trailers.

rusty_tlc

New member
Rustys stupid (non4x4) tech question of the day.
I'm keeping my FJ40 streetable but would like to get a trailer for longer highway trips. (Moab, Johnson Valley/Hammers)

I've been towing trailers since I got my licence (30+ years) but never a car trailer. So I have a few questions.

What kind of brakes are best, electric or surge?
What should I look for in a used trailer?
The stock curb weight of a cruiser is 3263 lbs, even without the Hard top I'm probably over that. What capicity trailer do I need?
 

Sierra Valley

Active member
rusty_tlc said:
Rustys stupid (non4x4) tech question of the day.
I'm keeping my FJ40 streetable but would like to get a trailer for longer highway trips. (Moab, Johnson Valley/Hammers)

I've been towing trailers since I got my licence (30+ years) but never a car trailer. So I have a few questions.

What kind of brakes are best, electric or surge?
What should I look for in a used trailer?
The stock curb weight of a cruiser is 3263 lbs, even without the Hard top I'm probably over that. What capicity trailer do I need?

Definitely want a smaller trailer w/ brakes. I borrowed a trailer w/ no brakes for wood the other weekend. Totally overloaded it. On the way home from the Bear Valley OHV trail area, I was going down hill and the trailer man handled me down the hill, went into a ditch and up a hill and back into the road. Got home and the frame was re-cracked where I had welded it prior and then cracked in a new spot:banghead: They are both fixed and I wont be loading my trailer up like that anymore as that was a wild ride.
 

kairo

Moderator
Staff member
I like electric brakes better than surge brakes. with the surges you get a "bump" as the brakes come on. electrics are quieter and perform at the same rate your vehiclel does
 

rusty_tlc

New member
I'm okay without brakes on my utility trailer, even when hauling heavy loads, as long as it's around town. Of course I have a warped rotor to show for it.:no:

I'm used to electric brakes but most of the transport trailer I've seen have surge brakes. Just wondering if there is a reason.

Edit: kairo hadn't posted yet.
 

Sierra Valley

Active member
True you dont need brakes, just happens the trailer was about a 25 fter and w/ the weight had me at its mercy on the down hill. BTW -- I didnt gear down either on that section so it could have been avoided had I went down to 4 low and creeped. Oh well, I learn everything the hard way:banghead:
 

rusty_tlc

New member
Sierra Valley said:
True you dont need brakes, just happens the trailer was about a 25 fter and w/ the weight had me at its mercy on the down hill. BTW -- I didnt gear down either on that section so it could have been avoided had I went down to 4 low and creeped. Oh well, I learn everything the hard way:banghead:
Sound like it was interesting anyway. It would have been fun to watch. :rolling:


My util trailer is ony 8' and I won't usually haul anything heavier than a yard of type II base in it.
 

Sierra Valley

Active member
My brother and friend were behind me. They just thought I was dorkin around. A no. Was pretty funny if I would of been sitting in their rig. **** spilt beer I mean beverage all over me which is nothing new.
 

Connect

New member
Well I'd look for a double axle trailer that's a little but longer then your FJ40's wheelbase, that has points you can strap it down with (allthough not terribly difficult to weld on) and has some sort of brakes. I don't know your tow rig, but a superduty or HD could handle it without brakes.

If it was a smaller SUV or 1500 truck it would be a good idea to have them. Electric breaks are nice, but require the little send unit in the cab (correct me if I'm wrong on that one)
Surge brakes are nice because it uses the weight of the trailer to apply break pressure, there is a little bang but nothing terrible. A much simpler easier operation but after time without proper maintenance, the brakes will stop working. Probably cheaper too.

Things I would look for in a used trailer... Rust, If it's still got a good paint job on it the trailer was probably not used alot, make sure you find out the load ratings ( any double axle will probably be sufficient, NO SINGLE AXLES) Check all the lights and make sure they work, if it has surge brakes check the brake fluid reservoir, try moving the pump manually or with a breaker bar to see if they work.

Check the tires for uneven wear, and pressure. I would stay away from the slatted type chicken fence wire floors, does nothing for strength or rigidity. I have one with steel and hard 2x12 decking.
 

rusty_tlc

New member
Tow rig is a GCM 2500 Sierra w/7.4L, set up for towing my Travel Trailer so I have the brake controler already. Of course I will never find a transport trailer with the same electrical connector. :D
The finished wheel base on the Cruiser will be a little over 101", I'm thinking it might be hard to find one that short?
 

Connect

New member
well it doesn't have to be exact, Idealy you'll want the center of the vehicle over the center of the axles. That's about perfect weight distribution (60/40). Anything longer then the body is just wasted space and more a chance of hitting something. Unless you need the space. My bobcat trailer is like 8 ft plus the tongue, Those are probably the shortest double axle trailer you can find, they support the 5000+lb bobcats.

If all else fails, bring the fj40 to test fit them :)

Also I forgot to mention, I don't know if you are using full width axles, but most tractor trailers aren't wide enough to drive over the wheel wells. So keep your widest possible track width in mind.
 
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rusty_tlc

New member
I have stock width axles, when cash flow allows I will be putting shorter backspaced wheels on. I still won't be full width.

Never thought about it but a little extra space might be a good thing.

I would have thought you would put the front as close to center as possiable to keep the weight over the axles, no?
 

rusty_tlc

New member
JOE THE TOE said:
Nope,you need tongue weight or you'll get trailer whip!:yes: :D I guess having a trailer queen does payoff!!:buttkick:
The *** end of my Cruiser probably weighs more than your whole rig, :D I should have plenty o weight on the tounge.:D

I use a sway control bar with the TT to keep "whip" down, would the same set-up be usefull with a transport trailer?
 

Connect

New member
Lol, thems be some heavy *** leaf springs :)

I really wouldn't worry about the anti sway deal, it may improve ride performance but I think is a waste of money. As long as you have the overload leaf springs on your tow rig and 100% of your fj40 isn't in front of the axles (thus putting almost all the weight on your tow rig) It should be good for towing. Or those cool air bag towing things :)
 

rusty_tlc

New member
Connect said:
Lol, thems be some heavy *** leaf springs :)

I really wouldn't worry about the anti sway deal, it may improve ride performance but I think is a waste of money. As long as you have the overload leaf springs on your tow rig and 100% of your fj40 isn't in front of the axles (thus putting almost all the weight on your tow rig) It should be good for towing. Or those cool air bag towing things :)
Since I already have it I would probably use it. It makes a big difference on long drives with the TT, we typicaly cover around 1000 miles on a trip. About the same as a round trip to Moab or the Hammers.
 
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