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Old 03-17-2013, 02:43 PM   #1
Elvenhome21
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Default 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Its getting close to racing season and Im getting sick of the POS trailer Ive been using for the last couple years. So Im looking at building another one. My dad and I already have built a nice superlite car trailer but its not wide enough, has rigid suspension, and its not meant to haul anything more then about 3k lb car. The new one is going to be a 7k-10k trailer

Id love to justify the price of a maxey drop and load http://www.maxeytrailers.com/trailer...ls.php?tid=124 but I know I can build it for well less than half and fit my needs better. But overall I will be copying a lot of the ideas for the new trailer (air ride, no ramp loading)

I can even make the axle-less air ride with my cnc plasma cutter. Its a fairly straight forward design http://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Susp...A35RD545E.html

One thing Im not sure about is what coupler I want. Ive seen a couple people say use a bulldog, but after searching last night I found a Demco Ez Latch hitch that look pretty slick. Ive never used anything other then the plain flip style and the wrap around style which I despise with a passion. Any Suggestions?

Im planning on it being 5x2" tubing frame or possibly 6x2 with a thinner wall. The main deck will be 20' long and deck width needs to be min of 84" i believe But ill prob just make the outside of the tires sit right at 102" for maximum deck space for easiest loading.

Im figuring on spacing the axles apart from each other an extra 10-14 inchs apart from each other for a more stable riding trailer plus it should be less finicky on car placement if you have to load it backwards or something weird. I know it will have more scrub but i can either have a electric dump valve for the front axle for sharp turns or run a leveler valve with a slight difference between the front and rear axles to force the front axle to be the scrub axle with less weight on it.

Havent decided yet if I want 6 or 8 bolt hubs yet. Any Suggestions?
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I really like this design. I've never seen it before, but it would make it so much easier to load lowered vehicles. I'm looking forward to your build on here. Subscribed!
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

That's a sweet design for car trailer. Love the aero nose and axle-less hubs.

Your E-trailer link shows 5 bolt pattern, so unsure why you are considering 6 or 8 lug? I thought typical trailer rims were "standardized" to some sort??

I'd vote for the bull-dog hitch as peace-of-mind it will not come loose. Downside to bull-dog is security when you have the trailer sitting by itself disconnected from truck. I'd invest in specific locking system for bull-dog.

Looking forward to your build. Good luck!!

P.S. Now we know the trailer . . . how about the car?? Any pics to share??
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I build trailers and I cringe at the amount of custom work you will be doing. You, Mr., Got yourself a project there

As for the bolt #, The heavier the axle capacity. Most 5 bolt wheels are limited to be mounted on 3500lbs axles or less.

I like that you are going for 20' length. My 20' tilt bed is the best I have ever used. 16' is just too short for anything larger than a cavalier.

I have a picture of one of my power tilt car haulers in my profile if you are curious.

One other thing, consider using channel steel for the frame. I have found it to be superior to tube frames. This is just my opinion.

Later

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Old 03-17-2013, 11:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Elvenhome21 View Post
Havent decided yet if I want 6 or 8 bolt hubs yet. Any Suggestions?
I'd go 8 bolt, easier to find from what I've seen.

I see you like the Timbern design, do note I only saw them rated to 3500 lbs an "axle".
The trailer you pictured weights in a 3750, thus would only leave you 3250 for a vehicle.
Might want to look into a dropped axle and a Featherride design with air or here: LBS


My advice, stay away from people who just like the idea and stick to those who've built something similar.
And air ride trailer is on my wish list.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I'm new to this air ride system. What is the advantage over springs?

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Old 03-18-2013, 01:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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I'm new to this air ride system. What is the advantage over springs?

KO
Smoother ride. You can regulate the effective spring rate (by regulating pressure to the bags) to suit the load.

Oh and you can do cool stuff like make it capable of loading with out ramps..
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

http://www.timbren.com/air-suspensions.htm
This is what im coping.
Koditten: Just curious on the reasoning for channel trailers would be better. Id prob go with 6x2 channel if its better then 6x2x.120 tubing. But is .250 thick channel enough or do I need .375. Security I'm not concerned with for hitch, just coupling.

Can anyone identify the air bag on the Dakota. I want either 3500 min or 5000 lb capacity bags but need to compress to about 2" and need to be fairly small dia around 6". The maxey trailer uses 6" drop spindles so I'll match the drop. The trailer frame is the simple part because the Dakota and Timbren just bolt on the the frame rail.

Biggest challenge right now is figuring out the air bags and air system. Ive never dealt with anything like it other than on a semi but a semi air system is pretty much the same from the Big 4. Custom stuff like this I dont have a clue what will work especially with the dimension constraints and weight rating needed

Last edited by Elvenhome21; 03-18-2013 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas



I sold the white super late model but I'm building another one that is setup strictly for road racing.

That's one of the main reasons I need a custom trailer to fit a 85" overall width and almost 18' length. Also with this car having 50/50 or more rear weight I want to have a more spread axle so I don't have to load it so far forward on the trailer

Last edited by Elvenhome21; 03-18-2013 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Koditten: Just curious on the reasoning for channel trailers would be better. Id prob go with 6x2 channel if its better then 6x2x.120 tubing. But is .250 thick channel enough or do I need .375. Security I'm not concerned with for hitch, just coupling.

Can anyone identify the air bag on the Dakota.

Does anyone know the strength difference between 5" and 6" channel vs 6x2x.120 and .180 tubing
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:51 AM   #11
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I l ike to do a combination of both tube and channel on my car haulers. I like the perimiter to be channel and the cross pieces to be a combination of tube and angle steel. The best would be 1 x 3 channel for the cross members, but that adds extra weight. My usual customers only want an 8k trailer, so I use 3/16 angle steel on every other cross member. The tube steel cross members is only used to add rigidity to the trailer. Having 4 sides to weld to really stiffens up the frame.

Because the weakest link is the wireing of the lights and brakes, I like channel. It makes repairs much easier. I have found it very difficult to make repairs on the wires in tube trailers because the wires are in the tubes. The same problem exist with channel steel trailers as well, but it is a lot easier to make repairs when you can see the wires on both ends.

People can always make the case that the wires should be safer in tubes, but real world experince has shown me that is not the case.

I can't tell you the difference in strength between the 2. I have built both. The 6" is much heavier, so I sacrificed capacity by going that route. My proffessional opinion was it was overkill unless someone wanted to haul tractors with loaded tires.
My own personal car hauler is 2 x 4 channel. The trailer has no problem hauling 3/4 ton trucks.

I do like the air ride system that you show. Judging by the size of that axle stub, that is definitly a 5k axle. With me using springed axles, the axle spindle is the same for a 5k or an 8k, they just use heavier springs, so in short that could even be and 8k air ride system.

Are you sure that pic isn't for a semi trailer? It sure looks heavy duty.

Later

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Old 03-20-2013, 01:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

After looking at those bags in your pics, they look to be the same exact bags that are on air ride semi-trailers. They blow routinly, so any tractor/trailer dealership/repair facility will stock them.

Later

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Old 03-20-2013, 02:20 AM   #13
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

For a trailer that will only be used for race car transport, just think of designing it with a sloping floor. There is really no need to transport the car on a flat floor. It makes getting the car off the trailer so much easier, and you tend not to bottom out considering the low ground clearance.

Use an electric winch that powers on and off with a long remote control. Life is so much easier when you can load and unload with no engine power. Consider also that the winch can be used with an A frame for engine lift when you have to change an engine at the track.

You can power the winch with its own battery power, that can also be charged and run via an Anderson plug from the tow car. If you are really keen you can run an inverter to give you AC power to run small tools and battery chargers. Beats using a noisy genset.

I've also plumbed in an air circuit using a very high pressure air tank (3000psi) and regulator. Good for dry tyre air and small rattle guns. One tank can last me a whole season, and costs $24 for a refill. Beats using a compressor.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:35 AM   #14
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Semi air bags are way to big. They're normally about 12-14" tall and to big of a diameter
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:43 AM   #15
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

The trailer will have a winch. Biggest problem is getting a longer control cord. Wedge decks I'm not a big fan of because the car site up so high in the front. I don't mind using a generator I have like 4 of them I need to put to use. This trailer I'm going all out on.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Will a tilt bed car hauler work? Those are my specialty. My customers seem to love the powertilt that I make. I sure know I love mine (which was the prototype). Again, pics in my profile.

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Old 03-20-2013, 07:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I really dislike tilt beds. Two guys i used to race with had them and it always seemed like it was a pain to load the cars (gravity tilt). When I drove the wrecker at the track I had to load there car on backwards one night and the bed kept wanting to flip down everytime I backed the wrecker up.

But I really want to keep the weight down as much as possible so I want to keep it to a single frame rail instead of a stacked. Plus I really want to try the air suspension route.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:48 AM   #18
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Thus far only considering steel construction??

I've seen some awful nice aluminum trailers but you're talking big bucks for custom built aluminum. If you're great tig welder and have access to cheap box aluminum, you could build a super lightweight trailer!
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:15 AM   #19
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Long winch control cables are easy. Every decent winch manufacturer will sell you a replacement controller end, take that and open up the hand held part and run whatever length of wire you want, I used a 25' grounded extension cord for mine (simple 3 wire winch) you can buy 5 conductor for the fancy winches. If your running a Warn winch, or if you can figure out basic wiring, you can use this: http://www.4wd.com/Jeep-Winches-Jeep...&t_pn=WAR76080 Keith
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:15 AM   #20
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Aluminum is way out of the price range Im willing to spend. Im hoping i can keep the cost under 2000 for frame, axles and decking.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:19 AM   #21
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

That looks like a taildragger for sure!
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:48 PM   #22
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I agree that the gravity tilt bed trailers are a pain. Mine are hydraulic lift. You can load a car with a winch without the trailer even hooked to the tow vehicle. A bonus is you can actually lift all 4 tires off the ground...with a car on the bed as well.

If anyone is interested, I have a partial build pictorial that I can post. It will take me a bit to find them. They are stored on "the cloud"

Later

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Old 03-20-2013, 08:05 PM   #23
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

whats the reasoning for most of the built trailers having a double frame rail where the tongue goes back to the axle then they stack the deck frame rail on top of that. On tilt deck its makes sense but not on a flat trailer. It seems like its only done that way so you dont have a butt weld holding the tongue on, and a marginal increase in strength on the nose of the trailer. But it creates a bigger problem for hitch height and tall trucks.

I would have an issue using my reese hitch on this style tongue with the rail begin so much lower then the hitch.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:15 PM   #24
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by koditten View Post
I agree that the gravity tilt bed trailers are a pain. Mine are hydraulic lift. You can load a car with a winch without the trailer even hooked to the tow vehicle. A bonus is you can actually lift all 4 tires off the ground...with a car on the bed as well.

If anyone is interested, I have a partial build pictorial that I can post. It will take me a bit to find them. They are stored on "the cloud"

Later

KO
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:16 PM   #25
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INTERESTED!
Me too!
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:19 PM   #26
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Me 3!
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:26 PM   #27
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Subscribed.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:26 PM   #28
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

What they said ^^^^
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:22 PM   #29
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Me and my big mouth
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:38 PM   #30
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I'm not sure what you are asking. I'll try to infer what your question is. By stacking that tongue and running the "A" legs of the tongue back you are increasing the streangth of the tailer manny times. I can't think of an instance where you would butt weld the tongue to the frame. That is the most stressed part of a trailer.

The coupler on the trailer you show is actually an adjustable coupler. You can move it up and down to fit your tow vehicle. They are quite nice to use.

You are correct that you have to take into consideration the ride hight. Many things can be done obtain your desired height. Taller/shorter wheels, drop tube axles, taller spring hangers, shorter/longer equalizer links or taller steel. The planning stage is really quite imprortant.

I think we got off topic. Are we still leaning towards the air ride? My experience only involves spring ride trailers. I like them because they are 100% user repairable. Some of the other systems are not easily repaired. I'm not saying they are better or worse, its jsut what I prefer.
Later
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:05 PM   #31
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I used to own a 20' H&H Speedloader trailer. Thought it was a slick setup.
If you have not seen one, you should check them out. The only downside is a low car might have problems with approach angle.
http://www.hhtrailer.com/Trailers/exSpeed/index.html


Currently I have a Loadtrail 16' tandem that does what i need a trailer for.

Last edited by alan camby; 03-20-2013 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:39 PM   #32
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I'm not sure what you are asking. I'll try to infer what your question is. By stacking that tongue and running the "A" legs of the tongue back you are increasing the streangth of the tailer manny times. I can't think of an instance where you would butt weld the tongue to the frame. That is the most stressed part of a trailer.
I understand its the most stressed part but if you use 5" for the tongue and 5" for the trailer frame, why would you need to double the thickness to 10" by stacking them instead of using buttweld and fish plate. As long as the material used has enough strength for the axle to hitch point I dont see how double stacking them helps other then mostely adding weight

The coupler on the trailer you show is actually an adjustable coupler. You can move it up and down to fit your tow vehicle. They are quite nice to use.
I grabbed that pic without looking close at it because i seen a high hitch, not thinking it was adjustable

You are correct that you have to take into consideration the ride height.
Ride height and weight are primary considerations, by having less ride height the car has height to climb and approach angles are typically shallower. Weight is the second consideration, the superlite trailer me and dad made is super convenient where just one person can drag the trailer around the yard with ease. And even with a car loaded on it you can sometimes get away with just having a person jump/bounce on the tail of the trailer to unhook from a truck if you dont have a jack or something.

I think we got off topic. Are we still leaning towards the air ride?
Yes, all the way. Im going to go all out on this trailer, if it dont work its a fairly easy switch to convention axles as everything is bolt on for the air ride
Kirk
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:08 PM   #33
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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I used to own a 20' H&H Speedloader trailer. Thought it was a slick setup.
If you have not seen one, you should check them out. The only downside is a low car might have problems with approach angle.
http://www.hhtrailer.com/Trailers/exSpeed/index.html


Currently I have a Loadtrail 16' tandem that does what i need a trailer for.
Those H & H Al trailers are beautiful. I've checked them out in detail. The only worry I have is about potential galvanic corrosion. All the steel hardware is bolted to the Al. I did not see any evidence of gaskits to prevent the corrosion. Everything else on those trailers is top notch. I was amazed at how light they are. If someone wanted to save weight this is the way to go.

I've been looking and I haven't seen a trop tube axle offered for these yet. That would lower the deck and decrease the approch angle.

Thanks for posting the link.

KO
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:52 AM   #34
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Heres a basic drawing just to see how the suspension is going to work and how much drop and clearances I need.

Any suggestions or issues anyone can see. The suspension parts are as close to the size of the dakota air ride as I can figure. Right now the trailer is 19" off the ground to get that geometry to work, But I really want to get it down to about 14-16". I can adjust the beaver tail if I need more scrape height.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:14 AM   #35
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

That's sweet!
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:35 PM   #36
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Is that the final location of the axles? I don't know what you are hauling, is the weight going to be near the axles?

You could always go with smaller wheels. 13" would lower the ride. Mighrt be hard to find in a "d" or "e" rating tho.

Looks like it is taking shape. I wish I had the skills to draw plans ahead of time. I have no prints to work from.

Later

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Old 03-24-2013, 06:30 PM   #37
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by koditten View Post
I agree that the gravity tilt bed trailers are a pain. Mine are hydraulic lift. You can load a car with a winch without the trailer even hooked to the tow vehicle. A bonus is you can actually lift all 4 tires off the ground...with a car on the bed as well.

If anyone is interested, I have a partial build pictorial that I can post. It will take me a bit to find them. They are stored on "the cloud"

Later

KO

Patiently waiting for details and pictures!

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Old 03-24-2013, 09:32 PM   #38
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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Patiently waiting for details and pictures!

Yo, Stouty:

I did post some pics. I didn't want to hi-jack the thread. I started my own thread.

I'll bump it for you.

Later

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Old 03-24-2013, 09:57 PM   #39
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I want to use truck tires for durability and weight rating. Axle location isn't definite yet but I figure it will be within about a foot. Is rather be to heavy on the tongue then to light. You can always crank the Reese bars tighter. But you can never seemingly load the car/truck any further forward when you most need it. Tire rack, toolbox or hauling a tractor or something goofy that has a lot of tail weight you benefit by having axles set back more. Plus I have the ability to raise the air pressure on the forward axle which will take weight off the tongue.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:16 PM   #40
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

You get my endorsement for the use of LT tires. I use trailer tires and rims because I have to. I've got no problem saying that almost all the trailer tires out there are pretty much crap.

There are some radial trailer tires that I have been watching for a couple years that holding up pretty good. Time will tell.

Later

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Old 03-24-2013, 10:30 PM   #41
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Any suggestions or issues anyone can see. The suspension parts are as close to the size of the dakota air ride as I can figure. Right now the trailer is 19" off the ground to get that geometry to work, But I really want to get it down to about 14-16". I can adjust the beaver tail if I need more scrape height.
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I see you like the Timbern design, do note I only saw them rated to 3500 lbs an "axle".
The trailer you pictured weights in a 3750, thus would only leave you 3250 for a vehicle.
Have you done the math?

How much is your trailer going to weigh?
What is the rating of the design you are copying?
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:34 PM   #42
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I will never willing put a St tire on. I've had several Carlisle tires explode on me with no warning. Yet car tires that replaced the Carlisle which have been extremely overloaded on occasion have never once given me a problem. Plus truck tires don't have a 65mph limit

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Old 03-24-2013, 10:39 PM   #43
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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Have you done the math?

How much is your trailer going to weigh?
What is the rating of the design you are copying?
I'm not using Timbren axles, I'm copying the idea but it will match closer to the Dakota air axles. The axles I'm using/modifying are i believe 6k axles. Actual weight I haven't figured out yet. I don't know what cross member spacing I'm using. But I might add a another piece of channel under the tongue to add some strength to it.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:32 AM   #44
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Rough estimate for steel length and weight is 60' for frame and tongue and 50' for cross members. Estimated weight 900-1000 lbs plus decking. Then add another 4-500 for suspension and air ride components. So with steel decking it'll prob come out right at 2k lbs.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:43 AM   #45
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

If you are going to stay with us here At the GJ you need to addsomething to your profile? I feel like I am talking to a wall here. Give us some info. We know absolutly nothing about your abilities, location, hobbies.

I tell everyone new to add stuff to the profile. People will check your profile evertime you post something. It doesn't have to detailed. We aren't looking for SSN or CC#s, just general stuff. Its also a great place to keep photos of your projects.

I love your plans, keep the questions and thoughts coming. Seeing how trailers are my passion, this new air ride system had me greatly interested.

Later

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Old 03-26-2013, 03:32 AM   #46
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

How far apart do you think I can space the cross members. Maxey use 16" w/3" channel which IMO is way to close (to much added weight) for my application. With our superlite 2x4x1/8 tubing throughout we did 36" I think with 2x10 deck and seems pretty strong. I was thinking going with 30 or 36" spacing with 4" tubing or channel with a 1/8 steel deck maybe .100 plate, if need be I can add a piece of angle iron under where the tires will be to keep the plate from bowing. In the area of the suspension I'll space them closer together for torsional rigidity.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:44 AM   #47
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

If you are using 1/8" plate, you are going to be disappointed with anything over 24" spaces. The plate will sag just from its own weight. It will absolutly drive you nuts.

I need you to clarify what you are using for cross members. for most 8k trailers, you really don't need anything heavier than 2 x 2 x 14 gauge tube. If you are going to haul tractors with loaded tires I would think about 1.5 x 3 x 1/8" rectangular tube. the 1 x 3 stuff is a great way to save weight but increase strength. Remember the vertical part of the tube is the part that you get your streangth from. If you are using plate steel, you do not need a huge area to weld to.

Later

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Old 03-26-2013, 04:08 AM   #48
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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I will never willing but a St tire.
Sorry but you lost me here.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:15 AM   #49
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I assumed that he meant trailer tires. Most are bias ply. Almost all are Asian made, poorly too.
There are a few good radial brands.

I don't want to get into the argument about trailer duty vs light truck duty tires. that has been done to death.

Later

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Old 03-26-2013, 05:42 AM   #50
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Few and expensive. And not readily available.

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Old 03-27-2013, 12:34 AM   #51
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

BTW, thanks for throwing a bit of info in the profile. You will find it useful to toss random stuff in there.

Keep us in the loop.

Later

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Old 03-27-2013, 10:13 AM   #52
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

My $.02 is to use a Bulldog hitch. It's easy to use and even easier to check to make sure it is latched correctly.

Don't forget back up lights on the trailer. You might also want some work lights up by the tire/tools. I have a winch on all my trailers and it's a life saver. I use a dedicated battery for it and use that to power work/load lights.

Have you thought about the steel deck, slick tires and rain/dew etc. That's always a fun thing to watch as somebody tries to load a car.

Since you're starting from scratch use nothing but LED's for all your lights.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:27 PM   #53
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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My $.02 is to use a Bulldog hitch. It's easy to use and even easier to check to make sure it is latched correctly.

Don't forget back up lights on the trailer.good idea never thought about it.

You might also want some work lights up by the tire/tools.there wont be a tire rack on this trailer but i do have a light bar on my truck for that reason.

I have a winch on all my trailers and it's a life saver. I use a dedicated battery for it and use that to power work/load lights. it will have a winch for sure

Have you thought about the steel deck, slick tires and rain/dew etc. That's always a fun thing to watch as somebody tries to load a car.ive seen guys struggle with even diamond plate so im not to worried about flat steel, I wont be able to load the car on the trailer anyways with the clutch I have in that car. Winch only

Since you're starting from scratch use nothing but LED's for all your lights.ive been thinking about going that route. Im having more issues trying to figure out how to make the wiring itself more bullet proof than anything.
....
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:45 PM   #54
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Back up lights should be standard equipment, unfortunately they are not. I put them on my own car hauler. You won't regret it.

As for the wiring, just make all connections accessible. They are always the weakest link.

Later
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:06 PM   #55
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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Originally Posted by Elvenhome21 View Post

My $.02 is to use a Bulldog hitch. It's easy to use and even easier to check to make sure it is latched correctly.

Don't forget back up lights on the trailer.good idea never thought about it.

You might also want some work lights up by the tire/tools.there wont be a tire rack on this trailer but i do have a light bar on my truck for that reason.One thing I learned is you don't always have your own truck every time you use the trailer.

I have a winch on all my trailers and it's a life saver. I use a dedicated battery for it and use that to power work/load lights. it will have a winch for sure I also hook my breakaway trailer brake switch to it. Don't forget to wire it in to your 7 way plug so the trailer battery charges off the truck.

Have you thought about the steel deck, slick tires and rain/dew etc. That's always a fun thing to watch as somebody tries to load a car.ive seen guys struggle with even diamond plate so im not to worried about flat steel, I wont be able to load the car on the trailer anyways with the clutch I have in that car. Winch only

Since you're starting from scratch use nothing but LED's for all your lights.ive been thinking about going that route. Im having more issues trying to figure out how to make the wiring itself more bullet proof than anything.Bullet proof wiring is pretty easy and since you're starting from scratch go with LED's. Money well spent.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:35 AM   #56
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Here is my 32' flatbed car hauler I designed. I made it hydraulic so the two rams drop the ramp, and wired in a wireless remote from a winch to power it up while I'm in the car. Here are some build pictures and almost finished pics.
I also put a 8000lb winch on the front, mounts for 6 fuel jugs, tongue box and a hydraulic tongue jack as well. Everywhere I take this thing, people are all over it and sometimes they want to buy it.




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Old 03-31-2013, 12:59 PM   #57
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

With the led lights do you ever have a issue with the lights partially breaking. A lot of led lights on semi trailers (3" round gromet style) have issues with the solder breaking on the bread board and a section of the lights stop working.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:53 PM   #58
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I officially have a severe case of trailer envy :-)
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:58 PM   #59
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

That is one, auwesome trailer. You have my gratitude for posting pics.

As for the LED lights, im pretty confidant that I have used all different makes. My professional opinion is that the worst LED lights are still better then the best incandescent lights. I use the 6" ovals so that is what I am referring to.

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Old 04-02-2013, 05:36 PM   #60
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Very nice trailer. That paint is so shiny that it reflects the license plate number that you blocked out!
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:23 PM   #61
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I never intended to hijack this thread. I wanted to show you guys another option that I have done. The tilt trailer is really awesome to say the least. I really like how low that trailer goes especially for lowered cars.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:24 PM   #62
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I never intended to hijack this thread. I wanted to show you guys another option that I have done. The tilt trailer is really awesome to say the least. I really like how low that trailer goes especially for lowered cars.
Its a thread for planning and ideas. Dont worry about it. I look at this as more of a thinktank for trying to combine all the things you want in a trailer and all the things a person never thought of to add.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:27 AM   #63
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

The wiring should be the eaisest part. For durability and ease, using crimp connectors with adhesive lined heat shrink is hard to beat. I agree with the LED's. Keep away from or break all sharp corners and shove them in a sleeve. I've wired dozens of custom cars, trucks, robots, tractors, motorcycles etc. and never had any issues. Properly spaced Adel clamps to support if you're not running inside of tubing. Weatherpack connectors if you're going to want to replace individual components are almost bulletproof, but comparatively expensive. Electrical doesn't move, so making it bulletproof is a no brainer. The same with the air system. Drop it by the house and I'll hook you up. When you do this build, post it please. I'm going to build a car hauler as well and I have many of the same constraints, wanting haul lowered vehicles(current truck sits at 4" and is going to the ground) and I'm too darn old to want to crawl out a window. Seeing as my tow vehicles are, or are going to be air ride, the air ride part is what I was thinking.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:31 AM   #64
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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Its a thread for planning and ideas. Dont worry about it. I look at this as more of a thinktank for trying to combine all the things you want in a trailer and all the things a person never thought of to add.
Along those lines have you thought of a rollback trailer? A friend of mine has an older Texas Rollback that is a slick setup, I've borrowed it to move cars too low to get on my conventional ramp-load trailer. Kwik Load is another manufacturer http://www.kwikload.com/.

These have the suspension attached to it's own frame that slides under the trailer deck. pull two pins, apply the trailer brakes and back up and the back of the trailer is on the ground. Load the car, pull forward and lock the pins and your back on the road.

The suspension is all standard parts, so easy to maintain and no worry about pumps, batteries and air or hydraulic systems.

That said, I do like the air ride idea as well, lots of good ideas here!
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:45 AM   #65
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Well Im finally getting enough of a bug up my butt to want to start tackling this project. Or at least get some hard details worked out. Doesnt look like Im getting my shop built this year so its going to be interesting doing this build.

I got 2 options right now for axles and im not sure which way im going to proceed. I have 2 mobile home axles with #42 spindles so I can buy new hubs and convert to a 6 or 8 bolt pattern. Being that they have to be narrowed anyways, I can cut some 1 1/4 plate to make a 6" drop axle. These are rated at 6-7k lb axles per axle.

Option 2 would be buy ebay axles 3.5k 4" drop axles are about $200 a piece vs 5.2k are $325. Downside to these are its only 4" drop and they are in Michigan so road trip.

Im leaning more towards option 1 for right now unless when I tear apart the axles i have I find out the brakes are junk. Then its option 2.

Im looking at something like this for an air compressor setup but havent found anybody in the air ride world to give there advice yet. http://www.amazon.com/VIAIR-150-PSI-...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Looking at some of these pictures Im really surprised at the lack of quality in some areas or at least appearance of some of the welds in these pictures being this is a production item http://www.ebay.com/itm/2014-Maxey-D...otors_Trailers

Im thinking for the frame, going with 6x2 8.2# channel for the main rail from the tongue all the way to tail in one plane, then adding a 4" channel under that rail from half way on the tongue to about half way to the axles so it has a double stacked frame at the butt joint of the tongue. That should be more then enough strength and still keep the tongue frame rails high enough for my needs.

Steel price seems a little high but Im thinking my local supplier would give me better a better price for the quantity of the order. Sucks that diamond plate is almost double the cost of sheet steel.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:15 AM   #66
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Bogey I appreciate your advice but its really hard to read your post and I take it you didnt read my entire post or the entire thread for that matter because most of the things you mentioned have already been gone over.

As for the mobile home axle. The only thing im using off of them is the spindles and maybe the tube which are the exact same as a 5200-7000lb axle so I dont see how they are "junk". Yes the hubs/wheels are a shitty design but im not using those hubs, They are being switched to 6 or 8 lug hubs/brakes.


I said originally. I have very specific requirements for a trailer.

Low ground clearance vehicle (ramps suck to load, bumper drags) Hence air ride and dove tail.

Air ride for a way better ride

Deck width is critical. Very wide car that doesn't fit on many trailers.

Fender height is another issue. Im sick of banging doors on the fender or not being able to open them because the fenders in the way.

Yes I can buy a used trailer that more then likely has never had the hubs greased or the wiring is a rats nest. Id rather start with NEW and not have to compromise on having a trailer that doesnt fit my needs completely. Ive yet to see any trailer other than a parker trailer (reliable custom racing trailer) that comes close to being logical for a racer.

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Old 03-07-2014, 09:13 AM   #67
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

A used trailer you can inspect the wheel bearings/brakes on and verify or fix to get things 100% safe and back to their original working order. Mobile home axle parts you will always be working with parts designed for a single trip with 4 other axles, designed to be throw-away.

If you build, I also like C channel as it allows you to paint and inspect all of the "exposed" metal, whereas tube can begin to rot from the inside out. I think it's also a bit easier to weld correctly for cross-members/etc. than thinner wall tube.

Do you race at RoadAmerica?
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:05 PM   #68
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Do us a favor and make this a build thread, pretty please?!
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:08 PM   #69
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A used trailer you can inspect the wheel bearings/brakes on and verify or fix to get things 100% safe and back to their original working order. I just dont want to deal with someone elses butchered junk.

Mobile home axle parts you will always be working with parts designed for a single trip with 4 other axles, designed to be throw-away. This is false, they are still rated for the 7000lbs just like any other 7000lb axle. The spindles and tube are the exact same. Its the tires that are junk and the wheel/hub mounting that suck. But like Ive said numerous time, im only using the spindles and tube. The hubs will be replaced with conventional 6 or 8 bolt

If you build, I also like C channel as it allows you to paint and inspect all of the "exposed" metal, whereas tube can begin to rot from the inside out. I think it's also a bit easier to weld correctly for cross-members/etc. than thinner wall tube.

Do you race at RoadAmerica? Yes, I havent been able to the last 2 years but I hoping once things settle down with work I will be able to in fall
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:06 PM   #70
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Here is my 32' flatbed car hauler I designed. I made it hydraulic so the two rams drop the ramp, and wired in a wireless remote from a winch to power it up while I'm in the car. Here are some build pictures and almost finished pics.
I also put a 8000lb winch on the front, mounts for 6 fuel jugs, tongue box and a hydraulic tongue jack as well. Everywhere I take this thing, people are all over it and sometimes they want to buy it.





What did you use for beams?
Also, what did you use for your hydraulics for the rear?
I'm building one soon with a Timbren axleless setup.
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