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Old 03-06-2008, 06:12 AM   #1
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We are street rodders, and take our '47 Ford sedan delivery on long trips on a new 18' open Featherlite trailer, which works great behind our '05 Itasca Sunrise 31W. We recently went through the dingy decisions, picking a 2007 HHR as the lightest flat towable automatic trans vehicle available (and it really is a sweetheart). THEN looked into tow bars, baseplates, and brake set-ups, and then tow dollys. Costs were around $2K installed and there were many pros and cons of each. Suddenly one day the big light came on over my little brain.......we have a very nice, expensive trailer that is fully braked, wired, and best of all: paid for! Why not tow the freakin' dingy on IT? Yeah, we'd have to find pull-throughs at the parks, but hey, Wallmart parks are all pull-throughs, and we're already doing that with the '47 anyway. The trailer has to be the best, safest way to haul a car, and they can be backed up easily, right? And you probably don't see many used for dingys simply because they would be far more expensive than any other method. How's my logic here?
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:12 AM   #2
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We are street rodders, and take our '47 Ford sedan delivery on long trips on a new 18' open Featherlite trailer, which works great behind our '05 Itasca Sunrise 31W. We recently went through the dingy decisions, picking a 2007 HHR as the lightest flat towable automatic trans vehicle available (and it really is a sweetheart). THEN looked into tow bars, baseplates, and brake set-ups, and then tow dollys. Costs were around $2K installed and there were many pros and cons of each. Suddenly one day the big light came on over my little brain.......we have a very nice, expensive trailer that is fully braked, wired, and best of all: paid for! Why not tow the freakin' dingy on IT? Yeah, we'd have to find pull-throughs at the parks, but hey, Wallmart parks are all pull-throughs, and we're already doing that with the '47 anyway. The trailer has to be the best, safest way to haul a car, and they can be backed up easily, right? And you probably don't see many used for dingys simply because they would be far more expensive than any other method. How's my logic here?
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:30 AM   #3
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I agree with what you say. It is probably the easiet way. But it can be a huge problem at some camp grounds.
By the way if it is so easy to back up, why do you need a pull thhrough????
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:32 AM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">iRV2.com RV Forum THE OWNER'S CORNER Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum Dingy on trailer? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:34 AM   #5
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OOPS Fat fingers.

Heres what I really was going to say. I agree with what you are saying. I am a street rod wannabe. If I ever get lucky enough to get a street rod I think for towing I would probably be set up both ways. Like the old saying goes there is a time and place for everything. For me it would depend on the particular trip and I would be ready to go either way. However dreaming is a big part of life.
You are already over the hill on the major expenses. What's another 2k, you can't take it with you.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:43 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Big Ben:
I agree with what you say. It is probably the easiet way. But it can be a huge problem at some camp grounds.
By the way if it is so easy to back up, why do you need a pull thhrough???? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So both the motor home and trailer will fit in one spot. We're talking one or two day stays here. For longer stays with the HHR out and about, the trailer would be in the park's storage area.

Speaking of backing up, anybody who is interested in a tow dolly should research them on the web for awhile first. I've seen too many warnings saying "Under no circumstances back up with the dolly loaded", or "the dolly may not be reversed with a vehicle on it", and then there's "Do not make U turns over 90 degrees" (huh?) Now to find this disturbing news you need to dig through the manufacturers site and get into the ownere's manual. I also discovered dire warnings of this nature on the Penske tow dolly rental site.
Okay, what driving situation just ran across your viewing screen? Yikes! I'm not saying dollys are bad news, I'm sure owners have found their ways around these restrictions and are happy with their setup. I just doubt this info is common knowledge. 'Course backing a tow bar is no picnic either.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:33 PM   #7
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I have towed an 18" trailer behind my motorhome now for 9 years. It hauls 2 atv's and a Jeep Wrangler. I have to always remember to shut the electric brakes off when backing and on when done.

I looked into the tow bar thing, and brakes on the toad. I already had the trailer from 1991, I had all the brakes and springs rebuilt, for about 1/2 of the toad configuration.

I back up all the time, and can put it into most places, as long as I have a spotter. Right side mirrors in backing leave something to be desired. Can't see enough area.

I have been more than satisfied with this setup.

I have a rack for the atv's to set on, and put boards, firewood, and other stuff under the rack.

The tires on the trailer are less expensive than replacement toad tires. The brakes are easier to work on. When you change vehicles, you don't have to change connections.

I even rented the trailer out for a base on a float once, and got $125 for that.

I am just more than pleased with the setup.
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:35 PM   #8
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Jeepermartin,
Wow, I forgot about the tires. The dingy tires won't wear, and it will accumulate no miles. Cool! Good one!
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:19 AM   #9
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Biggest problem I would see with a trailer is exceeding the tow capacity of any gas MH. None are over 5K that I know of and the toad plus trailer would be over for most setups.
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:58 AM   #10
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The weight factor was my question also.
I looked up the Featherlight trailer web site but didn't see any specs on the trailers. I know a steel trailer suitable to tow a 3,000+++ pound vehicle would sure put you very uncomforatbly close or over the 5K mark.
Anybody have the actual weights on some of the aluminum car hauler trailers?
From what I've seen in aluminum utility trailers and boat trailers, I'm sure the aluminum car hauler would be a bit pricy as well...but probably not too bad when you consider the pricing of new base plates, tow bar and braking system for a toad. And, you would also have the trailer to use for general hauling when not on the road with a toad.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:08 AM   #11
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Most of the diesel pushers have a 10,000 pound tow capacity and if you want more then the Prevosts and a few others do 15000 pound.

I guess everyone has his preference as to how they travel, ours is 4 down but should we want to take golf cart or scooter as we get older then a trailer would be our option.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:34 AM   #12
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Capt Joe & Bagger97,
Excellent point. I don't have the numbers either, but....... I purchased the trailer from a large Featherlite dealer/shop, where they installed the trailer brakes and checked it all out on the road. I towed our '47 Ford sedan delivery (3,300 LB) from TN to NC and back the first week, then to Louisville KN, all with no problems at all. Then bailed out of TN with my '57 Chevy PU loaded to the gills and headed to Pueblo. Again, sweet and smooth, no problems with hills or stopping. So.......if a rig is set up over the limits, how does one know? I actually think the Sunrise drives better with the loaded trailer than without. And the HHR is 3,150. Keep the comments coming please. I'd rather have somebody shoot my plan down than have us sail the whole package off a cliff!
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:44 AM   #13
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I have been looking at a similar combination, we have a 2003 Pace Arrow on the W22 chassis. I would like to load my MiniCooper (~2500#) and GoldWing (~900#)and probably some other 'stuff' before we are done. The weight I got for the 18' Featherlite open trailer was 1300#, so if it all works out I could be ok with this combination behind the gasser. Two things I am still looking at which could change things:

1. I want it to be covered. There is a company that makes a trailer similar to the Featherlite that can also have a 'soft top' cover, I am planning to take a trip to look at these.

2. We are also thinking of upgrading one last time to a diesel which would make all of this just an exercise.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:58 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">So.......if a rig is set up over the limits, how does one know? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you go to a truck stop you can weigh your setup and then you would know what the weight of the trailer and motor home are. It is kind of important to know this information.

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Old 03-07-2008, 08:12 AM   #15
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It all boils down to what ever works best for you. If you have various rigs you want to tow, a trailer would definitely be the way to go. You avoid the expense of prepping various cars to tow which gets very expensive.

On the other hand if all you have is one car to tow then it makes sense to flat tow. I hook or unhook my rig in less then 5 minutes, and that includes the protect a tow. My cousin has a trailer and I can hear him grunting and cursing loading the car on the trailer when we go camping together. I usually end up helping him.

Analyze what you need today, weigh all the pros and cons and then get out there and RV. That's the most important thing.

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Old 03-07-2008, 08:21 AM   #16
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I would be concerned with the GCW rating of the chassis. It might feel like it tows ok but metal fatigue will catch up with you at the most inconveinent time. Bolts stretch, steel bends, etc. Why push your luck and mine.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:44 PM   #17
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Capt Joe:
The weight factor was my question also.
I looked up the Featherlight trailer web site but didn't see any specs on the trailers. =
Anybody have the actual weights on some of the aluminum car hauler trailers?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I too have a Featherlite trailer. My model is the 3110 17' trailer. It weighs slightly less than 1500 pounds. I looked at a lot of steel trailers and they all weighed a little over 3000 pounds.

I also love my featerlite trailer for towing my car. So far I've never had a problem finding room at a park. One time I was parked away from our group because I forgot to tell the about my trailer.

The nice thing about a trailer is I can take any car we want when we go on a trip. When my mother travels with us we take a 5 seater Subaru and when it's just my wife and myself we take the Miata. Neither the Subaru or Miata plus trailer weigh more than 5000 pounds.

We are leaving Washington State in May headed for Virginia. It will be our longest trip. On the way we will stop and Disneyland and the grandkids will fly down to join us. The RV Park near Disneyland said they have a place where I can park the trailer but I hope to get a pull through site and I can park our car on the trailer at night.
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:12 AM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pueblo Dave:
Keep the comments coming please. I'd rather have somebody shoot my plan down than have us sail the whole package off a cliff! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
We have both a Wrangler which I use primarily for offroading and a Grand Cherokee that hardly ever sees anything but pavement. I have the Wrangler set up for flat towing but have an open 18 ft. trailer that I can put it on too. Flat towing is a LOT easier than the trailer because of space at campgrounds for the trailer, but the trailer is much kinder on the Jeep's tires and wheel bearings. The trailer will also get the Jeep home if I break something that would prevent flat towing.
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:04 PM   #19
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Humm, I just got this home made trailer and think I will have it weighed so I know how this is going to work out.I have a 25 foot mh on a Chevy P-30 chassis. Is 5000 pounds the max for the chassis or Because the weight on the chassis, or the hitch mounted on the coach?? The MH has the 14500, and has a 19000 max combined. If the trailer is 2000 pds then I can haul a small tracker,[two door]. I don't think it is over 2000 pds. That makes 4000, Plus a storage pod on the front that has the chairs, Table and grill with tools, Propane tank and some tools in a tool box that may weigh 500 pounds total?? The ball is a 6000pd and 600pd load hitch ball. The stinger has a 7500 pd. and the hitch on the back of the mh is home made with some really heavy steel. They used 1/2" steel and all welded to the motorhome. No idea what it was designed to tow. I would say 5-6000 pds maybe?? The trailer is a duel axle with brakes on all four wheels. I want to get rid of the trooper I have and get a two door tracker that would be lighter and in better shape. The tracker is a auto and two door hardtop.Two wheel drive. I am thinking this may be better than trying to modify the trooper to tow. I had weighed the motorhome and was at 4700 pds on the front, and about 7800 pds on the rear so I am light on the coach. The hitch itself would be the weakest link I think. I wish it was a standard instead of a home made hitch.The 1/2" steel tells me he was hauling something pretty heavy. Most of the 5000 pd hitches are 1/4". I think I am going to be borderline at worst.
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