Car Trailer Decision (just thinking out loud)

bob64

bob64

G-Body Guru
Mar 30, 2017
717
93
Niagara Falls, Canada
All trailers for personal use at 3500 lbs tandem axles here in Ontario, Canada must have one working axle with brakes, unless its commercial, then it must have both axles with brakes, 5000 lbs axles in tandem must have both axles with with brakes personal or commercial. Also they must have the break away kit incase trailer breaks free brakes are applied.
 
ed1948

ed1948

Royal Smart Person
Aug 6, 2016
1,243
113
Toronto
I appreciate all your insights and sharing of knowledge. The pics posted are very helpful.(plus we get to see your cars and projects)
Because my truck is only 1.2T and comes with a class III receiver will that limit trailer length and cargo weight? Is 500 LBS tongue weight a safe possibility with the above described equipment? Is a weight distribution hitch needed? I like the idea of an aluminum trailer...but the cost?
Question on suspensions: The choices are leaf springs or torsion arm. Would torsion arm suspensions allow for a lower deck height?
What is the wet weight of a stock Monte SS? ….3500?? What is the front to rear percentage of weight distribution?
 
lilbowtie

lilbowtie

Comic Book Super Hero
Jan 7, 2006
2,585
113
Canton Mi
Ribbedroof

Ribbedroof

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jan 4, 2009
2,788
113
Wellston, OK
Of course, not all aluminum trailers are built the same, but I know a guy that had one....he had problems with cracking. BUT, he used it a lot, and roads here in OK are not very good, unless it's on a toll road.
 
DRIVEN

DRIVEN

Geezer
Apr 25, 2009
5,799
113
Owyhee County
Mine is a hand me down from a former coworker who bought a monster enclosed car hauler. Main reason I bought it was the $200 price tag. It's a converted travel trailer with shot wood decking but came with 5 new tires, freshly packed bearings, and tandem working brakes. He was using it to haul his Jeep and camping gear so short, steep ramps worked fine for him. I had to be more creative with my low vehicles.
IMG_1291.JPG
IMG_1292.JPG


Here's what I like about it:
-18' x 7'6" deck and 22' OAL.
-Tandem brakes
-Very well balanced -- tows very nicely
-Has lots of flush mount tiedowns in the deck.
-Storage box up front
-Dual tongue jacks up front.
-Tongue jacks that fit receivers in each rear corner to make it stable when not hitched to a vehicle.
-Again, the $200 buy-in.

Here's what I plan to change:
-Either put the axles above the springs or do a beaver tail about 4' from the back.
-Widen the area between the fenders to at least 72".
-Keep an eye out for a nicer, smaller box for the front.
-Possibly incorporate a winch mount.
-Replace the tattered planks.

Realistically, this is a medium duty trailer based on it's travel trailer origin. I'll be keeping that in mind and won't be using it beyond it's reasonable limits. Probably wouldn't load it with anything heavier than a Gbody or early Abody. My pickup cab and bed were loaded with parts before the tarp went on. I'd estimate weight in the 3000# range and it towed great behind the Uhaul. No doubt it would have been much more noticeable behind a 3/4 ton. Not sure a 1/2 ton would be feasible even for a short distance.
 
ssn696

ssn696

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jul 19, 2009
3,649
113
New Mexico
I appreciate all your insights and sharing of knowledge. The pics posted are very helpful.(plus we get to see your cars and projects)
Because my truck is only 1.2T and comes with a class III receiver will that limit trailer length and cargo weight? Is 500 LBS tongue weight a safe possibility with the above described equipment? Is a weight distribution hitch needed? I like the idea of an aluminum trailer...but the cost?
Question on suspensions: The choices are leaf springs or torsion arm. Would torsion arm suspensions allow for a lower deck height?
What is the wet weight of a stock Monte SS? ….3500?? What is the front to rear percentage of weight distribution?
A Monte Carlo weighs in at about 3600 lbs. The wood floor option will be lighter, but paint the boards top and bottom to protect them from sun and wet. Since you will use a light-duty pickup to pull it, do get the weight-distributing hitch to keep the truck level and safe. Get four-wheel brakes and 15" D-range tires. Automotive tires are rated for far less weight. If the trailer stays parked, get covers for the tires from Amazon or an RV supply house.

I have only used leaf springs. The torsion axles will get you lower but may be less durable in the long run and more expensive.

Cheap ramps are often angle iron ladder-looking things. Choose ones that are solid, like diamond deck if you can. I cut the corners off my folded sheetmetal ramps to present the smallest lip from the pavement. Important when pulling a dead car up.

Longer ramps compensate for the deck height, but your back may have an opinion. I found a pair of car carrier ramps on Craigslist, but had to modify the beavertail so they could mount up, and they loudly shout 'steal me', so I lock them in the truck.
Trailer Repaired.jpg


Last, plan for the trailer tilting when the load hits the back end of the trailer. Put blocks under the tail or install a swiveling jack on each side. I drove a pickup onto this trailer 15 years ago and lifted the back of the towing truck enough that the whole rig started to roll. Plan for this so we don't have to watch it on YouTube.
 
M

mikester

Royal Smart Person
Mar 10, 2010
1,090
113
Small town NY
I owned an 18' open trailer for quite a few years. I bought it new in 2003. It was a Big Tex steel deck. Great trailer, very well made. 3500lb axles. I bought it after looking at quite a few other brands. A few things that it had were dual brakes, self storing wide ramps, fairly low fenders and an Atwood hitch as opposed to a Bulldog hitch. I like the Atwood much better than the Bulldog because of the way it latches.
I loved the trailer. I was using a 2500 crew cab 4x4 to tow it. 6.0 with 4:10s. You couldnt tell the trailer was behind you at 65MPH.
Now the bad news. I kept it outside. The diamond plate got rusty pretty quick. Same with the rims. Tires dry rotted in 5 years. Even the spare. I sold it in 2011. Not because of the issues with the trailer. My 2011 GMC 1500 struggled to tow it with the 5.3. Plus when I pulled my wagon up on to it the back of my truck dropped pretty low. I wouldnt tow with a 1500 again but thats just me.
 
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ssn696

ssn696

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jul 19, 2009
3,649
113
New Mexico
I owned an 18' open trailer for quite a few years. I bought it new in 2003. It was a Big Tex steel deck. Great trailer, very well made. 3500lb axles. I bought it after looking at quite a few other brands. I loved the trailer. I was using a 2500 crew cab 4x4 to tow it. 6.0 with 4:10s. You couldnt tell the trailer was behind you at 65MPH.I wouldnt tow with a 1500 again but thats just me.
We're the axles positioned towards the rear or middle of the trailer? That's been mentioned in this thread.
 

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