If your trailer and trail rig weigh 6500 pounds then you should have in the ballpark of 650 pounds on the tongue. 40 or 50 pounds on either side will not make a huge difference.

Too much tongue weight will make you squat even on a burbon. It is bad for the hitch, and the tow rig springs tires and others parts. It will pull weight of the front axle and your handling goes to heck.

Too little tongue weight and it also tows like crap. It will sway and pull you all over. If you go far enough under you are actually going run the risk of pulling the trailer off the ball. (This is very bad...)

Good luck on your trailering.

Jeff
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Old September 20th, 2006, 09:46 AM   #13
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Tow hitch angle is another factor to get right too. Tow low an angle and the act of braking can cause the trailer to lift the front of the tow vehicle and too high an angle can cause the trailer to lift the rear of the tow vehicle or break the hitch. In a perfect world you want the hitch point to be as flat as possible with only the slightest downward angle.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 10:02 AM   #14
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Hmm, most is covered there.

The basics always apply: You generally get what you pay for, with a new trailer. There's a big difference, in my opinion, in the quality of construction of a cheapie place like Antique auto, and a trailer bought from a smaller, higher quality trailer store. I've bought new from both places, so that is my experience.

Inspect the welding on it, thats a good indicator. On my old Antique trailer, I busted a lot of welds in the 3 years I owned it, ended up rewelding most of the critical points.


You are required by law to have brakes on both axles for this size of trailer. With brake axles, you should look for radial tirailer tires, which have better braking performance than the bias plys.


Having loaded several smaller/lower car on mine, a 2 ft beavertail at the end is helpful. My old trailer required extension ramps to load up cars onto it.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 10:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97xj
One thing not mentioned yet... Might be getting the cart before the horse… is to get it loaded correctly.

I have always used the 10% rule A.K.A. The tongue weight should be 10% of the gross trailer weight (trailer + load) Others will speak of it as the 60-40 rule in either case it is the same rule stated 2 different ways

Stated as the 60-40 rule is that 60% of the weight should be in front of the trailer tires and 40% should be behind the tires....

I am not very good in math so I have know idea what 60% of 6500 pounds is but I can figure out what 10% is in my head.

EXAMPLE:
If your trailer and trail rig weigh 6500 pounds then you should have in the ballpark of 650 pounds on the tongue. 40 or 50 pounds on either side will not make a huge difference.

Too much tongue weight will make you squat even on a burbon. It is bad for the hitch, and the tow rig springs tires and others parts. It will pull weight of the front axle and your handling goes to heck.

Too little tongue weight and it also tows like crap. It will sway and pull you all over. If you go far enough under you are actually going run the risk of pulling the trailer off the ball. (This is very bad...)

Good luck on your trailering.

Jeff




GOOD POINT LOADING IS AN ART EACH RIG IS DIFFERENT
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Old September 20th, 2006, 10:04 AM   #16
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Read up in here:

http://www.greatlakes4x4.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34

In fact, this thread should be moved there.

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Old September 20th, 2006, 10:17 AM   #17
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We bought our 18 ft steel deck with dovetail for 2200 out the door. I welded some extra d rings to the deck, we can easily fit 4 quads on it maybe 5 if we tried. i can put my FSJ on it with room to spare for my quad up front. has two 3500 lb axles with brakes on the rear one (Id go with brakes on both in the future). A hlaf ton truck pulls any load we've put on it with ease so far. Hope this gives you some insight.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #18
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loading: this might be a dumb question, but I know that on smaller trailers, there might be a sliding axle to tongue assembly. Meaning, you can move the axle forward or back to balance the load better. Can you do this with larger trailers. (I'm talking a 1500 capacity 4'x8')

tongue angle: This is easily fixed with the right hitch, right?

I'll read up on the link from PP.

Thanks again guys.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 10:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar
Hmm, most is covered there.

The basics always apply: You generally get what you pay for, with a new trailer. There's a big difference, in my opinion, in the quality of construction of a cheapie place like Antique auto, and a trailer bought from a smaller, higher quality trailer store. I've bought new from both places, so that is my experience.
Inspect the welding on it, thats a good indicator. On my old Antique trailer, I busted a lot of welds in the 3 years I owned it, ended up rewelding most of the critical points.


You are required by law to have brakes on both axles for this size of trailer. With brake axles, you should look for radial tirailer tires, which have better braking performance than the bias plys.


Having loaded several smaller/lower car on mine, a 2 ft beavertail at the end is helpful. My old trailer required extension ramps to load up cars onto it.



TRUE CHEEP TRAILERS SUCK BUT THEY GET THE JOB DONE AND IF HE IS RUNNING IT IN THE SALT WITH SLEDS ON IT. THE SALT WILL EAT ANY TRAILER WETHER HE SPENDS $1400 DOLLAR OR $2200 OR $3500.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 11:34 AM   #20
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Not if you maintain it: wash off salt if its salty, inspect the wiring for corrosion(ideally the wiring is mostly sealed off from the elements), and do your regular maintenance with a tub of grease.

I'm simply stating my experience, as just that, my experience.
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