Trailers Revisited

Tony Eeds

Godspeed Tony.
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#1
Questions for all you trailer owners out there ...

For reference, I have a 7x14 internal wheel well Pace two axle trailer with a ramp door.

I am building a cabinet across the front of the trailer and an overhead cabinet along the drivers side of the trailer above the bikes. Folding bunks will be on the passenger side of the trailer between the door and the ramp door.

1. I am going to wire the trailer for AC. It appears that 30A and/or 50A 220V are the available configurations. Anybody remember off hand how to add up the load of the appliances in order to determine the total load of the appliances I expect to carry. I have forgotten my high school physics stuff.
2. That leads me to a generator to serve the load when not hooked to a pedestal. I figure if you answer the first question, I can figure out the second.
3. What angle and spacing is the best to use when angling the bikes crossways in the trailer.
4. Are those thingies that clamp the front wheel worth the money?
5. Has anyone ever used a ramp/channel to raise the front wheel up to the point that it will touch the wall above the internal wheelwell on these trailers? I envision a channel frame that touches the floor and folds up out of the way when not in use. This system negates the answer to question 4.
6. How in the world are the trailer brakes wired? Anybody have a schematic?
7. What is the minimum thickness of aluminum diamond plate I should use on the floor?
8. Has anyone ever painted the aluminum skin on their trailer? Mine is black (which is fine), but the finish has began to chalk and is tired looking. Nevermind that I scratched it all up removing the twelve zillion stickers on the sides.
9. When wiring DC in the trailer, where does everybody place the battery?

I bet more questions will pop up but these will do for now.

Thanks in advance for all the discussion and input. Please know that it is appreciated.
 

mx547

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#3
or you could just buy justql's toy hauler and not have to ask any questions (yes, i get a commission). ;)

i wired a plug underneath the side door. i just slide the battery under there so it is out of the way. i've seen others mount theirs on the tongue. i don't have any of that other fancy stuff you asked about.
 

Smit-Dog

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#4
I'll take a stab at a few...

3 & 4) Bike shoes are well worth it! As far as the angle, you're somewhat limited by the interior width of the trailer (taking into account the wheel wells), and how many bikes you want to haul. I have a 6x12 with 3 bikes shoes, and room for a 4th. I have mine angled so that the rear tire is about 6"-8" from the wall. If you are going to mount a fold up bunk to the passenger wall, this will also take up some space. I'd mount the folding bunk and cabinets first.

With a 7' wide, you could probably get away with mounting the bike shoes at a more of an acute angle to allow some space to squeeze around the rear of the bikes. But this will limit to some extent the number of bikes you can ultimately get in the trailer. You have to ask yourself a few questions: Is it a big deal to squeeze around the bikes, and Is 3-5 the max number of bikes I'll ever want to put in the trailer, or do I want to be able to pack 5-7 bikes in there?

With the bike shoes at an angle, you can get the bikes extremely close. The handle bars of one bike sit over the seat of the bike next it it. The best bet is to mask off a footprint in your garage with masking tape to match the foot print of the usable space in the trailer. Get 4,5,6... bike shoes and bikes, and line them up, then take measurements of the bike shoes. Be careful not to mount the shoes too close to the wall; the lever on the shoe has to extend out and away from the shoe in order to get a big bite of the clamp around the front tire.

7) The diamond plate, ATP, works fine in 1/16" thickness. Todd (MX-727) did his trailer in 1/8", but if you call around to a bunch of trailer manufacturers, they all put in 1/16" without a problem. About $100 per 4x8 sheet.
 

Tony Eeds

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#5
Originally posted by BigLou
Enclosed! Is this a possible Reno trailer? ;)
I could only wish. It will only hold three bikes in the configuration that I bought it in. Investigation underway.

Thanks Smit-Dog for the input regarding the plate and the shoes. I was thinking shoes would be the way to go but they limit flexibility of the trailer.

I was kind of figuring on 0.125 thickness plate. That plate weighs 1.9 pounds per sq. ft. so it will add about 150~160 lbs to the trailer. Doesn't seem like too much for the convenience of a nice shiny floor.
 

tnrider

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#6
I ran into some problems mounting my bikes diagonal (6x12 interior dimensions). If they are all full sized bikes - then yes, handlebars will sit over the seat of the bike forward in trailer. However, if you have different sized bikes like i do (crf450, xt225, ttr125, xr70) they must be positioned in that order front-to-back of trailer (largest to smallest) -- otherwise the handlebar will stick nicely in the engine of the one before it. This may also cause some trailer balance problems as too much tongue weight.

Another thing to consider is the amount of side-to-side motion of the diagonal mounted bikes. I did not like this and went back to a forward mounting design. While they still sway - i expect it to be considerably less when mounted in a forward configuration. I also put tiedown points to snug the bikes down when moving. Main reason I used bike shoes was to leave the bikes in trailer between rides - i don't mind releasing the tension on tiedown straps between rides.
 

Smit-Dog

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#7
Originally posted by Tony Eeds
... I was kind of figuring on 0.125 thickness plate. That plate weighs 1.9 pounds per sq. ft. so it will add about 150~160 lbs to the trailer.
Again, check with what the standard thickness is that most trailer manufacturers use. I believe that since the ATP is up against a hard surface, even 1/16" won't have a denting problem. It'll weight half as much, and probably be cheaper too.

Originally posted by tnrider
... Another thing to consider is the amount of side-to-side motion of the diagonal mounted bikes.
I've never had a problem with swaying or movement with the bikes at a diagonal, although running the bikes parallel with the trailer is probably the ultimate in stability. What I do is take a tie down and run it under the bike from the bike shoe to some point on the bike like a foot peg, frame spar, or rear frame, and snug it up. Extra piece of mind. The rear of the bikes move very little, and I've taken the trailer down some pretty bumpy dirt roads.
 
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Tony Eeds

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#8
Texas Alloys lists their thinnest (at least in the catalog page they faxed me) as being 0.072 which is slightly more than 1/16 inch, but a lot closer than 1/8. I am going to try and drop by and check the actual plate out this coming week.

The 0.072 weighs 1.2 lbs/SF, so it would save about 50 lbs. I could cover my ramp door as well. :thumb:

Oops ... forgot to add. Anyone know the difference between 6061-T6 and 3003-H22 aluminum? I can get the 0.072 only in the 3003-H22 alloy and the 0.125 in either.
 
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Smit-Dog

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#9
Let us know what kind of pricing you get on the ATP. I've considered doing my floor in it, but it's pretty pricey.

And.... the ramp door with ATP may be pretty slippery with wet/muddy boots pushing bikes up it. Something to consider anyway...
 

BSWIFT

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#10
Tony, have you considered a removable setup like you have/had on your open trailer? Seems that setup worked better than most I've seen and you already have the dimensions. I think you could have it made out of alumenium for a couple of hundred bucks and figure a easy removal setup. The "V"shape setup(I'm considering this when I get me a trailer) has advandtages. Parallel carring of bikes, removable, no need for trial and error on your new alumemium floor. When your bunks are raised to haul the bikes, the mounts are under the bunks. Setting it up to have the passenger side mount behind the side door maintains accessibility.
Of course, you can talk to Motohead00 for the dimensions of his angled layout.
 
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BSWIFT

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#11
Sorry, I forgot. Check with Mr. Goodwrench on the brake wiring. Your truck may already be wired but not have the connector. For the power needs, add your wattages, then buy a generator that will handle 10 - 20% more than you expect to run. Use a deep cycle marine battery and run your 12 volt wire in nothing less the 16AWG. 110VAC wiring should be 12AWG with a ground. Where practical, seperate the two wiring systems with wire loom. Also, spend the extra money for ground fault ciruit interupters(GFCI) recepticals.
Put the battery in a Marine type container on the front of the trailer.
As for painting, sand with 600 grit wet/dry, prime any bare metal with a top quality primer. Shoot with your favorite color in several thin coats to prevent runs. Might be cheaper to have a body shop do the paint.
 

CaptainObvious

Formally known as RV6Junkie
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#12
Originally posted by Tony Eeds

1. I am going to wire the trailer for AC. It appears that 30A and/or 50A 220V are the available configurations. Anybody remember off hand how to add up the load of the appliances in order to determine the total load of the appliances I expect to carry. I have forgotten my high school physics stuff.


2. That leads me to a generator to serve the load when not hooked to a pedestal. I figure if you answer the first question, I can figure out the second.&nbsp;
Divide the output of your generator by the voltage. So a 5,000 watt generator, operating at 110 volts will be good for 45 amps.
 

Tony Eeds

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#13
Tony, have you considered a removable setup like you have/had on your open trailer?
Duh ... great idea. I'll have to lay it out in my computer and see what it looks like in the trailer.

Regarding the brakes: The trailer has a 7 point plug (as does the truck), but the wiring on the trailer is a mess (at least the brakes are).

Regarding the electrics: I am going to use the deep cycle battery that I picked up for the HW pump at DW. There will not be more than a few lights and maybe the water pump on the battery. I am going to put in a few 110V lights and plugs and am planning on keeping it simple. Maybe a small heater for those cool evenings.

Regarding paint: I have about decided to take it and get it painted after I straighten out a couple of bad spots on the nose that were damaged when the previous owner jack knifed it. I am just wondering how much it will cost? I'm thinking orange :scream: but will probably stick to black. I can't decide what name to put on the side to keep the curious out ...

Germtech Biohazard Cleanup and Remediation

What do you think?

Smit-Dog: I will post the cost of the ATP after I get it.
 

Tony Eeds

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#14
Originally posted by RV6junkie


Divide the output of your generator by the voltage. So a 5,000 watt generator, operating at 110 volts will be good for 45 amps.
Thank you SIR. I knew somebody knew/remembered that stuff. :thumb:
 

BSWIFT

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#15
Trailer brake wiring is real straight forward. With the help of a friend, take a multimeter and set it to DC volts on a scale for 16 or more volts. Have your friend sit in your truck and work the controls, with the engine running. The center pin on the connector should be for charging a trailer battery and should have 12 volts or so. The bottom pin should be the brake, however, the left and right turn lamps also have a brake pin(common). Once you have the trailer BRAKE pin located you can start with the trailer.
Use 12 AWG stranded wire, run from the appropriate pin to one brake on the trailer, either side is fine. Then take the wire to the other wheel on top of the axle. The trailer ground profides the rest of the electrical loop.
Some wiring harnesses on pickups have tags on the wires right behind the plug. That is the easiest way to find it but not the fastest.