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Hot Rods pulling a travel trailer

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 29moonshine, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 5,324

    Special Ed
    Member

    I wasn't suggesting that in "pulling a trailer for ten miles" that you'd be hitting interstate highway speeds. Our residential neighborhood speeds around here are 25 mph, not 60 mph. There is a HUGE difference.
    That's precisely why there are different safety requirements on cars that race at different rates of speed. Chutes (and other safety equipment) are required and mandatory over 150 MPH, but would be overkill on a car that can only get up to 50 mph.
    That's why I asked him "what are your plans?"
     
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  2. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,465

    jazz1
    Member

    Back in the day most folks towed boats/trailers with cars. I don't think towing capacity was factored in by law enforcement the way it is now. Neighbour had a early 70s' wagon to pull 25' trailer. My uncle pulled 26' Chriscraft with his '66 Merc Monterey. I'm not familiar with what they had for hitches but these are what I've pulled off, none of which are suitable for your needs but no doubt they pulled some loads.
    Rusty hitch off '41 IHC
    Black hitch off '48 sedan delivery
    Chromed bumper hitch off '65 Parisienne IMG_5067.JPG
     
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  3. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,446

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Oh, Ok, I understand. I’m just one of those guys that overbuilds everything. That way it’s ready, for light duty or heavy duty. It’s been my experience it’s better to overbuild than under build. Even when a guys says “ oh, I’m only going to pull a little trailer...slow.”
    The next time you see him he’s got a 40 ft trailer , loaded, going 70 mph! Just my life experiences! Lol





    Bones
     
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  4. I wonder how many of you old geezers my age remember seeing a '48 Ford or some such vehicle with a clamp-on trailer ball attached to the bumper pulling a 20 foot trailer.
    hitch.jpg
     
  5. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,465

    jazz1
    Member

    that type of ball can fail, had one "collapse" at Kapuskasing On. while towing years ago. My father had the foresight to give me a length of rope to fasten from frame of my truck to frame of car since the tow bar did not have break away chains.
    100 miles later I checked the tow bar to find most of the bolts on vehicle being towed bumper had rattled loose and fallen out, only two bolts remained.
     
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  6. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,851

    southcross2631
    Member

    If you ever had the tail wagging the dog. you will make sure your tow vehicle is enough to stop your trailer in the rain. Trust me on that one after towing with an O/T Elcamino and quickly upgrading to a 3/4 ton Suburban.
    I will find out the name of the spring shop in Jax and send you a PM.
     
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  7. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,558

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Buy an newF-150 or C1500...
     
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  8. 29moonshine
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,278

    29moonshine
    Member

    thanks
     
  9. 29moonshine
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,278

    29moonshine
    Member

    I have a 2016 dodge with a towing package just want to tow a 20 ft light weight camper with my 55 wagon so I can hit some shows and have a place to stay
     
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  10. 29moonshine
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,278

    29moonshine
    Member

    I am wanting to go to some shows across country and have a place to stay while traveling it is a light weight camper
     
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  11. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,108

    oldsman41
    Member

    They make a universal hitch, had one on my 41 olds. I would say for sure air shocks in rear. Last trip on Route 66 over the summer we seen a few campers being pulled not real big but lightweight ones we had a teardrop we towed for several years, my cousin pulls an old Shasta replica with his 54 Chevy not any problems either.
     
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  12. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 5,866

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I furnished the components for a customers 50 Ford 2 door to up date to late model drive train. 302,AOD with a 9 inch with triangulated 4 bar and coil overs. Also updated the front suspension and added a power booster. The shop that did the work did a heavy duty receiver hitch and reinforced the frame. He pulls a custom Shasta all over the country.
     
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  13. RidgeRunner
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 792

    RidgeRunner
    Member
    from Western MA

    Over the last 50 years I, along with others I've towed with, have "gotten by" with a lot of different less than optimum towing set ups. A lot of towing conditions, as well as regulations and laws, have changed during that same 50 years requiring new perspectives if you want to tow safe and legal today. When a trailer dance starts is NOT the time to be looking for a new and better partner. A lot of good advice given so far but there a few areas I haven't seen discussed yet.

    Don't overlook your tow rigs electrical system, odds are it will require an upgraded charging system to handle the additional demands of a trailer, especially a travel trailer. A heavier duty turn signal flasher might be needed to keep 'em all flashing. I'd recommend a separate wire harness including individually fused circuits for the trailer plug receptacle similar to the way newer OEM tow packages are set up. Troubles with the trailer wiring won't take out the whole rigs system near as easy and it's easier to trouble shoot any problems. Those little "bite in" connectors to splice into the tow rigs wiring are a definite no - no. LED lights on the trailer are a big plus for others to see you when you get caught having to tow in stormy weather.

    Don't skimp on the tires, both tow rig and trailer. Designated trailer tires for the trailer - there are reasons for the differences. Over loading and over heating WILL introduce problems. Keep an eye on trailer wheel bearing maintenance intervals.

    Keep track of the weights of loads, when space is available it becomes easy to add too much in the wrong places just because it's handy. 60% ahead and 40% behind the axle(s) center line is recommended and has worked well for me. Too heavy at the rear and the tail WILL wag the dog.

    In planning to travel the country you would do well to google the Federal and various State requirements for trailer brakes and lights. Handy charts are out there. There are differences depending on trailer weight, dimensions, type, etc. as well as locality you are traveling in. It's far easier to set up to cover everything before heading out anywhere.

    Stay safe and enjoy your journeys,

    Ed
     
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  14. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,075

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

  15. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,710

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    Most of the old cars were built to haul a trailer like that, with a full frame, not unibody construction. I tried to find towing capacity for a 1955 Chevy and can't find anything official, I'm not sure manufacturers were offering those ratings at that time. But camping and travel expanded greatly after WWII, and it was very common to haul a travel trailer using the family sedan or wagon.

    I think the weight limits are dictated by the power and the braking capacity of the tow vehicle, as well as the weight of the tow vehicle. I would keep the weight of the trailer less than the tow vehicle.

    Good suspension components (helper springs are not a bad idea), good tires, good brakes (you said your car has disc brakes), good cooling capacity (trans oil cooler, & radiator with extra row of tubes), and a good weight distributing hitch will all make towing a whole lot safer and more enjoyable.
     
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  16. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,851

    southcross2631
    Member

    29moonshine. The spring company is in Ocala .It's called Tampa Springs Works.
     
  17. Inked Monkey
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 1,567

    Inked Monkey
    Member

    Just took our 67 fireball camping this weekend for the first time. 16 ft and trailer brakes were a must. I did learn that I need air shocks for the rear of my truck and some steeper gears. I'm running a 250 straight six with dual carbs, 4 speed granny low trans and some weak ass 3.08 gears right now. Towed great just don't get in a rush.

    20190907_104710.jpg
     
  18. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,446

    Boneyard51
    Member

    With 3:08 gears and those rather tall tires, you should be able to reach the speed limit on most highways in third gear!





    Bones
     
  19. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 163

    Mimilan
    Member



    What weight of travel trailer?
    And most importantly what sort of suspension?
    And is it single axle or tandem axles?

    The average 20ft Travel Trailer is approx 2700 to 2900lbs so a 55 wagon should handle that easily.
    Most travel trailers stay reasonably consistent in weight from empty to packed for the weekend [compared to a flatbed car hauler that can increase in weight from 1000lbs to 6000lbs when loaded]

    If it has tandem torsion axles, you need to be very careful with ride heights. If the hitch height is too low, the weight is unloaded off the rear axle onto the front axle [causing all the weight behind the front axle to act like a large overhang]
    Many people try shifting the weight in the trailer forward ,but this aggravates the problem. Manufacturers of Generic trailers have the front axle close to the trailer centreline to prevent this. Then they tell you you need a [$$]crewcab dually to tow it, and an [$$] equalizer hitch, and [$$] anti-sway control etc etc.
    All this $$$ is needed to overcome the poor weight distribution of a generic designed trailer.
    A rocker equalizer type leaf spring suspension is better for weight distribution, but also can cause roll-steer .

    If your travel trailer is torsion suspension, I would suggest towing it to the local weighbridge and weigh it. Then weigh just the rear axle by itself. [it should be 50%+ of total axle weights]
    If the rear axle weighs less than 50% ,put a trolley jack under the hitch and lift it to shift more weight onto the rear axle.
    Take a note of the height differences. This height difference can be compensated by shimming under the torsion axle mounts [provided the manufacture hasn't welded it to the frame].

    Make sure you have good electric brakes [these can be manually over-rided to pull out of a sway]
    and use a good brake controller.
    The "Maxbrake" is the best ,but no longer available because their new "direclink" is better.[the direclink plugs into the OBD2 port and picks up the signal from the ABS computer, whereas the Maxbrake was plumbed into the brake lines and measured pressure, not volume]

    If you want to keep your 55 Chevy period correct, you can use a vintage "Kelsey Hayes" brake controller.
    These "T" into the brake line and take a very small amount of volume [hardly noticeable at the pedal]
    The line pressure moves a lever controlled rheostat, which is adjustable against a spring. The lever can used to manually override the brakes.

    here's a NOS piece;
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-60...749796?hash=item215fe4c864:g:G3kAAOSwNINdQGl7

    All of the controllers mentioned are true driver controlled [via brake pedal] , the modern "proportional" controllers use a motion sensor to measure deceleration, which can be useless when the tow vehicle locks up the wheels [no deceleration]
     
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  20. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,295

    tjm73
    Member

    Man it took too many posts for these questions to be asked.
     
  21. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 163

    Mimilan
    Member

    Probably the consequences of Owning a trailer manufacturing business many years ago [race car trailers]

    We were guilty of towing a Lotus Cortina on a trailer behind a Honda Accord tow vehicle.
    The Cortina weighed 720kg [1584 lbs] and the trailer weighed exactly 400kg [880 lbs]
    And the Honda Accord weighed 1250kg [2750 lbs] which was more than the race car /trailer combo.

    It really helped us sell the trailers because it created the illusion of being capable of being towed behind anything.
     
  22. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,160

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Our late, great, '51 Pontiac had a receiver I modified for a late model pickup truck. Widened the tube, modified the mount to fit the Pontiac frame. Air shocks, helper springs, disk brakes, most importantly a Reese weight transfer hitch system and sway control. My buddy Jake's '50 Chevy is set up similarly but he's running an AirLift suspension. Much better. I built a hitch for my son's '65 Ranch wagon that mounts to the rear crossmember and the floor pan, adequate for the 2,000 lb trailer they pull. He also has weight transfer hitch, I think a necessity for a trailer with over 250 lbs of tongue weight.
     

    Attached Files:

  23. henry's57bbwagon
    Joined: Sep 12, 2008
    Posts: 662

    henry's57bbwagon
    Member

    I tow a 14' Bonair travel trailer with my 57 Chevy wagon. I have self levelling air bags. trailer brakes are required on any trailer weighing 2000# or more. I made my own hitch out of used hitches and square tubing, doing all the welding myself, certified welder. I made it as an H pattern to spread the load along the frame. 57 trailer hitch 003.jpg 57 trailer hitch 001.jpg Bonair & 57 small.jpg
     
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  24. henry's57bbwagon
    Joined: Sep 12, 2008
    Posts: 662

    henry's57bbwagon
    Member

    Beside the main hitch bolting to frame I added this 90* to it. 57 trailer hitch (5).jpg
     
  25. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,403

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    GET AN EQUALIZING HITCH BY ALL MEANS. I've towed two different travel trailers behind my 48 and an equalizing hitch makes all the difference in the world in both keeping the back end of the car from drooping and stabilization going down the road. The extra control you have will amaze you
    Electric brakes are a must along with a good controller.
    Tires on the tow rig that can handle the extra load.
    I've used those clamp on the doors mirrors and they are bad to scratch the doors. They do work good if they stay on.

    I'd agree with Trulyvintage Find out who the best custom hitch builder/installer is in your area within a decent drive and have them build the hitch. This isn't something you want to cobble together out of junkyard or yard sale parts. He tows as many miles in a month as some of us tow in a lifetime.
     
  26. mnjeff
    Joined: Oct 17, 2006
    Posts: 73

    mnjeff
    Member

    971980CF-B925-4A93-A219-1B9DA270E29D.jpeg 72E6DE9A-776C-46D5-9D73-550EB59E9641.jpeg 8DEDCAAE-B082-4410-B321-C882388B7ED7.jpeg I tug a 19 foot Scamp with my Econoline pickup. 350 chevy, T350, 9 inch with a 2:47 Lincoln gear. Spins at 2300 rpm at 65 mph. Air shocks on the rear, bags on the front. Scamp runs about 2800 loaded, with 475 lbs on the pin. Removed the stock 200+pound counterweight from the bed, used the factory Scamp gooseneck hitch with a slightly wider crossmember. These campers are set up to be towed by a ranger or s-10...Been dragging it around all summer with no problems..
     
  27. Anticipate the worst possible scenario.

    The actions of other motorists - weather conditions - road conditions are all unknown factors you cannot predict.

    I am on the road towing over 300 days a year - I drive slowly and cautiously out of necessity.



    Jim
     
  28. 4wd1936
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 778

    4wd1936
    Member
    from NY

    Everything mentioned above is correct especially the use of a load levelling hitch/bars such as the kind Reese and others provide. Most also have the small ball to install a sway control. The difference in load, control and just a general feeling of confidence is worth the investment. Just picture what everything does when that jerk pulls out in front of you and you are hard on the brakes. If you watch the bars in action when you make a turn you can see that the tension increases on the bars making them want to return to center, a built in sway control in itself. As mentioned, slow down and also pay attention to the wind direction. Be safe.
     
  29. dave 62 pb
    Joined: Nov 5, 2013
    Posts: 195

    dave 62 pb
    Member

    In the UK you can only have an un-braked upto 750KG , all travel trailers since the 60s have had a sliding coupling with rod operated drum brakes
    I tow my 2800 pound trailer with my I6 auto Edsel with stock non power brakes , the trailer brakes work good
    I also have an anti sway bar fitted
     

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