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Towing trailers in the winter

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Anyone have experience towing really small, really light trailers in the winter? I'm talking about a custom light trailer with a Thule box on it. Think empty weight of under 200lbs and gross under 400. Planning on towing this behind a light (2500lbs) RWD sports car.

I have some experience with light utility trailers without brakes, PWC trailers, etc...mostly pretty positive except for the annoyance of backing short narrow trailers you can't see. Not so much experience with trailers in true winter driving conditions though. Should I be thinking of some sort of antisway system, brakes with an electronic controller, etc? The whole thing from hitch to trailer will likely be total DIY, so I'm open to suggestions. (even of the "yer an idiot, buy a car with a roof" stripe)

I suspect if I go forward with this the design will be driven by what I can find for tire/wheel/knuckle combos that are sufficiently light yet available with studs and sipes. I suspect all available "trailer" axles are far too heavy and stiff. I think I'll need to build it myself to get the wheel rates low enough so it isn't bouncing around all the time. Something like a beam from an old, light, FWD car might be the ticket.
post #2 of 13
so whats the tow vehicle?

and garrert I am thinking if you have to ask, its not a good idea.

but

people do toe trailers around that size with cars a like miata in the summer when they autocross or track the car so maybe those sites might be a better place to ask.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
people do toe trailers around that size with cars a like miata in the summer when they autocross or track the car so maybe those sites might be a better place to ask.
I might ask on one of the Miata sites. Just figured people here might have more experience with the winter side of things.

I've seen a lot of light tire trailers behind Miatas, but even those are bigger and heavier than what I'm talking about.
post #4 of 13
Cool idea. Towing a trailer of that weight should not be an issue. You don't even need trailer brakes if it's 400#. When chains are required then the trailer has to have a drag chain put on.
post #5 of 13
The salt will eat the trailer alive as most utillity type trailers are painted with low quality paint and not even a primer/sealer under it. Unless you consider it a 'throw away"...don't do it if you live were they salt the roads.... damhik
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post
The salt will eat the trailer alive as most utillity type trailers are painted with low quality paint and not even a primer/sealer under it. Unless you consider it a 'throw away"...don't do it if you live were they salt the roads.... damhik
I'll probably weld it together then put a typical epoxy primer/basecoat/clearcoat finish on it with whatever I have lying around. Most of the commercial utility trailers I see are already rusting when they are delivered to the retail joints, and I see the same thing as you...a single coat of some cheap black stuff on them.

Thanks for the encouragement slider, if anyone would know it'd be you. This will probably be used mostly in the northeast free of chain requirements, but I might try a drag chain to see how that works on the snowy days.
post #7 of 13

picture that sticks in my hed is:

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Comprex to the rescue, per usual, with something I hadn't thought of and hadn't seen. Thanks a ton for that.
post #9 of 13
What keeps it from rotating on the ball hitch?
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post
What keeps it from rotating on the ball hitch?

I think you mean "in the roll plane"?
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
I think you mean "in the roll plane"?
Yep...that's what I'm wondering
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post
Yep...that's what I'm wondering
http://motorcycletrailer.com/sw/

It is constrained by a wide towbar style hitch attachment. Prevents roll in the same way hitch mount carriers due, by putting the vehicle hitch into torsion (and also bending when the swivel wheel reverses) Recommended for vehicles with class III and IV hitches. Probably not the hot ticket for a class I hitch...however I'm not constrained to building a hitch with a single central receiver tube. Will have to take a look at the hitch mounting points and figure out how beefy they are.

The swivel thing is clever...neatly solves the problem of backing a short trailer you can't see.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post
Yep...that's what I'm wondering
650b guys and geometric trail/wheel flop debates are -almost- worse than recumbent beardies and aero efficiency proofs.
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