What kind of towing limit should one look for if you want to have a trailer (preferably enclosed, but not necessarily) for a single Model T. Don't want something huge, just enough to haul the car. When I begin to look for my next car, I think I want to consider vehicles that could tow a trailer with a T on it, but I don't want a huge truck..so what kind of towing capacity should I be looking at as a minimum?
I have an open trailer that weighs 1800 lbs. according to the registration. Depending on what T I'm pulling, the total weight might be about 3600 lbs.
I can pull that easily with either my 1995, 6 cyl., Explorer or my 2004, 8 cyl., Explorer. Obviously, the 8 cyl. does it a little better. I have also used my dad's 1998 Grand Marquis which also did a terrific job.
For my next vehicle I would love to get a Ford Edge. However, they only seem to come with a class II hitch and have a rated tow capacity of 3500 lbs. I won't cut things that close so, an Edge would be out for me.
I hope that gives you some perspective.
For a couple of years I pulled my T trailer with an Explorer. Then, because it seemed a little skitterish, I moved to an Expedition. I've never looked back.
The Expedition is only a few bucks more than the Explorer, but well worth it in terms of peace of mind when towing the trailer.
BTW, my T trailer weighs almost 4000 pounds with the car and equipment in it.
In the specifications of the vehicle it should state the: GCWR(gross combined weight rating).
This is the gross weight rating of the vehicle plus the gross allowable weight of the trailer.
Rick,I think that is where usually the unexperanced haullers get into trouble?? [Looking at it as a minimum]?? Being retired/poor,i can only aford one hauller so it must do whatever job i put at it safely.Last night 6 of us old farts went to supper so we used the crew cab hauller.I dont think anyone should haull on a ball hitch [at highway speeds]more than the hauller weighs?? Old with a foggy mind,was it Winston who said,[Its whats up front that counts]?Bud.
This isn't going to answer your question, but it will show you the problem I had and the trailer accident that resulted. I bought a 2100# enclosed trailer, which with the weight of my '17 touring totaled about 3500#. I purchased an '06 Toyota 4Runner with a towing package rated at 5000# (seemed a safe margin). Had all the brakes on the trailer checked, brake control installed by professionals, etc. First trip with the trailer loaded, it started swerving going down an onramp to the freeway at 30mph. Ended up doing a 180 in the middle of a busy southern Calif freeway, damaging both the car and the trailer (but not the T strapped inside!). After writing the MTFCA forum for help (2 years ago, "HELP-Trailer Accident") and receiving about 70 responses, no 2 alike, and taking it to several trailer dealerships and Toyota dealerships, the end result seemed to be this. The towing rating of the vehicle (5000# or 10000#) seems to apply to the engine and transmission capabilities of the vehicle, not the "controlibility" of the set-up. I felt the trailer was "pushing" the vehicle, even with the brake control. After having the accident in the middle of a freeway, I would buy the heaviest SUV or pickup I could afford to pull the next trailer. It's not worth the safety of my family to cut corners to try to get the smallest tow vehicle I think will do the job, and find out later I was wrong! My 2 cents.
Trailer loading has a huge effect on controlability. A tail heavy trailer will fish tail with even the heaviest of tow vehicles. I have loaded mine and not liked the feel of it and moved my load forward while on the side of the road. Better safe than sorry.
I don't recall the figure, but there is a rule of thumb for tonque weight. It should be some percentage of the total trailer weight. I imagine a google search would turn up the correct figure. Sorry I don't remember what it is.
Vehicle weight on its rear axle is all important. A couple of barrels of water or something bolted down in the back of a pickup will make a big difference in handling and safety. I'm with Bud: put as much weight as possible in the tow vehicle, and as little as possible in/on the trailer. An empty pickup box is a sign of trouble.
I've toyed with the idea of rear bumpers for pickups that would hold water. . Gets the weight out back and down low, and you could drain it when not needed.
A fifth wheel trailer is much safer, if you don't tow it like this:
Love the boat in the truck Ralph.
RD,Instead of sitting here i should be getting my 100 gal extra fuel tank ready to mount.Dont want bigger as over 110 gal you get into Hazmat but the extra weight will help improve the ride,and the extra range will help fuel pricing.You are right about 5'th wheel hitching being better cause have any seen any ball hitch semis lately?? Bud.
RD, I don't believe a heavy bumper is a cure for poor load distribution in the trailer. Tongue weight, (if that's what you're getting at), tells more about the dynamics of how the trailer will handle rather than how the tow vehicle will handle. Of course, one depends on the other seeing as how they're coupled.
I'm not sure if that's the problem you were trying to cure with your water bumper idea however?
If you pull a car trailer in Calif. that has a GVWR of 10,000 Lbs or greater, you are now required to have a class A drivers license. The CHP are issueing expensive tickets to drivers who are caught violating this recient requirement. For those who live in California, please check the I.D. plate on your trailer. The GVWR is what the CHP is looking for....It does not matter if the axel rating is greater.
I consider myself as being lucky as our new car trailer has a GVWR of 9990 lbs. which is legal. California is going all out by increasing vehicle license fees, traffic fines and tigher surveliance in an effort to grap more of your $$$'s to help reduce the state budget deficit.
I am not being "Political"....this is a fact!
The tounge weight of a trailer should be a mimium of 10% of the total weight. A sway control is a good item even if you are not using a equilizer hitch. I have seen some use two sway controls. Nelson
The rule of thumb in the placement of the axles in designing a trailer is to have 15% of the gross weight on the hitch.
Also of note is the fact the U-Haul will not
rent a trailer to be towed by a Explorer. I'm
sure that thinking could be applied to other short wheelbase SUV's where the trailer weight would have an adverse effect on the handling.
One of the problems is trying to figure out what means what concerning the later factory ratings on vehicles. Dealer won't tell you, factory reps shrug. Your final decision always has to be word of mouth.
From my experience, even the hitch people have a problem in actually answering and advising. Its' that product liability 'crap'! Tell them exactly what you plan to haul and they get squirrely on just about any chassis arrangement as to answers. Go and say 'I want a 12K GVW combination with sway comp' and they say 'OK, this model is the one'. Go and say 'here is what I want to haul' and they always get dumb!
I've seen Explorers hauling 28 foot travel trailers without difficulty, which I wouldn't ever do myself, but as someone else has said....no one in retail will say that is possible if you ask.
Ahhh,,,,the modern society. Go get a 20-30 year old F-250 with the hvy duty rear end option, they can still be bought cheap, they never cost more than 50 bucks to fix anything that breaks, and they pull stumps while going uphill on a mountain at a decent speed
"Go get a 20-30 year old F-250 with the hvy duty rear end option.."
Then hook a fifth wheel trailer to it.
How much extra does it cost to get an enclosed trailer with fifth wheel hitch? No, I'm not in the market for a trailer, just curious.
Kudos Raplh...you have the ultimate answer
But that old F250 will also take a hell of a receiver hitch, and will also allow great control with a pintle mount in the receiver too......
I've hauled a double long flat on 'rainbow truck' and managed to get two T's up on it and have full confidence in driving The same trailer with the same load bogs down the tail end of an Expedition.
[It's called 'rainbow' as all the tin from time to time has been replaced with junkyard finds White hood, one blue door, one black door...and shhhhhhh.........headers.....lol]
"The rule of thumb in the placement of the axles in designing a trailer is to have 15% of the gross weight on the hitch."
Lee- I'm not disputing your statement. In fact, with my limited experience (see my post above), it sounds great. But go to the Calif. CHP like I did and they say the rule is 7-10%! And that's how they set up my trailer, just before I had the accident (which several people have said was caused by too little tongue weight---altho several other posters have said was TOO MUCH tongue weight). That's why, if you're in a state like Calif where they may check the tongue weight and limit it to 7-10%, I think the bigger truck you have gives you a little more room for safety. This is not to say that proper loading of the trailer is very important.
For a lot of years we towed a travel trailer. Our favorite was a 28 ft. trailor of about 8000 lbs. towed by a Ford E350 wagon with a V10 engine. Putting more weight on the rear of the car or the tongue of the trailer isn't always better. It tends to lift the front of the car, and in some extreme cases even lift the front wheels off the road under bumpy conditions. Ideally, any trailer over 2000 lbs. depending on the car, should have a weight equalizing hitch, properly set up, connecting it to the car.
You missed the point George,Have you seen any semis going down the road using a ball hitch?? If you can do it pin placement is best slightly ahead of the rear axel.Axel/axels placement should be back far enough so its easy to haull both forward and backward.Any trailer should be long enough so the load,[any load] can be positioned where the weight ballance says it needs to be.If i were to haull much over 5500-6,000 i would want a 5'th wheel hitch!
Rick If you want to pull a model T on a trailer, a full size half ton pick-up, or SUV equivalent, with a class 3 hitch (the bumper hitch won't support the necessary tongue weight) and trailer brakes, will do it fine. I'm referring to a 16', tandem axle 7000#,GVW, trailer. I'm talking about a real half ton pickup not a mid-size, with a half ton rating. If that's the heaviest load you ever put on it, I wouldn't be afraid to go anywhere with it. Minimum vehicle to pull it well.
I fully agree and would love to be in a position to have a real hauler......
Anecdotal story from years gone by, was in my early 20's- was towing a boat on a trailer with an old Dodge PowerWagon...on a ball
Ball came undone and whacko me was only driving a few miles so had just tied up the safety chains. Look in the rear view mirror and saw Sir Lancelot of the Joust following me with the tongue up high and the boat trailer doing its own thing. Suffice it to say the ball disappeared and I made a decision to save the world and jammed on the brakes. I did wind up in the same predicament as one of Ralphs pictures
Pickups don't have hardly any of their weight on the rear axle, which is why I mentioned the water bumper idea.
Relying on the tongue weight of the trailer to hold the rear of a picup down is risky. The higher the center of gravity of the trailer, the riskier. Get that sucker rocking fore and aft, like from a dippy road, and that tongue weight is worthless. A load equalizer hitch takes care of that, if done right, as long as it doesn't fail.
A fifth wheel hitch, over or in front of the rear axle, reduces the leverage of the rocking trailer, and reduces swaying.
Of course there are too many generalities in this thread. You flatlanders probably give little thought to gusting crosswinds on the western freeways where the big rigs are doing the legal 75.
We had gusts up to 70 mph here in SoCalif today, and there was a Fedex big rig and another shown on tv, both laid over, down in the flats, not in a mountain pass where the wind really howls. . You can imagine what that would do for your half ton pickup pulling a tall trailer.
You can pull about any size trailer with about any tow vehicle - under ideal conditions. . You have to plan for the worst conditions you might encounter, so the more margin the better.
I had a talk with a calif CHP commertial officer re the class A license requirement. If you are towing a trailer over 10000# with a commertial vehicle (in CA that means a fladbed pickup or a dually and sometimes a pickup) ie something with commertial plates then you need the license. There is a loophole however.....You can tow that trailer legally with your PASSENGER vehicle. So a good friend of mine only tows his 12000# trailer with his Diesel Excursion and not with his F350 dually pickup. After all one does not want to run afoul of the law.
I had a similar situation happen to me, back in 1981, as described by Bob Bishop. I agree with him. You want a vehicle that can give you the most conrtol over your trailer. A light, marginally adequate vehicle is not it. We had a '73 Ford "heavy half" PU with an extended wheelbase, bumper hitch and an enclosed trailer that could have hauled 2 full sized Cadillac's from the 50's stacked on top of each other. We had our T in it. We got on the highway, started ramping up to highway speeds, and it began whipping violently. It took us both lanes and the shoulders to get it shut down. We blew out 2 tires on the trailer. The T was not hurt as it was tied down. If we had not had a fairly heavy vehicle with a nice long wheelbase, it would have been a terrible accident. The real problem was a homemade trailer (one I borrowed) what not constructed right. It had the axles in the center of the trailer. This caused instability. In 1996 we bought a new Dodge 3/4 Ton Van w/360 c.i. to pull our 16' enclosed trailer and it is very marginal as far as power goes. Going 60 mph is about all it can do. I am not happy with that vehicle and would not buy another one like it. A friend of mine had a '92 Chevy 3/4 Ton van 350 cu in and pulled much heavier loads than mine with no problem what-so-ever. We've pulled to Hershey from KS and out to Bakersfield, CA numerous times with these rigs. We've also used a 10 cyl Navigator which did OK but we couldn't pass a gas station without stopping! There were a few other vehicles in there but our favorite was a GMC Diesel with the Allison 6 speed transmission. We rented it and it was a dream to drive. Took it to Hershey and didn't even know tha trailer was back there. Never needed to take it out of 6th gear (probably should have but it wasn't lugging down like we needed to), and ran 65-70 all the way, even in the mountains. The trailer was loaded so heavy, we broke a spring and had to have it repaired before we left Hershey. So, with all of that said, I would not go with less than a 3/4 ton, nor less than 350 cu in. and no short wheelbase vehicles (like a short bed PU or Blazer) if you plan on pulling an enclosed trailer.