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 > Difference between car hauler and cargo trailer?

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larry cad

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Posted: 03/02/09 07:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am considering towing a trailer behind my motorhome. The purpose would be to carry my car, and some other "possessions"! I have been looking at several trailers and I see some advertised as cargo trailers and some as car haulers. For instance, I am looking at a trailer advertised as a cargo trailer with a capacity of 7700#, measuring 8' X 16' with a ramp and a side door and double axle. This trailer seems to be able to handle what I want it to do except it is labled as a cargo trailer. What am I missing? Is there any reason I can't haul my small car and other stuff in this trailer if it fits and doesn't weigh too much?

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tvman44

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Posted: 03/02/09 07:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No reason at all I know several people that use cargo trailers to haul race cars & tools, spare parts, ect.


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Ajones42

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Posted: 03/02/09 07:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check the ramp capacity. Many car haulers have reinforced ramps. Many car haulers also have 6" higher roofs and are 102" wide.


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DutchmenSport

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Posted: 03/02/09 07:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I rented a car carrier once to transport a car for my daughter. It was just just a flat trailer with no sides. I thought I had it all figured out. Then I loaded the car on the trailer and discovered I couldn't get out any of the doors! The wheel fender wouldn't allow opening the door enough to squeeze through. I tried everything, even taking out the back seat to crawl out the trunk. Unfortunately, that car, I couldn't get through the back seat. It was solid!

I ended up putting the car on the tale of the trailer, which was a real threat for uncontrolled sway! I had no other choice. I drove very slow (1000 miles) and never got over 45 mph. Yuck!

If you're looking at a trailer, make sure you have enough room to open the door of the vehicle and still get out! I think that's why the "car haulers" had side doors and cargo trailers do not!

BrickBrain

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Posted: 03/02/09 08:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As Ajones42 said, Check the rampdoor capacity. Do this regardless of it being labled a car trailer or a cargo trailer. Most car haulers are equipped with D-rings and a dovetail at the rear. Also depends on the manufacture. A carhauler for company A can be built the same as a cargo trailer for company B.

I would say if your car fits, use the trailer regardless of what it is called.


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carringb

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Posted: 03/02/09 09:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I highly recommend the driver escape door on many car haulers.


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larry cad

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Posted: 03/03/09 06:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the suggestions. The trailer I am looking at has a side door. I will be sure to check the capacities.

mkirsch

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Posted: 03/03/09 07:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My cargo trailer has a side door.

Do a side-by-side comparison of the two trailers' features. You should be able to notice a difference.

For example, I suspect that the floor on an enclosed car hauler is reinforced, or made of thicker wood. A cargo trailer typically has 3/4" ply. Most open car haulers have 2" planks.

If you rented a Uhaul, the left fender can be tipped out or removed entirely to allow the driver's door to open.


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blt2ski

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Posted: 03/03/09 09:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not sure about this case, but on flat deck car haulers, the ramps are WAY weaker than on equipment trailers, They also usually slide in and out of a storage area on the under back side of the trailer vs having built in ramps with feet that keep the back end of the trailer from squatting down when loading. Using this analogy, I can see where a cargo trailer may have a weaker ramp yet, assuming that one is only loading lighter items, such as motorcycles, snowmobiles etc. Equipment trailers typically have the beavertails vs car trailer/haulers will not from my experience. Beaver tails will make the load ramp angle about 7-10* vs 12-15* for non BT trailers.

I would recomend that you block the back of the trailer if you load a car, as you will get quite the uplift on the hitch when loading otherwise. Blocks can be actual wood blocks, or jackstands. Some trailers actually have jack stands like your tongue jack on the rear to hold the trailer steady when loading.


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lanerd

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Posted: 03/03/09 09:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DutchmenSport wrote:

I rented a car carrier once to transport a car for my daughter. It was just just a flat trailer with no sides. I thought I had it all figured out. Then I loaded the car on the trailer and discovered I couldn't get out any of the doors! The wheel fender wouldn't allow opening the door enough to squeeze through. I tried everything, even taking out the back seat to crawl out the trunk. Unfortunately, that car, I couldn't get through the back seat. It was solid!

I ended up putting the car on the tale of the trailer, which was a real threat for uncontrolled sway! I had no other choice. I drove very slow (1000 miles) and never got over 45 mph. Yuck!

If you're looking at a trailer, make sure you have enough room to open the door of the vehicle and still get out! I think that's why the "car haulers" had side doors and cargo trailers do not!


Did you try crawling out the window???

I don't have a lot of experience in renting car carriers, but the ones that I have rented, had fenders that were hinged outward so that when loading the vehicle, you can tilt the fenders over to allow access/egress from the vehicle.

Also, I don't have "any" experience in cargo carriers, but I would suspect that a cargo carrier would not have the ramp/floor capacity to allow loading a multi-thousand pound vehicle on it.

Ron


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