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  #1  
Old 11-27-2013, 02:43 PM
iwrock's Avatar
roflmonster
 
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Need guidance - towing a 32' trailer

I'm closing the deal on a 32' enclosed car trailer today - and am picking it up Friday and towing it home. Slightly excited, but also nervous... I've towed tons of trailers before, but nothing this big!

Anyone have any tips and/or recommendations for towing this guy? I have tow mirrors on the 'Max, which will be out, but is there anything else I should watch for?

FWIW - Trailer is a little older (build in 2000), but just had the axles serviced, and the tires replaced. It's coming with a weight distribution/anti sway hitch, but can't use it on my truck (too small for my lift).

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  #2  
Old 11-27-2013, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwrock View Post
I have tow mirrors on the 'Max, which will be out, but is there anything else I should watch for?
Cross winds.

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  #3  
Old 11-27-2013, 03:10 PM
A Talent for Obfuscation
 
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Rent an old Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz movie called The Long, Long Trailer...

Desi Arnaz parking his rig in The Long Long Trailer with Lucille Ball and music by Eddie Heywood - YouTube
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2013, 03:22 PM
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Remember that the rear overhang causes the back end of the trailer to cross over the lane when you make a turn. (Right turn makes the trailer rear swing left) Take right turns very slowly and from the inside lane so that the rear of the trailer isn't suddenly thrust into someone's path.
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2013, 03:22 PM
A Talent for Obfuscation
 
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Make sure that the hitch ball is the correct diameter and strength to properly mate with the trailer. IIRC there are three commonly-used hitch ball diameters: 1 7/8", 2" and 2 5/16". Using an undersize or understrength hitch ball usually results in the trailer attempting to pass you on the interstate.
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2013, 03:26 PM
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If the trailer starts swaying back and forth put on the trailer brakes and step on the gas.
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2013, 03:29 PM
A Talent for Obfuscation
 
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When changing lanes on an interstate, remember that the size of your vehicle is about 35' longer than it usually is. This will keep you from punting the occasional Buick LeSabre off the road with the rear corner of the trailer.
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2013, 03:34 PM
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Do not get over confident.
Use caution.
Adjust the electric brakes before you leave the parking lot......if no parking lot, find a BIG one before you get on the road --- mega church parking lot. Adjust your electric brake controllor before you get on the road.
Figure top speed might be 60; just plan on it.
Stick to major highways --- lanes are wider.
If you must got thru a construction zone with concrete barriers on both sides, slow way down. You don't want to hit one.

Stop after an hour and check EVERY tire --- including the ones on your truck. Gets you in habit. When I'm carrying a car or other cargo on a trailer, I will stop after 5 minutes of driving to check the chains, tie down straps, etc. Loads have a way of settling & shifting.
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2013, 03:38 PM
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Я не хакер
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
If the trailer starts swaying back and forth put on the trailer brakes and step on the gas.
^^^ This is not standard operations but a last resort if you screw up badly. Don't let it get this far.

Learn about weight and balance of a trailer. Don't overload any component. Tire, brake, hitch, axle, spring etc. Tongue weight is of paramount importance. A tape measure can be used to make estimates because you probably won't have access to a scale.

Lifted trucks do not make good tow vehicles. The two are working opposite of each other.

Check your insurance, might cover trailer, might not.

When you check your load check the temperature of the tires and wheel bearings. Heat often gives warning of failure.
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2013, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.C. View Post
Rent an old Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz movie called The Long, Long Trailer...

Desi Arnaz parking his rig in The Long Long Trailer with Lucille Ball and music by Eddie Heywood - YouTube
I have tried to watch that movie, and tried. I am a bit of a Lucy fan, but that movie is unwatchable---NOBODY is that stupid.
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2013, 03:46 PM
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As you pass ( or, more likely as it passes you), the air pressure wave from a tractor trailer will first push your car one way, then the other, as that pressure goes from one side of the trailer axle to the other. Nothing to be especially alarmed about; just expect it.
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2013, 03:59 PM
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Carry a non-contact thermometer to keep an eye on the temperatures of tires and hubs on the trailer. I second Tom's advice. Don't hit the brakes if the trailer starts swaying. That makes it worse. Hit the gas or the trailer brakes or both.
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  #13  
Old 11-27-2013, 04:00 PM
A Talent for Obfuscation
 
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Stay at home and curl up into the fetal position.
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  #14  
Old 11-27-2013, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.C. View Post
Stay at home and curl up into the fetal position.
Don't want to pass up this deal.
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2013, 04:30 PM
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I like to carry an IR thermometer to see if anything is getting to hot. If one wheel bearing is running a lot warmer than the others than you know it needs attention when you get home. This is more important on boat trailers since they get dunked and eat wheel bearings.

Other than remembering that its freaken huge and if you get into a tight parking lot your screwed, have at it. Towing isn't that hard, people just do dumb things and don't pay attention.

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