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QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/21 6:34 p.m.

 have just made a deal on a dual axle 7k pound trailer that is in near new condition with an unused spare tire and two axle brakes. LED lighting and a pristine wood deck with D rings.

My truck now has 1000 miles since the last time it was in the dealership and it's also rated at 7k pounds. 

I am strongly considering a tongue box and a 5k pound ATV winch. 

​​​​What are some tips, tricks and handy upgrades for a new open deck trailer owner?

 

 

Wow, I get to be first!

I'll keep my list short. 

How old are the tires? 

More tie-downs. 

Bigger winch. Also, a buddy of mine recently mounted a winch to his new trailer. He bought an appropriately sized plastic tool box, bolted it and the winch to the frame in front of the deck, and cut a hole in it for the cable. Neat.

There's more, but I'm not really the expert on this topic. 

 

Patientzero
Patientzero GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/15/21 7:23 p.m.

Get some through-the-wheel ties downs so you don't have to crawl under the car after the trailer has been sitting in the sun all day.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/15/21 7:27 p.m.

You definitely want the tongue box.

Make the winch quick-detach so that it's not out in the weather and begging to be stolen.  One way to do this is to mount the winch on a hitch plate and put a receiver tube on the trailer bed.  Think about how you're going to power the winch too -- batteries on the trailer tend not to be charged or to get stolen.  With mine I ran welding cable to the truck battery and put a big DC power connector underneath the rear bumper.

Get one of those "X" wrenches (with four built-in sockets) that fits the trailer lugs and keep it in the tongue box.

Backing up open trailers can be a PITA when unloaded because they are too low and you can't see them through the rear window.  If you need to back it into a parking spot, think about a flag (perhaps magnetic so you can remove it) on the rear corners.

Aftermarket trailer TPMS.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/21 10:01 p.m.
Uncle David (Forum Supporter) said:

Wow, I get to be first!

I'll keep my list short. 

How old are the tires? 

More tie-downs. 

Bigger winch. Also, a buddy of mine recently mounted a winch to his new trailer. He bought an appropriately sized plastic tool box, bolted it and the winch to the frame in front of the deck, and cut a hole in it for the cable. Neat.

There's more, but I'm not really the expert on this topic. 

 

Trailer is 14 months old. Tires have about a thousand miles on it. 

Goal is multiple sets of tie downs in the tongue box that I want to buy.

More on the winch below.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/21 10:02 p.m.
Patientzero said:

Get some through-the-wheel ties downs so you don't have to crawl under the car after the trailer has been sitting in the sun all day.

I was considering them. 

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/21 10:14 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:

You definitely want the tongue box.

Make the winch quick-detach so that it's not out in the weather and begging to be stolen.  One way to do this is to mount the winch on a hitch plate and put a receiver tube on the trailer bed.  Think about how you're going to power the winch too -- batteries on the trailer tend not to be charged or to get stolen.  With mine I ran welding cable to the truck battery and put a big DC power connector underneath the rear bumper.

Get one of those "X" wrenches (with four built-in sockets) that fits the trailer lugs and keep it in the tongue box.

Backing up open trailers can be a PITA when unloaded because they are too low and you can't see them through the rear window.  If you need to back it into a parking spot, think about a flag (perhaps magnetic so you can remove it) on the rear corners.

Aftermarket trailer TPMS.

The trailer has a 3/16" front panel about 5" high. How about adding 1/4" plate to the hitch side and a 1/4" piece of 6" L channel to the deck side and bolted to the floor. Welding a receiver upright on the L channel and a similar weight T post that mounts the winch? Pull the winch when done and store it in the garage on a similar post. 

I was thinking about an AGM marine battery in a box in the tongue box but I already have a 1/0 cable run for the stereo, I can split another run off of that and put a tow truck style connecter under the bumper just as easily. 

I have four way X wrenches. Good idea.

Isn't that why Dog created back up cameras? 

Trailer TPMS is another great idea.

 

mechanicalmeanderings
mechanicalmeanderings New Reader
4/15/21 10:52 p.m.

I think he meant tie down points on the deck or frame of the trailer, not tie down straps, although you almost can’t have too many of either.

good ideas here though. 

In another thread someone talked about tow “keys”? The special shaped hooks and things to make tying down various cars easier?

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/15/21 11:21 p.m.
QuasiMofo (John Brown) said:

The trailer has a 3/16" front panel about 5" high. How about adding 1/4" plate to the hitch side and a 1/4" piece of 6" L channel to the deck side and bolted to the floor. Welding a receiver upright on the L channel and a similar weight T post that mounts the winch? Pull the winch when done and store it in the garage on a similar post. 

I was thinking about an AGM marine battery in a box in the tongue box but I already have a 1/0 cable run for the stereo, I can split another run off of that and put a tow truck style connecter under the bumper just as easily. 

Isn't that why Dog created back up cameras? 

What I did for the winch (which I don't recommend) was to mount it on a square plate with four holes pre-drilled.  I ran bolts for those through the wood deck and put backing plates on the bottom.  It was nice in that when the winch was removed all you could see was four small holes in the deck, but it was also a PITA to install because you needed someone else to hold the wrench on top on the trailer while you crawled underneath to install the nuts.  I've seen people do things similar to what you describe with the receiver tube and that's what I'd do if I ever buy another open trailer (I sold mine a few years ago when I bought an enclosed).

I never had a backup camera on my truck when I was pulling the open trailer, so I don't know how well that would work.  I have trailer cameras on my enclosed, but I don't think there's anywhere to put them on an open.  Flags are cheap and simple. :)

This was the winch setup on mine (before installing the tongue box):

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/16/21 1:02 p.m.

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Join in for the first opportunity for Terry Crews-cab to meet Big Tex! Will there be monster trucks? NO! Will AMA Supercross be live? NO! Will a fat guy be driving 2 1/2 hours across the state to pick up an empty trailer and maybe some super secret Challenge ingredients? YES! 

I may have enough left over from this to get the tongue box. We will see!

cdowd (Forum Supporter)
cdowd (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/16/21 2:29 p.m.

Are you heading straight back?  If not lunch could be had at my hanger in flushing Mi.  I just had a beer with pilot Braden on here and he said he was available.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/16/21 2:54 p.m.

Always cross the rear straps!  Oh blah blah blah,  Batvan almost ended up in a ditch in north Georgia.  Sometimes you get lucky, not my history.

All I got ....

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/16/21 5:57 p.m.

In reply to cdowd (Forum Supporter) :

I have to be at work at 2:00. I will be blowing through then headed the sourlthern route home to grab something from another member.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/16/21 6:13 p.m.
914Driver said:

Always cross the rear straps!  Oh blah blah blah,  Batvan almost ended up in a ditch in north Georgia.  Sometimes you get lucky, not my history.

All I got ....

Cross straps, extra chain that is affixed to the chassis. Safety first and third.

One thing I learned in my yute was using frame blocks and strapping down the frame instead of the axles if you are going to be doing bumpy work. Usually made from 4x4 wood just a hair shorter than the frame at ride height under the suspension points. Then crank it down. I'm not saying it's rightand I've done it both ways. 

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/21/21 3:11 p.m.

Update.

Big Tex and Terry Crews-cab are friends now so I decided to introduce him to $h!tbarge. 

I'm not certain if it's the cold or if the Lexus is a little intimidated but he seems to have shunken a little bit.

There appears to be room for a low mount tire trailer and a winch box on the deck. 

More to follow.

imgon
imgon HalfDork
4/21/21 6:34 p.m.

Nice set up.  I have the HF 9k winch, it does a great job pulling cars onto my trailer. I also got the remote for it, absolutely worth the extra $. I had a 5k portable winch that would technically get a car on the trailer but it took forever and you had to help it . Not sure where they test these but it must be flat. Anyways if you plan on using the winch regularly spend the money up front and get a good one. I also got 5' aluminum ramps to replace the steel "ladder" style. Easier to handle and slightly better angle due to extra length. Enjoy

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/21/21 6:43 p.m.

On that note we have a 5500lb Warn ATV hitch on a tractor that will straight pull the moon closer with enough rope. We also have a 12k Hazard Fraught one. It's slower and less powerful.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/21/21 2:23 p.m.

D Rings arrived today before heading to work so I did what every guy with a machine shop available at a factory does... gubmint work. Made some proper reinforcement plates for the D Rings!

Will pick up some proper carriage bolts while making the weekly box lumber store run in the morning and get them set into the deck. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/22/21 8:56 a.m.

That trailer needs a project car on it.  Whassamatter with you man?  Get shopping!

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
5/22/21 10:14 a.m.

Nice trailer , 

My friend had the tow hitch pin  snap in half  while pulling a loaded trailer  on the I5 , 

No idea why ,  he had safety chains and it was on a long stretch of flat road so he could pull over .

Tow safe :)

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
5/22/21 1:29 p.m.
QuasiMofo (John Brown) said:
D Rings arrived today before heading to work so I did what every guy with a machine shop available at a factory does... gubmint work. Made some proper reinforcement plates for the D Rings!

Amateur.......I built my entire trailer in the shop at work years ago.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/22/21 2:06 p.m.

Plates on both sides secured by 3/8" carriage bolts. I think two more dead center will be plenty good 

 

 

 

 

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/22/21 2:13 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

That trailer needs a project car on it.  Whassamatter with you man?  Get shopping!

I got project cars here! 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
5/22/21 2:13 p.m.

In reply to QuasiMofo (John Brown) :

Do the bolts for the D-rings pass through any metal portion of the trailer, or are you relying on some spruce and deck screws to hold the car on the trailer in a collision? Asking for a friend........

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/22/21 3:16 p.m.

They are currently braced from beam to beam using narrower butsimilar gauge as the top plates attached to the underside of the braces with one factory bolt and doubled nut as well as one drilled screw mount. I'm not happy about the setup and have a plan for a .250 x 6" plate as the final. 

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