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Old 10-16-2014, 07:33 AM   #421 (permalink)
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The rules in Europe are pretty different.
- Under 750 kg trailer GW, nothing is required, only a $10 license plate with a copy of the tow vehicles registration.
- Over 750 kg trailer GW, it needs to be registered, has its own VIN, and gets it own license plate. (this was done to put a stop to the massive amount of trailer theft.)
- Car + trailer gross weight over 3500 kg = a trailer towing license is required, so a special trailer driving exam.
- cars cannot weight over 3500kg gross weight, or they're classified as trucks, requiringa truck license
- trailers cannot have a combined axle load of more than 3500 kg, anything over, requires it to offload on the towing vehicle with a 5th wheel. (These exist, as a cheap alternative to a fullsize truck. Usually for moving construction equipment)
-cars have a braked and unbraked towing weight registered on the papers. The braked towing weight is usually around the cars empty mass, the unbraked is usually half of the braked mass.
-you can (as of this year) tow a large, but empty trailer behind a smaller car, as long as the weight in reality doesn't exceed the cars tow rating.
-and for ecomodder: most hybrid and electric cars, and some of the "low emissions" cars, have 0 towing weight registered. So no trailer behind a Prius or a Tesla.

This is me, moving house with a large trailer behind my small econobox:

That went pretty well, even though it doubled my fuel consumption for that trip.

Sadly, my government has decided diesel cars older than 8 years are evil, and starting 2015, the first city will ban them, and a lot of other cities will have to actively choose not to ban them, or will also ban them. I'm currently saving money for, and looking at new cars, I'm thinking hybrid, for good fuel economy without diesel. (And add a plug-in pack, because I always wanted an EV, and DIY conversion of a normal car is not legal or very expensive).. That would mean no more trailer towing for me, unless I borrow or rent a different car..

Other than that, our tax system heavily taxes purchase and ownership of a vehicle, with a monthly tax based on vehicle weight (and multiplied by 3 for diesels), mandatory insurance, and 200% tax on fuel, and a huge tax on import or new cars. Owning a heavy vehicle is not a good idea, unless you really need it very often. Thats why almost everyone drives "normal" and compact cars, and uses trailers for moving big stuff. The number of pickups I see around town is extremely low, I literally see more Tesla model S' than pickups. Vans are popular though, almost everyone who works in construction buys or leases a van, and turns it into a mobile tool shed.

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Old 10-16-2014, 11:18 AM   #422 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
I already made one home made trailer in Va for hauling a fixed keel sailboat. There was a process to get a title but it was not any insurmountable issue.

The HF trailers are not considered home made and the one I bought used came with a title. The tiny DMV I go to does not do drivers licenses, just titles and tags.

They usually take care of me faster than most fast food restaurants.

No state inspection required for under 4000 GW trailers that do not have brakes. Title, registration and PERMANENT plates were not cheap, about $160, but that is the end of fees and charges forever.

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Also any trailer with a brake axle needs to be inspected.

My little trailer started out as a HF trailer, it had a vin but it was covered by a leveling jack and the guy I bought it from is from alaska so it was never registered (not required). Since I didn't have a vin it was a "home made" trailer.
I also lived in hamton and if you have to go to the DMV in hampton for anything you might as well wright the entire day.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:48 PM   #423 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist
We do not do much ice fishing in the Phoenix area.
Maybe it could be the next big thing. Wind chill is a concern, but the premise is that there are no windows, so in the dark you can see into the water.

adam728 -- Now I'm wondering if unsprung weight needs to be considered. The seat is 2/7 of the length from the back (24/84"), lowering it to 18" would put the axle almost at the back. Worst case—a tank for stove oil, or water or alchohol for 'antifreeze' could be placed on the hitch.

Last edited by freebeard; 10-16-2014 at 01:32 PM.. Reason: typoz
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:06 PM   #424 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam728 View Post
Plus I maintain the private road we live on (8 homes). I can get >3K of sand, gravel, etc in the truck, that'd be 4 trips with the trailer. Life could be doable without the truck, but it's a lot easier with it. Except for fill ups, those are tough.
Yeah, trailers behind a car are OK for light loads on nice (sub)urban roads, not so good other places.

Besides, I have to question the numbers. I think I do better having a really light, fuel-efficient car (Insight) with essentially zero towing capability plus a truck for occasional loads, than I would having to drive a larger car that'd have significant towing capacity, when I'm not towing anything at least 95% of the time.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:57 PM   #425 (permalink)
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It's roadworthy. No insurance required. No state inspection. Tag is permanent as well as registration. I picked up a Matco air ratchet at a yard sale for $5. It makes folding and unfolding about a 5 minute job, I'll pick up a nice piece of 4x8 plywood tomorrow and make the deck, seal it before assembly so the wood will last quite a while, especially sitting in the garage when not in use. Also a padlock for the latch.

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Old 10-16-2014, 08:16 PM   #426 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Yeah, trailers behind a car are OK for light loads on nice (sub)urban roads, not so good other places.

Besides, I have to question the numbers. I think I do better having a really light, fuel-efficient car (Insight) with essentially zero towing capability plus a truck for occasional loads, than I would having to drive a larger car that'd have significant towing capacity, when I'm not towing anything at least 95% of the time.
Hi jamesqf, I would have to question your numbers. I have towed with my last two cars, a '98 civic and a '12 sonic. I would not consider either of these 'larger cars', yet I could safely tow 700-800 lbs loads. Also, I need to carry passengers, an Insight only has two seats. I can easily tow motorcycles, furniture, appliances, etc. For Home Depot runs of gravel, mulch, building materials...just rent their truck!
However, this is not one size fits all! If the numbers works out for you great, but not for me...

Your plan requires paying for the reg, insurance, taxes, depreciation, and maintenance on a second vehicle, money and personal time. No good for me...

Rich
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:49 PM   #427 (permalink)
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Old Mechanic -- If you can find a truck parts store, swing by and price a sheet of 'swing-door' material. It's used to made the back doors of box van trailers. Plymetal is an example. Local to me, it's about $100 a sheet.

So then you have a mill-finish aluminum deck, just soak the edges with epoxy resin to seal them, and you should be good to go.
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:41 AM   #428 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Yeah, trailers behind a car are OK for light loads on nice (sub)urban roads, not so good other places.
I pulled a 1500 lb (loaded) tent trailer with a Toyota Matrix through the Canadian Rockies. All loaded up with people and gear it weighed 5200 lbs at a truck scale. It worked fine.
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:46 AM   #429 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Yeah, trailers behind a car are OK for light loads on nice (sub)urban roads, not so good other places.

Besides, I have to question the numbers. I think I do better having a really light, fuel-efficient car (Insight) with essentially zero towing capability plus a truck for occasional loads, than I would having to drive a larger car that'd have significant towing capacity, when I'm not towing anything at least 95% of the time.
Better a ULEV Camaro that can seat 4, can touch 40 MPG, can haul as much as you dare, and is actually going up in value, rather than anything less than a dually. That 16' camper trailer behind my '91 RS was nothing. One of these days next summer I'll be trying a good bit more behind my ULEV '86 600 HP turbo 4.8L Camaro. Forget a 3 cylinder Geo, ain't worth the risk of getting literally run over.
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:09 AM   #430 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Also any trailer with a brake axle needs to be inspected.

My little trailer started out as a HF trailer, it had a vin but it was covered by a leveling jack and the guy I bought it from is from alaska so it was never registered (not required). Since I didn't have a vin it was a "home made" trailer.
I also lived in hamton and if you have to go to the DMV in hampton for anything you might as well wright the entire day.
I graduated from high school in Hampton in 1968. The DMV used to be a nightmare especially when tags had to be renewed at the same time each year, lines hundreds of feet long.

Now I go to Poquoson where it takes minutes to do a title and tags, no numbers, seldom a line, I have been in and out faster than a quick meal at MacDonalds.

You still get attitude at most of the DMVs around here, have not been to one in years. Last time was motorcycle permit, next time will be titleing the 3 wheeler which is a "constructed vehicle".

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mech

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