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Old 06-26-2014, 02:55 AM   #1
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Enclosed Trailer Tips?

Well, my wife, 3 kids and I are almost ready to embark on our 1-2yr journey around the country. We wanted to bring DW's minivan, holiday stuff, outdoor stuff, some of my tools, etc. So, we decided an enclosed trailer would best fit our needs.

I just nervously placed the factory order for a 24' x 8.5 ATC Quest aluminum trailer. I added extra height (8.5' interior height) as I want to do some overhead storage. I also, of course, did the extended tongue.

With cabinets and finished out, she'll be around 4,000lbs which I'm really happy about as I want to use the van to move it around if we get into a situation where we need to store it.

Which leads me to the point of the topic. I've seen some of you folks with 45' coaches pulling 30' stackers. I'm in a 45' soon to be with a 24' trailer (I'm aware the limit is 65' in many locales) in tow and am wondering how often some of you regret your decision for a trailer when you end up downtown or in a tight campground? How often do you end up dropping the trailer?

In spite of the cold feet, this is going to be a 'nature of the beast' type experience for us and I have younger kids, so we'll be primarily in family oriented campgrounds like the Jellystones vs higher end resorts.

Curious about others' experiences!

Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:00 PM   #2
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I have never regretted having my trailer. I'm not familiar with your trailer mfg specs, I would look at reinforcing the ramp door and floor and minimum axle rating of 10k lbs. 'D' rings and 3 strips of 'E' track in the floor and maybe 'e' track on the wall. I would also consider insulating the walls and ceilings, have it prewired and braced for roof air/heat. 3 kids, might make for extra sleeping space with a nice air mattress. Also a good place to find some alone time on inclement weather day or garage to tinker. Stabilizer jacks on rear, LED lighting, some interior lights. Definitely torsion axles.

I would avoid downtown city streets unless you must absolutely. You will learn protected left turns may be your best friend as right turns might not work so well. It is nice to have a vehicle capable of moving the trailer in emergencies as well.

Tongue weight is important to monitor so I would purchase a sherline trailer tongue scale,
Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scales.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:22 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Johnny! I think it's too late to make changes to the order now, but it's a pretty well built aluminum trailer (ATC Trailers - World Class, Precision Built) 16" OC floor and walls, the ramp door is 4000lbs (which, I assume would be ok -- even if I decided to load my Silverado 3500HD in there, there wouldn't be more than 3000lbs at a time on the door.)

I went with 12,000lb axles (tandem 6k's) - Dexter Torsion. I did 2 rows of airline track (similar to e track, just a little cleaner) - maybe 3 would have been a good idea. I'm not having the factory do it as I'm not sure of placement yet, but I am going to do e-track on the walls. I plan on using e-track's 2x4 connectors to build an overhead platform for storage. One of those things that's difficult to plan out until you have the trailer (at least for me!)

Oddly, it didn't occur to me to insulate - though the walls/ceiling are finished and it will be prepped and braced for A/C!

Exterior lighting is all LED, in fact, I added additional clearance / signal lights and another set of brake lights.

There's 4 18" LED lights inside and 30A service.

Thanks again for the insight - I may call and see about those other items!
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:59 PM   #4
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I've probably pulled my current 24' wells cargo over 100,000 miles with our old monaco 36' dynasty. A little shorter than your total length, but never had the kind of problem you mentioned. I've had to back the rig out half a mile or so on 2 occasions, but that's about it. Big issue on mine is that I've got close to 1500 lbs of tongue weight. The other issue is that we get a lot of up and down on the tongue because of the motorhome overhang and it makes for some interesting re-arranging for things the rear of the trailer.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindyT View Post
Thanks for the reply, Johnny! I think it's too late to make changes to the order now, but it's a pretty well built aluminum trailer (ATC Trailers - World Class, Precision Built) 16" OC floor and walls, the ramp door is 4000lbs (which, I assume would be ok -- even if I decided to load my Silverado 3500HD in there, there wouldn't be more than 3000lbs at a time on the door.)

I went with 12,000lb axles (tandem 6k's) - Dexter Torsion. I did 2 rows of airline track (similar to e track, just a little cleaner) - maybe 3 would have been a good idea. I'm not having the factory do it as I'm not sure of placement yet, but I am going to do e-track on the walls. I plan on using e-track's 2x4 connectors to build an overhead platform for storage. One of those things that's difficult to plan out until you have the trailer (at least for me!)

Oddly, it didn't occur to me to insulate - though the walls/ceiling are finished and it will be prepped and braced for A/C!

Exterior lighting is all LED, in fact, I added additional clearance / signal lights and another set of brake lights.

There's 4 18" LED lights inside and 30A service.

Thanks again for the insight - I may call and see about those other items!
16" OC should be more than adequate on the floor, great choice on axles. Looks and sounds like a very nice trailer.

The insulation made a huge difference in mine, especially with structural wall integrity and it is much quieter with the ceiling insulated. I had mine done after the fact, cost more but was worth it in my opinion.

I left a closed box knife on the floor in front of one of my tires and traveled 225 miles on curvy hilly roads in AR, the box knife didn't move more than 2". It rides very smooth.

I would look into stabilizer bars, some hitches require them to get the maximum tongue weight from your hitch.

Look forward to seeing pictures once you get the trailer.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:10 AM   #6
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You didn't mention a spare trailer tire. Maybe do what I do and carry two spare tires. A flat trailer tire can take a while to detect if you don't have a monitoring system, meaning the remaining tire is overloaded and may be damaged. Sometimes. internal delaminating is not apparent from outside the tire.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:26 PM   #7
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Toni - I actually almost bought the Wells Cargo RoadForce 24'. It looked like an incredibly well built trailer. The only thing that swayed me was the weight. Not an issue for the coach, but again, I wanted be able to move it around short distances with the minivan and I think I'd have been doing wheelies with the van had I tried with the Wells.

Johnny - I was able to sneak in the rear stabilizer jacks and insulated walls/ceiling to the order before it's built - thanks again for the tip!

George - I indeed got a spare wheel/tire. TPMS will be a must too!


Thanks again, guys. I used to drive a tractor trailer years ago, so the overall length isn't a huge concern, but I was delivering to warehouses, not going through campgrounds - plus the pivot point was much more favorable on a tractor. I'm sure all will be well in the end.
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:51 AM   #8
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I purchased a Haulmark Edge. About same description as what you ordered. I wished that the tie down were further extended as they were real close to the axles. I purchased some expensive, not Home Depot kind, tie down straps that went over the axles. It will be a quick learning curve.
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