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Old 01-02-2021, 03:27 PM   #1
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A Monumental Undertaking

So, this is my first time posting. Hopefully, I do this right.

Let me start with Happy New Year.

Me and mine started this new chapter last Feb./Apr.

We landed a used rig and were planning on being weekend warriors, to say the least. However, the COVID thing changed EVERYTHING. We decided to go all in and go full time. The first consideration was what to carry with us and how to do it.

We want to bring our car (obviously) AND the Harley. Add to that tools, appliances and extra supplies. A trailer was definitely the solution. Did I mention we were going all in?

I bought a 30' trailer frame that used to be a camper (even came with gray and black tanks). All I need to do is replace tires, service the wheels, put lights on and deck it.

Yes, I have already begun. First thing I thought might be an issue, the whole shebang when completed, will be as long as a tractor-trailer semi (about 67-72 ft long). So, this is where I want to start the conversation...weight distribution, fuel efficiency and safety.
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Old 01-02-2021, 05:21 PM   #2
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You better rethink this.

You bought a 30' travel trailer frame and expect to haul a car and Harley on it after installing new decking. It would have to be a very light / small car unless you reinforce the trailer frame. A travel trailer has the body weight spread out over the full length and width of the frame compared to the concentrated weight of a car. You will have to add reinforced areas for the tie downs. TT cross members are not robust enough to strap cars down.
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Old 01-02-2021, 05:28 PM   #3
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A lot will depend on the frame and what it was before. If it was part of an ultralite trailer the frame may be fabricated I-beam vs true extruded I-beam. This will impact the carrying capacity. You can always reinforce the frame, but remember you will be reducing the cargo weight the suspension and tires can support.
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Old 01-02-2021, 08:09 PM   #4
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Thank you very much, Scrapper and Flybob, for contributing to my discussion.

I did pick the trailer I have because the base frame is constructed of 4" box steel. The cross members are 4" S-bar spaced 4' apart and I have figured on placing reinforcement where I expected the car to set. The current car is a '05 Lincoln LS and weighs approx. 4700lbs. It is exactly 10' from front axle to rear axle. I do understand about the integrity of where my tie downs are gonna be; the side rails. I was expecting to position the car with the motor over the axles of the trailer and the bike side ways in front of the car (I will put a ramp on the curbside to un/load without taking the car off), plus a utility cabinet (~4') in front of that.

I want to use 2x? planks and was gonna go with 6" or 8" as opposed to 12" to keep the cost down. I did consider a steel plated deck, instead. But, I'm pretty certain the lumber is lighter than the metal. I think the whole thing will weigh in the area of 7K (cat scales will apply a value) and I want to distribute that weight with just a little favor toward the tongue.

Something I'm not sure about is will I need to install a stabilizer system?
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Old 01-02-2021, 08:40 PM   #5
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I guess that I am confused. Have you weighed the empty trailer before modifications? When you say you expect the whole thing to weigh 7000 lbs with or without the car and bike?

I would guess more like 12K to 15K with the car and bike at 30 to 35 feet.

My current car hauler has two 8K axles and weighs over 3K. My old one had two 3500 lb axles weighed over 2K and had a capacity of one 4700 lb car. Those were car haulers not campers.

Maybe I am missing something ?
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Old 01-02-2021, 08:46 PM   #6
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60 percent of the total loaded weight should be forward of the axles. The tail will wag the dog otherwise.

The axles / tires will need to be upgraded to support the extra weight. You will probably be close to needing three 6 to 8K axles. To haul a car and a bike.
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Old 01-03-2021, 07:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzziest View Post
We want to bring our car (obviously) AND the Harley. Add to that tools, appliances and extra supplies.

I bought a 30' trailer frame that used to be a camper (even came with gray and black tanks). All I need to do is replace tires, service the wheels, put lights on and deck it.

...the whole shebang when completed, will be as long as a tractor-trailer semi (about 67-72 ft long). So, this is where I want to start the conversation...weight distribution, fuel efficiency and safety.
Not much living space in a 30 footer with all that stuff. If you're already going to do a lot of converting, and you're looking to end up with something the size of an 18 wheeler, and you're considering safety and efficiency... Have you considered converting an 18 wheeler? It would start out at the size you're expecting and was already built for the weight.
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Old 01-03-2021, 08:50 AM   #8
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Consider looking for rough cut lumber for the decking to get an extra 1/2 of thickness.
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Relaxin in the woods View Post
Not much living space in a 30 footer with all that stuff. If you're already going to do a lot of converting, and you're looking to end up with something the size of an 18 wheeler, and you're considering safety and efficiency... Have you considered converting an 18 wheeler? It would start out at the size you're expecting and was already built for the weight.
I don't think you understand what the OP is talking about.
He bought a 30' travel trailer without the walls and roof and wishes to re-deck it to haul a car and motorcycle which he will pull behind a Allegro Bay motorhome.

One question is why was the frame without a body on it? Was it in a accident, the body destroyed by storm damage, rotted by improper maintenance, or because of fire? I think accident and fire damage should be fairly easy to determine by close inspection by an experienced inspector in what to look for.

Another question is will the 4" box tube trailer frame be robust enough to haul the weight even if decked with 2x lumber. There are some threads on the forum of box tube, c-channel and lightweight I-beam trailer frames buckling from improper loading and/or driving too fast on poorly maintained roads.
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Old 01-03-2021, 12:15 PM   #10
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Not sure.

I would assume the trailer box itself provides some structural to the base frame.

Boat trailers are all square tube construction.

Why not a flat towed F150 with the bike in the back. Also saves the storage costs where ever you are.
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Old 01-03-2021, 04:48 PM   #11
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Gotcha, thanks.
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Old 01-03-2021, 07:27 PM   #12
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search for aluminum hybrid car hauler. Nice and reasonable.
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