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How do I spec a trailer?


Krzdimond
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I am currently in a fixed location (my house) and lately I have been getting about 50% of my calls asking for mobile services, so I decided to expand. I have been looking for used trailers for the past 30 days- Craigslist, Ebay, the paper, etc. all to no avail, so today I started looking for new trailers. Must haves at this point are barn doors in the rear and a side door, other than that, I'm lost.

 

Here is my problem/question: How do I spec out a trailer? What do I NEED, should have, don't need, etc?

 

I am going to run a 90 gal tank that is 3HX3DX4W, 3.5K Gen set, pressure washer, compressor, etc. I went to 3 dealers in 2 states in the area and have looked at WAY too many companies: Pace American, Diamond, Wells Cargo, et al.... and have been told WAY too much information. 2 wanted to upgrade to 16" centers on the floor, while 1 wanted to go 12". Can't I just mount another 3/4" sheet of plywood on the standard 24" centers? All 3 want to upgrade to pressure treated floors and I want to lay vinyl, 5X8's cost as much as a 6X10, one piece bowed roof compared to standard flat. Brakes; no brakes.... I will also be running no more than 40 miles one way so is a "V" nose a waste?

 

What do I tell the dealer I want/need?

 

BTW, my tow vehicle is a 96 Roadmaster wagon with 5000lb towing capabilities.

 

 

Sorry for the long post, but I am at a COMPLETE loss.

 

I guess if I had to shorten this, the question would be: If you had a trailer made for you, how would you spec it out? And why?

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For the amount of weight I think you will be hauling , a second layer of 3/4" plywood should be plenty of strength in the floor and then you can lay the vinyl or whatever you want to cover . I really don't think you need to go to 12" centers on floor beams. The dealers are just wanting to sell you a trailer in stock instead of what YOU want . If a 6 x 10 is the same price as a smaller one get it , you will NEVER have enough room , like a garage on wheels . If you were doing a lot of highway towing maybe a V nose MIGHT be worth the extra cost , but you loose a lot of storage space when you go that route. As far as brakes well thats your choice , I don't think you will have enough weight to worry about unless you are carrying a water tank and then I would put brakes on it . Go with electric brakes and NOT surge brakes . Look closely at the different type door lock handles as some are much better than others . If I can possibly be of any more help please let me know . Also check "Racingjunk.com" they always have a lot of used trailers .

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I have used both electric and surge. Both work fine but electric gives you a ton of control and you don't have to screw around locking it out when you back up like you do with surge brakes. I wanted electrics on the boat trailer but they couldn't/wouldn't do it.

 

Make sure that the suspension is torsion style and NOT leaf springs. They ride a ton quieter and are WAY less jumpy/skidish.

 

I would also stay away from aluminum. While they are nice to look at and light, they tend to crack and need repaired to often and many people either don't know how or don't have the tools to weld aluminum.

 

Good luck!

Chris

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I can't help you much with trailers but one thing I advise people to do if they are going to tow anything is to put a trans cooler on their car/truck. You can get a B&M for about 30$ and install it in about 30 minutes. It will make your trans much happier at you.

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I don't know squat about trailers - but if it's for your mobile detailing business, make sure it has plenty of room for some MASSIVE signs! Slap some signs on, hook up the trailer and then purposely go get caught in rush hour traffic somewhere - hopefully you'll be booked solid by the time you get home :)

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The wagon was spec'd from the factory with the trailer towing package, so the trans and oil coolers are already there.

 

Was advised on another forum to use ONR and get a 25 gal tank, small generator and work out of my car. Makes sense and could save me about $3500. Would anyone here have "issues" with a detailer showing up at your house and opens a trunk to work? Or would you feel more "comfortable" if he (or she) had a trailer?

 

I understand that the general public has a PERCEPTION as to what professional looks like

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I agree with the advice that you have been given. I have an 18' trailer that I bought to haul my 32 on long hauls to my brother's place in NC. I figure the car is a little less than 3,000 pounds and it does not have 12" or 16" floor joists centers. The key is to put your heavy equipment over the joists like the wheels on the car. I would tell you not to waste your money on a V nose. I can tell you for sure that having electric brakes while hauling a trailer has saved me twice in my life. I know I am hauling a lot bigger trailer than you would be, but in a panic stop it will really help you out. You just need to make sure you have the braking module in your wagon. I looked a lot also when I bought mine. I would suggest finding a local dealer and look at what is onsite. They will deal with you better than ordering one. You can PM me if you would like, but get a good one. We have used my trailer for three moves of homes and my son has used it probably more than I have. I recommend getting a bigger one than you think you need.

Edited by McDuff
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The wagon was spec'd from the factory with the trailer towing package, so the trans and oil coolers are already there.

 

Was advised on another forum to use ONR and get a 25 gal tank, small generator and work out of my car. Makes sense and could save me about $3500. Would anyone here have "issues" with a detailer showing up at your house and opens a trunk to work? Or would you feel more "comfortable" if he (or she) had a trailer?

 

I understand that the general public has a PERCEPTION as to what professional looks like

 

ONR may be your best bet in terms of you complying with any environmental regulations, so that coupled with saving a few grand sounds like a pretty good plan. I'm not really sure about what looks or doesn't look professional about a mobile detailer in your area - I think that might come down to clientele - John Q. Public more than likely won't care, whereas Dr. Johnathan Q. Public III, Esq. might look at you a bit sideways. I guess the best thing to do is gauge what other mobile guys (or gals) in your area are up to - what's the average setup of your competition? Figure that out and then one-up them!

 

But you can pretty easily spin the fact you don't have a trailer - "It saves me money by not owning one, so I then pass that savings on to you, my customer."

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You need trailer brakes for sure! Anything over 2000 lbs must have brakes to be legal. God forbid you are in an accident. That wagon I am guessing but more than likely has the 3:23 rear axle which should be fine for that load. Water is very heavy, so be aware of where you locate the tank! Too far forward and you have too much weight on the hitch! Too far back and the trailer is going to sway very badly! The V trailer is going to be easier to pull, since yyour wagon is low. Less frontal area for drag = easier time pulling!

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You need trailer brakes for sure! Anything over 2000 lbs must have brakes to be legal. God forbid you are in an accident. That wagon I am guessing but more than likely has the 3:23 rear axle which should be fine for that load. Water is very heavy, so be aware of where you locate the tank! Too far forward and you have too much weight on the hitch! Too far back and the trailer is going to sway very badly! The V trailer is going to be easier to pull, since yyour wagon is low. Less frontal area for drag = easier time pulling!

It's 3000 pounds for the brakes, which is why the 3500 lb axles are rated at 2990lb:) (Same part#, in the 6X12 and under, it's 2990lb and in the 6X14 its 3500lb...... with standard brakes:glasses:)

 

Close! I've got the 2:93 Posi axles.

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Honda makes some GREAT small quiet generators that are hard to beat IMO. That being said look at some welder/generators too. Sometimes you can get them cheaper than just a generator and the welder side makes resale better.

 

A trailer really looks like you have your stuff together but like others have said, a clean car that's well organized (like I'm sure yours is) goes a long way. It's all about the final outcome.

 

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bid on a used Haulmark 6X10 trailer, but was outbid at literally the last second:mad::explode:

 

Still looking for used as the new trailers are out of my budget:o

 

Decided not to use my car due to it's daily driver status ( I also have another job to pay the mortgage) So I'm still stuck in my driveway, which by the way, is where I'm most comfortable anyway:D

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