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Old 04-05-2009, 09:40 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 137
hitch and tow bar choices advice?

i'm about to finish the install of my homebuilt trailer hitch, stacked twin 2' receivers mounted level with bumper height and want to prepare to to my little volkswagen rabbit.

can anyone tell me any info or experiences with towing with the school bus, in particular choices of, where to acquire cheaper and/ or quality worthwhile adjustable drop hithes, tow bars etc...any thing useful.

i see harbor freight has a tow bar for 65 aND AN 11in drop adjust. hiych.......
thanks
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:52 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
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Re: hitch and tow bar choices advice?

how high a drop does it need approximately and what sort of weight rating would i need to upgrade. i may want to haul a two axle car trailer with the rabbit and motorcycle on it. feasable?? unsafe???
thanks
adam
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:53 PM   #3
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Re: hitch and tow bar choices advice?

sway control. what that all about. obviously ive never towed anything.
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:59 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
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Re: hitch and tow bar choices advice?

tongue weight?
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:52 AM   #5
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Re: hitch and tow bar choices advice?

I'm a big fan of a trailer vs towbar or tow dollie, just because you can,t backup without everything getting crossed up with towbars and dollies. a trailer will be a whole lot more user friendly as well as being a multitasker for other uses. A properly speced and proportioned single axle trailer is also manuverable by hand if necessary, build or buy a trailer that has a 6 or 7 k axle with a long tounge with a 6 x 12 or 14' tilt bed. Most 14 to 16' tandem lawn/landscape trailers, the type with 12" tall angle iron sides that are part of the structure, use 2500 to 3500 # capacity axles.

use a well built hitch that is attached to more than just the rear bumper, set the hitch height so that the trailer sets level when the bus is loaded in normal travel trim, install something on the back of the trailer so you can see where it is in the mirrors at all times.

load the trailer with somewhere between 200 and 1000 # tongue weightand remember it's back there, the only time you'll feel it is possibly when stoping.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:10 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
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Re: hitch and tow bar choices advice?

do you use an equalizer? ive heard its really dangerous not to have one. what do you mean by tilt bed, whole bed bed off trailer fram? what would be considered a long tongue.

i'm thinking about just building the trailer too. any tips on how to proportion the trailer in design? i guess the trailer would too long too tow as the rabbit alone is 12 foot long if i wanted to tow your average car theyre 16 plus tongue length.
thanks again
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:35 PM   #7
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Re: hitch and tow bar choices advice?

I have towed stuff many many times and only last summer bought a 1978 travel trailer as a work house. It came with an equalizer hitch. I was skeptical at first but wow, what a difference. There is little to no bouncing on the ass end of the vehicle as I drive over bumps.(and in Saskatchewan trust me there are loads of bumps in the roads) The trailer and vehicle move up and down as one . See if you can find one used because I know they are not the cheapest things in the world. I would strongly recommend using one of these... I for one will remove the equalizer hitch before I sell the trailer this spring, cause I am never going back!
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:45 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
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Re: hitch and tow bar choices advice?

an equalizer hitch is important to have if the trailer is heavy in comparison to the tow vehicle, if you're towing a 2500 # rabbit on a 1000# trailer with a 14,000# bus a regular non equalizer hitch is sufficient. look at other medium duty trucks and the trailers that they pull, (dump truck with a trailer and small dozer or backhoe) no equalizer and usually a pintle type hitch.

my choice for a good pulling trailer is a minimum of 5'of tongue length, you need 4' just to keep then trailer bed from touching the bus in a tight corner, the axle should be behind the center of the bed, the axle usually ends up about 2/3 of the way back of the total length, 5' tongue,+ 1/2 of 12' bed=6' + 6', total length=17' axle centerline is 11' back, rabbit has a 9' wheelbase so you have 3 feet to adjust for balance/tongue weight. build the bed 14 or 16' long to make it more user friendly with other vehicles.

tilt bed, just like it sounds, make the tongue extend back to just in front of the axle and install it in pivots, so that the bed can tilt for loading, the front of the bed will be fastened to the tongue with a locking mechanism when loaded, use a trailer tongue jack, between the tongue and bed, to tilt the trailer bed.

install stake pockets so you can put sides on if desired, they are also handy for tiedown points.

it is safe to assume that mobile home axles are usually 6k axles.
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