Trailer Features

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Re: Trailer Features

Post by Greg_Lewis » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:15 pm

steamin10 wrote:Hammer and others: 8 ply will hold heat more than 6 if you allow low air. I vote for the 8's, for more road gator protection. I drove brand new class A RV's, class B's and Custom vans and all manor of trailers in delivery. I have enough tire stories to bore you to death, or make your hair stand up, like mine did on occasion.

The point here is ASSUME nothing. Everytime you hook up for a pull, go through the ritual of tire checks, lug checks, safty chains, wiring conections, spares, tool kit and jack. The whole mess. Start early, check everything a day or two before, like Wednesday. If you find a bad tire, or wiring mouse eaten, 5 o'clock Saturday morning, is not the time to be fooling with it, doing a half baked job just to get on the road. Ya, I did it. Once bit, twice smart. Preparation is key to a good trip, and lots of fun. Preparation lowers your risk, and really touching and servicing these machines we own should be a mark of pride anyway.

You cant make the excuse you dont have time. Put down the coffee, the paper, turn off the TV, and I LOVE LUCy, and get in gear. Besides, the more familiar you are with the equipment, the less questions you will have when something goes South on ya, and it will, it always does.


Not an hour ago, as I was airing up my trailer tires for a 700-mile sprint up Interstate 5 in 100-degree heat, I saw what's in the photo below. I had bent over to check the tread wear while adding air. The split does not go all the way around so if the tire had been rotated a little more I wouldn't have seen it and tomorrow it would have blown somewhere out there on the highway. These are six years old, and past their lifespan, but I thought I could get one more trip out of them. Bad thought. I've since learned that these tires can go bad from the inside out just from sitting in the yard. If I'd checked them Friday, I'd be leaving on schedule. No place to deal with it at 8 p.m. on a Sunday night, so tomorrow we'll be delayed by the time it takes to get this resolved.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of non-interchangeable parts.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

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Re: Trailer Features

Post by steamin10 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:49 am

Advice is cheap, worth all the air its written on. Its not my fault you saved your own butt. :D

PS. Another real bad day that didn't happen....
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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Re: Trailer Features

Post by pat1027 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:25 pm

It’s an old thread but I searched for trailer recommendations a while back so I’ll add something to the discussion. My dad and I started with a small utility trailer covered with a fitted tarp. It worked well and towed easy. Spring and fall the cars would pick up some condensation so the wood cars we’re stowed indoors in the off season. Cars were added and we started stacking the gondolas on each other and a hopper on top a flat car. It wasn’t bad loading and unloading in my 30’s. As time marched on it became tiring to manhandle the cars at the end of the day. It was time for roll-on-roll-off with an enclosed trailer.

A 6’ wide would just fit three tracks. I considered 7’ wide but I could see down the side of a 6’ with standard mirrors and dragging it around with a V6 I had to be mindful of the total load I’d adding. A 12’ was the minimum length if I had a pair of 5’ cars of one 5’ and one 6’. Wanting the flexibility to handle a couple six foots on a given track I went 14’ long.

I was initially thinking single spring axle mostly for a lower cost. But a couple other club members recommended dual torsion axles for a smoother ride and towing. I’d towed a torsion axle snowmobile trailer for years with no problems and went torsion axle. Dual axle after reading most people talk about them tow straighter (but almost impossible to move around by hand). It rides nice and tows straight.

Inside I laid three tracks on the floor with ¼ x ½ bar. I’ve added two elevated tracks on each side leaving the center with just one track giving me space for 14 cars. The elevated tracks were built with 2 x 2 x 1/8 angle. I have seen some nice racks built from Unistrut but went angle for simplicity and cost. I have a couple flats I put in the center giving me access to the sides if I need it. On the sides one level is high enough to clear just gondolas. I have five so it worked out I could stay with a standard height. Again with the V6 I didn’t want any unnecessary frontal area.

The cars are tied down with J hooks over the axles tightened with turn buckles. Cars on the elevated tracks ride very well. On the floor level track the tie downs are at a lower angle. The trucks all the way to the rear will pop off the ¼” bars if I hit really big bumps. The rest stay on the track. I may add a guard rail inside the flanges.

Living in Michigan we don’t have to drive over mountain passes. We have some hills but they aren’t too long. The 4.3L V6 makes it into overdrive with the tow-haul switch on though fuel mileage drops a lot. I get 16-17 MPG at 60MPH depending on how I drive. Run 65MPH and it drops down to 14.
V nose vs flat nose. Most of what I read on-line says 1-2 MPG better with a V nose. The two dealers I talked to said the same thing. Based on their experience dragging trailers back from the factory the short V nose doesn’t make much difference. I went a flat front with rounded corners.

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