I'm in the market for a new-to-me car and am thinking about something that would be capable of hauling my '24 coupe. I need something more than a pickup since it's got to do dual duty with the family.
I'd like something that's not a behemoth, but is capable of hitching the trailer and heading out. I'd normally just go on a tour driving the T, but I do need to go places occasionally with the T.
How about trailers? What's all this stuff weigh?
I appreciate the advice!
Why don't you buy a big motorhome, then you can hitch the trailer and the family can sleep anywhere they land. You can then remove the Model T and use it for cruising around the area until you are ready to move the motor home.
I know that a large SUV has been used by some to pull an open trailer. You most likely need a V8 to pull a large closed trailer.
I use a F150 6cyl to pull my open trailer and it does very well except for some steep grades I go about 45 mph. I could go faster, but it shifts down and I don't like to rev the engine too much. I used it to go from California to Kanab in June without a problem.
I don't think a regular sedan is big enough. You could wind up with the trailer pushing the car which is likely to cause a jacknife.
Find you an old 73 Buick or Chevy station wagon.
Andy, we pull the T with a Ford Explorer. When not pulling the T, it's my wife's everyday driver.
We pull our aluminum Tommy trailer 18' flatbed with our GMC Envoy. We pull our 25' aluminum enclosed trailer with our motorhome. We can get two T's in the 25' enclosed trailer. An aluminum trailer is more expensive but we should never have to replace them. They are also much lighter and easier on the tow vehicle.
Sorry for the off topic test post. I was just trying the new system and the post went through.
We use a Jeep Liberty to pull an open trailer. We got the Liberty with a factory tow package and it works fine. It's rated to pull up to 5000 lbs and I'm guessing that our touring car plus the trailer don't even weigh half that amount. MIKE SUMERALL - AL
A 10 year old Land Rover Discovery works just fine for a open trailer. They have a 4 litre V8. You can buy them cheap with low miles. They have a reputation for being short on power and burning too much fuel but this is easily rectified. Pop out the computer and send it to the UK for rechipping. I had ours done and now I am really pleased, lots of power and good fuel economy. So resign yourself to not having the use of it for a couple of weeks. They are really easy to work on (although in 10 years I have done nothing but the brake pads and they are about the easiest I have ever worked on). What little I have bought in 10 years from the dealer has been very reasonably priced and Napa has most of the fast moving items.
I haven't got the trailer for my T yet, but next spring when I do get it I will be pulling it with a Ford Explorer. I will also haul my Model A sedan as well. Our current Explorer and the first Explorer we owned have been used to pull a 30 foot camper trailer for over 30,000 miles - through mountains and all. With our belonging and all, the trailer is between 5000 and 5500 pounds. Have never had a bit of a problem. Both were V-8s with trailer towing and had seating for 7 people. Based on my experience I suspect even a V-6 with the trailer towing package would pull a T on an open trailer without any problem. Because of alleged rollover problems, I wouldn't buy an Explorer earlier than a 2002.
I use a 2002 Exploder Sport-trac 4x4 and 18' open trailer. Pulls nicely although I do sometimes forget that the trailer is there, however the gas station does remind me. The 4x4 helps me up my own driveway without wheel slip and without tearing up the dirt.
I have towed my Model T Van extensively around the South Island of New Zealand using a 1994 2.5 litre Mitsubishi Diamante, and now a 1997 3 litre Diamante. I have an open, dual axle, braked trailer and usually sit on 55mph. The trailer doesn't push the car around, but behaves nicely. When I'm not towing, I use the Mitsi for everyday transport. It's a real all rounder.
Can you elaborate on the computer change thing? Do you have any idea of what they do? If it was that easy, why didn't they do it in the first place? Is it legal? Not questioning you, just curious.
Great discussion! I don't do alot of trailering, but I guess I want my cake and eat it too. I want the option to tow, but not be penalized at the pump. I'd love a diesel, but the only thing that's available in America are large pickups or smaller VW's, which I'm told could do the trick if you're not going far. Makes me a little suspicious, though.
I was thinking of a Ford Escape/Mariner V6 with around 3500lbs of capacity.
Do people use a single or dual axle? Could I get away with a single?
You do not want a single axle, if you have a flat or blow one tire you are in trouble quick
They change the CPU's. It is legal in the UK and they have to go through annual MOT inspections there. The regulations at the time focussed on a fairly narrow band of emissions based on fuel consumption I believe (grams per litre/gallon). The manufacturers didn't write the rules, politicians did. Over the years the rules evolve. Fuel consumption (CAFE) has become a big deal. Also the manufacturers get smarter. So really it is just a update to the latest fuel/timing curves.
I towed my T for years on a single axle exceedingly simple homemade trailer. It was a very simple A frame hitch made of 5" channel welded to a 3" x 2"dropped axle made of HSS. The car sat on 2 fabricated box section tracks 16' long made of a broken 10 gauge channel 12" wide with 2" flanges pointing up to keep the car on welded on top of another channel 10" wide x 1 1/2" flange to support it. Really light and strong. I had 15" car tires on it and ran them not inflated too hard (20-25 psi) (this was the "suspension"). Running empty it bounced a little. But loaded it was fine. I recall towing it one weekend for 1200 miles with a '74 Volvo (2 litre engine) at 70 mph no problem when I went to retrieve my first model T (which i still have)
So if you build a light trailer you do not need a lot of tow vehicle.
I have a 2000 F250 2 wd 6 spd manual with a 7.3 diesel which I bought new. Yesterday I drove 400 miles on 17 gallons at 75 mph. By my calculations that is 23 mpg. It has 165,000 miles on it. It is fair to say that the 6 litre engine does not have the enviable record that the 7.3 has. IF you can find a similar truck in good shape it could be a OK. Beyond normal oil changes etc my maintenance has required me to change the rear brake pads and rotors about a month ago. The front brakes are good for a while more. I did have to do the front ball joints last year. I now have to fix my power door lock motors, but I read on the internet of a simple fix (about a hour each) and no parts needed. This was a chronic '2000 problem when they get about 8-9 years old. I can deal with it.
I have a 2009 F150 with a 5.4 three valve and a 6-speed auto transmission, tow package and heavy duty suspention. We have a 18' trailer for our touring. The truck is great, pulls the trailer around effortlessly, it shifts so smooth the only way you can tell it is shifting is by watching the tach. I also pull around a skid loader with no effort, great truck.
What's the best way to tie down a "T" when you trailer it. Is there risk of damage to the front or rear axle if you strap it down?
Using straps, not chains, you're less likely to scratch things up. I'd strap near the wheels both front and rear to avoid applying stress to the centers of the axles. Be sure excess strap is tied up so it won't blow under the trailer wheels. As this old favorite picture shows, it's best to fasten things down even if you're only going a few feet.
I have 3 D rings on each side of the trailer outboard from the wheels. The one in the front corner has a strap on each side just toward the center of the axle from the spring perch. One from each side at the same location to the center D ring on that side. Then one each side of rear axle next to the backing plate to the back corner D ring and one from the same location to the center D ring on that side. Place the center D ring on each side at a location where the strap will not pull against the tire. 4 straps on each side equalizing the tension forward and backward at each axle. The D rings are at the corners of the trailer and in the middle of each side so the pull is toward the outsides of the trailer keeping the car from sliding sideways. The car bounces on its own springs and the trailer runs very straight and smooth. It takes more straps and a little more time this way, but will go all day without shifting. Each D ring has at least one bolt into the steel frame of the trailer. After I found the right spot for the car on the trailer, I put a 2x4 across and bolted it to the floor. This is where I stop the front wheels when I load up.
I had a blowout on a trailer tire going through a mountain pass, single lane with no option of pulling over. Funny, the only reason I knew there was an issue was that I heard a 'chuff chuff' sound when going through a cutting. As soon as I could, I pulled over to find the tire was wrecked, but the trailer, a dual axle, behaved perfectly.
I think this is when a dual axle unit shines. Yes, it is heavier, but soooo stable.
When I used to pull a heavy load to swap meets, at least twice I had trailer bearings burn up. Dual axles kept an annoyance from being something a lot worse.
Earlier this week I bought a 2 litre Toyota Rav 4 with the idea of towing my 1922 tourer. Am I being hopelessly ambitious?
An important thing to have on a trailer carrying the weight of a Model T is trailer brakes. These brakes are hooked up to the towing vehicle brakes and they are applied when the towing vehicle brakes. This will keep things in control in a quick stop.
Andy,I guess im confused about [something more than a pickup since it has to do dual duty with the famly] Not the cheapest but i doubt with seating for 6 full sized adults could you find anything more versitle than a F 250 crew cab plus it will tow proably whatever you want and you need not make excuses for it!! Steve is right about straps and John is correct about single axel wanna bee's! Bud.
Trevor, I think you are being a little ambitious with the Rav. Probably my Diamante 3 litre 4wd is marginal.You don't want to go too light (as in my experience with a 2 liter Galant), as you will experience a fishtailing sensation going down steep hills. If that fishtailing gets worse, you can be in real trouble! It's no fun!
You may get away with it if it is all flat where you are, but I just think you are pushing your luck somewhat.
Check the archives.
We tow an enclosed trailer with a 04 F250 V-10 Standard shift that I ordered new. This truck is overkill, it will pull anything. Very rarely do I have to shift down one gear which is basically shifting it out of overdrive going up mountains to keep it in the 65-70 mph range that I tow at. Canít say enough good about this truck. The new V-10íS are even more powerful.
I think the first thing you have to determine is whether your trailer is going to be enclosed or open. I agree with others that tandem axle is the only way to go for safety and ease of towing. With decent electric brakes like most tandem axles can be equipped with, this type of trailer is in fact easier to tow than a single axle type trailer since it will stop itself and the tandem axles tend to want to keep the trailer going straight so you just have to be able to pull it. I have owned 3 different trailers. My first one was open double ramp and double rail Owens brand car hauler type trailer. The car side rails were exactly 12 feet long and it had stow away ramps. It was long enough for the T and I also could just barely get my wifes 64 Mustang on it once. It was easy to pull and had electric brakes on all 4 wheels. I pulled it with my Ranger pickup truck with my '23 T touring on it. I wanted an enclosed trailer since that was easier on the T and I was doing more touring out of state so I bought enclosed trailer with extra 12 inches of height to allow the T to go inside with the top up. I bought an Expedition with 4.6L engine for towing the enclosed trailer and that could also double as the family bus. The enclosed trailer had inside bed length of 16 feet and overall length of 20. The Expedition had the power but its short wheel base made it no fun to tow with. The main problem was when buses or semi trucks passed me or I passed them. Wind against side of trailer tended to push the back end of the Expedition around and steered me right into the path of the passing truck. I ditched the Expedition and got a longer wheel base Ford VAN with about the same power and that worked a whole lot better because of the trailer hitch location geometry bringing the hitch closer to the rear axle. The T in an enclosed trailer comes in likely somewhere between 3500 and 4000 lbs. Open trailer probably was between 2500 and 3000 with same T on it but I never weighed it. I later used an F250 6L Diesel with crew cab and it was a simply wonderful tow vehicle for the enclosed trailer except for one thing - I was constantly in the shop and I finally dumped it after it ruined my 5th vacation in a row by blowing off turbo hose on way home from Tenn MTFCI tour in July. That was the last time I had that truck on my trailer. I traded it immediately for a 2010 Tundra that with the smaller V8 still has plenty of power with 6 speed tranny to pull my new enclosed trailer which is the exact same size as my previous one. The Tundra is gasoline and it is doing about 11 MPG average when towing the enclosed trailer while the Ford Diesel did much better on mileage but overall cost of operation was way way higher than the Tundra has been. First 5000 Miles on the Tundra has been uneventful with 3500 of that pulling my enclosed trailer. Ford had already had 2 brake jobs, ball joints, and steering issues during the first 5000 miles and continuing troubles quarterly until traded at 70K miles. It continued to be troublesome and I would seriously warn folks to consider staying away from the 6L Power Stroke since my experience has been shared by many. Hope this helps you decide which way to go. I live in Illinois so most of my trips are flat land so your mileage may vary.
I use a 2002 Jeep GC (Overland), and it works fine (open trailer). I pull out of the Sacramento Valley and have mountains on every side. Vonnie and I trailer the Fordor to tours all around the good old USA. I'm not too found of the Chrysler transmission though.
You're RAV 4 (LWB 4 door) is rated to pull the weight so don't worry there.
What we use is a light, single axle, *electric braked* tilt without ramps car trailer. Model T's aren't heavy so provided the trailer has light truck rated tyres and plenty of pressure in them we have no dramas. In fact I have had experience with a blowout on the same trailer, using normal passenger tyres and a much heavier modern car on board. We just pulled up normally, nothing exciting about it.
What is important is getting the balance right. What is even more important is not to panic if things go pear shaped. Do everything slowly and calmly. Aside from that, a single axle trailer is much easier to manouvre.
Hooked to my '71 XY Falcon ute I've made 120km/h up a 7% grade with 830kg of T on the trailer;) You're RAV wont make 450hp but with 4wd it'll be nice and stable and get there fine!
Many thanks to all for the sage advice!
My "plan", if you can call it that, consists mostly of an open trailer with my T on the back to get it around to father away places that I don't yet trust it to go. Should be mostly flat ground. I understand it should clock in around 1500lbs for a closed car ('24 Coupe) or thereabouts, so I'm probably looking at a total of about 2500 with trailer, correct?
The more I hear about 4-wheeled trailers, the more I want one. Safety alone is a comfort factor.
Single axle is best, cheaper, lighter, less drag, less wear and easier to manouvre. Last year we did a return trip of 5000 miles using a Hyundai i30 diesel (1600cc) rated for towing 1.2 tonne. T and trailer was 1.15 tonne. Happily sat on 65mph. Hills and all.
Thanks Anthony, for the reassurance about the Rav 4. I think maybe we also take a different approach to towing in the UK to both you in Oz and to the US of course, as travel distances are so much shorter. Even so, I had a wheel bearing fail on a single axle boat trailer a year ago, and with the burning tyre and wheel falling off it wasn't something I'd wish to repeat! They tell me it's a common occurrence with boat trailers (you probably don't often dunk your T trailers in the sea...)
Hello, Trevor. Two things have worked well for me on boat trailers. First, bearing buddies. These install on the outer end of the hub in place of the dust covers. They have a spring-loaded piston with a grease fitting. They keep a small amount of positive pressure on the bearing assembly so that when you back your trailer with it's warm bearings into the water and the hubs cool rapidly, they don't tend to draw water in past the seals, which are only designed to keep grease in, not foreign fluids out. Second, speedy-sleeves. This is a very thin, hardened, stainless steel sleeve that installs on the axle where the grease seal runs. What happens with boat trailers is that the seal polishes the area of the axle where it runs. This area then gets wet with salt water. Then, you pull the trailer home and park it for a time and this small area forms a little rust. The next time you tow the trailer the seal polishes the rust off which cause a little wear to the axle and a little wear to the seal. After a number of trips your well-worn seal is now running in a groove which it has cut in the axle and you no longer have an effective seal. The speedy-sleeve, being stainless steel, is completely rust proof and will eliminate this problem. During my many years as a machinist I made a number of boat trailer axles and I always installed these sleeves before the axles left my shop. Hope this helps. Bob
I found the cure Bob. I sold the boat! Thanks anyway.
Even better solution,Trevor. Boats are just holes in the water that you pour money into. Happy T'ing. Bob
I have found that a T is a hole in the air that we happily throw money into.
You're right, Steven. But at least being broke all the time tends to keep us out of the juke joints. Bob