Car Trailer Decision (just thinking out loud)

ed1948

ed1948

Royal Smart Person
Aug 6, 2016
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Toronto
#1
I have rented a U Haul trailer to pick up my VW.
dsc_0365-jpg.108484

The 2006 Sierra 1500 has the factory tow option for around 7000 lbs. If in the future I decide to look for trailers, what specs should I consider. At minimum it would need to haul my Monte Carlo. Why do some trailers have the tandems set back towards the rear while others are more centrally located? I would also repurpose the trailer into a box trailer for hauling boxes, lumber etc.

If you have or have had a trailer did you have any regrets or made a different choice? I'm trying to educate myself by learning from other's mistakes or not.
 
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B

bracketchev1221

Master Mechanic
Jan 18, 2018
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#2
Look into econo-trailer. I had the 15-16’ one
 
ssn696

ssn696

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Jul 19, 2009
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#3
I have car hauler that evolved over time. It was my first 'new' car in 1996. It was made in PA with ramps and two 3500 lb axles, 14" tires. It's been across the country several times. I added another longitudinal C-channel and closed up the middle with more diamond-deck. When it spun a wheel bearing because I hadn't kept up on maintenance, I upgraded to 6k axles, 8-lug wheels with 10k leaf springs. Four-wheel electric brakes, had to custom-make fenders to fit 31" tires. The metal floor put up with a lot of cars and dump runs. I hauled square-body crew cabs on it. Then a friend jack-knifed it towing a badly-loaded car going too fast with no brake controller in his truck. It sat for over a year - I'm an amateur welder with a 120-volt MIG. No one would replace the bent tongue due to liability. I debated replacing it, maybe with a closed car hauler that could serve a a portable garage space. If I ordered what I wanted, a closed version of my upgraded bent flatbed, I was north of $8k. I did find a deep-sea welder who charged an absurd price that my friend paid to fix it. I still agonize whether I should have just got a new one from Kaufman. Now I'm back to the box trailer idea. 24-ft, 12k axles. I have expensive taste. But, the inside height limits what I can tow unless I custom-order something. So, I dither, which is free.
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bob64

bob64

G-Body Guru
Mar 30, 2017
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Niagara Falls, Canada
#4
The axles are set set at 60% on front half and 40% on back half. But the 60% is also including tongue weight in that. .

Also axles farther to the rear of trailer make it easier to tow/more stable and they back up much easier.

Get yourself a 18' or bigger trailer, 15' an 16' are sometimes short for bigger vehicle's. And it just doesn't limit you. Easy to put on/off sides on them if you can weld.

My trailer is 19" deck with 1'9" beaver tail and fixed ramps on back. I also have a receiver on the front for my winch to pull cars on an 3500lb axles with brakes. It's weight is 1770lbs with a wooden deck(oiled) so you can put a 5930lb vehicle on it if you get weight just right.

It was cheaper to build it myself than buy, bonus l get what l really want. Princess auto axles, wheels an wiring harness on sell. If it for personal use it doesn't have to be safetied but for commercial it does. Just need weight of it an ministry will give you an ownership and a vin # for it.
 
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ssn696

ssn696

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#5
Back to the original question, start with what it's for. If you haul less than 4000 lbs, you can use 3500 lb axles and tires. Absolutely get four-wheel brakes. Shoot for a 16 ft deck, minimum. A wood floor reduces tare weight, but doesn't last. Don't get a utility trailer as the side will interfere with opening doors. My trailer had more centrally-located axles, helps with balancing the load to 60% forward, but a back-heavy trailer is really dangerous. Read my previous post. Rear mounted axles can overload the tongue. It's a trade-off. One feature I swear by is a winch mount to load dead cars. Add stake pockets so you can add sides. I had the welder cut 2" circles out of the stake pockets so I could hook on my tie-down straps. Another option is to weld barstock lengthwise between the stake pockets for infinite tie-downs. For a light-duty pickup, consider a weight-distributing hitch. Get a spare wheel and mount it under the trailer out of the sunlight. Oh, and put a bumper on the front of the deck so you never roll off it. BTDT.
 
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79 USA 1

79 USA 1

Master Mechanic
Sep 2, 2011
389
494
63
Cheektowaga, New York
#6
Back to the original question, start with what it's for. If you haul less than 4000 lbs, you can use 3500 lb axles and tires. Absolutely get four-wheel brakes. Shoot for a 16 ft deck, minimum. A wood floor reduces tare weight, but doesn't last. Don't get a utility trailer as the side will interfere with opening doors. My trailer had more centrally-located axles, helps with balancing the load to 60% forward, but a back-heavy trailer is really dangerous. Read my previous post. Rear mounted axles can overload the tongue. It's a trade-off. One feature I swear by is a winch mount to load dead cars. Add stake pockets so you can add sides. I had the welder cut 2" circles out of the stake pockets so I could hook on my tie-down straps. Another option is to weld barstock lengthwise between the stake pockets for infinite tie-downs. For a light-duty pickup, consider a weight-distributing hitch. Get a spare wheel and mount it under the trailer out of the sunlight. Oh, and put a bumper on the front of the deck so you never roll off it. BTDT.

I have to agree with all ssn696 posted. I have a 18 foot steel deck we purchased back in 2012. The stake pockets on the side allow me to add wood sides which has worked for everything from moving boxes to hauling 4 yards of mulch. First modification was to add a winch to the front that has more than once paid for itself. At 22 foot overall length it fits inside my garage with a car on it for winter storage. Just jack the weight off the tires during storage.
 
lilbowtie

lilbowtie

Royal Smart Person
Jan 7, 2006
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Canton Mi
#7
Ditto the above - along with the distribution hitch I would have sway control. If you have the room have you thought about an enclosed ??


1992 Owens Classic

img_4976-jpg.108506
 
Ribbedroof

Ribbedroof

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#8
Mine is an 18 foot steel deck, 5200# axles, 16" 8 ply rated tires, electric brakes. Rated for 9900 GVW.

I used to own a 16 foot trailer, they're really a little too short for intermediate cars and full size pickups. Also, 7K rated trailers generally come with passenger car tires or worse yet ST tires (none made in the USA in 15") ST Trailer tires are only rated for 65 MPH....something to think about as well.

ABSOLUTE must is brakes....I don't know why they sell car haulers without brakes, they're required in almost every state on trailers with a GVW of over 2000#
 
ssn696

ssn696

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#9
Mine is an 18 foot steel deck, 5200# axles, 16" 8 ply rated tires, electric brakes. Rated for 9900 GVW.
Pictures so we can covet!
 
Ribbedroof

Ribbedroof

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#10
She's not very purty....
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