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Old 09-24-2015, 12:41 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Trailer Choice

I will be looking to haul my car behind my bus. I have never hauled cars so I am unsure of how much is good and how much is overkill.
The car as of now is 17' long and weight of 4k. I am sure double axle is way to go but what about length and axle rating?
Wood planking or metal floor?
Tongue length?
Do I need brakes on both axles or is one good?
Thanks
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:33 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by LP4171 View Post
I will be looking to haul my car behind my bus. I have never hauled cars so I am unsure of how much is good and how much is overkill.
The car as of now is 17' long and weight of 4k. I am sure double axle is way to go but what about length and axle rating? Double axle yes! I use a 14ft, 7000 lb. for a car that's 11 ft long and 2800 lbs.
Wood planking or metal floor? Metal is heavier, your choice.
Tongue length?
Do I need brakes on both axles or is one good? One is OK, both better.
Thanks
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:35 AM   #3
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Brakes: brakes become required when trailer GVW is over 3000 (?) pounds. Some states require brakes on all axles; for others just one axle is good enough. You'd have to check what's required in the state where you plan to license the trailer. In my opinion, more brake is always better and brakes should only add about $100 to the new cost of an axle assembly.

Weight: axles in this segment usually are rated for 3500, 5200, 6000, or 7000 pounds. For a 4k payload plus trailer weight, if you wanted single-axle you'd be looking for something with a 6000 pound axle. I don't know why anybody would build a single-axle that heavy (and never seen one either).. tandem is so much nicer. It generally rides smoother, however a tandem-axle is nigh unto impossible to push around, particularly to turn, by hand. Maybe it's just that my tandem-axle trailers have all been so heavy that I can barely lift the tongue let alone push it anywhere..

Floor/deck: wood is fine, but you have to ("should") take care of it. I bought a new trailer with wood deck almost two years ago and have sprayed it with boiled linseed oil several times. It's in great shape; much better than other folks' untreated decks appear.

Far and away the most common trailer for your application is the 7000 pound car hauler like dond described. It runs tandem 3500 pound axles, weighs around 1800 pounds empty, so has a payload capacity a little over 5000 pounds. Tilt deck is really nice, and may be essential if your car is particularly low-slung. But it does add $$ to the price. Ramps to a fixed deck are fine for most cars.

You might also consider a dolly, depending on your toad. Works fine for most front-wheel drive cars. Not a good idea for all-wheel drive. Front- and rear-wheel, it's a mixed bag. Flat tow is an option for some as well.
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:59 PM   #4
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I have the cummins 5.9 and the at545 combo and tow a trailer with my atv. i think thats around 3000lbs. i tow it up and down the colorado mountains so thats an added strain, but i sure would think twice about going much heavier.
the bus tows that load but its tough day of driving.

i want to pull a car, but i feel thats going to have to be a flat towed, toad. just to avoid the extra trailer weight.
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Old 09-24-2015, 03:05 PM   #5
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I prefer a wood deck over metal. Metal can be a real slip hazard, and even the load won't stay put the same as with a wood deck.

Also wood allows you to screw or nail into it if you have some sort of od load you need to secure.

The wood of choice would be fir. Fir has some of the longest grains of any wood in north America. It is the bamboo of this continent.
Spruce and pine will last a few years, where fir will last 10 to 15.

I recommend Not Flat Towing with a front engine bus. The rear over hang is so long it forces the front tires to drag sideways when taking a corner. This destroys the front suspension of the car in a short time.

To fix this issue, you would need a tow bar the length of the rear over hang of the bus. That is the length from the center of the rear axle to the back of the bumper.

Or build a simple wheel lift that lifts the front of the car off the ground like a tow truck uses. No need for hydraulics, all you need is the frame, a high lift jack, and a way to pin it there so it can't come down.

The wheel lift would be the best of all methods. Vary little extra weight, no added wear and tear on the car, traction on the rear bus tires, and great control when stopping.

I will be building a wheel lift on the back of my bus.

Nat
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:01 PM   #6
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Nat
I like the wheel lift idea.
I haven't built it yet but my idea is to combine the tow bar and a snowplow lift on the toad.
Then you can flat tow or lift up the front of the toad.
My toad is a Suzuki Samurai 1800 lbs soaking wet, my idea might not work well with a larger vehicle.
Build your wheel lift. I want to see it.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
tow bar and a snowplow lift on the toad.
You live in MN and plow snow with an 1800 lb Samurai?
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:10 PM   #8
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Tow bars are usually hinged so they can move up and down freely. I think he meant the ram from the plow lift attaches to the tow bar, so that the toad can lift its front end off the ground by forcing the tongue of the tow bar downward, transferring the weight that would've been on the toad's front axle onto the tongue instead. Kind of a powered version of a weight-distributing hitch, I guess..
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:45 PM   #9
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I was talking about the ability of a Samurai to push snow.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:48 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the advice. Does the tongue length make any differences? Also do most car haulers have the axles so close to the rear of the trailer?
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