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Old 02-25-2013, 08:14 PM   #81
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Yeah, Bob - I read about that in the other thread which was one reason I've decided I am definitely going with the dual axle, electric brakes, and all the safety gear outlined in that car hauler thread.

tpwalsh - Thanks for the link to the Econo-Trailer site. Those came up in my broader web googling. Are you thinking ~$2800 delivered to me in Florida with a weight of about 1,450 pounds is about average or are you saying that's probably the best compromise of light weight and value?
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:01 PM   #82
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I'm saying if you're not going pimpy aluminum, it's the easy button with a good compromise of light weight and light price. I frequent PA so shipping wasn't factored in my costs. Maybe there's a similar deal around in FL? I know Carry-On also carries similar trailers, for a little more $$ and a few more pounds. Econo seems to be the gold standard for cheap/light.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:00 AM   #83
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My starting point. My old trailer D&D originally built in 1983. The company is still in business 30 years later. And make a similar trailer. DeanDe Trailers.
The deck on it is only 10 and the ramps are 5 feet. Im going to add 3 to the back tapered down and make the ramps 6 which should make it better for loading a low Miata. Going to dual axles with 13 wheels actually looked at 10 wheels that actually have wider and higher load rated tires but the available smaller drum brake hubs wouldnt fit the off the shelf axles In the size I wanted. The 13 will still work where I can open the car door with it on the trailer when Im done which was a real pain before. I originally got the trailer for $200 and have used it for 5 years. Looking like about $1700 in upgrade parts including Por15 rust coating and top coat.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:57 AM   #84
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Default Acme EZE Tow Dolly

Yes, a tow dolly

Inexpensive, lightweight, easy to store (stores upright), easy to move around by hand, easy to tow with a daily driver. No affiliation with Acme, blah, blah.

"But it'll **** up the transmission!" There's a well-known track Miata guy who has used a tow dolly for years with no transmission problems for his track Miata. I won't mention his name but he's been known to spool.

When I check off a few more items on my list, I'll be getting this product instead of a proper trailer.

Come at me!
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:05 PM   #85
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Not an endorsement on dollies or flat towing but this is good information from the wine and cheese folks:

Quote:
The 6 speed has its 3rd, 4th, and 6th synchronizers on the layshaft. This means spinning gears are immersed in gear oil. The 5 speed has a traditional cluster gear set with all the gears on the cluster fixed. In this case, the sloshing is all that oils the towed transmission. Experience indicates that the sloshing alone is sufficient lubrication for a towed 5 speed car. Recall that the towed transmission is under little load and lubrication demands are reduced. The 6 speed will atomize oil with spinning gears while being towed, the same way it does when the car is driven.
Found in post #5 Here.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:28 PM   #86
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I thought the issue was with the backloading of the teeth in the trans and rear...
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:53 PM   #87
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I'm not sure I would flat tow/dolly during the break in period of any gearset but there are very modest loads on these while towing unless you leave the car in gear.

I read a story about a national level BSP car that was hooked to the RV and dragged onto the highway in gear. The block grenaded somewhere north of 15k rpm and the owner didn't notice any of it until the resultant friction and oil bath turned the whole car into a fireball in the sideview mirror. Neutral is the best gear for towing...
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:33 PM   #88
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So what you are saying is...

I should look for a tow hitch for my V8 daily driver and flat tow my Miata?
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:16 PM   #89
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Jack, I spent $1749+tax/title on this ~3 years ago (brand new). Empty weight of <1700lbs, twin 3500lb axles, rated for ~7k total. Electric brakes, breakaway switch/battery, etc. all included. They do a shorter version if you want that - this is a 16" bed.

At that price, and knowing how much I have into the cars I tow, I'd have a hard time towing on a dolly or a crappy single-axle trailer.

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Old 02-26-2013, 04:17 PM   #90
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My issue is that you're wearing on the suspension, wheel bearings, transmission, diff, etc when you're not actually using them when you're towing 0 or 2 wheels up. The $1500 isn't much less than I've got in my car, but it's still piece of mind.

What happens when you hit that curb/tirewall/other car and you mess up both left or right side wheels or a arms? Then you're stuck, and not just with a messed up car, but also a useless tow rig. I found my econotrailer clone in great shape a couple years ago for $1500. I already had the towing vehicle(crappy 1/2 ton truck). Worth every penny knowing I'll be home sunday night in one piece even if the car is a mangled wreck.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:25 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
Bringing this one back up.

[...]

I'm definitely set on a tandem axle, open trailer with electric brakes and all the safety gear.

[...]

Ballpark, that's 2,450 for the car and gear. That leaves 2,550 pounds available for the trailer (including straps, ramps, spare wheels/tires, etc). That has me thinking I can go with a steel trailer and skip the awesome, but super spendy, aluminum trailers.

I know the U-Haul trailers are ~2,200 pounds. I'm having a hard time finding weights for small steel trailers. What's a reasonable price and weight to expect for an open, tandem axle, steel trailer?

[...]

TL; DNR = What's a reasonable price and weight to expect for an open, tandem axle, steel trailer?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Jack, I spent $1749+tax/title on this ~3 years ago (brand new). Empty weight of <1700lbs, twin 3500lb axles, rated for ~7k total. Electric brakes, breakaway switch/battery, etc. all included. They do a shorter version if you want that - this is a 16" bed.

At that price, and knowing how much I have into the cars I tow, I'd have a hard time towing on a dolly or a crappy single-axle trailer.
That is exactly what I was looking for; thanks! I'll have to call around to some local trailer places and see what they have/will build. I am thinking I should be able to source something similar for sub-$2k.

What are your thoughts, if any, on 14' versus 16' bed? Because I plan on carrying so few spares/tools, I am thinking I can skip the tire rack for now and throw the extra set in the back of the SUV.


And in case it was not clear, I am definitely not going to put a trailer hitch on the M3 and tow anything with it.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:10 PM   #92
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14ft leaves a little less room for straps, but it's doable. A 16ft lets you tow other cars, or gives you room to bolt a toolbox or tire rack down. From tongue to tail it's ~20ft long, so it still fits in most driveways and garages.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:08 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
14ft leaves a little less room for straps, but it's doable. A 16ft lets you tow other cars, or gives you room to bolt a toolbox or tire rack down. From tongue to tail it's ~20ft long, so it still fits in most driveways and garages.
I have a very similar trailer (although I paid $2400 for it -- where did you go to get yours for $1800?). A 16 foot is about as short as I'd want to go with my Miata, and it was marginal for the two other vehicles I've transported with it a (a Focus 5-door and an E36 M3).



The ramps that came with the trailer are 4 feet long (they store crossways, end-to-end, at the back), which isn't long enough to get the car up without scraping. This is solvable with longer ramps, or simply by bringing a set of Rhino Ramps along and backing the truck up onto them to tilt the trailer.

For toolboxes I like the kind that mounts on the tongue, like this:
Amazon Amazon


--Ian
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:45 AM   #94
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FWIW, I've rented car haulers locally for < $100. I've thought about buying one, but decided that renting when I need one is a reasonable option for me.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:12 PM   #95
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My 2cents on the 14ft or 16ft trailer. If I had to do it again I would have bought a 16ft.

My 14ft is fine for just a Miata. I towed a Civic Hatch to Lincoln last year for Nationals. It was an extremely tight fit.

Also, I was only able to build a shelf under the deck behind the wheels for 1 ramp. That is about all the room from the rear of the second axle to the end of the deck. And double stacking would be too low to back the trailer up my driveway.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:09 PM   #96
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Thanks for the responses. It sounds like a 16' tandem/dual axle steel trailer with electric brakes is the way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
FWIW, I've rented car haulers locally for < $100. I've thought about buying one, but decided that renting when I need one is a reasonable option for me.
What sort of places are you calling to find car haulers? If it's U-Haul, I think I am sold on not running the risks involved with that strategy based on the feedback I've received.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:50 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Jack, I spent $1749+tax/title on this ~3 years ago (brand new). Empty weight of <1700lbs, twin 3500lb axles, rated for ~7k total. Electric brakes, breakaway switch/battery, etc. all included. They do a shorter version if you want that - this is a 16" bed.

At that price, and knowing how much I have into the cars I tow, I'd have a hard time towing on a dolly or a crappy single-axle trailer.

Everything like that I have found is more like $2600 to $2800 plus tax and title. All the used ones like it look like they are falling apart and the boards are rotted out. The weather here grows moss on and rots wood. I don't have a paved area to park it. it will be parked on grass which tends to make things worse if it is wood that can absorb water or not well painted steel.

Last edited by bbundy; 02-27-2013 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:07 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
Thanks for the responses. It sounds like a 16' tandem/dual axle steel trailer with electric brakes is the way to go.
Note also that they are available with brakes on both axles or on just one. Mine only has brakes on one axle, which hasn't been a problem, but were I doing it over again I'd probably look for one with brakes on both.

--Ian
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:41 PM   #99
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Damn Europeans and their reckless trailer culture

Tow vehicle / Daily Driver is Dodge Magnum, 4400 lbs 340 hp automatic, 120" wheelbase, good disc brakes. Rated for 3,800 lbs.

I haven't weighed the trailer, but the Locost is ~1500#, and there are mayde 150# worth of tires and gas aboard. The tools and sometimes doggie travel in station wagon.

I have towed through Tail of the Dragon in 2007 among other South East areas ith the combination, no problem at all. Mileage 12-16 mpg depending on speed. Cruise and ac and good stereos included.

Trailer is looking for upgrade to disc brakes. They are hydraulic type and there are two options to make that happen, Surge brakes or electric controller guided hydraulic unit which feels complicated and expensive solution.
Hydraulic surge unit comes ready to be bolted in tongue, but this trailer has a-frame and would need a bit of modification to accept coupler suitable for disc brakes. Coupler comes with reversing solenoid disabling brakes when reverse lights are on. My question is why I cannot find a-frame surge coupler for disc brakes? I can add tongue for coupler, but it will make the trailer longer and it gets tighter parked in the garage.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:45 PM   #100
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There are several trailer manufacturers in south GA, so it's pretty easy to pick up a brand new, reasonably equipped wood deck trailer for $2k.

I would look for a triple tube tongue, brakes on both axles, break away kit with dry battery, removable fenders, and radial tires. Removable fenders are especially important if it is a low deck model.

A little beaver tail on the back is fine, but too much and the rear of the trailer will bang on stuff, like when you back in/out of your driveway. Better trailers with large beaver tails will actually have rollers on the back to help the trailer slide across anything it bumps against. LED lights are great, don't worry if the trailer doesn't come with them, they can be added yourself inexpensively.

Get as many tie down points as you can. You never have enough. The aluminum open trailer I had (which I sold cheap not that long ago and would have been perfect for you) had E-track flushmounted on the deck, which was AWESOME.

I prefer ramps that slide out of the rear instead of the sides -- it's just easier, those ramps are heavy.

If you get a trailer made, get a Bulldog coupler. Much better than the fulton style couplers that you normally see.
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