I recently purchased a 1924 york bodied depot hack. The question i have is whether it is safe to trailer open or do i need to look into a tall enclosed trailer? The furthest show or parade i will go to is 70 miles.
I trailer my ambulance on an open trailer, the nearest show is 200 miles. Anything closer I drive. The biggest problem with an open trailer is the idiots who want to take photos on the freeway, on more than one occasion, I have had some one pass me and hit the brakes so I have to pull into the other lane so they can get a photo of the other side. Always be aware that this might happen and traveling with an open trailer can be safe enough.
I was hoping it would be, im new to the depot hack, and just wasnt sure the uprights were stout enough to withstand wind on the windshield/roof at 55-60mph.
One additional comment, Jake. If you use an open trailer, be sure to remove everything that's loose from the hack. Seat cushions, sweaters, jackets, etc. will blow out at 55 MPH.
Don't ask how I know.
I suggest towing at a lower speed with your hack on the open trailer, like 45 mph max. Be mindful of head winds. If you are driving into a 15mph wind at 40, its like 55mph for the hack. If the windshield on the hack tilts open, then have it open or even better removed while towing. Since you never have to drive too far an open trailer should be fine, but just drive slower and don't risk damaging your hack.
Jake, I'm with Gus on that. Bite the bullet and buy a secure trailer. If you only have a 1/2 ton truck; put an Equalizer hitch on it. The enclosed trailer can be used as an extra garage for it. I suggest getting a trailer that is insulated, the car trailers have electric brakes on all four axles. Axles should be at minimum 3500# X 2 = 7000# minus the weight of the trailer equals what you can carry. Your only problem will be finding one that is tall enough. Since you are in Illinois, you may look for a used one that a tractor collector may have owned. I have a used Haulmark Trailer that was owned by a friend of mine. He had a 1925 Touring and had to fold the windshield and top to get it in. Most collectors, including me start with an open trailer and then get an enclosed trailer. I kept my open trailer to haul hay for my brothers horse ranch. Happy motoring, Kevin.
If the furthest one is only 70 miles away, why not just drive there hack there? At a stately 35 mph it's only about 2 hours.
My friend helped me move my hack about 100 miles on his open trailer a few years ago.
He insisted that he stay below 55 MPH and we had no problems except I couldn't stop him from smiling.
People waved, gave us the thumbs up, blew their horns, and wanted to talk when we got stuck in traffic on the interstate.
After the trip he wanted to trailer it for another 100 miles but I insisted that I needed we needed to put it in the garage!
Listen to Ray. He knows what he's saying. My dad has a hack and it is cross-trussed with motorcycle tie-downs to keep things from shimmying apart when towing, too...helps a lot. He also found that 55 mph with a solid axle tow vehicle was OK but deadly with IRS on his Nissan van.
He also found that tongue weight on the hitch went NEGATIVE at speeds over about 40MPH. This combined with IRS on tow vehicle and it was positively hair raising to tow over 50MPH. He took my advice (30 years later) to extend the trailer deck forward about a foot to provide more tongue weight and "zero" out the lift provided by headwinds hitting the windshield. This has helped immensely.
Jake, back in the late sixties when I was in college, I had a Syverson bodied depot that I trailered on my open trailer, 130 miles from the location of purchase to my home. Then I trailered it from my home to college, some 300 to 325 miles away. Granted, the initial trip was only one way and the college trip was only one round trip, but after I got out of college it was towed on shorter distances within 50 miles of home. I always drove, as opposed to backing, it on to the trailer, and other than securing it on the trailer, never did anything to reinforce the body for towing. It had no removable seat cushions or anything that could blow off, so that wasn't a problem. I had a pretty heavy foot in those days, but don't remember towing the trailer over 55 or 60 MPH.
If you have a Suburban or other SUV with a roof rack you can buy or build a deflector that will channel the wind up and over the vehicle being towed. I used one when I had an open trailer and it worked very well. Eventually, I used it with a flat nosed box trailer that I bought for better mileage but it will work just fine with an open trailer. I have a V nosed trailer now but actually think the deflector with a flat nose trailer gives a better result. Just be sure to secure things like seat cushions and lamps because the deflector doesn't help with the bouncing.
I towed my open trailer back it the sixties with a 68 Pontiac Catalina four door (not anywhere near as high as a SUV) so you can imagine the wind force on my hack !
I have a 1913 hack that I stopped open trailering. I now use an enclosed trailer that I had built to my specs(8 feet inside as the T is 85 inches tall). I stopped open trailering because the top has slats (inside looking up at roof) which let air blow through to the top material and lifted the material. In addition the padded layer under the top material started to bunch up under the top material. You may have a different situation if your windshield attachés to the top. On the 13, the windshield is not attached.
Proper loading is the most important when trailering. If you have your weight too far back, you will get fishtailing at speed. The only way to stop the fishtailing is to speed up, it will always get worse when slowing down. It is usually started by airflow off a passing truck, and is a hair raising experience. I have not done it, but I was following a friend when it happened to him. He was able to speed up and straighten out and then slow down and get off the road and adjust the weight.