Trailer Features

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Greg_Lewis
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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.

HEED DAVE'S ADVICE!


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.
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steamin10
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Re: Trailer Features

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

:shock:
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
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pat1027
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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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pat1027
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by pat1027 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:51 pm

It's an old thread but I read this and the archive when I was trailer shopping so I'll add to the discussion. Up to shopping for an enclosed trailer my dad and I had carried eight cars in a utility trailer with a tarp fitted over the cars. Three cars were stacked on another and two rolled in on their own. The trailer worked well but as I added cars it became a headache to swap cars around. The tarped cover would pick up moisture which over time was showing effects on some of the lettering. So it was off to the trailer dealers for something larger and enclosed.

I selected a 6 x 14. At 6' wide I could just fit three tracks in and still see down the side of the trailer with the stock side view mirrors on my truck. 14' gave me room to put two six foot long cars on the same track One of my goals was to be able to load the cars in any order at the end of the day.

Height I stayed with the stock height. As long as I don't hit my head on the door frame climbing in I can stand without stooping.

On a V nose the dealers I visited said the same thing. In their experience having hauled hundreds of trailers around, the short V noses made little effect on fuel mileage. The rounded corners and roof line of the square trailers gave as much benefit. At 14' long I had plenty of length and skipped the v nose.

Torsion axle vs. spring. Originally I was going to go springs because they were cheaper. A couple friends advised torsion axles for a better ride. I happened to be hauling my riding mower on a utility trailer and watched it bounce around in the mirror. I caught the mower come up off the deck on one bump despite being tied down. Torsion axle it was.

At 6' x 14' I had the choice of single axle or dual axle. Single again was cheaper but advise was a dual would tow better and ride smoother. I opted for dual axle. It does indeed tow and ride nice. The only down side is forget about pushing the nose around by hand to line up on the ball.

Single or dual axle I'd include electric brakes. It's really nice to have all my gear loaded up and have the extra braking effort when I have to makle a short stop.

My tow vehicle was a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado with a 4.3L V6. With the locomotive in the back and 11 cars in the trailer I tipped the scale at 9940lbs with a half tank of gas. I'm in the midwest so no mountains to climb. The V6 did nicely at 60MPH.

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Fender
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by Fender » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:50 pm

Yeah, it pays to check your trailer tires regularly. Good to bad very quickly.
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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by Greg_Lewis » Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:13 pm

I wonder if trailer tires aren't made cheaper than car or truck tires, and if you could put car tires on instead for longer life. Anyone know about this?

Edit: Found an answer: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech ... techid=219
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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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:08 am

Greg_Lewis wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:13 pm
I wonder if trailer tires aren't made cheaper than car or truck tires, and if you could put car tires on instead for longer life. Anyone know about this?

Edit: Found an answer: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech ... techid=219
I used car radials on my single-axle race car trailer for many years and never had any swaying or other tracking problems.
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rkcarguy
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by rkcarguy » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:15 am

Trailer tires aren't subject to the same rigorous testing as car and truck tires. Car and "light truck" tires are tested at double their rated weight, for 4 hours?, with a simulation of a brake dragging in 100* heat. The tire cannot blow out, come apart, grow lumps, or delaminate or it will not get a DOT approval.
Trailer tires are almost all made in China now and they are absolute junk. I put the old tires from my F350 on my trailer almost 10 years ago and they are still going strong.

Kimball McGinley
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by Kimball McGinley » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:24 pm

Storage kills most trailer tires, All rubber tires are compounded with a UV blocker compound. When the tire is rolling, it oozes to the surface, protecting the tire. The tires on your daily driver stay well-protected; they are likely to just wear out the tread.

After sitting still for a month or so, the compound is depleted on a trailer that just sits. My boat trailer tires, even the spare, are always covered unless the trailer is rolling.

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Karl_Losely
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by Karl_Losely » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:18 pm

Trailer tires tend to take a beating and are subject to things vehicle tires are not. On a multiple axle trailer the tires are being dragged sideways on every turn which is hard on the tread. Trailer tires are much more likely to be banging into curbs which is hard on sidewalls.
And yes, most of the trailer tires are made off shore now and some are poor quality. But you still get what you pay for.

Most important for tire life is to be sure they are properly inflated. Heat kills tires and under inflated tires get hotter faster. I keep my trailer tires at the maximum pressure shown on the sidewall.

I would suggest when you get a trailer you replace the factory tires with the next load range higher tire. That can get expensive though because you need to be sure the wheel can handle the air pressure the higher range tire requires.

As mentioned above, storage kills tires. UV hurts them if not covered and ozone gets them no matter what.

Pontiacguy1
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:42 pm

Not always are the most expensive tires the best... Had a set of Maxxon tires on my camper, they were supposed to be some of the best and highest rated, and I paid more for them too. One shelled the tread going down the road, and it was not under or over-inflated. Another developed a noticeable knot on it not too long after that. The tires were 2 to 3 yrs old at that point, and had all of about 10K miles on them, good tread depth, etc... I replaced them with a set of Hi-Run tires, which cost about half as much, but have performed just as good or better and felt just as heavy when picking them up. Have had them for 2+ years and no problems at all. And just to contradict myself: I paid a lot for a set of Goodyear trailer tires, and they have performed very well on a single axle trailer (still made in china though).

Most new trailers and campers come with the absolute cheapest set of tires the manufacturer can get under them. When I bought a new trailer, 2 of the tires failed within a year, and I went on and replaced all four in less than 2 years. They were flimsy feeling. It seems to me that most of the manufacturers biggest concern with tires is that it holds the trailer up and will run long enough for you to get home with it. If you want to test your tires, try dragging a trailer going through Arkansas headed for Texas. Those interstates are rough, and have been for the past 20 years. I have had a lot of trouble with tires on those roads.

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Trailer Features

Post by Greg_Lewis » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:15 pm

Pontiacguy1 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:42 pm
Not always are the most expensive tires the best...
True. I've had two Toyos and one Michelin fail on my truck. Tread separations.

My dad was an advertising executive for many years. He told me that prices of tires are based on marketing. The top-of-the-line isn't there because it's necessarily the best or the most expensive to make. It's there because many customers will buy not the cheapest, nor the most expensive, but the next level down from the top price.
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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