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Trailer Purchase-what to look for

2323 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Gixx
I am going to buy a trailer to carry my 64. What should I look for in a new or used trailer ?

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Trailer Tips

Depending on what you have to pull it with, I would only buy as much trailer as you need. Extra stuff = more weight = lower fuel mileage. I have had two 20' trailers, and I know I will be opening a can of worms here, but they were plenty long for my '63 and later my '65. Many will tell you that the 24' has a better resale value, but I never purchased a trailer with the intention to resell it. Will you be able to store it inside? If you buy a used trailer, check the age of the tires. You can search different websites to tell you how to read the date of manufacture. Regardless of looks, trailer tires have a general life expectancy of about four years. I would say 5 years max. If you are buying a new trailer, pay the extra for tires with a load range "E". Also, get a spare tire. There is a tire changing ramp that I believe is called a "trailer buddy". If you have a flat, no jack is necessary, and it makes changing a tire a 15 minute job. I hope this helps.:yes:
Open or closed? If you get an enclosed trailer I would go with the 5K axles. If you don't the trailer will weigh 3.5 to 4K empty and have a max capacity of 7K. So the trailer will only haul a little over the weight of the car.
Most trailer tires are made in China and you need at least a couple of spares. They don't have a great reputation for long life. I chose the leaf spring axles over torsion axles. I was told if you tweak or damage a torsion axle you have to replace the entire axle. The leaf spring axle has more parts but can be replaced without replacing the entire thing.
I have had one open trailer and two enclosed trailers; I’m not an expert but I have owned a couple to have some experience. Of course someone else will say the exact opposite of everything I have said.

I agree with thedez, a trailer buddy would be a great idea. I have looked at them several times. I carry a bottle jack and a couple blocks of wood; its not an ideal system.
If at all possible and you get a regular trailer , try to make sure and get a dove tail .It will load twice as easy .:yes:
i have of these and love it. anybody that has borrowed it wants one.
If your intent is an enclosed trailer, buy it right the first time. You are always going to be piling more "stuff" into the trailer for the "just in case I need it" trips. My recommendation is a 24 foot trailer, heavy duty axles, 16 inch rims/tires and cabinet/light package, generator door, 2 roof vents (one braced for a/c if you want.

Here are my reasons for them: 1) the 24 ft will give you the opportunity to haul scooter, bicycle, wagon and the like should you go to those larger carshow venues and need other means of transportation. Plus resale value should be considered. You may not think of reselling your trailer, but at some point you may want to upgrade, etc. 2) as mentioned before, the 3500 axles and associated rim/tire package is pretty weak. The China 15 in tire package is very susceptible to blowouts. In the long run, you will pay more for the 15 inch tires buying on a more frequent basis. One thing I encourage even if you get the 16 inch package is to install metal valve stems on all of the wheels. I have blown countless valve stems before I upgraded to 16 inch package and the metal valve stems. Seems as the heat build up on the 15 inch tire package has a drastic effect on the rubber valve stems. 3) You obviously will be hauling tools, cleaning products, spare parts for the car, trailer and tow vehicle. A cabinet package/light package is highly recommended for sorting and storage. 4) The generator/generator door will pay dividends should you utilize your trailer with cabinets/light package to assist in providing electricity, powering tools, fans, portable a/c units, etc. 5) The roof vents are nice so you can keep the trailer aired out/musty odors/fumes/etc while traveling down the road or while it sits at the house. Usually the front will be braced and wired should you desire to add a roof mounted a/c in the future.

Keep in mind that the 15 inch tire is a common problem. Even after a couple of years of travel, it is wise to replace the tires (read China crap) even if they have good tread showing. Before I upgraded to a 16 inch tire/wheel package, I always traveled with 2 spares and on one occasion needed both. One of the differences between the 3500 and 5200 package is 5 or 6 lug spindles. Generally speaking, the 3500 will have the 5 lug spindle. This hampers your ability to find good quality 16inch wheels in a 5 lug capacity. Granted, their are quality 15 inch LT and HT tires on the market. Maxxis is one brand that comes to mind. But they are pricey as well. So why not upgrade your wheel/tire package and you can run with a quality brand LT tire and forget about it.

Sorry for the long email. I have experienced these trials and tribulations.
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Sloan trailers are nice one person operation:cool:
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I am going to buy a trailer to carry my 64. What should I look for in a new or used trailer ?

Tom, you looking at going enclosed or open trailer? New or used? What's your budget?
Make sure to get brakes on both axles and the emergency backup option. If you get a big trailer I would also look at the load leaveler hitch option.

Thanks for everyones tips. I love this site

I would also recommend a side door for entry and exit if possible. I did not get this when I ordered mine and I wish that I would have spent the extra $400. My '63 isn't ready for the enclosed trailer yet, but the '72 leaves just enough room for me to squeeze in and out.

I bought my trailer for both a trailer for a shed. Right now it is full of parts for my project car.
This is great! I've been wanting to ask about this for a while but have never gotten around to it.

I plan on hauling my ride around the country once it's done. I want to travel to as many open courses and run my car around them while I'm still young enough to do it.

I would imagine that for traveling around the US I'm going to want an enclosed trailer. 24' seems to be the ticket. I will be outfitting it with tools for the whatifs and a compressor as Ronnie posted. Side door is a must.

What would you all say is a good budget to have if I want to buy one used including a good set of tools, compressor and whatever other miscellaneous stuff I'll need?

if u want a open trailer , check the Sloan texas roll back.
i love mine.

Kinda depends on what you are towing it with, too. Electric brakes (on both axles) is just about required. If you are going flatbed, and buying used, check the condition of the deck - they are not cheap to replace.

Make sure whatever you get has good "trailer" tires, not light truck or passenger tires. "Trailer" tires are designed to withstand the side-loads these things experience.
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