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SBIUnlimited
January 5th, 2011, 02:59 PM
If you were going to build a car hauler...what would your specs consist of?

I'm looking for a trailer to haul the LJ on and possibly be able to also haul a passenger car...not at the same time on one trailer......but a trailer that could haul both the Jeep as well as a car.

Thoughts?

ps: LJ is currently on 35's...possibly 37's in the future.

Thanks experts.

Camp
January 5th, 2011, 03:15 PM
3500lbs axles, brakes on both, electric brakes, 18' of flat deck with drive over fenders sticking up through it about 2-4", 3' of dove tail. I would deck it with perforated steel that is used for temporary airplane runway. I used to have a trailer like I'm talking about but, with a few more feet of deck. It was great for everything. I'll try to find a picture.

Edit: Here are the pics. If I was starting from scratch, I'd build it to be lower than this one was but, the way this trailer worked out, I didn't have that option when I modified it for these axles. I think it was someone on the board that bought this from me. I regret selling it but, I needed a parking spot for my 40' enclosed and didn't have any other options without spending more money.

Torsion axles would have solved the height problem on this trailer but, I didn't have the extra money at the time when I did it.

Edit 2: I wasn't thinking yesterday, I put 5200 lbs axles under this trailer. the comments below are right, go at least that big with trailer axles.

Chris Halvorson
January 5th, 2011, 05:39 PM
10K lbs load rating, so that would be 2 5200 lbs axles.
In your case, 18' min, and since you want to haul a car too, 2' dovetail. The reason I say 10K is due to my 03 TJ on 35s is now back down to 4700 lbs from 4900 (it went on a diet). From what I have read, JK's can get a little heavy.

Wood or steel decking...that would not affect my decission on a trailer, they both have good points and bad ones.

Big Dave
January 5th, 2011, 06:05 PM
For an LJ, I'd skip the 3500lb axles and go 5200 or bigger. I think a lot of people underestimate the weight of their rigs when they're all loaded and ready to go. I hauled my ZJ on a 7k lb capacity trailer for a few years and I was probably at or slightly over capacity every time. My old trailer was 16', no dove, and weighed in at 1750. Using the weights that Chris posted for his SWB TJ, you can see how close you are to capacity already.

Now I use a 26' trailer with 7k lb axles, but I'm hauling my ZJ and an M416 most of the time.

GM4X4LOVER
January 5th, 2011, 06:51 PM
I would build it with a 20 foot deck plus a 4' dove, 5' tongue and a 2 5/16ths ball. I would use 7k axles with a slightly taller the deck than a normal trailer. It would be a 102" total deck width with drive over fenders. It would also have a 10k jack on it. The one i have now is larger 20' deck including the 2' dove but it always seems that the deck is to short. I like the longer tongue as it makes it so you can jack knife the trailer with out touching the back bumper of the truck. Plus our slide in hangs out and extra 2' and it would allow me not to use the extender. I like the wide deck ( why limit the deck width to 83" if the fenders are going to be the widest point anyways at 102"). And the 4' dove would compensate the extra height of the taller tires and the taller deck but still allow most cars to drive on the the trailer. Couple that with 6' (2 feet longer than most to accommodate low cars) ramps that slide out the back so i dont have to carry them from around the side. That is close to the best short trailer i can think of for many uses.

Chris Halvorson
January 5th, 2011, 06:51 PM
I know that my last trailer was overweight all the time. I had a H&H 16+2 7000 lbs gcwr. The trailer was 2000 lbs, after I put the box up front with all my parts, chains, binders..etc it was 2200 lbs + 5000 lbs 97TJ. My tires, bearing, brakes never lasted as long as I thought they should.

I did use the trailer for other duties too...hauling wood can easily overload a trailer.

pool boy
January 5th, 2011, 06:57 PM
LOVE my 18' flat deck with no dove. I don't drag the back of my trailer going to some of the trails that others with dove's do. I have 5200# axles and a capacity rating of 8k after weight of trailer. I picked it up last year and had a choice of 16-20' with or without dove. It is made with 6" channel and 6" tongue. New for$2700 with LED lights and both braking axles. OK Truck and Trailer out of Oklahoma City.

nridler
January 5th, 2011, 06:57 PM
I agree with Big Dave. I wouldn't even waste my time with with a 7k trailer if I could do it all over again. Go with a 10k or more. I have an LJ and to get 700lbs of tounge weight my spare hangs off the rear of a 16' trailer.

pool boy
January 5th, 2011, 07:00 PM
Keep in mind that 3500# axles does not give you 7K capacity. You have to subtract the weight of the trailer from the rating of the axles. But agree with others, don't under-buy a trailer. A good one will last you a long time. go 5200# or bigger

Chris Halvorson
January 5th, 2011, 07:33 PM
LOVE my 18' flat deck with no dove. I don't drag the back of my trailer going to some of the trails that others with dove's do. I have 5200# axles and a capacity rating of 8k after weight of trailer. I picked it up last year and had a choice of 16-20' with or without dove. It is made with 6" channel and 6" tongue. New for$2700 with LED lights and both braking axles. OK Truck and Trailer out of Oklahoma City.

That was another issue with my dovetail, but the OP wants to haul a car too...makes it a lot easier.

GM4X4LOVER
January 5th, 2011, 08:50 PM
I like my dove. But I dont drag my dove very often but then my trailer is tall because of the heavy duty axles/tires. It has 7k axles, a 14k gvwr and the trailer weighs 3400lbs. So i get 10600lbs carrying carrying. The k5 weighs 6500lbs, my trailer box (straps, binders, chains, fluids, and some basic tools) is about 550. When we go camping we also take 1/3 cord of fire wood, 2 coolers, 15 gallons gas, 30 gallons of water. The trailer ends about about 11,900lbs. It really doesnt take long to get above the load capacity of a normal trailer. my cherokee (4500 lbs) and a normal car trailer (1800 lbs) is almost enough to exceed a basic car trailer. The other issue with a normal car trailer is they usually have car tires which are not rated to carry that much weight that often.

WhyJay
January 5th, 2011, 10:05 PM
Ditto on an 18 foot trailer with 5200 lb axles - dove or no dove is your call. After lots of considerations my new trailer spec'd out as an 18 footer which included a 2 foot dovetail, 5200 lb axles, removable fenders, steel deck and 2 5/1 ball. Removable to allow loading of heavy rig (5500 lb est) with full width axles 84 inches outside to outside of tire. Steel deck = no warping or maintenance to speak of. So far I am quite happy with this new setup.

Chris Halvorson
January 5th, 2011, 10:11 PM
That is sonething I will have to look into as well...removeable fenders.

pool boy
January 5th, 2011, 11:25 PM
you can still haul a car on a non dove trailer.

I didn't go with the 20' cuz I wanted to be able to still turn around in a fairly small area. the 20' is only another 2', but makes a big diff.

Oh and the tires that are on it are the same ones they use on the 7k axles. 235/85/16E trailer radials.

CSP
January 6th, 2011, 08:13 AM
Yes you can haul a car on a non-dovetail trailer, provided you can get it loaded without high centering it on the break over transition from ramps to trailer deck.

My bumper pull trailer has a dovetail just for that reason. My '68 Camaro wouldn't load on a completely flat deck without tearing the exhaust off of it.

mrutledge
January 6th, 2011, 10:03 AM
Talking completely hypothetical, perfect trailer?

Easy. 18-20' deckover with twin 7k axles. No dovetail. Instead, a complete hydraulic deck tilt and a winch.

There was one on craigslist a while back. I should have jumped on it.

-Matt

SBIUnlimited
January 6th, 2011, 11:13 AM
Thanks for all the feedback!!!

GM4X4LOVER
January 6th, 2011, 12:08 PM
Yes you can haul a car on a non-dovetail trailer, provided you can get it loaded without high centering it on the break over transition from ramps to trailer deck.



We once had a trailer with no dove and it was a pain getting anything non 4x4 on it. I always had to carry blocks with me and crank the tongue jack up as high as it would go.

ZJROCKRIG
January 6th, 2011, 07:06 PM
I have a steel deck 18' with a 2' dovetail as well. I like the shorter dovetail personally. I do drag a bit, and I would like to upgrade my axles and make it a bit taller at the same time. I do wish the tounge was longer too.

One issue I have noticed on mine are the lateral braces under the decking are 24" centers. This is too far apart and causes the steel decking to "bow" between the braces with the weight of a rig. My plans are to run channel between the braces where the wheels of the vehicle would normally roll and sit on the trailer. Also a "bump" bar at the front of the trailer has saved my butt (and my trucks tailgate) once.

Rear egress ramps are the way to go as well.:thumbsup: