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Utility trailer vs. car hauler #4693205
03/13/18 07:56 AM
03/13/18 07:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline OP
Alex_V  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
I'll be in the market for a car trailer in the near future and am just wanting some outside information about trailers.

My dad's trailer, that he's hauled many $100K+ classic Corvettes on, is going on 30 years old and is what seems to be classified as a utility trailer. 16 ft., 2x 3,500 lb. 5-lug axles, angle iron construction except for the tongue only. It's been towed tens of thousands of miles and loaded pretty darn heavy (over 9K) at times and doesn't show signs of excessive fatigue. It's also balanced such that it tows extremely well.

(Dad's trailer behind now-my '67 Suburban in Helper, UT, on a trip to Rogue River, OR in about 1998. I was approx. 7.)

I've towed a number of "car hauler" type trailers with my '85 GMC and they always seem to exert a lot of drag on the truck and, when empty, beat on the back of the truck pretty badly. One was a U-Haul car hauler (not that big but built like a tank), one a Big Tex 18' 7K, and the other a Big Tex (I think) 20 ft., 14K w/dovetail and attached ramps.

My criteria is at least 18' long, at least 5,500 lb. payload capacity, with a dovetail if possible (haul small sedans somewhat often) but non-attached ramps, and at least 6.5' wide so it can be used to haul the 80's Econoline vans a friend of mine is always dealing in. The industry (as well as my mechanical engineer father-in-law) says the double-stack frame and other beefy areas of a car hauler is warranted, but based on dad's trailer and others I don't buy it. I don't put my equipment through ridiculous abuse so I don't expect it to fall off the Empire State building and come out unscathed. I may wind up using pieces of an old boat trailer I have (lots of 4" C-channel in it) to go into a trailer of my own design so I can achieve the dimensions I want, but I don't possess the knowledge to calculate section modulus? of the different type frames. Input?


Last edited by Alex_V; 03/13/18 07:57 AM.

To quote a friend, "Synthetics, man."

'85 GMC C3500, 454, 132K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 173K (totaled 2018, in rehab)
'85 Mercedes 300TD, OM617 turbo, 217K (wife's)
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K
Re: Utility trailer vs. car hauler [Re: Alex_V] #4693241
03/13/18 08:39 AM
03/13/18 08:39 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,505
Arkansas
Win Offline
Win  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,505
Arkansas
I had a Take3 3 car hauler for a while.

If you are going to haul cars and trucks, I would use a trailer made for that purpose.

I don't think they make the 3 car gooseneck trailer presently, but it looks like they have 1 and 2 car trailers. ( edit: they do, just changed the model names .... )

http://www.take3trailers.com/index.html

Last edited by Win; 03/13/18 08:43 AM.

09 Torrent 3.6 V6 M1 0/30
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Re: Utility trailer vs. car hauler [Re: Alex_V] #4693245
03/13/18 08:45 AM
03/13/18 08:45 AM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 683
South Carolina
eyeofthetiger Offline
eyeofthetiger  Offline
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 683
South Carolina
I also want to build my own car hauler, but just one car at a time. Everything that I see for sale is so junky and/or overpriced. I want to completely overbuild it, and use some good wuality trailer brakes. I built a 4x8 Harbor Freight trailer kit before, it was kind of scary once it had 1000lbs on it



2017 Ford Fiesta 1.0T - Valvoline SynPower 5W-20, Motorcraft FL910S
1988 GMC K1500 4.3/700R4 - Supertech 15W-40, Fram TG3980
1986 Ford Ranger 2.0 - uhh
Re: Utility trailer vs. car hauler [Re: Alex_V] #4693252
03/13/18 08:52 AM
03/13/18 08:52 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,385
Chicago,IL,USA
pandus13 Offline
pandus13  Offline
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,385
Chicago,IL,USA
I think user DoubleWasp has a setup useful also for boats.
Maybe he will chime in...


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Re: Utility trailer vs. car hauler [Re: Alex_V] #4693360
03/13/18 10:48 AM
03/13/18 10:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,137
NE,Ohio
Rand Offline
Rand  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,137
NE,Ohio
Not enclosed,
wood or metal deck?


looks like 3600-4000 for a decent one.
something like this?
example trailer.


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
Re: Utility trailer vs. car hauler [Re: Alex_V] #4693377
03/13/18 11:01 AM
03/13/18 11:01 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 672
New England, USA
wings&wheels Offline
wings&wheels  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 672
New England, USA
total thread hijack, but does anyone else find that picture awesome? Nice, classic Jeep and Suburban, and two locomotives in a great setting...


'05 Lotus Elise S/C
'85 Land Rover 90 diesel
'74 Triumph TR6
'72 Land Rover Series III 88"
'99 Porsche 996/'01 Boxster S (Wife's...)
Pa28-236


Re: Utility trailer vs. car hauler [Re: wings&wheels] #4693393
03/13/18 11:20 AM
03/13/18 11:20 AM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 683
South Carolina
eyeofthetiger Offline
eyeofthetiger  Offline
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 683
South Carolina
Originally Posted By: wings&wheels
total thread hijack, but does anyone else find that picture awesome? Nice, classic Jeep and Suburban, and two locomotives in a great setting...


Yeah. I used to have a model of that train.


2017 Ford Fiesta 1.0T - Valvoline SynPower 5W-20, Motorcraft FL910S
1988 GMC K1500 4.3/700R4 - Supertech 15W-40, Fram TG3980
1986 Ford Ranger 2.0 - uhh
Re: Utility trailer vs. car hauler [Re: Alex_V] #4693407
03/13/18 11:33 AM
03/13/18 11:33 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline OP
Alex_V  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
The Take 3 Ultimate 1-car looks really nice, depending on what it weighs. I'm trying to keep empty weight to no more than 1,800 just for the truck's benefit - anything over 8K is a pretty hard pull for the 230HP 454 and I intend to keep the truck. Rand's example is more than beefy enough but it weighs over 2,500 lb.

Probably wood deck just because ot seems to be the cheaper option, and no heavier than steel.

Ha - I expected the pic to draw some attention. wink I believe those are SD45 tunnel motors - 20 cylinder 645-series 2-stroke diesels putting out 3,600 horsepower, with a rearranged radiator design to allow them to cool while running through the snow sheds in the mountains.


To quote a friend, "Synthetics, man."

'85 GMC C3500, 454, 132K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 173K (totaled 2018, in rehab)
'85 Mercedes 300TD, OM617 turbo, 217K (wife's)
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K

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