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Old 01-05-2011, 10:05 AM   #1
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Question Tire Trailers

I know Hustler and a few other people use tire trailers. I searched and there were some general mentions and a link to this 40" x 49" Harbor Freight utility trailer but not much else in terms of specifics.
  1. What trailer do you have?
  2. What hitch do you have?
  3. What modifications did you do to the trailer (e.g. added diamond plate floor)?
  4. If you were shopping today, what would you look for?
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:12 AM   #2
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I have the same trailer linked. We added a pressure treated planks on the front half and bolted down a plastic storage bin with lockable clasp.

Then on the rear section we cut two planks of wood and bolted them down parallel with a gap between them and a beveled edge. We rest the tires within the gap, then would shove a metal rod through the center of the wheels and bolt in down on either end to the frame of the trailer. I'll look for pics. The thing is for sale, it's been sitting for at least 3 years.



I had the DaLan (IIRC) hitch that was made for the R-package miata. This was completely hidden without the receiver in place.


This one: http://www.hitch-web.com/proDescrip....e=552683&OID=8
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:54 PM   #3
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I have the hard dog hidden hitch and a harbour freight trailer. Forget which one though..
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:01 PM   #4
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I wish I had a hidden hitch, now that weight is my friend for my class.

I have the harbor freight trailer you mentioned. I recommend the PnP harness rather than conventional permanent install, put the box on the front of the trailer rather than rear (easier to access in the garage and won't tip at the track), make two pedestals where the flat-bed meets the neck to hold 5gal fuel jugs, make a box to hold the jack under the trailer, "chocks" to hold the tires in place, and the put your luggage between the tires and the box.

the little tires are fine at 100-110mph, lol. I greased the bearings with AMSoil too for long life. I pull about 400lb on it and it's great...it would really suck with a stock motor; I'm still faster than a new SS Camaro with the trailer, lol. Get a box big enough to hold spare consumables, it's saved my *** several times. If your car is reliable I firmly believe the tire trailer is an answer to owning a tow vehicle, fuel, and storing the trailer.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:08 PM   #5
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that pic I uploaded. That was with the stock motor and my dad in the car. Thing overheated and the belts flew off.



I think i was going up a good 20 incline. dad weighs above 250...we fit my aluminum radiator after that and never had an issue again.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:29 PM   #6
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I did a DIY hitch. I think the best design I have ever seen for towing a tire trailer behind a track car. Pretty much the whole mass associated with the hitch removes from and installs to the car in seconds with two easy access bolts.

https://www.miataturbo.net/showthrea...ighlight=hitch

And yes a box for tools I carry a lot. Even swapped a broken transmission in the paddock at a track once with just the tools I had in my trailer 700 miles from home tracked it the following day and drove it back home.

Bob
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:48 PM   #7
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I had a tire trailer like 10 years ago, the usual Harbor Freight frame. A few thoughts:

Unlike a Corvette driver, your wheels are probably lighter than the box full of tools. This means you want them on the back (trailer should be front-heavy to give you tongue weight).

Get the big wheel option (12" vs 8", I think). The little ones spin twice as fast as the big ones at the same highway speed, and the bearings will thank you. Replacement bearings are hard to find and spendy. Oh, and while you're at it, get a spare tire for the trailer.

Build something nice and soft for the tires to rest on, I used some PVC pipe to cushion what would have otherwise been sharp metal edges.

Backing the car with the tire trailer on it very difficult, the wheelbase is so short that it jackknifes very quickly. Fortunately it's light, so if you get stuck you can just unhook it and wheel it around by hand.

I used the Da'Lan hitch where the cross-bar is hidden behind the bumper but the receiver is always visible, it worked pretty well.

I sold it a few years back for a variety of reasons.



--Ian
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:02 PM   #8
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Again, AMSoil "Race Grease" pays for it's self over and over.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
Is that the Hampton Inn, Sand Springs I see there?
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:38 PM   #10
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I have the HF trailer with the 12 wheels. I replaced the cheap grease with high temp bearing grease. I use the DaLan hidden hitch on the car.



More trailer build pics here: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/810280...a-mx-5/page-10
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codrus View Post
I had a tire trailer like 10 years ago, the usual Harbor Freight frame. A few thoughts:

Unlike a Corvette driver, your wheels are probably lighter than the box full of tools. This means you want them on the back (trailer should be front-heavy to give you tongue weight).

Get the big wheel option (12" vs 8", I think). The little ones spin twice as fast as the big ones at the same highway speed, and the bearings will thank you. Replacement bearings are hard to find and spendy. Oh, and while you're at it, get a spare tire for the trailer.

Build something nice and soft for the tires to rest on, I used some PVC pipe to cushion what would have otherwise been sharp metal edges.

Backing the car with the tire trailer on it very difficult, the wheelbase is so short that it jackknifes very quickly. Fortunately it's light, so if you get stuck you can just unhook it and wheel it around by hand.

I used the Da'Lan hitch where the cross-bar is hidden behind the bumper but the receiver is always visible, it worked pretty well.

I sold it a few years back for a variety of reasons.



--Ian
Your setup looks like mine I have the larger size trailer wheels though and I did an Axle over lower job on it to make it lower. The original fenders cracked and fell off on the highway somewhere. So I have nice round fenders on it now. Another trick I learned is they will let you get a motorcycle size plate for it when you register it here if you ask rather than the full size auto plate. It works much better with the smaller plate not dragging on things as much getting mangled and cracking from flopping in the breeze.

Some other observations are height kills fuel economy big time. With mine lowered and packed smooth across the top I notice almost no reduction in fuel economy at freeway speed. Put something on top higher like a 4th 275 tire or a bagged up canopy and the fuel economy drops like a rock by 4 to 6 mpg. One of my friends claimed he lost a bunch of fuel economy with his trailer like mine and I compared his was like 8 taller without the axle over lower job and his tires were mounted higher on a raised platform rather than dropped down into the frame of the trailer.

Problem now is 15X9 225s dont fit down in the frame rails like that. And the 275s wont fit 4 across even between the fenders back there in that orientation. So it looks like I will have to mount the tires on the front side. The problem with mounting them on the front is that with a bunch of tools on the back it can make the tong weight go negative and the trailer flip up when you take your tires off so I still need to work out the details of my planned modifications. I also need to make a place on it to carry a fuel can probably on the tong.

Bob
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MazDilla View Post
Is that the Hampton Inn, Sand Springs I see there?
Old glroy the Miatas at Hallett Castle.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
The thing is for sale, it's been sitting for at least 3 years.
#1 Is it titled properly?

#2 How much?
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:17 PM   #14
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Well this is ironic, look what just popped up:
http://www.flyinmiata.com/index.php?...umber=29-50000
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:30 PM   #15
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Run the largest small tire you can find and extend the tongue out a foot or two. It makes these little trailers WAY nicer to tow.

I also pulled out all but the main leaf springs to make it ride softer, and the tires only get 40psi. Tires never get very hot, even when on the interstate running 70-75mph for 6 hours straight
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codrus View Post
Get the big wheel option (12" vs 8", I think). The little ones spin twice as fast as the big ones at the same highway speed, and the bearings will thank you. Replacement bearings are hard to find and spendy. Oh, and while you're at it, get a spare tire for the trailer.

--Ian
I've bought bearing sets at AutoZone (during a trip).

I recommend a spare wheel/tire AND a spare hub with packed bearings.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paNX2K&SE-R View Post
#1 Is it titled properly?

#2 How much?

Yes. and it's being sold locally now



I always wanted to convert it to two vertical posts and stack 2 tires on each, to increase rear visibility, but never got around to it. It's wider than the harbor freight unit, was able to fit 4 275 wide tires with room to spare.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Well this is ironic, look what just popped up:
http://www.flyinmiata.com/index.php?...umber=29-50000
Any thoughts on how that compares to the Hard Dog hidden hitch? I don't see a weight listed for the Hard Dog unit but do note that it is rated for 200 lbs tongue wieght / 2000 lbs gross trailer weight vs 150 / 1000 for the Flyin' Miata unit (both are way more than my Miata would ever see).

The $225 FM unit includes a curved "drawbar" piece where as that is a $25 extra for the $195 HD unit (bringing the totals to virtual parity). If the only distinction is weight, the FM piece seems attractive to me as I like the idea of being very "weight aware"* with the trailer and the car in general.


* meaning that I try to pay attention to weight added and removed, but not that I am necessarily looking for the lightest Miata around
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:15 AM   #19
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I'd like the FM unit better just for the design of the receiver. I really don't like the Hard Dog solution.

It's all-in-all the same as the link I posted, just lightweight.

here is what my receiver looks like:




IMHO this is the best design.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:59 AM   #20
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Focus. Your picture has none.

Scrappy, if any of those questions were aimed at me, I have no idea. Just posted it since I saw it on FM's site. Definitely looks like a nice product.
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