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Old 03-17-2013, 03:43 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, 09:24 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, 09:38 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, 09:49 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 03-18-2013, 12:09 AM   #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, 02:15 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, 02:51 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, 05:13 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 08:48 AM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:17 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 06:20 AM.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:44 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, 02:51 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, 02:57 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, 03:20 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, 04:35 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, 04:43 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, 05:56 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, 08:36 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, 08:48 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, 09:15 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, 09:15 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, 09:19 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, 06:48 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, 09:05 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, 09:15 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, 09:16 PM   #25
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INTERESTED!
Me too!
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:19 PM   #26
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Me 3!
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:26 PM   #27
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Subscribed.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:26 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, 10:22 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, 10:38 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, 11:05 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 11:08 PM.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:39 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 03-21-2013, 12:08 AM   #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, 04:52 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, 11:14 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, 06:35 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, 07:30 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, 10:32 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, 10:57 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, 11:16 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, 11:30 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, 11:34 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, 11:39 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, 04:32 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, 04:43 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, 04:32 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, 04:44 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, 05:08 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, 05:15 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, 06:42 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, 01:34 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, 11:13 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, 11:27 PM   #53
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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, 11:45 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 03-28-2013, 12:06 AM   #55
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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.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, 07:35 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, 01:59 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, 10:53 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, 06:58 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, 06:36 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, 09:23 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, 10:24 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, 11:27 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, 12:31 PM   #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, 04:45 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, 06:15 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, 10:13 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, 02:05 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, 01:08 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, 07:06 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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Old 08-09-2014, 03:44 AM   #71
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Well its about time to get this project underway. The biggest thing i keep getting hung up on is finding the right air bags. Can anybody that deals with airbags point me in the right direction for airbags that are rated above 2500lbs. Id like to stay under 9" diameter but I need at least 7-9 in of stroke with a compressed height of less than 4.5".

Im open to rolling lobe springs but from what ive read they handle less weight for size/diameter when compared to double convoluted springs.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:40 AM   #72
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I would think contacting bag mfg would give you the best solution for finding the right sized bag.

I would think a hinged dovetail would give you more flexibility. Something that goes above level. You drive on a flat dovetail and then lower the trailer thereby lifting the front. Plus it could be up when traveling. I've seen a few low trailers get hung up going into driveways on roads with a large crown.
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:31 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Elvenhome21 View Post
Well its about time to get this project underway. The biggest thing i keep getting hung up on is finding the right air bags. Can anybody that deals with airbags point me in the right direction for airbags that are rated above 2500lbs. Id like to stay under 9" diameter but I need at least 7-9 in of stroke with a compressed height of less than 4.5".

Im open to rolling lobe springs but from what ive read they handle less weight for size/diameter when compared to double convoluted springs.
Look them up at McMaster-Carr.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:55 PM   #74
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Firestone? Ride Tech? I would think finding 2500lb bags would be easy, but I've never tired. How about a heavy/medium duty truck repair shop?
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:28 PM   #75
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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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!
That is just awesome!
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:19 AM   #76
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Firestone? Ride Tech? I would think finding 2500lb bags would be easy, but I've never tired. How about a heavy/medium duty truck repair shop?
2500lb isnt big enough. Im looking at 2800lb bags or above to give some leeway if I haul something heavy like my dads tractor. And by having bigger bags then needed you run less air pressure and get a smoother ride.
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:25 AM   #77
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I would think contacting bag mfg would give you the best solution for finding the right sized bag.

I would think a hinged dovetail would give you more flexibility. Something that goes above level. You drive on a flat dovetail and then lower the trailer thereby lifting the front. Plus it could be up when traveling. I've seen a few low trailers get hung up going into driveways on roads with a large crown.
The biggest problem I have with the hinged trailer is the extra weight and strength needed to do that. Im trying to keep it as lite weight and strong with as little to go wrong as possible.

As far as getting hung up, Im putting some sort of rollers under the tail to keep from dragging. But Ive never really had a problem with our low trailers dragging to bad. Im shooting for around 12-16" tail ride height which is more then our current trailers.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:10 AM   #78
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

This is where Im at for semi final layout. Its about as close as I can get for geometry to come out and still have the axles where I need them for weight.
Its a 6" dove tail for the last 4 feet, the axles are 6" drop.

The dimension on the print are a little off from when I scaled it. but they are rounded off to the closest foot

Things im still debating on are electric trailer jack vs manual (anybody have input on the electrics), mounting the bags behind the axle to give it better mechanical advantage, plus I might be able to use rolling lobe air bags from a class 6-8 truck because it would be a fairly straight vertical travel. (i can get them for about $25 a piece) if they have the shorter style.

Frame Im pretty sure Im going with 6" channel with a 3" channel under the tongue to tie it together. Im leaning more toward 6 lug axles now with offset set for truck wheels.

Anybody see anything that doesnt look right
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:27 PM   #79
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I think xtremek is right, go to a heavy truck parts supplier for a set of air bags. They will call them "air springs". Most heavy trucks on the road these days ride on air springs and weight is not a issue with these suspensions. there are large bags for more weight down to tiny air bags for the suspension in the drivers seat and everything in between. I think if you know what you will need for dimensions, inflated (max) height, deflated height (thickness, mounting style and diameter they will fix you right up. there a huge variety of sizes so I'm very sure when you decide what you need they will fix you up. I did a google search around Sheyboygan and found a couple places you might look, Lakeshore fleet maintenance, Marquart ( a Mack dealer) and a couple others. Air bags are very common any truck parts supplier should be able to fix you up. If you have any friends that work on truck and trailers give them a run down of your plans and ask their advise. Good luck, I think it will make a great trailer.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:12 PM   #80
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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This is where Im at for semi final layout. Its about as close as I can get for geometry to come out and still have the axles where I need them for weight.
Its a 6" dove tail for the last 4 feet, the axles are 6" drop.

The dimension on the print are a little off from when I scaled it. but they are rounded off to the closest foot

Things im still debating on are electric trailer jack vs manual (anybody have input on the electrics), mounting the bags behind the axle to give it better mechanical advantage, plus I might be able to use rolling lobe air bags from a class 6-8 truck because it would be a fairly straight vertical travel. (i can get them for about $25 a piece) if they have the shorter style.

Frame Im pretty sure Im going with 6" channel with a 3" channel under the tongue to tie it together. Im leaning more toward 6 lug axles now with offset set for truck wheels.

Anybody see anything that doesnt look right
You are going to need drop tube axles for that diagram to work. The axle tube on 5k axles are 4" OD, if memory servese me correctly.

The electric jack is a wonderful idea. I've put several on. I like them alot. I only had one customer that didn't like it. They do stand taller than a hand crank. Be aware that they may hit the tail gate on a truck when you lower the tail gate.

I would make the tonge out of 4" channel, three is a bit light if you plan on hauling medium heavy equipment.

I got nothing to offer on the air bags, as I have never used them, but am really looking forward to seeing this trailer develope.

Later

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Old 08-10-2014, 11:54 PM   #81
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

The tongue would be 6" with a 3" stacked under it. So 9" tall. Im figuring a 4' long tougue and starting the 3" about 1 1/2' behind the ball and continuing the 3" channel to about 4-5' behind the tongue to frame seam.
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:56 PM   #82
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

As for getting the airbags and components there's a place in sturtavent that is a semi junk yard. He goes by semipartsman on eBay and I've bought stuff from him in the past. He doesn't sell junk parts. Only good useable part
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:20 AM   #83
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Why don't you get rid of the airbag idea and use floating torsions.

If the whole torsion axle outer tube can rotate when lowering it the trailing arms behave similar to droppers.

All you need is a single hydraulic ram and linkages to move [and locate] the outer torsion tubes.
The geometry and maths would be a "piece of piss" to figure out!

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/a...6&d=1407668046

Use thin wall rectangular tubing for the tongue ,main rails ,and cross members.
It is lighter weight for the equivalent beaming strength but has a higher torsional strength.

2 x 1/8" walls on a 4"x2" RHS has the same amount of steel as a 4"x2" x 1/4" C Channel, but is stronger because the top and bottom 2" flanges can't buckle.

Shape is more important than size!!!!

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Old 08-14-2014, 09:13 PM   #84
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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.

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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I understand what he is meaning about the double stacking question and have the same question myself. I am planning to build a similar trailer to what this thread is about. 20' long 10k capacity but I am running into issues that are similar to this thread. I understand that yes stacking the rails increases strength. But what I don't understand is if your concentration is on ride height and weight then why you couldn't go toward a more structural solution rather than using more steel to make up for lacking strength in design?

My idea is this (and I may be wrong): From a fabricator's standpoint C-channel is a great structural item but not the best. I have seen many people try to say that rectangular tubing has the same beam strength asC-channel but weighs more but this isn't true. There it's an increase in beam strength by closing that C into a rectangle due to two vertical side walls now acting as support. I can't give you engineering numbers or anything to tell you how much it is increased or by what percent it's increased I'm sorry that I can't provide that. I can tell you that this aside there is an added bonus to using rectangular tubing. You can use designs with torsional loads. C-channel is weak to torsion loading that's why you will see trailers twisting slightly when going over curbs and such from too shallow of a turn line. Also to sight past for instances on this idea, when you want to take an old truck and make it into an off-road rig one of the first things you do is box the frame making the frame "rectangular tubing". Now that I got the material explanation out of the way on to the design aspect. What if you took the V design of the tongue that runs back to the first axle and is usually the lower of the double stacked frames and sank the deck frame onto it? Here's what I mean. Two solid un-spliced rectangular tubes used for the tongue ran in a V shape directly to the inside edge of the rectangle tubes used for the deck frame and welded there. Now I'm not talking welding it open faced or anything I'm talking cut the end at an angle and "fit" on the inside of the rail and weld it up. Then since now all you have is two parallel beams and a V welded to them you close the front of the frame by cutting the leading edge cross member or leading beam to fill in the gaps and weld it in place. You can't do this with C-channel because the front of the trailer's structure is now reliant on the torsional strength of the front of the deck frame as well as the strength of the tongue beams.

This is my idea and opinion so please feel free to rip it apart lol. I will try to doa tough drawing off this to give a better view of what I mean but until then please let me know what you think.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:22 PM   #85
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One of my main questions has to do with trailer width. On some of the websites I have been looking at it says that laws are in place that a trailer or vehicle cannot exceed 102 inches wide. With trailer tires usually being 9 inches wide add them together that is 18 inches of width that you will lose if your deck is sank to the same height as your tires not to mention a half inch clearance between the deck and the tires themselves add this all up and you will get 19 inches that is taken away from your deck width. This leaves you with only 83 inches of deck width. This being said I am seeing trailers that are rated at 10,000 pounds are 20 foot long and have a deck width of 84 inches and the deck is sank to the same level as the tires so am I looking at this wrong as far as the way the law is stated or is there wiggle room?
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:47 PM   #86
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Are tyres usually 9" wide.. ???
Not for any I have ever used
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:53 AM   #87
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

102" is the maximum legal width. But youd be hard pressed to find dot being able to eye ball the difference between 100" and 104" so if it goes a smidge over 102 I'm not overly concerned
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:00 AM   #88
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Usually it is the fenders that get in the way. Most are 10", so you lose 20" of width right away
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:20 AM   #89
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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One of my main questions has to do with trailer width. On some of the websites I have been looking at it says that laws are in place that a trailer or vehicle cannot exceed 102 inches wide. With trailer tires usually being 9 inches wide add them together that is 18 inches of width that you will lose if your deck is sank to the same height as your tires not to mention a half inch clearance between the deck and the tires themselves add this all up and you will get 19 inches that is taken away from your deck width. This leaves you with only 83 inches of deck width. This being said I am seeing trailers that are rated at 10,000 pounds are 20 foot long and have a deck width of 84 inches and the deck is sank to the same level as the tires so am I looking at this wrong as far as the way the law is stated or is there wiggle room?
They make trailer with the deck above the tires, deck over is what they call them around here.
You have to stay under 102 unless you get a permit, so stay under it.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:27 AM   #90
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They make trailer with the deck above the tires, deck over is what they call them around here.
You have to stay under 102 unless you get a permit, so stay under it.
in the eye of the law yes, but in reality I doubt a cop would ever pull you over "just" to pull out a tape measure.

A deck over is completely out of the question for this application.

The way maxey trailers are looking at the pictures theres a 2x3 tube that runs just inside the tires on top of the deck. My guess is that they notch the channel frame under it for axle clearance and also it give the fenders a little protection. But they do classify their trailers as 83" wide so it should be doable.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:40 AM   #91
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I doubt a cop would ever pull you over "just" to pull out a tape measure.
Probably not but if you're traveling around the country there are places where a cop will pull you over just because you're pulling a trailer. The laws on non-commercial trailers vary significantly from state to state and are often so convoluted that those who are enforcing them often don't understand them fully. It's hard enough to comply with the laws you don't know about when trailering without building a trailer that you know doesn't meet a federal regulation.
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:00 AM   #92
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102" is the maximum legal width. But youd be hard pressed to find dot being able to eye ball the difference between 100" and 104" so if it goes a smidge over 102 I'm not overly concerned

You might want to be careful with the width. Here in Wi. the DOT cops (Motor Carrier inspectors) will pull you over, even if you are not a commercial vehicle. The thing with them is they won't eyeball it, they will definitely measure it. Those guys are trained to notice things like length, width, height, load securement and weight at just a glance and will pull you over to check it out.
I really like your idea and am not trying to rain on your parade, I just thought I would offer friendly advise, I have dealt with these guys for over 30 years.
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:19 AM   #93
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in the eye of the law yes, but in reality I doubt a cop would ever pull you over "just" to pull out a tape measure.

A deck over is completely out of the question for this application.

The way maxey trailers are looking at the pictures theres a 2x3 tube that runs just inside the tires on top of the deck. My guess is that they notch the channel frame under it for axle clearance and also it give the fenders a little protection. But they do classify their trailers as 83" wide so it should be doable.
All it takes is once, and then you've a bad day.

I am also making a trailer with my brother for his off road buggy.

A couple popular options:
1 Make them so you can drive over, extra steel (harder for cars, easier for Jeeps & 4x4's)
2 Make them removable (Might be just enough space without driving over the wheels)
3 Hing them so they fold out
4 Create a ramp out of wood to raise the tire high enough to open the doors.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:05 AM   #94
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

A deck over is the opposite of a low deck trailer. Sure it is fine for a rock crawler but not many of those have ground effects front ends.
I wonder how impractical it would be to add air bags to the race car to raise up the front and lessen the need for a low trailer?
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:13 AM   #95
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Probably not but if you're traveling around the country there are places where a cop will pull you over just because you're pulling a trailer. The laws on non-commercial trailers vary significantly from state to state and are often so convoluted that those who are enforcing them often don't understand them fully. It's hard enough to comply with the laws you don't know about when trailering without building a trailer that you know doesn't meet a federal regulation.
Ive had the pleasure of dealing with DOT in a lot of states when I drove OTR and other than Indiana and Cali (which are terrible) most states understand that theres always circumstances to every violation. Burnt out headligths or corroded trailer connector they will normally be willing to work with you as long as your not a jerk to them and be kind.

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You might want to be careful with the width. Here in Wi. the DOT cops (Motor Carrier inspectors) will pull you over, even if you are not a commercial vehicle. The thing with them is they won't eyeball it, they will definitely measure it. Those guys are trained to notice things like length, width, height, load securement and weight at just a glance and will pull you over to check it out.
I really like your idea and am not trying to rain on your parade, I just thought I would offer friendly advise, I have dealt with these guys for over 30 years.
WI is one of the most reasonable states ive ever been pulled over in Commercial and NON commercial. Heck both dual axle trailers Ive used for the last 10 years dont even have license plates on them. And Ivenever been even questioned about it when dealing with cops. Yes I know how luck goes, but cops seem to do things more by the INTENT of the violation rather than just because its the law. You can talk your way into warnings instead of tickets by what your intent was. If it was a 10 foot wide trailer thats INTENT to be leagal, vs being 103" it could be as simple as changing wheel offset after the trailer is built and being stuck with what you got.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:08 PM   #96
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Ok, I'm glad you have experience dealing with them (DOT), then you know what I was talking about. I'm sorry if I came off as some guy playing a expert, I just wanted to help give you some info if you may have been unaware. You are right about Wi. being a little more easy going with the DOT than some other states, I never ran Cal. (by choice) but been around a lot over the years and seen some interesting things with the law. To me it seems like if you get pulled over, you can get off with murder if you are curtious and make the cop feel like he is teaching you something with out having to wright a ticket. Personaly, I think 103"/104" may never be noticed but was just trying to say it could be at some point. I hope you took no offense to my preaching, lol. Like I said I think it sounds like a cool project and look forward to your future posts on it. By the way, what kind of racing do you do? I just "hung up my helmet" 2012 and sold everything, I had a dirt modified.

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Old 08-15-2014, 03:15 PM   #97
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I love this thread! I do find it interesting that not 1 piece of iron has been cut and you got near a 100 comments. I build an entire trailer and I'm lucky to see half that

Like I've said, I'm subscribed to the end. Make it happen, Cap'n!

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Old 08-15-2014, 04:53 PM   #98
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I love this thread! I do find it interesting that not 1 piece of iron has been cut and you got near a 100 comments. I build an entire trailer and I'm lucky to see half that

KO

That's because you build basic uncomplicated conventional trailers [This is a compliment ]

One thing I've learned over the years with trailers and customers is "everybody thinks they are an expert"
They come up with these new fangled ideas at "re-inventing the wheel" but in the end it is the conventional designs that outlast and outsell.

Nobody wants to pay for all these Hydraulic ,Air-bagged ,sliding deck, ground loaders. They cost more than a basic enclosed trailer.

You spend more time on the road, than you do loading them.
So money would be better spent on making the trailer tow nice [handling] than on how to save 30-45secs because the buyer doesn't want to slide out the ramps.

The famous Lee Iacocca once said "Don't sell them technology, sell them leather" which rings true.
If the time was spent on style and workmanship, it will be a better investment in the long run.
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:33 PM   #99
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Max width here in NZ is 98 inches in my memory is working OK.. lol
Which in NZ talk is 2.5 metres.
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:00 PM   #100
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Are tyres usually 9" wide.. ???
Not for any I have ever used
Bulge to bulge you will find them 9" for 4 tires able to load 10k.
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:01 PM   #101
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Koditten did you see my reply earlier in the thread about materials and design?
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:43 PM   #102
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Yep. Wasn't sure what you were asking. Just got my progressive lenses, so I don't read long paragraphs so well. Wasn't sure if you were for or against channel iron.

I like channel for longer trailers. To give it torsional strength I use boxed cross members. It really stiffens up a long trailer. Flex is not a bad thing, so a bt isn't hurting anything.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:56 AM   #103
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Ok I can understand that. What I'm going for is trimming the fat essentially. I wantitstrong but light weight did using rectangle tubing in a structural design. What did you think about the non-double stack idea? Sorry to make you read the long paragraphs.
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:55 AM   #104
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6x2 by .120 rect tubing has slightly less strength than 5" channel
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:58 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by kerrynzl View Post
That's because you build basic uncomplicated conventional trailers [This is a compliment ]

One thing I've learned over the years with trailers and customers is "everybody thinks they are an expert"
They come up with these new fangled ideas at "re-inventing the wheel" but in the end it is the conventional designs that outlast and outsell.

Nobody wants to pay for all these Hydraulic ,Air-bagged ,sliding deck, ground loaders. They cost more than a basic enclosed trailer.

You spend more time on the road, than you do loading them.
So money would be better spent on making the trailer tow nice [handling] than on how to save 30-45secs because the buyer doesn't want to slide out the ramps.

The famous Lee Iacocca once said "Don't sell them technology, sell them leather" which rings true.
If the time was spent on style and workmanship, it will be a better investment in the long run.
Its not about the ramps. Its about approach angle. That's the biggest reason I can't use simpler designs. But unless you've EVER pulled an air ride trailer you have no idea how smooth they ride compared to springs.
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Old 08-16-2014, 05:04 AM   #106
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Yep. Wasn't sure what you were asking. Just got my progressive lenses, so I don't read long paragraphs so well. Wasn't sure if you were for or against channel iron.

I like channel for longer trailers. To give it torsional strength I use boxed cross members. It really stiffens up a long trailer. Flex is not a bad thing, so a bt isn't hurting anything.
Hopefully this week I'll be able to order the steel for the frame. I'm still getting hung up with doing the axles because nobody makes 6" drops and I haven't found a supplier that will sell just the spindle and drop arm from a torsion axle. If I build them from scratch to the length and drop I need I'm at about $350-370 a piece
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Old 08-16-2014, 05:45 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by Elvenhome21 View Post
Its not about the ramps. Its about approach angle. That's the biggest reason I can't use simpler designs. But unless you've EVER pulled an air ride trailer you have no idea how smooth they ride compared to springs.
A spring is a spring regardless of whether it is air, torsion, leaf, etc.
The reason air-ride trailers are smoother is because they are not over-sprung like the majority of leaf spring trailers.
Whenever somebody offers advice, they always say "make sure you uprate to 7000lb axles and springs" Blah blah !
If you know your payload [racecar?]weight, go as soft as you can. And keep the weight closer to the suspension on the trailer.
Too much weight on the tongue causes "porpoising" because it lowers the frequency of the tow vehicle suspension [ similar to an adult jumping on a kid's pogo stick ]
I do road-racing so I hate dismantling the car just to load it. The biggest issue is the front overhang.
A simple gravity tilt trailer with a 40-48" dovetail ,and pull out ramps would load a road race car.
The idea is to have the dovetail and ramp at exactly the same approach angle, so a 48" dove with a 48" ramp is exactly the same as a 96" ramp.

Here is a photo with a 36" dove and ramp . you'll notice a metal "height limiter" underneath [that is attached to the ramp, and slides in with it ]
The height limiter acts like a wooden chock, and sets the angle of the tilt.

This particular trailer had a van door gas strut on the tongue, so the owner could tilt it by himself [and it stayed up ]
When the car was loaded ,gravity levelled the deck onto the tongue.

No Hydraulics, airbags , or helpers needed.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:39 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Elvenhome21 View Post
6x2 by .120 rect tubing has slightly less strength than 5" channel
How did you come to that conclusion?
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:17 AM   #109
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I built a trailer for my 1600lb Brunton SuperStalker. No suspension between the 3500lb axle and the trailer, tilt bed held up with gas struts from my Roadmaster Wagon hood, electric brakes. 15x7 wheels with the same stud pattern as the Stalker. Tows great and is light enough that we can easily tow the Stalker on the trailer with a Mazda Tribute (rebadged Ford Escape).

Paul

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1408198595.549432.jpg
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Old 08-16-2014, 05:12 PM   #110
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How did you come to that conclusion?
Stiffness comparison:

2x6x.120 - Strong axis section modulus: 2.97 in^3

C5x6.7 - Strong Axis Section modulus: 2.99 in^3
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:19 PM   #111
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6x2 by .120 rect tubing has slightly less strength than 5" channel
what wall thickness?
And are you comparing weight for weight?

In the school of "Cowshed engineering" it is better to add more and more weight/steel until it "looks" strong enough.

With car haulers it is easy because the weight is loaded over 4 patches [ up to 120" apart x 60" wide ]
so a 20' deck can have the loads approx. 60" each side of the centerline [ 3 support points off the suspension ]

Also the tyre footprints are close to the outer edges ,so the x-members can be lightweight.

Dropping a heavy load of timber down the centre of the trailer is a different scenario
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:39 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by kerrynzl View Post
what wall thickness?
And are you comparing weight for weight?
Stiffness comparison:

2x6x.120<thickness - Strong axis section modulus: 2.97 in^3

C5x6.7<weight which channel is measured in - Strong Axis Section modulus: 2.99 in^3
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:15 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by Elvenhome21 View Post
Stiffness comparison:

2x6x.120<thickness - Strong axis section modulus: 2.97 in^3

C5x6.7<weight which channel is measured in - Strong Axis Section modulus: 2.99 in^3
I'm not trying to be a jerk but where did you get those numbers because that makes no sense at all... C5x6.7 channel is only 5" in height which already puts it at a disadvantage then it's width or flange is only 1 3/4" which really isn't of to much consequence but it is smaller dimensionally than the tubing. The web of that channel or thickness of it is .190... So the dimensions are smaller and the thickness is only .070 thicker so how would it be stronger? Let's also remember that strength of any material loaded in the vertical plane is based on the height measurement and strength it carries. Look at it this way the more height of a beam the stronger it is right? But also this is reliant on the thickness or web of that vertical element... So looking at just this the channel has a .190 wall 5" height whereas the rectangular tubing has two vertical elements that are .120" wall each and 6" tall which equates to .240"x6".... This is all not to mention torsional strength into the equation or anything... What am I missing?

If rectangular tubing isn't stronger than channel then why do you box a frame in on an older truckwhen you want to make it stronger? Also why do all newer trucks come with rectangular tubing frame rails when the main focus of pickup truck engineering is strength and light weight?

Elvenhome this may not apply to your class but what type of frame rails does your race car have? If it isn't all round tubing then it's rectangular tubing am I wrong?
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:03 PM   #114
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Not all newer trucks have tube framing. And I don't know any medium size that do.
Boxing makes it stiffer. Is that stronger? Maybe, maybe until it snaps.
And you have to look at the rest of the trailer to figure what is best.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:23 PM   #115
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Not all newer trucks have tube framing. And I don't know any medium size that do.
Boxing makes it stiffer. Is that stronger? Maybe, maybe until it snaps.
And you have to look at the rest of the trailer to figure what is best.
Ford F150 vs Toyota Tundra - Frame Strength: http://youtu.be/zRfE_XAk2mE

Check this out...

In addition you say until it snaps but if we are still using just mild steel then it won't be brittle and snap but this is also dependant on ability to weld...
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:39 PM   #116
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

All new 2014 half ton trucks except Toyota tundra are boxed frames (rectangle tubes).
That includes:
RAM 1500
GM/Chevy 1500
Ford F-150
Nissan Titan

I have pictures of all of these except the Nissan cause Nissan won't release pictures of their naked frames...
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:33 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Elvenhome21 View Post
Stiffness comparison:

2x6x.120<thickness - Strong axis section modulus: 2.97 in^3

C5x6.7<weight which channel is measured in - Strong Axis Section modulus: 2.99 in^3
C5 x 6.7 in not a size I am familiar with [ everywhere else in the world is metric ] so I looked it up here
http://www.pscqatar.com/mediafiles/1...20Standard.pdf

It weighs 9.971 Kg’s per linear metre

150mm x 50mm x 3mm [ 6” x 2” x 1/8”] weighs 8.96 Kg’s per linear metre so there is 10.13% less mass for the 0.66% less modulus.

But the real importance is with the torsional strength. Any bending loads on the crossmembers are torsional on the main rails.
Any lateral forces on the spring hangers [ leaf spring ] become torsional loads.


A pair of 100 x 50 x 3mm frame rails is easily strong enough for a 6500lb payload [ we’ve actually had 13,000 lbs on a trailer which had the same rails ]

Build your trailer from “Galv” 100 x 50 RHS with 75 x 50 crossmembers and zinc paint the welds. Then glue 5mm aluminium tread-plate on the deck
It’ll be strong, shiny and permanent [and cheap]
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:58 PM   #118
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Does ford use the same style frame on their super duty's? No. Why not? Because it is not always better.
Doing a specific test that doesn't mean anything gives you what?
I would not put the same frame under a box trailer as I would an equipment trailer or an expedition trailer.
The right design for the application is what is important.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:49 AM   #119
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Well you have all lost me.
I'm going to look for a trailer build thread...
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:35 AM   #120
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I'm not trying to be a jerk but where did you get those numbers because that makes no sense at all... C5x6.7 channel is only 5" in height which already puts it at a disadvantage then it's width or flange is only 1 3/4" which really isn't of to much consequence but it is smaller dimensionally than the tubing. The web of that channel or thickness of it is .190... So the dimensions are smaller and the thickness is only .070 thicker so how would it be stronger? Let's also remember that strength of any material loaded in the vertical plane is based on the height measurement and strength it carries. Look at it this way the more height of a beam the stronger it is right? But also this is reliant on the thickness or web of that vertical element... So looking at just this the channel has a .190 wall 5" height whereas the rectangular tubing has two vertical elements that are .120" wall each and 6" tall which equates to .240"x6".... This is all not to mention torsional strength into the equation or anything... What am I missing?

If rectangular tubing isn't stronger than channel then why do you box a frame in on an older truckwhen you want to make it stronger? Also why do all newer trucks come with rectangular tubing frame rails when the main focus of pickup truck engineering is strength and light weight?

Elvenhome this may not apply to your class but what type of frame rails does your race car have? If it isn't all round tubing then it's rectangular tubing am I wrong?
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/tow-r...s-channel.html
about half way down
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:30 AM   #121
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

found a realy cool tie down mounts that Im going to use instead of drings. and the slots are wide enough for straps also. But Im going to put these on the decking and the side rails.

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Old 08-17-2014, 11:25 AM   #122
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Changed my mind the other day on trailer length. Was helping a friend move a car and happened to have a tape measure on me and was doing some measuring with where the car was loaded compared to where I would prefer it to be loaded given the right deck length. So now its going to be a 24' deck length trailer instead of only 20.

The cross beams are just on the drawing for reference. The spacing will change when I get the axles and air bags under it to see where I need the strength for the mounts. But the spacing will be somewhere between 16-20".
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File Type: jpg trailer 24.jpg (76.5 KB, 104 views)
File Type: jpg trailer 24 whole.jpg (67.9 KB, 99 views)

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Old 08-17-2014, 01:50 PM   #123
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I love this thread! I do find it interesting that not 1 piece of iron has been cut and you got near a 100 comments. I build an entire trailer and I'm lucky to see half that

Like I've said, I'm subscribed to the end. Make it happen, Cap'n!

KO
I just seen the view count and its at 35,000 views. I wouldve never thought it would get more then 200
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:32 PM   #124
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found a realy cool tie down mounts that Im going to use instead of drings. and the slots are wide enough for straps also. But Im going to put these on the decking and the side rails.
Details Sir. Where did you get them and how much? I'm rebuilding a 20' trailer myself at some point in the near future. Thanks
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:14 PM   #125
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Details Sir. Where did you get them and how much? I'm rebuilding a 20' trailer myself at some point in the near future. Thanks
I got the idea from a guy on pirate4x4. they are just cnc plasma cut. I have a 4'x8' cnc plasma table so Ill just make my own. But if your looking for some I can make a stack of them.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:11 AM   #126
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I wasn't trying to argue over the whole material conversation I was trying to throw my input into the mix it's all. I found the formulas to find modulus strength of a shape and got different numbers but that's neither here nor there really. The main reason for my use of tubing is in my design. I will get a drawing soon for scrutiny lol. I don't have fancy CAD programs though so I will probably just hand draw it on draft paper and scan it into the computer.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:34 AM   #127
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I wasn't trying to argue over the whole material conversation I was trying to throw my input into the mix it's all. I found the formulas to find modulus strength of a shape and got different numbers but that's neither here nor there really. The main reason for my use of tubing is in my design. I will get a drawing soon for scrutiny lol. I don't have fancy CAD programs though so I will probably just hand draw it on draft paper and scan it into the computer.
I use draftsight, its free, works decent, and I can actually use the files when I transfer it into my CAM program without having to tweak all the lines like most cad program files.
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:12 PM   #128
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I put the order in for steel today so friday i should be getting started on this project
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:30 AM   #129
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I have to wait until the weekend for this to start? I've really enjoyed the design stage so far, so I'm waiting with baited breath for this. Good luck and thanks.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:13 AM   #130
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

There better be lots of pics!

Im in for the whole build.

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Old 08-20-2014, 01:35 PM   #131
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I SUCK at taking pictures during a project. Its hard enough with adhd to stay focused on a job for more then 45 minutes without getting distracted much less trying to take pictures. But Ill make sure to get pictures of the important parts, or if you guys want to see something in particular let me know.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:58 PM   #132
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Those tie down pieces are so cool! How much big of hole did you cut out in the trailer to allow the hooks to work well? More reasons why I need to get a plasma cnc table!
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:13 PM   #133
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Yeah I would like to see the hole in the trailer frame prior to welding on the strap plates.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:59 PM   #134
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from what the guy that made them originally said, is they are 1 1/4 wide slots. They are just barely big enough to fit a flat style hook in there if needed. I probably wont be putting slots in the frame rail, Id rather just put more of those plates on the deck at wider intervals.

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Old 08-20-2014, 07:55 PM   #135
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I like those plates! (Tie down mounts.)
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:20 PM   #136
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GOT to follow this one thru construction...
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:33 PM   #137
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Great thread and the actual build has not even started, I am also thinking of building my own trailer, for next years race season. Im glad that there is plenty of people here willing to help/explain anything that there might be a question about.
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:27 PM   #138
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I have to get my computer up and running again and then I will download that software so that I can show ya'll my design. Hey Koditten what size do you use for channel on trailers rated this high? Just curious.
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:31 PM   #139
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Also being that i'm still in the design phase how do you determine axle placement on a trailer like this?
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:29 PM   #140
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Also being that i'm still in the design phase how do you determine axle placement on a trailer like this?
Do you want the USA approach to this, or the rest of the world approach?

In the USA
A generic trailer builder moves the axles as far rearward as possible, so the onus is on the user to buy an F350 dually [or bigger] to handle the loads.
Then they need to buy an equalizer hitch as a patch up fix for too much sway[ understand that the more weight on the same springs lowers the spring frequency ]

In Aussie, NZ, Europe
They generally locate the axle placement 50/50 of the deck. So the deck is balanced.
The extra tongue weight required for the tow vehicle comes from the weight of the tongue itself.
If more weight is required onto the tow vehicle, they use a method known as "moving the car further forward" [it does have it's own wheels]

Outside the USA the tow vehicles are relatively lightweight [compared to the USA ]
It is common to see a racecar hauled to the track behind a Jap pickup or van.

One thing the world can learn from the USA is the use of electric brakes. Surge brakes are too common, and too dangerous on lightweight tow vehicles.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:43 PM   #141
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method known as "moving the car further forward"

HA!
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:32 AM   #142
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method known as "moving the car further forward"

HA!
This may sound like sarcasm or a joke , but I’ve seen many people spend “Moonbeams” [$$$] on some ground loading piece of crap, so they can save up to 15 seconds driving their car on.
Or they are too busy to waste 30 seconds of their life on carrying the ramps around the trailer.

Then they have some tyre wedges welded on the deck, or they have a nudge bar welded around the front [ for psychological security ] which limits the placement of their car.
When a longer wheelbase car or one with more rear weight bias is loaded on the trailer ,they then spend the next 2-5 hours on the road with a poorly balanced trailer [a towing nightmare]

Conventional trailers always win the test of time.
I would rather spend my money on fixed length chains, shackles and tie-down loops on my racecar [ for the rear ] to get my car in the perfect position every time
And ratchet tie-downs on the front to pull it forward.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:44 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerrynzl View Post
Do you want the USA approach to this, or the rest of the world approach?

In the USA
A generic trailer builder moves the axles as far rearward as possible, so the onus is on the user to buy an F350 dually [or bigger] to handle the loads.
Then they need to buy an equalizer hitch as a patch up fix for too much sway[ understand that the more weight on the same springs lowers the spring frequency ]

In Aussie, NZ, Europe
They generally locate the axle placement 50/50 of the deck. So the deck is balanced.
The extra tongue weight required for the tow vehicle comes from the weight of the tongue itself.
If more weight is required onto the tow vehicle, they use a method known as "moving the car further forward" [it does have it's own wheels]

Outside the USA the tow vehicles are relatively lightweight [compared to the USA ]
It is common to see a racecar hauled to the track behind a Jap pickup or van.

One thing the world can learn from the USA is the use of electric brakes. Surge brakes are too common, and too dangerous on lightweight tow vehicles.
Part of the difference is that the towed vehicle is a lot lighter and smaller. Thus the trailer can be made lighter and smaller. I did the math and when I only had a small car, a very light weight trailer allowed me to carry an awful lot because not much weight was taken up by the trailer structure.
And we have a country full of geriatrics who pump themselves full of pharmaceuticals every day, whose body and mind are failing, who buy a 32' camper for 8 for the two of their fat butts and for them to be safe, they need a 2 ton pickup and think you need a 3/4 ton to pull a popup less you kill them on the highway.
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:45 AM   #144
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My calculation for axle placement on a two axle trailer.

Front axle is 12" forward of the center point of the trailer frame. Why? Because I can put the tires on the front axle then move the entire trailer by hand. The trailer is mostly balanced at this point of construction.

Like Kerry stated, have some room to move a car forward or backward to get the proper weight distribution.
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:57 AM   #145
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Koditten, you mean CL of the "box" alone or tongue included?
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:40 PM   #146
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This may sound like sarcasm or a joke , but I’ve seen many people spend “Moonbeams” [$$$] on some ground loading piece of crap, so they can save up to 15 seconds driving their car on.
Or they are too busy to waste 30 seconds of their life on carrying the ramps around the trailer.
I happen to love my tilt bed and it's not because I'm lazy but because when you are loading a dead vehicle by yourself it's no fun running back and forth getting everything lined up just right (cue Benny Hill music). I can get everything close, spool out the line and use the winch remote to pull it up while I steer form the side of the vehicle to make adjustments. Sure it can be done with ramps but my way saves a ton of headaches when doing this by yourself.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:31 PM   #147
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Koditten, you mean CL of the "box" alone or tongue included?
Center of the trailer. Omit the tongue. The tongue can be different lengths and doesn't weigh enough to make a big difference in the overall balance of the trailer.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:36 PM   #148
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I happen to love my tilt bed and it's not because I'm lazy but because when you are loading a dead vehicle by yourself it's no fun running back and forth getting everything lined up just right (cue Benny Hill music). I can get everything close, spool out the line and use the winch remote to pull it up while I steer form the side of the vehicle to make adjustments. Sure it can be done with ramps but my way saves a ton of headaches when doing this by yourself.
I'm hip, jays. No will never be without my tilt bed. With that said, I always encourage customers to go with an 18 footer. Being able to move a vehicle just a few inches either way can make a huge difference on how well the loaded trailer hauls down the road.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:30 PM   #149
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Finally had time and energy to start the trailer. Im hoping by tomorrow i will have almost all the frame work done. Theres going to be a couple things I wont do until I get wheels, tires and airbags (before I make the dovetail). Im kinda pissed that chevy 6 bolt wheels dont fit the hubs I bought. The center is almost .250 smaller which defeats the purpose of going with 6 bolt. No Im wishing Id have just gone 8 lug and have plentiful and cheap wheels to use.

The cross members dont match the drawing but on average they are 21" apart. I needed certain cross members to be in a specific spot so they range between 20-24" depending on where I needed them.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:40 PM   #150
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This may sound like sarcasm or a joke , but I’ve seen many people spend “Moonbeams” [$$$] on some ground loading piece of crap, so they can save up to 15 seconds driving their car on.
Or they are too busy to waste 30 seconds of their life on carrying the ramps around the trailer.

Then they have some tyre wedges welded on the deck, or they have a nudge bar welded around the front [ for psychological security ] which limits the placement of their car.
When a longer wheelbase car or one with more rear weight bias is loaded on the trailer ,they then spend the next 2-5 hours on the road with a poorly balanced trailer [a towing nightmare]

Conventional trailers always win the test of time.
I would rather spend my money on fixed length chains, shackles and tie-down loops on my racecar [ for the rear ] to get my car in the perfect position every time
And ratchet tie-downs on the front to pull it forward.
I take it that you dont haul broke down cars or crashed cars ever judging by your response. The whole point of an open trailer vs enclosed is that if you wad up a car at the track you at least have a chance to get it home. And ramps suck monkey balls when a wheel dont turn or your dragging that side of the car up a ramp. It has nothing to do with laziness. Look how much time you waste when a car roll off a ramp or you dont slip enough clutch and it sends the ramp flying. IT SUCKS.

As for tire wedges they are nice if they are short enough to drive over but tall enough to stop a free rolling car. (not all tracks and driveways are level here)
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:36 PM   #151
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Center of the trailer. Omit the tongue. The tongue can be different lengths and doesn't weigh enough to make a big difference in the overall balance of the trailer.
Thanks, but now I have another stupid question. How do you know when the car(weight)is in the best location on the trailer?
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:49 PM   #152
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Thanks, but now I have another stupid question. How do you know when the car(weight)is in the best location on the trailer?
i bounce up and down on the tail of the trailer and on the tongue. Its pretty easy to judge once youve done it a couple times. If you bounce on the tail and the ball rises your in trouble. The flip side is if you bounce on the tongue and it dont wiggle the trucks suspension its pretty tongue heavy.
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:20 PM   #153
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I take it that you dont haul broke down cars or crashed cars ever judging by your response. The whole point of an open trailer vs enclosed is that if you wad up a car at the track you at least have a chance to get it home. And ramps suck monkey balls when a wheel dont turn or your dragging that side of the car up a ramp. It has nothing to do with laziness. Look how much time you waste when a car roll off a ramp or you dont slip enough clutch and it sends the ramp flying. IT SUCKS.

As for tire wedges they are nice if they are short enough to drive over but tall enough to stop a free rolling car. (not all tracks and driveways are level here)
Dragging a dead car onto a trailer is a part of racing, I know all about
My trailer of choice is a tilt-deck.
But I prefer gravity tilt because it is easier to find the point of balance ,then I move the payload forward from that position to the best towing position
It doesn't matter what car is on it, just find the point of balance for that particular car.

If the ramps are of a simple design [eg: a piece of wood with a bit of angle steel on the end ] They will always slip-off when loading a racecar with an aggressive clutch.
The tyre wedges I'm referring to, are the pieces of 6" angle welded to the deck.
If tyre wedges are welded on, it is best to move them forward about 4" from ideal position and lay a piece of 2x 4 in front of them. [once the car is on, remove the 2 x4's and winch the car into position.
I rely on tie-downs or chains to position the car not a wedge [I've witnessed this before]

The ramps on my trailer slide rearwards out of a drawer, then they can slide sideways for different width vehicles.
They cannot slip off the trailer while being loaded , or be removed from the trailer and lost.

Last edited by kerrynzl; 09-01-2014 at 04:28 AM.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:15 PM   #154
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

This is what I got done in the last 2 days. for the most part the frame is done. I got to finish the tongue, front cross member, and add the dove tail. Then flip over and finish welding the tops of all the channels.

The frame alternates between 3" and 4" channel. I would have used more 3" channel if I had more of them, I got a pile of 4" but only like 6 sticks of 3"
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:42 PM   #155
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Outstanding!

Looking forward to seeing how the tongue is going to be beefed up. I don't think I understood what you were describing earlier.

Keep us in the loop.

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Old 09-01-2014, 08:46 PM   #156
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

quick question, sorry in advance if this is the wrong place to ask.

I am planning to build my own trailer. Im not 100% sure if I want to build a tilt or regular style with ramps, pretty much I'm trying to understand a little more about the tilt trailer. I have rented the sunbelt 18' tandem axle tilt trailer and I'm spoiled by it haha, looked into buying one of their older ones but i think that these sunbelt trailer are built for heavier duty cargo hauling. at total MAX I'm looking to be hauling 3k pounds the car it self that I'm planing on towing it weights in at 2,800lbs so the sunbelt trailer will be overkill.

I want to build a trailer as low as possible
keep it lightweight
i want to do the 4" drop axles 3500lbs each with electric brakes
wooden deck
aluminum fenders for weight

the only thing I'm tying to figure out is what size material would i need to be able to haul a 2800lb car.
thats all i can think of right now, any input is appreciate it!
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:34 PM   #157
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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Thanks, but now I have another stupid question. How do you know when the car(weight)is in the best location on the trailer?
That is not a stupid question! It is probably the most relevant question on any trailer forum.

That being said, a good handling trailer is more preferable than an easy loading trailer. [Both is better]
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:14 PM   #158
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quick question, sorry in advance if this is the wrong place to ask.

I am planning to build my own trailer. Im not 100% sure if I want to build a tilt or regular style with ramps, pretty much I'm trying to understand a little more about the tilt trailer. I have rented the sunbelt 18' tandem axle tilt trailer and I'm spoiled by it haha, looked into buying one of their older ones but i think that these sunbelt trailer are built for heavier duty cargo hauling. at total MAX I'm looking to be hauling 3k pounds the car it self that I'm planing on towing it weights in at 2,800lbs so the sunbelt trailer will be overkill.

I want to build a trailer as low as possible
keep it lightweight
i want to do the 4" drop axles 3500lbs each with electric brakes
wooden deck
aluminum fenders for weight

the only thing I'm tying to figure out is what size material would i need to be able to haul a 2800lb car.
thats all i can think of right now, any input is appreciate it!
2x4x.125 rect tubing frame or 4" channel. Use the same for cross members spaced 36" apart. That's what my superlite trailer is and I've hauled some heavy vehicles (4000+ lbs) on it with rigid suspension and never had any flex issues.

Aluminum fenders vs steel prob won't save you any noticeable weight. Plastic fenders on the other hand are very light.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:22 PM   #159
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Outstanding!

Looking forward to seeing how the tongue is going to be beefed up. I don't think I understood what you were describing earlier.

Keep us in the loop.

Kirk
There will be a 3 piece front cross member that connects to the tongue. Then there will be 2 parallel frame rails under the main frame that tie into the tongue and first 2 cross members spaced 36" apart from each other. If you look at the latest print I posted you'll see them and the spot for the spare tire between them
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:00 PM   #160
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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Originally Posted by kerrynzl View Post
That is not a stupid question! It is probably the most relevant question on any trailer forum.

That being said, a good handling trailer is more preferable than an easy loading trailer. [Both is better]
So, the answer is...?
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:00 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by kerrynzl View Post
That is not a stupid question! It is probably the most relevant question on any trailer forum.

That being said, a good handling trailer is more preferable than an easy loading trailer. [Both is better]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgood View Post
So, the answer is...?
The answer is it depends...

This is what I do whenever I'm putting a vehicle on my trailer for the first time if I can:

1. Hitch up the trailer and park on a level spot

2. Since I have a 22' tilt bed, most vehicles will fit on no problem so I put the vehicle on in about the middle of the deck and tilt the bed back up.

3. Most vehicles positioned in the middle of the deck make the trailer about neutral balance meaning there isn't much weight on the tongue. This is NOT a good thing.

4. I leave the vehicle on the trailer in neutral (if on level ground it shouldn't roll in either direction) and adjust forward or back from there.

5. On most vehicles I roll them forward while standing right by the fender so my weight doesn't influence the balance. I watch the tongue compared to the ground and when I see the tongue drop the back of the vehicle an inch or so I know I'm in the ball park.

6. I strap it down and go for a short drive.

7. Sometimes I have to move the vehicle forward or backward a little but usually no more than a couple of inches and most of the time it's forward to put a little more weight on the tongue.

I'm sure there are thousands of ways to do it. A more scientific way of doing it with a scale under the tongue to get 12% of the trailer weight on the tongue but my method has worked for me for 20+ years and ~60K miles of towing with no issues but what do I know?

Keep in mind I have a HEAVY tilt bed (~2700 lbs empty) with 7000# axles so it isn't affected by wind or road irregularities like some of the lighter weight trailers. It also has 225 X 7.5" trailer tires on it which contributes a lot to how well it tracks down the road.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:23 PM   #162
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My scientific methode?

I watch the tow vehicle, I want to see the truck squat 1" give or take. Of course take into effect how much the truck is already squatting with the empty trailer hooked up first.

I never subscribbed to the 10% of total weight on the hitch. I just want to know that there is enough weight on the hitch.

It only takes moving the vehilce forward or rearward a few inches eaither way to find the sweet spot.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:16 AM   #163
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If in doubt you don't have enough tongue weight just load it 6-12" further forward. I'd rather run tongue heavy any day then have that one time where you were to tail heavy makes it fishtail. Just like going down a mountain. You can go down to slow a million times and be perfectly safe. Vs the one time you go down to fast and smoke the brakes and get out of control.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:38 PM   #164
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Im kinda in a pickle right now. Now im starting to wish I would have stuck with 8 bolt hubs. Finding 6 lug trailer wheels in 16" are a pain and the tire selection in 15" for the weight rating I want is slim pickings. Its next to impossible to find trustworthy tire in 15" thats rated above 2500lbs and not pay an arm and a leg for. VS 16" i can easily find e rated tires of a brand name I can trust for decent price, but cant find decent wheels.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:32 PM   #165
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Im not for sure, but toyota tacoma 6 lug wheels might work.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:21 AM   #166
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

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Im kinda in a pickle right now. Now im starting to wish I would have stuck with 8 bolt hubs. Finding 6 lug trailer wheels in 16" are a pain and the tire selection in 15" for the weight rating I want is slim pickings. Its next to impossible to find trustworthy tire in 15" thats rated above 2500lbs and not pay an arm and a leg for. VS 16" i can easily find e rated tires of a brand name I can trust for decent price, but cant find decent wheels.
Rims are a one time purchase, tires on the other hand....

There are companies that make custom sizes, I'd look into them.
I've bought wheel centers and welded them into a wheel for a custom rim.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:41 AM   #167
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Do none of the dozen different truck wheels have a big enough center hole? I see them all the time.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:50 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by Elvenhome21 View Post
Im kinda in a pickle right now. Now im starting to wish I would have stuck with 8 bolt hubs. Finding 6 lug trailer wheels in 16" are a pain and the tire selection in 15" for the weight rating I want is slim pickings. Its next to impossible to find trustworthy tire in 15" thats rated above 2500lbs and not pay an arm and a leg for. VS 16" i can easily find e rated tires of a brand name I can trust for decent price, but cant find decent wheels.
I am running into the same issue. Found that chevy wheels in 16s are harder to find and the center hole is usually too small. I have some luck with Toyota truck wheels, the center hole is correct.

I am considering swapping hubs to 8 lug. The brakes already need to be converted from hydro to electric, if the drums are not compatible I will be swapping.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:00 PM   #169
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These are the calculated weights right now It will probably be another 150 lbs of steel added. Then the axles/tires and suspension. Im not sure if Im still going to go with diamond plate or not being that its going to add another 1000lbs to the trailer.

27 3" 4.1 110lbs
33.75 4" 5.4 182 lbs
57.5 5" 6.7 386lbs

680 lbs frame

diamond plate 6.16lbs foot
951 lbs diamond plate
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:45 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by Elvenhome21 View Post
Im kinda in a pickle right now. Now im starting to wish I would have stuck with 8 bolt hubs. Finding 6 lug trailer wheels in 16" are a pain and the tire selection in 15" for the weight rating I want is slim pickings. Its next to impossible to find trustworthy tire in 15" thats rated above 2500lbs and not pay an arm and a leg for. VS 16" i can easily find e rated tires of a brand name I can trust for decent price, but cant find decent wheels.
I've been saying this for a long time. 15" sucks and the three potential bolt circles drives me crazy. At least w 6 lug you know it's 5.5". My PJ is 6 lug, never had to shop for more wheels but I have some steelies here I think would work, unknown origin. At least I've got 16" so tires are easy in load range E
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:47 AM   #171
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

I stumbled on these videos on the net. I thought I would put it up here for some "food for thought" on air bag trailers. interesting design. http://www.fullsizechevy.com/latest/...irbag-control/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikzm_4Adz3U#t=10

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Old 09-13-2014, 02:40 PM   #172
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Finally got some plate from a former employer. Unfortunately its way thicker than I wanted and my plasma cutter is technically maxed out at 1" with a machine torch. But its what I had available. So this is the results of trying to cut 1.25" plate.

Anything over 1/2" has to be an edge start so thats why the right hole in the middle picture looks so goofy, the pilot hole i drilled was to small and filled up with slag before it started moving. And I had to try and gouge out enough material to get it to re-pierce thru.

The thickness around the holes isnt as thick as I wanted but when I drew it up I thought I gave it plenty of extra material. I guess not. The next 3 Ill make slightly thicker.
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:38 PM   #173
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Im not for sure, but toyota tacoma 6 lug wheels might work.
All Jap 6 lug wheels have the same PCD 6 x 139.5 [ 6 x 5.5" ][the same as a Colorado and Silverado ]

You can get them from 14" to 17" OEM

4 x 4 wheels have a larger centre hole to allow for Free wheeling hubs.
Mitsubishi make a nice tough alloy wheel in 16" for the Pajero [Montero]
[16 x 8 with zero offset ]

Over here Alloy 4x4 wheels are only worth scrap value because all the off road boys want steel spoke wheels.

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Old 09-13-2014, 04:58 PM   #174
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Quote:
So this is the results of trying to cut 1.25" plate
What part of the trailer is 1.25" plate!?
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Old 09-13-2014, 05:14 PM   #175
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what part of the trailer is 1.25" plate!?
lol!
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:29 PM   #176
Elvenhome21
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

2.5 painfully slow hours later all 4 are cut.... kinda. I got to go back with a hand torch and cut thru the dross on the other side and finish the last 1/4" of the arcs. For some reason the Gcode had a glitch in it on the outside of the 3rd part and started to cut into the part instead of following the arc. But a little touchup with the welder should fix that. Next time I make a drop axle Im would do it way different. Not worth wasting 4 hours of dicking around again.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:35 PM   #177
Elvenhome21
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

The part that sucks is im really stretching the 102" width now. If I would have used chevy wheels like Id originally planned Id be well under. But now with the zero offset wheels it really sticks them out there. Now its just a game of how much clearance do I need between the frame rail and the drop arm.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:42 PM   #178
Elvenhome21
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Havent been able to make a ton of progress lately due to massive overtime at work but heres a small update to the axles.

Its not the final placement but just trying to get measurements and angles right for clearance and ride height.

And as far as overall width its right at 102" right to the sidwalls, so just barely made it.
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:08 PM   #179
kerrynzl
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvenhome21 View Post
Havent been able to make a ton of progress lately due to massive overtime at work but heres a small update to the axles.

Its not the final placement but just trying to get measurements and angles right for clearance and ride height.

And as far as overall width its right at 102" right to the sidwalls, so just barely made it.
I hope you are going to 4 link the rear end [and not 2-link it ,as mocked up in this picture ]

You need some form of compliance to allow for "body-roll" or only 1 wheel going over a bump.
If you want to stay with a 2-link system , do it triangulated "truck-arm" style where the links meet near the centre, and they need to be made from "C" or "I" beam to allow for torsional twist.

Also when only 1 wheel goes over a bump, that side of the axle moves up on an "ARC" so it will need more frame to axle clearance [previous post]

Last edited by kerrynzl; 09-27-2014 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 10-11-2014, 05:28 PM   #180
Elvenhome21
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Just a small update. Both axles are done except for adding the brakes and fenders, tongue is pretty much finished.
A lot of trial and error on the suspension right now. Still trying to figure out a simpler way on how to make the axles adjustable for alignment. Im thinking I might do slotted holes for the ubolts on one side, however Ive never seen anyone really do anything other than an eccentric on the pivot bolt.

Next project is the front box and finishing the dove tail. Then I get to put on all the floor plate.


Things I would do different next time. Using all new materials.
3 x 1 1/2" tube crossmembers
4" drop surplus axles with 8 lug
stacked frame rails over the axle and notch out the bottom frame rail like maxey does. A lot easier to get lower tail height when dropped although you sacrifice deck width.
Flux core with outershield wire. (its been so windy lately ive had to redo a few welds because the shielding gas blew away)
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Old 10-11-2014, 06:39 PM   #181
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Still trying to figure out a simpler way on how to make the axles adjustable for alignment. Im thinking I might do slotted holes for the ubolts on one side, however Ive never seen anyone really do anything other than an eccentric on the pivot bolt.


Would something like this help? It mounts between your axle and trailing arm ( made for leaf springs) in the center bolt hole. http://www.speedwaymotors.com/AFCO-A...ock,23728.html
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:09 PM   #182
Elvenhome21
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark18mwm View Post
Still trying to figure out a simpler way on how to make the axles adjustable for alignment. Im thinking I might do slotted holes for the ubolts on one side, however Ive never seen anyone really do anything other than an eccentric on the pivot bolt.


Would something like this help? It mounts between your axle and trailing arm ( made for leaf springs) in the center bolt hole. http://www.speedwaymotors.com/AFCO-A...ock,23728.html

No, my arms are already pretty close to the ground the way it is, and those wouldnt work unless the mounting holes had slots.
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Old 10-11-2014, 08:33 PM   #183
kerrynzl
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

Very simple to do!

Make an "A" frame to support the axles [ similar to old V8 Fords , except going forward on the Front axle and Rearward on the Rear axle]

The centre of the "A" needs a rubber Rod End that can be shimmed L or R with washers on a centre bolt/hanger.

At the axle end have a long adjustable panhard bars.

Adjusting the panhard and the Rod End the same direction will move the axle L or R.
Adjusting the panhard and the Rod End in opposite directions will steer the axle [align]
Adjusting the Rod End in or out will alter the wheelbase.

The A frame will allow one wheel to go over curbs without twisting the axle or most likely breaking the welds

If you've ever reversed a trailer around a corner and up a curb crossing [or diagonally up a curb crossing] you will observe the massive change in levels and angles of all the wheels
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Old 10-11-2014, 09:51 PM   #184
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Default Re: 20ft Car Trailer Build Planning Ideas

That's how my old Holsclaw three runner bike trailer is.
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