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Old 02-20-2013, 10:14 PM   #101
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I had an accident in November when my single axle car trailer without brakes came unhitched broke the safety chains hit a guard rail and flung my car off landing in the middle of I5. It bent the axle and broke a wheel hub on the trailer. I went cheap and bought another trailer but maybe too cheap. It needs some work as well. I started looking at trailer supply places and decided Im going to rebuild my original trailer. It was nice in that it was very light and strong but I think brakes were needed actually it was illegal to not have them in Washington. I bought enough parts to put dual axles with brakes and I’m going to change a few things on it remake it similar to this for about $1300.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:35 AM   #102
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I had an accident in November when my single axle car trailer without brakes came unhitched broke the safety chains hit a guard rail and flung my car off landing in the middle of I5.
Holy crap... Where is the video?

Reporting in on the Diesel Excursion towing experience. The 7.3L Diesel is a towing monster compared to my Tundra, very nice. I was not pulling the big enclosed trailer, but an open car trailer, without a tire rack. Driving 70-75 with occasional 80 mph blasts it still achieved 13 mpg. That is almost double what my Tundra got pulling the enclosed trailer at 65. It is not an apples to apples comparison of course but still interesting.

I'll be testing out the Excursion with the enclosed trailer in a few weeks on a 5-6 hour trip to another Time Trial event.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:11 AM   #103
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Holy crap... Where is the video?
Yea it was pretty amazing the car received such little damage. Very slight fender damage scuffed front bumper and the rocker panel had a reparable dent where it contacted the trailer fender and broke off the trailer wheel. The car stopped sideways crossing lanes 3 and 4 out of a 5 lane freeway section 8pm traffic was not terribly light just south of Seattle and it didn’t get hit. Somebody stopped and helped me pull the trailer onto the shoulder by hand and I hopped in the car and drove it to the shoulder. Currently I believe the cause to be that the virtical shaft in the latch broke to allow it to bounce off the hitch ball.

Some key lessons.

1) Brake away actuated electric brakes would have probably stabilized the trailer on the tow chains and it wouldn’t have swung so out of control as I was trying to coast down to a stop.

2) I was in the Dodge instead of my 95 Blazer. If that happened in my blazer I very easily might have lost control of it too, it doesn’t like the sway motion where the Dodge doesn’t care couldn’t hardly feel it. The dodge weighs over twice as much as my Blazer.

3) Washington Law says you need electric brakes that apply if brake away occurs if the trailer GVW is 40% or more the weight of the pulling vehicle. I understand why.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:34 AM   #104
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1) Brake away actuated electric brakes would have probably stabilized the trailer on the tow chains and it wouldn’t have swung so out of control as I was trying to coast down to a stop.

...

3) Washington Law says you need electric brakes that apply if brake away occurs if the trailer GVW is 40% or more the weight of the pulling vehicle. I understand why.
Interesting. I have a breakaway electric brake controller on my 16' open trailer (required by California law, I bought the trailer new, here in CA, and they were pre-installed, so I always use them). I don't know if they would actuate with just a hitch break, though -- I'd always assumed they were intended as a last-ditch safety measure if both the hitch and the safety chains failed.

--Ian
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:33 AM   #105
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I was using my step-dads hemi ram but its a TOTAL piece of crap. Its a 2006 with 45k miles on it and its falling apart. For me to use it, I need to do the maintenance on it. It needs tires, front cv, front hub/bearing, brakes all around, tranny and diff flush, new exhaust manifold studs/gaskets, pay the insurance, yada yada. Rather than dump 2 grand into a vehicle that isnt mine, I think I am going to sell my 2010 forester and buy a tow rig of my own, and DD my 97 Impreza wagon.

I have a 22' enclosed. I have access to the auctions-- been looking at prices for like '04ish 2500hd's, as well as suburban 2500's. They seem to go for about 9k in the 100k mile range, with the 6L (gas).

What other trucks should I look at for the 10k range? I have no problem buying a van, but at least at auction prices, it doesn't seem like a van is cheaper than an equivalent truck (which surprises me really).

Id prefer to stay away from diesel.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:30 AM   #106
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Interesting. I have a breakaway electric brake controller on my 16' open trailer (required by California law, I bought the trailer new, here in CA, and they were pre-installed, so I always use them). I don't know if they would actuate with just a hitch break, though -- I'd always assumed they were intended as a last-ditch safety measure if both the hitch and the safety chains failed.

--Ian
It depends on where/how you attach the breakaway tether. I installed brakes with breakaway on my trailer this winter too and I'm in the process of wiring and mounting the breakaway box. I plan to route the breakaway cable up next to the tongue so it can be relatively tight with respect to the slack needed on tight parking lot turns. My goal is to have the brakes engage if the hitch comes undone like Bob described above.

You could install the tether with a lot of slack so it doesn't engage until the chain breaks but then you will have (at best) the front of your trailer banging the **** out of your tow vehicle while you try to slow down.

A big-*** 3 ton truck doesn't really need trailer brakes as long as everything is going well but in a panic stop or a breakaway, they are critical. I'm glad I got lucky last year with no incidents. This year I'm trying to remove luck from the game plan wherever I can.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:39 PM   #107
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It depends on where/how you attach the breakaway tether. I installed brakes with breakaway on my trailer this winter too and I'm in the process of wiring and mounting the breakaway box. I plan to route the breakaway cable up next to the tongue so it can be relatively tight with respect to the slack needed on tight parking lot turns. My goal is to have the brakes engage if the hitch comes undone like Bob described above.

You could install the tether with a lot of slack so it doesn't engage until the chain breaks but then you will have (at best) the front of your trailer banging the **** out of your tow vehicle while you try to slow down.

A big-*** 3 ton truck doesn't really need trailer brakes as long as everything is going well but in a panic stop or a breakaway, they are critical. I'm glad I got lucky last year with no incidents. This year I'm trying to remove luck from the game plan wherever I can.
Yea setup the brake tether shorter than the safety chains.

Another thing was I had a single axle trailer so any tug right or left by the safety chains would redirect the trailer with ease causing high levels of instability. A dual axle trailer would tend to want to stay going much more straight and stable.

Bob
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:51 PM   #108
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You are having a bad day anytime you use your safety chains but a tandem axle would help a bunch. Be sure to take pictures of your trailer project. I like mine but I'm pretty sure it weighs more than the Miata that rides on it...
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:27 PM   #109
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I have access to a Chevy 2500 6L and that tows a 20Ft trailer nicely.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:35 PM   #110
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The breakaway brake cable is to be adjusted not to come on until the chains break. The safety chains need to be adjusted so if the hitch breaks the tongue does not drop so far as to hit the pavement. The trailer wiring harness needs to have a little more slack then the chains so it doesn't come unplugged, so you still have use of the trailer brakes from the tow vehecile in case of a hitch failure, which well help stabalize the trailer and especially if you apply slight trailer brake using the slider trailer brake lever on the controller, just not so much as to break the chains, which still shouldn't break, but the trailer would get a little squirrly if applied to hard. If the safety chains were to break only then should the break away cable engage the trailer brakes. If the safety chains are adjusted properly they shouldn't break as long as the tongue doesn't hit the road and dig in. Make sure you have sufficent size link safety chains and hooks.

Last edited by jmann; 02-24-2013 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:32 PM   #111
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Good info John - thanks. New chains and hooks are also on my list before the tow season starts.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:39 AM   #112
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You're welcome, let me add that you need enough slack in the chains to make a fairly sharp turn which in turn should keep the tongue off the road and that is why most cross the chains when hooking them up so as to create a cradle under the tongue, not all do but that is the way I do it. If your chains are too long just twist them until they are adjusted to the right length. Also good idea to keep the ball with a slight amount of grease on it and a plastic cover when not in use so you don't brush your pants against it,
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:32 PM   #113
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Finally, a solution to keep greasy ***** from ruining my pants. Thanks John
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:27 PM   #114
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Finally, a solution to keep greasy ***** from ruining my pants. Thanks John
Tried underpants?
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:42 PM   #115
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Finally, a solution to keep greasy ***** from ruining my pants. Thanks John


Helps keep rust off too.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:15 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX-Tex View Post
Holy crap... Where is the video?

Reporting in on the Diesel Excursion towing experience. The 7.3L Diesel is a towing monster compared to my Tundra, very nice. I was not pulling the big enclosed trailer, but an open car trailer, without a tire rack. Driving 70-75 with occasional 80 mph blasts it still achieved 13 mpg. That is almost double what my Tundra got pulling the enclosed trailer at 65. It is not an apples to apples comparison of course but still interesting.

I'll be testing out the Excursion with the enclosed trailer in a few weeks on a 5-6 hour trip to another Time Trial event.
Was I right, or was I right?
Dude - I have so much fun in mine - I find myself always getting on the throttle (techincally injector control pedal as it doesn't have a throttle per-se). Prices still seems to be staying flat - you've done good if you find a 7.3 with under 200k for under $10k - in good shape. Mine's not 4x4 either - didn't see the need.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:58 PM   #117
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Injection pump metering pedal.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:23 PM   #118
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right... that's what I meant
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:05 PM   #119
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I just bought a 2006 Dodge 2500 5.9L Cummins. It's a cream puff with 60K miles. Never had a gooseneck or a 5th wheel, original owner, meticulous maintenance, AMSoil, new tires, etc. etc. Got it at a good price. 2006 is the last year before DPFs and other mileage robbing emissions equipment were added to all the diesels.

I'll be towing the enclosed trailer with it this weekend and will report back with the mileage.

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:09 AM   #120
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A 14' enclosed is big enough to put a Miata in. You will have to be a contortionist to tie it down though. I just bought a 16' V nose, it measures 17' from center of V to the ramp door, and it is tight for tying down, but manageable. It leaves little room to haul anything extra in the trailer.

Ron
14' would be terrible. I tow a 7x16ft enclosed with my Tacoma and a sway control hitch. 8-11 mpg, near gcwr with all gear. I have to pop in my side mirrors and hop out the convertible top when I drive into the trailer and have to contort to get my 4 d-ring based straps in place. New truck and trailer after xidas and, some aero and going from ~220rwhp to ~400rwhp.
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