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Towing just a trailer  Bottom

  • I have to transport a 170lb aluminum trailer over a long distance. There will not be a boat on the trailer. Any suggestions/concerns? Do I need to strategical add weight to the trailer?
  • Between December 21, 2012 and January 1, 2013, I will be transporting an empty Trailex cat trailer from St. Augustine, Fl to upstate, NY. The trailer will hold a 18 to 20' boat. If you need to move a boat North along route 95, please let me know. I will charge a reasonable fee.
  • Tighten all the lug nuts and put buddy bearings on if it doesn't have them (1.98" at Pep Boys or Walmart). Use a 9/16 wrench & hit all the nuts on the trailer. Pete
  • Wow, I didn't know about bearing buddies! I'm gonna look out for them, sounds like a common sense add-on to me.
  • Where in NY? Are you picking up a boat?

    --
    Pete Knapp
    Schodack landing,NY
    AHPC Viper,Nacra I20,P18, P16,H16
    --
  • I am only picking up a trailer. I will be going up to Saratoga, NY.
  • For that distance, I would add some weight. Fill up a few sand bags or container with water. On that distance the trailer can bounce causing tires to wear unevenly. Just my 2 cents

    Will icon_biggrin

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    Will
    Indian Shores, FL
    Newbie but catching on fast.
    NACRA 17
    --
  • I'd be more concerned with crap falling off the trailer and causing a wreck than a little tire wear. Don't try to be a genius and add any weight unless it belongs a boat that the trailer is fitted to. Maybe let a few pounds of air out of the tires to reduce the bouncing? Check the bearings and change/repack if unsure of their condition. Hitch 'er up and happy trails.

    --
    Eric C

    Force 5 project boat
    Unnamed

    Previous boat
    1980 Nacra 5.2
    "Double Vision"
    --
  • I have a Trailex Aluminum trailer, & once towed it empty about 1000km,(660mi), over to the Chicago area to pick up a Nacra 5.0
    There are no handling issues with hauling it empty, it will still have some positive tongue weight. The Trailex,(as do many others) has an adjustable lock down for the ball hitch. Have a look at it, you will see that it can be screwed up/down. You want an "almost snug" fit on the ball. To loose & it tends to bounce a bit on the ball, makes for a noisy ride. To tight it becomes a pain to get it locked down. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CORRECT BALL! You can,(unsafely) put a 2" hitch onto a 1 7/8" ball.
    As Pete alluded to, it may prevent mucho aggravation to have a look at the bearings before you head out. Especially on a trailer with bearings subject to immersion. The Bearing Buddies are cheap,(but they will not save you if the bearings are already shot) they work by using a spring loaded plate to keep grease pushed into the races. An exposed grease nipple in the center allows you to "pump them up" with just a few strokes of the gun. They must be purchased in the exact size for the hub. They are installed by simply removing the original bearing cap, then driving them onto the hub. Use a deadblow hammer, or place a block of wood against the Buddy, then drift on.
    The biggest problem with towing your empty Trailex is that it is nearly invisible, & it is very light. You will soon forget it is behind you. Light is good, (I calculated less than 1mpg difference when towing with a V6 Toyota van), invisible, not so good.
    A trip as you describe usually means long hours of boring driving. IT IS VERY EASY TO FORGET WHAT IS BEHIND YOU, BECAUSE IT IS INVISIBLE & ESPECIALLY HOW WIDE A CAT TRAILER IS. Don't ask how I know this, the only good thing was it involved an old steel trailer, not the Trailex.
    Allow a few extra hours to check over the lights, have some wire, connections & wire strippers with you. I'm not sure how "ready to go" translates into "not a single light works", but it happens all the time. Borrow or buy a spare tire, you know too well how many trailers you see sitting on the roadside because of this & bearing failure.
    Bring a few wrenches, the Trailex use a unique design that allows them to be easily customized by simply loosening a bolt, then sliding a part in the channels built into the extrusions. In our case the Nacra mast did not clear the van roof. It was a 5 minute job to loosen 2 bolts & slide the mast stand a bit further back to increase the angle.

    --
    Hobie 18 Magnum
    Dart 15
    Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
    Nacra 5.7
    Nacra 5.0
    Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
    Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
    --
  • d,
    i also pulled and empty trailer about 500 miles to chicago. it was a steel one, not aluminum. nothing suffered any damage but what i found was that it bounced like crazy over rough roads. when the trailer went airborne it felt weightless but when it hit the road again and the tires got back up to rotation speed, i felt a backwards jerk, not a lot, but just enough to become unpleasant when it happened again and again and again all day long.
    if i were to do it again, i would add some weight directly over the trailer axle. 150# on a trailex should be plenty.
    j



    Edited by arch on Sep 26, 2012 - 04:24 PM.

    --
    Aquacat 12 (sold)...'87 Nacra 5.8 (sold)...'03 Nacra Inter18 (sold)
    Venture 15 (sold)....'89 Nacra 5.8 (sold)...'91 Nacra 5.8NA (sold)
    '99 Nacra Inter20 (sold)
    --
  • Hook the trailer to your truck so it can't move. Jack up one wheel at a time. With a wide blade screw driver take off the dust cover. Grab the wheel on both sides and try to "wobble" it. If it "wobbles " at all remove the cotter pin and tighten the nut one notch on the spindle. Repeat until there is no play and the wheel revolves freely. You can also visually inspect the bearings at this time to see that there is grease surrounding them. Us old farm boys know that nothing destroys wheel bearings faster than heat, which is caused by too loose or too tight bearing nuts and inadequate grease. Any of you old timers out there remember how to pack wheel bearings with a dollop of grease in the palm of your hand? Bearing buddies are fine but a lot of folks tend to give the zerk one more shot for good measure. Often this will push out the seal on the backside with the result that heavy grease will be thrown all over the boat ,trailer and fender at speed.
  • You will be in my neck of the woods. When are you coming? There is a multihull regatta on Saratoga lake
    in a couple of weeks. I just towed my steel trailer 500 miles empty to pick up a tornado. Only issue is
    some bouncing on rough roads. This sounds like a big hassle and you should let that trailer go to me for scrap value icon_biggrin Really should not be an issue to tow it. Make sure you have at least one spare tire with you. Basic
    law of towing. No spare=flat tire, good spare =no flats.

    --
    Pete Knapp
    Schodack landing,NY
    AHPC Viper,Nacra I20,P18, P16,H16
    --
  • QuoteAny of you old timers out there remember how to pack wheel bearings with a dollop of grease in the palm of your hand?

    I resent the use of the term "old timer" icon_lol
    What I resented more was the old man making you do it au natural. Today I use latex gloves!

    --
    Hobie 18 Magnum
    Dart 15
    Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
    Nacra 5.7
    Nacra 5.0
    Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
    Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
    --
  • I live in the Saratoga area. When and where is the Regatta? I may be interested.
  • Looks like it is scheduled for october 6th and 7th at the Saratoga lake sailing club. I think it is an open regatta and multihulls are welcome.

    --
    Pete Knapp
    Schodack landing,NY
    AHPC Viper,Nacra I20,P18, P16,H16
    --
  • Thanks for all the feedback. This is very helpful.
  • QuoteWhat I resented more was the old man making you do it au natural. Today I use latex gloves!
    Oh Hell, Ed, a little gasoline takes that grease right off! Followed by a little Dawn dish soap and you're all set to hold hands with the missus! When I was a teenager I used to pull anhydrous tanks behind 3/4 ton pickups. We'd have bearings sieze up and melt to the spindle. I got very adept at torching bearing seats off the spindle without so much as a nick. Sometimes we would have to "peen" the spindle with a center punch to keep the new bearing seats from rotating on the spindle shaft.
  • QuoteI used to pull anhydrous tanks behind 3/4 ton pickups.

    I hated that stuff, it's much resembles tear gas!
    I was just laughing at your photo on the other thread, with the buried beam. Last week my buddy was driving the 5.7 & I had the 5.0, on a broad reach in 17mph wind, confused seas due to a 90* wind shift. There was no way in Hell I was going to let him catch me, I was whipping that 5.0 as hard as she could go. Twice the entire front end went under, he was sure I was going to pitchpole, he could see the entire underside of the tramp. I lost a lot of speed each time, allowing him to gain ground, but it recovered nicely. A few minutes later he capsized,(newbie sailor!) after being washed off the boat by a boarding wave. The GPS on the 5.7 recorded 21.1 mph.
    Did you ever buy that other 5.0 for your daughter?

    --
    Hobie 18 Magnum
    Dart 15
    Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
    Nacra 5.7
    Nacra 5.0
    Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
    Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
    --
  • Didn't get that 5.0 The guy thought it was a late eighties model but when he emailed me the serial# it turned out to be an '83.
    Saw a '93 on Craigslist.....the guy wanted $2900 for it but before I could contact him the page was deleted.
    Oddly enough, about a week later it shows up again but now it's worth $3500! Wish him luck on that one! Oh well, something
    Always turns up when you least expect it.

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