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Old 11-24-2020, 11:11 AM   #1
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Default Heavy duty trailer

I realize this is not a very busy forum, but I am looking at getting a HDT and then building a HD Trailer (RV) to go with it. I am hoping to have the HDT sometime in the next year. I will then spend the next 3-5 building out the trailer.

I have not decided what style of trailer I am going to use for a base yet, but I am shooting to be 43-45' when I am done. I might start with a flat deck, Van or even a chip trailer (I am worried about the low belly). Regardless, these should all have the same or similar tandem axels with dual wheels and similar capacity.

My question is basically 2 fold. How "rigid" are these kind of trailers? I know in campers and even large 5th wheels if someone is moving on one end, you can feel it at the other.

I did have a 38' car hauler at one time. The front had large 4" square landing gear and 3, 6k axels in the back. While you could feel someone moving around in the back, it was not bad. However we rarely had people in the front and back at the same time.

My current trailer has a 6 point auto leveling system, do they make something for ~30k lb units? Am I better off just going with hydraulic front landing gear and manual drop legs for mid/rear? Do I have other options?
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:13 PM   #2
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Unless you stay at campgrounds that are way more level than the ones I stay at I am sure you will want a levelling system. Plus if the trailer chassis you use is air-ride (the only way I would go, springs would just destroy everything) you will have motion transfer.

This is what is on my Haulmark class 8 motorhome conversion..they offer up to 40,000lb/jack.

https://equalizersystems.com/special...-jack-options/

I have never used this system but it is an option...12,000lb/jack

https://www.shop.thebigfootleveler.c...ailers_c35.htm

Make sure and do the actual weight calculations for what jacks to use, on my coach they put 2- 8000lb jacks just behind the cab (approx 6ft behind the steer axle), coach is 15,400lb on the steer axle and 16,000lb of jack 6 ft back won't lift the tires off of the ground. It struggles just to get it level on flat ground.
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:08 PM   #3
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Rarely do we stay at campgrounds, one of the reasons we are looking HDT is more water/waste capacity.

I will absolutely be getting something with air but had not considered how that would act when parked.

I will check out the links you posted. As I said, I love my auto level, but adding HD 6 point manual landing gear may be a better option.
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:11 PM   #4
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Hi Man .... there is a mind twisting answer to all your questions. What I point out to people ..is... What do you want/ need in your puller unit and the the trailer unit ???? Consider how long your going to be away from utility, fuel/ and fuel type. power supply.. ect. Just to name a few. Where you would like to travel. Max length will keep in or out of some places. Then weight on both TC and trailer. Just as max high will do this also. SO...... everyone have different needs. This is what I came with.. not for everyone...but it works for me. for me... 98 Volvo 610 ( 9-10 ft cab after cut off.) aluminum box/ extended frame, 3 axel (248 in) 26 ft. box. total length around 36 ft. for the TC. High 43 in to top of frame , box 84 in high box, roof boxes, 12 in.( air conditioner) some place at about 11 ft 10 in. total high. May be height is not important... then 13 ft 6 in Where do want to go ?? Think about a trailer to match in height..?? How many axels ...?? I went with three.. Why.. never be over weight.. My gross is about 44,000 lb..(TC). Truck wants to go straight with two rear axels. When I lock the rear ends up from the dash....all eight tires drive. Even with chains on. Fuel mileage is average.8.5 mpg. with trailer (16,000 lb.), everything loaded. Now trailers...... Bumper pull. ALL of the average car / cargo trailers are made for week end use. Plywood floor / metal skin, that do a lot of flexing. I thought and bought a commercial 28 ft. Kentucky double drop box trailer,. 13 ft high. It cost me 3 to 4 miles a gallon, to pull it empty. Got rid if that, for a cheaper way to go. What ended up with is a aluminum / steal livestock trailer (4,000), enclosed. Three axel, 26 ft, 21,000 lb. gross. I won't over load the trailer, running around with 16,000 lb. in it. NO they are not on every corner for sale. The things that sold me on livestock trailers... Put a 2000 lb horse on rear corner of the week end trailers and see it flex. Not on a stock trailer. Go to cattle ranch or livestock sales yard, and take a look. Some of these have the crap beat out of them, and are still doing the job. I ordered mine to get it enclosed. So now you can carry car, boat, ATV, golf cart, BQ, chairs ect... all the toys you want to use when you are on the road. Now the total length can be a issue. My suggestion is to keep as short as possible. 65 ft is a good stopping place. Bigger TC and smaller trailer , just fine. Get to big on the wheel base on the TC...it gets to be a hand full to get into tight spots. And the paint job, to empress the neighbors, $10,000 to $25,000, if you don't get to carried away. Just things to think about. If you have a truck, paid for, that is read to convert. Extending the frame, living box, underbody boxes, hitch. roof air-conditions, interior layout (cabinets, pluming, doors, and windows, floor/ wall covering, ect), tanks, generator, solar panels. doing the work your self.... you could get by for $40,000 to $60,000. Now adding slides, marble counter tops, leveling device on chase could add a nether... $20,000 to $60,000. Like a said earlier. it all in what you want and need. I been on the road of and on for the last 20 years. Main , Florida, UP, Colorado, Utah, mid west, not much in south--south west and live in the Northwest, and have had a blast... Few brake downs.. all in part of traveling. Met a lot of nice people in the travels. There is a lot to see and do if you just got of the soft chair and move your back side. Now I will go back to my cave and be quiet. Best of luck Roadside
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:08 AM   #5
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That is a lot to think about and I have most of my wants/needs figure out based on years of RVing. The part I need to learn about is the HDT side of things.

I am currently 55' long with a dually, 38' toy hauler that is 13'5" high. Like most we are running right at capacity and I would like more safety and more durability/longevity.

I want a 14' garage, a reasonable living area, a reasonable bedroom with king bed, reasonable bathroom and be able to set it all up in a way that can be used for remote working. I do this with my current RV, however there is a lot of wasted space and my garage is too small.

I need the weigh capacity to haul the toy(s) but we boondock most of the time and so my real goal is larger water/waste tanks. I would like at least 200 gallons of fresh closer to 300 would be better. That is a lot of weight.

I am fully expecting to spend about $100,000 for trailer by the time it is all complete. On the flip side, I will have exactly what I want and it will last a very long time.
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Old 11-30-2020, 04:29 PM   #6
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Default H D Trailer

OK.... Well some of the problems you know from being on road already. So for a TC (Truck Conversion) or a HDT, pulling a fifth wheel trailer, you have some options. I think it is "Spacecraft" in Mo. will build anything you want, comes with a price. If you are doing it you self, for the most part. There are ways to build a very well built toy hauler type trailer. You not going to get the best fuel mileage with the type of weight you are thinking about hauling. 300 gals. of water.... that is a lot of water/ weight. Dose all this water need to drinkable ? Keeping a tank clean and setting still for a month or longer, might be alga problem, in hot temp weather. And when you get done using the water... where is it going to go...in a holding tank, or on the ground.?? Is trailer ground clearance a issue, so 10 to 12 in.? And is a HDT.. how big if a sleeper are you thinking about. Like day cab, small stand up sleeper, or condo full size ? Because you could get you a tractor and do very little modifications to the truck and build up the commercial trailer like you need. Trailer could be 38 to 48 long. Another place to get some ideas is a traveling show, large carnival, and race car haulers. Yes I know, a lot of them use commercial buss, they rent. But it can give you some ideas. They live in them for a show season, for the most part. The weight you are think about will put into a commercial trailer / truck bracket. AS long as you not for hire or working / selling in different locations, and have this for you own use, you will be ok. There gets to be a real fine line.... personal use and retail sales. Very different.
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Old 11-30-2020, 05:26 PM   #7
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I am not doing a TC. I am using an HDT to pull a custom built, mostly by me, toy hauler built on a semi trailer frame with a trailer length of approximately 45'.

Right now a likely truck candidate is a Volvo 630 mid-roof since in my state you have to be able to meet the requirements for an RV to be able to license it for non-commercial use. A "condo" sleeper would not get much use.

Spacecraft are nice, but I do not have that kind of budget. Their starting price is at least 2x my budget.

I get 8.8 right now pulling. I know it can get worse, but it should be close to the same.

I did say holding and waste tanks so the waste waste would go into that. Right now I have 120 gallons of fresh water and that lasts about a week, we would like too be able to boondock for approximately 2 weeks at a time. The only time I have a problem with water getting "funky" is if it sits for about week. If we are not using the trailer for more then a week we drain it, every time. Yes, it would all be potable, if not I would just drop my portable pump in a creek.

Ground clearance is an issue which is why I am mostly leaning toward a regular van or flatbed for a base vs a step deck or moving van style. Also it is not so much "ground clearance" as the clearance over a span like into a "parking lot" with large drop or rise.
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:54 PM   #8
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Default trailer...

Ok Well one thought is a refer van box, should stay at a more even temp, hot or cold. Even without the compressor unit on the front. Air conditioners could be located underbody. Yes "Spacecraft" is a little speedy, for sure. Know all about the bumps and holes in the smooth highways. Was out your way last year, the on and off, of the bridges......HO--My. I think it was Hy 81 in Pen. and N.Y. Traveled around New England for over a month, nice. With flat deck, you could put side boxes / tanks on both sides. Storage and gen set location. Vehicles, use up 12 to 16 ft. for the small to medium size. If you have a road bike, ATV, could get by using less space. Depending on what the vehicles are, stacking then would help on space a lot. A lot of ideas to fit in, to get what works for you. Have been on the road before you start, really helps in knowing what works for you. Good luck Roadside
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