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Last Post 24 Jan 2001 11:13 PM by  Davard
Trailer Advice (Deux)
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Bill in RiverCity
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16 Jan 2001 06:17 PM
    Ooookay, I'm going to try this again. My last effort at posting this topic was less than successful, so I wiped out past efforts and am taking another shot at making myself clear. Here goes!

    I have a 1999 Honda Odyssey with which I'd like to tow an RX7 racecar. The Odyssey's tow limit is 3,500 pounds. The RX7 weighs about 2,300 pounds. The lightest trailer I've found is one by Featherlite which weighs about 1,300 pounds, putting car and trailer just over the limit of my tow vehicle. Does anyone know of a lighter trailer that would work for my purpose?

    Bill Wilkman
    Riverside, CA
    rog foo
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    17 Jan 2001 12:31 AM
    Check with Mighty Movers (Dico) in Corona. They have an open deck lightweight steel trailer. I am uncertain of the weight though. Also, have you thought of using a dolly? Just a thought.



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    [url="http://homepage.mac.com/rogerfoo"]http://homepage.mac.com/rogerfoo[/URL]
    speedturn
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    17 Jan 2001 05:03 AM
    I towed my RX-7 for a few years and 10,000 miles on an open trailer. It had a single axle, a simple, heavy frame, and a wood deck out of 2 x 12's. The deck dimensions were 6' wide x 12' long. The car hung over the front and back a few inches.

    This was a simple, crude design trailer, and it weighed in at 1100 pounds. I am sure that a well designed steel trailer could weigh less than that. I am not recommending the wood deck; I am just saying that is what the trailer I used had.

    The featherlite alum. trailer you are looking at can do the job, but it is probably very expensive.

    There are lots of small trailer maker shops that have sprung up everywhere. If you can come up with a sketch of what you need, they can probably build you something cheaper than featherlite. Whatever you end up with , make sure it is strong, safe, and light. The basis of any good structural/mechanical design is putting the material where it needs to be, and not adding unnecessary weight/material. Some of these small fabricators use good designs, and some of them have no understanding of the basics of structures. If in doubt, have a mechancial or civil engineer buddy with stress/structural/design experience look over any trailer you are thinking about buying.

    If you go the single axle route, be sure and use trailer tires made for carrying a heavy load. Do not try and cheap out by using passenger car tires; they just cannot take the weight.

    Be sure and place your car on the trailer such that you can get around 300 pounds of tounge weight for good straight towing. If you make the tounge too light, the trailer will fish tail when you make sudden lane changes. Check your Honda's ability to handle that kind of tounge weight by getting two friends to stand on your rear bumper, while you stand at the side of your Honda and look at how much the rear sags and the front raises up. You may find that you need load-equalizer bars & hitch to handle this kind of weight with your Honda.

    Just trying to share some towing experience -



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    Speedturn
    Rocket City, Alabama
    joegumkowski
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    17 Jan 2001 07:30 AM
    Bill- Check out the Trailex Brand Aluminum trailer. It should be well under 900lbs.
    Crusin
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    17 Jan 2001 01:55 PM
    Thumbs up for the Trailex. I had a single axle unit rated for 2000 lbs and I could move it around the pits easily by hand. I believe they are located in Ohio. They are made of aluminum and a bit pricy but worth it.

    Crusin
    Davard
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    17 Jan 2001 04:57 PM
    Since no one mentioned the URL for Trailex, [url="http://www.trailex.com"]www.trailex.com[/URL]

    I believe that Peter Raymond uses a Trailex trailer to tow his Miata behind his Audi 100 Quattro.

    Looks like the nearest dealer is in San Jose.

    Just make sure to get one with electric brakes on ALL axle(s). Surge brakes are fine for rental trailers, but I wouldn't want to use them on a long term with a unibody vehicle like your Odyssey.

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    David Avard
    '90 Mazda Protege LX
    RussMcB
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    20 Jan 2001 08:09 AM
    Bill, won't you have a problem once you start loading up your honda with floorjack, jack stands, gas cans, rain tires, tools, spares, etc., etc...?
    Josh G
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    20 Jan 2001 04:35 PM
    If you dont mind dragging back wheels you can get a dolly. They are light.
    Bill in RiverCity
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    21 Jan 2001 08:56 PM
    Trailex looks great, however, they do not have a good distribution network or method of transporting their products. I talked to Trailex in Ohio and with the Trailex dealer in San Jose. Basically, they ship them from Ohio as they get orders. Cost is $1.00 per mile! I haven't added up the mileage from Ohio to Southern California, but I know it's in the thousands. (The Trailex rep told me if I could wait until someone else orders one in my area, I could share mileage.) If there was a way around this major drawback, I'd probably buy one. Thanks for the input, though!

    Bill Wilkman
    Bill in RiverCity
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    21 Jan 2001 08:59 PM
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by RussMcB:
    [b]Bill, won't you have a problem once you start loading up your honda with floorjack, jack stands, gas cans, rain tires, tools, spares, etc., etc...?[/b]


    Good point! If I could find a trailer in the 800 pound range (Trailex makes several), I think it would leave enough available hauling capacity to allow for these items.

    Bill Wilkman
    Davard
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    23 Jan 2001 11:36 PM
    Here are a few links for you. Not all of them are applicable (too heavy, enclosed only, etc.), but others might find them useful. This is certainly NOT a complete list.

    If all else fails, you could probably have a (trailer/welding) shop near you build one up custom. A friend just bought an 800 lb trailer for his Scirocco that looks to be custom-made.
    [url="http://www.classicmfg.com/mainpage.htm"]http://www.classicmfg.com/mainpage.htm[/URL] [url="http://www.featherliteinc.com/"]http://www.featherliteinc.com/[/URL] [url="http://www.artco.com/jacobsen/index2.html"]http://www.artco.com/jacobsen/index2.html[/URL] [url="http://WWW.WELLSCARGO.COM/"]http://WWW.WELLSCARGO.COM/[/URL] [url="http://www.flyingamotorsports.com/"]http://www.flyingamotorsports.com/[/URL] [url="http://www.trailerworld.com/"]http://www.trailerworld.com/[/URL] [url="http://www.exiss.com/"]http://www.exiss.com/[/URL] [url="http://www.uscargo.com/"]http://www.uscargo.com/[/URL] [url="http://www.ssbtractor.com/trailers.html"]http://www.ssbtractor.com/trailers.html[/URL] [url="http://www.haulmark.com/"]http://www.haulmark.com/[/URL] [url="http://paceamerican.com/"]http://paceamerican.com/[/URL]


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    David Avard
    '90 Mazda Protege LX
    Mike
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    24 Jan 2001 06:37 AM
    consider a single axle tilt trailer. in steel it should be light enough for your application.
    i've had a few made they cost around 1200 to have one made . if they do it right you can easily move the trailer around the yard alone.
    i had my GT4 510 on one and could even move the trailer with the car on it. it was balanced perfectly loaded. with a tilt trailer you dont need to carry ramps and you can use surge brakes to eliminate electrical components .
    this is great for local use.
    now i have a F350 and 28' enclosed but i started with a tilt for 4 years..

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    Mike Gibson
    GT4 Nissan, 240Z convt.
    Davard
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    24 Jan 2001 11:13 PM
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Mike:
    [b]you can use surge brakes to eliminate electrical components .
    this is great for local use.
    [/b]


    Once again, I'll have to give my opinion of surge brakes. Surge brakes are great for rental trailers, but for a trailer that you plan on using, especially on a unibody vehicle like the Odyssey, electric brakes are the way to go. Surge brakes will, over time, rip the trailer hitch (receiver) right off the unibody. On vehicles with frames, usually the bolts holding on said receiver will fail, or if welded, the welds will fatigue (break).

    Most electric brake controllers need only three wires to connect. (Rather than reading pressure, electronic controllers have accelerometers and read off the brake lights for the activation signal.).

    Another thing to consider is a relay box for the trailer lights (a trailer supply place should know what this is). How this works is that you provide battery power to the box and the trailer lights draw their power from the battery rather than from your tail lights. This is important to keep the trailer from causing problems with the car, which can be far more expensive than the relay box ($80-100).

    I do like the idea of a tilt trailer though. I'm not sure I like the idea of trailer with virtually no tongue weight for towing stability. Most authorities suggest 12% TW for single axle trailers, and 10% for tandem axle.

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    David Avard
    '90 Mazda Protege LX
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