Trailer Features

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doublereefed
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Trailer Features

Post by doublereefed » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:03 am

Folks, I need to buy a cargo trailer and have a few questions. It would be nice to haul my trains around maybe 4 times a year, mostly day trips of 4-8 hours.

1. Is there a value in torsion axles over spring axles in our application of hauling trains around?
2. I'd like to get an additional 6" of height, is there any reason not to do this?
3. The trailer dealers are telling me that the vnose makes no difference in towability or mpg. It makes sense I guess, the biggest factor is the huge 6'x7' flat end that creates a huge vacuum. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks!

-Richard

hammermill
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by hammermill » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:24 am

i like the v nose trailer because it gives me a space to store stuff/keep the box part of the trailer
organized for other uses.

i have ofter drooled over the small rooms set in the nose of some of the horse trailers. nice to have acomidations

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steamin10
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by steamin10 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:40 pm

Ya, unless you travel at jet speeds, the V-nose will make little or no diference. The reason is most are towed with a decent sized pickup truck, and they give a alot of turbulent air from their window and tailgate spaces, which is right where the trailer is. It is a know fact that a coupla spoilers on the flat back of the trailers, reduce the low pressure turbulance they drag along. In trailer hauling business, we tried putting temporary wings and spoilers on, but the diference was merely 1MPG or less. Hardly worth the fuss.

As far as the pointed nose, any xtra space is welcome, I agree. Just dont pay a premium for the limited footage.

I dont like torsion, suspensions. They age badly, as most are of a rubber plug in a tube type thing. I have changed many in my day. A torsion bar, is a flat steel spring, and is no diferent for wear than a coil. Abrams and the older M-60 tanks support the 60 or so tons with torsion bars, and they ride like a luxury vehicle. Very few failures. Just my .02
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

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Fender
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by Fender » Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:23 pm

From my limited experience pulling a box trailer around, the biggest benefit mpg-wise comes from holding your speed down. Huge difference between 70 and 55. The second-biggest difference is (when driving on hilly terrain) avoiding the use of cruise control to maintain speed. If you rely on the cruise control, it will coast on the downhill grades, then downshift and pour on the gas when going upgrade. If you manually force the speed up a little on the down hill, then this won't happen.

I can't imagine that the 6" of additional height would make any difference in mileage. I bang my head on my box trailer and additional height would be a blessing.
Last edited by Fender on Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bcody
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by bcody » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:56 pm

Up until two years ago I towed a 14' two axle box trailer with my train stuff. Loaded, the trailer weighed 6000 pounds.

I live in the Reno, NV area and run at SVLSRM which means I have to go over Donner summit to get to the track. Donner summit is over 7000 feet with some pretty good grades. I found the only way to make that run was to get a good diesel pick-up. I settled on a 4x4 Dodge 2500 with an automatic transmission. With the trailer on the ball I would head up Donner in OD, cruise control set to maintain 65 MPH. I would maintain 65 MPH all the way to the top and all the way down the other side, staying in OD. According to the on- board computer I was getting 14-15 MPG. The computer is fairly accurate as I consistantly get 18-19 MPG around town in a 7000 pound truck, no trailer. BTW - Here in Nevada we have realistic speed limits, even pulling a trailer. I cruise at 2250 RPM which gives me a speed of 75 MPH and about the same MPG as I get going over Donner. I have pulled my trailer at 85 MPH to get around a slow poke. He was only going 60 MPH until I tried to pass him. Without the trailer I have had the truck up to 100 MPH with no problems. Still had throttle left.

A Dodge diesel PU with a Cummins 6 cylinder is the only way to go.

One of my sons is in business in Elko, NV where he runs three Ford diesel PUs. I've driven them and they are a gutless wonder and suck up fuel like its going out of style. I remember one time I was getting on Highway 80 down an on ramp with a slight down grade. I put my foot in it and it got up to only 55 MPH at the end of the 300 foot ramp. I try that with my Dodge and I have to back off to stay below 80 MPH. He only gets 12-13 MPG. Now his trucks are more heavily loaded than mine but that shouldn't make that much difference. IMHO the Ford V8 diesel just doesn't cut it for power and for fuel economy.

Bill

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bcody
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by bcody » Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:07 pm

ADDITIONAL COMMENT:

I tried the same run with a Dodge with a V10.

Pulled the hill fine. 1200 RPM and 12 MPG (Gas)

Had the truck for one winter. Got stuck 3 times in my yard (Only 2 wheel drive) in one week-end. Sold the truck the following Monday. Good truck, just not for me.

Also made the run with two other vehicles. I just didn't like the feelings I got towing with the lighter vehicles. Felt the tail was wagging the dog.

Bill

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by Greg_Lewis » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:26 pm

Doublereefed:

There is a three-page thread in the archives on trailers here:

http://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/vie ... it=trailer

Lots of good info. I described my search for a trailer and what I learned in the process as well as a few mistakes learned the hard way. Others have good info there too.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of non-interchangeable parts.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
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steamin10
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by steamin10 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:23 pm

BCody: I take exception with the 'no good' Ford. But dont make apples to oranges comparisons. My Ford Dually crew, gets 17-22 constantly. It is a heavy girl, no doubt. This is an older 97, And runs the 444E with turbo. Actually an IH engine, stuffed in a Ford, and very popular for 2 ton chassis box and tow vehicles. Called a 7.3 power stroke. Fords later creations, with 6.5 and now a 6.0, are enemic by comparison against the Duramax by Isuzu, and the latest Cummins. Both are pretty bulletproof, and mods to the Duramax for $300 in a chip and some exhaust and intake majic will give nearly 34 MPG on cruise. The Cummins is nearly as good, but cost for any mods is way out the window. Current Fords are rated low on the pole, and none of the pickup manufacturers are making their own engines now.

I have nuttin to complain about the Cummins, I ran his Dodge pickup m-a-n-y miles, pulling campers, and it is a steady performer. --(Edit: BRAIN FART) I ran a freinds older Dodge for him and was very comfortable with the performance.--

Nuff said.
Last edited by steamin10 on Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

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steamin10
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by steamin10 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:33 pm

PS. When I messaged the top end for a failed camshaft, @ 225K, we test ran the road runner, and burried the speedo @90, and added another 800 rpm. When it leveled out and stopped climbing, the Dually was flying @ 2250 rpm, and that works out to just over 120, in OD. Really rolling for a girl with a big Bustle. The truck came to me as a basket case non-runner, and wound up never being used for its intended towing jobs, as the dealer welched, and the shipper paid too low. So I got a big girl with 45 gal capacity in trying fuel times. Yikes, have to take a loan to fill up. but I enjoy the max comfort and driving the open road is cool. Just me.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

doublereefed
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by doublereefed » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:41 pm

All, many thanks for the advice. I'm probably not in the market for a Cummins powered Dodge right now ;-)

Reading through that archive Greg, I think I'm on the right path. I'm thinking 7x16. I looked at a used 7x20 and it's just too much trailer. I am pulling it with a Suburban, but my load is only about 3500 lbs or half the trailer and Suburban capacity.

One comment there that I hadn't thought of was making sure the doors open flat to the sides.

But, a new question: I think I will use angle iron with holes in it instead of e-track. I plan to just bolt through the plywood floor every 3' or so. Maybe get lucky and hit a frame or stringer. E-track looks nice, but it's pricey, and angle will work better with the shelf system that I will eventually build. Wondering if anyone has thoughts on the angle iron...

Also, I saw the comment on lojack and alarms. Has anyone used these systems? That makes a lot of sense, hadn't thought about it.

Thanks all,

-Richard

doublereefed
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Location: Manhattan Beach, CA

Re: Trailer Features

Post by doublereefed » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:52 pm

...and another question...

I Googled around on sway bars. I have no experience with these and there are many options. Any products or methods you would steer me towards, or steer me away from?

...thanks...

Harold_V
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by Harold_V » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:55 pm

You might consider choosing the hitch before worrying about a sway bar. Some of them, such as my Equalizer, have built in sway control.

Harold
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