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A new trailer in my future

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  • A new trailer in my future

    I am contemplating a new trailer. The trailer dealer in Whitmore Lake, just north of Ann Arbor carries the MWT line of trailers, manufactured in Middlebury, IN, just 150 miles south of where I live. I have spent several sleepless nights contemplating the size and accessories I would like to incorporate in the trailer. I plan to store the trailer in my rental storage unit, once I get the remaining stuff put upstairs in the loft I constructed inside. I plan to keep my Hamilton drafting table, my Craftsman 10" radial arm saw and my 21 gallon air compressor downstairs with the trailer, which leaves me about 16 feet of usable length inside the storage unit's roll-up door. I would like to get a 6 x 12 foot trailer, but the width is just too close to the loft's anti-sway bracing to be comfortable. So I am going to go with a 5 x 12 foot v-nose trailer with a single torsion axle, rear ramp, 24 inch people door, full six foot interior height and a roll-out awning along the right-hand side. I feel this will meet my needs for a long time, without having to replace it in the forseeable future. I plan to close off the v-nose area with cupboards and drawers, with a small triangular workbench area underneath the upper cupboards. My 2016 Ram 1/2 ton pickup with the Pentastar 305 HP DOHC V-6 will handle the towing chores without complaint. I plan to start a build thread once I get the trailer, so please stay tuned. Any suggestions you may have would be appreciated. I have to visit the dealer this week to place my order. I don't know how long the waiting period will be for it to be built, and I plan to pick it up at the factory, saving the transportation charges.

  • #2
    And another one is 'Hooked", or should I say "Hitched"
    Welcome to the Trailer Club

    Jeremy and Ben
    SCCAAA TT TN

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    • #3
      Congratulations on the commitment to a trailer...one more thing to consider is the over all height of the trailer.

      Two years ago, when making my trailer purchase, I had planned to keep it in the hangar at the field. The hangar building is 20'x40' and has 12' wide by 8' tall doors at each end. Simple drive through parking (so I thought)...but the trailer turned out to be 2 inches taller than the garage door opening!!!

      The solution came when we built the new sailplane hangar. It is 24' wide by 40' long and the garage door is 12' wide and 9' tall, so my trailer will fit this time!
      A Site for Soar Eyes

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      • #4
        Congrats AL.
        Welcome to the right lane club.
        If possible, choose an all aluminum trailer. The longevity and weight savings is a big issue.

        Len
        Len Buffinton
        Team Horizon Hobby

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        • #5
          Thanks for the valuable tips, Jim and Len.

          The overall height is a big consideration. Although I have almost 9 feet of clearance under the 2x10 floor joists of the loft, there are diagonal anti-sway braces to contend with, since the supporting walls are free standing, not attached to the building. A 6-foot wide trailer's outside box dimensions are approximately 92 inches wide by 92 inches high. I will re-measure the loft when I go over there today and will send a photo of what I have to contend with. The roll-up door is about 15 feet high, so that doesn't pose a problem.

          Len, I contacted ATC trailer three weeks ago, after Winamac. They acknowledged my inquiry and forwarded it to their dealer in Lapeer, MI. I have not heard a word since. I will re-contact ATC and try to deal directly with them.

          As for the right lane club, I have driven Uhaul trucks with my vehicle in tow on a tandem axle auto trailer all over the country: Wisconsin to Philly, then Philly to Michigan, and Wisconsin to Michigan. One learns to be patient with a large trailer in tow. I'm retired, so no hurry.

          I appreciate and respect the input from both of you. More to follow.

          One last thing: brakes. Do you recommend brakes for a single axle trailer that will tip the scales around 1,200 pounds? My truck already has a factory-installed brake controller and 7-pin connector.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Al_M View Post
            One last thing: brakes. Do you recommend brakes for a single axle trailer that will tip the scales around 1,200 pounds? My truck already has a factory-installed brake controller and 7-pin connector.
            Al....I have a 6x10 trailer that I haul my Carbon Cub in and it's a single axel torsion trailer. It does not have the brakes hooked up and brakes doesn't seam necessary....on mine at least! But maybe the fact that my Sprinter is pretty big and doesn't even notice the trailer...even at 80mph in the left lane lol I would definitely hook them up on a bigger trailer. One thing to note....from what I have been told and what I have seen, all the rubber torsion axels come with the electric brakes already attached from the factory (not sure about the other axels) it's just a matter of running wires to them and changing to a 7-pin connector on the trailer. Mine has them but they aren't hooked up. You may not need them and can always have them hooked up later, but seeing that you already have the controller and the 7-pin connector on your truck.....I'd just have them hooked up...it wouldn't hurt!!
            Pete

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            • Steve P
              Steve P commented
              Editing a comment
              Not all Torflex axles have brakes.

            • Al_M
              Al_M commented
              Editing a comment
              Oops, sorry Steve. I just noticed your comment. I believe I will go with electric brakes if they are available.

            • Xroadie
              Xroadie commented
              Editing a comment
              You are right Steve! I was told that by a local trailer dealer, he said all the Dexter Axels "they" use already have the brakes on them, even if you don't use them. My trailer has them, you can see the hook up wires, but they aren't hooked up.

          • #7
            Hi Pete, thanks for your input. I did not realize that all torsion axles come with brakes. That makes the decision easy!

            Jim, regarding the height of the door to my storage unit, here are two pix of the roll-up door:

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            I previously said the door was 15 feet high, but I think it is more like 12 feet. Below is a view looking inside. Note the blue tape on the diagonal braces. The bottom edge of the tape is 92 inches above the floor, and the horizontal distance between those two points is, ironically, 92 inches. That effectively negates a six-foot wide trailer, which i believe is 91 x 91. I'm pretty good at backing up a trailer, but not THAT good! The height to the bottom of the 2 x 10 joists is 98 inches, or 8ft 2 in. So I should have sufficient clearance overhead - about 6 or 7 inches.

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            I have to finish setting up my drafting table, wire a 4-foot fluorescent light over it, and basically re-arrange the remaining stuff so there will be room for the trailer.

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            • #8
              I'll be going up to Victory Custom Trailers in Metamora, MI today to order my trailer. I have arranged the drafting table and the radial arm saw in the back of the storage unit to the extent that I can squeeze a 6 x 12 trailer inside with about 5 inches to spare, length-wise. I'm glad I re-measured everything and established positively that a 6 x 12 will fit. Eager to get the trailer on order. Delivery is 4 to 6 weeks. Will take possession at the ATC plant in Napanee, IN when it is completed. Maybe it will show up at Cumberland in November.

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              • #9
                Well........it's on order. An ATC 6 x 12 Raven, single torsion axle, V-nose, rear ramp in Silver Mist. Not many options besides the rear ramp and v-nose - aluminum wheels, deleted the roof vent and opted for the side vents. Also added a pair of rear stabilizer jacks. Delivery will be taken at the dealer here in Michigan, since they do not charge for transportation from the factory. That saves me a 300 mile round trip to pick up the trailer at the factory in Indiana. Now the waiting begins! I feel like a kid a week before Christmas.

                Many thanks for the tips offered by you folks. They were a big help in making my decision. Stay tuned.

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              • #10
                Yes, Jim, I have read your entire thread and plan to use it for my build. Thank you for sending the link. I'm sure I will have a lot of questions to ask you as things progress. First, a few housekeeping chores at the storage unit must be done before the trailer arrives. The 300 pound drafting table has to be put on casters in order to push it to the rear of the unit, against the stairs. Second, the wobbly legs under the radial arm saw have to go. I intend to make a heavy duty rectangular base cabinet to support the saw, replacing the entire stand. Then, one last thing. Remove the stock front bumper on the Jeep and install the steel offroad winch-type bumper that I have on hand. Then, I will have a custom front hitch receiver welded up to mount to the new bumper. The Jeep will be similar those pushers that are used at airports to push back airliners. The receiver will be offset laterally to the passenger side of the Jeep , providing me a clear view down the right side of the trailer as I push it into the building. I plan to put the transfer case into 4 wheel low so it'll just creep while in first gear, giving me better control, and avoiding slipping the clutch excessively (it has a six-speed manual transmission). I'll post a few pix as things progress while awaiting delivery of the "Silver Bullet."

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                • #11
                  CONGRATULATIONS AL
                  Fantastic..... ATC rules.
                  I'll try to get the Pictures of my trailer build up on the site in the next few days. I have a bunch of pictures, but they're on my phone...

                  I looked at the silver mist too, nice color. Silly question, but does it have a side door?

                  Len
                  Len Buffinton
                  Team Horizon Hobby

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                  • #12
                    Thanks, Len. I'm happy with my decision to get an ATC trailer. I'm eager to see your build pix. I re-read Jim's build today. The silver color was decided because it reflects heat well. Maybe not quite as good as white, but the difference is negligible. One of the things the trailer will have to do, is carry my antique 1966 Vespa to various scooter meets and events as well as serve as a pit bike like Gunny's. So I am planning to make the mid-level deck hinged in order to facilitate bringing the scooter to the front of the trailer. I'm considering a number of ways to facilitate hinging the deck.

                    Oh, almost forgot: it does have a side door. It is 32" x 66" with an RV style latch, not a cam bar closure. No silly questions, only dumb answers.

                    Al

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                    • #13
                      Today I picked up a 100 watt solar kit from Harbor Freight. I had to act before the end of the month, because they are marked down from $189.99 to $149.99. Len or Jim: can you please tell me how you attached your panels to the roof of your respective trailers? I'm a little leery about supporting the panels on the .030 aluminum roof sheeting without some form of structural support underneath. I can build support members from either wood or aluminum, but I'd like to get your say on the matter. Also, how did you seal the openings?

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                      • #14
                        Al, check my trailer thread at post #22 for some information on this. First of all, I used just one of the solar panels (15 watt panel). It is aligned so that it straddles two of the roof cross members. Basically, the cross members carry its weight and not the thin aluminum roof sheeting. The panel had four mounting holes with two being just in front of one cross member and two just behind the other cross member. Bonded neoprene washers (like the ones used on metal roof sheeting) were used above and below the aluminum sheeting to seal the holes. So far...no leaks!

                        If I were setting up another trailer, I would probably either install more panels, or higher output panels...but...my 15 watt panel keeps my onboard 12 volt AGM sealed battery charged good enough to cover my charging needs throughout an entire event. I also have an AC battery charger mounted in my trailer and carry a gas generator to provide AC power for charging if needed. Running a coffee maker (800 watts) requires the generator. Trying to run a coffee maker using an inverter attached to the 12 volt AGM battery would drain it quickly and the solar panel would be completely inadequate to replenish its charge.

                        hope this helps.
                        A Site for Soar Eyes

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                        • #15
                          That is a big help, Jim. With 100 watts at my disposal, I think I will have more than enough power to keep things well charged. I might even have enough left over to brew that cup of coffee for us in the morning! The array consists of four panels of 24 watts capacity each.Thinking about wiring in two Harbor Freight AGM batteries in parallel for 70 amp hours capacity. I believe I have a solution as to how to mount the panels on the roof still and transfer the loads to the roof frame and not just the skin. Will explain when I start the installation. Thanks again for your help.

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